Help desk vendors look to integrate with ERP

Help desk vendors look to integrate with ERP

As enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are being deployed in more corporations, internal help desks are becoming more critical and are also integrat- ing with the ERP systems to provide an easier deployment, according to analysts.

"There's no doubt ERP is becoming extremely critical to companies, and if you can't keep them running, you're not getting the value," said Paul Mason, vice president of software research at IDC.

Major asset

At the Support Services West show in San Francisco this week, Remedy will announce its ability to assist problem resolution and manage both change control and service-level agreements (SLAs) for SAP AG's R/3 systems.

When the SAP system goes live, Remedy's Strategic Service Suite will keep information such as purchasing and employee information in sync with Remedy's IT applications.

Users will also be able to submit purchase requests to R/3 using a Web browser.

Mason said this level of integration can be a major IT asset.

"It can certainly be a major aid, because what they've announced is unique, that they're able to pass an enquiry into SAP itself, into SAP's own help desk," Mason said.

And though Mason said Remedy is first to market with this, other help desk vendors are working on similar integrations.

Remedy's new Strategic Service Suite is currently available with modules for help desk, asset management, SLAs, and the year 2000. Purchasing and change management modules will ship next quarter.

The ability to link any Oracle application to the suite is available immediately, and the SAP additions will be available in the first quarter of 1999. Pricing information was not available.

Remedy is also shipping its Year 2000 Compliance Manager, software that enables IT to track all of their assets that might be affected by the year 2000 problem.

The module adds on to the Remedy Help Desk or the Remedy Action Request System.

Also this week, Network Associates will preview its next-generation help desk, code named Merlin, which combines the user interface of the company's SupportMagic SQL Help Desk with the functionality of its Total ServiceDesk product.

The product will be available during the first quarter of 1999, and pricing will be announced at that time.

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