Top 5 Value Propositions of an ITSM Platform Demo

IT professionals sit in a conference room working together while looking at a projector screen

Whenever potential clients evaluate a service desk outsourcing vendor, the tools of the trade are an integral part of that process. While flexible vendors are prepared to leverage whatever ticketing system or ITSM platform the client already has in place and should be mindful of that significant investment, the fact remains that many organizations may have never made such an investment, are dissatisfied with the current system, or will lose access with the departing vendor who owned it. In such instances, an ITSM platform demo might be a good next step, not only for the obvious reasons such as reviewing its features and functions. More importantly, it’s an opportunity to conceptualize how the transition to a service desk outsourcing solution might work in minute detail. While potential vendors are interested primarily in a managed service provider role more than one of software reseller, the platform or ticketing system is an ideal sounding board or preview of things to come.

Starting with the incident management process and how tickets are created, triaged, resolved and closed or, if necessary, escalated, those step-by-step visual cues are more conducive to prompting a list of unique requirements. Unlike reading a standard scope of services document, the demo is where the vision of the service comes to life in practical terms. Here are five reasons why:

1.Meeting the potential team

Sometimes hearing from the articulate, US-based IT professionals, who conduct the demonstration, goes a long way to reassuring prospective clients of service quality and technical depth applied to incident triage, documentation, and resolution. Team Leads are the operational touchstone for all day-to-day communication between the service desk and the client’s IT Management. Getting a sense of their technical savvy and people skills as well as their business insight is crucial when considering any service transition. The interpersonal dynamic of service desk staff and the client’s team is a great rapport builder from the moment they start talking shop.

2.Demonstrating the value of enabling service requests versus incidents

Since service desk outsourcing companies typically calculate pricing based on an agent’s average contact handle time, utilization, or some transactional variation determined by the time and involvement of a live agent’s support, removing them from the equation whenever possible keeps IT operating costs low. Adding a service requestoption for access requests (security/permissions), software installations, and hardware requests that bypasses Level 1 agents provide a lower cost option for clients. Even when part of the client’s culture is to call an agent for every issue under the sun, sometimes it only takes a few minutes to demonstrate how easy it is to submit a web form. It can create a major paradigm shift in how end users approach requests such as ordering a new phone which is not related to service interruption and therefore does not require an agent to troubleshoot and resolve.

3.Self service tools

In addition to service requests, self service tools such as Knowledgebase Articles, FAQs, and scrolling alerts that broadcast client system maintenance or outages, contribute to call avoidance strategies that promote cost avoidance. In a shared staffing model when pricing is typically assessed on a per incident or usage basis, minimizing unnecessary contacts to the helpdesk saves clients money. Even if they select a dedicated agent model, when a finite number of agents are expected to handle call volume spikes, giving end users a self service option may be an ideal alternative to longer than normal wait times. Once end users become comfortable with following the step-by-step resolution procedures in a searchable knowledgebase article or can find answers to common how-to questions in the FAQs, support will be less costly over the long term.

4.Review portal customization, private labeling, and workflow development

As part of the “One IT” concept, a good service desk partner will customize the end user portal in the client’s brand with staff greeting callers and identifying themselves as an operational extension of your in house IT group. That way your end users don’t even have to know you’re outsourcing support to a third party…unless of course you want them to know. Should the prior solution have left a poor reputation in its wake and discouraged contacts, coordinating a new ITSM platform release with an announcement of a new vendor can be a great service improvement one-two punch. In addition, addressing how incidents are assigned and escalated, if necessary, prompts those initial discussions with the client’s own IT groups regarding their, processes, and how they prefer to have incidents categorized and routed in a workflow.

5.Follow up questions

Even in the information age, every possible new service implementation scenario cannot realistically be covered on a vendor’s web site. That’s why at the conclusion of any ITSM platform demo, there is generally a Q & A session set aside to engage potential clients in a free form dialogue about the what, how, and when of the support model. During this session the topic of discussion can also focus on hypothetical next steps such as integration with their internal network, data security, reporting and SLAs including customer satisfaction measurements as well as root cause analysis and ongoing operational reviews.

The good news is there are no limits to what an ITSM platform demo can trigger in terms of how service desk outsourcing solution is structured and delivered. It’s never the same for any client and what interests them in terms of their daily operational requirements, current roles, or business goals. But those demos are always a good place to start.