Giva Blog
Help Desk, Customer Service, Cloud & Security Insights, with a Side of Altruism!

Questions to Ask When Buying Software or Cloud Services

Giva® has announced a series of white papers designed to reduce the complexity of the software or cloud buying process by providing forty penetrating questions to ask vendors to become a more informed buyer. Customers interested in purchasing any software or cloud services (for example, IT help desk or customer service) encounter a myriad of problems and obstacles during the purchase process. This white paper series teaches customers how to more quickly qualify and evaluate any software vendor.

"Penetrating questions are the most powerful way to uncover the truth. Those that can lead the questioning will have more influence in the relationship and set the tone," said Ron Avignone, founder of Giva, Inc.

These white papers provide practical "how to" advice to assist in becoming a more informed buyer. With the tools provided, companies can make a more rigorous and objective comparison of vendors. The white papers help avoid mistakes that even the most experienced professionals make that cost a lot of time and money. Evaluation teams and senior executives making important business decisions can now approach the purchase of any software (including IT help desk or customer service) or cloud services in a much more rigorous and analytical manner.

Some topics covered include:

  • What if my company is dissatisfied?
  • What if my company finds better technology?
  • Deployment "out-of-box" vs. time and cost of customization/configuration
  • Preparing and comparing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of all alternatives
  • Most overlooked critical fine print in software maintenance agreements
  • Vendor product roadmaps and commitment
  • What are the costs for post-implementation customization/configuration?
  • What qualifies as routine technical support vs. professional services fees?
  • Using uptime and support service level agreements to manage our relationship
  • How to qualify the reliability and security of a data center; SSAE 16 (formally SAS 70), Trustwave PCI Certification and SysTrust Compliance
  • Access to your data and rights in the cloud
  • Source code escrow rights and responsibilities
  • Termination clauses, contract term commitments, discounts and hidden fees
  • What happens if we have a disagreement? Mediation/arbitration or litigation?
  • What are the costs of additional modules and licenses purchased in the future?
  • What are license options for part-time usage?
  • Are customer case studies with business results achieved available?
  • Are your customer references compensated in any way?
  • How will our future feature requirements be obtained?
  • Will we have an Account Manager (i.e. one neck to squeeze)?
  • Are thirty-day supported production trials available without obligation?
  • How many new releases are provided per year?

This white paper series is now available for download:

"We listened to many companies struggle with the purchase process and they asked us for our help," said Ron Avignone, founder of Giva, Inc. "Penetrating questions are the most powerful way to uncover the truth. Those that can lead the questioning will have more influence in the relationship and set the tone. During the buying process, Giva has been asked these questions. We know that they are powerful and reveal the true character of a vendor."

About Giva:

Founded in 1999, Giva was among the first companies to provide a suite of applications specifically architected for the public cloud. Now, with over a decade of refinements including thousands of enhancements, the Giva Service Management™ Suite is the most customer feedback driven cloud computing suite for the ITIL Help Desk, Customer Service/Call Center and Service Desk. Visual reporting, management dashboards and a radically intuitive service request design, make the Giva Service Management™ Suite highly differentiated from all other solutions. Customizations are all point and click with no programming or consulting necessary so Giva delivers a substantially lower total cost of ownership solution. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

PR contact:

Email: pr@givainc.com
Phone: 408.260.9000

IT Change Management Cloud Software

Change Management

Change Management ensures that the IT organization uses standardized methods and techniques for efficient and prompt handling of all changes in order to prevent change-related Incidents.

The Giva change management software allows users to raise Requests for Change (RFCs) to Change Management with the information of Known Errors so that the Change and Release processes can correct the errors, improve the infrastructure, and eliminate further Incidents.

Based on industry best practices, Giva eChangeManager provides control and management of the complete lifecycle of RFCs, including:

  • Acceptance
  • Classification
  • Approval and Planning
  • Coordination
  • Evaluation

Changes in the IT infrastructure may arise reactively in response to Problems or externally imposed requirements. Changes may also arise from the desire to improve IT efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, Changes can arise from new business initiatives or from programs, projects, or service improvement initiatives.

Giva eChangeManager can help you:

  • Ensure standardized methods, processes and procedures are used for all changes
  • Facilitate efficient and prompt handling of all changes
  • Maintain the proper balance between the need for change and the potential detrimental impact of changes

The Giva change management software assists the Change Management team to approve and control changes to all Configuration Items (CIs) in the live environment. Giva eChangeManager assists the Change Management team to:

  • Accept and classify RFCs
  • Assess the impact, cost, benefit, and risk of proposed changes
  • Develop business justification and obtain approval
  • Manage and coordinate change implementation
  • Monitor and report on the implementation
  • Review and close RFCs

White Paper Series-IT Help Desk & Customer Service Cloud

 

Giva® reduces the complexity of the software purchase process with its new series of complimentary vendor-independent white papers. These white papers inform and educate professionals such as CFOs, CIOs, VPs and Directors of Customer Service and Information Technology.

"These white papers are a distillation of lessons learned over a decade. They provide practical answers and a 'how to' approach to overcoming all the challenges of purchasing new software," said Ron Avignone, founder of Giva, Inc.

Customers interested in purchasing IT help desk or customer service cloud software encounter a myriad of problems and obstacles during the purchase process. Giva's white papers build a foundation of understanding including all the internal issues to consider and well as the external process of engaging with vendors.

These white papers provide practical "how to" advice to assist in becoming a more informed buyer. With the tools provided, companies can make a more rigorous and objective comparison of vendors based upon a prioritized list of feature requirements. The white papers also provide education on how to lead the vendor qualification process with expertise and confidence. Effectively coaching a team on how to shortlist the right vendors for a rigorous vetting process is also discussed as well as insights about how to negotiate a better license agreement. The white papers help avoid mistakes that even the most experienced professionals make that cost a lot of time and money. Evaluation teams and senior executives making important business decisions can now approach the purchase of IT help desk and customer service cloud software in a much more rigorous and analytical manner.

This white paper series is now available for download:

This white paper series is now available for download:

"Giva has literally worked with thousands of IT and customer service professionals since 1999", said Ron Avignone, founder of Giva, Inc. "We listened to many companies struggle with the purchase process and they asked us for our help. These white papers are a distillation of lessons learned over a decade. They provide practical answers and a 'how to' approach to overcoming all the challenges of purchasing new software."

About Giva:

Founded in 1999, Giva was among the first companies to provide a suite of applications specifically architected for the public cloud. Now, with over a decade of refinements including thousands of enhancements, the Giva Service Management™ Suite is the most customer feedback driven cloud computing suite for the ITIL Help Desk, Customer Service/Call Center and Service Desk. Visual reporting, management dashboards and a radically intuitive service request design, make the Giva Service Management™ Suite highly differentiated from all other solutions. Customizations are all point and click with no programming or consulting necessary so Giva delivers a substantially lower total cost of ownership solution. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

PR contact:

Email: pr@givainc.com
Phone: 408.260.9000

Problem, Incident & Service Level Management

ITIL

The IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) encompasses the following six areas:

  • Problem Management
  • Incident Management
  • Change Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Release Management

To gain a further understanding of ITIL, download a Giva ITIL whitepaper.

Problem Management

Problem Management helps ensure the stability of IT infrastructure and IT services.

By creating a Problem Record for any new kind of Incident and linking all Incidents to a Problem Record, the Giva IT help desk solution allows you to manage, control, and obtain information about the three major elements of Problem Management: problem control, error control, and proactive problem management. With the Giva IT help desk software, you can link multiple Incidents to the same Problem Record. The ultimate objective is that all Problems are linked to a Known Error.

Proactive Problem Management has two aspects. The first aspect is identifying potential Problems before they manifest as Incidents and making this information available to Incident Management. The second aspect is a continuation of the first. In this case, Problem Management identifies the Known Error and takes steps to correct it before customers call to report it.

With more than 70 pre-defined, configurable reports and root-cause analysis, Giva eHelpDesk assists IT in identifying and documenting potential Problems so they can be resolved by Problem Management.

Incident Management

Incident Management provides continuity to customers by restoring services as quickly as possible, provides accessibility of the Service Desk for all users, and ensures acceptability of its services. The focus of Incident Management is on continuity and thereby allowing customers to resume business as quickly as possible.

By providing rich text formatting of requests, with the ability to attach screen shots and files to Incident requests, Giva eHelpDesk is your one solution for tracking Incidents, responses, and resolutions. In addition, to ensure that no Incident falls through the cracks, it has an automatic escalation rules engine. Also, to ensure each Incident is handled with consistency, it has an automatic reminder of questions to ask, scripts, and standard operating procedures.

Service Level Management

Service Level Management (SLM) establishes a closely monitored agreement about the optimal level of IT service between provider and customer.

Giva eHelpDesk provides tools to assist with implementing the ITIL Service Level Management (SLM) process, which entails negotiating, defining, contracting, monitoring, and reviewing the levels of customer service. The Giva IT help desk solution also provides a business rules engine for escalation notifications to help ensure Problems and Incidents are addressed within service level agreements (SLAs). With extensive reports, Giva eHelpDesk also helps you monitor and review the actual service levels achieved against their SLA targets.

IT Help DeskCustomer Service Industry Whitepapers

 

Innovative Ideas to Achieve IT Help Desk Success

Get outstanding results from your IT help desk organization with new ideas and best practice approaches.

Featured Whitepapers

Help Desk Best Practices - What Features and Functions You Should Look For in IT Help Desk Software or Cloud Services How to Leverage Metrics & KPIs to Reduce Call Volume Implementing Service Level Agreements - The critical element in service
delivery

 

Click to Download IT Whitepapers

Giva, Inc. Bests BMC Track-It! by Numara in IT Service Desk

Giva® today announced a significant milestone in surpassing BMC® Track-It!™ by Numara Software head-to-head in the competitive IT service desk market. Giva benefits organizations with a strong focus on increasing first contact resolution, improving customer satisfaction, decreasing call volume with root cause analysis and exceeding service level agreements (SLAs). Giva's visual reporting tools make identifying trends and patterns easier and quicker and with less time building, running, sharing and reviewing reports. Based on comparisons from customers that have utilized both service management packages, Giva's cloud computing SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution has moved to a leadership role for IT service management for law firms, healthcare institutions and other high visibility professional firms.

"There are many significant reasons why Giva was selected over other vendors, but the biggest differentiator is that the Giva user interface is uncomplicated, uncluttered, clean and extremely easy to use," said Floyd Withrow, Chief Information Officer.

For example, Gordon & Rees, which provides IT technical support to 1200 employees in 27 offices, used BMC Track-It! for 6 years before switching to Giva. Their reported results included an 80% increase in capturing after hours calls, a 70% increase in support issue management productivity, and a 60% increase in meeting service level agreements (SLAs), among other significant improvements.

"There are many significant reasons why Giva was selected over other vendors, but the biggest differentiator is that the Giva user interface is uncomplicated, uncluttered, clean and extremely easy to use," said Floyd Withrow, Chief Information Officer, Gordon & Rees. "My team has had a 70% increase in support issue management productivity from using the Giva dashboard, easy service request input and real-time reports. We have increased meeting our service level agreements by over 60%. Our Level 1 agents have increased their daily service request management productivity over 50% by using Giva as compared to BMC Track-It! As CIO, Giva has been an enormous help to my user support managers, training coordinators and myself. Giva allows me to deploy and justify my staffing and resource plans with metrics, trends and reports." [Click to download the case study.]

"Our real-time reports and dashboards are a significant Giva differentiator and an area in which Giva will continue to provide radical innovation," said Ron Avignone, founder of Giva, Inc. "We've built a highly differentiated cloud-based product that provides an extraordinary and easy to use experience. Giva's real-time reports and dashboards can be built without any effort, and our products can be customized without any consultants."

About Giva:

Founded in 1999, Giva was among the first companies to provide a suite of applications specifically architected for the public cloud. Now, with over a decade of refinements including thousands of enhancements, the Giva Service Management™ Suite is the most customer feedback driven cloud computing suite for the ITIL Help Desk, Customer Service/Call Center and Service Desk. Visual reporting, management dashboards and a radically intuitive service request design, make the Giva Service Management™ Suite highly differentiated from all other solutions. Customizations are all point and click with no programming or consulting necessary so Giva delivers a substantially lower total cost of ownership solution. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

PR contact:

Email: pr@givainc.com
Phone: 408.260.9000

Cloud Software Features-IT Help Desk


Giva eHelpDeskT is a 100 percent cloud based, ITIL-compliant IT help desk solution that features:

  • Service level agreements
  • Automatic escalation rules engine
  • Customizable fields, screen, and options
  • Rich text formatting of requests, with the ability to attach screen shots and files to service requests
  • Automatic reminder of questions to ask, scripts, and standard operating procedures
  • Natural language, keyword, and Boolean search engine
  • Automated email-to-ticket creation
  • Parent/child service requests for high volume incidents
  • Reports can easily be configured, run, saved, shared, exported or emailed on-the-fly
  • More than 70 pre-defined, customizable reports
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Self-service Web portal
  • Multiple independent service desks for use by other departments
  • Seamless integration with Active Directory or an HR database with REST based API
  • Seamless integration with Giva eKnowledgeManager™, Giva eChangeManager™, Giva eServiceDesk™, Giva eCustomerService™, Giva eAssetManager™, Giva eSoftwareManager™, and Giva eAutoDiscovery™
  • ITIL-compliant

    Click to VIEW IT HELP DESK VIDEOS

Here are some screen shots of opening a service request in Giva eHelpDesk:

 

Select a Root Cause:

9 Select root cause 1

 

Root Cause selected:

10 Select root cause 2

 

Select a Status of Closed:

 

11 Select status closed

 

Select an Assignee:

 

13 Select assignee 1

Click to VIEW IT HELP DESK VIDEOS

IT Help Desk Cloud Software for Call Tracking

Benefits

Giva eHelpDesk is a 100 percent cloud based, ITIL-compliant IT help desk solution that:

  • Increases first-call resolution by building a knowledge base that captures lessons learned
  • Reduces call length by auto completing, streamlining routine tasks, providing trouble-shooting tools on a single screen, and maintaining parent/child requests for high call volume incidents
  • Increases customer satisfaction by speeding problem resolution and providing consistent, fast answers
  • Boosts SLA compliance by automating SLA breach notifications based on escalation business rules
  • Decreases request resolution times by providing tools that help quickly diagnose the cause of problems and rapidly route requests
  • Minimizes the number of escalated requests by tracking problem response and resolution status verses established standards
  • Decreases call volume and identifies opportunities for business process improvement with root cause analysis
  • Increases efficiency by defining and enforcing standard service management business processes
  • Increases agent productivity by providing automated workflow and escalation
  • Speeds business decisions by delivering accurate, real-time reports
  • Optimizes staffing levels by providing trend reports
  • Helps ensure Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and reduces business risk by providing complete audit trails

 

Click to VIEW IT HELP DESK VIDEOS

 

Here are some screen shots of opening a service request in Giva eHelpDesk:

1 Open a service request2 Check recent activity

3 Mouse over to select category menu

4 Use mouse to select iPhone 5 problems

 

 

 

7 Helpful knowledge article can be tied to each nature of request as option

 

8 Copy article to the resolution by clicking copy to resolution

 

 

Click to VIEW IT HELP DESK VIDEOS

Health Care Firm Boosts Productivity 40% with Giva, Inc. Cloud

 

Saint Elizabeth Health Care has increased the productivity of its IT service desk team by approximately 40% by implementing the Giva Service Desk Management Suite. Productivity improvements come from automation that eliminates many manual steps, providing instant visibility to hot spots and critical issues and better measurement of service desk team productivity.

Saint Elizabeth's team of 6,500 health care professionals work out of the company's 25 offices located across Canada or remotely from their homes. The IT service desk team is busy nearly 24X7 ensuring the security, performance and application availability of the company's suite of private cloud applications. Saint Elizabeth made a long term partnership commitment to the Giva Service Management Suite including Service Desk, Knowledge Base, Hardware and Software Asset Management, Asset Auto Discovery and Change Management modules.

"The Giva Home Page Dashboard saves each service desk team member 2.5 hours per day by providing constant visibility to hot spots and highlighting critical issues with charts, metrics and analytics." David Burne, IT Leader, Saint Elizabeth Health Care

"We selected Giva because it provides a competitively price bundle of services with better features and functions to meet our requirements," said David Burne, IT Leader for Saint Elizabeth Health Care. "Our IT team was able to configure and fully customize the Giva cloud without consultants in only 10% of the time it would take to configure and install a similar customized software suite. Giva provides a well-thought out selection of meaningful reports and provides the ability to highly customize them or build and share new reports with little effort." [Click to download the case study.]

Saint Elizabeth went live using Giva after only a week of internal work. The company estimates that it will realize a 50% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over a three year period considering initial and lifetime cost such as hardware, software, maintenance, training, administration, upgrades, support, integrations, future customizations, etc.

"Giva has significantly improved our workflow through automation that eliminates many manual steps," Burne said. "The service desk's Home Page Dashboard saves each service desk team member 2.5 hours per day by providing constant visibility to hot spots and highlighting critical issues with charts, metrics and analytics."

Additional IT service desk productivity improvements come from the fact that issues are more quickly assigned to an owner and employees can see responses to questions instantly and take immediate follow-up action. Hot issues are now instantly visible to the IT service desk team. "As IT leader, my own productivity has increased over 40% because Giva saves time monitoring the IT service desk," Burne said.

About Giva:

Giva is an award-winning provider of cloud computing SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) for the ITIL Help Desk,  and the Service Desk. Visual reporting, management dashboards and an intuitive design, make the Giva Service Management™ Suite very powerful and at the same time very easy to use. Customizations are all point and click (i.e., no programming necessary) so the result is a dramatically lower total cost of ownership when compared to other products that require programmers and trained consultants. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

PR contact:

Email: pr@givainc.com
Phone: 408.260.9000

Giva, Inc. Bests BMC FootPrints by Numara in IT Service Desk

Giva® today announced a significant milestone in surpassing BMC® FootPrints ITSM™ by Numara Software head-to-head in the competitive IT service desk market.


Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) November 29, 2012 - Giva® today announced a significant milestone in surpassing BMC® FootPrints ITSM™ by Numara Software head-to-head in the competitive IT service desk market. Giva benefits organizations with a strong focus on increasing first contact resolution, improving customer satisfaction, decreasing call volume with root cause analysis and exceeding service level agreements (SLAs). Giva's visual reporting tools make identifying trends and patterns easier and quicker and with less time building, running, sharing and reviewing reports. Based on word of mouth comparisons from customers that have utilized both service management packages, Giva's cloud computing SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution has moved to a leadership role for IT service management for law firms, healthcare institutions and other high visibility professional firms.

"With Giva, we have increased the customer satisfaction of our attorneys and staff by over 60% and they are happier than they have ever been with IT during my 16-year tenure as CIO," said Ken Adams, Chief Information Officer, Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

For example, Miles & Stockbridge P.C., which provides IT technical support to 500 attorneys and staff in 8 geographically dispersed offices, used BMC FootPrints ITSM for over 10 years before switching to Giva. Their reported results included a 70% increase in IT productivity, a 65% increase in first call resolution, and a 60% increase in customer satisfaction, among other significant improvements.

"We have increased the customer satisfaction of our attorneys and staff by over 60% and they are happier than they have ever been with IT during my 16-year tenure as CIO," said Ken Adams, Chief Information Officer, Miles & Stockbridge P.C. "My team has had a 70% increase in IT productivity by using the Giva dashboards and real-time reports. Our first contact resolution has increased by 65%, which has also been assisted by Giva's helpful knowledgebase solution. Giva has implemented their workflows, grids, charts and other monitoring tools in an intuitive, slick and simple way, similar to the Apple Computer iPhone and iPad user interface design." [Click to download the case study.]

"Our real-time reports and dashboards are a significant Giva differentiator and an area in which Giva will continue to provide radical innovation," said Ron Avignone, founder of Giva, Inc. "We've built a highly differentiated cloud-based product that provides an extraordinary and easy to use experience. Giva's real-time reports and dashboards can be built without any effort, and our products can be customized without any consultants."

About Giva:

Giva is an award-winning provider of cloud computing SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) for the ITIL Help Desk, Customer Service/Call Center and the Service Desk. Visual reporting, management dashboards and an intuitive design, make the Giva Service Management™ Suite very powerful and at the same time very easy to use. Customizations are all point and click (i.e., no programming necessary) so the result is a dramatically lower total cost of ownership when compared to other products that require programmers and trained consultants. Giva is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, California serving delighted customers worldwide.

PR contact:

Email: pr@givainc.com
Phone: 408.260.9000

 

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