Enterprises frequently ask AOTMP about outsourcing wireless help desk activities; so we recently sat down with Charlie Yielding, Vice President of Operations at G Squared Wireless to get his perspective on the subject:
1. What are the benefits/areas of benefit to outsourcing wireless help desk?
In the current enterprise wireless environment, there are several areas in which an outsourced help desk that is dedicated to wireless can be of great benefit.
Better Metrics and end user experience — Each area of wireless management support that is enhanced for an enterprise is important; but from our point of view, the end user experience is paramount. We focus on the ever-changing technology in the wireless industry which allows us to keep to a strict set of call metrics. This means that from the time our end users pick up the phone to dial the help desk number to the time the issue is resolved is around 10 minutes. Giving back precious time to our enterprise users in their already busy workday is an intangible value that only increases as the end user total becomes larger. We can also focus on quality control geared towards mobility support. This creates a more consistent user experience so that if 10 different users call in with the same question, they will get the same answer 10 times. Over time, this builds trust with the entire user base and creates a better experience, since the user will not have to second-guess the wireless help desk agent, which is usually done by calling in a second time.
Expertise and workload — As stated above, the wireless industry is ever changing. Changes have slowly gone from annual cycles in the days of Blackberrys to weekly, and sometimes daily cycles in the iPhone/Android era. We keep up with this change so that our clients don’t have to, which as a two-fold purpose: The enterprise doesn’t have to dedicate resources to keep up with the minutia of constant industry changes, nor do they have to apply that information acquired in a practical sense. Given that most enterprise wireless managers have two or more job titles, this gives them the ability to focus time and resources on things other than wireless.
2. How does outsourced help desk integrate/complement the IT help or support desk?
During implementation, we work with IT help desk management to ensure that both help desks are familiar with the other’s scope of work. We then work to set up processes around warm transfer of end users and escalation of global issues. This can be done via email or ticket creation in a universal support system like Remedyforce or ServiceNow. All of this is done so that both help desks seem like one large help desk with two groups that focus on either wireless or IT.
3. What are the top 3-5 considerations for outsourcing versus internal management?
Time — Do wireless managers and their teams have the time help every end user? In most cases, no. Our data shows that 13% of a user base will contact the wireless help desk each month and that an internal helpdesk will average between 15 and 20 minutes per call. So for an enterprise that has 5000 users, the internal help desk will need the resources to take approximately 650 calls. On the low end, that means end users are collectively on the phone 40 hours per week, or 2080 hours per year. With our 8 minute average handled time, we save end users of an enterprise this size a little over 18 hours per week which is 936 hours annually.
Cost — In the environment mentioned above, an enterprise will need 4 to 5 people to cover their users during a standard 8×5 workweek, and if 24 hour coverage is needed, it can easily be ten people. The loaded cost of establishing and maintaining a help desk is high and this approach can’t be scaled as easily as enterprise demands change. We take between 15k and 20k phone calls per month and the cost of adding 650 calls to our environment is much less because of our established infrastructure than it would be for an enterprise to maintain a help desk from scratch.
Expertise — Our help desk agents are wireless professionals dedicated to end user support. We set up long-term careers; and because of that we have less than a 5% turnover rate. Being able to keep so many wireless experts with countless hours of cumulative experience enables us to hold ourselves to the highest quality control standards, which includes AOTMP’s Efficiency First® Solution Certification. As mentioned before, this gives us the ability to create a high quality, consistent experience that makes dealing with wireless much easier to the average end user.
4. What types of companies/what are the characteristics of companies that benefit from outsourced wireless help desk services?
An outsourced help desk can be valuable to companies with deployments of 50 lines and up. We have clients as small at 80 lines and as large at 23,000, and to them and everyone in-between, we are a great value. The only thing that changes with the increase in deployment size is the number of people that get to spend time managing the wireless program instead constantly doing end user support.