ManageEngine Debuts Conversational Virtual Support Agent for its ITSM Solution, ServiceDesk Plus
April 2019 by Marc Jacob
ManageEngine, the IT management division of Zoho Corporation, announced that the cloud version of ServiceDesk Plus, its flagship IT service management solution, now includes Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant as a virtual IT support agent. Zia can answer simple questions, perform service desk operations, and interact with third-party apps, reducing response times and boosting technician efficiency. End users and technicians can chat with Zia in a conversational interface, or converse with Zia Voice to access more than a dozen out-of-the-box Zia actions, as well as any custom Zia actions created by service desk teams.
One of the biggest challenges for service desk teams is striking the right balance between business-critical ITSM projects and keeping up with daily firefighting or answering less crucial questions from end users. The lack of immediate access to the service desk team and service desk information can lead to end user frustration and lower satisfaction rates. A 24/7 virtual support agent helps address these challenges by offering end users prompt support. Virtual support agents are also valuable for technicians working the field who may not have access to standard service desk interface and resources. Being able to interface by voice commands with a virtual support agent is beneficial for troubleshooting and implementing corrective actions.
"While business end users want on-demand access to IT service desk personnel, IT support staff prefer to focus on higher priority activities and do away with attending to level 1 support. Zia brings perfect balance to service desk operations by offering end users the same quality of support they’d receive from technicians, relieving support staff so they can focus on far more important tasks,” said Rajesh Ganesan, vice president of product management at ManageEngine. “We envision Zia will evolve into a smart AI-powered personal assistant offering contextual support, providing immediate assistance for every user in the organization, and elevating the user experience many notches."
Redefining First Point of Contact for IT Service Desk Users
"With the debut of Zia as a virtual support agent, we are laying the groundwork for enhancing service delivery and service desk efficiency with AI,” said Umasankar Narayanasamy, director of engineering at ManageEngine. “We plan to add predictive analytics and intelligent automations to Zia, so customers won’t need to write manual rules."
Zia can perform a wide variety of tasks, including:
● Providing answers to straightforward questions.
● Pulling up service desk data to answer more complex questions.
● Triggering service desk operations through a tree-structured interaction.
● Sharing relevant knowledge base articles based on end users’ inputs.
● Automatically handing off user requests to technicians via live chat or by creating a new request.
Building Custom Zia Actions for ServiceDesk Plus
Apart from the out-of-the-box Zia actions available, service desk teams can script custom Zia actions to answer questions, perform activities in external tools that integrate with ServiceDesk Plus, and more. The serverless Zia developer console offers development and production modes, making it easier for service desk teams to script and save custom Zia actions for immediate use in ServiceDesk Plus. Each custom Zia action can be built with multiple conversations, and IT staff can add provisions for Zia to collect appropriate inputs at every stage of an interaction.
Pricing and Availability:
Zia is freely available in all editions of the cloud version of ServiceDesk Plus.