Welcome back to the final installment of our three part series on the key insights we gained during our travels on the road in October. In case you missed our first post, we covered our trip to TSW 2013 and the value of organizations getting started big data. In our most recent blog post we covered insights from CEM in Telecoms: North America where we covered the importance of customer experience across all touch points within an organization.
Designing the Support Desk of the Future
We now move north to Nashville where the Rescue team attended Fusion 13 hosted jointly by itSMF and HDI, two leaders in the world of service management. Fusion 13 is an interesting mix of IT professionals, help desk managers and business analysts, which led to various discussions on topics including cloud computing, software as a service, and virtualization. The majority of the presentations are related to improving operations through processes and software. Speaking with event attendees, the Rescue team found that people are critically concerned with the following themes:
- IT service desks are largely moving to cloud based technologies. IT management across the board concluded that there is less and less appetite for investment in server infrastructure and software/services. At the speed of hardware technology change, and Agile software development updating platforms and services, many IT managers are hesitant to invest in something that could be outdated in a mere twelve months. By passing the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) to the cloud providers, IT departments can focus on their time on their day-to-day jobs and be assured that there is a strong infrastructure behind them.
- Integrating the many support desk systems is a key initiative in 2014. New employee training at a modern support desk typically includes a CRM Solution, Knowledge Base, Instant Chat, Social Interaction, IVR, Remote Support, Device Management and more. All of this functionality is necessary for a high level of support, but it is a challenge for the support agents to have an efficient workflow between these systems. A ton of time is wasted by agents scrambling to sign-in or launch a system when they need to use it. In addition, rarely is data shared across point solutions for reporting and/or analysis. By choosing tools that integrate well together, help desk management can create work flows and processes that improve the efficiency of their agents on every level.
- Technical Support professionals are expected to be the experts in all devices, across all platforms, running all applications.
It’s hard keeping up with all the changes in Windows 8 and Apple Mavericks, let alone iOS 7, Android KitKat 4.4, Windows Phone 8 Amber, Blackberry 10.1, Firefox OS, Linux 3.12 and who knows what else. One recurring theme from tech support agents is that their customers (often employees and executive management) expect them to maintain and fix all devices, regardless of whether they are officially supported by the organization. With a growing and fragmented list of platforms and manufacturers, it has become nearly impossible to meet these expectations.
- Some help desk managers are overwhelmed by how far behind the rest of the industry they are. If one thing has become clear, it’s that they’re not alone. The LogMeIn Rescue team hears this all the time when talking about remote support. Even if you’re rolling out your very first CRM system, you’re on the right track. The key is to make sure you’re keeping your eye on the bigger picture. At some point you’re going to need additional technologies, so make sure you choose products and companies that are stable and that partner with other industry leaders. By setting a clear roadmap of where you want to be a year from now, two years and five years, you can pick software and technology that makes sense for these plans. Don’t make decisions that save you a small amount of money up front that could cost dearly in operational efficiency down the road.
The key takeaway from Fusion 13 revolves around integrations and partnerships. With so many different software solutions available in today’s market, decision makers need to look beyond just if a product meets their immediate needs. Think of it as building a platform for support agents that fits neatly together like Legos®, rather than stuck together with duct tape.
Overall, October was a busy month for the Rescue Road Warriors, but a fruitful one as well. We love to hear from existing users of Rescue about what they love in our product but more importantly, about what is most important to them today and in the future. It is also a great opportunity for us to see and hear first-hand what is driving our industry forward and hope this 3-part series has helped share that with those who couldn’t attend these events.
If you attended one of these events and want to share your experiences with us, we’d love to hear about your key takeaways in the comments below.
Image Credit: Smartphone Perspectives by LogMeIn