Past-Covid thoughts about
Microsoft Teams in ITSM context
It isn’t easy to find positive Covid-19 findings, but we may be able to thank the social collaboration tools for maintaining work efficiency from home after all.
As a player in the ITSM industry, we have seen how our clients moved people to Microsoft Teams and enabled their users to connect to critical business systems. Establishing VPN connections and the use of MFA have been on top of the agenda. Next on the agenda was a helping hand working remotely, but we saw an exciting finding here.
The use of Microsoft Teams (and Zoom) was self-explaining for most users. Large enterprises successfully moved user behavior and user adoption of Teams without having a massive load on the service desk.
Yes, Microsoft Teams was already a successful app before the Covid epidemic hit us, but now this is a business-critical app at the same level as an e-mail!
Teams in ITSM context
As an ITSM professional, how can we use the above finding in the ITSM context? Our answer to this question is that we must move IT self-service operations away from self-service data siloes into Teams where users find their efficiency.
Why? Because we are a bit smug. We believe that a self-service portal is an answer for everything. But, in reality, phones and e-mails are still crucial in a modern service organization. We tend to forget that users often do not access our service portal because they want or find pleasure in this one!
With the use of Teams for the orchestration of self-service processes, I hope we can move closer to the user and their need to request services or get in touch with us in IT. In other words, leveraging that end-users uses Teams.
Our contribution with ITSM360 and Teams
As an ITSM tooling developer, we had started this Teams-based ITSM journey already in 2019. We launched an app for the service desk staff. Although this was a game-changer for us, then it was a wrong prioritization. We should have started with the end-user-centric approach.
However, we are now able to use Teams for end-users as well.
Why are we Microsoft Teams believers?
Despite the Microsoft Teams hipe, you will find some exciting tech. options with Microsoft Teams (in ITSM context).
Availability of Teams clients for multiple platforms like IOS, Andriod, Windows off-course, etc.… makes it easy to work from mobile devices.
Adaptive Cards (https://adaptivecards.io/) is a tech. option, which is highly relevant for ITSM practitioners.
As a matter of facts, then using “Facts sets” in adaptive cards means that you can prompt the user for a yes or no, a satisfied or not, or similar. In conclusion, make it easy for the user to return to you with valuable information.
Bot framework and virtual agents
Moreover, advanced use of Teams with bots and virtual agents could push your Service Management strategy to a higher level. ITSM coupled with the Bot Framework and Virtual agents is semi-difficult/time consuming, and preparation of the business case is essential.
What can you do?
With a few hours of practice, then you can make your simple self-service app with low-code options in Microsoft Teams App Studio or even integrating adaptive cards into workflows and notifications. The last options require that your current ITSM tool can integrate into Power Automate.
Teams App Studio
The App Studio tool is free, and you can quickly produce an app with can host a web-page for self-service – if you have this already.
The App Studio is a good starting point for a proof of concept, where you can evaluate a Teams app in ITSM context.
As explained, then adaptive cards offer great options/value. We expect a massive increase in the use of adaptive cards soon – inside ITSM and a generic business feature.
For example, using the Adaptive Card design tool from Microsoft (https://adaptivecards.io/designer/) you can design simple Adaptive Cards. In the beneath instance, we see a confirmation to a user who has reported: “lost my device.”
The adaptive card gives the user a link to the self-service portal. But you could also consider starting the request flow directly from the card.
In the design tool, it looks like:
To sum up
Microsoft Teams is all over us for a good reason. Consequently, the Covid-19 pandemic was the acid-test for Microsoft Teams, and it proved that it could connect people, share knowledge, and much more.
Given these points, my fellow ITSM practitioners, it’s time to start implementing Microsoft Teams in your ITSM orchestration. We are ready with Teams features for ITSM360, but you can also begin using Teams and the ecosystem coupled with your existing ITSM tooling.
ITSM Company Blog
By Thomas Bo Nielsen
February, 18, 2021