On June 7th, Micro Focus released SMAX 2019.05. If you are a SMAX customer or if you are following news about Micro Focus’ machine-learning based solution for ESM, ITSM and ITAM, then you know we bring new versions punctually every quarter. This 2019.05 release comes with some exciting new capabilities and over a dozen of features suggested and most voted on by our customers.
Major new and enhanced capabilities include:
• Smart virtual agent with AI Natural Language Understanding (NLU), which provides automated support through conversations and executing tasks
• SMAX apps Marketplace and the ability to publish and distribute SMAX apps
• Google cloud support with managed Kubernetes, which lowers the entry barrier to containers and admin costs
• Unit-based licensing for even bigger license flexibility
Let’s take a brief look into each of these new capabilities.
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The smart virtual agent, named ‘Max’, is now conversational, and both understands and correlates users'
text inputs with intent to recognize new intents, using NLU and embedded machine learning. This enables
Max to mimic humans, resulting in a remarkably interactive and human-like experience for end users. Max can be trained for users’ intents, but most importantly, the system will learn automatically from service desk activities and structured and unstructured data. This capability is based on the industry-standard design you can find in Amazon Alexa and Google Dialog Flow. Max can still perform a smart search based on
embedded IDOL and can drive automation, for example, to reset user password or update their profiles.
Max is used for high volume and easy-to-answer requests, therefore, reducing service-desk efforts. Because all of us have been exposed to virtual agents in customer service and online retail, your users are already used to having a virtual agent. Human agents no longer have to spend time on low-level repetitive
tasks but now will have more time for more pressing work.
As your users adopt Max, expect a significant drop in the number of open tickets and a more satisfied workforce. Issues are resolved faster and with less complications, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The hard-dollar savings can be invested into innovation.
Upgrade your ITSM to ESM
With SMAX 2019.05, Studio apps can be packaged, exported and published to ITOM Marketplace; imported into SMAX, or moved to another tenant. Micro Focus and its partners can now build reusable content and share it with the community. With this release, Marketplace comes with two SMAX apps: Capacity Management and SecOps.
The SecOps application supports the security operations in your enterprise through two processes: Breach reporting and Security incident management. Here is a brief description of the app’s main components:
- A Breach Report entity process is a first step in capturing potential security concerns.
- An employee can submit the breach report through Breach Report Catalog Offering, which is accessible through SMAX self-service portal.
- Investigation of a breach report may lead to escalation and creation of a Security Incident, which is a process specifically designed to quickly eliminate current risk and then follow-up by taking more permanent measures to ensure the security vulnerability is removed completely.
- While handling the security incident, a related change using a Security Change Model can be created for proper assignment and implementation of the permanent security vulnerability’s corrective actions.
- Finally, employees can be notified of security measures, concerns, risks, or actions through the publication of News bulletins using a Security News Model that provides an appropriate template to document all the relevant details.
New Apps can be created on an earlier version and loaded in a new one, but out-of-the-box modules must be exported and loaded into the same version. For example, a customer-defined app could be created on 2019.05 and loaded into a 2019.08 system. But Incident Management exported from 2019.05 can only be loaded into a 2019.05 system.
Gmail, YouTube and SMAX
SMAX is based on the latest container and Kubernetes technology. In order to significantly lower the entry barrier to this technology with all its advantages, SMAX 2019.05 supports Google cloud with managed Kubernetes. This gives partners and customers easy access to a Kubernetes cluster without them having to set it up and maintain it themselves. You can install SMAX directly on the Google cloud, with a part of CDF with shared services. You do not need to pay for master nodes servers, which you otherwise needed to setup Kubernetes, therefore, saving you money. You can leverage the additional cloud native services—such as HA for storage and networking across regions—for free.
An interesting point: Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), which is the management and orchestration system that enables managed Kubernetes, was launched in 2015 and was built on Google’s experience of running services like Gmail and Youtube.
Managed Kubernetes for AWS and Azure is on our roadmap.
SMAX licenses are even more flexible
SMAX licenses will be sold in units for new customers, and they can decide how to split units between named and concurrent users. 1 unit equals 1 concurrent user or two named users. Customers can change the ratio at their discretion without changing the contracts. Unit-based licenses are optional for existing SMAX customers. Unit-based licensing increases the flexibility in SMAX licensing.
And there’s more!
There are a few more capabilities I would like to make you aware of:
- User option type: Entity link. User options can now be created that link to Entity Types in SMAX.
- Export rich text field. Export to Excel and Export to CSV will now include Rich Text fields, such as Description and Solution, when they are on the grid display.
- Configurable attachment size, white list. Customers can control the attachment related settings.
- Grid style display tab configurability. Up to three grid system display tabs can be configured for the Service Portal.
- Display and sort knowledge articles. Exposing when an article was last updated can assist end users in finding the best content for their need.
- Search request in Portal. Users can more quickly find their requests and may be reminded if they go to request something they have already asked for.
- User management includes disabling auto-sync and manual user unlock option.
For the full list of new capabilities, please see the Release Notes.
For more information about this SMAX release, listen to the on-demand webinar: What’s New in SMAX 2019.0, which includes a live demo.
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