Outsourcing Your Service Desk
To Outsource or Not
When you are ready to implement a service desk solution, you need to determine if you want to invest in the tools, process, and resources yourself or outsource them to an experienced service desk solution provider. Although a service desk is an important resource that enables your employees to be productive, you also need to consider that it will cost you when deciding which model will best meet your needs.
If you decide to go with a partner, look for options that provide very deep and broad experiences in ITSM skills, toolsets, and processes. The solution should allow you to align the delivery of IT services closely with your business’s needs by providing a single point of contact for IT between service providers and users or customers on a day-to-day basis.
Six Critical Questions to Ask a Potential Service Desk Partner
- Does the provider offer a dedicated team to service each account? Service desks are composed of numerous support agents who are ready to answer calls on behalf of the provider’s clients. The shared resource model is what makes this cost effective. However, it’s possible to have both a shared pool of resources and a dedicated support team.
- 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, thereby helping the client become proactive in addressing recurring issues, instituting user trainings, or inserting knowledge-based directives into a self-service portal.
- Are the provider’s service hours flexible? Most service desks today operate on a 24/7 schedule. But what if a client needs to outsource service desk capabilities only 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.
- What does the service provider’s price model look like? One of the most important questions to ask a prospective service desk partner is “Are your service levels tiered?” Tier-I support agents answer basic troubleshooting questions, whereas Tier-II support agents answer more complex network-centric questions at a higher price point per incident.
- 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, and then it escalates non-IT calls to outside vendors or appropriate departments.
- Does the provider review SLAs regularly? Call volumes fluctuate. However, experienced service desk providers can examine client call volumes, establish baseline norms, and determine the frequency of regular activity spikes.