Lean IT Team Requires External Resource for Help Desk Services
As the largest independent PepsiCo bottler franchise in the US, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers employs more than 1,700 people in 12 production and distribution facilities across Ohio and Kentucky. The company produces, sells and/or distributes a wide variety of brands including Pepsi-Cola, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi MAX, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug Root Beer, Dr Pepper, Crush, Tropicana, AMP Energy, Starbucks Frappuccino, Lipton Teas, Ocean Brands, Aquafina Water, SoBe, Gatorade and Muscle Milk.
As a business with a lean internal IT staff, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers outsources help desk support for its 450 end users, who all rely on the company’s IT infrastructure and enterprise applications to perform their jobs. Taking this approach is critical in enabling the internal IT team to focus on technology initiatives that help the business drive sales and increase product distribution efficiency.
“Unless there’s a system-wide issue impacting our entire IT infrastructure, we need to limit the amount of time our internal team spends on supporting end users,” explains Chris Witzgall, the Vice President of Information Systems for G&J Pepsi. “We want to keep our internal resources focused on enhancing how the business operates.”
Low Resolution Rate and Lack of Incident Insight Call for a New Approach
Given the important role the external help desk plays in helping end users function effectively, Witzgall determined the time had arrived in 2012 to find a new help desk partner. “In addition to increasing the percentage of resolved end-user issues, we wanted greater insight into the types of problems end users encounter,” Witzgall explains. “Gaining access to this information is important because incident trends can indicate if IT infrastructure or education improvements are needed.”
G&J Pepsi also wanted greater consistency when it came to end-user support. “For incidents handled by our internal staff, the resolution process typically went well,” Witzgall says. “But during over-flow time periods and after hours, our end users experienced unnecessary delays in resolving issues.”
Logicalis Professionalism Eliminates Need to Consider Alternatives
The answer to this challenge presented itself when a member of the internal IT team recommended Witzgall consider Logicalis and its Service Desk offering. Service Desk features a dedicated service manager and a team of IT Support technicians that provide a central point-of-contact between a company’s IT team and its end users. The Logicalis Service Desk handles service calls through an IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best-practice framework that aligns IT service delivery with business needs.
After visiting the Logicalis Operations Center to meet the Service Desk team and then talking with other companies that rely on Service Desk, Witzgall realized Logicalis could provide the high level of support that G&J Pepsi required. “They convinced us to the extent that we did not seriously consider any other service provider,” Witzgall says. “The references and the visit to the Logicalis facility clearly demonstrated the level of professionalism Logicalis offers.”
Another key reason why G&J Pepsi chose to partner with Logicalis is the partnership Logicalis leverages with ServiceNow, a provider of cloud-based software that automates a range of enterprise IT operations, including the management of help desk support incidents. The Logicalis partnership with ServiceNow helps ensure the IT incident management challenges for G&J Pepsi are addressed by applying the industry’s leading service-management tools.
“In addition to giving us visibility into how well the Logicalis Service Desk team performs, we can also leverage ServiceNow to track our own incident tickets,” Witzgall says. “It’s a great tool for telling us the status of all incidents in real time and helps us identify trends indicating we might need to make changes with the way we provision IT or how we communicate with end users.”
Easy Transition for End Users and a Valuable Resource for IT
Once G&J Pepsi decided to partner with Logicalis, the transition to Service Desk went smoothly. Employees could still call the same 800 number or use the same email address to request help, and Logicalis streamlined the transition by visiting onsite with the internal IT team to analyze the types of requests end users typically submitted.
“Logicalis hit the ground running and the switch was seamless,” Witzgall says. “The Service Desk team invested significant time up front to understand our environment and learn about the specific needs of our end users.”
Witzgall adds that the Logicalis team knows when to escalate issues to G&J Pepsi and always provides sufficient information so the internal team has access to all key information: “By working closely with Logicalis, we established clear workflow rules so the Service Desk team knows when to contact us, when to proceed on their own, and when they have the green light to work with third-party technology vendors.”
As a complimentary service to the Logicalis Service Desk offering, the G&J Pepsi team leverages the expertise of the Logicalis Virtual IT offering. When IT needs technical support, the staff can call upon senior systems engineers at Logicalis who are experts in a wide range of technologies. “Whether we are looking for technical support on a system-wide issue or expert advice on deploying a new technology, Virtual IT is a valuable resource and the perfect complement to Service Desk,” Witzgall says.
End-User Incident Resolution Rate Doubles
Since converting to the Logicalis Service Desk, the number of end-user incidents resolved at the help desk level has doubled when compared to the previous service provider G&J Pepsi relied on. In addition to allowing more end users to resume their work faster, the higher resolution rate gives the internal IT team more time to dedicate to strategic business initiatives.
“We now spend more time on solutions rather than problems, which is a big boost to the company’s overall productivity,” Witzgall says. “Relying on Service Desk also has an impact on our retention rates. When IT issues are resolved faster, end users are happier doing their jobs. And our IT team enjoys greater job satisfaction with the ability to spend more time on high-level technology.”
Witzgall also appreciates how ServiceNow allows him to view incident performance, both for Logicalis and the internal team. “We can easily download ServiceNow information into our database for our own analytics,” Witzgall says. “As an example, we can look for trends that indicate the need to make a change to a system, a policy or a procedure that is causing an on-going issue.”
Success Attracts Attention from Senior Management
Corporate management at G&J has also taken notice of the accomplishments Witzgall and his team have achieved since the launch of the Logicalis partnership. “Thanks to the tasks we offload to Logicalis, they see major advances in how IT contributes to business initiatives—whether it’s an enhancement to sales or distribution processes or another area of operations,” Witzgall says.
Looking ahead, Witzgall expects the relationship to continue expanding as G&J Pepsi continues to lean on Logicalis as a trusted IT advisor. “We always look at new solutions to improve business processes, and Logicalis is a resource we can turn to for expertise across a wide range of technologies,” Witzgall says. “Because they are vendor agnostic, they always give us an honest evaluation of the different options—citing the pros and cons of each—rather than trying to steer us toward a particular vendor product.”