Installation and Setup

Installation is the same as with any Windows software. Place the CD into its drive, and, when the auto-menu comes up, select “Full Install.” The setup program will start, and you’ll confirm a few thing along the way (i.e., that you want to go ahead and install, etc.). To make it easiest, in fact, you can simply hit the ‘Enter’ button on your keyboard as each query comes up (this is because in virtually every instance the preselected, default answer will be the best one to choose).

As long as you’ve got the CD’s auto-menu displayed (and assuming you’re in a business that involves appliance service), we suggest you also choose the option to “Install SmartParts Files.” This will install model and parts lookup data that, for appliances only, will be handy in several ServiceDesk contexts.

After the installation completes, you’ll need to run ServiceDesk. This is, again, the same as with any other Windows product. The install program will have created a menu group, within the Windows ‘Programs’ folder. Though it varies slightly with Windows version, the general path to get there is by clicking on the Windows ‘Start’ button, then selecting ‘Programs’.

Look for a new listing labeled ‘Rossware Computing’. Click on it, and you’ll see it opens to display a series of program shortcuts that were installed for you—including (most particularly) one for ServiceDesk.

At this point you could click on that shortcut, to run ServiceDesk. However, it’s slightly annoying to have to go through this menu sequence every time you want to start a program that you’ll be using as frequently as ServiceDesk. So, it would be a good idea to place a copy of the shortcut on your desktop.

To do this, click* down on the ServiceDesk shortcut, using your right mouse button. Hold the button down as you drag to a vacant space in your desktop. Now release the button, and look in the popup menu that appears. Find the listing that says ‘Create shortcut here’, and click on it. That will place a shortcut on your desktop, which you may now conveniently use to start ServiceDesk.

In case you’re not aware, the convention in any Windows-related context, when discussing the use of mouse buttons, is to refrain from stating left or right when, in fact, it’s the left button that’s intended. Thus, be assured that if any instruction refers to clicking but does not designate a side, it’s the left button you must use. Conversely, in all cases if the right button is intended instead, you’ll see the word “right” somewhere in the instructing sentence (as, for example, in this instance).

First time running

When ServiceDesk first runs after a new installation, you’ll be directed to the Settings form. This is the place where you specify several things about your operation—things ServiceDesk needs to know in order to serve you properly.

You'll notice there are two sections in this form. The first, shaded in green, pertains to matters that are local to the particular station on which you’re running. The second, shaded in purple, pertains to matters that affect all the ServiceDesk-equipped stations running in your network. Even if your system will consist of just one computer, these system-wide settings are also critical.

As prompted by the system, you’ll begin in the Local (green) section. Initially, all you really have to do here (and again, the system should prompt you) is type your name (at least, assuming you’re the one who’ll be using this station; if it’s someone else, type their name). Type it very simply, as just first and last names (e.g., two “words,” as in “John Smith”).*

Please note that this simple, first-name-then-last format applies only to the names of you and your staff as entered into this ServiceDesk Settings form. By contrast, for customer names (particularly as entered into a Callsheet when taking a call), we expect you to use the somewhat more formal last-name-comma-then-first format.

If you’re already appropriately networked, you’ll likely want to also designate the drive designation for the server at this time (see page 223), but assuming you’re a newbie (and just experimenting for now), don’t even worry about it. Instead, after typing in the appropriate name for the person who’ll be using the station, click on big button labeled 'Save Local Values’.

Now you’ll be prompted to specify values in the ‘System-Wide’ (purple) section. In fact, ServiceDesk will itself fill-in the first value for you, which is the name of the person who’ll be using the station (as just provided by you a moment earlier)—inserted to a box that’s intended to contain a list of all the names as involved at each of your ServiceDesk stations (assuming, or course, that you have more than one person and one station).

You could at this early point go ahead and insert such names to that list, and you could as well insert names to another box, just below, that’s intended to contain a list of all your technicians (or, of just the one, if you’re a one man operation). Or, if you want to zoom forward quickly now and get back to those tasks later, just proceed straight to clicking on the big button labeled ‘Save Net-Wide Values.’

This will place you completely into ServiceDesk run mode. The essential elements of ServiceDesk single-station setup are not complete.

Installing on new computers in the future

If you’re like most users, you’ll likely add a new computer or replace an existing one from time to time. If this is months or years after we first shipped your package, there’s a small complication. Your original installation CD will be out of date. So what do you do?

Basically, use the old CD to do the installation. Afterwards, simply do an update, using standard update methods.

In that regard, we’ll mention here that ServiceDesk has a semi-automated self-updating feature (click on ‘File Functions’, and you’ll see the option to ‘Update System’ about seven items down). We are constantly improving the system, and suggest you update your system with some frequency. In fact, we post updates to the website, on average, about twice a week. Most of these are minor, consisting of small improvements or corrections, and it’s probably not worth your while to try to keep up with every one. Some are much more major, however, and regardless, over time the improvements accumulate. You should plan to update at least once per month, so you can take advantage of these continuing improvements.

Whenever you update, it’s helpful to know what improvements have been made. After all, it’s hard to take advantage of cool new features if you don’t’ know what they are. For this purpose, we maintain an ongoing diary on the website, which summarizes each improvement as it’s made. In each instance, we put in enough information to provide guidance that’s needed for you to harness the new feature. ServiceDesk will automatically open that diary when it updates itself, and we suggest you read the recent entries (as deeply as needed to get to where you left off with your previous update), You can also navigate to the diary via links on our main web page.

To actually perform updates (and if you’re a new user), you’ll first need to setup a user name and password. Just give us a call and we can do it over the phone. Then (one time only) you’ll need to enter that user name and password into spaces provided in the About ServiceDesk form (accessed under ‘File Functions’).

Learning implementation

Over the years, we’ve taken on a good many ServiceDesk users. As users learn to use the system, we learn about users. This little section concerns one of the very most important things we’ve learned.

Here’s a simple fact. Some of our users love the system to the absolute Nth degree. I mean, they are incredibly ecstatic about its power and all it does for them. We hear comments like “anyone who doesn’t use this system is an idiot.” We could, literally, almost fill a book with ecstatic quotes. Folks develop missionary zeal, anxious to spread the “good word” about how absolutely fantastic this system is.

Some users don’t love it quite so much. Often they find that, yes, it is a good system. They even be quite fond of what it does for them. But as for shouting from the rooftops, no, they just don’t quite feel that way.

What’s the difference? It’s very simple. The passionate people truly and fully use the system. The less passionate ones use it but marginally.

Given this difference, we want to plea with you—really, we want to beg—please find within yourself the willingness to dedicate real effort, determination and commitment toward the task of achieving a thorough, deep and robust implementation.

Our goal is to dramatically transform your business for the better. We’ve created the necessary systems, but real and true implementation depends, ultimately, on you. We can’t do the pushups for you. You’ve got to be willing.

If you are but willing, we can and do promise you’re going to find the rewards are great. You’re going get much more enjoyment out of running your business. Your customers are going to love you more. Your employees are going to be happier in their work, and feel happier toward you and each other. Not least of all, you’re going to be substantially more wealthy—even while in the long term working less.

But not without pushups first. The great rewards will come with vigorous, thorough and intelligent implementation. Your long-term rewards will be commensurate with the amount of work you perform right now.

Please let it be sufficient for the kind of implementation for which we’ve designed.