June 2016

ABS Adds Prestigious New Clients

Through its successful partnership with CDW, ABS recently added a new service desk client, Brown Jordan International (BJI). The company is comprised of seven operating divisions, which manufacture and distribute outdoor furniture to the mass market national accounts, specialty retail, and contract markets as well as indoor furniture for the hospitality and lodging markets. Brown Jordan International selected ABS to be responsible for the overall IT Service Management for all of its end users on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis including not only Level 1 and 2 help desk support but also server and desktop management designed to mitigate risk and ensure that systems are running efficiently.

Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. (“HTA”) recently selected ABS to provide service desk support to its end-user base in 11 offices across the US and in Canada. The opportunity arose when HTA needed to transition Level 1 tasks to a remote first point of contact partner so that its internal IT staff could be redirected to core system monitoring, maintenance, and other strategic projects. HTA was also seeking a more robust ITSM platform to replace its legacy ticketing system so its users could access a portal from any location as well as self-service tools that help reduce IT operational costs. Lastly, the new solution needed to incorporate a more formal method of initiating support requests through various media channels such as phone, voice mail, email, web form, and text chat. As a result, ABS proposed its Service Manager solution which not only enables all contact methods but includes customizable administrative and end-user portals in addition to a comprehensive monthly reporting package.

Long-term Clients Renew Services with ABS

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an ABS client for over 13 years, has once again extended its agreement for remote service desk as well as onsite deskside support with ABS. The national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies initially chose ABS as its MSP in 2003 for such IT services. The current team of dedicated staff is located at BCBSA’s Chicago and Washington DC offices and are responsible for various tasks including executive support, security, video conferencing, deskside support, hardware receiving, and setup.  ABS also provides onsite management of its team and oversees desktop projects as needed.  In addition, remote Level 1 support is supervised by an ABS service manager who not only monitors all agents assigned to BCBSA, but relays any additional support requests from the client to ABS as they arise.

ABS Director of Operations Hector Gonzalez, who has been managing the relationship for its entire 13-year term, was thrilled when he received the signed agreement. “No matter how many years our two firms have been in business together, we will continue to earn their trust every day and never take it for granted,” says Gonzalez. “This confirms our shared philosophy that long-term relationships matter to both of our organizations not only to ensure consistent, quality service, but to strengthen bonds that result in higher productivity, better cooperation, and a willingness to adapt and innovate throughout the term of this partnership.”

Thomas Engineering, Inc., a valued customer of ABS’s since 2001, recently signed an agreement to extend on-site desktop support services at its Hoffman Estates, Illinois facility. Thomas is a global leader in the design, development, manufacturing, and integration of pharmaceutical machinery, nutritional machinery, and over-the-counter (OTC) tablet processing machinery and tablet press tooling. In addition to outsourcing support for ongoing Level 2 issues, Thomas also engages ABS’s infrastructure services team for the occasional server level project such as MS Exchange upgrades and email migrations.

How to Measure the Success of Your Service Desk

Service desk metrics not only measure the quality of operational performance from a personal standpoint, but they capture all quantitative data related to contact volume and type as they accumulate over time. Indeed, whatever categorization can be entered by the agent or automatically generated by the ACD, ticketing system can be plotted along the X-axis not only to show where the service desk has been but to chart the trajectory of where it’s going. With such a preponderance of trending data, paralysis by analysis need not apply. Instead, each page of a comprehensive service desk report should represent an opportunity to take action either towards service improvement or preparing for what may come next.

So, what are some of the standard metrics included in most service desk reports?

First and foremost, the SLA report is the best measure of the service desk team’s overall performance. Typical metrics include Average Speed of Answer for all contact channels (voice, voicemail, email, text, web form) as well as abandon, Level 1 resolution, and customer satisfaction rates. Assuming the ITSM platform or ticketing system can automatically generate surveys upon the closure of an incident, measuring individual satisfaction is the most accurate way to gauge the service desk’s reputation among the end user population. Without it, the perception may be limited to anecdotal input or offhand comments by the water cooler. Another metric to include in the SLA report is the contact to ticket ratio as it helps determine agent staffing levels necessary to meet the demand. Also, if the ratio is too high, it serves as a key indicator that there may be gaps in training, process documentation, or agent access limitations that hamper incident resolution on that first contact.