N+I : Altiris answers help desk’s call for help

Altiris Inc. this week introduced an upgraded version of its help desk software that’s designed to cut down on support calls by automating fixes and letting end users help themselves.

Helpdesk Solution 6.0’s Smart Tasks component, announced at NetWorld+Interop, saves best practices and fixes to known problems that can be launched by frontline support staff. When a trouble ticket for a problem with a pre-defined fix is created, Helpdesk Solution will present a hot link with known resolutions.

Altiris management products consist of centralized server software and agents installed on managed clients, such as desktops, servers and mobile devices. Network managers access data and administer the product via a Web-based interface, which Altiris also upgraded so it can be customized.

Helpdesk 6.0, and specifically Smart Tasks, is integrated with Altiris asset and systems management tools, which lets automated actions such as patch deployments be initiated from the help desk software.

“We have written higher-level tasks into the software, making the help desk more active,” says Dwain Kinghorn, CTO at Altiris.

For example, if an end user calls the help desk and his problem is caused by an out-of-date software version, the help desk operator can click on a link to send the necessary upgrade.

Smart Tasks pulls data from a new knowledge base in which senior network managers can store best practices for reuse by the software. The asset management integration lets the software keep a record of software on machines, changes made and end-user issues, and generate reports based on that data.

Also new is a portal Altiris says will eliminate the need for end users to call the help desk in support situations. This feature lets end users search on their own for fixes to common problems.

Helpdesk Solution 6.0 is part of the Altiris Asset Management Suite, which costs US$2,250 per concurrent user.

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