FrontRange Solutions Previews Its IT Service Management Suite
FrontRange Solutions recently gave CRM
magazine a sneak peek of its soon-to-be-released series of IT Service Management (ITSM) modules, including incident management, change management, problem management, release management, availability management, configuration management, and service level management. ITSM is based on the .NET architecture and was created to meet Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards, recently receiving consulting and training firm Pink Elephant's PinkVerify Certification for the solution.
FrontRange's upcoming ITSM suite, which builds heavily on the HEAT platform, thereby accounting for its Version 5.0 branding, allows for migration from or integration with HEAT. "[We] came back to the basics and what's important to us, and that is focusing on what our partners need today, what our customers need today, and what they will need in the future--and that began with making HEAT and GoldMine stronger," says Kevin Smith, vice president of products at FrontRange. "We made significant investments in HEAT over the past year, and IT Service Management, which HEAT is a part of, represents an extension of HEAT capabilities and a number of new products that will make HEAT stronger."
One of the features of the Sarbanes Oxley-compliant suite--its real-time reporting--provides real-time data via a graphical dashboard. Each one of the modules, according to Jason Holmberg, FrontRange product manager, has a separate dashboard reporting capability that can be easily customized. Other elements include a standards-based business process automation engine that provides real-time alerts and event-driven rules processes, a common architectural platform with other FrontRange products, an API that allows ITSM to integrate with existing applications and databases, smart-client and Web-client compatibility for anytime-anywhere access, and wizard-driven customization tools.
Steve Dreyer, CEO of SMA Management Systems, which uses the beta version of ITSM, was on hand to provide a partner perspective. According to Dreyer, a huge issue with its customers is having separate tools to separate tasks, which leads to additional costs and failure points between different solutions. "Multiple tools is really a big issue for them, and ITSM certainly solves that problem right out of the gate."
GoldMine, another well-known FrontRange solution, also got an upgrade as the company announced the availability of GoldMine 6.7. The newest installment contains advanced Palm PDA integration, record typing enhancements, query by example tools, enhanced API/integration tools, SMS/text messaging, and Softphone support.
In addition, FrontRange recently unveiled newly released versions of iHEAT and iGoldMine, remote solutions that aim to equip companies that have a mobile workforce with an avenue to access information via a Web browser through a network or dial-up connection without requiring any additional plug-ins. New enhancements for both iHEAT 8.03 and iGoldMine 6.6 include pass-through authentication, session reconnect, session shadowing, session load balancing, and a native Macintosh OSX Client. iHEAT also offers Windows Server 2003 support, while iGoldmine provides access to external applications, including remote users to access additional Win32 applications.
Customers like Wisconsin's Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD), which services about 24,000 students in 40 different locations, has technicians that spend most of their time at schools and away from their support building. To assist its remote technicians the district needed a solution to allow them to remotely connect to helpdesk software. According to Roy Bolin, operations manager of Information Systems for KUSD, this spurred the decision to select iHEAT. "What we found out is, before they leave the building the technicians usually log into iHEAT to see if there have been any new tickets put in for that same location, that way it saves them travel time, [instead of] leaving and finding out later on that they've got another ticket in the same building," he says. "Some of the customers have been very happy, because the ticket's been entered and about a half-hour later the technician is at the door--they happen to be at the building already."
With the newest release of iHEAT covering all the Mac platforms Bolin expects the solution to cut usability steps: "It will eliminate my need to have to go through one more piece of technology to finally get to where we are going to, so that will be nice."
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