Phones

BlackBerry 'Self-Service Module' Helps Users Help Themselves

BlackBerry-monitoring software-maker BoxTone today released the BoxTone User Self-Service Module for BlackBerry. The new product is meant for corporate customers who want to cut BlackBerry management and support costs without decreasing BlackBerry deployment numbers or quality of service.

The idea is to provide easy-to-access, step-by-step issue resolution instructions to users, so they can solve their own problems without calling on IT. Help desk staffers could potentially see a reduction of up to 50 percent in BlackBerry-related calls when using the new User Self-Service Module, BoxTone says.

The new BoxTone User Self-Service Module complements the company's existing on-device myBoxTone Expert application, by providing a desktop-browser-based option that users can log into to solve problems that couldn't be resolved using the on-device myBoxTone Expert app.

myBoxTone Expert, released last fall, was BoxTone's first effort at incorporating users into the BlackBerry troubleshooting process, and it offers up proactive device issues alerts or warnings, "smart" diagnostic information and step-by-step issue resolution instructions via BlackBerry.

But myBoxTone Expert is limited in that it can't be used to solve many common BES-related issues.

"myBoxTone Expert covers about 60 percent of the things users might need to do to resolve common problems," says Brian C. Reed, BoxTone's chief marketing officer (CMO).

For example, myBoxTone Experts users who require a new BlackBerry enterprise activation password must still reach out to IT. And while the on-device myBoxTone Expert app can be used to detect certain mail server communication errors, it cannot detect and identity all possible mail server errors, Reed says.

The new desktop-based BoxTone User Self-Service Module for BlackBerry fills in some of the gaps that myBoxTone Expert missed. Users can now reset BlackBerry activation passwords on their own using the new module. And it's a Web-based service, so it's available 24/7.

Combined with myBoxTone Expert, the new self-service modules help users address and resolve about 90 percent of common BlackBerry problems, according to Reed. (Reed also hinted that the next version of myBoxTone Expert, which is expected to ship before the end of 2009 and has been unofficially dubbed "myBoxTone Connected," will better integrate with the overall BoxTone solution. And it will feature a "phone-home" function to help locate misplaced or stolen devices.)

Deploying and using BoxTone User Self-Service Module for BlackBerry is simple, as well, Reed says. Once IT launches the app and it integrates with an organization's BES, users simply login to the BoxTone Web portal using their Windows authentication/Active Directory credentials.

The User Self-Service Module itself is completely customizable, so organizations can not only pick which information it makes available to what users, they can insert links via HTML code to their own knowledge base articles, add customized issue resolution instructions and even skin the pages with company colors or logos.

Five companies, mostly financial services firms, are already using the BoxTone Self-Service Module for BlackBerry, though they requested not to be identified, according to Reed.

The company is offering a webinar to introduce interested parties to the new self-service capabilities on September 17 at 11 am EST. And additional information on BoxTone's User Self-Service Module for BlackBerry is located on the company's website.

In addition to the two self-service products, BoxTone also offers additional BlackBerry monitoring modules including Asset, Expense & Compliance Management; Incident Management; Problem Management; and Service Desk Management modules.

BoxTone also recently released a "Bundle" version of its BlackBerry monitoring and support software for Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter

Comments