Solution Provider Outlines Indicators of a Rewarding Help
Farmington Hills, MI, August 21,
2012 – The phrase “help desk” often brings to mind a
remote technical support team assisting callers with computer
application issues. But today’s help desk has undergone
profound changes. Service desks today are based on
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) principles
that direct providers to align their IT services with the needs of
their clients’ businesses. As the service desk takes on a
much broader role, serving as the central point of contact for all
IT service-related activities, help desks have quickly become “the
face of IT,” making it critical for IT pros to know what questions
to ask when evaluating potential partners. To help,
Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services
has identified six key questions CIOs should ask while shopping for
an outsourced service desk solution.
“The time to pinpoint what’s important to your
organization in a help desk partner is before the relationship
begins,” says Tom Roberts, solution architect for Logicalis.
“Outsourcing help desk functions should be a way for CIOs to
increase their service levels and, many times, decrease their costs
in the process. The key to choosing the right service desk
partner is a through up-front investigation of their services and
policies, and a drilling down into the way they conduct their
business by knowing what questions are critical to ask.”
Six Critical Questions to Ask a
Potential Service Desk Partner
1. Does the provider offer a dedicated team to service
each account? Service desks are comprised of
numerous support agents, all standing ready to answer calls on
behalf of the provider’s clients. The shared resource model
is what makes this cost effective. But it’s possible to have
both a shared pool of resources and a dedicated
support team. A provider that is willing to dedicate a core team to
a client’s calls means those support agents become intimately
experienced and expert in their primary customers’ businesses.
Whenever possible, calls should only roll over to other agents when
call volumes exceed the core team’s bandwidth.
2. Does the provider have central metrics
and reporting? Effective service desks must have detailed
tracking and reporting capabilities; with these kinds of metrics,
the service desk can identify patterns, helping the client become
proactive in addressing recurring issues, instituting user
trainings or inserting knowledge-based directives into a
self-service portal. Identifying and addressing such patterns
not only increases service levels, but it drives down the
customer’s costs on a per-incident basis by reducing the number of
calls that come into the service desk.
the provider’s service hours flexible? Most
service desks today operate on a 24/7 schedule, but what if a
client only needs to outsource service desk capabilities at night,
on weekends or during some other custom set of hours? It’s
important for clients to choose a provider whose service hours
match their unique business requirements.
4. What does the
service provider’s price model look like? One of the most
important questions to ask a prospective service desk partner is
whether or not their service levels are tiered. Tier one
support agents answer basic troubleshooting questions, while tier
two answer more complex network-centric questions at a higher price
point per incident. Clients can save money with a
multi-tiered service desk offering by paying only for the level of
expertise their callers require.
Does the provider offer a single point of contact?
A true service desk should offer a single point of contact for all
help desk questions the client organization might encounter.
Even if the calls are not tech-related, a single point of contact
centralizes a client’s inbound service calls to one source, then
escalates non-IT calls to outside vendors or appropriate
departments inside the client organization; tech calls can then be
routed to the service provider’s tier one or tier two IT
6. Does the provider
review SLAs regularly? Call volumes fluctuate. But
experienced service desk providers can examine client call volumes,
establishing baseline norms and determining the frequency of
regular activity spikes. Comparing established norms to
existing SLA requirements on a quarterly basis allows for
intelligent projections and adjustments to be made that can benefit
the client financially.
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and
managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise
in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud
services; and managed services.
Logicalis employs almost 3,000 people
worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design,
specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the
needs of over 6,000 corporate and public sector customers. To
achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with
technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, NetApp,
VMware and ServiceNow.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of
over $1.2 billion, from operations in the UK, US, Germany, South
America and Asia Pacific, and is fast establishing itself as one of
the leading IT and Communications solution integrators,
specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec
Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges,
with revenues of over $5 billion.
For more information, visit http://www.us.logicalis.com/.