Keith Smith - My Blog

Keith Smith - My Blog

Mac OS upgrades removes the Allow apps downloaded from anywhere option

Friday, September 27, 2019 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Apple

I decided to do a macOS upgrade, I went to install my apps and noticed that the "Allow apps downloaded from anywhere" was missing. This is important because not all Mac apps are made in Xcode. I believe this feature was removed in macOS Sierra 10.12. I wanted to share a few ways to deal with feature modification: 

  1. You can also selectively allow apps you trust without turning off code signing entirely by doing a sudo spctl --add --label "It's OK, they're with me" /path/to/
  2. Right click the executable and click open to add it to the approved list without disabling app quarantine
  3. You can also right-click -> open to one-off an approval without changing system settings (Mojave too).  It saves the approval, so just need to do once.
  4. Or you can do 'xattr -dr /path/to/app' on a case by case basis, which is potentially more secure.


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Evolving a helpdesk to ServiceDesk Operations

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Journal of thoughts

Some might say the help desk is the heart of IT. This is hard to argue when factoring in its ability to streamline a range of system management processes and effectively support customer needs. From optimizing task management to improving customer satisfaction, I will examine the numerous benefits that come from evolving a helpdesk to ServiceDesk Operations using the right Service Desk software.

Efficient Task Management
A sound
Service Desk system enhances customer service by simplifying the tasks in the hands of the IT staff who manage it. Depending on the software, task management may provide features that allow IT staff to seamlessly create and schedule tasks, assign tasks to specific staff, and share tasks between departments. By providing insight into who's doing what, Service Desk software helps management better assess and distribute workloads.

Better Time Management
The sheer volume of inquiries can make for a pretty chaotic customer service environment. It's often staff and management's inability to keep up with the incoming stream of activity that hinders response times and leaves customers hanging on in frustration. Offering robust ticket options and detailed tracking capabilities, a reliable service desk tool will trim the time lost on the back and forth banter between teammates while enabling managers to keep up with the status of each case. The time you free up is the time that can be spent effectively finding resolutions to other problems.

Generating Customer Feedback

Every organization wants glowing reviews. And while you can't please everyone, even negative feedback can be useful and spun into a positive. Many service desk systems lend a massive hand in gathering this vital feedback with features that fuel the easy creation and management of customer surveys. Most allow you to deploy them on-demand in web and email formats. Some can even be set up for automatic delivery once tickets are closed out. Either way, IT departments have a means of generating valuable feedback that can be used to make adjustments based on insights from customers.

Helping Customers Help Themselves
From the user end, convenient access to self-service resources is one of the best things service desk software brings to the table. Before I raise a ticket, I run straight to their support portal to see if I can find answers to whatever questions I have. Whether you call it a knowledge base, FAQs page, or something else, this concept of centralized, self-service information will cut down on tickets, reduce the workload for staff, and increase customer satisfaction. In 2013, research firm Forrester listed knowledge management as one of the hottest trends in customer service.

Support Solutions for the Future
A service desk system can play an integral role in your data management infrastructure. For example, an IT department can use past complaints and other information logged in the system to create a database of best practices designed to guide staff toward handling recurring issues. It also gives organization leaders a better way to gauge the number of resources that go into resolving these problems. The ability to monitor resource usage will prove handy when it comes time to plan the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Making the Best Impression

In the business world, perception is the reality. So whatever impressions your customers have about you is the image you're stuck with as word travels through the grapevine. Consistently delivering a decent managed service won't mean diddly squat when they feel you're letting them down in the IT department. On the other hand, if a service desk is enabling you to quickly respond to tickets with effective resolutions, customer perception, satisfaction, and retention will improve by leaps and bounds.


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Still a bunch of cool tools from Sysinternals

Friday, September 13, 2019 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Network, Microsoft

You can point your favorite browser to to access to any Sysinternals tool. If you would like do it the "old school way" you can open up Windows Explorer (if you are on windows) and point it to \\\ to browse and launch any Sysinternals app. These tools have been a staple for most of us that have been in field for a while now, it's good to see them still being developed.


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Error Solved 0x80070490 while activating product key win server 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Microsoft

If you are getting error 0x80070490 while trying to active windows server 2019 in the gui try running the following command from an elevated command prompt

slmgr.vbs -ipk ABCDE-FGHIJK-LMNOP-DX3G-QRSTV  <--(place your product key here)

It should be successful. As a side note, I have found parts of GUI in windows server 2019 don't function correctly. An example I've seen is that when installing windows updates after the updates have installed and you click the restart now button. It throws an error which causes the operator to restart the server from the start menu options. Maybe Microsoft will address these issues in the near feature via a patch of some type.

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Escalations with the ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - Posted by Keith A. Smith, in Automation

There is currently two ways to configure escalations with the ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus. One way is to configure SLA actions which you can do by watching this video

What I'm going to focus on here is the way to create a manual escalation triggered by a technician in the ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus. The first thing you need to do is create a support group, e.g., Escalations - District technicians Tier2 then add the technicians you want to the group. Now you need to create a business rule with the following settings

The settings in this rule will execute during any request creation and edit at any time. Also, the criteria are to match all the group to perform action changes to the status on the request to "Escalated - In Progress" and set the level as "Level3". 

Now to test this, you could use a requester account to login to the ServiceDesk then raise a request. Now logout of the ServiceDesk and login into the ServiceDesk with a technician account that is not in the Escalations - District technicians Tier2 group. Locate the request and open it, now change the group to Escalations - District technicians Tier2 and save your changes. You should see that the level was set to level3, the group has changed to Escalations - District technicians Tier2  and the status says Escalated - In Progress. If you have technician auto-assign setup, it will automatically assign a technician from the Escalations - District technicians Tier2 group. You can also confirm these actions by reviewing the history tab on the request.

That's it. I hope this helps out a few people.

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