I like to think in terms of stories here at BMC. Stories that we can tell that spell out exactly how we can help our customers. Not just features we could implement, defects that we could fix or combinations of products that could serve as a solution. But stories that allow you to imagine yourself in a particular situation and see how the Track-It! family can help you.
For example, meet Jim. Jim is a senior help desk technician on campus at the local university. They have Track-It! deployed - it services their faculty, staff and students and has done so for several years. They have upgraded successfully a few times and they are on the latest version - Track-It! 10.5.
Jim has a few tickets assigned to him that were entered earlier this morning via Track-It! Self Service for various minor issues. Suddenly the help desk gets a call from a demanding user - a professor with an office in a building a block away from the building that houses the IT department on campus. His laptop cannot print and he has a lecture in 25 minutes for which he needs handouts as it is the last lecture before mid-term exams. This has happened before and technicians have solved his problem by a series of random steps including plugging-in and unplugging peripherals and rebooting his laptop. However, this time there is no time for him to go through that process - and he is being demanding. Jim decides to take a chance on the issue and since a few of his Work Orders are for users in the same building as this professor, he runs out the door and hurries over to his office.
When Jim arrives he talks briefly with the professor to try and find out a few details of the problem - but it's pretty simple. His laptop simply hangs up when trying to print anything. The professor has already checked the print queue for the laser printer down the hall and it's empty - so it's not the printer.
Jim pulls out his smart phone and opens the ticket via Track-It! Mobile Web - this is the ticket that has been re-opened this morning for this issue because it has never really been solved in the past. Jim reads all of the information in the ticket very quickly, including all of the notes that have been entered previously on the issue. Jim switches to the Search feature in the Mobile Web and tries a few simple searches like "error printing", "cannot print" and "print problems". Nothing looks promising - he frowns and steps back for a moment to survey the desk in the professor's office. He notices a gray USB cable connected to the laptop that runs under the desk out of view. Tracing the cable, he finds an old external hard drive that the professor uses for locally backing up his files - and a bell goes off in his head. He seems to remember that there are issues with older drives from this manufacturer - he's not sure if there are any printing-related problems, but it's worth a shot.
With a renewed purpose, Jim searches the Solutions in Track-It! Mobile Web for the model number of the hard drive and quickly gets a couple of results. Bingo. One of the solutions mentions a lot of problems that can manifest if the BIOS on the hard drive has not been updated to a newer version. Just as the professor says that he's running out of time and has to go to the lecture hall, Jim asks him for a couple of minutes and grabs the BIOS update for the drive from the manufacturer's web site - the link was in the Solution in Track-It! Jim runs the BIOS updater utility and it tells him that the BIOS version on the drive is very old - it probably has never been updated. Thankfully, the process to update the BIOS is a quick one and the two talk about the issue as the drive updates. Jim explains his theory to the professor - that other technicians were able to get his laptop to print by unplugging the old hard drive but didn't ever connect the dots and realize that the drive was the root cause of the issue. In just a couple of minutes, the drive reconnects to the laptop with the new BIOS installed. Prompted by Jim to try to print the handouts for his lecture, the professor clicks the Print button in the toolbar. They are warmly greeted with the sight of the print dialog for just a few moments and then it disappears. Around the corner outside his office, they hear the welcome sound of the laser printer start to print out a copy of the handout. The professor breaks into a wide grin and laughs - he thanks Jim heartily for the quick turnaround on the ticket and for being able to fix the root cause of the issue. He grabs his laptop and runs out the door to go make copies of the handout before going to the lecture hall.
Jim breathes deeply. That was a great service call - anytime the help desk can satisfy a demanding user such as that professor, it's been a great day. Jim goes back to his smart phone and taps the button to insert this Solution into the Work Order. He then uses Track-It! Mobile Web to close the Work Order and returns to his list of open Work Orders to see which ticket he should go take care of next. After deciding on the most logical Work Order to work on next, he puts his phone back in his pocket and walks toward the elevator - whistling a tune and wearing a big smile.
Not that long ago, this would have been a difficult service call for Jim. Before Track-It! Web, he would have had to use the Technician Client to search for Solutions before he left his office - and he didn't have time to do that in this case - plus the clue of the single USB cable led to him finding the real root cause of the issue. The professor would not have wanted him to install the Technician Client on his laptop and he was finishing up his handout anyway - Jim would not have had access to his laptop to do that had he even been able to setup the Technician Client at all. With Track-It! Web, things got much easier - no Technician Client to install to be able to access the Work Order and to be able to search the Solutions. However, he still didn't have physical access to the professor's laptop and he couldn't use a computer in a nearby office because no one was in their office to give him access to their computer. Track-It! Web is a great interface but is certainly not optimized for smaller form-factor devices like Jim's smartphone.
With Track-It! Mobile Web, Jim was able to access the Work Order, search the Solutions module, insert the proper Solution into the Work Order, close the Work Order and find out what other work he needed to do - all from his phone and without needing access to the professor's laptop. Jim was thrilled at the simplicity of it all - work the problem, record the notes on the work he did and move on to the next customer. All on the go. Highly efficient. With extremely fast response time for the customer.
We're excited about stories like this that can be told about the Track-It! product family. And we're continually improving the family and the products within it. You never know - the next time Jim goes to visit a customer, he might have even more functionality available that he can use to help them. We are not even close to being done telling the Track-It! story to Jim and the other help desk technicians that rely on us to help them perform their job every single day. Not by a long shot.
And that sounds like a whole lot of fun to me.