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BMC Helix

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InformationWeek say:

"The largest cloud providers may be familiar names, but their offerings are changing and the cloud marketplace is rapidly evolving. Browse our list of cloud vendors to watch in 2019.

 

BMC (@BMCSoftware) offers a suite of management tools that provide monitoring, security, automation, and cost control for multi-cloud environments. Specifically, the Helix multi-cloud management platform should be of specific interest for businesses looking to gain advantage with multi-cloud architectures."

 

Read the full article here:


https://www.informationweek.com/cloud/cloud-vendors-on-the-rise-in-2019/a/d-id/1333180?hootPostID=0150c3f29d6ee27b280ef4a78fb926c4

 

 

https://www.informationweek.com/

 

Remedy ITSM Remedy AR System Digital Workplace / MyIT Developer Community

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With BMC’s Digital Workplace and SmartIT becoming an integral part of many customers Helix Remedy Solution, it’s more important than ever that customers understand these product’s capabilities and the benefits that they can deliver to your business!

 

Below is a brief overview of each product.

 

Digital Workplace.

 

Digital Workplace (DWP) is a self-service application for business users to connect with IT, HR, etc.  anywhere, anytime, on any device. Digital Workplace gives employees access to a consumer oriented experience, with one stop shopping for the technology tools they need to work effortlessly.

 

Digital Workplace is highly configurable. Features available to users in the client applications depend on which functionality is enabled and how Digital Workplace is configured.

Employees can use any supported mobile device or desktop browser for self-service, to enter trouble tickets, and to contact IT.

 

DWP with example configuration -

 

 

With Digital Workplace Advanced, employees can monitor the status of services and schedule appointments to meet with IT. When traveling, users can instantly find important information about their corporate campuses—from directions from the airport to floor maps of company office layouts that provide an easy way to find conference rooms, printers, and other assets in unfamiliar locations—anytime and anywhere. Employees can make requests specific to their personal assets and services. For example, they might request accessories for their laptop. With Digital Workplace Catalogue, service catalogue administrators can design services that are fulfilled by external systems. Services previously made available to employees in separate catalogues can be unified in a single service catalogue.

 

The Digital Workplace client applications can assist users throughout their day. The client applications show meeting schedules, required services, outstanding requests, and ongoing discussions about the people, places, and resources that the users choose to follow. The social media-like interface helps users to find location maps, reserve meeting rooms, install software, upgrade equipment, and book appointments. Employees can now have an easy way to interact with the corporate IT department from their mobile devices or a browser.

 

To find out more please follow this link –

 

https://www.bmc.com/it-solutions/digital-workplace.html

 

Smart IT

 

Remedy with Smart IT (Smart IT) is the next-generation BMC Remedy IT Service Management user experience. Basic BMC Remedy ITSM processes—creating tickets, viewing related items such as tickets, assets, or knowledge articles, and updating profile information—are now easier and quicker. The Smart IT user interface reduces the steps involved in performing these tasks. It provides an intuitive, social, and mobile service desk experience that enables a more knowledgeable and collaborative workforce organized around IT roles, not modules.

 

 

 

Smart IT enables you to:

  • Experience an elegant, friction-free UI designed for specific BMC Remedy ITSM roles.
  • Access all relevant information in a single window, for a 360-degree view of your customer, service history, and related incidents.
  • Experience anytime, anywhere access to complete ITSM functionality from the field (mobile-first design).
  • Share knowledge and collaborate in real time.

 

Why Smart IT?

 

Using Smart IT provides several benefits:

  • Faster and more efficient ticket logging.
  • View of related knowledge articles from within a ticket, for faster ticket resolution and easier information search.
  • Collaboration tools to share knowledge within a team.
  • Single-level categorization selection.
  • Customization options for adding field to your views.
  • Single-level editing of a ticket.

 

Smart IT and Digital Workplace are tightly integrated and together deliver an exceptional user experience to both sides of the service desk.

Digital Workplace is aimed at business users, whereas Smart IT is primarily for support staff.

 

To find out more please follow this link –

 

https://www.bmc.com/it-solutions/remedy-smart-it.html

 

As always, your Business Relationship Manager stands ready to help should you need any assistance!

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Digital transformation is a phrase that you may have heard numerous times over the past year and perhaps it has sparked your interest.  Do you find yourself asking, “What does this really mean?” If terms like “Monolithic Architecture”, “Microservices” and “Containerization” have your head spinning – don’t worry, you are not alone. Let’s break these concepts down one by one and talk about what they mean for you as a BMC Helix Customer.

 

Here’s the skinny for you techies:

 

When you think about Monolithic Architecture, think about a traditional “enterprise application” - you have a database, an application running on a server somewhere, and a client-side user interface (often accessed via a browser). It is a monolith – one large, single pillar or executable. To add functionality to your application, an updated version of the entire application must be deployed on the server. In today’s DevOps world, you can compare this to Stonehenge.

 

Now enter stage left - Microservices and Containers…

 

Microservices are easy to explain. They are essentially a subcomponent of that “enterprise application” - think Smart IT, RSSO, Smart Reporting, etc. Containers (a little more complicated), wrap these microservices. You may have heard that Containers are the next evolution of Virtual Machines (VM’s), but the truth is they can (and often do) coexist. Containers decouple the application from the OS and are platform independent. They package independent components of an “enterprise application” and are designed to be lightweight, consuming the OS of their host. They can run anywhere! Multiple containers can be deployed in a single VM, but they can also be deployed directly on the underlying infrastructure.

 

Now that we have the more technical details out of the way, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

  1. Containers are agile; they can quickly be deployed. As new functionality becomes available, these innovations can be deployed to your business users rapidly. You can easily adopt new releases and no longer need to set aside valuable resource time for an extended upgrade project.
  2. Containers scale to fit your needs. With the help of tools like Kubernetes, if you need more resources (or less), we can quickly add (or remove) them with no impact to your business.
  3. Containers can be deployed in our BMC Cloud or in public clouds (such as AWS or AZURE) enabling us to offer our service in the cloud of your choice, helping you align your enterprise solutions with your corporate cloud strategy.

 

Here is the bottom line: MORE agility, MORE scalability and MORE flexibility for what matters most to your business. Sounds pretty transformative to me!

 

If you’d like more information regarding any of these terms we’ve covered here or what BMC Helix means to you, please reach out your Business Relationship Manager.

 

Matt Fitzgerald

BMC Helix

Posted by Matt Fitzgerald Employee Aug 14, 2018
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On 05th June 2018, BMC launched BMC Helix Cognitive Service Management, which delivers everything-as-a-service with intelligent, omni-channel experiences in the cloud.

 

BMC Helix is BMC’s new brand end-to-end, multi-cloud SaaS offering that reinvents traditional ITSM by integrating cognitive technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, by helping companies address the challenge of ITSM in a multi-cloud environment, and by giving customers a new choice to decide in which Cloud the ITSM service is offered.

 

With BMC Helix, customers can transform every layer of service delivery for end users, agents, and developers, evolving their ITSM service management from reactive to proactive and predictive with the highest level of accuracy and speed.

 

BMC Helix is BMC’s common brand for the suite of SaaS offerings centred around Remedy, Business Workflows, Digital Workplace, Discovery, Client Management and Innovation Suite.

 

These core solutions can be expanded by optional add-ons, such as:

 

  • BMC Helix Chatbot, integrated with BMC Helix Business Workflows and BMC Helix Digital Workplace, driving an omni-channel experience for end users with support not just for Web, but also for Slackbot, Chatbot, SMS, and Skype.

 

 

  • BMC Helix Cognitive Automation, integrated with BMC Helix Remedy, BMC Helix Innovation Suite, and BMC Helix Business Workflows, allowing solutions to use a Machine Learning service to automatically classify unstructured data within the solutions, helping companies e.g. with auto-categorization of tickets or auto-selection of case templates when creating cases from incoming email.

 

With the delivery as SaaS model, BMC helps enterprises to effectively run their ITSM solution by reducing time and effort of upgrades, driving operational efficiencies, and scaling elastically.

 

At the core of BMC Helix are three key attributes, which reflect BMC’s focus and uniqueness:

 

  • Cloud to Multi-Cloud: BMC Helix delivers all capabilities as-a-service, helping customers to easily consume and stay current with their ITSM capabilities. On top of that, BMC enables efficient ITSM processes in a multi-cloud, multi-provider IT landscape.

 

  • Containers: BMC Helix is a SaaS offering provided in customers’ choice of cloud, including AWS and BMC Cloud. Containers enable BMC to deliver this choice of cloud.

 

  • Cognitive: BMC Helix helps enterprises transform from ITSM to Cognitive Service Management with artificial intelligence, machine learning, bots, and virtual agents

 

More info about BMC Helix is available at www.bmc.com/helix.

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If you run very large reports and export them to excel you may see an error similar to this one.

 

ERROR (XlsExporter:A) - java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Invalid row number (65536) outside allowable range (0..65535) java.lang.IllegalArgumentException:

Invalid row number (65536) outside allowable range (0..65535)

 

This simply means that your report is hitting excel's row limit of 65,536 rows. This limit applies to .xls files.

 

To handle this you can export to .csv or use .xlsx (XML spreadsheet file format) which supports up to 1,048,576 rows. Remedy OnDemand version 9.1 SP3 upwards integrates natively with .xlsx.

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Adding "Nofollow" to a link provides a way to tell search engines "Don't follow links on this page" or "Don't follow this specific link."

 

Follow these simple instructions to tell search engines not to follow specific links in a SmartIT knowledge article.

 

  1. Click the link icon to add the link.
  2. Enter the link URL (webpage address)
  3. Select the tab titled 'Advanced'
  4. In the field titled 'Relationship' enter 'nofollow'.

 

add-rel-nofollow-to-links-smartit-bmc.png

 

This will add rel="nofollow" to the html for example "<a href="https://docs.bmc.com/docs/smartit16/ " rel="nofollow">User manual</a>

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Digital Workforce.PNG

 

 

 

One of the most important elements of a people-centric #DigitalWorkplace approach is the service catalog.

Our latest white paper on best practices to deliver a service catalog employees will love is now available.

We cover how organizations can modernize their service catalog by:

 

    • Incorporating proven best practices from the world’s top consumer storefronts
    • Enabling external vendors to onboard their own services
    • Building in flexibility and continuous improvement for long-term value

 

Download here: https://bit.ly/2lsqmvG  .

 

Digital Workforce2.PNGDigital Workforce3.PNG

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1. Upgrades introduce improvements and new features that continually increase your efficiency

At BMC, we work to ensure new version releases features and functionalities reaches to you through an upgrade.

2.     Upgrades address/correct bugs encountered in prior versions

We place each new version through a rigorous testing process that includes security, load and benchmark testing. Nevertheless, bugs can and do sometimes get through. Because of our broad customer base and the multiple environments in which they operate, we are made aware of bugs quickly, often we’ll be aware before you encounter them. Using the latest version ensures that you can take advantage of fixes and avoid issues that have already been corrected.

 

 

3.     Avoid being stuck with obsolete versions

BMC has a five year life cycle with three years of full support per version plus two years of limited support.

By keeping up-to-date in your own time, you are less likely to encounter compatibility issues, better able to deal with new issues, and less likely to find yourself with an obsolete version. Moreover, our support staff who are more familiar with current features and issues, are better able to support in a timely manner.

 

End of Support version: No new sustaining maintenance releases, enhancements, patches, or hot fixes will be made to a version or release in "End of Version" status.  Customer Support will direct customers to upgrade to up a more current version, release or service pack of the product.  

 

4. When is the best time to start planning for an upgrade?

 

You are able to inquire about upgrading at any point of your support lifecycle. However, if your three years full support is about to end, then this is a good time to contact your BRM to discuss about upgrading to the latest version.

 

Want to find out when your current version full support ends?  Please click on this link:

https://webapps.bmc.com/support/faces/az/prodallversions.jsp?seqid=108018

 

To be notified once such a date is determined, you can sign up for proactive notifications:
1: Go to
http://www.bmc.com/support
2: Click "My Support"
3: Click "Product Alerts (Proactive Notifications)"
4: Sign up for "Product Change Notification" for the specific products for which you wish to receive them.

 

Please go to BMC Software Product Support Policy for more details

 

Am I ready for an upgrade?

Answer: In RaaS Remedy Upgrade, there are lots of moving parts and for them to function well during upgrade it is very important that pre-upgrade preparation is done well. Below are the points that should be kept in consideration before opting for an Upgrade.

Your Internal Go-ahead to start with the Remedy Upgrade includes:

• Understanding what has changed in the latest version by going through the release notes.

• Updated UAT test cases covering all business functionality testing should be available.

• Sufficient resources to test the upgraded system.

• Customization/design documents shared by BMC PS or Partner (No RFC).

• Understanding the RaaS Remedy upgrade process through FAQ, DDM, CIA document.

• Going through the (Instructions & Important Points) sheet of Pre-Requisite checklist

• Need Defect IDs for the issues you are expecting to be fixed in Upgraded Remedy Version.

• On-Premise BMC product compatibility with the upgraded version.

• Third Party Application compatibility with the upgraded version.

• Customization alignment ownership if they cannot be reconciled/aligned due to change in the feature.

 

Did you know that you can also do a Platform only upgrade?  For more information about this please go to Preparing for zero-downtime upgrade of the platform

 

Please refer to the BMC Upgrade Policy and contact your BRM should you have any questions about the upgrade process.

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Bringing you value is a priority for BMC. In order to ensure that our BMC Business Relationship Management Team is concentrating on the right things to bring you the most value from Remedy as a Service, we are distributing a brief survey. The survey asks key questions about your experience today and what you’d like it to be in the future.

 

We would appreciate it if you’d watch your email in the coming days for a survey entitled “SaaS Quarterly BRM Value Survey” from saassuccess@bmc.com and provide us your totally candid feedback. In order to receive the survey and help ensure we bring the greatest value to your organization, it is important that you have opted in to communications. If you are not sure if you have opted-in, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.

 

We are planning a number of improvements to our working model and your input into that is important to us. This survey, as well as other feedback we’ve received during Service Reviews and other regular interactions, will drive our priorities and help reshape the BRM role to bring you the most value. As part of this process, we want you to know how your feedback will be driving our improvements, so after the survey has concluded we will be sharing both the results and our plans.

 

If you have any questions about the survey or the survey process, please feel free to post them here or reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.  Thanks so much in advance for your participation!

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The i.onbmc.com SaaS support portal now allows users to collaborate on requests raised by their peers. Previously only the requester could update the request through i.onbmc.com - now anyone on the team can use the Service Request Report to update any request.

 

There is also the ability to view, upload and download attachments/files. There is a limitation on the file size and file types. Attachments are limited to 10 MB and the restricted file types include .exe, .com, .php, .asp, .html and .htm. For security reasons, .exe files are not accepted, however if you need to attach one of the other restricted file types, you can add them to a .zip file and they should be accepted.

 

Please take a look at this 2 minute video that shows the new, more colorful Service Catalog, and how to update requests through the Service Request Report.

 

 

 

To view the video in full screen format, please start the video and press YouTube at the bottom of the video window.

 

For more details on i.onbmc.com, please login to docs.bmc.com and review the updated User Guide at https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/rondsubscriber/BMC+OnDemand+Service+Desk+overview

 

Best Regards

Karl-Anders Falk

Lead BRM (Business Relationship Manager)

BMC SaaS Operations

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Periodically you may wish to refresh your DEV or QA ITSM databases with Production data. There is no best practice as to how often this should be done, as it is determined by the development life cycle of your organization. A good rule of thumb would be to ensure lower environments are refreshed quarterly to biannually, depending on how active your development is, as this helps make certain they remain in sync with production. Lower environments are also refreshed as part of many upgrade projects. There are some several best practices/things that you should consider when you decide you are ready for a refresh.

 

Best practice considerations include:

  1. Are you in the process of or do you have an upcoming scheduled upgrade? Both the source (typically production) and the target (QA or DEV) must be at the same version and patch level to do a refresh. Additionally, databases are refreshed as part of most upgrades. If you have a question about if the environment will be refreshed as part of a scheduled upgrade, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager or upgrade Project Manager.
  2. Do you have any data jobs that have hard-coded hostname, IP’s, etc? Any hard-coded values need to be updated to reflect valid target system values post-refresh.
  3. Do you have customizations or development that hasn’t been promoted from target (i.e. DEV) to source (Production)? If so, these need to be manually backed up using Developer Studio, the Deployment Management Console, Spoon Client, or other tools. Changes to Approval, Entitlement, Assignment and Application configurations in target system should be promoted to Production or documented by the customer prior to a refresh or they will be overwritten.
  4. Do you have any scheduled jobs or other changes requested during the refresh window? No other activity should be scheduled during the refresh window.

 

During a refresh, the source environment (i.e. Production) is not impacted. The outage for the target environment depends on the size of the system, but typically require a 4-5 hour window where the target system will be unavailable during the week. It is recommended that customers do not attempt to access their target environment, even if it appears available, until they receive a message from the RaaS Change team that it is ready. This is because of additional configuration changes that may still be going on.

 

What is NOT included in a refresh:

  1. Smart Reporting is NOT included in a standard RaaS Refresh. Reports in the target environment will not be impacted by the refresh. A Smart Reporting refresh can be done, though it is not recommended (This is because org name cannot be changed, resulting in source and target having the same name). Smart Reporting refreshes should be handled as a separate Change Request and only after limitations are fully understood.
  2. Integration hard-coded configurations are not included by default. (Any hard-coded IP addresses, host names, and/or URL's in UDM jobs,web services, etc. need to be specifically identified by the customer before the refresh so that changes can be made to the target system. If these are not identified, integrations in the database will be refreshed as is, and values from target will be overwritten with values from source.)
  3. Other server level changes (i.e. config files) are not included
  4. Database backups (if you want your database backed up prior to a refresh, it needs to be specifically requested in the CRQ)

 

When you are ready to move forward with a refresh, here are some items that you will want to ensure:

  1. The CRQ should be raised at least 1 week prior to the requested date of the refresh
  2. A separate CRQ is required for each refresh (if you want both DEV and QA refreshed, it requires 2 CRQ’s)
  3. The CRQ has the source and the target URL. For example, restore from https://xxxxxx.onbmc.com to https://xxxxxx-dev.onbmc.com
  4. Explicitly include any special instructions for before or after the restore in the CRQ, for example:
    1. Turn off email service in source after refresh (if this is not specified, target will match source and can result in inadvertent emails being sent)
    2. Clear AR System Email Messages (if this is not specific, cleared emails in target may be triggered to users after refresh)
    3. Ensure RSSO branding is restored on DEV post upgrade
    4. Update web service y URL to xxx after refresh
  5. If you have questions about something specific to your environment, include those questions in the CRQ.

 

Once the refresh is complete, it is recommended that you test the basic functionality of the refreshed system (i.e. logging a ticket via ITSM, Smart IT, and Digital Workplace). If you have integrations or DMT jobs in the target system, these should also be validated. You may also want to restart any paused jobs. If you have any issues with any of these or anything else believed to be related to the refresh, raise a request via i.onbmc.com. If you have questions about the Refresh process, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.

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Customer Satisfaction Surveys and You! How to make your voice heard!!

 

BMC is a market leader in the Digital Service Management (DSM) space and our Remedy as a Service (RaaS) offering leads the way in the IT Service Management (ITSM) arena. To succeed in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market place, customer experience and satisfaction needs to be at the centre of everything that a company does. BMC drives this customer experience and satisfaction by actively engaging with customers and responding to the feedback received via Customer Surveys. To this end, we at BMC, survey our customers to get feedback on both user experiences of products and services, and ease of interaction with BMC.

 

These surveys take the form of –

 

  • Transactional Support CSAT Surveys.
  • Ease of Doing Business Surveys.

 

Below is an overview of how these surveys work and the differences between them –

 

Transactional Support CSAT Survey

 

Transactional Support CSAT Surveys are sent to customers whose requests have been closed. BMC utilises the expertise of a third-party vendor (Walker Information) to manage this process. Walker Information emails out survey invitations to customers shortly after requests are closed. This email includes some background on the request, plus a link to the survey. Customers will not receive a survey invitation if they have received a previous invitation within the preceding 7 days. Survey questions relate to customer satisfaction with how BMC Support handled their request, self-help-resources, as well as the customer’s opinion of the overall quality of the product associated with the request.

 

The survey itself uses a 10-point rating scale and is offered in 12 languages.

 

The feedback received in this survey is used to drive improvements in support, self-help resources and product satisfaction. A feedback loop has also been established to ensure that we follow up with a customer if we receive negative feedback or if the customer has requested direct follow-up from a manager.

 

 

 

 

Ease of Doing Business Survey

 

The Ease of Doing Business survey allows customers to tailor their feedback depending on where they find themselves in their journey with BMC. Customers can target their responses around the following experiences with BMC –

 

  • Purchasing
  • Onboarding
  • Implementing
  • Using/Adopting
  • Self-help Resources
  • Support
  • Upgrading
  • Renewing.

 

This allows customers to focus their feedback on a specific area that’s relevant to them, at that particular point in time.

 

 

 

 

Ease of Doing Business surveys are conducted during the first month of each quarter. The survey is available in 7 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Simplified Chinese) and typically takes about 5 minutes to complete. An individual customer contact will only be invited to participate in the survey once per year.

 

 

 

 

We at BMC encourage our customers to give entirely honest appraisals based on their experiences. Constructive criticism is always welcomed as it helps us to improve our processes and technology. This process is also manged through BMC’s research partner Walker Information.

 

What does BMC do with these survey results?

 

Once a customer has completed the survey the results are fed back to BMC for review. BMC uses this customer interaction to ensure that the required learnings are taken from the feedback in order to improve our processes, products and technology, thus ensuring customer satisfaction and success.

 

We at BMC, remain responsive to customer needs and continually improve our processes and products. These surveys present customers with an invaluable opportunity to give us feedback and are essential in ensuring the continued successful partnership between BMC, and you, our customers. The “comments” section of these surveys allow you, to give specific feedback and as such we both encourage and welcome all responses.

 

So, next time you receive a survey invitation please take a few minutes to complete it because your feedback is what enables us at BMC to deliver the technology solutions used by you to deliver success to your business on a daily basis.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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When you think about strategy, what strategy comes to mind? Strategies occurs in many forms, though have you thought about your ticket archiving strategy in Remedy?

 

Did you know….? Remedy9 has a feature that you, the customer, can decide on your archiving strategy. If not..read on…if yes, and you have not acted yet…still read on!

 

What are the benefits?

 

  • Customers can define their own archiving strategy
  • Customers with linear growth will see performance gains by enabling archiving in service.
  • Reduces the size of your production data
  • Improves overall system performance (for example, searches run more quickly, because they look only at production data and not at archived data)
  • Enforces organizational data-retention policies

 

What do you need to be aware of?

 

  • When you archive a record, it is removed from the production environment and sent to a set of corresponding archive forms (within your production database).
  • Once archived, data cannot be copied back into the production forms and cannot be accessed or searched from the Remedy application, though can be reported upon.
  • Data Archived is based on – Last Modified Date is > Policy and Status = Closed
  • Archiving is single threaded so the first time this is enabled it may take some time to archive all associated schema's depending on the amount of data.
  • Reporting is possible from Archived data via Smart Reporting
    • System administrators can access archived data by generating reports that can be run against the archiving forms using third party reporting applications.
    • BMC recommends storing no more than 24 months of inactive data in production
    • BMC recommends retaining no more than 5 years of data in archive form

     

    Further resources on the topic of archiving:

    Hear Tony Myers explain archiving

    Other Docs Resources: Data Archiving Strategy, Archiving in 9.1

     

    Next Steps:

    Below is a snapshot of the service recommended baselines, although it is up to you, the customer, ultimately to decide on what to set the baseline. The standards 548 represent 18 months

    retention can be tuned.

     

    archiving.jpg

     

    If you have been running Remedy 9 for a long period, now is the time to think about your strategy for archiving.

     

    What else would you like to know? Comment with questions and feedback

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