Today's IT help desks are facing challenges on every front. Reliance on IT infrastructure, hardware, and software continues to grow — software outages and other IT-related downtime become less acceptable over time, as all business increasingly becomes developed, automated, and managed using information technology. Users continually want reductions in both call-response times and, in particular, call-resolution times. And budgets continue to remain tight, leaving most companies with internal help desks to scramble to find new ways to "do more with less."
The Benefits of Consolidation
For many companies, consolidating multiple help desks can provide company-wide benefits, including cost savings, improved service levels, enterprise-wide consistency, and access to a centralized repository of IT information. Yet, in order for companies to reap all of the benefits that consolidation has to offer, they must establish a highly structured and documented process that will enable them to achieve success.
Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
Inconsistent practices from location to location lead to wild swings in support levels — an unacceptable condition for today's globally minded companies. Consolidation of the whole support process into a disciplined, customer-responsive entity such as IQX's SPOC (Single Point of Contact) HelpDesk provides multiple benefits for companies. In essence, the SPOC process enables end users to reach out to one, single point of contact for all support incidents, and rely on that contact to provide resolution. End users may choose an online portal, phone, email, or in some cases, on-site agents, and their inquiry will be captured
A single call to the HelpDesk will be handled right by the agent, or it will be escalated to an alternate agent or location when necessary. The IQX SPOC approach means that the HelpDesk agent becomes accountable for the support issue — not the end user. The agent will do the work of discovering the answer or escalating the problem on the end user's behalf, while carefully documenting issues and procedures for future use. The HelpDesk agent takes ownership of the problem and sees it through to a satisfactory resolution.
A Consolidated Approach
The consolidated approach, managed and executed by a competent, experienced service provider, gives companies another set of eyes when it comes to evaluating hardware and software deployments. When the service provider oversees all of the support issues, it can report on the number of incidents associated with every piece of technology, and provide meaningful statistics on their value versus cost.
Training is another area positively impacted by a consolidation solution. A consolidated HelpDesk can gather incident information for the enterprise, and create training opportunities from highly reported incidents. In addition to providing opportunities for end-user training, when the consolidated service desk is run by a competent outside service provider, training becomes the service provider's responsibility. According to a Forrester Research report, few companies use their full allocation of training resources budgeted.
In general, the benefits of service desk consolidation are many. Companies can:
- Create enterprise solutions rather than local solutions
- Achieve better balanced service levels with predictable costs
- Deliver consistent service levels while managing the overall cost
- Ensure a predictable, measurable support experience throughout the company
- Position themselves to take advantage of other support opportunities by focusing scarce capital (equipment, money, and people) on core business activities