18 November 2021

Outsourcing a dedicated service desk for enterprise

Outsourcing a dedicated service desk for enterprise

Can you get all the benefits of an in-house service desk team but with the extra flexibility, SLAs and management savings of an external team? The answer could be a truly dedicated outsourced service desk.

A keen observer of the managed services market would see that whilst many companies claim to have a “dedicated service desk”, their interpretation of what that constitutes can be very different.

For some, a “dedicated” service desk means staff are solely dedicated to their service desk function but still managing multiple clients.

Our definition of a dedicated service desk goes much further. When we refer to a dedicated service desk, we refer to a team solely and exclusively dedicated to servicing your business.

An embedded service

We can embed a service desk team within your organisation. Their only role is to look after your service requirements – and no one else’s. So, whilst they’re sitting in our offices and managed by us, it means that – as a client – you have a team that knows your business intimately and will always be available when you need them.

This option saves valuable time and spares you from waiting while the service desk looks up the project and ticket history to get a handle on the organisation and systems they’re supporting.

The amount of knowledge a service desk can develop by focusing on a single client is phenomenal. Even if a client has as many as 3,000 seats, our service desk staff usually know most of the team by name. They get to know the client as intimately as if they were a direct employee of that organisation. The only difference is that they are employed and are fully managed by us.

So why not have an internal service desk?

Businesses can go down this route, and many do. Still, the appeal of outsourcing their service desk (particularly for larger organisations) is the convenience of having one less problem to manage. Instead, they can focus their time and resources on areas that will grow the business.

The most critical difference is in the performance requirements placed upon external providers. We work to strict service level agreements (SLAs) and maintain strong incentives to meet those, with some of our contracts even imposing financial penalties for failing to meet agreed-on targets.

Another benefit of our solution is the people management aspect. If there are any issues with Service Desk team members, performance-related or otherwise, we manage and deal with that entire process. The responsibility for attracting and training new team members is also on us. The client doesn’t have to deal with any of that. They know we’re contractually obliged to meet service levels and how we go about that is our problem, not theirs.

Furthermore, being part of our team – rather than a direct employee of the client – our service desk people benefit from our broader tech focus and the acquired knowledge and training that comes from being part of an ever-evolving managed services company. This feature saves the client from needing to stay up to speed with the latest developments in technology and service desk best practices – all of the hard work is taken care of by us.

Issues and performance management

Another area where managed services tend to diverge from internal services is the level of reporting. Outsourced service desks – including ours – tend to offer much more detailed and regular reporting.

We provide all our clients with detailed monthly reports – a service you wouldn’t typically get from an internal department. We track everything and provide in-depth coverage on all aspects of our work. This coverage includes how we performed against the SLA on both response and resolution – the breakdown of incidents versus service requests – and drilling down into top issues, users, etc.

All that data can be sliced and diced, and trend analysis performed to help identify potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement. This way, we can fix issues at their core and ultimately drive incident volumes down. We can readily spot repeat issues or pain points on our clients’ behalf and offer solutions to remedy them. Because of our dedicated focus, we understand where problems come from and create a plan to resolve them.

ITIL-aligned service desk methodology

Our service desk methodology is aligned with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.

Through our ITIL processes and over-arching service management framework, we can deliver consistent and repeatable service outcomes that are measurable and reportable. In so doing, we can help organisations comply with their governance requirements.

Enterprise-level support

A dedicated service desk’s obvious downside is that it costs more to staff than the equivalent shared service, which typically operates with less spare capacity. So a dedicated service mainly appeals to Enterprise businesses with at least 300+ staff and/or those that are heavily reliant on technology. Companies that can’t afford the cost of downtime, or don’t want to carry the operational disruption of it, need highly responsive support. We find those businesses tend to look to a dedicated service desk solution.

Another determinant is the level of demand placed on the service desk. A business may have high staff numbers but relatively low service desk call volumes. Generally, it doesn’t make sense for those businesses to invest in a dedicated service desk solution.

Internal service desks offer the most value when organisations place a high demand on these services. We remove the burden of managing that and provide a level of performance management and ongoing improvement that is unparalleled.