Serio Blog

Friday, 27 Feb 2015

Serio Team is happy to announce the release of Serio 7 on March 15th, 2015!

Among many new features and improvements, Serio 7 introduces a fresh and renewed look throughout its applications.

Please see the Serio 7 Release page on our Serio website for a complete list of improvements and new features.

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El equipo Serio se complace en anunciar el lanzamiento de Serio 7 el 15 de Marzo de 2015!

Entre muchas características nuevas y mejoras, Serio 7 introduce un aspecto fresco y renovado a través de sus aplicaciones.

Por favor, consulte la página de Lanzamiento Serio 7 en nuestro sitio web para obtener una lista completa de mejoras y nuevas características.

Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014

The team at Serio is happy to announce that a new release of SerioPlus is on the way.

The new release improves SerioPlus' overall functionality and gives Serio tools a fresh and renewed look, following the release of Serio's new website.

Serio Release 7

We've completely changed the colour schemes available, including new dark Android-style schemes, and changed the styles of the menus and buttons.

A completely redesigned Logging form

The new Logging form is designed to work with larger resolution screens, as well as the smaller screens we have always supported. In addition, it allows easier and faster capture of data and introduces new editable fields For example, it brings the Extended Data capture into the logging form, making it easier for Serio Agents to capture it and edit it right from the moment an Incident, Service Request, Problem or Change are logged.

Serio Relea\se 7 - logging form

Please stay alert for a full description of changes and improvements. We'll be posting further updates nearer the release date.

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013

We're glad to announce that our Anti Spam Solution will be released on Saturday, 21st December 2013.

As described in the Anti Spam Update Details post, this system examines your Customer Database and checks the incoming email address against it, admitting only those emails whose sender is known to your Database.  This is done by checking both the customer's whole email address or the customer's domain, depending on your selected settings.

Please consider the following example.

l.thistle@teabythesea.com is a customer email address in your DB.

The following incoming email arrives at your Inbox: f.torrence@teabythesea.com and you have selected the 'Ensure that the Senders Domain Address Part is in the Serio Database' option.

Your Spam Filter checks this address against your customer DB  but cannot find that specific email address. However, the domain teabythesea.com is known to your Customer DB and therefore the email is admitted in your Inbox.

Should you have selected the 'Ensure that the Senders Whole Email Address is in the Serio Database' option instead, the email would be blocked and kept in your Spam Folder.

Furthermore, we've added the ability to Whitelist or Blacklist any domains and/or addresses you see fit.

All refused emails will sit on your Spam Folder and you'll be able to manually move any emails from that folder to your Inbox.

Please note that the only exception to our Anti Spam solution are emails containing reply references, such as the reference number affected to a logged Incident, Problem, Change or Service Request. In this case, the system receives the email and, should it contain a valid reference number, it will automatically be accepted in the Serio Inbox.

Again, this is an 'opt-in' system and those of you who haven't experienced Spam, can leave things as they are, should you choose to do so.

You'll be able to access the Anti Spam Filter from your SerioPlus Account Console (by clicking on the Serio logo from your SerioClient).

If you have any enquiries or suggestions about this, please get in touch through serio-support -at-serioplus -dot- com.

Monday, 04 Nov 2013

We've added an Extended Data Editor with new functionality within Actions and Change Plans.

  • Adding Extended Data to your Actions List

This will allow you to embed the capture of Extended Data into the Actions you take, and the workflow you use.

  • Viewing and adding Extended Data to Tasks in Change Plans

You can now capture and view Extended Data in a much simpler way. We've added the ability to create an Action that captures Extended Data, and then use that Extended Data in Tasks in your Change Plan.

For example, suppose one of your employees is leaving the company and you need to delete his email account. You will raise a Change, as usual, but you can now add an Action to capture the employee's username and department and then include this information directly in the text of future Tasks.

Suppose that you create an Extended Data definition called 'Deleted email account' (string type), and this is then set to joe.soap@mycompany.co.uk

You can include this in the Task

Account to Delete:  <</extended_start/>>Deleted Email Account<</extended_end/>>

So that when the Task is generated, the engineer sees

Account to Delete: joe.soap@mycompany.co.uk

We're expecting these changes to go live by the end of November.

Please let us know should you have any questions or want to make suggestions at serio-support-at-serioplus-dot-com.

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013

For those of you who've been experiencing some problems with Spam email in your Serio inboxes, we're letting you know that we're working on a solution for this.
Having resisted the urge to implement Bayesian spam filter system which would be detrimental to those who use their Inbox to receive a lot of machine-generated emails (such as monitoring alerts), we've decided to take a simpler and (what we believe is a) more effective approach, which keeps users in control..
We're working on an update that will allow you to filter incoming emails as follows:
1. Email arrives at your SerioPlus email address;
2. Serio looks for the email address of the sender and/or its domain email address and cross-matches it with the customer database we hold for you in SerioPlus;
3. If the address / domain is recognized, then Serio will let the email in you Serio inbox. If, on the other hand, Serio recognizes neither of them, then the email will be sent to a Spam List.
Another feature of this new update is that you will be able to move email from your Spam List to your inbox, should you decide so.
You will also be able to both whitelist or blacklist email addresses and/or domains of your choosing.
This change will be 'opt in', meaning that those of you who have not experienced spam can leave things as they are.
If you have any enquiries or suggestions about this, please get in touch through serio-support -at-serioplus -dot- com.
We expect this update to be ready by the end of November but we will let you know when this update goes live.

For those of you who've been experiencing some problems with Spam email in your Serio inboxes, we're letting you know that we're working on a solution for this.

Having resisted the urge to implement Bayesian spam filter system which would be detrimental to those who use their Inbox to receive a lot of machine-generated emails (such as monitoring alerts), we've decided to take a simpler and (what we believe is a) more effective approach, which keeps users in control.

We're working on an update that will allow you to filter incoming emails as follows:

  1. Email arrives at your SerioPlus email address;
  2. Serio looks for the email address of the sender and/or its domain email address and cross-matches it with the customer database we hold for you in SerioPlus;
  3. If the address / domain is recognized, then Serio will let the email in you Serio inbox. If, on the other hand, Serio recognizes neither of them, then the email will be sent to a Spam List.

Another feature of this new update is that you will be able to move email from your Spam List to your inbox, should you decide so.

You will also be able to both whitelist or blacklist email addresses and/or domains of your choosing.

This change will be 'opt in', meaning that those of you who have not experienced spam can leave things as they are.

If you have any enquiries or suggestions about this, please get in touch through serio-support -at-serioplus -dot- com.

We expect this update to be ready by the end of November but we will let you know when this update goes live.

Monday, 09 Sep 2013

It is now possible for a Serio Administrator to contact the Serio Service Desk to request a change in the Password Strength requirement for Serio Agents. These requests are usually made to ask for the Password Strength to be increased. Increasing the Password Strength will obviously improve Security, but it should be used with caution, as not providing your Users with good information in advance regarding the change can create a lot of problems for your Support Desk once the change is made.

The default setting for Password Strength in Serio is Low. Password Strength can be changed to Medium, or to High:

Low strength – Passwords must include a mix of letters and numbers and be at least 5 characters or more in length.

Medium strength – Passwords must include a mix of letters and numbers, of upper and lower case characters, and be at least 8 characters or more in length.

High strength – Passwords must be as the above, and include punctuation.

If the Password Strength is changed, Service staff will be locked out of SerioPlus, at which point they will be prompted to reset their password via SerioWeb. Therefore, it is important that Users now how to access SerioWeb without the use of the Welcome Page in SerioClient (which they will temporarily be locked out of).

In SerioWeb, after stating that they do not know their password, the User should input their Email Address, at which point Serio will check that it corresponds to a Serio User, in which case a new password with the new strength setting will be automatically created, and of which the User will be informed. Although the password is generated automatically, it can afterwards be easily changed by the User.

For more information please view the following Serio Online Help: Login Password Strength Roadmap.

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013

Last Updated: 28/08/13

As stated in my last blog, I am pleased to provide details of the new features which have been included in the next Major Update of SerioPlus, as well as existing functionality which has been improved. Also listed are new reports which will be available for use.

The Rollout is planned for August 31st.

 

NEW

  • Operational Level Agreements

Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) gather statistics on the length of time it takes for activities to be completed; helping Users monitor the progress of Tickets and their assignments, aiding them in reducing the time it takes for a Ticket to be resolved.

  • Actionable Service Catalog

Enables Users to view the list of Services that the Service Desk offers via SerioWeb, and allows Users to request access to these Services, and to request Information regarding the Services available.

  • Priority / Urgency / Impact Matrix

Allows Users to combine the ‘Urgency’ and ‘Impact’ of a Ticket to automatically set the ‘Priority’. Other factors, like the Company the Ticket is logged against, or the Subcategory of the Ticket, can be used to define the Priority. There is a new ‘Urgency’ field, and both it and the ‘Impact’ field are now displayed next to the ‘Priority’ field.

  • Release Deployment (RFDs)

Release Records are provided as a means of both controlling and documenting the Release of Changes into different Infrastructure environments (Testing, UAT, Production and so on).

Release Records are associated with (and can be viewed as extension of) Changes and document the designated release interval, current workflow Status, steps needed to deploy, rollback instructions, and specific user notification requirements.

Each Release record carries its own Reference number, and mandatory Infrastructure environment.

  • Documents Library

Found under the Manage menu, this allows you to store Documents in SerioClient without having to link them to Tickets, and to create folders to store them in. These can be attached to Emails, giving Users the ability to email standard documents.

  • Supplier Email with Full Action history

Provides Users with the ability to send the Action History of a Ticket to a Customer or Supplier. With Active Data placeholders, Users can include either the Public Action History, or the Full Action History, when creating an eDoc for use in emails.

  • Auto-Acknowledgements

This allows an Email that has arrived into the Inbox to be replied to automatically. This is especially useful for emails that come into the Inbox “Out Of Hours”, enabling an auto acknowledgement to be sent that will notify the Customer that the Help / Service Desk is shut.

The feature is distinct from the existing ‘Auto Response’ mechanism, which is used to offer solutions automatically to emails that have specific criteria set.

A 20 minute delay is built into the function for Auto-Acknowledgement emails sent to the same email address, thus preventing an “Acknowledgement loop” forming, with emails going back and forth continuously.

 

IMPROVED

  • Service Explorer – Bookmark a Ticket

Enables Users to place any Ticket in a new ‘My Bookmarks and Quick Loaded Tickets’ directory.

  • Service Explorer – Quick Load

Enables Users to use the Quick Load function within the Service Explorer. Typing in a Ticket Reference Number will place the Ticket in the new ‘My Bookmarks and Quick Loaded Tickets’ directory.

  • Service Explorer – ‘Subscribed Tickets’ directory

Enables Users to access a ‘Subscribed Tickets’ directory in the Service Explorer, allowing to them to view all Tickets Subscribed to them in one handy location.

  • Service Explorer – view Queries via the ‘Manage’ chapters

Enables Users to view a list of Tickets in a query, through Manage (Incidents / SRs/ Problems/ Changes), from the Service Explorer. The query criteria will match the directory in which the selected Ticket is placed, e.g. Assigned To Me, All Active Tickets.

  • Known Errors – Workaround

A Known Error can be published without a Workaround having been stated. Workarounds can be viewed against associated Problems in the Service Explorer.

  • Known Errors – Configuration Items and Services

The tool allows Known Error information to be shown against Configuration Items and Services, regardless of the state of the linked Problem. The Known Error information is displayed in the Service Explorer.

  • Known Errors – Scope

You can now designate an Environment for the Known Error. SerioPlus asks you to define the “Known Error Scope” when you take the ‘Known Error Add’ action on a Problem. This allows you to define the environment you wish the Known Error to be created in.

  • Logging Screen – Customer Lookup

Multiple possibilities are listed when you type and tab a Customer Surname. The Customer Lookup displays Email address, Branch and Telephone number. A "View Tickets" button allows Users to view a list of a Customer’s open Incidents or Service Requests. Fields change accordingly when you select a different Customer.

  • Logging Screen – Insight and Service Impact

The position of ‘Insight’ and ‘Service Impact’ windows have been altered, enabling them to utilise more space within the Logging Screen, and (in the case of 'Service Impact') increased in size.

  • Customer Records – Customer Email Addresses

There will now be the ability to store four email addresses, in individual fields, in a Customer record, via Manage Customers and the Customer Lookup in the New Logging Screen.

The email addresses are split into one Primary email address, and three Secondary addresses. A Checkbox next to each new field allows you to indicate whether this address is to be CC’d in when replying to the Primary address, thus allowing the Agent to control identity and associations.

  • Knowledgebase – Search Criteria

Users will be able to use ‘Agent Status A’ and ‘Agent Status B’ as Search Criteria in a Knowledgebase Query.

  • Attachment Linked Documents preview

SerioPlus gives you the ability to preview an attachment from the ‘Attach Linked Docs’ tabs in the Send Email action, by simply right-clicking on the file you wish to view. This enables you to differentiate between different versions of the same file, or when there are many files shown.

  • Maximum upload/download limit

The Maximum upload/download limit for sending Attachments and Linked Docs via email has been increased to 6MB.

  • Chapter Tabs – Ticket Number display

Chapter 'tabs' display the ticket number that's highlighted, making it easy to identify specific Tickets when multiple Chapters are open.

  • Saving changes to Screen Layout

You have the ability to save changes to the screen layout, by moving the window dividers, in a variety of chapters. Upon saving, any new chapter you open of the same type will contain the same layout as the one you have saved. These changes will be saved even after closing the application, so that they will remain the same when you log back in. This function can easily be toggled on and off when you require it.

  • Agent Profile ‘Issue Logging-2’ tab

New options on Agent Profile to control which types of ticket you can open.

You may also restrict the types of Tickets that an Agent can log. This is done through the Issue Logging-2 tab. Here you will find four checkboxes which can be flagged, allowing or restricting an Agent to / from logging Incidents, Service Requests, Changes, Problems, and Changes.

  • Broadcast Alert / Assignment Definitions

Agents are now able to automatically define a method of Ticket Subscription when creating Broadcast Alert / Assignment Definition Rules. Agents may set the Contact Group to be Automatically Subscribed using Serio Messages or Email, when a Rule has been matched. The designated Contact Group will receive a Message or Email when an Action has been taken on any Ticket they have been automatically subscribed to.

In addition to this, the ‘Company-Branch’ field can now be defined as a Rule Type in both Broadcast Alert and Assignment Definitions.

  • eDocs

Users will be able to include the “Product Version” field of a Configuration Item as an Active Data placeholder in an eDoc, in both short and long formats. A ‘Main Issue Summary’ placeholder has also been included.

  • Scheduled Reports – Editing

Users will be able to edit the existing data of a Scheduled Report, including the Description, Frequency, Time, Destination Email Addresses, Email Title, and Email Message, within SerioReports.

 

REPORTS

  • Monthly Status Report (TS4a)

New summary found in the ‘Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports’ directory that, when run for problems, shows the number of Incidents linked in the period to Problems, and the number of Changes raised from Problems.

  • Company/Monthly Activity Summary (TS5)

Found in the ‘Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports’ folder, has been modified to include all Tickets that were Resolved during the chosen period of time, regardless of when it was Logged.

  • Company/Monthly Activity Summary (TS5a)

This report includes the same data as the Company/Monthly Activity Summary (TS5) report, with the addition of the text entered into the ‘Details’ window during logging. It is found in the ‘Daily, Weekly, Monthly Status Reports’ folder.

  • Executive Summary ES10 report

It lists the amount of Tickets Logged, Resolved and Outstanding on the date range set, by Type of Ticket. There are three additional tables: the First Time Fix percentage for Incidents, by Agent; the amount of each Type of Ticket Logged, by Agent; the amount of each Type of Ticket Resolved, by Agent.

  • Tickets Logged by Subcategory (3 months) (IL33)

Found in the ‘Tickets Logged Analysis’ directory, this report enables you to view a graphical representation of historical, related Incidents, by Subcategory over a three month period. The graph is split, displaying each month individually. This allows you to see how the frequency and distribution of different types of Ticket is changing over time.

  • Tickets Logged by Category (3 months) (IL34)

Found in the ‘Tickets Logged Analysis’ directory, this report enables you to view historical, related Incidents over time, listed by their Category.

  • Problem/Linked Incident Analysis 3-month review (P1)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory, this report displays a graphical representation of the number of linked Incidents that have been logged during a three month interval for each Problem. It is divided into four parts: it displays all current Incidents, and Incidents which were linked in each of the three months covered.

  • Problem/Linked Incident Analysis 3-month review (P2)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory, this report provides the same information as P1, displayed in a standard list form. Also included is column to indicate the number of Changes raised from a given problem record, and another listing the Assigned Agent.

  • Problem/Linked Incident Analysis 3-month review (P2a)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory, this report provides the same information as P1, but listing Linked Problems only (and without Changes Raised).

  • Problems converted to Known Errors (IR3)

Found in the ‘Problems and Problem Analysis’ directory

  • Logged by Item (IA8)

Found in the ‘Configuration Items and Services’ directory, this report lists the numbers of Tickets that have been logged against each Configuration Item within the given Date Range. Information includes the Item, Item Description, Product, Product Description, and the Ticket Count.

Sunday, 09 Jun 2013

Serio are pleased to announce that a major update is due in the next 7 weeks. Many thanks are due to those customers that have helped us with feedback and testing. The status right now is that we are putting the finishing touches to the code, and undertaking final testing. All customers will need to do is to update their client code. An update will follow detailing what is new.

SerioPlus Service Desk achieves Pink Verify 2011 Certification
Serio are very pleased to announce that SerioPlus Service Desk has passed the Pink Verify 3.1 and Pink Verify 2011 assessment process in the Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management disciplines.
The certification is proof of our ongoing commitment to IT Service Management Best Practice.
We expect to be adding a number of other processes in the coming months.

Serio are very pleased to announce that SerioPlus Service Desk has passed the Pink Verify 3.1 and Pink Verify 2011 assessment process in the Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management disciplines.

The certification is proof of our ongoing commitment to IT Service Management Best Practice.

Well done to the team involved.

You can read more about Pink Verify here.

We expect to be adding a number of other processes in the coming months. For more information please visit our Serio ITIL Helpdesk Software page.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

If you have been reading any IT Service Management Blogs lately then you are certain to have seen the current hype around the integration of Social Media tools into the running of the Service Desk. 

So, should you be exploiting social media channels to reach out to your customers from the service desk? 

Every large corporate and most Governments around the world have now appointed full time staff to monitor social media to see what is being said about them and to react to the 'buzz'. What is becoming more and more common is for those same organisations to be actively involved in starting the 'buzz'. Social media is not going anywhere, so it is time for us to harness the huge power that exists and use it to proactively communicate with our customers. 

The first thing you need to get clear is the difference between social media and social networking. Social Media refers to the material that is distributed via the social networking platforms. Social Networks are the platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked in, and you can easily utilize these platforms as part of your communication strategy. With Facebook expected to hit one billion users by August of this year, the chances are the most, if not all of your customers will have Facebook accounts which they will use to varying degrees. Setting up a closed, invitation only, group on facebook for your company will allow you to reach many of these customers via a channel that they are familiar and comfortable with. I personally interact with a number of companies via my facebook account.

Linked-in has a rather more ‘business-like’ feel and reputation, again a closed, invitation only group on linked-In is a good way to communicate with your customer base. Twitter gives you the opportunity to send short, sharp messages to your followers…you will be surprised just what you can say in 140 characters or less!

In the coming days we will discuss just how to harness these platforms for the benefit of your customer service. In the meantime, rather than reinvent the wheel, I suggest you read some of what has been written by Chris Dancy, probably the loudest voice in Social IT right now. Chris’s blog here does a lot to explain exactly what Social IT is.

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