New Technology Helps Reduce IT Waste and Improve Client Care

Posted by Steve Knutson on July 21, 2016

Most managed IT service client care teams focus on response time and time to resolve a ticket. They want to help solve the problem as fast as possible. At Marco, we’ve spent a great deal of time developing practices and measuring our performance around both response rates and ticket resolution time.

Marco2013_2_055.jpgRecently we gained a different perspective as we explored our processes and challenged ourselves to consider all our IT tickets as “waste.” While we have been focused on reducing the amount of time to resolve a ticket, we realized that users would rather us eliminate the tickets altogether. So the real question became how can we reduce the waste of IT?

We’re finding the answer in advanced application management or what’s been referred to as DevOps. DevOps is short for Development Operations. The term is commonly used in technology circles to communicate the ability to use technology to integrate and even automate IT or business functions. While technologists have long talked about the need and the possibilities, more recently, that talk has turned into real sophisticated action.

A BETTER APPROACH
Marco recently purchased a technology company that has customized dozens of apps and developed a sophisticated and highly automated client care system that delivers even better results for users. We’re in the process of integrating their practices into ours at Marco.

Automation through DevOps is the future. It can help organizations become more proactive. But it all starts with – and relies on – collecting accurate data that then can be analyzed and responded to.

That’s being made possible with specialized Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software and devices known as Data Collection Agents (DCAs). The combination of an integrated RMM tool with an advanced DCA can collect the critical metrics necessary to effectively manage the IT network. They give the Support Team better information, eliminate waste and allow technicians to serve clients better.

BETTER CLIENT CARE
With the new approach, organizations can…

  • Identify root causes.
    Often when users call the Support Desk, they report a symptom. It’s our job to find the underlying root cause and that can take time. With DevOps, we can expedite that process with artificial intelligence and provide a more complete resolution.
  • Correlate events real time.
    Technology issues are often interrelated, but it’s not always apparent. A user may call to report a slow email connection and then another user at the same organization calls about a voice call quality issue. Typically, those are seen as two separate tickets. With DevOps and automated data collection and analysis, our Support Team can more quickly identify that a Denial of Service (DOS) attack is causing the issue. In almost real time, we can see the various impacts and combine them into one ticket that is resolved more efficiently.
  • Fix issues before they impact users.
    We can take automation one step further to alert our Support Team of issues – before users ever call – and even set parameters that automatically fix issues such as virus attacks. In a recent blog about SD-WAN, I shared how the technology could allow organizations to more effectively and efficiently use all of their telecom lines. With the help of DevOps, we can receive alerts when traffic reaches a certain level on the primary line and redirect traffic to the secondary line that is often underutilized.

WHAT CAN DEVOPS DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Software has become a service and can play a key role in helping your organization improve quality and client satisfaction. Client expectations are changing. In our case, it’s important we show clients how we take the waste out of IT for them and deliver a high-touch, humanized team for the times they are best served in that way.

 It does require a new level of thinking and challenges us to let go of the manual processes that may feel more comfortable. But this is the direction the world is moving and I believe the outcome – better service – is definitely worth it.

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Topics: Managed IT Services, Technology Trends, Help Desk