June 2015, Issue 2, volume 17

“The ultimate
service desk is
Read the interview with OGD on page 6

More in this issue:
Good services start with
your customer
One-off conversions:
TOPdesk lightens the load
Automatic login
with SAML


Out with the old, in with the new
It can sometimes be daunting to try new things: to change
job positions, buy a new house, or even something as trivial as
switching cable providers. You get attached to the things you’re
used to.
I can remember when I bought my new house. There were so
many things I was going to miss about my old place: my walk-in
shower, my cozy balcony and my neighbours. I was positive I
was never going to be as happy. But once I’d moved, all those
things I thought I was going to miss were replaced with even
better things. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge.
In this magazine you can read more about trying new things.
For instance, switching applications because departments want
to work together in one tool can be exciting. During a TOPdesk
implementation, the consultant takes the change process into
account and ensures that data from the old tool is correctly
transferred to TOPdesk. Change doesn’t have to be scary, as
long as it happens gradually. This is what TOPdesk CEO Wolter
Smit says in his column: taking small steps helps you achieve
the biggest results.
Enjoy your read!
Nicola van de Velde & Milou Snaterse








The secret behind satisfied end users


Small steps, big results



How GSN manages their business





Customer satisfaction survey 2014



Automatic login with SAML


Maarten van der Kleij, head of
the Shared Service Desk at OG IT
services, expains how you lead an


effective service desk.
Read more on page 6.


Stay up-to-date
To stay up-to-date on the latest
TOPdesk news and service management
developments, follow us via these

TOPdesk Newsletter

TOPdesk and SDI towards Shared Service
At this year’s SDI conference in Birmingham, TOPdesk CEO Wolter Smit and consultant Sumit
De gave a presentation about the ‘Merging Desks’ report published by TOPdesk and SDI. This

@TOPdesk @TOPdesk _UK

report investigates the level of recognition for shared service management and its viability


in the service industry. The presentation covered some of the key findings of the report and


described how organizations can overcome obstacles on the road to implementing Shared
Service Management.
You can watch the presentation online at http://bit.ly/1BKusif and download the report via

Adrían Bridgwater More Fun
Than Disney, TOPdesk Opens In
Orlando @toolsadvisor
Hans Fierloos @TOPdesk_NL
interesting session at info
security Brussels from Wouter
vd Bergh
Scott E Rupp Wouldn’t life be
simpler if we were merging
service desks? Of course!
#servicemanagement #ITSM





TOPdesk on Tour
Le Méridien Parkhotel, Frankfurt



TOPdesk on Tour
Hotel BARCELÓ, Hamburg

TOPdesk on Tour
Sheraton München Westpark Hotel, Munich

Introducing TOPdesk 5.6
TOPdesk has released a new version: TOPdesk
5.6. The latest features include reserving
divisible rooms in the new Reservations
Management. This option lets operators and
Self Service Desk users book large or small
rooms with the right set-up and services.
What’s more, you can now add participants
to a reservation. TOPdesk 5.6 also introduces
rich text for the Self Service Desk and the Call
card, for optimal customer communication.
TOPdesk Mobile now features a Services Task
Board. This lets operators see from any location
which services are reserved for today and close



TOPdesk on Tour
Hotel Nikko, Dusseldorf

IT-Service- und Business Management &
Cloud Computing Herbstsymposium


Facilities Show
Excel, London


Support Services Group Conference
Oxford Belfry, Great Milton

the service in one go. This time SaaS customers
were the first to have access to the newly
released version.

Discover the new features on

High scores for TOPdesk Germany on the
As part of the German INNOVATIONSPREIS-IT 2015, TOPdesk has been named one of the best
products in the IT Service category. With its 41 categories ranging from email business to
ERP, the German IT prize (IT-Bestenliste) is an important factor for small and medium-sized
organizations’ IT decisions and is a reliable source of information on IT solutions.
The products are reviewed by an independent panel of judges including professors, scientists,

SDI Software ShowcaseSheraton München
Woburn House, London

Maximising Service Desk Resources
Hilton Metropole, Birmingham

branch representatives and specialized journalists according to various criteria, such as the
innovation and efficiency rate that the product brings. The best solutions are presented annually
in the IT-Bestenliste.



Maarten van der Kleij, Head of the Shared Service Desk


For two years in a row, OGD’s service desk
came in first for end user support in one of
the largest outsourcing customer satisfaction
surveys. So it’s no surprise that Maarten van
der Kleij, head of the Shared Service Desk,
has a clear vision on how to lead an effective
service desk and how to meet the IT needs of
more than 47,000 end users.


OGD IT services is not only a TOPdesk
business partner – it is the organization

customer on location, we do so with people
from the team.”

Quick responses to any

Shared Service Desk customers can

At the Shared Service Desk, employees

The Delft IT service provider’s main goal is

decide whether to use OGD’s TOPdesk

are linked to a certain experience level.

simplifying IT and offering technology ‘that

environment or use their own tool.

Together with the customer group, this level

just works’. According to OGD, they achieve

“Customers usually want to work in TOPdesk

determines which incoming calls appear on

this with smart people who strive for good,

because collaborating in a single tool is

an employee’s screen as an Anywhere365

fast solutions to problems, share knowledge,

better. It brings us closer to a customer’s

pop-up. “This lets us quickly route incoming

and ‘think people are more important than

work processes. Our TOPdesk environment

traffic to certain teams when it’s busy,” says

rules’. OGD currently supports over 450

houses all customers without their own

Van der Kleij. “We also use a knowledge base

organizations, and does most of this work

installation, but a TOPdesk environment on

linked to both TOPdesk and Anywhere365 so

from five Dutch branches, including their

location is also a possibility,” says Van der

all our information is available to everyone,

headquarters in Delft. Another part of the

Kleij. OGD uses Anywhere365 to effectively

all the time. This lets us apply TOPdesk’s

service provision takes place on location.

map the stream of calls spread across several

standard solutions in various customer

OGD’s service desk is specialized in three

TOPdesk environments. Anywhere 365 is a

environments, for instance.”

types of service: the Shared Service Desk,

unified contact centre solution for Microsoft

the exclusive service desk and a service

Lync that routs incoming calls to the right

Shared Service Desk to help them react to

desk on location. The latter two options are

employees, regardless of their current

telephone peaks. “Certain management


location. The tool also indicates the TOPdesk

information – such as a live display of the

environment a customer is in, and whether

number of calls and phone calls at that

there are for instance any major calls at

moment – can be seen on TVs spread

that time.

throughout the service desk. Other

from which TOPdesk developed in the 1990s.

The right operator for every call
Van der Kleij leads the team that serves all
OGD’s Shared Service Desk customers. This

Sebastiaan Mennen, service delivery

There are various dashboards at OGD’s

dashboards, such as service level reports,

Delft-based service desk is available 24/7.

manager, further explains OGD’s approach.

aren’t in the Shared Service Desk. Instead,

To ensure they provide the best possible

“Ideally we deploy TOPdesk at a customer,

we use them at set times to see if we have

services, the Shared Service Desk is divided

because we’re most familiar with that. If

met agreements with our customers.”

into different customer groups. These groups

we manage a customer’s entire chain, from

The combination of these tools lets

focus on customers from specific branches,

service desk to management, it’s simply

OGD stay on top of the Shared Service

for instance, or customers with technical

easier to do that in a single tool. TOPdesk is

Desk’s performance.

similarities. Van der Kleij says, “With us, a

practically part of the organization: everyone

team comprises eight to ten employees

has experience with it.” Mennen also

who only work for the customers from

mentions that it’s important that end users

From management department
to service desk

their customer group. This lets you benefit

have a single point of contact. “Everything

Van der Kleij says, “As we support more

from the scale advantages of a bigger team

has to end up with the right person,

and more end users, our services become

while still delivering personal services.

regardless of call type.” According to OGD,

more complex. The number of end users

Employees really know the people they

the secret to satisfied end users is primarily

has even doubled in two years’ time. This

speak to on the phone, and are familiar with

having the right service desk staff, supported

means that you not only receive more calls,

the organization’s culture. When we visit a

by the right organization and tool.

but you also have more employees, support

Maarten van der Kleij
Head of the Shared Service Desk

more processes and have to operate in quite a few
organizations. For example: we currently manage
almost twenty-five TOPdesk environments.” OGD’s

Five service desk tips from OGD

approach to managing this complexity has earned

The effectiveness of your services depends on various factors that you must always

them a perfect score – and first place – in the Giarte

keep in mind. Maarten van der Kleij, head of the Shared Service Desk at OGD, has

Outsourcing Performance survey for end user

five tips to help make your service desk as successful as possible.

support for two years in a row. Every year Giarte
measures the customer satisfaction among all big


Dutch IT service providers.

First of all, invest in your service desk: make sure you have the best
employees and the best tools. The service desk is the face of your IT

According to Van der Kleij, ‘real self-service’ is the

department, and therefore has the most effect on your user satisfaction.

biggest topic where there are still plenty of benefits

Providing the best and fastest service possible to your end users can also

to be reaped. He names change as one of the few

keep your IT chain costs as low as possible.

constant factors in IT. OGD’s main goal with all these
changes is to be of even better service to customers.


Make sure your end users experience IT as an addition, so that they always

The market is currently primarily asking for more

remain satisfied. Know what is going on with a user: which processes do they

self-sufficiency for customers. “At OGD, we call this

have to deal with, for instance? Something else to take into account is when

principle ‘shift left’. Shift left means that we want

your service desk should be available. From 9 to 5 simply isn’t enough for

to preventively resolve as much as possible in order

many modern organizations.

to push ‘towards the left of the chain’. You could
call it a self-healing system. It ensures end users are


Make sure that the service desk remains the owner of each call. A call should

helped sooner, or that a problem is avoided. As a

not be passed around between operator groups. As long as the service desk

result, your user satisfaction improves, but you also

maintains operational management of a call, the end users know what their

need fewer expensive managers and your total IT

point of contact is. Moreover, it is a useful incentive for calls that have been

costs drop.”

open for a while.

Let end users do as much as possible themselves. You can tell a user what
needs to be done but letting them do it themselves – or even having it done
automatically – is much better for the service desk and the end user.


Coordinate all technology and tools. Everything should link to and enhance
each other. A tool is not a goal in and of itself. “At OGD we use TOPdesk to
classify our processes and workflow. We use Anywhere365 to streamline the
communication between several TOPdesk environments.”

More features, more flexibility
Last year we presented a completely renewed Reservations Management module, which
changed the way you manage your rooms and services. TOPdesk 5.6 features even more
improvements, such as the option to reserve divisible rooms. Does your organization have
rooms with retractable walls? Self Service Desk users and operators can now easily book
these large rooms and their sub rooms – with the right set-up and services. You can also
add participants to a reservation: invite both employees and external participants, and
even register new visitors directly in the Reservations Planner. What’s more, the Services
Task Board has been added to TOPdesk Mobile. This lets operators see which services are
reserved for today, and close the service in one go.
Discover the new features on www.topdesk.com/topdesk56



TOPdesk’s Change Management module
ensures that all your organization’s workflows
and procedures run efficiently. However,
setting up a good workflow in Change
Management is not enough. If you want to
optimally process service requests, you should
start with your customer.

Grant customers insight into your services

and HR. There are two ways to create a service catalogue in TOPdesk.

Many organizations do not provide a clear picture of the products and

The first is by setting up your Self Service Desk as a service catalogue

services they offer. This isn’t just inconvenient for the organization

(PSC), where you display all your products and services as icons,

itself, but also for the customer. Granting more insight into the

categorized logically (screenshot 1, on the next page ).The second is by


offering a service catalogue in the Self Service Desk, comprising SLA

and services you provide as a supporting department ensures that

services defined by you in the Contract Management and SLM module

your customers know what you can help them with. This improves

(screenshot 2).

your department’s transparency and the customer communication.

In practice, the difference between products and services is a grey

The result is higher customer satisfaction, and a lot of time saved for

area. As a services department you hardly ever provide only products

your department.

– rather, you also provide the accompanying services. Take for example

There are different ways to map out your services. A very easy and

the request for a new laptop. In this case you not only have a request

clear way to do this is creating a service catalogue in the Self Service

for a product, but also the surrounding services such as software

Desk. A service catalogue is a place to gather all services offered to

installation and the possibility to ask questions. This is why you

the organization by supporting departments such as Facilities, IT

may as well offer your products and services at the same place.


Screenshot 1 – Customers can easily request a service from the service

Screenshot 2 – Description of a service in the service catalogue

Provide sufficient information

From information to change request

It is important to always provide your customers with sufficient and correct

Once customers are well-informed, they can

information. When compiling the online service catalogue, always take the following

directly request a product or service through

into account.

the online service catalogue. The Form Designer


module can help. The Form Designer lets you
Provide a clear description for each product or service. Answers to frequently

design your own forms, so that the caller registers

asked questions regarding a product or service can help customers quickly find

exactly the information you need to quickly start

their own answers. Examples of common questions are: How do I set up the

the request procedure. The submitted forms

WiFi connection on my telephone? How do I print on both sides of the paper?

start the correct procedure in the Change

How do I adjust my desk?

Management module.

Pay attention to the quality characteristics of a product or service. Make it clear

immediately starts a workflow that sets one or

which regulations apply. For instance, you could explain which meeting room

more operators (or operator groups) to work. If

can be used for which event, or which facilities are present in the meeting room.

this has been registered procedurally, the various

If you use the Form Designer, a single request

operators depend on one another’s activities.
Explain the ordering procedure for a product or service. A clear ordering

When designing the forms, you can select a

procedure prevents customers ordering a product or service incorrectly, or

template with a preauthorized request for change,

them not adhering to the request’s lead time.

or one that still requires authorization. When the
form is submitted by the user and, if necessary,

Specify the terms of delivery. Inform your customer about the delivery time

authorized, the operator can get straight to work

for a product or service, and make it clear where the product ordered can be

processing it. Adopting such a flexible request

picked up.

procedure minimizes your products and services’
delivery time, and lets you help your customer

Communicate the service desk’s availability. Grant your customers insight into
when and how the service desk can be contacted, and when the customer can
pick up their order, for instance.

more quickly.

Wolter Smit, CEO of TOPdesk

Small steps,
big results
The Service Desk Institute recently researched the phenomenon
of having several service desks in one organization. The
interesting thing about this research is that it provides numerical
proof of what is happening in this area.
Their research reveals that 90% of the questioned
organizations has more than one service desk. This means that
almost every employee has to first consider where they send their
request. This will often go well, but it won’t be uncommon for
someone to end up at the wrong service desk. The numbers back
this up: 55% of organizations report that between 3% and 12%
of their employees go to the wrong desk. For 7% of organizations
this number even exceeds 12%. This will cause quite a bit of
frustration. Not to mention the unnecessary expenses.
A simple solution seems to be bringing together the
various service desks to form a single service desk. Yet many
organizations are wary of closer collaboration between
supporting departments. The same research names fear of

this makes things easier for colleagues. The additional benefit is

change, cultural differences, politics, and different ways of

that in the front office, people get to know each other naturally

working. These are real obstacles that need to be conquered. It is

(around the water cooler) and start to share knowledge.

therefore not advisable to have the different service desks start

Step three usually follows automatically: things that are not

working together all at once. Experience teaches us that it is

going smoothly and affect both service desks are often easily

wiser to take smaller steps.

improved through better coordination or set-ups. This does not all

A possible first step towards a shared service desk is setting
up a shared digital portal where people can send in requests and

need to be done at once; just start with what’s most bothersome.
The most important thing throughout all these steps is to keep

view service information. This makes it easier for your colleagues

thinking from the perspective of the colleague or customer you

to find what they need. A relatively easy next step is to bring

want to help. How do they experience the services? Because what

together the various desks’ front offices in a single space. Again,

we want in the end is to be proud of our customer satisfaction.




Despite the fact that digital payments are
becoming more and more commonplace, we can’t
yet imagine a place where cash machines don’t
exist. We expect them to be permanently stocked,
and are annoyed when they’re out of order. Money
Services Netherlands (GSN) offers us a glimpse
into the world of cash machines and explains how
they streamline their logistics with TOPdesk.

GSN is a young organization that was founded over three years ago by the
three big Dutch banks aiming to make the circulating cash stream as efficient
as possible. GSN is connected to the three banks’ cash machines. Edgar Polak,
Change manager, explains: “We are notified when an error occurs with one of the
machines, or a machine has a cash shortage or is too full. We are connected to
systems that monitor everything. If necessary, we send our suppliers to fix, stock or
empty the machines.”

The search for supported software
When GSN first started, it primarily focused on money processing: counting
and checking the money flow in the Netherlands. A year later GSN expanded
its tasks, setting up a business unit for the money circulation logistics. This
business unit manages service providers and value transporters who work with
the cash machines.
Once GSN set up the Logistics business unit, it soon became clear that their IT
needs were different to the Money Processing business unit’s. “When banks call
us to say a machine has problems,” says Polak, “we need to immediately find out
what is going on. We also automatically receive a notification that something is
wrong with a machine via specialized software for machine management. For
Edgar Polak and Bob Siffels,
Money Services Netherlands

instance, if a certain machine type has issues with paper jams or swallowing
cards, we’d like to know.” GSN needed a system for these types of workflows.
TOPdesk was the answer.


Company-wide support

which we were already using for internal

TOPdesk turned out to be a challenge. “We

GSN has implemented a number of

support at IT, can also be used to provide

had to set up operator groups, authorization

company processes in TOPdesk. This includes

services to banks and register problems.”

groups and filters for each process. And

processes for the Cash Management, Device

module settings also affect the processes

Management and Facilities Management

A big challenge

departments, and the communication

TOPdesk is currently one of GSN’s core

same time a user meeting was introduced for

surrounding them. TOPdesk is also used for IT

applications. A consultancy process helped

settling conflicts and discussing challenges.

and FM’s internal support, meaning GSN uses

to gradually implement the software

“It is starting to take shape, and offers both

two TOPdesk environments in total.

throughout the entire organization.

challenges and compromises. After all, you

you have already set up,” says Siffels. At the

A consultant collaborated with each

can’t support everyone in the same way. Now

core packages within the organization. Bob

department at GSN to find out how each

the departments’ processes are set up in

Siffels, application manager at GSN, explains.

process worked best in TOPdesk, but also how

TOPdesk, it’s like they can look beyond their

“At GSN it is our policy to purchase as few

the departments worked together.

own process. It’s very positive.”

GSN decided to purchase a number of

applications as possible. A tool like TOPdesk,

Setting up the different processes in

Edgar Polak
Change Manager

An intensive consultancy process

the implementation. It forced us to strip

GSN is a young organization, and many

everything back to the basics of information

processes were therefore not sufficiently

exchange. The tool is so large and robust

developed at the start of the TOPdesk

that we had to make concessions, but thanks

implementation. Siffels collaborated with

to TOPdesk’s basic set-up, our set-up is now

a TOPdesk consultant to find out how the

more straightforward and clear.”

departments’ different processes could fit in
TOPdesk. “We charged every department to
think about how they would set up their own
processes in TOPdesk,” says Siffels.
“After this, the consultant and I got started
with the actual set-up.” Polak continues,
“The fact that TOPdesk is a standard
solution gave us a lot of support during

Bob Siffels
Application Manager


Lukke van Bemmel
… is a TOPdesk consultant. As a technical specialist, she mainly concerns herself
with links between TOPdesk and other programs, as well as custom web forms
that support company processes.

Easy access to carefully composed service management data can
be an important condition for service providers when switching to
TOPdesk. It is of utmost importance for the transition process that
the data conversion goes off without a hitch. This is made possible by
standardized methods for the most common imports and customized
specific imports created by technical consultants.

The choice to switch to another service management tool is usually

import method. This is performed by a consultant in collaboration

the result of dissatisfaction with the old tool, too high costs or a

with the customer, and offers more options for how the data can be

change in requirements. TOPdesk is frequently selected when it is

processed in TOPdesk. The final option is a one-off conversion. Here the

already used by a different department and a new department wants

technical consultant not only takes care of the import into TOPdesk (to

to join in. Choosing a new tool for a department or organization often

all possible modules), but also prepares the data from the other tool.

offers many benefits, but it can be difficult to get started with a new

This method unburdens the customer, and is explained further below.

application and learn new work processes. Employees are wary of
losing a lot of data. During a TOPdesk implementation, the consultant

Step 1: retrieving data from the source system

takes the change process into account and ensures that data from the

The source system is the tool containing the data to be transferred

old tool is correctly transferred to TOPdesk.

to TOPdesk. There are different ways to retrieve the data. At TOPdesk

The options

customer Action, a retail chain in the Netherlands, the Service Desk
and Customer Service departments are switching to TOPdesk, which is

There are three options to import data into TOPdesk. The first option

already used by the IT, Human Resources and Facilities departments. In

is a standard import. This can be performed by the customer, who can

doing so, Action wanted to store their standard solutions in TOPdesk

request a free licence for this purpose. The customer enters their data

as well. Nadine Uljee, Service Desk team leader at Action, tells us more.

in an Excel file with set columns. The file can then be imported into

“The standard solutions came from another registration tool. From

TOPdesk. Another option is an adjusted import, the most common

this system we put all standard solutions as a data dump in Excel


using an automatic report.” Importing from Excel is one of the many

this happened at Action. “We verified the data with the technical

import options TOPdesk offers. In this case, the customer created the

consultant so that he could create an ‘import plan’. The plan outlined

data dump themselves. It is also possible to use a technical consultant

which Excel field had to end up in which TOPdesk field. Likewise, it

to prepare the data for the TOPdesk import. Beside Excel data

indicated which values could be used as a default.” Creating a map

dumps, database views are another common method for importing

is always necessary because the old tool’s field names never match

into TOPdesk.

the TOPdesk field names. Moreover, some standard values can be

Step 2: manually or automatically adjusting data
Once all data has been retrieved from the source system and the

indicated, as Uljee says. In her case, all standard solutions were
invisible to callers.

source file is ready, you can check which data must be transferred

Step 4: importing data

to TOPdesk. This is an excellent time to optimize the data, make it

At this point you are ready to import data into TOPdesk. Depending

consistent and get rid of old, incorrect or superfluous information.

on the amount of data, the import can take anywhere from a few

Uljee says, “We use standard solutions that can change internally as

minutes up to a few hours for the biggest imports. The import is

a result of changed processes. That is why we checked the content

first carried out in the test environment. This lets the customer

of all standard solutions before importing them into TOPdesk. It

check whether everything is correct in TOPdesk or determine that

concerned about 1500 FAQs. Even though we do our best every day

adjustments are required for the source file or mapping. Uljee tells

to keep everything up-to-date, we thought it was important to check

us about the steps taken for the one-off conversion, which was then

everything. This let us make a fresh start. We updated the standard

carried out in the test environment. “For me, this part of the project

solutions and then got them ready in Excel.”

has gone very smoothly so far, so I trust that everything will be all

At another customer, the TOPdesk implementation coincided with

right in the production environment. It saves us so much work, not

the implementation of a new switchboard that made it possible

having to copy this manually!” When the customer is satisfied with the

to call telephone numbers directly via the computer. The technical

results in the test environment and gives the go-ahead, it is time to

consultant involved in the project tells us more. “We had to remove

import the data into the production environment.

all spaces, dashes and plus signs from the telephone numbers for
the switchboard. First, I edited the telephone numbers outside the

One-off conversions to TOPdesk

source system, then I imported them into TOPdesk.” When importing

During the tender phase, you can indicate whether you need

configuration items for a large government body switching to

to transfer data from your old tool to TOPdesk. Performing this

TOPdesk, the brand and make were in the same field in the old tool.

conversion is immediately taken into account in the project plan. Of

A technical consultant adjusted the source file so that this field was

course, you may realize at a later point that there is data available

separated. This made it possible to import brand and make separately

in your old tools that you would like to include in TOPdesk. In such

into TOPdesk.

cases, we create a plan outlining how much time this will take and

Step 3: mapping data
After completing the first two steps, an (adjusted) source file is ready
to be imported into TOPdesk. In agreement with the customer, the
technical consultant creates a map. This describes in detail which
information will end up where in TOPdesk. Uljee explains how

when it can be done. Simple imports of master data and assets can be
completed in a day, but more complex imports that take several days
are no problem for us either.


Planning & TimeSheet

TimeTell - The solution for planning and time registration
TimeTell is an extensive system for planning and registration of time,
hours, leave and absence. One of the characteristics is the ease of use; it
is important that people do not hesitate to work with the timesheet. It is a
complete and powerful solution, which can interface with other systems
like TOPdesk or other HR, ERP and financial systems.

To support the management, TimeTell offers a dashboard with a summary
of the most important information.

Furthermore, you can plan staff and projects. Staff planning can be used
to allocate people to a specific job and project. The TimeTell project
planning functionality helps you make Gantt charts in order to gain more
insight into the process structure and progress. Both planning and
realisation of spent hours can be registered in TimeTell, which makes it
easy to control and manage projects.
The solution is available both online and on-premise. This can be
combined with the TimeTell App, enabling you to work anywhere with
Every organisation – large or small, profit or non-profit – can work with
TimeTell. Users around the world are Bosch Security Systems, Bayer,
DB Schenker and the Rail Safety and Standard Board.
Like TOPdesk, the TimeTell software is developed in the Netherlands.
It is used by more than 500 clients worldwide, and is available in English,
German and Dutch.

If you would like to know more about our
solution, please visit our website:
+31 (0)70 311 48 11


Wes Heemskerk
… is a TOPdesk service management consultant. He
has provided help and advice for various organizations
implementing customer satisfaction measurements.

More and more organizations are becoming aware of the necessity of
internal customer satisfaction surveys for improving services. Some
organizations gauge this every year, others continuously. Which
measurement approach is right for your situation?
As a supporting department, serving the organization is your main goal. Your services are focused on
providing the best possible support for employees, or internal customers. Customer feedback is essential
for achieving this. Internal customer satisfaction measurements are used to discover how services are
experienced. But how do you go about this? Periodic or continuous measurements are popular choices.

Periodic measurements
A periodic measurement means that a survey is sent to the entire customer base, usually on an annual basis.
Such measurements are ideal for gauging the services in broad terms. All main aspects are included in the
questionnaire. SERVQUAL is a commonly used research model to cover all these aspects. SERVQUAL divides
the services into five dimensions (Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness). Your
customer receives a number of propositions for each dimension, asking about their experience. Moreover,
your customer is asked to indicate the dimensions that matter most to them. This lets your department get
to work improving the dimensions that are of the biggest benefit to the customer.


Propositions are not enough in a periodic measurement, however:

perceived effort dovetails with the goal of taking the most

open questions are also a must. Answers to questions such as ‘What

customer-oriented approach possible. After all, you are not working

can the department do to be of better service?’ support the scores for

to wow the customer. Instead, you want to make it as easy as you can

the SERVQUAL dimensions. What’s more, the answers not only provide

for colleagues to use so that they can focus on their primary tasks.

input on your current services but also suggestions on what the
department’s service provision is missing.
This measurement grants insight into the customer satisfaction

A high Customer Effort Score (in the customer’s experience they
have to put in a lot of effort to get a solution) should be followed up
immediately. If customers can also provide additional information

in broad terms, some improvements will not be achieved in a

about their score in the survey, it soon becomes clear why the score

matter of days. Think for instance of developing into a skilled service

is high and how to follow it up. Think for instance of comments like

desk that achieves a high first time fix percentage. This is a good

‘I had to explain my problem three times to three different service

example of a growth step that requires a lot of attention and long-

desk employees.’ The operators in question can be alerted to the

term focus. You can then measure the results of your efforts in the

importance of a clear problem description in TOPdesk.

following year’s survey. In addition to long-term improvements,

You can also link reports on Customer Effort Scores for a specific

periodic measurements can also provide quick wins that are easy to

period to specific parameters to help you spot structural problems

implement. For instance, if you discover that your customers do not

from the customer’s point of view. Such a parameter could be a

know who to contact within your department, you can specify in your

specific service, such as requesting a telephone. If the Customer

organization’s chat program who is on first line duty and therefore

Effort Score for this service is structurally high and many customers

ready for any questions colleagues may have.

indicate that printing and scanning the form takes a lot of effort, it’s
high time to prioritize the simplification of this procedure. This makes

Continuous measurement
Continuously measuring services entails measuring how a service is

continuous customer satisfaction measurement a KPI: you always have
an up-to-date picture of how your department is doing, and you can
immediately step in.

experienced throughout the year. A customer is asked for feedback
immediately after receiving a service from your department –
when a call is resolved, for instance. This is often done in an email

When to use which measurement method?

automatically sent from TOPdesk, such as the closure email. The

Periodic and continuous measurements are suitable for different

message then includes a link to a brief survey where the customer can

topics and lead to different insights. In order to select a measurement

assess the service. The customer has just experienced the service, so

method, it is important to check which situation applies to

they can clearly remember how this went and can therefore provide

your department:

concrete feedback.
This measurement method is excellent for determining the

Quick polish or complete overhaul?

Customer Effort Score. This measures the effort a customer felt had

Are you about to completely overhaul your services? Then a periodic

to be put in to get their call or request completed. Measuring this

measurement is recommended. It can then serve as a benchmark, so


results can help shape the choices made during the change process.

Service catalogue or unclear supply?

A benchmark also ensures that the results of your efforts are visible

Continuous measurement becomes truly effective when the results

in a follow-up measurement. The effort is rewarded with improved

can be traced back to specific services. This requires a clear service

scores. The results are also an important motivation for service desk

catalogue. If you do not yet have a service catalogue and your offered

employees to keep up a customer-oriented approach.

services are still undefined, a periodic measurement is the more

Are your services in order, or have you just completed a change

obvious choice. With a periodic measurement, your customer will

process? A continuous measurement can help you gradually polish

undoubtedly indicate that they would like a clear overview of services

your service provision. Constantly receiving feedback from customers

on offer and the results could be a good occasion to invest time in this.

can help you quickly implement improvements.

It should be clear that these two measurement methods grant
different insights. This is why the methods can enhance each other,

Is the customer always right?

so you do not necessarily have to choose one or the other. “The more

The extent to which you are focused on customer satisfaction also

customer input the better,” you could say. However, do keep in mind

plays a role in selecting the measurement method. Continuously

that following up on results is crucial for both measurement methods,

measuring requires discipline from the department: they have to put

and requires a lot of attention. Only then is measuring worth it. In

the results to use throughout the entire year. If customer satisfaction

order to actually invest this much in the follow-up, choosing a single

is your most important goal, continuous measurement is a logical choice.

method at first is advisable.

Conversely, if you still experience customers as ‘difficult’, a periodic
measurement might work better. A complete picture of the service
provision from the customer’s perspective can help the department
realize the customer should come first.


Patrick Mackaaij
… is an information distribution coordinator. He is specialized
in technical issues and optimizing processes.

Different login names and passwords for various applications
are a daily annoyance for end users. You can facilitate automatic
logins using SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) for
employees, customers and partners using the single sign-on
principle. This means they only need to log in once, after which
they can seamlessly use the organization’s applications, even via
the internet.

What is SAML?

The end user can use the same login credentials for all applications

SAML is a technical standard that simplifies automatic logins.

involved in single sign-on. One of SAML’s benefits is that the

Applications outsource the login processing to an Identity

applications in question do not save login details. In practice,

Provider (IdP).

applications often save login credentials in their database in a way

When an end user wants to log in to an application, the application
refers the end user to an IdP to process the login. The IdP identifies
the end user based on their login name, password, and (if applicable)

that is not coded securely enough. News about passwords leaked due
to insufficient security are not uncommon.
For administrators, it is a benefit that logging in is managed

a second factor such as a code sent to their smartphone. The IdP then

centrally. An administrator can block access for all related applications

assigns the user credentials that enable the user to automatically log

from a single point. Instances where this could be useful include

in to the original application. If an end user recently logged in, the

an employee leaving the organization, or a password being entered

IdP immediately fulfills the request. As a result, the user experiences

incorrectly several times. It also makes it possible to centrally manage

applications that support SAML as single sign-on.

password complexity and second factor requests.


SAML and LDAPS instead of VPN

SAML uses a secure internet connection so that your colleagues,

Organizations that outsource the technical management of

customers and partners across the globe can use single sign-on,

applications to application suppliers often choose a VPN connection.

without the disadvantages of a VPN connection. Any exchange of data,

This ‘tunnel’ facilitates automatic logins and data exchange with

such as important contact details, can often be done in a different way,

other systems, such as with TOPdesk SaaS. Opening and maintaining

such as via LDAPS, a stable and safe network protocol.

a VPN connection takes time, however. Installing and changing

LDAPS is safer than VPN. With a VPN connection, the communication

the installation at a later date requires coordination between your

between the end user or the tunnel on one side and the tunnel or

organization and the application supplier. Besides, the tunnel is

server on the other side may be unencrypted. LDAPS encrypts the

temporarily unavailable during maintenance. Think for instance of

entire connection, from server to end user. Short passwords are

changing the pre-shared key (the connection’s ‘password’), which in

common for VPN, while LDAPS uses various lines with a mix of a

practice is rarely changed because of all the surrounding hassle. In

variety of characters thanks to the SSL key used.

daily use, a VPN connection often results in minor disruptions when
one of the intermediate steps has a temporary malfunction.

For your network’s safety, the commonly used Microsoft Active
Directory has offered the possibility of linking a Read Only Domain


Controller to the internet since Windows Server 2008. You can further secure the server

Download this issue and more at

by only allowing connections from specific IP addresses to specific port numbers.


Another option is limiting the traffic to the Domain Controller using stateful inspection.
Are you currently using a VPN connection to TOPdesk SaaS? Contact your account

The TOPdesk Magazine covers subjects that

manager to discuss the possibilities.

are topical in the world of professional
service desks in IT, facilities and other

Getting started with SAML

service providing organizations. TOPdesk
Magazine is intended for managers, service

Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) can operate as an IdP for SAML.

desk employees, facilities organizations and

This is also true for the Microsoft-hosted Azure Active Directory. The settings required for

electronic city councils — anyone who is

TOPdesk can be found in Microsoft’s documentation: http://bit.ly/1IJ7gZq.

involved with supporting clients on a daily

Do you not yet have an IdP, or has your Active Directory not yet been set up to function
as such? You could call in an organization that supplies network management to take

basis. This concerns both the processes and
the technology behind these services.

care of the set-up, such as our sister organization OGD.
TOPdesk supports SAML 2.0 from version 5.5 onwards. In order to use SAML, your
TOPdesk environment should be accessible via the SSL protocol. This could be either

TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk publication,
+44 (0) 207 803 4200, editorial@topdesk.com

directly or through a proxy, as documented on the TOPdesk Help & Support website:
You also need the TOPdesk licence for web authentication, along with a few days of

Editors-in-chief: Milou Snaterse, Nicola
van de Velde

consultancy to set up the SAML link. You can read more about this in our documentation

Editors: Nienke Deuss, Stefanie Klaassen,

on the Help & Support website: http://bit.ly/1LL26tF.

Milou Snaterse, Luke van Velthoven

Our consultants can also help you update your TOPdesk environment. Get in touch
with your TOPdesk account manager to discuss your options.

Translators: Laura van Rosenberg, Leah Clarke
and Nicola van de Velde
Contributors: Lukke van Bemmel, Wes
Heemskerk, Fiona IJkema, Patrick Mackaaij,
Wolter Smit
Layout: Louise van der Laak, Joost Knuit,
Denise van Rijst
Photography: Menno van der Bijl, Aad
Copy editor: Leah Clarke
A print run of 10,000
Quarterly magazine
Languages: Dutch, English
Copyright © 2015 TOPdesk. Although this
publication has been produced with the
utmost care and attention, the writers
cannot be held responsible in any way for any
damages that may occur due to errors and /
or deficiencies in this publication.

With the promotional aides designed by Design Agency DDC you can support and
motivate your colleagues in using the SelfServiceDesk. Streamline the introduction
of this new software and easily professionalise your IT service.
Go to www.ontwerpbureauddc.nl/verandercommunicatie/ssd to find out
more about change management and the services of DDC. Or call one of our
communication consultants at +31 (0) 88 - 0120250.
We are glad to be of service.

I N F O R M ,



W W W. O N T W E R P B U R E AU D D C . N L


tips +tricks
Appointing a Java version

Efficiently use divisible rooms

It is possible to tell TOPdesk which Java version it should

From version 5.6, it is possible to divide rooms into various

use. This is particularly useful if multiple versions of Java are

sub rooms in the Reservations Management module. You

installed, Java 7 and Java 8 for example, and TOPdesk cannot

can reserve divisible main rooms as well as various sub

automatically detect the correct version. For instance, it

rooms. The availability of the main room and sub rooms is

might be necessary to have multiple Java versions to keep a

interdependent. You cannot reserve the main room when

variety of test environments live on the same server.

one of the sub rooms is already reserved and vice versa. This
is displayed in the Reservations planner, in both Operator’s

How to appoint Java versions:

Section and Self Service Desk, with grey slashes.

1. Check the default Java version in the command prompt
with ‘java-version’.
2. Go to http://help.topdesk.com/install/java to check which
Java version corresponds with your TOPdesk version.

How to set up divisible rooms:
1. Open a main room card.
2. Go to the Set-up tab.

3. Go to the TOPdesk installation folder.

3. Indicate on this tab that the room is divisible.

4. Use a word processor to open the ‘topdesk.conf’ file.

4. Now open a sub location card.

5. In this .conf file you can find a number of lines under

5. Go to the Set-up tab.

‘# Java Application’.
6. The line ‘wrapper.java.command=java’ indicates the Java

6. Indicate on this tab that the room is a sub location and
select the main room from step 1 in the drop-down list.

version used by TOPdesk. If it says Java, the default server
Java is used.
7. Replace ‘java’ with the correct path to the installation
folder of the Java version that needs to be used in TOPdesk.
For example: ‘C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\java’. Please
note that you need to appoint a 32 or 64 bit Java, in
accordance with your TOPdesk version.


The main room card now displays the sub location. A main
room can comprise several sub rooms.

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