2017 was a busy year for Sunrise’s software and product development teams.
Apart from ‘business as usual’ – updates for technology platforms, security, performance and error corrections – Sunrise’s teams released 2 new software versions and also 2 new functional enhancements that have been much requested.
Sunrise Sostenuto version 5.2, key features include:
- Skype for Business Integration (Via Enabling Web Chat)
- Security enhancements
- Enhanced Expression Builder in JRE Interface
Sunrise Sostenuto version 5.3, key features include:
- Support for SAML Based Authentication
- Mobile device detection and automatic routing to Sunrise Mobile
- Streamlined invitation and ‘forgot password’ processes.
Full Release notes for both of the above are available via the Self-Service Portal, or alternatively log in to the Customer only area of the Sunrise website.
Sunrise ‘Shopping cart’ enhancement to Self-Service Portal:
Many customers have spoken to us about the drive to improve how they provision support and service to their customers and ‘users’. Often this means improving and broadening the scope of services available online. Self-Service portals have come a long way – Sunrise first launched a simple but effective web portal product called ‘Internet Desk’ for Incident/Ticket logging and tracking over 15 years ago!
Nowadays, a Self-Service portal is likely to offer out authorised and available Services and Products to employees from departments like IT, HR and Facilities which can then be requested and taken through an ‘approval’ workflow as/if required. For customers who have created a ’Service Catalogue’, Sunrise has created an online ‘shopping experience’ whereby images and descriptions of Services and Products are presented, which can be selected by the employee and added to the ‘shopping cart’ and submitted onwards.
Sunrise ‘Resource Planner’:
Sunrise has many clients whose actual business is ‘Service Provision’ to their external customers, for example IT Service Providers, Managed Service Providers. However many departmental teams that provide Service to their ‘internal customers’ i.e. colleagues and employees, have a similar requirement in as much as both groups need to manage their own resources and people in terms of availability, schedule and skillsets.
To assist with this challenge Sunrise has created a ‘Resource Planner’ Calendar view, to assist in the scheduling and management of a team’s resources and work tasks, featuring drag and drop and multi-view capability.
Sunrise Cloud & SaaS:
The deployment choice for many new and existing customers continues to be to opt for Cloud & Software as a Service (SaaS) agreements for technology such as Sunrise. Sunrise’s partners for this aspect of our client offering is IBM Cloud.
Sunrise has found IBM to be an excellent business partner in all aspects and the technology platform that Sunrise’s SaaS clients are provisioned on is secure, scalable, high performing and resilient – with an industry leading layer of Governance and Compliance provided.
For 2018, the Sunrise/IBM partnership will deliver further levels of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery capability meaning that there is unlikely to be a more secure, more available location for your Service Management and Service Desk technology and crucially in the year of GDPR – your data. All Sunrise customers who are currently ‘on-premise’ have the option to convert to SaaS with Sunrise – please contact your Sunrise account manager to discuss what is involved technically and commercially. It’s a lot easier than you might think.
Our customers from the public sector may be interested to hear that IBM Cloud can now offer clients hosting services within Ark Data Centres. Ark Data Centres is the majority partner in the UK government’s joint venture (Crown Hosting Data Centres) to offer high quality, approved hosting services to the public sector entities.
2018 Software development:
Customers that know Sunrise’s software will understand that it is highly configurable and adaptable and can offer great flexibility in terms of how our clients want and need to work. Some of our customers are incredibly proficient with the software and have extended their usage (and therefore the value and ROI) significantly. Delegates to the November 2017 Sunrise User Group meeting would have seen some stunning examples of this presented by Softcat and Informatics Merseyside NHS.
Power in software can come with provisos and caveats though! Our goal is to make available the power to as many of our clients as possible by making the software easier to work with – particularly by improving and simplifying the way that new processes and workflows can be created, managed and made visibly evident.
This is a significant undertaking in development terms and we need to get it right, so we are not making any rash promises about how long, when etc. Suffice to say that for most of our customers, this will be of immense benefit.