January 2013

2012 Recap: Our 7th Year of Solid Growth

2012 was another busy and exciting year for us at ABS! We added several key new clients in a variety of different industries further diversifying our client base. Most of our new business fell under our service desk (help desk) outsourcing practice with customers ranging from a few hundred employees in a single location to more than 6,000 employees around the globe. We also secured renewals with several other clients thus continuing our long-term trend of exceptionally high customer retention. The end result was our seventh consecutive year of growth for ABS which we thank our valued clients and professional team members for making happen!

In addition to supporting new client implementations, our infrastructure management team was also busy performing substantial upgrades to both our VoIP-based telephony system as well as a completely new IT Service Management system, both of which will provide significant value to new and existing clients alike and represent a solid foundation for continued growth.

Finally, all of our hard work was rewarded when we received our second annual American Business Award (aka Stevie Award), this year recognizing our ABShelp™ Global Knowledge Center team for their top-notch performance and customer satisfaction. Our congratulations go out to the entire team for adding to our successes in 2012!

The Hidden Gem Behind ABS’s Service Desk Support Infrastructure

Despite being the division of ABS that manages all of the infrastructure and major technology upgrades for the service desk, the Consulting and Networking Services division (CNS) of ABS remains one of the perennial unsung heroes for our organization in terms of client notoriety. To some extent, it even maintains a low profile among the staff they support internally. CNS provides the rather overused term “seamless integration” which tends to downplay the really long hours of late night diligence, planning, and back-end technological savvy that comprise a successful service desk launch and its ongoing functionality.

Although the CNS team currently supports its own client roster with Level 3 infrastructure management services such as Active Directory SolutionsNetwork Monitoring and Security, and Database Services as well as Managed Hosting on both a contractual and project basis, they also play an integral role in the onboarding process of new service desk clients. ABS’s Director of Consulting and Networking Services Raja Bhatthal explains, “Once a service desk contract is executed along with SLAs and an implementation plan, the Project Manager will engage one of the CNS team’s Database Analysts and assigned Network Engineer to make sure that their specific tasks are completed on time and they’re prepared for the scheduled “Go Live” date. That includes setting up every component of ABShelp™ Global Knowledge Center Solution such as assembling the reporting packet that measures the quality of the service desk, configuring the new IVR on the telephony side, setting up the incident management system and, finally, making sure the portal is ready to go including any customization that the customer requests.”

It is also the CNS team that assigns the service desk support 800 number to new clients, maintaining a pool of these numbers as well as failover telephony control to reroute the calls during potential telecom outages and coordinating the contact information with the customer’s internal IT department so that they can notify their end users. To establish inbound email support requests, the CNS team creates an email address and inbox for new service desk clients. And if there’s a more structured method the client wants to follow such as a detailed new hire process form, it is custom developed by a Network Engineer who gathers the information from the client and then formats it as specified to automatically generate the support request ticket.

But what happens after the new service desk is launched? Is the CNS Team still involved with client-side solution delivery at the service desk?

For more service desk related articles on the ABS blog click here.

ABS Releases New Three-Part Service Desk Whitepaper

In order to compile over 30 years of IT thought leadership expertise for the benefit of clients, prospects, and industry colleagues ABS has just released a three-part white paper on service desk support with each portion being dedicated to people, processes, and technology respectively. The white papers serve as a segmented operational blueprint intended to help organizations run more efficiently, ultimately reducing costs while increasing their focus on core competencies. Part I: Building Your Team, released this month, addresses the essentials of launching a service desk solution whether that be choosing between a shared and dedicated staffing model, establishing service desk agent KPIs, scheduling coverage during peak call periods and during international time zones, or managing agent backfill for every contingency. The white paper encompasses the best practices of team development and people management as organizations are presented with various operational scenarios over the life of a service desk.

The three-part series provides an insider perspective of service desk management and can be referenced by various organizations in different ways depending on their relation to the service desk industry. Prospects seeking an outsourcing solution may refer to it in order to identify the ideal service desk partner while other service desk organizations or companies that have developed an internal solution may compare operational notes or use it to introduce technology or process improvements to enhance their current offering. The free guides are posted on the ABS thought leadership page.