A service desk to match the need – a case study
Modern society operates in a 24/7 environment, with the “digital revolution” transforming the way in which we live our lives. This drives increased connectivity on a global scale and raises expectations about access to information, goods and services. Employers will need to adapt their infrastructure offering in response and support the positive impact mobile working can have on productivity.
Delivering a robust in-house service desk to support the business in core hours is challenging enough. People management, scheduling, remaining relevant, whilst keeping abreast of changing business requirements. Extending 24/7 support to your business doubles the management overheads.
Out-of-hours service desk
Work patterns are changing. Critical outputs are often worked on out of hours, at home and with personal devices. If your out of hours support is by ‘best endeavor’ or ‘phone around’, you will be damaging productivity and frustrating key staff. Additionally, in house service desks require continual investment and staffing – with all the issues that follow. This may waste resources if demand fluctuates, or at busy times service levels may fall short. The outcomes are the same when outsourcing to the well-known enterprise-level service desk providers. Expensive set ups, new IT systems, adoption pains and a level of support that may exceed your requirements are all business risks. What’s the solution?
CCE were approached by one of the largest independent global insurance brokerages. Specialising in risk management and corporate employee benefits, they have offices in all global regions and employee over 6,500 staff. The UK office was seeing increased out of hours working and, when a senior member of staff could not get the IT support they needed for a critical tender, CCE were approached. It was unknown what level of support was required. There were no metrics or information on how many calls were being taken, or the reasons behind them.
In contrast to more well known global service desk providers, CCE provided a new business approach. A trial was agreed passing all out of hours tickets to CCE’s flagship service desk based in Manchester. The trial was to last three months, and a set-up fee and per-ticket fee agreed to test and measure the level of support needed. This dramatically reduced the set-up costs required and allowed CCE using ITIL service management to record, categorise, measure and report the entire UK out of hours service requirement without large expenditure from the client.
The client was absorbed into the shared out of hours service desk team and the test period began. CCE’s IT infrastructure, such as data centre, infrastructure and ISP and independent carrier networks allowed the client’s own IT systems to be ‘ported’ into the service desk, so eliminating any adoption frustrations. This removed the cost / risk associated with managing in house out of hours service desk, as the level of support required was unknown. After three months monitoring and resolving all the out of hours support incidents, CCE presented the management information and the results were clear. 3rd party supplier incidents could also now be addressed through the Service Integration and Management (SIAM) approach to managing multiple suppliers of services (business services as well as information technology services) by integrating them to provide a single business-facing IT organisation.
Firstly, the level of support had been underestimated and fluctuated. This showed a clear need for a formalised shared out of hours service desk. The quality of response also improved dramatically. Instead of ad-hoc support with hard to reach IT staff, the ITIL aligned CCE support analysts were in a far better position to identify and quickly solve issues. Furthermore, CCE had the resources and expertise to manage all the hardware support through our network of engineers. This provided a fast, seamless service allowing staff to not only get back to work at any hour, but also to reduce overall calls through improved infrastructure.
Because of the business case and a more consistent, timely and repeatable service than in house support, the client has now contracted with CCE not only to provide out of hours support, but manage the entire service desk across the UK, including Northern Ireland. The flexible start up costs, ITIL aligned systems, the ability to use the clients own IT systems enabled the right support at the right cost with lower business risk. CCE also provided the hardware support and on-site engineers to fix any issues that could not be resolved out of hours, whilst the in house team were re-allocated to other more strategic roles. The company retained two ‘floorwalkers’ providing ‘smart-hands’ on the ground.
- An inexpensive trial period provided management information
- The business risk and cost avoidance of setting up in house resource for an unquantified problem was avoided
- ITIL aligned and SIAM approaches improved the timing, quality and outcome of each call
- Retention of existing client IT systems provides seamless cover and immediate adoption
- Flexible service desk allows resources and costs to be scaled up and down as required
- CCEs end to end IT service and support enabled a one-stop-shop ‘break-fix’ service to support tickets