Silicon Labs is powering today’s digital lifestyle and the Internet of Things with energy-friendly, mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) for smart home applications including security systems, smart meters, smart thermostats, appliances, and lighting control. Silicon Labs’ timing and power ICs for networking equipment and data centers are an essential part of the Internet infrastructure. And increasingly, its chips are part of the fast-growing market for smart watches, fitness trackers, and other wearables, while its broadcast audio and video ICs have long been used in televisions, set-top boxes, and consumer and automotive radio products. Founded in 1996, Silicon Labs had revenues of $580 million in 2013. The company has more than 1,000 employees and 10 research and development locations around the world.
Supporting a Mobile Workforce
Mobility is fundamentally transforming how work is done—not only for salespeople and road warriors, but also for back-office operations like IT support and business administration. As Silicon Labs adopted a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, more workers wanted to access core business applications from their mobile devices, including service desk applications.
As mobile device usage grew, Silicon Labs considered its options for a mobile-friendly service desk solution. The company, a longtime user of FrontRange’s HEAT Help Desk solution, decided to migrate to the latest version of HEAT Service Management in the cloud.
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“Silicon Labs is moving to a BYOD strategy, so all services must be available from mobile devices,” says Michael Skinner, systems administrator at Silicon Labs. “As part of our BYOD initiative, deploying HEAT Service Management in the cloud was very attractive.”
With HEAT Service Management, users can submit incidents from any device or computer with a web browser, and analysts in the field can resolve issues without the hassle of getting a VPN connection back to the corporate headquarters. “When we have an emergency, we get our workflow rolling on a conference call, and one of the first steps is to submit a HEAT Priority 1 ticket,” says Skinner. “It’s pretty painful for someone on the helpdesk to login remotely at 3 am. Now, with HEAT Cloud, it’s easy to login to HEAT via a web browser.”
Moving to HEAT in the cloud has enabled Silicon Labs’ IT team to improve the workflow and speed it takes to resolve problems when it matters most, as well as reduce maintenance and administrative overhead. With a cloud-based service desk, there is no longer a need to buy and maintain servers to support the service-desk application.
Improve Service Management Operations
Silicon Labs takes advantage of HEAT Cloud’s broad functionality, including incident management, service request, change management, problem management, service catalog, and self-service.
The company has found HEAT’s Voice Automation to be helpful in providing around-the-clock support to its global workforce. “One of the reasons we chose HEAT was the integration of the IVR system,” says Skinner. “Our users are accustomed to being able to unlock their accounts through the phone system.” In addition, skills-based call routing helps IT ensure that service desk calls are handled quickly and efficiently. Integration with the company’s phone system also enables the IT staff to make companywide announcements, such as notifying users of a major outage or service restoration.
Delivering Strategic Business Value
Using HEAT not only has improved day-to-day IT operations but also has enabled Silicon Labs to achieve greater business agility by improving the company’s overall service management operations. Silicon Labs uses HEAT for service desk operations as well as in its human resources, chip design, facilities and finance departments.
“One of the main values of HEAT is the approval process,” says Skinner. “We have 80 approvers, not all of whom are daily users of the HEAT Service Management application, but who must interface with the solution via the workflow approval process. If anyone wants to request access, such as for a new hire or for an application such as SAP, the manager can approve the request through email or HEAT self-service. It’s a big time saver, and our business users have appreciated it.”
As Silicon Labs’ business service management practices continue to mature, the company will continue to implement release management processes with HEAT to ensure that it can deliver new releases and functionality quickly while mitigating the risk of change. In addition, Silicon Labs plans to advance its configuration management processes, including the use of configuration items, to ensure the smooth introduction of new business services and capabilities.
With HEAT Service Management, Silicon Labs has a strong foundation for its business operations enabling it to focus on developing silicon and software solutions that have become essential in today’s always-connected lifestyle.
About Silicon Labs
Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) is a leading provider of silicon, software and system solutions for the Internet of Things, Internet infrastructure, industrial control, consumer and automotive markets. We solve the electronics industry’s toughest problems, providing customers with significant advantages in performance, energy savings, connectivity and design simplicity. Backed by our world-class engineering teams with unsurpassed software and mixed-signal design expertise, Silicon Labs empowers developers with the tools and technologies they need to advance quickly and easily from initial idea to final product.