15 July 2020

2020 strategy: an update

At the end of 2019, product manager Tom Knippenberg informed you about our exciting plans for improving the TOPdesk product in 2020. In this blog, we’re going to delve into how we’ve been progressing so far and what you can expect throughout the rest of this year.

A brief recap

We set out in 2020 to accelerate our investment in technology that enables us to quickly respond to market developments and changing customer expectations. This resulted in the following three focus areas:

  • Concept reduction to speed up development. We’re doing this by improving our core workflow and asset engines (and their accompanying systems, such as reporting functionality and automated actions) to deliver more great features to you, and at a faster pace than in the past.
  • Ensuring a healthy customer experience by improving the performance and stability of our software — as well as by speeding up our developments when it comes to asset management and mobile for operators.
  • Further expanding our ecosystem offerings by delivering more APIs and ensuring substantial marketplace growth.

Our progress

We’ve made considerable progress on all three focus areas in the first six months of 2020. Here are some of our key highlights so far:

Reducing Concepts

As part of our efforts to improve our core engines (thereby ensuring consistency and scalability), we’ve invested a significant amount of time in our workflows & tasks project. We’ve further laid the groundwork and have delivered our first features (checklists with tasks, a basic workflow designer) in TOPdesk Labs.

As well as workflows & tasks, we’ve also invested greatly in improving the asset management engine. We’ve received plenty of great feedback with regards to the user experience — these insights have helped us greatly improve our offerings. For example, we’ve recently been able to add some key missing functionalities, such as automated actions.

Customer Experience

Our ultimate goal is to further improve the overall TOPdesk customer experience. As such, core improvements to the asset management engine play a key role in helping us do this.

Behind the scenes, a lot of effort has gone into ensuring the stability of our software. We’ve added additional data centers, thereby resolving many performance-related issues, and we’ve made several changes to the Self-Service Portal in order for it to adhere to our desired accessibility standard. Furthermore, we’ve also improved the customer experience when it comes to providing mobile solutions for operators, and we’re planning on continuing this ongoing improvement throughout the rest of the year.

Ecosystem

Our ecosystem has greatly benefitted from the addition of more APIs and endpoints, most notably the Visitor Registration API, an extension to the Change Management API, the supporting files API (branches and locations), and the Knowledge Management API (to be delivered soon). Furthermore, the TOPdesk Marketplace has greatly increased in functionality with the introduction of our Outlook Room Booker, AutoCAD Floorplan integration, Service Mesh (an early warning system for the IT management team), and the TOPdesk Meeting overview.

Projects that started in 2019

As well as working on our three primary focus areas for 2020, we’ve also made steps to further enhance some of the projects that started back in 2019. We’ve delivered some popularly requested functionalities for our chat tool and the Kanban board, we’ve worked on delivering our collaboration platform across all data centers and in the Virtual Appliance, and we’ve introduced public forms to open up your TOPdesk forms to your visitors, patients, citizens, or other unauthenticated users.

But the above list is by no means exhaustive. To hear about our ongoing improvements in more detail, simply subscribe to our next upcoming webinar on our upcoming webinar overview, or take a look at our most recent update.

How did COVID-19 impact our roadmap?

Of course, 2020 is also the year that COVID-19 happened. After a brief adjustment period and taking some additional measures to ensure your TOPdesk environment stays as stable as possible, TOPdesk development can effectively work from home.

But we weren’t the only ones to be affected by COVID-19 — far from it. Lockdowns, social distancing, and working from home have become “the new normal” for any business. Therefore, this “new normal” also needs to be reflected in our roadmap and priorities. Digital collaboration has become essential for employees working from home, something that is evidenced by the massive user growth of tools like Microsoft Teams. This development has subsequently prompted us to deliver a Microsoft Teams Integration.

Additionally, many organizations are currently investigating how employees can return safely and/or partially to their office building. Because of this, we’re currently developing an application specifically aimed at helping businesses adapt to this situation: Reservations on a mobile device: COVID-19.

If you’re interested to learn more about how you can use TOPdesk during the COVID-19 era, read this great blog from Bas Blanken.

What’s next?

While our three focus areas for this year mostly remain the same, you’ll see some more emphasis put on further developing our asset management and mobile capabilities, as well as on improving our APIs (including OData). This emphasis is needed to ensure we can bring these topics (asset management, mobile, the ecosystem) to the expected level in this year. It’s worth highlighting that this means we’ll be placing less emphasis on advancing the workflows & tasks project for the time being — we are expecting to pick this up again in 2021 to give it the attention it needs.

Our ambitions for the upcoming six months are as follows:

Customer Experience:

  • We aim to provide a complete asset management experience by Q1, 2021. This will include functionalities relating to stock and order, license management, reporting, and improvements with regards to stability and overall user experience. The goal is to ensure that you can migrate from configuration management to asset management as safely and swiftly as possible.
  • Moreover, we want the mobile solution for operators to be in a satisfactory state (if not better) by Q1, 2021. This involves further developing our mobile incident management functionality, as well as developing our mobile change management and operational management capabilities. Furthermore, we will be delivering an end-user app for complete reservations management.

Ecosystem:

  • We’ll be further expanding OData in Q4, 2020. Several endpoints will be added or expanded and we will improve the handing of data access and OData’s performance.
  • We’ll be expanding our REST API possibilities by adding often-requested endpoints (such as knowledge management, operations management, supporting files, tasks and workflows).
  • More solutions will be added to our marketplace (e.g. OAuth 2.0 support, a BIM integration, and a prepaid-services solution).

Concept Reduction:

  • The above efforts with regards to improving asset management will also play a crucial role in helping us with concept reduction. In the long term, we aim to use the Asset Engine to replace other static cards in TOPdesk (such as people, organization structures, contracts, or properties).
  • We hope that Workflows & Tasks will have a solid foundation upon which to expand in 2021. Major feedback points will be processed (e.g. the deletion of a workflow and emailing tasks to operators), and the APIs will be developed and published.
  • For all upcoming projects, check out the TOPdesk product roadmap (and please feel free to leave your feedback!).

After 2020

Interested to learn more about what you can expect from TOPdesk over the next few years? If so, check out our blog article on the TOPdesk Product Vision & Strategy or watch the recording of the Product Vision & Strategy webinar from earlier this year.

We’re currently underway creating our roadmap for 2021 and we’ll provide you with further updates later on this year. If you’d like to be more actively involved in the creation of these plans, simply get in touch with your Customer Success Manager — we’d love to hear more about your thoughts and concerns.

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Esther de Winter



Esther de Winter, Product Manager

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