Managed Service Technical Support: A Better Solution for Midsize Companies and Their End Users
The middle child. The middle seat. The middle of the road. It’s tough being in the middle — as any midsize company can tell you. Your smaller counterparts are faster and more agile. Your enterprise rivals have greater resources and bench strength. Meanwhile, you have to compete with both.
The same is true of your IT resources. Small businesses can get by on a shoestring. Corporate behemoths have the funds for best-in-class infrastructure. Midsize companies are expected to field a world-class IT capability — yet on a midsize (read: really tight) budget.
Nowhere is this more relevant than in end-user technical support. You need to squeeze every advantage out of your IT investment. You need to coax all the focus and productivity you can from your employees. But you can’t allow IT service management to become complex and expensive.
IT service providers have been slow to recognize the gap in mid-market managed services. But there are technical support solutions designed specifically for midsize organizations. The key is to find a solution that’s right for your organization — and that will deliver a tangible competitive boost to your operations.
Midsize Service Desk: Fair to Middling?
The middle market is often referred to as the growth engine of the U.S. economy. In 2015, midsize companies expanded sales by 7.4 percent — compared with 2.9 percent for companies in the S&P 500, according to the National Center for the Middle Market. They also added jobs at a 4.3 percent rate, more than twice big business’s 2.1 percent.
But midsizers are worried, says a recent Deloitte study. In fact, among the top-five obstacles to growth is the cost of keeping up with technology, along with other top-of-mind issues such as an uncertain economic outlook.
Providing top-notch IT service management is a big part of keeping up with technology, because it directly impacts both operational expenses and employee productivity. Effective technical support can make or break your IT return on investment. And happy, productive workers are key to your organization’s ability to innovate, respond and succeed.
The trouble is, enterprise-class helpdesk solutions can be costly, and they don’t typically scale below 5,000 end users. Consumer-level options are more economical, but they aren’t robust enough for the mission-critical operations of fast-growing organizations.
Standardized Support, Big Results
As a midsize company, you need to identify an IT service management solution specifically designed to meet your unique needs.
First, look for a managed service desk that’s packaged and priced for companies that have 250 to 3,000 or more employees. Then, be sure it offers these essential capabilities:
- A managed service with established tools and service metrics
- Proven IT Service Management (ITSM) processes
- Multiple contact options for end-user technical support needs, including chat, self-service, automation, electronic and telephone
- Knowledge and best practices for today’s complex devices — from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops
- Automated workflow and technical support solutions
- A self-service password reset tool
- A partnered approach to educating and communicating with users for faster and more cost-effective service management
- Data analytics that drive recommendations for continual improvement
While the solution should be focused on the mid-market, the results should be enterprise-class. Look for these metrics:
- Up to 90 percent first call resolvable rate
- Up to 80 percent of support calls and chat requests answered in 60 seconds or less
- Up to 85 percent of password-reset calls avoided through self-service
- Up to 30 percent cost savings through ITSM-based processes and recommendations for lower-cost contact options
“Middle” and “medium” are often associated with negatives: average, ordinary, mediocre. But you’d never think of your midsize company in those terms. And you shouldn’t have to approach your IT service management from that perspective, either.
Midsize companies often occupy the sweet spot of their markets: solid, yet flexible, established, yet dynamic. You should be able to get an end-user technical support solution to match.
Please feel free to post a comment or question here.