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Microsoft Active Directory, ServiceNow Integration: ManageEngine’s Help Desk Time Saver?

Everybody is scrambling to address cybersecurity. The efforts range from sweeping strategic plans to tactical efforts involving patch management and password management.

On the password management front, companies are forcing employees to change their passwords more frequently -- in theory, to stay one step ahead of the hackers. The problem: Employees have a difficult time remembering all those password updates.

One of the most common help desk requests, when I was on the service desk, was a password reset. Another common task is the addition or deletion of new employees or terminated employees, respectively, from IT systems.

To perform those common tasks, service desk employees typically log into the client's server, open Microsoft Active Directory and manually reset the password, create the new user, or remove access to the network for a terminated employee. A simple password reset could take 5 to 10 minutes just getting to the right location, while the actual task itself only takes seconds.

Service Desk Tasks: Simplified?

With those challenges and others in mind, ManageEngine has launched new features for its Active Directory management tool -- known as ADManager Plus. The result: service desk technicians using ServiceNow, ServiceDesk Plus and various HR applications can execute Active Directory management tasks, from user onboarding to deprovisioning.

The ability to complete Active Directory tasks from within the service desk could save technicians several minutes per ticket. This can certainly add up over time, given the number of requests this ability would encompass. The company claims that technicians can now perform user account actions, such as creating, deleting, enabling, disabling and unlocking accounts, right from their help desk console. They have also simplified user onboarding so admins can schedule automatic AD user creation by fetching user data from HR databases.

Assuming everything works as advertised, automating and simplifying these Active Directory tasks can help service desks become so much more efficient, and give them the ability to handle more tickets per day than before. I would love to see more cloud service tools become integrated right into the service desk like Google Apps for Business and Office 365. These are the kinds of tickets that do not require a highly skilled technician, and can be performed quickly by lower level techs, freeing up brain power for the really difficult issues.