From Zero to Hero:
The Path to IT Service Excellence
Does your IT department have a perception problem within your organization? As IT professionals, it's easy to feel undervalued and under-appreciated by your peers throughout the organization. This may seem like an insurmountable issue, but with the right tools, you can quickly change minds while becoming more efficient.
Every employee within Medifit was our customer. And, they could either come to us or try to circumvent us and the later is usually what they would try to do. We had a brand, whether we knew it or not, and in everyones eyes perception is reality. We did a lot of communicating with people in our employee base on a regular basis, and was what we were communicating to them wasn’t getting through.
What is it that I need to do to take responsibility? I could no longer sit back and let people deal with the Solution Center and just get what they get. It wasn’t us versus them, it wasn’t a we’ll just give them some stuff….it was beyond that. I had to really think about what I can to do to effect change.
We really wanted to focus on two specific areas, including our solution center’s technicians. We wanted to find out how people felt about the service we were providing to them. Overall, the experience that people were having with the solution center: are there things they thought we did really well? Or, things they thought we could do even better? We involved the marketing department to help us with designing a company wide email to solicit this info. We could have easily sent out a text email, but we really wanted to start there by creating a brand presence.
We were in no way seen as a “solutions” center. We saw that we had a problem. We really had a perception problem. People felt that we weren’t responding to them in a timely manner. We weren’t relating to them, it was almost as if we were speaking a different language. We were using way too much tech jargon for our folks. We didn’t care about them we were just there to fix their problems and boot them out the door. People just didn’t understand what we were there for, they didn’t really understand the value that the solution center provided. People wanted to avoid us, unless they absolutely needed us. They also felt that we weren’t communicating with them will and keeping them abreast of what was going on. We really had no respect within the organization. We were giving people lop-sided importance to tickets. We had to put so much work into the support we were providing, we were just plowing through things and weren’t always effective. We were dropping balls left and right and failing to follow up.
Our old ITSM solution was just not working for our needs any more. It didn’t help us provide that strategic level of service that we needed. We had to spend a lot of time using other tools to piece together a solution that would work. It often failed to give us a full insight as to what was going on, so we couldn’t effectively manage anything all the while business doesn’t stop and more requests are coming in.
Our old ITSM solution was really limited in asset tracking. We had significantly less licenses than what we needed, and buying more licenses was just cost prohibited at the time. Since our tool was in house on our servers, we needed to keep everything up to date and we needed stay on top of our hardware, we needed to do all that. We had cumbersome spreadsheets that we were using in conjunction and it couldn’t really provide us with the contract management, prescription management we needed. On top of that we were also relying on vendors to remind us when things were coming up and being due which made it a real nightmare for budgeting. We really didn’t have a centralized place to manage everything.
We needed to go from that zero to the hero. We wanted to be a strategic business partner rather than a liability.
The new tool had to have asset management. The 50 licenses that we had we had to remember to manually sync every time we needed to find out the status of all of our assets. We also needed to have a solution that gave us the ability to manage our contracts, our licenses our perceptions. We really wanted to keep everything in one place so that we could reference with ease. We wanted a knowledge base, to give some of the power back to our employees, allowing them to go in and really look for their own solutions at their leisure without having to wait for the Solutions Center team to provide them with answers. We wanted something that was scalable we needed to know if our organization was 10% or 80% in 1 year or 5 years that the tool that we choose could handle that. It needed to easily integrate into the tools that we use with a single sign on solution. We just wanted to have the latest and greatest at all times. We didn’t want to worry about support, software, maintenance, we just wanted to use it.
We spent several months looking for a tool. Narrowed it down. Once we got to our top 3 tools that met those needs, that when the entire team was brought and that’s when we all started looking at the tools from a usability standpoint.
Used Samanage to create the perception that we wanted to be people’s reality. Once we actually started using Samanage, we realized that we can check off some of our “nice to haves”. We were able to go from a help desk to really an organization service desk. We were able to create a unified service management and reach beyond IT to get other business units using the tool with very little training. Our Payroll department uses it similar to how IT uses it as a help desk, we have our HR and Recruiting departments use to to provide a more seamless port. You don’t have to deal with telling an employee that they sent their ticket to the wrong place. We were able to create roles within Samanage, so you only have people seeing that they need to be seeing.
Some of the cross functional benefits we saw at Medifit were: payroll was able to get rid of their shared e-mail box, which was really cumbersome for them to manage. Another benefit for our end users was the self-service portal and having the same interface no matter what department they were looking for information on. They were able to get the same layout, things were familiar to them because it was all unified. They only had to go to that one place. Because we were using single sign-on with our Google Apps, they didn’t have to worry about another login.
We were able to get a great return on our investment and we were able to successfully improve the perception of the Solutions Center, which was our ultimate goal. The payroll department went from turning questions around in two business days down to one, they went from answering pay related questions 2-3 days later to within 4 business hours.
With Samanage we are spending about a third of that and streamline our budgeting and improve our usability. Samanage was that supporting character that moved us from zero to hero.