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According to KPMG, remote/hybrid working has harmed nearly 90% of businesses in the battle against cyberattacks, fraud prevention, and compliance risk mitigation. Businesses are more exposed to cyber threats as cloud solutions become more widely adopted.

To respond to the rising traffic between public cloud services and corporate data centers, there is a necessity for the integration of network and security solutions to provide quick and secure data transfer. SASE (secure access service edge) is an integrated network-security platform that aligns with these features. As a result, it has the power to change corporate cybersecurity practices completely.

What is SASE?

SASE is a unified network and security access services solution. It enables employees to work from anywhere on any device while maintaining the same level of security as if they were working in a corporate office with corporate devices. 

SASE has many components that constitute network access services and security access services (see Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Components of SASE

Components of SASE

Network as a service part includes:

Carriers: It refers to the set of equipment and network technologies that are utilized to send data from one point to another.

Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN): It encrypts the data transfer between WAN and SaaS-IaaS carriers.

Content distribution networks: It is a collection of geographically diverse servers that accelerates online content delivery by moving it closer to users.

Edge equipment: A piece of hardware that regulates data flow at the intersection of two networks. 

Bandwidth aggregation: Having a single stronger connection by combining the bandwidth of at least two devices.

Security as a service part includes:

Firewall as a service: FwaaS is a cloud-based security system that has capabilities like:

Access control

URL filtering

Intrusion prevention systems

Zero trust network: It is a security mechanism that requires each user attempting to access documents or services on the network to provide verification.

Secure web gateway: SWG is another cloud-based security system that has the following features:

URL filtering

Encrypted traffic analysis

Detecting malicious code and software

Virtual private network (VPN): It protects the company’s network’s online privacy by using a private network that is separate from the public internet.

Why should companies adopt SASE?

The way we worked changed significantly in recent years. As a result, how companies access the network and how they use it should also change.

In recent years, we have seen a technological trend towards cloud computing solutions that are both agile and cost-effective. Since the Covid-19 outbreak required remote working, cloud tool investments rose.

In 2023, Gartner expected a further 21% increase for cloud investments compared to the prior year where the corporate spending will hit around 480 billion dollars. Thus, many employees perform a large part of their work in cloud computing services, not in the corporate data center or facilities. But by using pre-SASE network and security systems corporations have an ineffective flow of data and cybersecurity. 

Traditional data flow

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks or public internet networks are commonly used by businesses to support data and service flow between cloud services and users. Companies build VPNs to securely use the public internet. In a typical corporate setting, data travels like this: 

MPLS arrives at the router. 

The internet arrives at a router. 

It is switched out to a VPN concentrator.

Data is examined by a firewall security system for access to information usage. 

As a result, data traffic is inefficient. Not only does it bring latency and the risk of data loss, but it is also costly. 

Data flow with SASE  

SASE services, which are deployed at the cloud’s edge, secure and allow direct communications to the resources that the end user is attempting to access. Because all security services are offered at the cloud’s edge, traffic no longer needs to move twice.

What are the benefits of SASE?

Provide cybersecurity: Firms get additional security and insight into their network with holistic analysis embedded into a SASE system.

Minimize IT costs: Firms are no longer restricted by using a private MPLS network from a single provider but they can select bandwidth from any provider available to their end users. By optimizing bandwidth firms can reduce network-related costs. Also, buying different cyber security solutions as a bundle provides a chance of bargaining for corporations which can provide further cost reduction. 

Reduce latency and possibility of data loss: A more optimal flow of traffic reduces latency and the risk of data loss.

Ease IT infrastructure management: Many firms that try to improve their cybersecurity, use multiple security solutions. These security solutions tend to be individually managed and they have a lack of integration capabilities. SASE promises the ability to have a single platform for all security measures so it eases IT infrastructure management.

Improve corporate compliance: Thanks to the zero-trust policies SASE improves corporate compliance since all activities of employees should be authorized by the verification they provide. 

Ensure corporate flexibility: SASE ensures that people can work from any location and devices securely.

How to choose partners for SASE? 

Integrability: The primary motivation for enterprises to employ SASE is to safeguard their cloud-based business processes. Thus, when investigating collaborating, the first point firms must look for is whether the SASE solution supplied by possible providers is compatible with the cloud computing platform they use. For example, if your company uses Microsoft Azure, the SASE you buy must be functional with it.

International credentials and certificates: Certifications such as ISO 27001, 27002, and HIPAA demonstrate your candidate partners’ ability to handle sensitive data. It is critical to examine such certifications before beginning a collaboration to avoid any data breaches. 

Previous work: The vendor should be able to provide case studies from previous projects. Contacting firms that have worked with the vendor could be a good method to find out partnership possibilities.

Customer support model: As customer service practices, different providers have different policies. When you have a problem, for example, certain vendors are easy to contact. You should evaluate the necessity for excellent customer service based on your organization’s IT abilities.

Price: Different vendors offer different price packages for SASE. As with any business decision, firms should compare prices and decide accordingly. 

You can also read our Software Defined Perimeter: Definition, Importance & Use Cases and Top 4 Secure Web Login Best Practices for Corporations articles to enhance your company’s cybersecurity measures.

Please contact us if you require additional information about cloud-based cybersecurity solutions:

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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You're reading Secure Access Service Edge In 2023: A Norm For Cybersecurity

Fostering Cybersecurity And Privacy In 2023

The need for online protection is a subject that has been ongoing for years past and present. In recent times with the amount of cases, regarding data retention; the rate of cyber assaults runs high. But what are you doing about it?

It may seem like you’re going by your regular online routine, but what you aren’t aware of; rather should be aware of, is the amount of dangers you’re putting yourself through each time you log into a website, providing personal or important credentials.

Yes, life gets extremely easy with the vast number of online services available to us; services like online shopping, travel ticketing, free internet courses, online banking, and social media websites for customer management, and much more, all available at our fingertips. As much as these services appear as a bed of roses, there are always some thorns, waiting to poke you with the slightest confrontation.

What’s plaguing your online experiences or devices?

You should know that when online, you’re automatically going to be entailed as a future cyber victim in some form or the other if precautions aren’t taken. There are many online threats that everyone needs to be aware of. Some of the major ongoing issues revolve around:

Hacking (Number one problem in today’s world. With limitless amount of accounts being broken into, stealing data, rearranging them, leaking important information or blocking you out from entering your accounts)

Malware attacks (The spreading of virus’ throughout your system, corroding files and other important data)

(DoS)Denial of Service attacks (The disruption of services by invaders towards the access of account holders.)

Phishing (Cyber-baiting individuals with blackmail through recorded texts, videos and more)

Spamming (Swarming platforms with multiple messages and viral links)

Spoofing (Impersonation to steal data and spread virus’ throughout targeted accounts)

Ransomware (Stealing data and keeping it hostage in exchange for large sums of money or classified intel.)

Motives behind multiple cyberattacks

So, how does this list sound just about now? Still feeling safe? I bet most of you are thinking, “But why? What did I ever do to deserve something like this? All I did was look up some cute animal videos.” The answer is, it doesn’t really matter who you are and what activities you carry out online; cyber-attacks are inevitable. Most of the motives behind this are because of:

Cyberterrorism (Attacks made online for political or ideological gains)

Monetary gains (Holding your personal or important data at ransom for large amounts of money or payments in kind.)

Fame through acknowledgment (Some just do it not to gain any monetary value but to establish their name or brand in the rings.)

Information extraction (Data retention of any kind, accounts, IDs, opposing company information for selling to third parties or other personal reasons.)

Industrial control (Hacks made into the devices or infrastructural units of big-league companies/industrial sites)

Types of Cybersecurity

Now that we’ve been through the darkening phase of the dangers that lurk around in literal broad daylight on the internet, let’s talk about the types of cybersecurity that many should be informed about. A few of them are:

Infrastructural security (includes the modern-day solutions towards physical security systems related to street lights, hospital infrastructural programming, shopping mall security, etc.)

Application security (Adopting the perfect or most suitable app to protect your online data, transactions, privacy, and devices)

IoT security(Internet of things [protects every physical appliance you use besides the regular mobile phones, like TVs, electronic kitchen appliances, routers, security cameras, etc.

Cloud security (upping the security game, protecting all the data stored online rather than done on physical platforms.)

A fraction of online security – How to stay safe when surfing

Looking at the kinds of ways to stay safe online, let’s jump right in and talk about one measure that will solve most of your online problems in the long run. Most of these cyber-issues stem from hackers taking control over your data or system, your privacy being exposed or maybe you’re just looking to access restricted websites that aren’t readily available in your country, due to Geo-blocks or censorship issues.

The solution to a few of these many issues could be through using the best VPN application or antivirus in the market, depending on what you’re looking for. Taking a VPN into consideration, there are many in the industry that ship extremely heavy security features through military-grade encryption and protocols, along with providing you all the access you need to bypass geo-restricted platforms like Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and more.

You could invest in the most commonly known ones that are both affordable and possess some heavy security, and check out their over-all performances through reviews. For example, when I chose Fastest VPN as my pick, I didn’t just go for it, but rather went through an extensive FastestVPN review, checking out its speed, features, price range and overall performance.

Also read: 11 best ways to Improve Personal Development and Self-Growth and its Benefit on our Life

Mass online surveillances

If you think you’re not being watched 24/7, you’ve got another thing coming. Have you ever heard of online surveillances? There are so many major countries in the world that keep constant tab of what the maximum number of internet users are doing online, from day-to-day. It completely goes against internet privacy or the freedom to do anything without being scrutinized. Factors that come under online surveillance also include your data or private information being tipped into and stolen for other purposes.

Maybe in some cases, online surveillance is necessary, particularly where cyber-terrorism prevails or racial disruptions being spread. Due to this, the government takes matters into their own hands, and holds up certain censorship blocks on a few websites. But, along with movements like this, they tend to block off a number of social websites that push the public to gain access to, in the most unethical ways.

Also read: Top 3 Lessons I Learned from Growing a $100K+ Business

To conclude

Staying safe online is your given right and even though most of us fall victim to vicious cyber-attacks, it doesn’t mean you can’t take the first steps to make changes.

Jade

Jade, is a writer and editor on Cyber-security She creates blog posts to help keep her audiences up-to-date and most importantly informed about the need to keep online privacy and security a top priority.

Best Help Desk Software For Customer Service In 2023

This comprehensive guide is designed to provide you with a step-by-step roadmap to understand, implement, and optimize help desk software for your organization’s customer support needs. Whether you’re a small business, a growing startup, or an established enterprise, this guide will empower you with the knowledge and insights to streamline your support operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive business success. Get ready to take your customer support to the next level with the help of this practical and insightful guide. Let’s get started on your journey to mastering help desk software!

This guide will cover:

What is Help Desk Software?

A help desk serves as a hub for addressing customer inquiries, resolving technical issues, and offering assistance related to a company’s products or services. It acts as a primary point of contact, ensuring efficient communication between users and support teams. Whether it’s troubleshooting a software problem, answering customer queries, or providing guidance, help desk software is there to streamline the support process and deliver timely solutions.

It plays a crucial role in facilitating effective customer support by offering a centralized platform for users to seek solutions to their inquiries and issues. By implementing a help desk system, businesses can enhance their customer service capabilities, address buyer concerns promptly, and ensure a seamless customer experience throughout the support journey.

What Does a Help Desk Software Do?

Customer Support: Help desk software assists customers by addressing their inquiries, troubleshooting issues, and providing solutions to problems related to a product or service.

Issue Tracking and Resolution: Help desks track and manage customer issues from initiation to resolution. They maintain a record of each customer interaction, monitor the progress of issue resolution, and ensure timely responses.

Ticket Management: Help desks use a ticketing system to categorize, prioritize, and assign customer issues to the appropriate support agents. This helps streamline the support process and ensures that each request receives proper attention.

Knowledge Base Management: Help desk services often maintain a knowledge base containing articles, FAQs, and self-help resources. This enables users to find answers to common questions and troubleshoot common issues independently.

Communication and Collaboration: The help desk as a service facilitate effective communication and collaboration between support agents, enabling them to share information, seek assistance from colleagues, and work together to resolve complex issues.

Proactive Communication: Help desks proactively communicate with customers to provide updates, status notifications, and resolution progress. They keep customers informed about their support requests, reducing uncertainty and enhancing transparency.

Efficient Ticket Management: Help Desk software enables organizations to effectively manage customer inquiries, issues, and service requests. It provides a centralized system to track, categorize, prioritize, and assign tickets, ensuring they are handled promptly and efficiently.

Enhanced Customer Support: Help Desk software improves the quality and responsiveness of customer support. It allows support agents to access relevant customer information, previous interactions, and ticket history, enabling them to provide personalized and informed assistance.

Streamlined Communication: Help Desk software facilitates smooth communication between customers and support agents. It offers multiple channels for communication, such as email, live chat, and phone support, ensuring customers can choose their preferred method and receive timely responses.

Knowledge Base and Self-Service: Help Desk software often includes a knowledge base where organizations can store articles, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides. This empowers customers to find solutions to common issues on their own, reducing the number of support tickets and improving customer satisfaction.

Reporting and Analytics: Help Desk software provides valuable insights through reporting and analytics. Organizations can track key performance metrics, identify trends, measure customer satisfaction, and make data-driven decisions to enhance support operations.

Collaboration and Workflow Management: Help Desk software facilitates collaboration among support agents, enabling them to share information, escalate tickets, and collaborate on resolving complex issues. Workflow management features help ensure tickets are assigned to the right team members and progress through the resolution process smoothly.

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Why is Help Desk software important?

Help desk software is an essential tool for businesses and organizations. It serves as a centralized platform for managing customer inquiries, support tickets, and service requests. With help desk software, businesses can efficiently handle customer issues and provide timely assistance.

By utilizing help desk software, businesses can ensure that customer inquiries are effectively addressed and resolved. The software allows for the creation of a systematic ticketing system, where each customer inquiry is logged, categorized, and assigned to the appropriate support agent or team. This streamlines the process of ticket management, ensuring that no customer request goes unnoticed or unresolved.

Overall, help desk software serves as a valuable tool for businesses and organizations by providing a centralized platform for managing customer inquiries. Its efficient ticket management, timely assistance, and reporting capabilities contribute to improved customer satisfaction and streamlined support operations.

Different types of Help Desk Software are available

Different types of Help Desks cater to various needs and support requirements within organizations. Here are some common types of Help Desks:

Cloud-Based Help Desk Software

Cloud-based Help Desk software refers to a support management system that is hosted and accessed over the Internet via cloud computing infrastructure. Instead of installing the software on local servers, companies can subscribe to a cloud-based Help Desk solution provided by a vendor.

On-Premise Help Desk Software

On-premise Help Desk software provides companies with full control over their support management system. By hosting the software locally, organizations have the flexibility to customize and tailor the solution to their specific needs. They can implement custom workflows, integrate them with other internal systems, and have direct control over data storage and security.

Open-Source Help Desk Software

Open-source Help Desk software offers organizations a range of benefits due to its flexible and customizable nature. Users can modify the source code to meet their specific requirements, enabling them to customize the software’s functionality, user interface, and integrations. This flexibility allows businesses to tailor the Help Desk solution to align with their unique workflows and support processes.

The key benefit of open-source Help Desk software is its cost-effectiveness. Since the software is freely available, organizations can avoid the upfront licensing costs associated with proprietary software. This makes it an attractive option for businesses with limited budgets or those seeking to minimize their software expenses.

Hybrid Help Desk Software

It allows businesses to address specific requirements that may be better suited for an on-premise environment, such as data sensitivity or compliance concerns, while also leveraging the scalability, accessibility, and collaboration benefits of the cloud. The hybrid approach empowers organizations to tailor their Help Desk solution to their unique needs, optimizing their support operations and ensuring a seamless user experience for both agents and customers.

Who manages help desk software?

A help desk software is typically managed by the organization itself, specifically by the team or department responsible for customer support or IT service management. The management of the help desk software involves various roles and responsibilities within the organization. Here are the key individuals involved:

Help Desk Manager: The help desk manager is responsible for overseeing the overall management and operations of the help desk software. They ensure that the software is properly configured, maintained, and aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives. The manager also supervises the team of support agents and ensures that the software is utilized effectively to meet customer support needs.

Support Agents: Support agents or technicians are the primary users of the help desk software. They utilize the software to handle customer inquiries, support tickets, and service requests. Support agents are responsible for logging and updating tickets, communicating with customers, and resolving issues within the software.

IT Department: In organizations with an internal IT department, IT personnel may also be involved in managing the help desk software. They collaborate with the help desk team to ensure the software is integrated with other IT systems, such as network infrastructure, CRM software, or knowledge bases.

System Administrator: The system administrator is responsible for the technical aspects of managing the help desk software. They handle tasks such as software installation, configuration, customization, security management, user access control, and system maintenance. The system administrator ensures that the software is running smoothly and troubleshoots any technical issues that may arise.

Must-have Help Desk Software Features

When choosing a Help Desk solution, there are several common features that you should consider. These features play a crucial role in streamlining support operations and enhancing customer satisfaction. Here are some key features to look for in a Help Desk:

Ticket Management: An effective Help Desk should provide robust ticket management capabilities, allowing you to efficiently track, categorize, prioritize, and assign support tickets. Look for features like ticket routing, status tracking, and SLA management to ensure efficient ticket handling.

Self-Service Portal: A self-service portal empowers customers to find answers to their questions or troubleshoot issues on their own. Features like a knowledge base, FAQs, and community forums enable customers to access relevant information and resources, reducing the need for agent involvement.

Automation and Workflow Automation: Look for Help Desk solutions that offer AI automation features to streamline repetitive tasks and workflows. Automated ticket routing, response templates, and rule-based actions can significantly improve efficiency and productivity.

Reporting and Analytics: A good Help Desk software provides reporting and analytics capabilities to gain insights into support performance, identify trends, and measure key metrics like response times and customer satisfaction. Customizable dashboards and real-time reporting are valuable features to monitor support operations effectively.

Communication Channels: Consider the communication channels supported by the Help Desk software. Email integration, live chat, social media, and phone support options are essential for meeting customer expectations and providing omnichannel support.

SLA Management: Service Level Agreement (SLA) management features enable you to set response and resolution time targets for different ticket priorities. SLA monitoring and escalation capabilities ensure adherence to service-level commitments and help prioritize critical issues.

Integration Capabilities: Look for Help Desk solutions that offer integrations with other business systems such as CRM, project management, or customer database tools. The integration enables seamless data exchange, improves collaboration, and enhances the overall support experience.

Mobile Support: Mobile accessibility is becoming increasingly important in today’s connected world. Ensure that the Help Desk solution provides mobile-friendly interfaces or dedicated mobile apps to enable support agents and customers to access the system on the go.

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Security and data privacy considerations in Help Desk Software

Security and data privacy considerations are of utmost importance when choosing Help Desk software for your business. Here are some key factors to consider:

Data encryption: Ensure that the Help Desk software uses encryption protocols to protect sensitive customer information during transmission and storage. Look for features like SSL/TLS encryption for secure communication between users and the Help Desk system.

Access control and user permissions: Implement strong access controls within the Help Desk software to restrict user access based on roles and responsibilities. This prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data and ensures that only authorized personnel can view and handle customer information.

Data backup and recovery: Choose a Help Desk solution that offers regular data backups and has mechanisms in place for disaster recovery. This ensures that customer data is protected and can be recovered in case of any unforeseen events or data loss.

Compliance with data protection regulations: Ensure that the Help Desk software complies with relevant data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The software should provide features to help you manage customer data following these regulations, such as the ability to handle data deletion requests and obtain customer consent for data processing.

Audit trails and activity logs: Look for Help Desk software that maintains comprehensive audit trails and activity logs. These logs enable you to monitor user activities within the system, track changes, and investigate any suspicious or unauthorized actions.

Data residency and hosting: Consider where the Help Desk software is hosted and whether it aligns with your data residency requirements. Some businesses may have specific regulations or preferences regarding the physical location of their data, so choose a solution that meets your specific needs.

Vendor security measures: Assess the security measures implemented by the Help Desk software vendor. Inquire about their data protection policies, security audits, and certifications. A reputable vendor will have robust security practices in place to safeguard customer data.

Regular software updates and patches: Ensure that the Help Desk software provider releases regular software updates and security patches to address any vulnerabilities and stay up to date with emerging threats.

What are the best practices for implementing and using Help Desk software?

Implementing and using Help Desk software effectively involves following best practices that optimize support operations and enhance customer satisfaction. Here are some key practices to consider:

Define Clear Processes: Establish clear and well-defined processes for ticket management, issue escalation, and communication within the Help Desk team. Document procedures for handling different types of tickets, assigning responsibilities, and resolving customer issues.

Provide Adequate Training: Train your Help Desk team members on how to effectively use the software and follow established processes. Ensure they are well-versed in features, ticket management, reporting, and customer communication. Ongoing training and updates on new features will help maximize the team’s productivity.

Implement Knowledge Base: Build a comprehensive knowledge base within the Help Desk software, containing articles, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides. Regularly update and maintain the knowledge base to provide self-service options for customers and empower agents with readily available information.

Foster Collaboration: Encourage collaboration among Help Desk team members by using internal chat or collaboration tools within the software. This facilitates knowledge sharing, quick issue resolution, and effective team communication.

Monitor and Measure Performance: Continuously monitor key performance metrics, such as ticket response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores. Leverage reporting and analytics features to identify areas for improvement and track progress toward goals.

Regularly Review and Update: Periodically review and evaluate your Help Desk processes, workflows, and software configuration. Identify areas where adjustments or improvements can be made to enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and better meet customer needs.

Seek Customer Feedback: Actively seek feedback from your customers regarding their experience with the Help Desk software and support services. Use surveys, feedback forms, or customer satisfaction ratings to gather insights and identify areas where enhancements can be made.

What are the benefits of using Help Desk software for your business?

Help Desk Software offers numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes and industries. By implementing Help Desk software, organizations can streamline their customer support processes, enhance communication, improve efficiency, and ultimately provide better service to their customers. Here is a comprehensive overview of the benefits of using Help Desk software for your business:

Centralized knowledge management: Help Desk software enables you to create and maintain a centralized knowledge base. This repository of information includes FAQs, troubleshooting guides, product documentation, and other resources that can be easily accessed by both support agents and customers. By providing a self-service option, customers can find answers to common questions independently, reducing the workload on your support team and empowering customers to resolve their own issues.

Improved team collaboration: Help Desk software fosters collaboration among your support agents. It allows for internal communication, sharing of knowledge and best practices, and collaboration on complex customer issues. Agents can leave internal notes, assign tickets to specific team members, and work together to resolve customer inquiries efficiently. This collaborative environment promotes knowledge sharing, problem-solving, and continuous improvement within your support team.

Proactive customer engagement: Help Desk software enables proactive customer engagement through features like automated notifications, ticket updates, and proactive support. By sending regular updates on ticket status or providing proactive assistance, you can keep customers informed, demonstrate your commitment to their needs, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. Proactive engagement helps address issues before they become major problems, leading to a more positive customer experience.

Data-driven decision-making: Help Desk software captures and analyzes valuable customer support data. It provides metrics and insights into various aspects of your support operations, such as response times, ticket resolution rates, customer feedback, and agent performance. By leveraging these data-driven insights, you can identify trends, areas for improvement, and customer pain points. This empowers you to make informed decisions, optimize your support processes, and continuously enhance your customer service quality.

Reporting and analytics: Help Desk software offers robust reporting and analytics capabilities, providing insights into customer support performance. Businesses can track metrics such as ticket volume, response times, resolution rates, customer satisfaction scores, and agent performance. These insights help businesses identify bottlenecks, measure customer support effectiveness, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their support operations.

Efficient ticket management: Help Desk software provides a centralized system for managing customer inquiries, support requests, and issues. It allows support agents to categorize, prioritize, and assign tickets, ensuring that customer inquiries are handled promptly and effectively. With automated ticket routing and escalation features, Help Desk software ensures that each ticket is directed to the appropriate agent or team, minimizing response times and improving customer satisfaction.

Future trends and innovations in Help Desk Software

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML technologies are increasingly being integrated into Help Desk software. These technologies can automate routine tasks, provide intelligent suggestions for issue resolution, and enable chatbots or virtual assistants to handle basic customer inquiries. AI-powered analytics can also help identify trends and patterns to improve support processes.

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming more sophisticated and are being widely used in Help Desk software. They provide instant responses to common queries, offer self-service options, and assist in ticket triage. Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities allow chatbots to understand and respond to customer queries conversationally.

Omni-channel Support: Customers expect seamless support across various channels, including email, phone, live chat, social media, and messaging platforms. Help Desk software is evolving to provide omnichannel support, ensuring that customer interactions are consistent and integrated across all touchpoints.

Mobile-first Approach: With the rise of mobile devices, Help Desk software is embracing a mobile-first approach. Mobile apps and responsive web interfaces allow support agents to manage tickets and communicate with customers on the go, improving response times and productivity.

Self-Service and Knowledge Management: Help Desk software is placing a greater emphasis on self-service options. Robust knowledge management systems are being incorporated into the software, enabling customers to access FAQs, knowledge bases, and community forums for quick resolutions. This reduces ticket volume and empowers customers to find answers independently.

Automation and Workflow Optimization: Automation features are being expanded to streamline help desk processes further. Automated ticket routing, escalation, and follow-up workflows ensure efficient handling of customer inquiries. This frees up support agents’ time to focus on complex issues and provides a more efficient support experience.

Integration with Collaboration Tools: Help Desk software is integrated with collaboration and communication tools such as project management platforms, CRM systems, and team messaging applications. This facilitates cross-department collaboration, information sharing, and improved communication between support teams and other stakeholders.

Enhanced Data Security and Privacy: As data privacy regulations become more stringent, Help Desk software is focusing on strengthening data security and ensuring compliance. Encryption, secure data storage, access controls, and audit trails are being implemented to protect customer information and maintain data privacy.

How to Choose the Right Help Desk Software for Your Business

Choosing the right help desk software for your business is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your customer support operations and overall business success. To ensure you make an informed choice, consider the following factors when selecting a help desk software:

Define your requirements: Start by identifying your specific needs and objectives. Consider factors such as the size of your support team, the volume of customer inquiries, the complexity of your products/services, and the desired features and integrations.

Scalability: Choose a help desk software that can scale as your business grows. Ensure that the software can handle increasing ticket volumes, accommodate additional users, and support the expansion of your support operations.

Ticket management capabilities: Look for robust ticket management features such as ticket assignment, categorization, prioritization, and tracking. The software should provide automation options to streamline ticket routing and ensure efficient handling.

Multichannel support: Determine which communication channels are crucial for your customers and ensure that the help desk software supports them. Common channels include email, live chat, phone support, and social media integration.

Self-service options: Consider whether the software offers self-service features like a knowledge base, FAQs, and community forums. These empower customers to find solutions on their own, reducing the number of support tickets and improving customer satisfaction.

Reporting and analytics: Ensure that the software provides comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities. This allows you to track key performance metrics, gain insights into customer behavior, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to enhance your support operations.

Integration capabilities: Determine if the help desk software can integrate with other tools and systems that your business relies on, such as CRM, project management, or customer database software. The integration enables seamless data exchange and improves overall workflow efficiency.

User-friendly interface: Choose a user-friendly help desk software with an intuitive interface. This will facilitate easy adoption by your support team, reducing training time and ensuring smooth operations.

Customer support and vendor reputation: Research the customer support provided by the software vendor. Evaluate their responsiveness, availability, and the quality of their support services. Additionally, consider the reputation and track record of the software vendor within the industry.

Pricing and budget: Consider the pricing structure of the help desk software and ensure it aligns with your budget. Take into account factors such as the number of users, the level of support needed, and any additional costs for customization or integration.

Ready to Choose the Best Help Desk Software?

If you’re ready to choose the best help desk software for your business, consider exploring the features and benefits of Appy Pie Help Desk. With Appy Pie Help Desk, you can streamline your customer support processes and provide efficient assistance to your customers.

Appy Pie Help Desk offers a wide range of features to enhance your support operations. You can easily manage and organize customer tickets, assign them to the right agents, and track their progress. The software allows for seamless communication with customers through multiple channels, including email, live chat, and phone.

With its knowledge base functionality, Appy Pie Help Desk enables you to create a centralized repository of FAQs, guides, and articles to empower customers with self-service options. This helps reduce the number of support requests and improves customer satisfaction.

Appy Pie Help Desk also provides in-depth analytics and reporting, allowing you to gain insights into your support performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. The software is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your specific branding requirements.

So, if you’re looking for a comprehensive help desk software solution, Appy Pie Help Desk is worth considering. It can help you deliver exceptional customer support, boost customer satisfaction, and streamline your support operations.

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Help desk software glossary of terms

Agent Collaboration: The ability of help desk software to facilitate collaboration and communication among support agents to resolve customer issues more efficiently.

Asset Management: The feature of help desk software that allows businesses to track and manage their IT assets, such as hardware, software licenses, and configurations.

Average Response Time: The average duration it takes for a help desk or support team to respond to a customer’s inquiry or support ticket.

Agent Roles: Refers to the different roles or positions within a help desk or support team. Each agent role is assigned specific responsibilities and tasks based on their expertise and skill set.

Agent Performance Metrics: The metrics used to evaluate the performance and productivity of support agents, such as average response time, ticket resolution rate, and customer satisfaction ratings.

Agent Status in Help Desk: Refers to the availability or current state of a support agent in a help desk system. The agent status indicates whether an agent is available to handle customer inquiries or if they are busy, away, or offline.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys: The feature of help desk software that allows businesses to collect feedback from customers through surveys to gauge their satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement.

Change Management: The process of managing and implementing changes to IT systems, applications, or processes while minimizing disruption and ensuring smooth transitions.

Customer Portal: A secure online platform that allows customers to access their support tickets, communicate with agents, and track the progress of their inquiries.

Call Deflection: The strategy of redirecting or deflecting customer inquiries from phone support to self-service channels, such as a knowledge base or community forum.

Bug: An error or flaw in software or system functionality that causes it to behave in an unintended or incorrect way.

Backup and Recovery: The process of creating copies of data and system configurations to ensure that they can be restored in case of data loss or system failure.

Broadcast Message: A message sent to multiple users or all users of the help desk system to convey important information, announcements, or updates.

Backlog: The accumulation of unresolved or pending support tickets or tasks that need to be addressed by the help desk team.

Browser Compatibility: The ability of a software application or website to function correctly and display properly across the dashboard.

Call Routing: The process of directing incoming customer calls to the appropriate support agent or department based on predefined rules or criteria.

Customer Portal: An online platform or interface where customers can access self-service resources, submit support tickets, and interact with the help desk team.

Canned Responses: Predefined or templated responses used by support agents to quickly respond to common customer inquiries or issues, ensuring consistent and efficient communication.

Category: A classification or grouping used in the help desk system to organize support tickets based on the nature, type, or topic of the customer’s inquiry or issue.

Dashboard: A graphical user interface that provides an overview of key metrics, statistics, and performance indicators of the help desk system, allowing for quick and easy monitoring and analysis.

Deflection Rate: The percentage of support tickets or inquiries that are redirected or “deflected” from live agent support to self-service resources such as knowledge bases or FAQs.

Dispatching: The process of assigning or allocating support tickets or tasks to specific support agents or teams based on their availability, skills, or workload.

Duplication: The occurrence of multiple support tickets or inquiries related to the same issue or problem from different customers.

Escalation: The process of transferring a support ticket to a higher level of expertise or authority when it cannot be resolved at the initial level.

Escalation Path: A predefined sequence of steps that determines how support tickets are escalated to higher levels of support or management.

First Call Resolution (FCR): The ability of a support agent to resolve a customer’s issue or inquiry during their initial contact or interaction without the need for further escalation or follow-up.

Follow-up: The act of contacting a customer or following up on a support ticket or inquiry to provide additional information, updates, or resolution progress.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): A unit of measurement used to represent the workload or staffing capacity of a support team.

Grouping: The process of categorizing or grouping similar support tickets or inquiries together based on common characteristics or attributes.

Help Desk: A centralized support function or team responsible for handling customer inquiries, resolving technical issues, and providing assistance related to a company’s products or services.

Hotline: A dedicated phone line or communication channel for immediate assistance or urgent support requests.

Incident: An unplanned interruption or disruption of service that causes a user to seek help or support.

ITSM (IT Service Management): A framework or set of practices for managing and delivering IT services to meet the needs of an organization.

Integration: The process of connecting or combining different software systems, applications, or tools to streamline processes and improve data flow.

Incident Priority: The level of urgency or impact assigned to an incident based on its severity and business impact.

Knowledge Base: A centralized repository of information, articles, guides, and troubleshooting solutions that provide users with self-help resources.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Metrics used to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the help desk.

Metrics: Quantitative measurements are used to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the help desk.

Major Incident: A significant and critical incident that has a severe impact on business operations or a large number of users.

Multi-tier Support: A support structure that involves multiple levels or tiers of support teams. Each tier is responsible for handling specific types of issues or incidents.

Macros: Predefined sets of actions or responses that can be applied to tickets or used in communication with users.

Migration: The process of transferring data, settings, configurations, or systems from one help desk software or platform to another.

NPS (Net Promoter Score): NPS is a customer satisfaction metric that measures the likelihood of customers recommending a company, product, or service to others.

New Ticket: In a help desk context, a new ticket refers to a customer or user request submitted for assistance or support.

Open Ticket: An open ticket refers to a support request or issue that is currently unresolved and actively being worked on by the help desk team.

SLA (Service Level Agreement): An agreement between a company and its customers that defines the level of service and support they can expect.

SLA Management: The practice of monitoring and ensuring that service level agreements are met and customer expectations are fulfilled.

SLA Breach: A situation where the help desk fails to meet the agreed-upon service level objectives or targets specified in the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

SLA Compliance: The measurement and monitoring of how well the help desk is meeting the defined service level agreements and adhering to the agreed-upon response and resolution times.

Ticket Prioritization: The process of assigning priority levels to support tickets based on their urgency and impact on the customer’s business.

Ticketing System: A system used by help desk software to manage and track customer inquiries or support tickets.

User Portal: The User Portal, also known as a self-service portal or customer portal, is a web-based interface that allows users or customers to access various help desk resources and services.

Workflow automation: Workflow automation refers to the use of technology to streamline and automate the sequence of tasks or activities involved in a help desk process.

The bottom line

This complete Help Desk guide has provided valuable insights into the world of help desk software. By understanding the definition, features, and benefits of help desk software, businesses can enhance their customer support processes and improve overall customer satisfaction. Appy Pie Help Desk Software emerges as a reliable and user-friendly solution that offers a wide range of features, seamless customization options, and excellent customer support. With Appy Pie Help Desk, businesses can streamline ticket management, optimize communication with customers, and provide efficient self-service options.

4 Early Access Games In 2023 For Android Worth Checking Out

Just like game platforms like Steam on the PC, the Google Play store makes it possible for developers to release “Early Access” games to the public. This lets mobile gamers play the game before it’s officially done.

It also helps the developer in a number of ways. First of all, it means the public can provide feedback on bugs and features they’d like added. Developers can also sell early access games or sell in-app content. Which means if you like a game, you can help support it until it’s final polished version is done.

Table of Contents

Of course, always keep in mind that these early access games are not finished. They might be buggy or lose your progress. If you’re OK with that, let’s look at four of the best titles currently in Early Access.

How To Get Early Access Games

In the past, Google Play featured dedicated sections of the store to early access games. At the time of writing, we couldn’t find either of those sections in the app or on the web.

However, finding early access games still seems to work by simply searching for “early access” in the Play Store. These games have “(Early Access)” in their title and the description will also reiterate that this is essentially beta software.

OctoMaze is the only game on this list that needs money upfront, but it’s already such a solid little puzzler that we didn’t mind spending a few bucks on it. The idea is simple enough, but in actual play it can be devious to solve each level.

You control the tentacle of a purple octopus with a rather intimidating jawline. You need to grab a set of objects while avoiding traps and bad guys. If you get all the bits and bobs you need, the level ends and you move on to the next.

Some of the best mobile games have been puzzlers with simple base mechanics that then iterate on them in clever ways. Angry Birds is that sort of game. The premise is simple: just knock down pigs and structures using birds fired from a slingshot. Yet there’s infinite variation in its levels.

OctoMaze starts out with some simple starter puzzles, but the challenge is very quickly there and some of the puzzles are real head-scratchers. The game’s aesthetic harkens back to the good old days of PC puzzle games. It ran perfectly on our Galaxy Note 10+, but did not fill the entire screen. On phones with a 16:9 aspect ratio, this should not be an issue. This one has potential to be one of the great mobile puzzlers.

Another Life – Life Simulator has some fascinating ideas, although it does need quite a bit of polish still. Graphically the game is very basic, with the main action happening via text. Essentially you take control of a virtual person’s life from birth until death.

You need to make key decisions along the way, which will influence what sort of person your character will become and whether they’ll have a good life or not. In many ways Another Life is reminiscent of fantasy life sims such as Princess Maker or Long Live the Queen, just with a more realistic setting.

There are some random problems here and there throughout the game. For example our first character was invited to a school debate competition at age 5. What a precocious little tyke! 

While Another Life is an incredibly interesting idea and worth trying out, this is definitely not a game for younger players. Since this is a life sim, it also deals with the darker and more adult themes of life. It’s not graphic, but as you can imagine some parts of life can be disturbing. 

Battle Royale by Flying Beagle (Free To Play)

Battle royale games have taken the world by storm, with games like Fortnite and PUBG tearing up the charts. Everyone is trying to create a fresh spin on these games, but Flying Beagle might be onto something with their top-down, stylized game.

Unfortunately only those with invite codes can play the Early Access version of the game. So ask around among your friends and social media contacts whether anyone has invite codes to hand out. Players who give out invite codes get in-game currency, so it shouldn’t be too hard to convince them to part with one.

The game makes heavy use of vehicles and the early access version has four classes of vehicle, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. There are 30 players in each battle royale and 20 different character skins at the time of writing.

Early access players do note existing issues with network performance and controls, but we think this has the potential to be the next big battle royale style game. If you can get a code, you could get in early. Sadly, we could only look in through the window as other people played. Our code is probably still stuck in the mail!

Some of you reading this may have fond memories of a classic computer game called The Incredible Machine. In that game you were given goals and then had to build a Rube-Goldberg type machine to achieve that goal.

Cool Machines isn’t exactly the same sort of game as Incredible Machine was, but it does channel the same sort of energy. In this game you need to manipulate physical objects to reach your objective. In the demo we played that goal was to get a ball into the right receptacle. 

Cool Machines is actually a pretty tricky game. The physics engine is always running, except for the object you are currently manipulating. This means that in certain puzzles, you need to move things around while the scene plays out! For example, you may need to hastily move a plank you used in the first half of the puzzle into a new position for the other half.

The Early Bird, And All That

Mobile gaming has come a long way, but these early access games show that the industry isn’t too big to involve regular players. Embrace the unpolished gems and get yourself some early access games!

Top 10 Edge Ai Trends To Watch Out For In 2023

The top Edge AI trends in 2023  help increase efficiency, reduce cost, grow customer satisfaction

Many organisations see Artificial Intelligence as the solution to a lot of uncertainty like economic uncertainty, labour shortages, supply chain challenges, etc, bringing improved efficiency, differentiation, automation, and cost savings to airports, stores, and hospitals, among other places, which is why Edge AI trends have been accelerated.

Edge AI is AI that operates locally rather than in the cloud. Because of lightweight models and lower-cost high-performance GPUs, its implementation will become more accessible and less expensive in 2023. Edge AI enables the powering of scalable, mission-critical, and private AI applications. Because Edge AI is a new technology, many Edge AI applications are expected in the near future such as AI healthcare, Smart AI vision, Smart energy, and intelligent transportation system. According to Markets and Markets Research, the global Edge AI software market will grow from $590 million in 2023 to $1.83 trillion by 2026. Let’s take a look at the top 10 Edge AI Trends in 2023:

Focus on AI use cases with High ROI

Machine learning with Automation

Edge AI in Safety

AI functional safety is related to the trend of human-machine collaboration. More companies are looking to use AI to add proactive and flexible safety measures to industrial environments, as seen in autonomous vehicles. The functional safety has been used in industrial settings in a binary fashion, with the primary role of the safety function being to immediately stop the equipment from causing any harm or damage when an event is triggered.

AI in Cybersecurity

The increasing use of AI in security operations is the next logical step in the evolution of automated defences against cyber threats. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity extends beyond the capabilities of its forerunner, automation, and includes tasks like the routine storage and safeguarding of sensitive data.

Edge AI picks up momentum

AI was once considered experimental, but according to IBM research, 35% of companies today report using AI in their business, with an additional 42% exploring AI. Edge AI use cases can help improve efficiency and lower costs, making them an appealing place to direct new investments. Supermarkets and big box stores, for example, are investing heavily in AI at self-checkout machines to reduce loss due to theft and human error.

Extensive use of AI in Process Discovery

Increased growth of AI on 5G

Edge AI along with new data processing and automation capabilities, supports a diverse ecosystem of evolving networks in ways that cloud-based solutions cannot. Furthermore, self-driving cars, virtual reality, and any other use case that requires real-time alerts require Edge AI and 5G for the fast processing it promises. As a result, 5G is promoting the Edge.

IoT growth driving Edge AI

Due to the limited data storage and computational power of these resource-constrained devices, performing deep learning in low-power IoT devices has always been difficult. Edge AI models are now cost-effective enough to operate at the edge, allowing devices to complete their own data processing and generate insights without relying on cloud-based AI.

Connecting Digital Twins to the Edge

The term “digital twin” refers to physically accurate virtual representations of real-world assets, processes, or environments that are perfectly synchronized. The explosion of IoT sensors and data that is driving both of these trends is what connects digital twins to the physical world and edge computing.

Creating Art with NFTs

Would You Pay For A Premium Path Service?

As much as Path was making waves following its November 2010 debut, little did we hear in terms of plans for the future, excluding the privacy fiasco related to uploading users’ contacts without explicit permission.

That’s a shame because I still hang out on Path, if only occasionally. Apart from learning about my friends’ sleeping habits, Path gives me a much more private environment to catch up on what the people in my closest circle have been up to.

Facebook, despite its rich feature set, just doesn’t allow for such a controllable setting. Confirming earlier whispers, Path’s co-founder and CEO has gone on the record to hint that his company isn’t ruling out the possibility of a paid-for premium service. He also talked about the search feature that has resulted in plenty more engagements and more…

Path CEO Dave Morin sat down for a one-on-one with Mike Butcher of TechCrunch to talk business and future plans for the service. The app’s currently available in eighteen languages and will soon roll out to other markets starting with Japan, Indonesia, Korea and China (that’s where the growth is).

Just don’t call Path a social network. Dave prefers the term “personal network” and rightfully, too – Path limits you to your real 150 friends and family.

We fashioned Path as a journal, a path through life. A product like that is about accessing memories. A problem with your iPhone is searching through camera albums – on Path you can search for ‘last year in Japan’ and bam, your content comes up. 

The search features also understands your friends, places, seasons, birthdays, holidays and more. But how exactly does the company plan to make some revenue?

We started out by selling some photo filters but that’s been a small business. Later in the year we’re going be rolling out virtual goods and a premium service in the first half of this year.

You should have known this was in the making, he continues:

We’ve always said we are a premium services focused business. We think of Path as a personal network, in the same way Yammer is a business network.

Us here at iDB use Yammer for internal communication. Frankly, Path could be onto something here. Should they evolve the feature set and introduce features aimed at businesses, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Path giving the likes of Yammer a good run for their money.

A business model is important, but we want to be in a trust relationship with users. Evernote, Spotify and Dropbox have had great success with fermium models… Yammer and Basecamp have always been subscription models – so it’s not that different.

He says that the friction for converting users to a freemium service is much lower than it has been in the past. And with freemium being all the rage (just check out the top grossing iPhone and iPad apps – nearly all freemium entries now), he thinks some kind of a paid-for premium Path service is “worth a shot”.

The question is, will users be happy to pay for it?

Path isn’t the first private and paid-for social network, but I sincerely doubt there’s any real money to be made from charging consumers for the ability to share stuff with their friends. Companies, perhaps. But regular users, no. There are just too many free alternatives, some with privacy controls that let power users limit their sharing to an exclusive inner circle of the closest friends, just like Path does.

Me?

I just don’t have the time and willingness to maintain another social presence so I don’t think I’m their premium demography. In between blogging, Twitter, Facebook (where it’s “like being at a party all the time”, as Dave puts it), running errands and what not, I have little precious time left that.

And as I grow older, I find myself increasingly reluctant to waste my time on Earth contributing to the online echo chamber. You could say I’ve fallen behind the curve, but it’s just the way it is.

Time, my friends, is the only resource that’s completely irreplaceable and out of our control, keep that in mind.

Which brings me to my final question: would you consider paying for a premium Path experience?

And can any social network expect to charge users now that the Facebooks, Googles and Twitters of this world have spoiled us with their ad-driven, free-everything approach?

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