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Practical tips and information about running an efficient service desk. News and information about HelpMaster, PRD Software and the ITSM industry.


2008 Helpdesk PACRIM conference recap

Well, the PACRIM Helpdesk conference is over for another year, so here's my wrap-up of how it went.

The venue

Firstly, the Marriott on the Gold Coast is a stunning venue.  With it's immense foyer, huge salt water pool (complete with its sandy bottom, coral, tropical fish, deck chairs and waterfall), great staff and food, it was a good choice for the event.  Being minutes from one of the world's best beaches also helped.

The speakers

As usual, the conference consists of 3 days of lectures given by various "experts" for want of a better term, that are based around better service management and other miscellaneous topics that would be of debatable interest to helpdesk staff, managers, IT strategists and others.  As usual there was a strong focus on ITIL and "best practice", and it was interesting to see talks and discussion based on "IT governance" making an appearance.  For most of the conference I was attending the HelpMaster Pro booth, however I did manage to catch a few sessions.  I always make it a point to catch the very first talk of  the conference, and this year Malcolm Fry opened the conference with a great talk about helpdesk myths, statistics, expectations and false reasonings (on the part of the helpdesk).  Of interest were his comments that when helpdesks require a particular SLA to be reached, for example "Resolve 70% of incidents on the first contact", then the staff at the helpdesk will work to achieve this, whether this is in the best interests of the client or not.  Basically the point is that he was making was that when management exert such a strong emphasis on some particular helpdesk statistic, the mindset of not only the staff, but also the entire helpdesk operation will work toward meeting that statistic...for better or for worse.

Malcolm made some good points that should get every helpdesk manager rethinking their KPI / SLA strategy.

The Booth

The PRD Software / HelpMaster Pro booth was situated in a central location and was a popular place for people to mill around and come and say hello.  We did a lot of product demonstrations, placed a lot of brochures, hats, pens and other gimmicks that are all part of the modern IT show.  Overall, many people who had not seen HelpMaster Pro before were very impressed by it's features and capabilities, and even more so for the price that its available for.  Compared to the other vendors that shared the conference, HelpMaster Pro is a very powerful solution, at a fraction of the cost of other products.

Initial impressions count!

Throughout many of the product demonstrations that we did, it was interesting to observe people's first impressions of HelpMaster Pro.  It's not that often that we get to see initial reactions, as most people simply download HelpMaster Pro and evaluate it on their personal machines.  But this was different.  We saw how people reacted to the software.  This was a very positive thing, and as a result of this we've been working hard since returning back to the Canberra office redesigning the look and feel of the product to give it a fresher look.  HelpMaster Pro has always had a powerful workflow engine, and now it's also got a fresh coat of paint.  We've made some big progress, and we've got some big plans.

Here's a teaser for you.  Let me know what you think.

New regional support for the UK and Europe

Throughout the conference, PRD Software was pleased to have a member of our newly signed UK distributor attend the booth.  Following the convention, Russ also joined the PRD Software team back at the office HQ for some in-depth training and business planning.  HelpMaster Pro has many users in the UK and European countries, and now with a newly appointed and dedicated distributor we aim to improve our services, communication and support in this part of the world.

Blog Giveaways!

As a left-over from the convention, PRD Software has quite a few HelpMaster Pro hats to give away.  In the spirit of celebrating helpdesk conferences, blogging and HelpMaster Pro, I'll send one of these hats to anyone (whereever you are!) who sends me a link to their blog in which you mention something about HelpMaster Pro that you would like to see improved.

Best regards,

Rod


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