The 3 pillars of successful Service and Support

ITIL, Strategy

Failing to deliver on service and support can be extremely costly for any organisation, where according to statistics 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again (Lee Resources).

So in today’s competitive landscape, what exactly should you be expecting from your Call Recording and Workforce Optimisation Service and Support providers? With over 60% of Business Systems’ personnel residing in this division, we outline the 3 pillars of successful Service and Support which we (and our customers) have come to recognise first hand!

1. Strategy & Design

They say ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. The same maxim also holds true for major projects taking place in your organisation. Without a solid strategy and design in place to guide your project plan, desired objectives and budgets (due to nasty unexpected delays and costs) will not be met. With a good service provider, you take advantage of the years of experience in implementing similar solutions, with skilled consultants helping you to design the project so that you don’t have unwanted surprises. Moreover, once you build an ongoing relationship with your provider, you gain access to timely advice on how best to address emerging technological, regulatory operational trends in your industry.

2. Project Management, Implementation & Deployment

In order to ensure each implementation is as straightforward as possible, the service provider should assign a dedicated and qualified Project Manager to ensure that the project is managed and implemented professionally, timely and to budget. It is also important that the project team holds an ethos of responsibility which involves taking ownership of technical issues, providing onsite management and having a proper escalation process in place if and when any faults arise during the project life cycle. In addition to this, a reliable service provider should always be providing you with updates and reports on key milestones project life cycle on a regular basis.

3. Technical Support Services

When dealing with a service provider it is extremely important to consider a number of factors regarding their technical support capabilities including:

  • SLA adherence– Beyond listing expectations of service type and quality, does your provider’s SLA specify remedies for when requirements aren’t met?
  • Service delivery– Do they have a 24/7/365 service delivery capability?
  • Geographical coverage– How many engineers do they have operating across the country?
  • Spare parts holding– Do they have readily available spare parts to ensure fast support if and when a component of your system goes wrong?
  • Comprehensive offering– How extensive are their capabilities; for example, can they provide end of life (EOL) support for discontinued solutions if needed?

Service and Support excellence is the foundation on which long-term customer relationships are built, and as a customer it can have a huge impact on the return of your investment as well as total cost of ownership.

If you need to find out more about what you should be expecting from your service provider and the different levels of support available, then check out our Service & Support webpage.

 

Posted on June 15, 2016 by Business Systems UK

ITIL IT Service Management in 5 Minutes

Home Page, ITIL, Strategy

Organizations all over the world, from NASA to Disney, utilize ITIL to help improve their IT processes. But what is ITIL Service Management? Here’s what you need to know, and how you can use ITIL to benefit your own IT organization.

What Does ITIL Stand For?

ITIL is an acronym that stands for “IT Infrastructure Library”. It was originally developed in the UK as a series of books. These books explained procedures and best practices for the IT industry to follow. The goal was to standardize the management of IT, so everything wasn’t doing their own thing, but had a common set of IT standards to follow.

How Does it Work?

ITIL Service Management acts as a guideline for service delivery in the IT world. If you are committed to conducting best practices in the industry, ITIL is the way to go. As of today there are five different books, explained below.

ITIL Service Strategy

This portion of ITIL can be thought of as how an IT organization can best position itself for long-term success. Service Strategy discusses financial management and how to improve business relationships. It answers the question:

How can my IT department succeed over a long period of time?

ITIL Service Design

Designing IT systems should always involve a very important element: the user. Often times in when planning or designing a system, consideration is not made to specific intricacies of a business or its users. This section answers the question:

How can I plan my IT resources around my business?

ITIL Service Transition

When IT projects come to a completion phase, they transition to becoming an actual service that people in an organization will use. For example, when a project to migration to a new IT asset management system is complete, it is then “live” for users to begin working with. Service Transition works to answer the question:

How can I best transition an IT project over to a service for users?

ITIL Service Operation

Problems are a fact of life in IT. Without tech problems, most IT professionals would be out of a job! Service Operations is quite specific in helping provide service level agreement framework for your IT service desk. It’s where you go find the answer to:

How can my IT department meet SLAs?

ITIL Continual Service Improvement

No one wants to repeat mistakes. In IT, repeatable processes can be captured and used to improve efficiency and reduce the bottom line cost. Improvement is not always easy, however, and many IT departments need help with:

Written by Samanage

Is it a Problem or an Incident

Home Page, ITIL

On the IT service desk (and for anyone who studies ITIL), the words ‘problem’ and ‘incident’ are often used interchangeably. Sometimes, people throw in the word ‘issue’ to further confuse the situation. However, these two words have totally different meanings, and the difference is actually important in being able to communicate how urgent the situation is and what needs to be done in order to fix it. Here are the meanings of each word, according to the definitions used by ITIL, and how these meanings translate into the timeliness of the fix needed.

What is an Incident?

An incident is an event that leads to an unplanned disruption of service. The important part to remember is ‘disruption of service,’ because if an issue does not disrupt service, even if it was unplanned and unexpected, it is not an incident. For example, if a piece of hardware fails after hours when nobody is using the system, it is not an incident, because it did not disrupt service. However, if the same equipment failed during the regular workday, it would be defined as an incident because service was, in fact, disrupted. The IT help desk is often the first ones to be made aware of an incident, as they are usually the first point of contact for users experiencing issues with the system.

What is a Problem?

A problem is the underlying cause that leads to an incident. A problem may be something that could lead to the same incident occurring again, or lead to another incident entirely. The problem is essentially the root cause of an incident or incidents.

What Does Fixing an Incident Require?

An incident is urgent due to the fact that it is causing a service outage. Incidents have to be addressed immediately. This might mean immediately fixing the problem causing the incident, or it could mean coming up with a temporary work around to get the system back up and operational until the underlying cause (problem) can be found and corrected more permanently. Incidents need to be logged into the help desk software so that they can be monitored and tracked. Sometimes it takes multiple incident reports to get to the bottom of whatever is causing the underlying problem.

What Does Fixing a Problem Require?

Unless a problem is immediately causing an incident, it isn’t urgent, but it is probably important in order to prevent an incident or more incidents in the future. Fixing a problem often requires testing to find out what the underlying cause of the problem is and perhaps troubleshooting to find a permanent solution.

When using these terms, be sure that you’re using them appropriately. This helps IT workers understand each other better so that they can work together to get systems back up in the short term and eliminate problems that could lead to longer term issues.