Service Desk History
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CA Unicenter Service Desk (also known as CA Service Desk, Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk, Advanced Help Desk, ServiceIT, USPSD, USD and AHD) is an enterprise service desk software solution provided by CA, Inc.
Product HistoryIn 1991, a company named Networx, Inc. was formed. During 1992, Networx developed a service desk product named Paradigm. In mid-1992 Networx began shipping an AIX-based UNIX version to IBM, their first client. In December 1992, Networx began shipping a Sun Solaris compatible version. In the following years, Networx developed HP-UX and Microsoft Windows NT/2000 versions. In early 1993, Paradigm won LAN Magazine's Product of the Year Award in the service desk category.In September 1993, Networx, and all of its assets, was sold to Legent Corporation. CA (then known as Computer Associates) acquired Legent Corporation in 1995. CA began selling Paradigm in mid-1995. In early 1996, a companion product to Paradigm was created and named Unicenter TNG Advanced Help Desk Option (AHD). The functionality of Paradigm and AHD was fundamentally the same; however, Paradigm was sold as a stand-alone service desk, whereas AHD was sold as an option to Unicenter TNG.In early 1999, Paradigm was renamed as ServiceIT Enterprise Edition. Both AHD and ServiceIT Enterprise Edition existed until October 2001, at which time they were combined into one product and sold as Unicenter Service Desk version 5.5. With this release, one could install Unicenter Service Desk as either stand-alone or integrated with Unicenter TNG. During this period CA acquired Professional Help Desk (PHD) and Platinum’s Apriori product. Both acquisitions brought significant knowledge management functionality to CA.In April 2002, CA introduced a service desk suite called Unicenter ServicePlus. Unicenter ServicePlus consisted of five modules as follows:
- Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk
- Unicenter ServicePlus Customer Service
- Unicenter ServicePlus Knowledge Tools
- Unicenter ServicePlus Collaboration Tools
- Unicenter ServicePlus Predictive Tools
- Unicenter ServicePlus Customer Service - was Intelligent CRM Suite Customer Service
- Unicenter ServicePlus Knowledge Tools - was Intelligent CRM Suite Customer Intelligence
- Unicenter ServicePlus Collaboration Tools - was Intelligent CRM Suite Human Touch
- Unicenter ServicePlus Predictive Tools - was new and based on the CA artificial intelligence technology, Neugents.
In April 2003, CA made available new versions of both Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk and Unicenter ServicePlus Knowledge Tools. Both of these new product releases were generally available and labeled version 6.0. The Unicenter ServicePlus Customer Service functionality was incorporated into this new release of Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk to allow customers to leverage both internal and external support within a single system.
In November 2003, a French version of Unicenter ServicePlus Service Desk 6.0 was released. In May 2004, CA added a new product to the overall suite, Unicenter ServicePlus Dashboard. The Dashboard is a near real-time graphical display tool designed to provide key metrics to service desk operations management.
In July 2004, a decision was made to retire the Unicenter ServicePlus Collaboration Tools and Unicenter ServicePlus Predictive Tools.
In October 2005, CA announced availability of the r11.0 version for all the products within the Service Support initiative, i.e. Unicenter Service Desk, Unicenter Service Desk Knowledge Tools, Unicenter Service Desk Dashboard, and a new product, Unicenter Service Intelligence. The Unicenter Service Intelligence product focused on a CIO’s view of all service support activities and the ability to understand the trends within the internal support organization. The r11.0 version of these products featured support for the Ingres database and two operating environments including Windows and Linux. The ServicePlus brand name was removed with this release.
R11.0 was a major upgrade of the Unicenter line of product by making them working together using the same core of information (the ca-mdb). The database model was an evolution highly inspire of the ITIL model but was not a fully CMDB. This also need some new process behind the scene like the CORA for synchronization between Configuration Item.
In January 2006, CA released the r11.1 version for Unicenter Service Desk, Unicenter Service Desk Knowledge Tools and Unicenter Service Desk Dashboard, which added additional support for the Microsoft SQL Server database.
In January 2006, CA announced the acquisition of Control-F1, a privately held provider of support automation solutions that automatically prevent, detect, and repair end-user computer problems before they disrupt critical IT services. The newly acquired Control-F1 products extended the CA service support solution offering, and included version 5.3 of CA SupportBridge Live Automation, CA SupportBridge Self-Service Automation, and CA SupportBridge Self-Healing Automation.
In March 2006, CA announced that the Unicenter Service Intelligence product would be merged into a future version of Unicenter Asset Intelligence to form a combined cross-product reporting solution. Because of this decision, no future versions of the stand-alone Unicenter Service Intelligence product would be built beyond r11.0.
In June 2006, Unicenter Service Desk, Unicenter Service Desk Knowledge Tools and Unicenter Service Desk Dashboard r11.2 were released. The r11.2 version provided support for more platforms, including UNIX (Sun Solaris, IBM AIX and HP-UX), and the Oracle database. The r11.2 version also provided new accessibility features that align with the US Government’s Section 508 and WCAG standards.
In August 2006, CA released a localized version of r11.1. This release provided fully translated versions of r11.1 in French, German and Japanese. A localized release of r11.2 available in French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Simplified Chinese is currently planned for 2007.
In February 2007, CA SupportBridge 6.0 was released.
R12 of USD has been made available through a beta program to some USD consultants. One of the largest changes of this release is the adoption of user profiles and roles, a feature intended to avoid the need for several administrative virtual users.
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