The year 2020 took companies boldly beyond most visions for digital transformation. In the blink of an eye, supporting a remote team became the focus and priority of every IT administrator. And it’s our job to help. As a product manager, I’m always looking for ways to improve the support experience for IT admins.
What we expect our IT teams to know and do has evolved a lot over the past five years and exponentially over the last 18 months. And in our new work-from-anywhere world, traditional support just isn’t enough.
Don’t get me wrong, 24×7 priority access to in-region experts, onsite service the next business day, and a single source for hardware and software support are all important and will never go away. But those features, along with accidental damage service and even designated support contacts, are table stakes in today’s world.
I hear on a regular basis that what IT admins need to support employees is automation and the ability to solve issues remotely. They ask us to find ways to simplify or remove some of the more tedious and time-consuming tasks from their day-to-day experience so they can focus on bigger, more strategic issues. They also want us to do a better job of helping predict and resolve issues before employees can open tickets.
It’s not easy. In fact, if it was easy, we’d all have self-healing PCs. But it is our North Star and every step gets us closer. Today, we took a giant leap in that direction, and I want to share some of the new features we added to our ProSupport Suite for PCs that will provide IT admins the capabilities and benefits they need to free up time and keep end-users productive.
Introducing a platform for customized remote remediation at scale
One of the first steps to automation and a self-healing PC is a foundation for remote resolutions or a skills remediation platform. This allows IT admins to diagnose and resolve issues. Most importantly, they can take action remotely and at scale, so they can address multiple issues together rather than everything being a one-off fix.
To do this, we developed a sophisticated rules engine that allows IT admins to target specific groups of PCs and define how and when a remediation script runs. We keep track of the rules to let IT admins know the script ran as intended and if any errors occurred. We provide KPIs, so they don’t spend time tracking this down and they can focus on other tasks. This remediation skills platform is the very first step in this set of capabilities and I’m really excited about where we’re heading with it.
Custom update catalog creation and remote deployment of BIOS, firmware, drivers and application updates
In addition to remote remediation, I’m most excited about our custom update catalog creation and deployment capabilities in the cloud. We all know that keeping BIOS, firmware, drivers and applications up to date in your environment is important for a number of reasons, including security.
But you can’t deny that prepping to upgrade an entire fleet with refreshed drivers and firmware is a tedious activity and one we are automating to make IT admin jobs easier.
When you’re connected to Dell, we can see the Dell PCs in your environment, so you don’t have to search for all the tags. And we can see what systems need updates. We can also help IT admins look, not just for the latest update, but for the best update based on our intelligence about their system configuration. We help them curate a catalog that they modify, test and then deploy to production, either using our tools or theirs. Either way, it’s a straight forward way to keep up with Dell BIOS, firmware, drivers and applications.
New health, application experience and security scores in a single modern dashboard
To make all of these features easy to find and see, we completely redesigned our connect and manage user interface in TechDirect to make sure the information IT admins need quickly is front and center.
You can see, gauge and act on health, application experience and security scores from a single dashboard. It gives you a holistic view of your Dell fleet of PCs to pinpoint and stay ahead of developing issues.
By providing these actionable scores, IT admins don’t have to wade through tons of telemetry data. You can quickly see what’s going on in your fleet and where you need to focus your attention before end-users open trouble tickets.
And if you want more detail, all the areas are clickable, so you can dive in to get more information. You can zoom into a particular device, root cause the issue and, if you want, apply the solution to other identified PCs in the fleet showing the same issue.
With insight and the means to remediate issues, companies are able to stay focused on employee experience as it becomes increasingly dependent on IT.
All of our scores are transparent, so you know exactly what we’re seeing and why we’re making the recommendations we’ve made. And, as you’d expect with any cloud portal, everything shown on the dashboard is customizable.
Welcome to the world of modern support
All these features are now available to new and existing customers. If you bought ProSupport, ProSupport Plus or ProSupport Flex in the past, everything has been added (at no additional cost) to your support service. All the features you’ve used in the past – proactive, predictive capabilities and our table stakes of 24×7 priority access to experts and onsite service on the next business day, and more – are all still there.
I’m happy to say we are actively building on these capabilities and look forward to continuing to make IT admin roles easier. It’s our job to listen to you and make these ideas a reality. You have our commitment to go beyond expectations so you can provide a great experience for your employees and keep your companies growing and productive.