Numara FootPrints 9: Increased Mobility and ITIL V3 Compliance
I last blogged about Numara Software back in August 07 for the release of Numara FootPrints 8, and having just completed a briefing for Numara FootPrints 9, releasing this week, I thought it was time for an update. I’ve been a big fan of this product since I first met the Numara FootPrints team (then UniPress) back in 2001, and I continue to recommend this surprisingly rich suite of incident management, configurable workflow, service level tracking, customer portal, knowledge management, and now a full CMBD, quite frequently. Why?
- The suite is functionally and architecturally robust, but costs considerably less than most customer service or CRM suites.
- The customer base is wildly referenceable; a high percentage of revenues come from existing customers expanding their implementations.
- The development, product management and product marketing teams are passionate about delivering value to customers, and they are also some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
The new version, Numara FootPrints 9, ships this week and I wanted to highlight a couple of things from the release that show the sophistication of the product, as well as illustrate some industry trends I’m seeing.
I’ve written about the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) before. Originally a set of best practice processes for IT operations, the ITIL guidelines for successful support operations are finding their way into more external customer support operations, particularly as tech support begins offering more Valued-Added Services to customers that cross the line into remote IT administration (like remote monitoring and proactive support). Numara FootPrints has always keep in step with ITIL, and version 9 is no exception: Numara FootPrints 9 was verified by PinkElephant through its PinkVERIFY as ITIL V3 compatible.
If that doesn’t mean much to you, let me explain it this way: ITIL V3 incorporated knowledge management requirements for Knowledge Centered Support (KCS). Many SSPA members have embraced KCS for their knowledge management (KM) processes, and it is important to select technology for your incident and problem management that enables those processes with no customization or application extensions.
Another ITIL feature included in Numara FootPrints 9 is a complete service catalog. This is essentially a catalog of all the products and services available, with approval and fulfillment processes built in for each line item. For IT, this usually means an employee can order a new laptop, and the service catalog logs the request, contacts their manager for approval, orders the equipment, configures it and delivers it to the employee. But this same product can be used to offer a catalog of products or services to your customers, and track the fulfillment of their requests.
I wrote last week about how reliant people are becoming on their mobile devices, though so far I’m not seeing most application vendors deliver user clients for anything other than a Windows CE device. Numara FootPrints 9 definitely trumps that, with a new mobile solution for Service Desk on the GO that supports Windows CE, BlackBerry and even iPhone smartphones.
These mobile clients include templates and short cuts to populate fields to streamline data entry on those tiny mobile keyboards, encouraging field personnel to log onsite time, work performed, parts used, etc., in as close to real time as possible. The mobile client also supports the Numara FootPrints LDAP connector so information from integrated CRM, ERP and SCM systems is available without additional logons.
One of the things I refer SSPA and AFSMI members to Numara FootPrints for is complex entitlement. As I’ve discussed previously, as support organizations get more creative with service offerings, entitlement becomes more complex than you can manage with an eService or home grown incident tracking system. Don’t think you have to wait 5 more years for IT to get a big CRM system up and running for you–give Numara FootPrints a try.
If you have any questions or comments, please add a line or shoot me an email. And as always, thanks for reading!