3 Proven Ways to Unbury your IT Service Desk
October 21, 2015
Managing IT services has rarely been as challenging as it is today. Many IT organizations are being called upon to improve service levels while being asked to control costs. In this webinar, you'll learn about three approaches IT organizations can take to streamline incoming service inquiries to improve productivity, efficiency and agility to handle escalating demands without increasing costs.
Dave: Good morning, good afternoon or good evening to some of you depending on where you are and listening to this webinar or are replaying it. Thank you for joining our event today, I'm Dave Martinez with HEAT Software. And the topic of our webinar today is Three Proven Ways to Unbury Your Service Desk. I'm pleased and honored to have as our featured speakers today, Randy Jessee, Director of Product Management at HEAT Software, and Mike Heberling, Director of Voice Solutions at HEAT Software. Both Randy and Mike have been involved in the IT service management arena for many years with many customer and industry engagements. It is both an honor and a privilege to have them join me today to talk to you.
Before we get started with the session, we wanna hear from you about your IT service desk. You'll see a question window in just a second. You'll see a question window now asking, "How buried is your service desk?" Please take a moment to reply, either that your service desk is completely buried, or not at all, or somewhere in between. We'll leave that window open for a bit and share the summary of results with you after the webinar. So we'll get that open for a little bit. But let's go ahead and continue.
We have a full session planned today that will give you some really good takeaways and hopefully get some discussion going on within your organization on how to unbury your IT service desk, but also more importantly how to innovate IT service management in general. Let's start with the highlight of the three approaches that we'll talk about shortly that will help unbury your IT service desk. And obviously there are a lot of other things that are critical IT service management that we'll also be covering, but we think these three proven ways are ones that we've seen proven in the industry time and time again and will make a big difference going forward, and provide a good foundation as you transform your IT service desk.
Okay. We look at our agenda. Well, first I have a quick summary of the need to unbury the service desk. Then we'll get into the three proven ways of automation in workflow, self-service and service catalog and voice integration. Then we'll wrap up and close the session and move into the Q&A. Now before we get into the session, we'd like to ask you one more question as well. The question is, "What are the top two current plans you have currently to unbury IT service desk?" Please use the Questions tab in BrightTALK to reply. Feel free to share as much as you like, and again we'll share the summary results with you. Thank you for taking the time to reply.
Once we get started with our sessions, please use the Questions tab to send us your questions during the webinar, and we'll be happy to take as many of those as we can at the end. Which ones we don't get to the end, we'll share the answers with you afterwards. And with that, let's get right over to our program. Randy, let me turn it over to you first and have you set the context of why the IT services desk needs to get unburied. You now have the floor and the controls.
Randy: Thanks, Dave. Before we get started obviously on talking about some of the ways that you can unbury your service desk, it probably makes sense to take a moment just to kind of review at least here at HEAT Software some of the various things that we're seeing in the industry that's causing your desk to be flooded. I'm very interested in seeing your feedback to see if you guys feel the same way. So first of all, a big trend that we're seeing is what we call consumerization of IT services. If you think about you as a consumer not as an owner of a service desk behave, you're probably ordering a lot more things online, you know, through Amazon, maybe you go to Best Buy. Even if you go to a place like Home Depot quite often now, you'll find yourself looking at a very large catalog of things that you can order. In the news yesterday, there was an interesting article that some of the large apartment buildings are actually having to stop accepting packages because they're so overwhelmed with the number of things being fulfilled that way.
And where that applies is that it's now coming back to our same expectations as employees that when we interact with IT, we expect the same kind of behavior. I don't necessarily wanna call, I don't necessarily wanna walk up, I may, but in any case, whatever channel I come to you, I wanna be able to have a listing of the services that you provide and be able to deal with those just as I would as a regular consumer. In general, we're seeing a higher expectation from those users of our IT departments. I mentioned phone and [inaudible 00:05:03] as the two different ways we see it. Interestingly we're starting to see the prevalence of even genius bars, so the idea of there is even walk-up support.
Again, very analogous to your real world life. If you go into a grocery store, you're probably seeing both a self-service checkout line and one with checkout cashiers. So their expectations of you is increasing all the time and, of course, that increases the load on your service desk. Another area that more traditionally we have to focus on is that if we're not efficient in resolving these incidents that these users are raising, or dealing with the overall problems in our IT Department, that just means we get farther and farther behind.
Another new trend that we're seeing is because technology is enabling us to do more of what would have traditionally been done by operations, let's say things like patch management or installing software that the customers' request, those things can now be done through the service desk. And so more and more of that load will be pushed towards you as the service desk managers to be able to handle those activities. And so again, if you're not geared up to be able to deal with that, the load will increase and you'll find yourself farther behind. I think this has probably been something we've been dealing with since the '70s. The CIO [SP] isn't usually stopping by your office to say that he's really proud to have increased your budget this quarter because, you know, you've done such a fantastic job. IT always is under the pressure of, you know, how can we reduce costs, how can we streamline. And so if you're not getting increased staff, you're probably static on staff and the load is increasing underneath you, so we have to find ways in technology to keep you above board.
So we thought today we would focus on three distinct areas that we've seen a lot of value with our customers. No matter what company you're with, I'm assuming you probably already have a service desk application. Everything we'll talk about today should be things that are available in that application. If they're not, certainly give us a call at HEAT Software. Everything I'll show you today are things that we do do with our software regularly, so all of the examples that you see are things that we use our technology to do.
Let's start with the first one, automation and workflow. The idea here is there are a set of things that we can use our service desk applications to kind of take control and make our lives better. First, it will eliminate a lot of redundant activities. If you've ever been on an email with more than four or two people on the list, it's always a question of which one of you is really supposed to be doing the work that's asked for in that email. If we start using workflow engines to control this information flow, then we can decide who is the appropriate person and only assign it to them. If they're not able to respond to it, again the automation can take control and make sure that somebody else does work on that task, so we can eliminate a lot of redundancy in your organization.
We can reduce the amount of time spent on routine tasks. If you wanna reduce your service desk agents' job satisfaction, just keep giving them the same job to do over and over again that's totally mindless. They hate that. The typical service desk agent likes being a hero, they like solving unique and interesting problems. So let's take anything that is repetitive and automated. Again, we can put in a workflow if necessary or business rules, what have you, to be able to automate those processes. An outcome of that is that we will get more repeatable and more consistent decision-making in the organization. Again, if the same flow is going and let's say sort of reality of most service desks because we do have turnover at the analyst level, so rather than having the new guy trying to figure out what the heck he's supposed to do with the automation, workflow can take care of all of that for him, he can focus on just doing his job of trying to answer the employees' questions.
And then if we actually look farther upstream into the change and release process, automation can actually have a lot less downtime. If we start doing a better job of coordinating a change using a change advisory board and so on to be able to manage all these changes, we could find out if there's gonna be a conflict, if it's gonna happen at an inappropriate time, things like that. We actually reduce downtime so customer satisfaction will naturally come up from that. One thing I wanna caution you, and this is probably as much the fault of us as vendors as it is you guys as consumers of our technology, automating is something that obviously the technology can do. If we rush headlong into it, quite often it will fail. So I think Bill Gates said it very nicely that, "If you automate an efficient operation, you magnify that efficiency, but conversely if you automate an inefficient process, you actually magnify that inefficiency."
So let's not rush into it. If we just go out and start automating things, that may even be worse than sitting still. So again, if we got this need to unbury the service desk, let's think about how we can go about that. So where do we start? As with almost any good project, you wanna start with clear goals. If our goal is to unbury the service desk, let's look at what's our current service loading, how many tickets are coming in per day, what can we do to reduce that. If we're looking at maybe it's timed resolution, maybe we've got a reasonable incoming incident volume, but it's taking us too long to resolve them, there's too many reworks, things like that, so let's decide what those are.
Then the next step is to get out the pencil and a piece of paper. We're not quite ready to jump into the technology yet, but let's meet with the various constituents to solve any specific individual problem. And we'll go through a real world example here in a minute of something we've automated. But let's go through with the constituents, let's whiteboard it out and figure out what the actual process is. Once we've got that clearly documented, then we can start applying the tools to design a process workflow. So let's select the tool, start taking over and guiding the activities that we've defined in this process manually.
A key element will be looking at the various integrations. I mentioned earlier that quite often we're seeing integrations now with client management for things like maybe remediating somebody who's got Flash. It seems to be in the news quite often for having problems with security. Maybe we need to go patch a guy's machine to bring it up on the latest version. If we have the right integrations in place, that can happen from within the service desk with no extra steps. Once we have put automation in for a given process, we always wanna come back and measure it. It's almost guaranteed you won't get it perfect the first time, so if you do you measure the outcome, you'll see how well you came to your goals, and then you give a chance to refine it and improve over time. So this should be an ongoing feedback loop, as described. I told you, we wanna keep looking at it and improving over time.
If we do that, what's the benefits that we'll see? We've talked about increasing the efficiency of the service task. Again, processes will happen without redundant work. Interestingly we see that it will actually reduce the maintenance costs if we start automating things like availability management. So tracking all of the events coming into your organization, and then getting an overall feel for your equipment and your service availability, we can start to spot trends and know when certain equipment needs to be maintained, when certain equipment needs to be replaced. So we don't just get in a cycle of waiting until the employee is completely frustrated, we can actually start proactively knowing, yeah, all of the older Dells we have need to be replaced because we're seeing a trend where they're starting to fail, the hard drives, things like that. It'll also give you an end visibility of your service level performance, and this is important for you when you're back talking to your senior management about the budgets that you need. If you're able to give them a clear visibility of your effect on the business, that gives you a much better argument when you've got, you know, data to back that up.
All of these lead to improved service quality and really the core reason that we exist as IT departments which is employee satisfaction. They're out there trying to bring money in for our company so if we can keep them efficient, that's a very powerful thing to do.
I'll give you a real world example of an automation that we see very prevalent within HEAT Software and that's the change approval process. This is an example of a customer that we worked with that before they put automation in, they would send emails out to the what they call change advisory boards. So there was a group of people who were responsible for approving a given change to any IT equipment. And what would typically happen here is one guy would be on vacation, two guys would be busy with other emails and don't read it. One guy would respond and now they are stuck. Do we wait for the other guys to vote? Do we take the one guy that approved it? There was really no way then to get that efficiently done. It was a serial process so quite often it would get stuck in one guy's desk waiting for his approval and then the next guy wouldn't respond, and as mentioned, no criteria.
So as you can see in the very tiny screenshot there, we put in a workflow that would sit behind the change process and it would look at several factors. We would decide is this an emergency change? If so, there's probably a different change board that needs to be notified and respond. If it's a standard change that's, again, a different group of people. So we still use email as the mechanism. That was the people that did change approvals weren't people that were regularly in the software, so we would send an email, but the difference is now we can send an email to all of them in parallel, everybody that was on the board. We could send them reminders if they didn't respond, and we could put in validation criteria, so if anybody denied the change, that was a red flag and we would put that the change on hold. If however we didn't have anybody deny it but we had, in their case, over 50% of the people voting yes, then we can go ahead and say, "Okay, this is a valid change, let's go ahead and move through the process." If somebody is on vacation, that's okay, we've now accounted for that and we're able to do a better job of approving these. This led to a much shorter change cycle and a much higher rate of changes going through the system without causing unexpected downtime and so on.
Okay, moving away from automating various tasks within an organization, another area that we're seeing a lot of positive effect is by implementing self-service. Gartner actually sees this now as their number two request that they're getting in their inquiries as far as people wanting to implement self-service. Again, we go back to the consumerization of IT, your employees are demanding it and you wanna see it from your side as well just to help unbury.
One of the things that we wanna do is recognize that most users really would prefer to solve their own problems. Again, this is a very different behavior than maybe 20 or 30 years ago. You know, again, we can use analogies in the consumer world. You used to go to banks, you wanted to meet with your teller, you had a personal relationship, now you walk up to the outside and use your ATM. So we should be really looking heavily on ways to implement self-service. And I wanna caveat this to say don't look at self-service as a way of ticket intake, which is kind of how we used to design self-service. Now you wanna look at self-service as being truly that, ways for your employees or consumers to consume your services. So let's look at ways of not only collecting the information but automating it. And we'll talk about some real world examples there as we move on here. This is if done properly with a service catalog, quicker and easier than submitting tickets, it will collect the right information and so on. I'll get into in the next slide a little bit about what I mean by a service catalog.
Another thing that's very important with self-service, again, if we can design it in a way that they're able to remediate their own problems is that we start looking at employee disruption versus efficiency of the service desk. Those of you who have been with the service desk or call center industry for a long time, we've been looking at fees and speeds forever now. And every second we can say very quickly we can take makes our service desk more efficient, but if we compare that to lost employee time, it becomes really minimal as far as the value to the company. If your current backlog in a service desk is 24 hours, having an employee not able to do their job for 24 hours is a much, much bigger effect than saving 15 or 20 seconds on the actual processing of that ticket.
So self-service and service catalog will really buy us a lot as far as being able to get users back up and productive much more quickly than if they do have to go through to the service desk. And a side benefit of that is that you as a service desk will be less busy, you'll be able to solve the other problems that we couldn't solve through self-service, again, more efficiently leading to higher employee productivity.
When we talk about self catalogs, that can be a large thing, meaning the whole running your business as a service or more finely focused, and I think that's what we'll focus today is on a catalog of services that you provide to your customers. So these can be things for requests for specific IT assets, maybe they want to be able to…even something...anything that has a known root cause, I want the light bulb replaced over my desk, those can be items that you put up in a catalog of services that then users come in through self-service and order them. So it's not something where they have to take in a whole description of what the problem is, you've already classified that you provide the service and they can just order it. They can even get into more sophisticated business requests like employee on-boarding that would have a whole lot of data needing to be collected, a whole lot of people needing to be involved in the fulfillment of that. In fact, we'll use that as an example here in a minute.
So where do we start with self-service and service catalogs? Probably the most important thing is realize that your service catalog is a work in progress, it's kind of like automation. If you try to boil the ocean, you'll probably fail. Start with maybe your top five items that are most commonly coming in to your service desk as incidents that have known solutions to them, and put those up in your service catalog. One of our most important service catalog items that we ship is a request for our service catalog request offering. So you can actually put it out to your own employees, "Hey, what would you guys like to see us offer?" and then build based out on that. So you can actually run, just like we do as a software company, look for future requests from your own customers.
Design services that your customers can access themselves. Again, we really want to focus more, at least initially on the self-service capabilities than just intake. Now certainly sometimes intake can also have efficiencies, but the biggest bang for the buck that we want to look for initially is ones where customers can self-remediate. When you build out self-service, it's very strongly advised to look at knowledge management as well. Well over half of the users resolving their own issues are doing so by looking into a knowledge base. So again, there's a lot of institutional information you're capturing either through your incident process or just the employee input, capture that, make knowledge articles and expose them back to other users so that when the next guy has the same problem, then he can quickly find an answer and move on. So take advantage of your service desk tools to do that.
Another thing that is very important is this is not the field of dreams. You must advertise this out to your users. They won't know that you've thrown up a great new service catalog web page unless you tell them. So whatever mechanisms you have, if you have a social calendar or social media capability in your organization, email blasts, whatever it takes, tell them and tell them often that you have these new capabilities and that they're there for them to take advantage of. Wherever you have been using to input the tickets, if they're calling you on the phone, maybe a reminder as part of the phone message, again, just keep thinking of ways to let them know that there are ways that they can serve their own, and that will dramatically reduce the incoming volume to you as a service desk.
If we do that, couple of things will come about for us. One is that we shift from being a reactive service desk to a proactive service desk. One of things we like to guide customers is to think of yourself as if you've been outsourced. So many of you have probably faced a threat or even now today have outsourced IT service desks. When that business came in to your CIO and said, "Hey, we want to outsource IT," they came with a list of benefits that they were going to be, and one of those is to be very proactive. We're gonna be in front of the customers, we're going to give them a catalog of services, they can order things like that, instead of just sitting and waiting for somebody to fill out an incident report and sending it in to us. So you wanna become a service to your business. So that's something that a service catalog actually helps you outline is what in fact are my services that I provide? Do we provide funds to the business, do we provide email, do we provide web servers, do we provide SharePoint servers? What are the services that you provide that your customers should be able to order from you?
A side effect of doing this in a service management tool is that now we'll start to be able to manage our service level agreements, and if there are external vendors operating level agreements, then track those. Let's say, you know, do I tell my business, "Hey, I'll provide 95% uptime on the email service or 98% of the time." That gets you out of the game which you're in today which everybody that has a service from you expect 100% uptime. That certainly could be provided but maybe that's more expense to the business. So they can actually look at the trade-offs of, yeah, we'd be willing to live with 99.5% uptime, and there was up to 30 minutes of downtime a week or a month, whatever it is, and then once you have that agreement, then you can track it and see how you're performing.
Again, if we're self-serving, just like with the automation we talked about in the change side, now all of a sudden we'll get increased efficiencies because people are self-serving. And again, the lower strain on our service desk means you start having happier customers. So the same benefit essentially as automation. And in fact if we look at it, much of the things that we'll do through a service catalog also will take advantage of some automation, and I'll talk about that a second.
So here's an example where a customer was doing new employee on-boarding through our tool. Before they had automation and self-service, there are many people that need to get involved with bringing on a new employee. If you think about it, facilities has to be involved to make sure that guy has a cube, if they have to have power to that cube, they probably have to have network to that cube. We had to have the IT team involved as far as getting their computer ordered and provisioned. We had to have the telecom team to get a phone on their desk. And a lot of these things can't happen before something else happens. If I show up with a phone and the network isn't there yet for me to plug the phone into, we lose efficiencies because people are waiting on each other. So all of a sudden now with... And by the way, in this case, there was no measure of success. We didn't know if we were doing a good job with on-boarding employees. In fact, the only time we really knew was because people were showing up and there was no computer, there was no desk, and they sat around twiddling their thumbs, and obviously you're paying an employee that's providing no value.
With automation and self-service, we were able to capture everything that we needed up front. What was a big problem for this particular customer was that quite often they would get, you know, an email from a manager saying, "Hey, Bob's going to start on Tuesday. Okay, what does Bob do? What computers does he need, all that?" Now all of a sudden, we know, we can think about ahead of time what information we need to properly on-board an employee. We set up different sections so that we can capture all of that. We even were able to build out a cost thing that it wasn't physical dollars but a chargeback system so that we could track what does it cost to bring on an employee, and does that in fact vary based on what equipment we order for them and so on. So we were able to build a nice financial analysis that helped us understand the value that IT was bringing to bring on a new employee.
And then finally, just like with our change example, we put a workflow behind this new employee on-boarding, so that as the employee came in, now all of a sudden we have coordination. As a task is assigned out to the team that was gonna put in the network drop, as soon as they finished and closed that assignment, then all of sudden a new assignment would be created for the telecom team to come bring in the phone, and when they get there, they know concretely that the network drop was there already for them. In parallel, probably HR could get involved so that, you know, all the guy's benefits plans are set up and everything else, so that everybody stays working, you know, as quickly as possible in parallel when practical but serialize were necessary. And again, by automating all of that, we end up with a repeatable process so that employees now get on-boarded and actually have everything they need when we expect them to have it. So let's skip over from the self-service and service catalog and talk a little bit about how we can use the telephone system to do a better job of reducing the load on your service desk. Mike?
Mike: Thanks, Randy. I really appreciate it. Thanks for the great setup. So what we're gonna talk about is using voice tools in enterprise service management for IT. There are various enterprise service management applications video which might include HR or customer service facilities and so forth, but out focus today is on IT. What we'd like you to consider is that there's two opportunities that you have to use a voice tool to improve the, not only the intake, as Randy talked about, the intake of a new incident, but what we tend to describe internally at HEAT Software is call deflection. And by call deflection what we mean is as the call is coming in, if we can recognize the reason why the person might be calling, can we completely accomplish everything that an agent, the first level support agent might accomplish if they had answered the call? Then the answer to that is yes, it's the right set of tools.
So for instance, if somebody needed to reset a password in an Active Directory environment, our IVR can answer the call, can identify and authenticate who the caller is. If there's an API, reset the password in Active Directory, generate and close an incident that's associated with that, and alert the person, supervisor, and that person himself that for security purposes, that that password was reset. That's in total everything that an agent would have done but is now all accomplished via self-service through an IVR. Well, from a problem management perspective, an outage might be happening, and an interesting example of a recent outage I saw in "CNBC" this morning, they talked about how some of the sites for movie tickets were overwhelmed and actually failed when people started ordering their "Star Wars" tickets for the last two days.
So I am sure there are some folks, you know, whatever [inaudible 00:28:41] wherever that movie ticket site is, there was a lot of people calling the help desk at that time. Look at all the revenue they were missing. We need to be able to get that site back up. In that instance, they could have taken all of those inbound calls and generated an incident for each one of them so you can measure the impact and then who is calling about it. We can attach all of those from an incident perspective to a problem, and then we can do a notification and so forth at the end, to let people know that the sites are back up. So that would be call deflection. And in fact, we could have probably gone a little bit farther, we could have actually taken some of those calls and referred [SP] some of those services in the right environment.
Outside of what you see on the left-hand side of the screen that an IVR can accomplish via self-service or call deflection, on the right-hand side there's also some ability from ACD or automatic call distribution or call center perspective to interact with the CMDB and other tools that as the calls are coming in, we can look up what is that CI that something is calling about, and making sure that that information that's relevant is delivered to an agent's desk. At the state of Kentucky, their transportation bureau, as calls were coming in, they actually delivered information that's associated with knowledge base based on collections of folks that are making in the IVR, on the inbound calls. So we're delivering not just the call, and not just a screen patch, but some information associated with why that person might be calling from the knowledge base or resolution [inaudible 00:30:20].
The sweet spot of value that we offer in this tool is in the middle there, the service automation. It brings in the telephony component, the great products that are built by Cisco, Avaya [inaudible 00:30:39] and so forth. And then the service management solution, it's a….it's that little part that most people spend the most money on to drive, say, this automation, and very honestly it stops them from taking advantage of some of those tools. It can be six figures to actually hire the professional services from both the telephony side and the service management side to accomplish the task. And the value that we have seen in the last few years in offering those solutions is the ability to provide [inaudible 00:31:17] costs.
What we're really looking to do is to sort of flatten out those cycles of business that we all go through. I noticed in the "Wall Street Journal" the other day that the Federal Reserve is still paying 0% interest for money that people are parking in their treasury bills, which means that we're still not really fully there in terms of economic recovery. And so what happened back in 2008, late, I think, 2008, early 2009, I remember there caused a major disruption in our economy. In 2010, 2011, we all got to see some of our 401ks and stocks start to slowly go back up and we saw Wall Street improving. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and up until today, we've seen increased volume for Main Street. So Wall Street's always a leading indicator of what Main Street activity is.
And so we've seen the volumes and we haven't necessarily seen CIOs and CFOs [inaudible 00:32:27] desirous to spend a lot of money at the service desk. And so service automation, the type of tools that Randy has been talking about today really plays an important part of leveling out the efforts and the quality of delivery of service by volumes that increased around Main Street, while capacity at the service desk hasn't necessarily been increasing at the same degree.
We also to talk to folks about how to identify this particular service automation tool and benefits yield. And the best way to do that, of course, is some type of return on investment discussion. So what we found are two tools used by the Help Desk Institute or created by the Help Desk Institute on the information provided by Gartner. And that is if you look on the left-hand side, the HDI Practices and Salary Survey that's published on an annual basis shows a fully burdened cost for an average incident, walk up cost is $29.30, for phone $27.60, emails $21.67 [inaudible 00:33:38] because email is one of those unique things. Remember Randy was talking earlier about that the intake. One of the funny things that you'll find in the HDI Practices and Salary Survey, if you really dig down into the numbers, is that for every email that you see, just to intake a new incident, it will generate two and a half times that number in telephone calls.
And just because we in-took something and we push them to email rather than, say, a service catalog or a self-service page where you can do some self-remediation, that consumerization that Randy was talking about, instead of actually resolving some issues or moving it along, you just create an opportunity for our first level support folks or second level support folks to make two and a half times more calls than [inaudible 00:34:30]. So call deflection, as he suggests, is an important aspect of [inaudible 00:34:36].
What we're really hoping to achieve is to take that $27.60 of phone call and move it into a self-service cost of $13.50 or roughly a $14 savings. A lot of organizations don't necessarily know what they even have, the "why" [inaudible 00:34:53] Gartner provides some examples. So these are some examples that we can talk about today. So the how-to is at 27% to 43%, password security is at 20%-35% rate, outages 12%-25%, break/fix, service request [inaudible 00:35:09]. So if we look at incidents by type and we take a, you know, a kind of small organization generating 28,800 incidents per year, and if we use some of the Gartner numbers that we have, it's an 8% for outage rate, so our voice mails through the hour, call volume, driving cost [inaudible 00:35:36] now at 5%. Password reset at 10%, again, low. And then some auto [inaudible 00:35:41] creation opportunity that we have based on a particular outage [inaudible 00:35:48].
And if we look at the cost by type and we compare those to the numbers that were presented to us by the Help Desk Institute, we can say based on 28,800 incidents and the percentage of those that are associated with major outages, fully burdened cost is associated with the creating those incidence is $29,168 over the course of the year. Our voice mails and after-hour and [inaudible 00:36:17] hour type of cost, meaning that a lot of organizations have…they have services that after their after-hour…they answer their after-hour calls generate 50,000 hits, or we're sending them to some off-site location, generating tickets from it and then doing the follow-up. We've seen as much as 24,000 for that type of incident volume. Password reset can generate $48,960 worth of cost over a course of the year based on the percentage of tickets to them, and then another 24,000 for unofficial [inaudible 00:36:56].
So if we look at call deflection and the ability that we have to take those and move them from a $26 ticket, so it's just answered by a telephone call without any call deflection associated with it, and move that into a deflected call where we're providing all of the services that are associated with...that a first level support agent would have provided. So in other words, every call that came in for a password reset, to process those is 28,800 over the course of the year because an agent didn't have to answer the call, they moved them to a self-service environment, and they still got the password reset, they still got an incident created, they still notified them and their supervisors that that password has been reset. Excuse me.
For outages, you know, a router goes down and help desk gets flooded with calls. Rather than just say, "Yeah, we know about that outage," and hang up, or, "Yeah, I know about that outage," and hang up and fail to create tickets for all of those, we can actually use the IVR to answer the call, generate the incident, patch it to the problem, and do your notifications on the back end when the issue's resolved. Complete call deflection.
And so the question really becomes, "What can I do?" So the current process is, from [inaudible 00:38:22] associated with that is $137,088. If you use this call deflection, the service automation that we've been talking about, you could have saved over the course of the year based on the numbers that we've shown, $72,000. So for instance, if you're using a, you know, an out of date help desk or ticketing system, and you wanted to use…move into the cloud environment, you can purchase 25 [inaudible 00:38:53] dollars and you would still have the first in subsequent year an annual savings of $34,500. So we ask the question, "Well, what does this make room for? Does this make room for an investment [inaudible 00:39:05] solutions? Does this make room for investment of another headcount?" because as Randy mentioned, it's your employees that are actually costing money. It's not the savings of a few dollars of the help desk. We can say it's $34,500, which is just shy of what Help Desk Institute would say a fully burdened cost for the first level support person would be, but the actual savings is getting that manufacturing line back on, getting the salesperson back on the road, getting their paychecks out on time. And can represent billions of dollars on savings in [inaudible 00:39:38]. So Dave, before I hand it back over to you, I think there's one last thing that we wanted Randy to take on. Is that correct, Randy?
Randy: Yes. Thanks, Mike. So one of the things that we thought about when we were discussing this is that all of us have changed how we work. Sometime a long time ago there used to be the concept of 9:00 to 5:00 and since our friends over at Apple reinvented technology that kind of went out the window. All of us carry a smartphone of some kind, we work at very odd hours. You know, the first thing before you have breakfast, you typically get on and check your emails. And so we now have a device in our hands all the time that is able to both make phone calls and browse the web, and that puts a very interesting capability into your hands as service desk managers that if you can expose your service desk to those mobile users, they could now resolve…or either, you know, resolve their own tickets or call into the help desk or reset their password. Again, one of thing about password reset to me is that you can't go to a web browser because you can't login to your system, but you probably do still have your mobile phone with you, so you could call in, and if we use the techniques Mike described, you can call in over your mobile phone, reset your password and then login to your Windows device.
But anyway, so the idea is let's take advantage of these mobile phones that everyone has, the tablet everybody has, you know, next to their couch and enable the same service desk capabilities we talk throughout this presentation through your mobile devices. And again, that will have a very strong and incremental effect on your ability to provide services to your end users without increasing the load on your service desk itself. So I think that's it from us today. Dave, I will hand it back to you.
Dave: Well, thank you, Randy, and thank you, Mike, for some great sessions. We really appreciate the content and I think our viewers got a lot out of it as well. Just to wrap up the presentation part of our session, let me do a quick recap. Randy started out our webinar with a good overview of the need for service desk to be unburied, and how proven way that automation self-service can really help make service desk much more efficient, better direct requests, utilize resources and also improve service levels. Mike then took over and showed how voice integration is another powerful and complementary approach to the ones that Randy just talked about. And Mike, you also guided us to an economic value analysis based on cost savings of extending automation and self-service to voice interactions. I think it's safe to say the application to these approaches together become very powerful, it should help IT service desk kind of unbury themselves, make them more efficient and help transform the service desk and the service center into a center for user enablement and increased productivity, rather than just kind of a break/fix type of type of arena.
So I think it was really good content. I really wanna thank Randy and Mike for taking the time to walk through the three proven ways, and actually I guess it's four with the one additional one that Randy threw at the end. I wanna thank the speakers again. Now with that, we come to the question part of our session, and you've been asking questions throughout the session. We'll get through them during the remaining part of our time here, so we'd have a few minutes to get into it. But before we get into that, we have one last question we like to ask you as well at our close here. You've been listening to our session today and like to thank everybody who is still with us, and we'd like to hear from you now on the question that you see here, essentially, "What new approaches are you now considering to unbury your IT service desk?" As at the beginning of the webinar, please use your Questions tab within the BrightTALK session to reply. I really, really thank you for that. And while that's going on, I'll just put as a reminder here to go ahead and do that, and then we'll get into some of the questions that have come up over the course of the webinar itself. So Randy, I think the first one is to you, "Is there a standard way to present services in a catalog?" I guess that's a question around taxonomy.
Randy: Yeah, absolutely. So we do see customers organizing in a couple of different ways. Probably the most prevalent is to organize them by service area. So depending on if you expand beyond just IT and get into facilities and HR and so on, a top level like that, a couple of things that I would give as advice, one is don't go any deeper than three to five levels deep, customers don't want to try to drill down that far. So as flat a catalog as you can do. And the second thing we've seen with some of our customers that have been into it a little while is the number of services that you may offer onto a service catalog can grow to, you know, upwards of a thousand request offerings in some of our larger implementations. In that case, the ability to use the taxonomy to drill in becomes unmanageable. It would be, again, if we go back to an analogy everybody uses, if we go on Amazon, you couldn't possibly click your way down to find the coffee maker you're trying to buy. So we start to use the search and filtering capabilities, and so you may wanna start thinking, not only about taxonomy of how you drill in, but also how do we wanna be able to identify these services based on searching for them, and potentially even refining based on categorization. So again, try to keep your catalog as flat as you can so that people can drill in and find them if you have obvious breakpoints based on services, and then use your search effectively would be my two pieces of advice.
Dave: Great. Thank you. Let me stay with you for the next question. I think you may have touched on this but it sounds like someone wants a little bit more information, "How do you decide which processes to automate first?"
Randy: Yeah, great question. The expression "low-hanging fruit" comes to mind. Again, if you can't think of any yourself, then post just the one that says, "Can you, you know, tell us what services you'd like to see?" but also go back to do an analysis on your service desk. You're probably already doing reports daily or weekly on a number of incidents by category so look for those top ones. You know, Mike pointed out that on the voice side, we see password reset as a almost a third of the increase that come in. That's a very, very popular one. You'll have things like that, it will pop up, that become opportunities for hopefully software remediation, and if not at least an organized input.
The second one to look for is things that you find that they don't have high first call resolution rate. So if you see a ticket's coming, we used the example of an employee on-boarding, I would challenge a manager to send you an email that had every piece of information you need to properly on-board it. So that's a case where many, many round trips will be needed if we tried to do it in a free-form format. So that's a great opportunity to put something into a service catalog. And then lastly, as we mentioned during the call, just focusing on…thinking about yourself as a business. If you weren't actually part of the company that you work for, what services would you wanna sell back to that business, what values do you bring, those become very obvious candidates for service catalog entries. Then you can see there how it would grow quickly from, you know, one to five to hundreds depending on how complex your IT department is.
Dave: Okay, great. And staying with the theme of one thing more…one more on workflow and automation, "What tools are available to map out and develop the workflow for automated processes?"
Randy: Yeah. So I think there's two sides to that. One is a fairly low-tech thing and that's your white board. We always encourage customers to have a conversation in a room, sort of thing on the wall, physically walk around with pieces of paper and try to walk through whatever process before we involve technology. And then depending on your preference, there are tools like Visio, we use that a lot. And conversely a lot of times with some of the tools, you use software service direction, I think a lot of our competitors have as well, there are very nice drag and drop digital workflow tools. So I actually find myself often now, after having that white board conversation, trying to model that up directly in the tools, skipping the whole Visio steps. So I actually do a lot of my modeling directly on our tool.
Dave: Okay, great, thank you. Mike, I've got a couple of questions queued up for you, if that's okay. Here's one that comes up on the technical side, "What PBXs does your voice solution inter-operate with? Is there any limitation?"
Mike: Yeah, there's no limitations and we're agnostic in terms of connecting to various PBXs if we ship solution. So we can either use a [inaudible 00:48:30] to connect to older, more traditional PBXs. And we support all of the latest releases of the PBXs, so no limitations.
Dave: Okay, that's great. And then staying on the voice topic, "Does the use of voice support workers at home?"
Mike: Yes, so it is a voice over IP application so it allows us the ability to have at-home workers that can take the calls on their desktop, you know, from a software that's built into the desktop. They can send calls to a cellphone, and it'll be recorded and queued and everything else as if they're in the office, or they can send them to a landline at their home. One of the other things that organizations have found real value is in a DR or business continuity type of solution. It snows a lot in Atlanta, one of our customers has, well, just a small one, but it does snow, and so what our customer has found was it was easier and better, safer for their employees when there is a lot of snow in Atlanta, to make sure that they can stay at home and work that way, rather than face the 6 hour drive when normally it takes them, you know, 20 minutes to do the same thing. So it provides [inaudible 00:49:59].
Dave: That sounds fantastic. I remember my friends in Boston this past winter laughing about the "Snowmageddon," I think it was called in Atlanta, but that's a topic for another day. One last question on the voice side, and this is a little bit outside of IT, it sounds like, "Have other companies used voice integration in other areas besides IT?"
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. So for instance, if we look at what happens in HR departments, we have people calling in and consuming an HR analyst's time for asking questions about, you know, "What was my last payroll?" "How much time do I have lost on my PTO?" "I have questions about the new open enrollment program." And what we have is you can actually use the IVR going into, you know, the HEAT Service Management tools and use web services to go back into an HRMS tool like PeopleSoft or something like that. And so we can actually extract information and use the IVR to read back the information. So if somebody calls in says…and we identify who they are and they say, "I have questions about open enrollment," and so they go give me the open enrollment process, press one. They press one, HEAT Service Management sees that is a switch inside the field in there and grabs the information from PeopleSoft and sends it out as an email. Or, you know, "I need to know, you know, what my current PTO time is," so all of their information can be read back to them with the right integration tools.
Dave: Okay, great. Let's see. Randy, I think this one's for you, "What is a service cafe?"
Randy: That's a new term. I haven't seen that one yet, but I think it's probably, if I was to extrapolate the idea that we've seen a lot now where, and again I'm not sure if we're talking about walk-up or over the web, but the same thing, where you have people coming in and being able to collaboratively work on providing either self-service or collaborative remediation. And what I mean by collaborative remediation is where, and that's something we can do in our software as well, but quite often not only do we wanna self-serve, but we have this fascination with helping each other out. So if you can provide an environment where people can get together and collaborate to solve their own problems, that's certainly an advantage as well. So I hope that answers the question. That's actually a new term to me.
Dave: Okay. It sounds a little bit like the service taxi concept that Gartner's been kicking around as well is the idea...
Randy: Well, we see that a lot and that's what they... I like the term because what they mean by that is tail [SP] support, which is where as you try to walk around as a desktop, you know, field service tech, quite often you get stopped, and how do we help you out in those conditions. And so we're actually providing tools to the mobile field service people to be able to not only help the guy they were walking over to help, but stop and help the guy that they're with now. And also more importantly capture that interaction so that we know that we provide help to two people, not just the one we sent them out to help.
Dave: Okay, fantastic. Let me open this next one to the two of you. You decide which one you want to take it first," Which of the three proven ways is apt for our service desk consolidation activity?"
Randy: Could you repeat that one, I didn't hear it.
Dave: Yeah, "Which of the three proven ways is appropriate for our service desk consolidation activity?"
Mike: If you don't mind, I'll pick it up and then I'll let Randy finish. So if you're thinking about service desk consolidation, the voice tool in service automation is a great way to do that because we can now use it to make sure that people are skilfully routing [SP] and all those kinds of things based on who they are, where they are coming from, follow some type of support. And with the service automation, specifically what we're talking about here, we can open up those services 24 hours a day. Go ahead, Randy.
Randy: Yeah. Mike kind of said what I was thinking. Let me expand it a little bit. We do see a lot of customers now doing consolidation of both service desks down to a single, centralized desk, but we're also seeing a whole lot of people going to what we call shared service desks. And by that I mean that we have one service desk providing…you know, a team may be focuses on facility, a team focuses on IT, a team focuses on other parts of the business, but it's one large desk, and they can start load sharing. So the telephony side definitely brings that together very nicely, and the self-service service catalog can end up providing a single pane of glass, if you will, a single front end to all of those different services, even though they might be different people on the back end. By advertising to your customers there's one place to go solve that, you can have kind of an enterprise service catalog, if you will. So I would say both the telephony and the web self-service both are great tools in your arsenal to help you do a consolidation of a service desk.
Dave: Okay, great. Let me ask you one last question that we have here in the queue, and again I'll open it both of you, "Have you seen mobile use change expectations on the service desk, or how has mobile changed expectations on the service desk?"
Mike: At least from my perspective, mobile hasn't changed the expectations on a service desk as much as it's changed the expectation of mechanism of delivery. So in my mind, our job as IT service departments is to provide a set of services to our customers which are typically employees, but those employees should be able to contact us in the way they see fit. If they wanna call us on a mobile phone, if they wanna call us online, if they wanna come in through web self- service, those are all channels that we have to support. In fact, there has been even a big resurgence and even supporting walk-up, as I mentioned, the kind of genius bar concept.
Mobile has really changed that a lot in that we see a lot more of the employees expecting to be able to contact you through their mobile device. It's convenient, it's with them. Especially if you're a sales guy, you're on the road, you don't, you know, wanna boot up your computer and things like that. So I think that's dramatically changed. What we'll see change more in the future is that how we do our job as field service technicians is changing. We've got a lot of our customers now who are instead of ordering laptops for those guys, they're carrying tablets, some of them ruggedized [SP], some guys are doing it on a larger smartphone, things like that. So the actual service desk, the guys that, you know, are just taking the inbound calls, I haven't seen a lot of their world change, just that they need to be able to expose the service out to their customers through mobile devices.
Dave: Okay, great. I have one... I lied. Again, the name of one thing more. One last question just came in, and again I'll open it up to both of you, "What method can be used to notify users of a problem/ issue so they don't have to call known incidents?"
Mike: That would be the phone system. We've got phone or email, but one of the things that's really cool is to be able to...especially on closure of a major incident, we can make outbound calls to tell them their incident has been resolved, you know, they can get back on the system, especially if it's something where they've been disrupted or actually logging into their PCs. We had a situation the other day where our [inaudible 00:57:24] provider went down, which is our signal sign on, so when that came back up, by being able to call people, they could really take advantage of that. Beyond that, certainly any other, you know, mechanism like email is a good fall back.
Dave: Okay, great. Well, it looks like we're getting to the end of our time together, so I think we'll take this moment to close up the webinar and just to thank everybody again. Just a reminder, that this webinar was recorded and the replay link will be sent to you in a follow-up email, along with the presentation that Randy and Mike went through, and all the other information that they shared with us, including some of the attachments and some follow-up materials as well. My thanks again to Randy and Mike for the great session and great content today. And on behalf of HEAT Software, we'd like to thank you for joining us, and to wish you a great rest of the week. Thank you and goodbye. We look forward to talking to you again in the future. Take care. Bye-bye.