March 2017

ABS Welcomes New Service Desk Outsourcing Clients in 2017

Making additional headway into the public sector, ABS has added a Wisconsin county government client with a 5-year agreement providing Remote Level 1 help desk services to its 1,500 employees on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis. The organization selected ABS primarily due to subject matter expertise of its operational team during an extensive Q & A session with its internal IT staff. Another factor that contributed to the selection was the enhanced capabilities of the ABS Service Manager ITSM platform in terms of incident management, comprehensive reporting, and the potential for more in-depth root cause analysis. The platform also offers end users a self-service portal where they can perform various functions such as report an issue, submit support and access requests, check incident status, request devices and software, update contacts, or consult the self-help knowledgebase, and give feedback to address continual improvement initiatives.

Due to its ongoing, mutually beneficial partnership with CDW, ABS has secured new business with a major manufacturer of powerful vacuum cleaners, fans, heaters, and other products. The ABS service desk team will handle all inbound contacts after hours, on weekends, holidays to relieve internal staff that cover core business hours. To maintain consistency as well as brand neutrality, ABS service desk agents will be leveraging the client’s ticketing system. “Following a flexible approach, our solution was designed to serve as an operational extension where the client’s internal IT leaves off,” says ABS Account Executive Stacey Roos. “In this instance, it made sense for the organization to outsource after-hours support to ABS as we’re fully staffed 24 x 7 over the more costly alternative of hiring multiple third shift agents to accommodate the expansion in coverage.”

Lastly, a global skincare product manufacturer has selected ABS as its IT Managed Services Provider and signed a multi-year agreement for ABS services. Thanks again to being referred by its channel partner CDW, ABS will serve as the single point of contact Service Desk for the Irvine, California based company and its end users in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.  In addition to delivering remote Level 1 and 2 support on a 24 x 7 basis, ABS will provide on-site desktop support at the client’s US locations in California, Texas, and Indiana.  Desktop tasks include moves, adds, changes, and deletes (MACDs), receiving, application deployment, and patch management.

Illinois Tool Works Renews 24 x 7 Help Desk Support with ABS

Due to the ABS service desk team’s capacity to deliver quality Level 1 help desk support to approximately 6,000 external users, ITW has recently renewed its agreement for another two years. The Glenview, Illinois based Fortune 500 Company has been an ABS client since 2013. The renewal extends support through the first quarter of 2019 and includes nearly four times the monthly incident volume that was initially contracted.

ABS Client Relationship Manager Eric Wiechert, who manages the ongoing support and acts as the daily point of contact for ITW at ABS, was instrumental in winning the additional business while keeping in step with ITW’s significant growth.  “Part of the appeal of our service desk offering is it has built-in staffing model scalability that meets often drastic fluctuations in demand while still ensuring that service levels remain consistent and unwavering,” says Wiechert. “We are extremely grateful to ITW’s management team for awarding us the renewal and look forward to earning future business one support incident at a time.”

Service Desk Agent KPIs and Remediation

You can’t have a winning service desk without a scoreboard. The metrics matter and the numbers don’t lie.  What’s more, there’s no reason you’d want them to if continual service improvement is part of your game plan. A winning service desk not only delivers on SLAs (i.e. the cumulative performance metrics of all agents supporting a particular client), but monitors individual agent metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and provides guidance at every opportunity. For this reason, service desk agent KPIs are typically made available for agents to track their progress in real time and compare their progress with the team. More importantly, the team lead will conduct weekly or monthly KPI reviews or one-on-ones with each agent and discuss remediation strategies on any metrics where that agent may fall short. While service desks may vary on which metrics require higher priority or what target numbers to establish, the importance of each measurement and how it depicts the health of the solution is unwavering.

Average Contact Handle Time: 6.5 Minutes or Less

Though a 6.5-minute average may seem like an arbitrary number, years of Level 1 support metrics in a standard MS Office product support environment consistently bear out that industry benchmark. Getting off the phones quickly is not counter-intuitive to high-resolution rates. In fact, agents who habitually refuse to escalate incidents that require an on-site presence or additional access not only prolong resolution but may extend the Average Speed to Answer for the next caller.  Understandably, conscientious service desk agents abhor playing a log and route role and would rather work with an issue for 10, 15, and 20 minutes or even more before escalating it; however, considering that during a 20 minute contact as many as four other users can’t reach that agent for assistance puts that approach in proper perspective.  Even though the remaining agents available in the queue will pick up the slack on the latter metric, the lead conducts KPI reviews with all agents and instructs them on how to improve handle time lest more fall behind.