HP Service Manager 9.3: SaaS Service Desk Gains Enhancements

Hewlett-Packard continues to march forward with HP Service Manager 9.3 -- an IT service management (ITSM) and service desk platform that's available in a SaaS configuration. It's designed to service customers with 1,000 or more end-users. Version 9.3 has four key areas of enhancement, according to Chuck Darst, head of HP ITSM product marketing.

1. Mobile Client: HP Service Manager 9.3 users will have access through mobile devices, including Android, BlackBerry and Apple iOS. (We need to check on HP's strategy for supporting HP's own webOS.)

2. End-User Service for the HP Service Catalog: Customers can make service requests through the same catalog portal that they use to access the cloud-based HP Service Manager 9.3. Darst described the portal as "one one IT-integrated service management solution."

3. Enhanced Process Designer: The Service Manager's Process Designer, according to Darst, is now overall easier to use.

4. Enhanced Knowledge Management: The HP Knowledge Manager gives organizations key metrics that IT departments typically track and measure.

"The updates were based around productivity, reducing the total cost of ownership and ease of use," Darst said. "It's now easier to install updates between version of many different products."

The HP Service Manager 9.3 is available via SaaS; HP guarantees 99.7% availability from the end-user's perspective -- not an overly impressive figure but we've seen similar service level agreements (SLAs) from other software tool providers.

Multiple Moves

Over the past year, service desk and help desk chatter has grown louder and louder in the managed services market. Much of the chatter started around November 2010, when ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini told MSPs and VARs to hold tightly onto their service desks -- using support to gain a deeper view into customer relationships and customer needs. More recently, Nimsoft has been promoting a service desk initiative built around ITIL best practices. Companies such as Live Virtual Help Desk have also sprung up, striving to assist VARs and MSPs with their support options.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.
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