SnowCat, Sheffield Hallam University
Ice to meet you, Snowmen, Snow-women, Snowflakes!
My name is Gemma A.K.A. SnowCat and I am currently working in the SAM team at Sheffield Hallam University. We purchased Snow a couple of years ago and before this our SAM knowledge and maturity level was like slipping on Black Ice! (Can’t see it coming, can’t prepare for it). When renewal periods hit, it was like wading through slush forcing us to precipitate action and quickly discover whether we still needed the licences! Initially receiving a frosty reception on building a team from current staff members, implementation took some time. It was around 6 months ago that we finally got the buy in from Senior Management and formed the new team.
Coming from a minimal length Service Desk Background, I had no idea about SAM! My knowledge building was running at a glacial pace until I came across the Snow Globe. As the support services with Snow were often streamlined to product issues & service requests, I was under an avalanche of work. Though my task was mainly to input licences and contracts, being the nit-picker I am, I spent a long period of time implementing and testing the Snow License Manager from a user functionality point of view. (Snow Support will definitely be sick of hearing my name!!) Snow is an analyst's dream - having all the information across the estate readily available, be it PCs, Licenses, Applications, and the ability to set alerts and reminders for renewals will play a major factor in the maturity of our SAM Processes. We were also able to add custom fields and tailor the metering to suit our University Environment.
I owe an awful lot to the previous ‘Advocate of the Month’ Craig Moss. He has been a storm of knowledge for my frequent frustrations and lack of familiarity with SAM so it is an honour to follow from on from the master! Aside from Craig, all I have learnt has been from the Snow Training but mostly the Snow Globe. Having a gathering of users in the same/similar situation as us, with the ability to ask questions and discuss problems, has helped me navigate these tricky slopes of Snow and SAM to no-end! As a hosted customer, we knew very little of the abilities of the Admin console, but I can ask a question here and within an hour, have a flurry of different experiences and answers. The community is very supportive and I never feel embarrassed (though perhaps sometimes I should be!!) to ask a question. I love that the customers have a platform to voice their opinions and suggestions. I very much look forward to seeing our ideas implemented so we can help improve the system for future SAM'ers to come.
Throughout my Snow journey, along with the standard administrative functions, I have written test reports, presented Snow to the whole IT department, trained multiple new Snow users, written LWIs, assisted with user-buy in and so many other tasks I'd have never gotten to experience on the Service Desk. Not only are we using Snow to track software, I am frequently contacted for information about assets and users, the information all of which is easily located in just a few minutes. I anticipate that many of our processes can be improved with information found on Snow as is evident already.
Soon, we will be moving our platform on premise. I am very much looking forward to gaining SMACCess and having the ability to learn new skills and work Snow to its full potential. Though my Snow Contract is short, I hope all I can put into it will have a significant impact on the future of the University's Software process and this small cog can make a big impact. I have no doubt, given Snow's potential, that this will be possible.
Now I can tell you a little about myself. If for some strange reason it is not completely obvious, I LOVE cats. Always have, always will! My day will always be improved by seeing cats. In my spare time, much to the public/colleagues dismay, I can always be found singing a song and tapping my feet. I have also recently taken up Snowboarding and look forward to another trip to the Alps in the very near future.
Gemma Taylor A.K.A SnowCat