24 March 2020

TOPdesk Product Vision & Strategy

Read this post in German

In this blog, I will explain what you can expect from the TOPdesk product in the upcoming years. You can also watch the recording of the Product Vision & Strategy webinar (or click here for the Dutch version) to learn about our vision and strategy in more detail. 

We live in a rapidly changing world. The digital age is changing the way we work and will continue to do so in the upcoming years. Additionally, customers are smarter and have higher expectations than before, so they demand to be serviced on their own terms (and who can blame them?). This makes customer experience a very powerful differentiator for organizations. And, as research shows, happy employees create happy customers.

Our vision is this: your service management platform plays a crucial role in offering a great workplace experience to fully enable your workforce and ensure engaged employees. 

Our Long-term Strategic Focus Areas 

As an Enterprise Service Management platform, TOPdesk enables you to seamlessly manage your service delivery throughout your complete enterprise – and beyond. This enables you to deliver an excellent service delivery around the workplace. To make sure our product continues to support and improve your service delivery in the long run, we have identified the following five strategic areas to focus our product development efforts on in the upcoming years: 

  1. The Foundations 

When we talk about the foundations of our platform, we talk about all aspects that you need to orchestrate the flow of work throughout your enterprise.

The foundations of TOPdesk are the complete supporting framework that are required to ensure you have an effortless software experience. This includes critical functionalities such as automated actions, dashboarding, monitoring and reporting, audit trails and conversations, but also underlying principles such as automation, privacy, intelligence and ease of use. All these functionalities have to be seamlessly created and integrated.

We have identified three essential concepts that are needed for a strong and powerful foundation: 

Tasks & Workflows

In other words, all the work that needs to happen on a day-to-day basis. Every type of request (from questions, issues and complaints to changes and operational activities) leads into one or more tasks. All tasks are linked to a workflow, where you define who needs to perform which tasks and when. We are in the process of developing an intelligent workflow engine that supports a wide range of service processes. 
We realize not every organization, department or even team has the same needs. That’s why we offer both best-practice workflows based on thousands of organizations, and the flexibility to customize these tasks and workflows to your needs.

Things

All of these workflows can be triggered by people, but they can just as well be triggered by things: the Internet of Things (IoT) is on the rise, and will drastically change the way we do business. Connected devices will become the new normal. In fact, International Data Corporatation (IDC) estimates that there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices, or “things”, in 2025.

We believe this development is a great opportunity to enhance your workplace experience. Some examples: connected devices help you prevent incoming calls, improve your problem management process with smarter data analysis, and data collected by sensors help you detect the best time to implement a change with the least impact.

TOPdesk will enable you to create a dynamic and virtual representation of your organization, such as your processes, assets, locations and people. You can to report on these data, perform analyses, and optimize your work accordingly.

Knowledge

The knowledge within your organization is an incredible resource. It ranges from user manuals, frequently asked questions and handbooks to checklists, processes and work instructions. Knowledge is everything that ensures you and your customers have the information they needed to know what to do, how to do it and when to do it.

This information comes from different sources and systems. We believe the future-proof solution is a federated knowledge base. Instead of assembling all knowledge in one location, you provide one single point of access to all these various data sources. And when pairing all of this knowledge with AI, you open the door to even more powerful possibilities. Gartner predicts 25% of digital workers will use Virtual Employee assistants on a daily basis by 2021. Without access to a rich source of knowledge, virtual agents cannot provide intelligent responses. 

Our foundations help you get the most out of our application, and in this, augmented intelligence is key. We believe in relieving the service desk of recurring tasks, allowing operators to focus on the more challenging tasks and social interactions. We believe this is the route to a service desk that adds value to their organization and serves as a strategic business partner.

  1. Customer Centricity 

We believe a focus on customer experience is key for a service desks. Research has shown that organizations with a customer centric approach are at a competitive advantage. In fact, Deloitte and Touche found that customer centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to customers that were not focused on the customer. For us, this means we aim to provide you all the tools you need to put your customers at the heart of your service delivery. 

Key in a customer centric approach is a deep understanding of your customers’ needs. This does not mean you give them what they ask – it means you give them what they need. How do you find out what they need?

New advancements in technology created many opportunities to get a more detailed understanding of your customer than ever before. Collecting relevant data and harvesting valuable customer feedback is on the rise, and something we offer on our platform. In the upcoming years, we will provide you with a better understanding of what your customers are experiencing when using your services. By presenting you with relevant usage data, and by collecting, analyzing and presenting user feedback, we want to provide you with all the customer insights you need to enrich the customer experience in every possible interaction.

Important in achieving a great experience is offering your customers a variety of ways to communicate with you. All interactions should happen via the channel most appropriate for the job. This depends on the context of the customer (when in a hurry, they’d probably prefer a phone call), the content of the interaction (official business is sometimes better handled per email) and the personal preferences and abilities of your customer. This means we will focus on bringing your customers a broader set of seamlessly connected channels and the ability to continue the conversation across every channel, whenever and wherever they want.

  1. Collaboration 

Excellent service is not something you provide by yourself. You need to collaborate with all parties that have an impact on the customer experience. Team members, colleagues from other departments, suppliers, partners – and of course your customers. 

We believe a good collaboration is key in delivering an excellent service experience. But how do you ensure quality service while collaborating with so many different parties?

Step one: look at your services from your customer’s point of view. They want a good service experience, regardless of which teams, internal or external, are delivering it. When investing in improvements, don’t focus only on departments, processes or individual communication channels, because they don’t exist in a vacuum. They all play their part in the value you deliver to your customers. 

As a result, you will see a shift from groups centered around a specific department, towards multidisciplinary teams that focus on the end-to-end value they deliver. Of course, this impacts the demands placed on our platform. In the upcoming years, we will continue our efforts to bring individuals and teams closer together, so they can provide their services in a seamless and coordinated way. We will focus on further incorporating the best practices of existing and new methodologies in TOPdesk, such as agileDevOpsSIAM and swarming

Collaboration also happens within your customer communities. This leads to entirely new customer experiences. Think about it. If you have a problem with your work station, who do you ask first? That’s right: your co-workers. This is not something you can prevent. But you can try to embrace this as an organization, providing new opportunities to engage employees and improve your knowledge management and service delivery. We strongly believe in the value of communities and peer-to-peer support, and you will see more of our efforts moving into this direction.

  1. The Ecosystem 

We aim to ensure that you have all that is necessary to optimize your service delivery. While TOPdesk excels in streamlining the service delivery throughout the enterprise, there are many specialists in the world that excel in their area of expertise. Collaborating with them by adding integrations and applications to our ecosystem will unlock much more possibilities for you and your organization. 

Our ecosystem and integration possibilities ensures you have the freedom and flexibility to pursue the best solutions for all of your needs. Because of this flexibility, it is easier to respond quickly to market and business changes. 

We aim to offer a powerful integration framework, so we can easily create individual integrations. But we will also ensure that we have a diverse set of plug-and-play solutions in the TOPdesk marketplace. All ecosystem solutions are an integral part of our product and will be treated as such; it is about offering one cohesive experience and to solve your challenges together with the flexibility of our ecosystem.

We will focus on delivering the full Enterprise Service Management experience by offering the right solutions for every team. Think about solutions such as reporting, automation, and resource planning, but also more department-specific topics such as payrolling and procurement, space & facilities management and availability & performance integrations.  

To unlock the full potential of all the creativity in the world, we will also be opening up our platform. We do not just want to offer solutions created by ourselves and our partners, but we also want to enable our customers to share their – often really awesome! – innovations with the rest of the world. We want to enable the citizen developer: people who create new business applications for others, using the visual integrated development and runtime environments provided by our platform. This means nothing should be standing in your way to find the enterprise service management solutions that perfectly fits your organization. 

  1. Self-Reliance 

Self-service applications are already making day-to-day life easier for many individual consumers. This is influencing their expectations for the tools they use in their professional life as well. Matthew Cain, research vice president at Gartner, describes this as the rise of the business consumer; employees who make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles. Today’s customer expects to be able to start using a new application on their own terms. They expect to be guided through the application, and find help and relevant information whenever needed. And they expect the same of TOPdesk.

Any time you have to spend on understanding how our software works is time you lose in helping your users. Any period you have to wait for a consultant or support employee to help you out, is time wasted. We want to offer anyone the possibility to purchase and implement TOPdesk, to use TOPdesk and to expand the possibilities of the platform without requiring any human interaction. Think of Do-It-Yourself imports, integrations, or plug-and-play marketplace solutions.

Of course, our support staff, account managers and consultant will still be at your service. It’s just that the conversations will change. Instead of explaining how our software works, they’ll be able to focus more on providing you the insights and lessons required to improve your service delivery.

Our plans for 2020 

In 2020, we focus on the foundations and ecosystem: 

  • Improving our core workflow and asset engines (and the accompanying systems, such as reporting and automated actions) to ensure our product becomes more consistent and scalable – enabling us to deliver more cool features to you at a faster pace. In this blog you can read more about the efforts we are doing to increase the efficiency of our development efforts.
  • Ensuring a healthy customer experience by improving the performance and stability of our software. 
  • Further expanding our ecosystem offerings by delivering more API’s and ensuring a substantial marketplace growth. 

Want to know more? In this blog, my colleague Tom Knippenberg recently explained what you can expect from us this year.

Want to stay up-to-date on our progress? 

The following sources will make sure you never miss out on new features: 

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Esther de Winter



Esther de Winter, Product Manager

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