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Contributed Articles

Support Center Metrics: What's the Story Behind the Numbers?

At a recent Business Case seminar Pete McGarahan was teaching, a lively discussion arose regarding the use of industry benchmarks for measuring First Contact Resolution (FCR), Help Desk Professional Utilization, and Average Wait in Queue. Participants expressed concern that traditional metrics such as these were not adjusted for new support models, access points, and self-service systems. They further pointed out that selecting certain statistics and presenting them to senior management was dangerous, especially if you didn't know the "whole" story -- what types of help desks or support models were included in the comparison. They wanted more than just the numbers; they wanted the story behind the numbers -- the business goals driving the figures.

[Full Article]   Jul-25-2007


Building New Revenue Streams Through Improved Service Contract Management

By Scott Herron, CEO, MaintenanceNet, Inc.
Beyond providing substantial repeatable revenue streams, maintenance service contracts also play an integral role in connecting technology manufacturers with their channel partners and end-customers. They yield improved brand loyalty and better communication with customers, and also provide a means for channel partners to boost sales while strengthening their allegiance to a manufacturer. Yet, whether sold directly or through an indirect sales channel, maintenance services are seldom adequately addressed by today’s technology manufacturers.
[Full Article]   May-30-2007


Four Steps to Achieving Pervasive Support

By Anna Sz. Orbán

Support Automation technology is the set of tools and processes that enable the prevention, diagnosis and resolution of computer problems with little end user knowledge or intervention. These strategies address the challenges of both business and IT by identifying and resolving service disruptions, meeting demands of business users, reducing lost productivity and revenue, and improving the bottom line.

How, then, do you begin to define the scope of an effective Support Automation initiative? What is the appropriate level of IT investment for this project? How do you prioritize spending for a service desk solution? How do you determine which application of Support Automation will provide a greater return on investment and value to the business? Proven best practices suggest that these questions can be answered by following the four essential steps outlined in this article.
[Full Article]   Jan-12-2007


Thinking Strategically about Infrastructure Management

By Pete McGarahan

It’s hard to think strategically while you’re mired in the mud, too busy delivering tactically to see and think about the big picture. You must become a delegater, not a doer, empowering your team to execute day-to-day operations while you shift your focus to creating a business-aligned support strategy. Achieving strategic planning leadership requires you to open your mind to new ideas, to take risks, and to expose yourself to new learning experiences.
[Full Article]   Dec-05-2006


State of IT Outsourcing

Outsourcing some of the IT Portfolio remains a direction that a majority of companies will continue to invest in as part of their overall smartsourcing or strategic sourcing strategy. Clearly the service and support function (Help Desk Level-1, Desktop Level-2 and Network Administration) of the IT Portfolio along with application development and network operations remain the most popular components to outsource. In September 2006, conducted a survey on the state of IT Outsourcing. Impressively, 93.30% of respondents said they would outsource again and 94.10% said they would recommend outsourcing. However, although you can easily save money outsourcing, if your customers are not being serviced and it starts to affect productivity and have business impact – then the cost savings is not what it appears to be on paper.
[Full Article]   Oct-31-2006


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