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6 Research Reports for Support Organizations to Run Smoothly During Dynamic Times


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This GoToAssist sponsored paper is a collection of HDI Research Corner reports based on survey responses from support professionals. This compilation …

This GoToAssist sponsored paper is a collection of HDI Research Corner reports based on survey responses from support professionals. This compilation
establishes a body of knowledge around current industry topics and practices for IT service and technical support.

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  • 1. A Compilation 2011-2012P e a r l s of W i s d o m
  • 2. P E A R L S OF W I S D O M A Compilation 2011–2012Director of Business ContentCinda DalySenior Research AnalystJenny RainsSenior EditorMegan SelvaArt DirectorsDave KottlerKatharine NelsonContributorsRoy AtkinsonShawn Genoway Sponsored by:Robert JewJulie MohrGreg OxtonCopyright © 2012 UBM LLC. HDI is a part of UBM TechWeb, a division of UBM LLC.HDI • 121 South Tejon Street, Suite 1100 • Colorado Springs, CO • 80903HDI® and SupportWorld TM are registered trademarks of UBM LLC. HDI is a part ofUBM TechWeb, a division of UBM LLC.KCSSM is a registered service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation.ITIL® and IT Infrastructure Library® are registered trademarks and registered communitytrademarks of the Office of Government Commerce, and are registered in the US Patentand Trademark Office.All other trademarks, service marks, and product or trade names are the property of theirrespective owners.For all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit any questions regarding the HDI Research Corner to
  • 3. P E A R L S OF W I S D O M A Compilation 2011–2012IntroductionThe IT service and technical support industry is being pressured to adapt and adjust to the rapid pace of technologicaladvances and consumer demands; consequently, the pressure on managers, directors and executives in the industry isincreasing. Having knowledge of their peers’ practices, successes, and failures in similar situations is like having little pearls ofwisdom that provide a clear advantage for leaders who are striving to keep their support organizations running smoothly duringthese dynamic times. This collection of HDI Research Corner reports, based on survey responses from support professionals,establishes a body of knowledge around current industry topics and practices.Each report included in this compilation was released individually to the IT service and technical support community on abimonthly basis between July 2011 and May 2012. The HDI Research Corner investigates current, high-profile topics in thesupport industry, resulting in reports that provide readers with valuable information based on feedback from organizationsthat are experiencing (or have experienced) similar struggles, successes, and failures. The six reports issued over the pasttwelve months have been compiled in this one document for convenient access and review.The data for each of the reports was collected via online surveys distributed to professionals in the IT service and technicalsupport industry, who elected to participate based on their interest in a particular topic. Each survey received an averageof 507 responses from professionals representing organizations that provide internal, external, and blended support in overthirty vertical industries. The surveys gathered data for two months, and the resulting reports were released within three tofour weeks of pulling the data.In addition to the six HDI Research Corner reports, this compilation includes articles and white papers from the HDI library thatcomplement the topic of each report. Report: Chat as a Support Channel 4 Article: Channeling Support: Implementing Web-based Technical Support | Robert Jew 8 Report: Ticket Categorization in IT Support 12 Article: Incident Categorization: A Method to the Madness | Julie Mohr 26 Report: Providing Remote Support to Customers 30 White Paper: Best Practices in Remote Support | Roy Atkinson 34 Report: Supporting Mobile Devices in 2011 38 White Paper: The Mobility Revolution Redux | Roy Atkinson 43 Report: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Hot or Not? 54 Article: Embracing the Consumerization of IT: A BYOD Case Study | Shawn Genoway 59 Report: Support Staff Structure 63 Article: No More Tiers: Is Intelligent Swarming a Better Way to Solve Customer Issues? | Greg Oxton 69
  • 4. JULY 2011 Chat as a Support ChannelJenny RainsSenior Research Analyst, HDIThe tiny window that pops up unexpectedly in front of whatever project one might be working on, with its unmistakable notificationsound, is considered by some to be a nuisance, while others consider it to be a convenient—even welcome—way of communicating.One thing both groups agree on is that chat is not going away any time soon. The results from the 2011 HDI Support Center Practices& Salary Survey reveal that about 40 percent of organizations use online chat, and about 20 percent are planning to add it. Morespecifically, about 19 percent of support centers allow customers to submit tickets through an online chat tool.According to the July 2011 HDI Research Corner survey, support organizations are more likely to allow internal customers to submittickets through chat than they are to allow the organizations’ external customers to do the same (26% and 15% respectively). Theresponses to this month’s survey were collected online from 390 support organizations in June and July 2011. Of the survey responses,71 report that they are supporting internal customers via chat, 15 have external customers with this capability, and 22 have both internaland external customers requesting support through this channel. The current practices, costs, and tools used by these organizationsare discussed in this report.Survey ResultsChat Use in the IndustryOf the survey respondents, 251 organizations support external customers (of those, 225 also support internal customers). Within theseorganizations, 15 percent provide support to external customers via chat and 26 percent are planning to add this functionality withinthe next twelve months.Responses were submitted by 365 organizations that support internal customers (again, with 225 providing blended support). Internalcustomers are supported via chat in 25 percent of these organizations, and 32 percent are planning to add chat to their line-up withinthe next twelve months.It should be noted that respondents had advance knowledge of the survey topic and responded voluntarily. As a result, the percentof those using or planning to implement chat might be higher among survey respondents than in the general population because ofthe this group’s prior interest in the topic. However, there is not much discrepancy between these findings and the ones reported inthe 2011 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Survey, which is a representative sample (over 800 responses) of the support industry.Chat Use in the Support OrganizationOf those organizations that utilize chat as a support channel, on average, about 18 percent of tickets are received through chatwith external customers, and about 17 percent with internal customers. Because averages can be skewed by organizations thatrely heavily on chat, the median for both groups was also calculated. Median results revealed that, for both groups, 10 percentof total tickets are received through chat versus other support channels. The average cost of a ticket resolved through chat is $15USD; the median is $13 USD. 4HDI Research Corner, July 2011
  • 5. Success of ChatWith regard to customer service, survey respondents were asked to rate the success of chat as a support channel on a scale of 1 to10, with 10 being “extremely successful.” On average, respondents gave chat a 7 out of 10 for the successful provision of support toboth internal and external customers. For those organizations that only allow representatives to handle one chat session at a time (seebelow), chat rated a bit lower. Surprisingly, there are no other commonalities (e.g., metrics, industry, tools, etc.) within either group:those organizations that rated chat highly and those that gave chat low ratings.Chat PracticesAbout 58 percent of organizations have limits on the number of concurrent chat sessions any one representative can handle at a giventime. The most common practice (21%) is two chat sessions at a time, followed by three sessions (15%). See the chart below for thefull analysis. 5 4 { Number of Concurrent Chat Sessions a Representative Is Allowed to Handle } 3 2 1 No Limit Percent of 5% 7% 15% 21% 10% 42% organizationsHow customers are able to access chat varies across organizations. Most commonly, internal customers are allowed to access supportusing their own instant messaging program (45%). External customers access the chat option from the portal offerings in 70 percentof organizations that provide external or blended support, or by clicking through from self-help (38%). Although it was offered as aresponse option, none of the respondents reported automatically offering chat sessions to customers after a set amount of time. Select chat from How 42% 45% portal offerings { } Customers 31% Click through Are Able to 10% from self-help Access Support 70% Customer uses own Through Chat instant messaging Percent of organizations window 38% Other 19% Internal 3% Auto-offered after Customers x-amount of time Percent of (not selected) organizations External Customers 5HDI Research Corner, July 2011
  • 6. Success of ChatWith regard to customer service, survey respondents were asked to rate the success of chat as a support channel on a scale of 1 to10, with 10 being “extremely successful.” On average, respondents gave chat a 7 out of 10 for the successful provision of support toboth internal and external customers. For those organizations that only allow representatives to handle one chat session at a time (seebelow), chat rated a bit lower. Surprisingly, there are no other commonalities (e.g., metrics, industry, tools, etc.) within either group:those organizations that rated chat highly and those that gave chat low ratings. { Percent of Organizations Measuring Chat Metrics* } Time to respond 41% Handle time 37% First contact resolution 36% Percent converted to another channel 16% Other 10% None 42% *Includes only organizations using chat to provide support.Chat PracticesAbout 58 percent of organizations have limits on the number of concurrent chat sessions any one representative can handle at a giventime. The most common practice (21%) is two chat sessions at a time, followed by three sessions (15%). See the chart below for thefull analysis. { Chat Tools Used to Support EXTERNAL Customers } Number Currently Number Currently PRODUCT NAME Using Tool PRODUCT NAME Using Tool GoToAssist 3 Google Chat 1 Microsoft Office Communicator 3 IncidentMonitor 1 Parature 3 Kayako 1 Bomgar 2 LiveHelpNow 1 Citrix WebEx 2 LivePerson 1 Help On Click 2 LogMeIn 1 Lotus Sametime 2 Oracle 1 RightNow Web 2 PhaseWare Tracker Live Chat 1 Aspect Internet Contact/E-mail/Web 1 Syntellect 1 CA Service Desk Manager 1 Talisma Chat 1 Crafty Syntax Live Help 1 6HDI Research Corner, July 2011
  • 7. { Chat Tools Used to Support INTERNAL Customers } Number Currently Number Currently PRODUCT NAME Using Tool PRODUCT NAME Using Tool Microsoft Office Communicator 17 Fonality HUD 1 Lotus Sametime 10 GoToAssist 1 Bomgar 8 Instant Technologies Instant Assist 1 CA Service Desk Manager 4 Manager for IBM Lotus Sametime Live!Zilla 1 Microsoft Lync 4 LiveHelpNow 1 Microsoft Live Messenger 3 LivePerson 1 Crafty Syntax Live Help 2 Microsoft Outlook Communicator 1 Google Chat 2 miOOt 1 Help On Click 2 Motorola eCare 1 LiveChat 2 Moxie 1 Pidgin 2 my-eService Virtual Chat for BMC Remedy 1 Provide Support 2 ooVoo 1 AIM 1 Parature 1 Aspect Internet Contact/Email/Web 1 Skype 1 ATG Live Help 1 Syntellect 1 Avaya Aurora Contact Center 1 Talisma Chat 1 Dexon Software 1 WhosOn 1 Citrix WebEx 1 Xigla AbsoluteLive Support.NET 1 Dexon Software 1 Yahoo! Messenger 1For all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit 7HDI Research Corner, July 2011
  • 8. Channeling These discussions have generated significant interest in chat by focusing on its compelling benefits, such as improvingSupport: support representatives’ productivity and reducing customer wait times. However, the adoption rate for this new support model has been very low and the success rate even lower. Most organizationsImplementing Web-based are still on the sidelines, hesitating to make the transition to chat because they have not found a practical and efficientTechnical Support by Robert Jew approach to successfully implementing and managing this new channel. Of those who have implemented chat, there are only a few success stories; most haveRecently, there have been numerous articles, white papers, webinars, failed to reap the promised benefits.and presentations advocating for IT support organizations to make In this environment of rapidly changingthe transition from phone-based support to web-based support models support requirements and increasing(i.e., chat). customer demands, the question is not whether organizations should makeWeb-based support can be broadly defined by the following three characteristics: the transition, but how they can make 1. Chat is the primary communication channel. that transition successfully. When 2. Support sessions are initiated via a support website or portal. implemented perfectly, chat can deliver 3. A remote control solution is used to diagnose and fix problems. amazing customer experiences and6 Suppor tWorld | March/April 2012 8
  • 9. significant efficiencies that will change all the rules as we agent profiles. The most common response is that they do notknow them. But to achieve that, one must first develop and have a structured approach. Some directly apply traditionalexecute the proper strategies and implement fundamentally WFM techniques, while others use trial and error or otherdifferent processes, tools, and metrics to drive performance nonquantitative methods. In fact, most do not even have theimprovements. A common mistake many organizations make right input and output metrics to properly evaluate and manageis simply installing chat software and applying the same phone- performance. Under these conditions, it is no mystery whybased processes to the chat channel. Worse, some do not these support organizations have not been able to reap theestablish any structures or processes, hoping instead that the benefits of chat. Without the proper WFM processes, theychat channel will manage itself. are often simultaneously overstaffed and underutilizing their resources, which makes chat more expensive, less efficient, andWith success hinging on implementation, organizations unable to provide the kind of experience customers expect.should apply a comprehensive methodology that addressesall the primary components of implementing a new support Recognizing that chat is more difficult to manage than phone,model, including: a support organization must utilize a more robust and rigorous • Workforce management tailored to chat; approach. This requires the organization first to clearly define a strategy that is appropriate for its unique environment, and • Process transformation and automation to leverage the then to develop a corresponding execution plan with all the new capabilities; necessary support processes. With chat, there are four possible • Reporting and analytics that drive results; support scenarios: • Quality management that impacts the bottom line; • Single transactions: One support representative handles • Talent management, including new approaches for HR one chat transaction; recruiting, hiring, and training; • Concurrent transactions: One support representative • Marketing and user-adoption strategies for chat; and handles multiple chat transactions simultaneously; • Systematic project planning and execution that brings it • Collaborative transactions: Multiple support all together. representatives handle one chat transaction; andFor the moment, let’s focus on the first component. In this • Concurrent and collaborative transactions: Multiplearticle, I will introduce a new workforce management (WFM) support representatives handle multiple transactionsframework that is specifically designed for managing chat, simultaneously.providing enough detail that IT executives and service deskmanagers can readily apply it. In this industry, where labor I have developed a quantitative model that systematicallycosts account for more than 60 percent of total operating costs, determines the appropriate strategy and targets for eachhaving an effective WFM approach is fundamental to successfully scenario. Start by calculating the staffing requirements for therealizing productivity gains and cost savings. single transaction scenario, which is identical to the phone channel. This is commonly done using an Erlang C calculatorWhen implemented properly, chat can deliver an enhanced with the following inputs: volume, speed of service target, andcustomer experience at a much lower cost. These results are handle time. But in order to accurately model more-complexderived from two intrinsic capabilities: chat scenarios, handle time must be decoupled from the total • Support representatives can handle multiple concurrent elapsed time of the sessions. For example, in a support session sessions; and that lasted twenty minutes, a support representative may only have spent thirteen minutes handling the transactions, • Support representatives can collaborate meaningfully with seven minutes of idle time where he could have been and instantly. working on another session concurrently. Alternatively, in thatThese capabilities provide new ways for support representatives same twenty-minute session, three support representativesto interact with customers and with each other, but they also may have worked collaboratively to resolve the issue. In thismake chat more complex and challenging to manage than voice case, the actual handle time is much greater than twentyand email channels. Adding to the complexity is the fact that minutes, since the time of three resources was consumed.these capabilities are not equally applicable to all environments The elapsed time is automatically measured by the chat system,and situations. Traditional WFM processes, tools, and techniques but the real handle time has to be calculated manually.were designed for phone interactions, which are always one-to-one. Applied directly, they are simply inadequate for effectively Once the real handle time has been determined, the preliminarymanaging and optimizing the capabilities of chat. I often ask number of resources that are required, as well as the numbercontact center experts and service desk executives/managers of sessions they should handle concurrently, can be they determine the proper number of representatives to (This assumes that the available [idle] time during a session canstaff on the chat queues, and how they determine the right be used to work on additional sessions.) Using a standard frame-composition of resources with the right mix of skills and work and guidelines, prioritize and evaluate the following inputs: 9 | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 7
  • 10. Example: Using a Quantitative Model to Evaluate Inputs Analysis Steps Input/Output 1 Input/Output 2 Transaction Business Scenario: 100 incidents per hour, average call duration = 20 minutes Characteristics • Document what you support • Number of issue types = 15 • Volume and variation: Level of • Group the issues into types or categories • Difficulty rating: • Difficulty level 1 = 55% Complexity of • Rate the level of difficulty from 1–3 • Difficulty level 1 = 5 • Difficulty level 2 = 30% Support • Assign to queues/teams • Difficulty level 2 = 7 • Difficulty level 3 = 15% • Track volume • Difficulty level 3 = 3 • Standard deviation = 5% • Obtain the session durations • AHT = 20 minutes Duration • Standard deviation = 5 minutes • Dissect the call flow to identify the periods • Conversational = 25% • Transactional = 75% of conversation versus the periods of • Number of events = 6 Level of transactions • Number of minutes = 15 Engagement • Determine the number of events and minutes • Identify the activities • Done by representative = 33% • Number of minutes for each event: • Establish how much work is to be done • Done by computer = 53% • 1 = 3 minutes (representative research/ by each (representative, computer, • Done by customer = 13% troubleshooting) customer, etc.) • 2 = 2 minutes (customer reviews files) Workflow • 3 = 4 minutes (computer backs up data) Responsibility • 4 = 3 minutes (computer uninstalls/installs software) • 5 = 1 minute (computer reboots) • 6 = 2 minutes (representative takes notes/updates ticket) • Determine which activities are high • Number of high-concentration • Number of low-concentration activities = 4 Level of Focus concentration versus low concentration activities = 2 • Percent of time = 67% • Calculate total idle time • 10 minutes, or 50% of total time Total Idle Time • Assume 30% lost to inefficiency • 3 minutes lost to inefficiency Total Available • Calculate total time available • 7 minutes, or 35% of total time Time Agents Required • Calculate the number of agents required • 2.6 chats per hour per agent for One-to-One using existing WFM tools (Erlang C) 39 Strategy Agents Required • Calculate the number of agents required • 3.7 chats per hour per agent for Concurrent by adjusting AHT 27 • 1.4 concurrent chats Strategy Customer Characteristics • Rate the user’s technical ability from 1–5 • Corporate user • Variance = low Customer Type • What is the variance between users? • Technical ability = 4 Customer • Obtain the customer’s response times • ART = 40 seconds • Percent idle time Response Time • Rate the customer’s expectations as high, • Expectation rating = 2 • Targets: Customer medium, or low (1–3) • ASA = 60 seconds, ART = 20 seconds Expectations • Abandonment rate = 5% • Time to resolution = 2 hours, 4 hours Skills Requirement and Availability • Identify the required skills and the number • Products/processes/tools • Number of agents in each team Technical Skills of agents with those skills • Identify the required skills and the number • Multitasking/typing/ • Number of agents in each team Soft Skills of agents with those skills communications8 Suppor tWorld | March/April 2012 10
  • 11. • Transaction characteristics: To ensure that the strategy and processes have been executed o Level of complexity of support flawlessly, the support organization must track a number of (range of issues, devices, OS, apps, etc.) quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators (KPIs). Use the following KPIs to gain a multidimensional understanding o Call duration and handle time of the channel’s performance: o Level of engagement (percent conversational • Speed of service KPIs (ASA, ART, service level) versus transactional) • Abandonment rate o Workflow responsibility (percent of work done by representatives versus computer or customer) • Staffing and utilization KPIs (scheduling accuracy, utilization and occupancy, shrinkage) o Level of focus (number of high-concentration versus low-concentration activities) • Utilization and relevance of the subject-matter expert resources: • Customer characteristics and expectations: o Occupancy = Time in Session + Wrap ÷ Total o Customer type (consumers versus system Scheduled Work Hours administrators) o Relevance = Contribution ÷ Participation o Customer expectations (ASA and ART targets, abandonment rate, time to resolution, CSAT) • Accuracy and speed of resolution: o Customer response time (ART, percent idle time) o Critical Errors = Number of Transactions without Critical Errors ÷ Total Transactions • Skills requirements and availability: o Issue Resolution Rate/First Contact Resolution = o Technical skills requirements and availability Number of Transactions Where Issue Was Resolved (products, processes, and systems) ÷ Total Transactions o Soft-skills requirements and availability o Time to Resolution = Total Time Ticket Is (communications, typing, multitasking, etc.) Open to ClosedPlease refer to the table on the previous page for an example • Compliance with processes and policies:of how a quantitative model can be used to analyze call flow,workflow, customer expectations, and business needs. The o Compliance Errors = Number of Transactionstarget number of concurrent sessions can be adjusted up or without Compliance Errors ÷ Total Transactionsdown based on the ratings of the customer characteristics and After implementation, it is important to continuously evaluatesupport representative skill levels. Some of these inputs are the performance of the chat channel and make improvementstracked by the chat, remote control, incident management, based on key data and analysis. By following a logical, systematicCRM, and/or business intelligence systems, while others are methodology, you, too, can implement an effective WFM processmanually collected by the support representatives, exit surveys, that will help you get the most value out of your chat channel.and QA sampling.By quantitatively determining the correct concurrentstrategy and targets, the support center can maximize HDI members, visit utilization without negatively affecting the to view a recording of Robert’s November 2011 webinar,customer experience. In some instances, a hybrid strategy “Chat, Collaboration, and Web-Based Support.”may be used, with multiple scenarios corresponding tomultiple situations. As the situation changes, managementshould continue to use this framework to quickly make about the authorthe corresponding adjustments. Robert Jew, senior manager of business servicesSimilarly, using this methodology to estimate efficiency savings at Bomgar, has provided business solutionsversus staffing requirements will help the support organization to over eighty contact centers at some of thedetermine the appropriate collaboration strategy and targets. most competitive and customer-focused GlobalThe quantitative model will provide insights that will help 1000 companies. He developed processes and implemented best practices and world-classthe organization determine which issues to collaborate on, standards that resulted in significant performanceas well as how many and which resources to invite into the improvements for his clients, such as increasedsession. Then one can use skills-based routing to properly customer satisfaction, increased revenue, andstaff the chat queue with the optimal number and composition reduced overall costs. Robert received his MBA from the UCLA Andersonof support representatives. School of Management and his BS in mechanical engineering from UCLA. 11 | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 9
  • 12. september 2 0 1 1 Ticket Categorization in IT SupportJenny RainsSenior Research Analyst, HDIDesigning a ticket categorization structure that not only makes sense, but which can also stand the test of time is an important, butdifficult, task. Support organizations must strike a balance between selecting categories that are easy for analysts to choose correctlyand producing reports that allow management to pinpoint and address issues that need attention.Support centers use ticket categorization to enable better ticket routing, more detailed reporting, and more accurate problem analysis.HDI polled its community via an online survey in August and September 2011 to explore the current practices and state of ticketcategorization in the IT service and technical support community. A total of 461 organizations responded to the survey; the surveyresults below include the 457 organizations that currently use some type of ticket categorization process in their support centers.Survey ResultsTicket CategoriesIn general, if an organization is dissatisfied with its ticket categorization, it is not the technology’s functionality to blame. Most supportcenters appear to be satisfied with the tools they are using for ticket tracking; however, the results reveal that it is the ticket categoriesthat could use some attention. Only 21 percent of organizations disagree with the statement “Our categories and/or subcategoriesneed to be revisited,” while 38 percent strongly agree that they do need to be revisited. Strongly Strongly Agree Agree 19.8% 37.6% 32.3% 26.7% 26.9% 14.7% 9.6% 10.7% 8.7% 7.6% 2.7% 2.9% Strongly Strongly Disagree Disagree 12HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 13. To analyze current ticket categorization practices in the industry, organizations were asked how many categories are included at thehighest level of their selection options. Most organizations (53%) report having ten or more high-level categories. In addition to thehigh-level (i.e., first) categories, most organizations include subcategories in their ticket categorization structure. Ninety-two percenthave at least a second level of subcategories for capturing additional information about a ticket. 45.3% 10.7% 7.7% 9.8% 6.1% 7.2% 4.8% 5.7% 2.6% 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 more than or less 10As alluded to earlier, most organizations are not overlysatisfied with their current ticket categories. The table at the Strongly Agreeend of this report lists, by vertical industry, the most frequentlyused ticket categories in each industry. Less than 8 percent 7.5%strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the]organization,” and those few are highlighted in that list. 32.4%To develop an effective schema, it is crucial that organizationskeep the purpose of ticket categorization in mind. When 34.1%organizations use service level agreements (SLAs) to helpestablish ticket categories (20%), chances are they are setting 16.0%up a ticketing system that aligns with customer needs. If thecategories drive the SLAs (12%), the focus is more internaland technical. However, the survey results revealed that in 8.6%most organizations, there is no relationship between theirSLAs and ticket categories (71%). 1.3% Strongly Disagree Categories Drive SLAs SLAs Drive Our Categories 11.8% 19.9% 70.7% No Relation Between SLAs and Categories 13HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 14. Managing Correct Ticket CategorizationAs mentioned previously, placing tickets in the correct categorical buckets enables better ticket routing, reporting, and problemanalysis. About one-third of organizations’ support staffs are not using the predefined categories as they were intended to be usedor as they were defined. If resources are not allocated to train support staffs on the definitions and purpose of the categories, correctcategorization can be a crapshoot; one-third of organizations report that their category definitions are not well communicated to theirstaffs. However, most organizations (72%) do allow ticket recategorization, if necessary, before closing a ticket. Strongly Strongly Agree Agree 5.8% 9.8% 25.1% 27.9% 34.7% 29.3% 22.0% 18.8% 11.8% 12.6% 0.7% 1.6% Strongly Strongly Disagree DisagreeThe last point with regard to managing correct ticket categorization is measurement. Are support centers measuring ticket categorization,and are they holding analysts accountable for correctly labeling tickets? In about 22 percent of organizations, correct ticket categorizationis a performance metric for their analysts. An additional 21 percent measure it, but do not use it as a performance metric; 57 percentdo not measure correct ticket categorization at all. 56.9% 22.3% 20.8% Yes Yes Do Not we measure this, Measure but do not use it This as an analyst performance metric 14HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 15. ConclusionAs you can see in the table at the end of this report, the support industry is served by a veritable smorgasbord of ticket categorizationstructures. Reviewing this list of the most common ticket categories serves two purposes; first, some common structural themes bubbleup, and second, it highlights similarities between the types of tickets support centers are handling in the various vertical industries andacross the IT support industry at large.While many organizations report that their categorization structures need some TLC, even a “perfect” menu of categories can fail toserve its purpose if the support staff responsible for selecting categories are not well versed in the category definitions. Also, takingthe proper steps to ensure staff understanding and accountability can only help ensure the success of a ticket categorization structureand process. The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.I ndustry Advertising/Marketing Desktop Support Communications E-mail/Calendaring Access Management Automotive Hardware Software Network Monitoring Security Chemical/Biotechnical Desktop Support Network and New Hire or Separation Network Applications Order Hardware and Communications Software Incident RFC Purchase Request RFS Computers – Hardware Configured – Application Modified – Data Provided – User Inquiry Modified – Account Configured – Data Voice Communication Connectivity Hardware Software Equipment Requests IT Services Hardware Software Password Reset Computers – Software Access E-mail/Calendar Software Request Software Troubleshooting Network Account Admin Bug Beta Issues Support Training Client Admin Services Client IT Services Client Software Facilities Access Management Deactivation Password Resets Training General Account Update Desktop Software Desktop Hardware Server Software Server Hardware Networks E-mail Browser Applications Connectivity Environment Reports Hardware Software Network Web E-mail Hardware Software User Action Documentation Informational How To Problem Report System Performance Enhancement Suggestion API/Web Services How To/Help Not As Documented Error Message Enhancement Install Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Nonconformance Request Functionality Operational Other categories are too specific to list Peripherals DB Connection New User Install Workstation Training Product Product Area Calc Name Tax Year Environment Product Product Area Severity Module Transaction Submit Method Client Software Hardware Services Custom Request Students Dedicated Sales Support Billing User Access Application Support 15HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 16. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Construction/ Applications Hardware Security Server Communication Development Hardware Software Network Application IT Security Hardware Software Network Phone Mobile Phone Password Reset/Unlock Software Hardware Outage Network Reset Password Mobile Jam Software Employee Account Communications Equipment File Management Consulting Applications HR Applications BSM Applications Retail Office Automation Mobile Tools Break/Fix Staff Aug VoIP Infrastructure Off-the-shelf Tools Purpose Applications Communication Hardware Troubleshoot Install Create Modify Remove Troubleshoot Systems Administration Update/Upgrade End-User Instruction Configure Consumer Products Desktop Internet Oracle Account Administration System Desktop Hardware E-mail and IM Telecommunications Mobile Communications Alerts Microsoft Outlook Issues Network Share Requests BlackBerry Support Password Reset Windows XP Issues Security/Access Desktop Applications Hardware Internal IS Systems Mobile Computing System CS Applications People Actions Hardware Software Distribution Failure Add Change Install Request Education – Account Administration Networking Services Software Operating Systems Higher Education Account Administration Voice Services Hardware Applications Student Issues Account and Password Reset E-mail and Collaboration Nonbusiness Data HW and SW/Network Applications Account Management Software Applications IT Services Voice Networking Accounts Software E-mail Password Network Accounts Hardware Software Printing Network Accounts E-mail and Calendaring Network and Wireless Business Systems Instruction Technology Accounts Network E-mail Password Suspensions Accounts Server Software Web E-mail Accounts and Access Communications n Desktop Computing Applications Networking and Collaboration and Printing Add Move Change Applications Hardware Account Administration Malware Operating System Communicate and Web (General) Network Software Web Applications Collaborate Communications (E-mail, Identity Management Network Resources phones, web (accounts and access (file share, VPN, Personal Computer/ Software conferencing, etc.) management) SharePoint, etc.) Hardware E-mail Blackboard Hardware Software Portal E-mail/Calendaring Instructional/Classroom Logon/Identity Network/Storage Personal Computing Google Apps Windows OS Can’t Access Server Specialized SW E-mail Hardware Budget Portal Software Smart Classroom Hardware Account Network Systems Hardware Services User Services Network Services User Account Services Database Services Login/Password Software Systems Hardware Printers NetID Web WebCT Network E-mail Network Business Applications Library Applications Education Applications Technical Environment New Accounts Logon Issues Password Changes Connection Issues 16HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 17. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Education – Online Learning Printing Desktop Business Applications Accounts Higher Education Password Access Permissions Desktop Apps Infrastructure Management Extranet (continued) Password Reset Network Connectivity E-mail Software Installation Hardware Installation Password Resets Billable Printing E-mail Roles/Permission Issues Wireless Network Printer Maintenance Account Token LMS (Learning Management E-mail System) Service Request Application Network Service Request Hardware Application Network Communications Services:Accounts Services:Security Services:Blackboard Network:Wireless Network:Wired Troubleshoot Install Request Junk Mail N/A Web Services Systems Accounts Hardware Software Workstation Audio/Visual General/Admin Telecomm Web Education – K–12 Break/Fix Change Management General Request Maintenance Project Error Security Internal Data Load Environmental Other HW Workstation LAN/WAN/Internet Problem PC Incident Change User Software Network Issue General Priority Support Group Customer Problem Type Service Type Education – Other E-mail Internet BlackBerry Apps Hardware Password Reset Network Connectivity Website E-mail Computer Hardware/ Software Entertainment Application Services Accounts and Security Hardware Services Data Services Server Services Break/Fix Install Add/Delete Network Systems Financial Services – Access Control Application Support Hardware Support Connectivity Data Access Banking Application Support Software Hardware Network Security Break/Fix – Computer Password Reset Break/Fix – Network Login Setup/Maintenance – Setup/Maintenance – Install/Upgrade User Rights Critical High Medium Low Hardware Software Connectivity N/A N/A Information Security Hardware Software Network End User Support Novell Delivered NOC Hardware Mainframe Applications LOS Other Hardware Software Password Reset Software Hardware Remote Connectivity Password Reset/Lockouts Change management Software Hardware Phone issues Permissions/Access Software Support Home-based Support Personal Computing Telecom Application Services Business Services Mainframe Services Services Research/troubleshooting Setup Enhancements Software Correction IQ_UPDATE Security Hardware Software Application Mobility Security Software Hardware Network Systems Software Hardware Request Internet Voice Software Hardware Database Telecommunications Application Software Hardware Network Telephony Facilities User Access Software Troubleshooting Document Maintenance E-mail Issues Security User Account Issues Banking System Questions Printer Issues Password Resets for Profile/Access (including password resets) Phone/Mobile Devices Windows Notes Laptop Desktop Outlook Workstation Software Workstation Hardware Server Software Server Hardware Network 17HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 18. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Financial Services – Hardware Security Network Telecom Messaging Securities Hardware Software – Various Request Feedback New Hire Password Outlook BlackBerry Printer Operating System Product Product Area Feature Function Form/Calc/Report Software Hardware Network Telephony Facilities Software Issue/Bug Hardware Issue Service Unavailable Connectivity Issue Access Issue SW.Error-Failure Login.Assist AutoAlert.SW.Error-Failure SW.Configure SW.Consult Food and Beverage Break/Fix Add/Install Delete/Remove How To Request Microsoft Windows XP Microsoft Outlook IS Account Request System P-Synch OpenVMS Professional Software Hardware Access and Security Printing Government – Local Accounts and Security Applications – Enterprise Development Software Telephones Break/Fix Add/Install Change/Move Password reset Orders Business Application Workstation Hardware Question or How To IT Application E-mail/Calendaring Network Password Employee Action Software Hardware Software Administration Resource Hardware Software Services Telecommunications Hardware Desktop Virus Legacy Software Software – Microsoft Incident Problem Change Event Network Messaging Desktop HVDI Software Password Reset Issue Move/Add/Change Setup How Do I Password Reset Office Technology Field Technology Web Content to Be Edited Information Assurance Management M anagement Public PC Error Public PC Boot up Discovery Place Staff Staff PC Error Public PC Monitor Service Request Hardware Issue Software Issue Password Reset Request for Information Web Services E-mail Services Desktop Application Workstation Services Active Directory Services Services Workstation Security Application Information Communication Government – State Access/Mainframe Application O–R/ Application I–N/InfoImage Application O–R/Operating Application I–N/Lotus Quick Modules System/Windows XP Notes Desk Support Application System E-mail Telephone Hardware Software Network Security Infrastructure Applications Database Operations Service Request Line-of-Business Services IT Infrastructure Services Communication, Collaboration, IT Professional Services and Desktop Services Off-the-Shelf Software Remote Connectivity PDAs Copiers Hardware and Telecom Password Printer Hardware Software FMIS (Our financial management system) Priority Product Type Area of the Product Product Functionality Performance Service Request. Service Interruption.Fault Service Interruption. Service Request.. Service Request. Software Degradation How To Account Software Password Reset Operating System – Windows Outlook Hardware – Printer User Support Network Support Service Desk Administration 18HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 19. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Government – Federal Account Lock Software Install Account Access How To Administrative/Active General PC/LAN/Remote Directory/Password Reset Access/Token Application Hardware Software Security Password Reset Applications Hardware Network Facilities Account Management Applications Enterprise Applications VistA Desktop OI System Enterprise System VistA Applications VistA Systems VistA Applications – VistA Desktop OI Systems – VistA Applications – HealtheVets Systems – HealtheVets – VistA –VistA Assisted with Login Provided Training Request Call Back or E-mail Advised to Contact Provide Technical for More Information Local TMS Admin Requirements Corporate Records LTS Password Reset Active Directory Password Terminal Server PHI – Hardware Reset General PC Support Printer/Scanner/Fax E-mail Courtroom Technology Mobile Devices Hardware Software Network Hardware Software Network Security Services LAN Request PC Request Wireless Service Access Request Software Engineering Network E-mail Other Password Reset Desktop Network Mainframe Password Reset Hardware Failure System Access Requests Software Failure New Equipment Request Password Reset Outlook Microsoft Issue Significant Major Moderate Minor None Software Hardware Internet How To Network User IDs Software Outlook Network Information Government – Other Data Process Hardware Application Administration Entire System Internal Component Other Peripheral Operating System E-mail Hardware Software Network Requests How Tos Incident Service Request How To Support MAC Password/Account Technical Assistance Permission Updates/Changes Break/Fix Software Updates Assistance Passwords Print Logging In – Other E-mail Webmail Access Healthcare Access – Password Reset Access – Deactivated Application – Function or Hardware – Function or Application – How Do I Account Feature Not Working Feature Not Working Account Lock Electronic Medical Record Workstation Down Password Reset Software Account Locked/Password Due to Downtime Due to Change Control Info Request Software Configuration Add/Install Modify Failure Administration Software Hardware Operating Systems Network Application Desktop Hardware Desktop Support Infrastructure Business Application Desktop Security Voice First Contact Resolution Application Network – Voice or Data OS Hardware Remote Connectivity Application First Contact Resolution Application Software Desktop Software Hardware Network Telecom Applications Desktop Server Break/Fix Reset Password System Downtime Service Request How-To Business Systems Hardware Software Backup and Restore Facilities Courier Supply Add On Results Send Out Critical High Medium Low Inquiry Desktop Network Telecom Application General 19HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 20. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Healthcare Desktop Application Desktop Hardware Server Application Network Hardware Telecomm Hardware (continued) Enterprise Apps Desktop Apps Hardware Desktop Network Interface Network Servers Epic Software Hardware Operations Error Message Question User Error Data Error Request Fault Citrix Session Reset Service Request/ Security Password Reset New User Setup Hardware Network Services Software (Clinical) Software (nonclinical) Hardware Software Telecommunications Password Reset New User Setup Hardware Software User Hardware Software Network No Problem Telecom Hardware Software Security Request Network Immediate Impact High Impact Moderate Impact General Hardware System Updates Incident Change Incident Other Request for Information Incident Request Incident Service Catalog Request for Information Incident Request for Information Incident Request Security Network Application Desktop Hardware Printer Desktop Application Network Password Printer Phone McKesson Apps Small Apps Password Desktop Security Windows Network Password Changes Primary Clinical Desktop Hardware Issue Desktop Software Issue Printer Hardware Issue Application – General Password Issue Application Error Software How-To Hardware Issue Network Issue Password Issues Computer/Network Phones and AirCards Purchasing Facilities Password Reset Outlook Connectivity Access request Software Password Reset Server Down Network Down Application Unavailable Workstation – Profile Password Reset PC/Desktop Mail/Messaging Network Applications Password Reset Printer Down ISP Down Application Connectivity New User Setup Request Issue Password Resets/Unlocks Software Phone Service MFD Desktop Request Error Error/Failure Issue Reset Security (MAC) Password Reset Admin Services Desktop PC Phone Security Access Hardware Software Telephone Network Self-service E-mail PC Workstation Printers Systems Access Service Request Incident Maintenance Problem Software Hardware Networking Telecom Other Software Hardware How To Security Database Software Security Hardware Network Software Hardware Accounts E-mail Malware Software Support Hardware Support Password Reset Add/Install Hardware Request Standard PC Medical Record Network System Access Desktop Services Telecommunications Printing Education/How To Technology Application Telecommunications Security Web Insurance Access Software Network Hardware How to Account Admin Software Hardware Internet/Intranet/Web Network Application Security Client Software Voice Application Infrastructure Facilities Client System Inquiry 20HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 21. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Insurance Break/Fix Employee Change Purchase Audit Alerts (continued) Business App User Accounts System Admin PC and Client Software Server Software Business Application Client System Printing Voice Network CHIP Citrix Mainframe Computer Hardware Microsoft Applications Enterprise Messaging OS Telecommunications Defect First-level Support Training Administrative Setup Fix Hardware Software Security Password Reset Hardware Software Vendor Network Infrastructure Hardware Software Request Security Telecom Hardware Software How To Incident Service Request Microsoft Product Break/Fix Software Break/Fix Hardware Password Reset Software Request Password MS Outlook Printing Claim Center Document Production Password Reset Proprietary App Proprietary App E-mail Printing Password Resets Internal Application Errors Outlook-related Issues Password Unlock Password Reset PC Performance Passwords Outlook Connectivity Security Status Check Report Interpretation Software Hardware Security Software Memory Server Physical Server Virtual Hardware SW.[alpha].[software name] HW.Desktop Network.Other Remote Access.[method] HW.Phone Workstation Laptop Server LAN Printer Legal Application Network Hardware Security Administration Document Security Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Hardware Problem – CPU Hardware Problem – Printer Hardware Software Request for Service Accounts Network Hardware Software Admin Network Pilot Software Hardware Network Conference Room Training Software Hardware Conference BlackBerry Network sw-ms-outlook sw-imanage sw-ms-word cr-loanerblackb cr-loanerlaptop Manufacturing Active Directory (password Outlook Desktop Printer BlackBerry (noncomputer) changes book here) Administrative Software Hardware Telecom Ecommerce Application Issue User Administration Issue Technical Issue ERP Issue Application–MS Office Security–LAN–Access Desktop–Laptop Application–Kronos Security–RSA Token –MS Outlook –P/W Reset –Password Reset –Enable Lost Status Applications Desktop/Laptop Hardware Networking/ Passwords Applications Communications Applications – Enterprise Applications – Other SAP Hardware Request User Access Request Break/Fix New Enhancement Desktop Password Reset Servers and Storage Lotus Notes Active Directory Desktop Software Hardware Software Services Network Miscellaneous E-mail Hardware Applications Telephony Password E-mail PC Printer Password Network General IT Support SAP User Changes SAP Passwords New Hires Office Global Systems Client Technologies SAP Hardware Software Electronic Messaging ERP Systems Telecommunications Hardware Application Infrastructure Security Transaction Processing 21HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 22. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Manufacturing Hardware Printers Software Laptop Desktop (noncomputer) Hardware Software E-mail Request Permission/Access Create/Delete Accounts (continued) Hardware Software Network Web Applications Operation System Software Hardware Miscellaneous Network Software Applications How-To Support Account Management Software Break/Fix New Software Request Telephone Systems Logon Problems Web Applications Applications Windows Outlook Lotus Notes BlackBerry Laptop Replacement Security McAfee Messaging and Applications Collaboration Move Add Change Password Reset No Fault Found Outlook Printing P2 Password Reset Trouble Ticket Service Request New Hires Terminations Passwords Hardware Applications Connectivity Permissions Hardware Software Purchase Telephone Pri 1 Pri 2 Pri 3 Software Hardware Printers Requests/Notifications Access/Security Software – Common PC Hardware Software – IT Software – Enterprise Software – HR New Media/Publishing Hardware Managed Application Local Application Infrastructure Request Incident Informational Nonprofit or Application Services Accounts and Security Desktop Hardware Services Printing Services Web Services Association Error Problem Report Request Question Hardware Software Network User Administration Hardware Software Conference Room User Administration E-mail Hardware – Desktop Software – Desktop Network Account Software – Application New Hire Departures Desktop Software Telecommunications Desktop Hardware Network Services Problem Type Category Symptom Software Hardware Accounts Google Remote Access Oil/Gas (nonretail) Accounts Platform Call Transfer Change Software Application Infrastructure End User Procurement Access Control Hardware Software Citrix Printing E-mail Incident Service Catalog Information Software Hardware Account Password Reset VPN Software Installs Oracle BlackBerry Redirected to Web Call Outside of Scope Benefits Payroll Windows Outlook Oracle issue Access/Account BlackBerry AdministrationOutsourced Services Application Client Server Desktop E-mail Network Provider Client Software Client Hardware Enterprise Systems Enterprise Infrastructure Telecom Clinical Application Financial Application Printer/Printing Mobile Device Network Connectivity Client Specific Administration CRM Complexity Level Employee Support/HR Internal IT Computer Deployments Office and Facilities Services Service Desk General Hardware Software Infrastructure Database Hardware Software Process Security Hardware Application Device Type Problem Type 22HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 23. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Outsourced Services I ncident Request Provider Infrastructure PC Hardware PC Software Mobile Services E-mail/Messaging (continued) Infrastructure Hardware Infrastructure Applications Enterprise Applications Network Workstations Network Device Client Software MS Office App Change in Access Google Mail – Connectivity Operational Product Resolution SecureConnect Computer E-mail Security Hardware Software Network Inquiry Service Business Process Business Function Product Software Hardware Network Telephony Software.Microsoft. Security.Access. Hardware.Printer.Network Security.Access. Software.Microsoft. WindowsXP Unlock Account Password Reset InternetExplorer Pharmaceutical R equest Software Hardware Telecom Software Hardware Networking Telecom Retail Access User Administration Equipment Software Meeting Request BOS POS Forecourt Internet Apps Other Apps Business Processes Pharmacy Systems Warehouse/Depot Systems Microsystems Business Processes Enterprise Applications Desktop Applications Hardware Hang up/Transfer/Status Telecom Facility Maintenance Restaurant Technology Desktop Support Enterprise Applications Third-party Services Hardware Software POS Hardware Software Generic Networking Security Hardware JDE Internet Explorer Time Card Procurement Hardware Software Networking Security Printing Hardware Software Service Outage Hardware Application Password Printer Network Software Telephone Register Network/Phone Nonregister Inquiry Password Reset Reset Password Create Account Unlock Account Modify Account Outlook Problem Security.Password Reset Workstation Security.SAP Workstation.PC Laptop.SW Workstation.PC Laptop Toner Replacement Outlook Problem Cable Replacement User Add/Modify/Delete Telecommunications Hardware Application Network Telephony Mobility High Low Informational Medium Urgent Incident Change Problem Request Fulfillment Comment Monitored – CVO Connectivity Slowness Incident Request Network Server Application Client Database Password Reset Production Apps Customer Supporting Customer Care Web Service Application Outage Hardware Travel Login/User Administration E-mail Network Enterprise Applications Hardware Net Ware Passwords Software – New/Term Users Lotus/BlackBerry/ Slow Performance In-house Dispatch Portal Password Reset Operating System Applications/Other Microsoft/Outlook Devices/Printer 23HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 24. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Utilities/Energy Account Administration Password Resets E-mail-related Problems Application Support Hardware Support (new users, change users, remove users) Account Management Hardware Software Employee Management Inventory management CIS Desktop Telecom Network/E-mail Web Systems Client HW/SW Account Management Messaging Core IT Systems Checkout/Setup Service Client Applications Client Hardware Custom Applications Systems Error Message Informational Access Request Password Reset Hardware Software Security Network Information Hardware – Enterprise Hardware – Client Software – Server Software – Client Incident Service Request Operations Incident Service Request Change Problem Event Printer Software Hardware Incident Change Request Incident Hardware Incident Failure Server Hardware Software – OS Customer Issue Site Power Login/Password Service Request Problem Ticket Severity 1 – Critical Severity 2 – High Severity 3 – Medium Severity 4 – Low Software Trouble Maintain How To Password Reset Virus/Malware E-mail Internet Connection Other Accounting Fulfillment Other Submit Incident Active Directory Computers Network Issues Printers Distributed Apps Management Administration Proprietary 1 Personalization Proprietary 2 Mobile Application Security End–User Device Printer Password Reset Application Issue Data Upload Position Setups Applications Custom Applications Hardware Customer Request Forms Network Applications Passwords Workstation Hardware Telephony PDA Backup/Restore Malware Laptop Software/Departmental Printer Computers and Software Networking Servers and Storage Enterprise Apps Peripherals Configuration Administration Training Move/Add/Change New Hire Database E-Business Suite Middleware Exadata Retail Employee Profiles Passwords Security Home User Remote Connectivity Error Message or Alert Connectivity Employee Administration Security.Locked Account Procedures or or Password Reset Instructions Hardware Software Error Incident Service Request Problem RFC – Standard RFC – Regular Incidents Service Requests Internet Applications Intranet Applications Main Frame Equipment Server Equipment ATT/Nextel Issues IT Services Account Management Hardware Software CI Selected IT Support – Hardware IT Support – Software IT Support – Permissions IT Support – E-mail IT Support – Password Laptop Setup Permission Request Oracle issue Custom Application issues Custom Application issues Major Critical High Medium Low Media License Keys CSO PSO Hardware Member Assistance Listing Management Report Incident Web Browser My Computer A Website An Employee My Phone My E-mail Phone Software Hardware Access Environment 24HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 25. Most Common Ticket Categories UsedBy Each Organization (By Vertical Industry) (continued) The 8 percent that strongly agree that “The current categories work well for [the] organization,” are highlighted in this list.Other POS Registers Product Scanning Credit/Debit Polling PDI/RMS (continued) Product (7 choices) Component (50 choices) Case Type (19 choices) Request Software Failure Hardware Failure Authentication Access Software – How Do I Failure Request for Change Request for Information Incident Complaint Request Fulfillment Restaurant Software Network SAP Network Desktop/Laptop/Tablet Printer Software SharePoint 2007 SharePoint 2010 Office Communicator Live Meeting VPN User Operational Consumer Password Reset User Setup Install Telecom Term Users ProjectFor all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit 25HDI Research Corner, September 2011
  • 26. Incident Categorization: A Method to the Madness By Julie Mohr Incident categorization is a challenge for many What Is Categorization? organizations. Whether it is due to culture, politics, complexity, or an inability to agree, every organization, Incident management drives process improvement by using the accurate analysis of incidents to identify improvement at some point, runs up against incident categorization. opportunities. To facilitate this analysis, incidents are Why does it cause so much difficulty? prioritized and categorized during the incident management process. Prioritization relates the importance of the incident Every organization is different. Their products and services are to the impact on the business and the urgency, relative to different. Their service levels are different. Their customers are the timing of the incident (that is, when the incident different and their knowledge is different. Even their reports occurred). Categorization is the process of arranging the are different. Each one of these distinctive factors affects how incidents into classes or categories. In the incident management incidents are tracked and monitored. Thus, there can be no master process, this provides us with the ability to track similar categorization scheme because each organization must figure out incidents related to the products and services provided to what works best in their unique environments. the business. | JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2012 2610 SupportWorld
  • 27. Why Is Categorization Important? identify incidents and select the appropriate control actions, isWhen an incident is first categorized, it enables the analyst to important to ensuring the success of a given process. Likewise,run a search for knowledge in the form of incidents, problems, proactive problem management is nearly impossible to achieveor known errors. When an incident can be categorized in only without good categorization. If an analyst can log a singleone way, the search against previous knowledge is more effective. incident under five or six different categories, just imagineIf knowledge is not available, categorization provides the trying to run a master report that includes all of the incidentsstructure to begin gathering the information necessary to and reports related to a specific service, issue, or component.diagnose and categorize the new knowledge. Categorizing the Such a report might identify some similarities between incidentsincident speeds up the process and creates greater efficiency and problems, but without the full picture we may not be able towithin the process flow. conduct trend analysis.If an issue cannot be resolved, the next value-add of categorization With so many dependencies and requirements, it’s no wonderis identifying the group(s) to which a given incident can be why incident categorization is difficult. So how do we actuallyescalated. Once escalation groups have been tied to specific create a workable categorization scheme?categories, the organization can begin eliminating errors inthe escalation process. Finally, another benefit of effective The Basicscategorization is the ability to produce meaningful reports and Categorization is based upon a hierarchical structure that hasconduct trend analysis, which helps the organization take a multiple levels of classification. The hierarchy is often describedmore proactive approach to managing services. as a category/type/item (CTI) structure. Once the analyst picks a high-level category, he will next select a type, followed by anCategorization Dependencies item. If this is done effectively, the category defines a subset ofWithin the service lifecycle, other aspects of value delivery are types and the selection of a type identifies a subset of items. Thistied to categorization. The service catalog provides a view of the type of hierarchy simplifies the incident categorization, reducesservices that are in the operational environment. Organizing error, and helps tie unique CTIs to their owners. At its core,services into categories that make sense to your customers then, categorization is like a set of buckets. Each bucket holdsmakes it easier for them to find information about those a bunch of incidents and these incidents are logically groupedservices and request them. Incident categorization is directly according to a subset of characteristics. The first decision torelated to service categorization. All too often organizations try make has to do with identifying the highest level of the categorize incidents before they fully understand how to • Step One: Identify the Bucketscategorize their services. Even worse, if you try to categorizeincidents without understanding your services, then then your Incidents can be categorized by type, by caller, by technology,categories are likely to be very technology-focused and will by incident, or by service. The first question to ask is,lack the ability to provide a view of the impacted service from Which of these is most important to the customer? Typically,the customer’s point of view. This limits your organization’s organizations that are implementing service managementability to proactively manage services. will start with the service. This provides substantial value because it helps the organization understand serviceCategorization has several other critical dependencies. It is performance and identify service improvements. But thislinked to the specific skills needed to support the organization’s high-level classification will not work for all organizations.products and services, which impacts your analysts’ training External service providers, for example, may choose toand career development opportunities. But it is also an essential choose make the customer the highest level (bucket). Thestep in establishing expectations when the organization develops key is to keep the upper level (or primary level) broad, butits operational level agreements (OLAs). Going back to our not too broad. Ten to fifteen high-level choices should keepescalation example, what types of incidents should be solved the level of detail the service desk? Which can be immediately escalated tolevel 2? The organization needs to have a foundational • Step Two: Verify the Bucketsunderstanding of the relationship between incidents and How do you get these high-level choices? Start with threeservices, and of the level of support provided at the service to six months of historical records and begin to sort thedesk, level two, and beyond. incidents according to your high-level criteria. Be sure to limit the organization to those ten to fifteen availableEvent management also depends directly on incident selections.categorization. Developing automation tools and features thatsupport event filtering and correlation, which will help you 27 | A PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE IT SERVICE AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT COMMUNITY 11
  • 28. Incident Categorization: A Method to the Madness structures. “Other” incidents should be analyzed on a weekly or biweekly basis to determine whether additional CTI structures are needed. However, long-term use of “Other” is not recommended and should be avoided. Moreover, if a high percentage of incidents are going into the “Other” bucket, a re-examination of the temporary structure is needed. Possible Pitfalls and Stumbling Blocks There are many pitfalls and stumbling blocks to look out for when it comes to incident categorization. If your categorization scheme has lots of CTI structures (buckets) and too many/too few tickets in each bucket, this is an indication that you may not have the right buckets or number of buckets. The ideal number is hard to define exactly, but can be more easily expressed in percentages. For example, if you have a CTI element (bucket) that holds 25 percent of your ticket volume, then the structure may not be detailed enough. If a bucket holds less than two percent, then it is probably too specific. Above all, you should avoid making any changes to the ategorization scheme as you move through the incident management process. If you find that a particular incident has been incorrectly categorized, the best way to handle this is to create a closure categorization, not to change the categorization • Step Three: Dump the Buckets it was assigned when it was opened. This gives the organization the opportunity to improve the process and better train the The next step involves identifying the next level of analysts recording the incidents. classification, which is accomplished by looking at the incidents that were put into the Category bucket and It is also important to focus on capturing information that is deciding how to further divide those tickets up effectively fact-based, not symptom-based. A specific incident can have into Type. The second level should be specific, but not many different symptoms. Categorizing by symptom may lead to too specific. The next level (Item) will provide the details, multiple categorizations a single type of incident, which would giving you greater insight into a given incident. Again, the generate unreliable data, and make accurate reporting difficult level of detail here has to be driven by the organization’s at best. Also, you may find that some incidents present initial needs and the type of incidents it captures. An example of “symptoms” that point to a particular category, type, or item, this type of structure would be as follows: but deeper analysis proves that the true issue was something very different. It will be easier to find the solution the next time • Choice 1: What is the affected service? Select service. the issue occurs if both categorizations are recorded. (This goes • Choice 2: What is the type of issue affecting the back to something we discussed at the beginning of this article: service? Select type. searching for knowledge.) • Choice 3: What is the specific item that has a fault? Finally, IT organizations tend to focus their CTI structures on the Select item. internal view of IT. While this will help the organization identify component improvements, it will not drive service improvements. • Step Four: Pilot the Buckets Data collection must be business-driven, not IT-driven. Taking The next step is to establish a structure that can be tested the external view will provide data that supports better decision in the live environment. At this point the CTI structure is making and analysis, based upon the business’s needs. just temporary, to allow for modifications based upon actual calls that are received. Each call that does not fit Critical Success Factors into the structure should be reviewed to determine First, figure out what data you need from the incident whether or not a change to the temporary structure is management system. If you can get all parties involved to agree required. To keep the flow and handling of incidents on the content of incident management process and service moving, most structures include an “Other” category that reports, then it will help the organization define the outcome accommodates incidents that do not fit within any existing of the categorization activity. Service level agreements | JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2012 2812 SupportWorld
  • 29. are instrumental in identifying what we should measure; reduce redundancy, and strengthen the organization’s abilitycategorization makes those measurements possible. to manage knowledge and use it to support decision making. Understanding the underlying data can enable the organization toSecond, training is essential. Even the most well-defined take a proactive, crossfunctional view of service management andcategorization scheme is subject to error. Organizations that train identify improvement opportunities. It can also provide a bettertheir analysts to categorize correctly and handle exceptions will overall picture of an organization’s services and how they arereap the benefits of high-quality data and will minimize meeting customer expectations and service level targets.categorization redundancies. Someone once said that nothing worth doing is easy. This is the caseThird, because any change to the categorization scheme with categorization, as it is with life. This is a tough exercise, nocould change the way existing data is structured, once the doubt, but one that will pay off in the end. The data collected in theenvironment has stabilized, categorization should undergo the incident management process represents every touch point, everychange management process. This will mitigate the effect of any aspect of the customer experience. If we capture that knowledge inchanges to the structure on the underlying data, which will help such a way that it can be reused to support continual improvement,maintain the highest possible level of accuracy and the validity we can improve our services, improve our customer satisfaction,of historical analysis. You should plan and prepare for any and improve our operational efficiency and effectiveness. That ispossible risks, but you should also encourage change. Organizations definitely something worth doing!are not static, and neither should the categorization scheme be.Last, reporting is important for overall quality improvement: About the Authorof services, of processes, of technologies, of people, and of the Julie Mohr, president of Mind the IT Gap,overall customer experience. All service management processes is a dynamic, engaging change agent whouse this data to support decision making. It is important to keep brings integrity and passion to everything shethis in mind when data is structured, captured, and used in does. Through her books, articles, speaking,reports that are inputs to these processes. Their needs must be consulting, and teaching, Julie’s purpose is to change the world through thought-provokingtaken into account. dialogue and interaction. She received her BS inThe Benefits of Good Categorization computer science from The Ohio State University and she currently runs an online university thatThe benefits of a good categorization scheme are many. provides exceptional learning experiences. Feel free to contact Julie atCategorization can simplify the incident-logging process, 29 | A PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE IT SERVICE AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT COMMUNITY 13
  • 30. n o vember 2 0 1 1 Providing Remote Support to CustomersJenny RainsSenior Research Analyst, HDIIn a time when ticket volumes are steadily increasing (68% of support centers have seen an increase this year, according to the2011 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report), and both customers and support professionals are located in various on-site andoff-site locations, the widespread adoption of remote support technology in the IT service and technical support industry comes asno surprise. The implementation of remote support technology enables support teams to resolve incidents and provide service byconnecting to customer devices without dispatching technicians to the customer’s location.The HDI Research Corner survey on remote support practices was live online between September and October 2011, and it collectedresponses from 503 IT service and technical support organizations that are currently resolving tickets using remote support. This reportexplores the results of that survey.Survey ResultsOf the 525 organizations that completed this survey, 503 are currently providing remote support to their customers. Because surveyrespondents elect to participate based on the survey’s topic, we can assume this ratio is a bit high. Other HDI research has indicatedthat, this year, about three-quarters of the industry is providing support using remote support technology.A Job for the Support Center or Desktop Support?Among organizations that provide remote support, approximately 54 percent of their tickets are being resolved remotely. In 83 percentof organizations, remote support is provided by support center staff; in 62 percent of organizations, the same support is providedby desktop support staff. Twenty percent of organizations permit other support staff to provide remote support. The most commonpositions listed in the other category are application support, engineers, system administrators, and level 2 staff. { Who Provides Remote Support? Percent of Organizations } 83.3% Support Center Staff 62.2% Desktop Support Staff 19.5% Other 30HDI Research Corner, November 2011
  • 31. Many organizations (49%) that provide remote support allow both support center staff and desktop support staff to provide remotesupport to customers. In those organizations, on average, 60 percent of the tickets resolved through remote support are resolved bysupport center staff, 37 percent are resolved by desktop support staff, and 3 percent are resolved by staff in other positions.Ethics and AuthorizationAlthough customers may appreciate the convenience and efficiency of remote support, the idea of an invisible “IT person” comingin through the backdoor and viewing their data, files, and everyday activities makes them uneasy. Customer acceptance is one of themost frequently mentioned topics that comes up when organizations are asked what they would improve about remote support in itscurrent state. A code of ethics for IT support teams and established customer authorization practices can help alleviate some of theuncertainty that causes customer concerns.No matter which team provides the remote support, most organizations (74%) expect staff members that connect to customer devicesto adhere to a defined code of ethics/conduct. However, only 20 percent require a signature on this type of document before allowingthe support professional to assist customers in this manner, and about a quarter do not have a defined code of ethics/conduct. { Are Staff Who Provide Remote Support Expected to Adhere to a Defined Code of Conduct? } Percent of Organizations 54.4% 25.7% 19.9 No, we do not Yes, but there is Yes, we require have a code no signature a signature on of ethics/conduct. required. this document.In 68 percent of organizations, customers must give the support team permission to access their machines. This is not always the case,though; in 18 percent of organizations, support staff may remote into machines at anytime, without the customer’s permission. Someorganizations (14%) will request permission, but not in every situation. The need for authorization can vary depending on the sensitivityof the information handled by the customer (e.g., HR, EMR). Several organizations only require authorization when the customer islogged into the device; after-hours access is allowed without requiring permission. Likewise, if a prompt goes unanswered by the user,the analyst is allowed to connect to the device. Some of the organizations that selected “sometimes” pointed to another option: thecustomer can allow blanket access, so that authorization is not required for each ticket that necessitates remote support. 31HDI Research Corner, November 2011
  • 32. { Is Customer Authorization Required? Percent of Organizations } No Sometimes Yes 67.7 % 17.9 14.3 % %The Impact of Remote SupportSurvey respondents were asked to rate the impact (positive or negative) of remote support, as measured by performance metrics likeFCR, time to resolve, and customer satisfaction. Based on the responses, it’s no surprise that so much of the industry is currently utilizingthis capability.On a 1–10 scale, where 1 is an extremely negative impact and 10 is an extremely positive impact, the average rating is 8.4 and themedian rating is 9.0. This means more than half of respondents rate the impact of remote support not just positively, but extremelypositively (a 9 or 10). { What Is the Impact of Remote Support on an Organization’s Performance? Average = 8.4 | Median = 9 } 35 30.5 30 28.1 25 21.3 20 15 13.8 10 5 1.8 2.4 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.3 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Extremely Rating Extremely Negative (1–10) PositiveThough the response to remote support is extremely positive, there is room for improvement, as there is with any process or technology.When asked if anything could be improved about remote support, the most common response was that organizations would like moreof it. Specifically, they would like to expand the use of remote support to resolve more types of incidents and service requests, includemore customers, and allow more support staff to use it as a means of resolving customer tickets. 32HDI Research Corner, November 2011
  • 33. Training on the technology and practices involved in providing remote support to customers is another area identified as needingimprovement. Also, as mentioned previously, customer acceptance is something many organizations are struggling with, along withestablishing standard practices and policies around remote support. These two areas are not mutually exclusive. Further research mightshow that establishing policies and practices, and making sure customers are aware of them, can help set customer expectations andcan, in turn, increase the acceptance of remote support.Finally, the technology itself has been identified as an area for improvement, as about 5 percent of organizations are still strugglingto find the tool that best fits their support organizations. Most organizations (61%) use more than one technology to provide remotesupport. The table above lists the technologies most commonly used by survey respondents, as either the primary or secondary toolsfor providing remote support. { What Are the Most Common Technologies Used to Provide Remote Support to Customers (Alphabetical)? } Bomgar LogMeIn Cisco (WebEx) Microsoft (Microsoft Remote Desktop, Citrix SCCM/SMS , Windows Remote Assistance) (GoToAssist , GoToManage, GoToMeeting) RealVNC (VNC) DameWare Symantec (Altiris, pcAnywhere) LANDesk TeamViewerConclusionAs reported in the 2011 HDI Desktop Support Practices & Salary Report, about half of the desktop support teams that provide remotesupport are able to resolve more than 50 percent of tickets assigned to desktop support without dispatching. This finding, coupledwith the results of this HDI Research Corner survey, indicates that the use of remote support will continue to increase. Many supportorganizations that are not providing remote support today will likely implement it in the near future, and those that are currently doingso will find ways to employ it more. With the appropriate policies, training, tools, and communication, remote support can be avaluable asset to the organization and, more importantly, its customers.For all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit 33HDI Research Corner, November 2011
  • 34. Good Practices in Remote Support Roy Atkinson | Senior Writer/Analyst, HDIThe 2012 HDI Desktop Support Practices & Salary Report tells us that about 91 percent ofdesktop support organizations are using remote control tools to provide support. Ac-cording to Jenny Rains, HDI’s research analyst, “about three-quarters of the industryis providing support using remote support technology.”1Fundamental things we want to know about remote support are: • Why use remote support? • How effective is it? • Who within the organization provides remote support? • What about confidentiality and privacy? • Which, if any, good practices are emerging?Obviously, remote control (“shadowing”) tools have become one of the key piecesof support technology. With ticket counts on the rise and management striving tocontrol costs, remote connection and control software promise to cut down or eveneliminate the time desktop support/field service technicians spend traveling to andfrom the customer’s location. Often, a customer’s computer can be quickly restored tofull function by the addition of a patch or upgrade, a change in configuration, or anadjustment in the user and group settings, but the customer may not have the rightsand permissions necessary to make the changes, may not know where to get requiredsoftware, may not be aware that they need the software or adjustments, or may sim-ply require some “hand-holding” to get through the process. In addition, “40 percentof support centers have at least some staff working virtually, and an additional tenpercent are planning to implement this practice in the next twelve months.”2 Someestimates say that mobile workers of all types will make up nearly three-quarters ofthe workforce by 2013.3 Working at a distance from colleagues and customers in-creases to value of being able to share a screen and perform operations on a distantcomputer. 1 Jenny Rains, “Providing Remote Support to Customers,” HDIPutting remote support technology in the hands of support center and desktop sup- Research Corner report (Novemberport staff makes a difference in terms of: 2011), p. 1. • Faster time to resolution, as phone tag and data gathering steps are elimi- 2 Jenny Rains, 2011 HDI Support Center Practices & Salary Report (HDI, nated, and more issues are resolved at first contact; 2011), p. 68. • Higher TSR (technical support representative) productivity, as support engi- 3 IDC, “How to Equip Your Company neers can work directly on the system, see exactly what’s happening, and not For the New Mobile Workforce.” need to recreate customer environments on lab computers; 34 800.248.5667 I I 1
  • 35. Good Practices in Remote SupportAn HDI White Paper I June 2012 • Better root cause analysis, as engineers can see defects exactly as they present themselves at customer sites; • Training as a by-product of support, as customers watch, learn, and duplicate expert resolution processes; and • Higher customer satisfaction and loyalty as a natural side effect of faster, more accurate, and more transparent resolutions.4Having access to others’ computers, whether within the organization or outside of it,is fraught with both compliance and ethics questions for the support center. In theday-to-day pressure to get people back to work quickly, it may become easy to over-look some of the finer points of providing remote support. Support center managers,desktop support technicians, and support center analysts alike should be aware of allthe considerations.Consider, for example, a comptroller or other member of the finance team who ishaving serious issues with Excel. In order to solve the problem, an analyst or techni-cian will probably need to connect to the comptroller’s computer remotely while thecomptroller is logged in and the problematic workbook is open. The workbook may verywell contain sensitive, confidential data. The same can be said about connecting tocomputers in human resources, legal, product development, and many other depart-ments or groups within a company. Likewise, educational institutions may wrestlewith giving support analysts access to computers containing examination questions,admissions and financial aid information, and other sensitive data; the same is truefor hospitals, law firms, tax accountants, stock brokerages, and so on.We can discuss the need to safeguard the confidentiality of information from threeperspectives: • Technology • Process • PeopleTechnologyRemote connection/control software varies. Some products can also be used for col-laborative screen sharing, and are not restricted to purely technical support uses. Es-sentially, there are three major types: • Administrator-to-client: In this model, administrative software running on a technician’s computer (or on a server) can connect to a client that resides on a customer’s computer, giving the administrator full view and control as if 4 D.B. Kay & Associates, “Show, Don’t Tell: she/he were present at the client machine. In some cases, the client software Remote Support Best Practices and can be “pushed” to the customer’s machine over a network if it has not been 35 800.248.5667 I I 2
  • 36. Good Practices in Remote SupportAn HDI White Paper I June 2012 previously installed. • Web-based: The customer opens a webpage and shares his/her screen with a technician who “picks up” the connection based on information provided by the customer. • Appliance: Hardware-based, centralized control over remote sessions.Regardless of the type your organization chooses, security should be a high priority.A remote support session that is not secure is a big opportunity for a “man-in-the-middle attack.”5 The protocol used to make and continue the connection should besecure, and should comply with requirements such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, andany other industry-specific requirements. All remote connections should be auto-matically logged so that audits can be performed.ProcessThere should be a standard procedure for connecting to any computer for remotesupport. Many remote control products have a feature that alerts the end-user whena connection is made, and can require acceptance by that end-user before the connec-tion is completed. Where this feature exists, it should be enabled so that customers/end users always know when connections are made and have the right to delay or re-fuse them. If your organization uses a remote control product that does not offer thisfeature, written (email will suffice) or verbal (phone) permission should always beobtained from the customer/end user for a specific connection. (In other words, just be-cause you have my permission to connect to my computer today, that does not meanyou have it again tomorrow. If you need to connect again, you need to ask again.)PeopleAt the very least, each analyst and technician should receive training about the im-portance of following procedures when using remote control tools, and should beasked to sign a code of ethics attesting to their agreement to act in an honest and pro-fessional manner. There should be appropriate consequences (up to and includingtermination) for violating the code and/or failing to follow proper procedure.6 Staffmembers are being entrusted with “the keys to the kingdom” and need to understandthe gravity of this trust.As with any rule, there are exceptions, however rare. Suppose, for example, an enduser’s computer is infected with a virus or malware that is attempting to propagateacross your organization’s network. If repeated attempts to reach the end user failand a network administration remedy is not readily available, the best (i.e., fastest)solution may be to shut the machine down via remote control until a technician can 5 Click here for a definition of “man-in-the-address the issue. In such emergencies, a supervisor or manager should be consulted middle attack.”to make the decision to access the computer and issue the command. An analyst or 6 One example is the USENIX/LOPSA/LISAtechnician should not make the decision unilaterally, and the steps leading up to the Code of Ethics, which, though originallydecision to access the remote computer without permission should be documented. intended for system administrators, is also used for analysts and technicians. 36 800.248.5667 I I 3
  • 37. Good Practices in Remote SupportAn HDI White Paper I June 2012Cases like this should be reviewed to see if there was another solution, and whetherexisting procedures or remote control product features need to be changed.Safe and Successful Remote SupportOnce appropriate and secure remote control tools are in use in your organization,don’t forget the importance of ongoing education and awareness. Make sure that newend users/customers understand that remote control is an option, that they have ul-timate control over when and how it is used, and that new analysts and techniciansunderstand the proper procedures for remote control.There are many benefits to remote support, perhaps the greatest of which is the abilityto show customers/end users how to do something, and vice versa. Every remote connectionis a teaching opportunity, and it can work in both directions. Imagine a customersaying, “Well, our group has found that it’s better to do it this way…” and showing atechnician how people actually use a given tool or perform an operation.Work with your information security staff to make sure they have the ability to auditremote support sessions and make recommendations. Remember, “just because youcan doesn’t mean you should.” Because of the cost benefits and ease of remote support,organizations may be tempted to use it as the default method of working with end us-ers. In some cases, it may be better to have a technician visit in person to attend to theissue at hand, answer questions, and make personal contact. Even the most honestof end users is wary of being “spied on” and may resist the idea of remote control. Beclear about the benefits to them and make sure they understand their level of control.Roy Atkinson is HDI’s senior writer/analyst. He is a certified HDI Support Center Manager and aveteran of both small business and enterprise consulting, service, and support. In addition, he has bothfrontline and management experience. Roy is well known for his social media presence, especially onthe topic of customer service. He also serves as the chapter advisor for the HDI Northern New Englandlocal chapter. 37 800.248.5667 I I 4
  • 38. january 2 0 1 2 Supporting Mobile Devices in 2011Jenny RainsSenior Research Analyst, HDIAnalyzing the results from two years of data reveals some interesting trends in the world of mobile device support. For starters, ifmobile device support was a race, BlackBerry devices started out strong in 2010 and were leading by a mile, but the Apple iPhone,iPad, and other mobile devices gained speed and, at the current pace, will soon have the advantage.In 2010, half of the IT support industry was openly struggling with the pace of emerging mobile devices; this struggle continued in2011, with 52 percent reporting in the most recent study that they are having difficulty keeping up. The battle between the rapidacquisition of technology by customers and the support center’s mission to support them was not settled in the past year; on thecontrary, it only intensified. Fanning the flames, tickets related to mobile device support continue to flood the queue. On average,these tickets comprise 12 percent of an organization’s total ticket volume.Which devices are organizations supporting? Which ones are allowed to connect to resources? What changes are being made toaccommodate customer needs? Last fall, HDI’s Research Corner collected survey responses from 286 support professionals concerningthe IT service and technical support industry’s response to the rapid evolution of mobile device support. A similar survey was releasedin fall 2010, and the results of both are reported below to highlight changes that took place in the period between the surveys.Survey ResultsMobile devices are being released and embraced by customers faster than organizations can create policies around them and supportteams can learn about them. As mentioned above, 52 percent of support organizations are struggling to keep up with the pace ofemerging technologies. Forty percent feel like they are keeping up with the pace, and three percent say they are staying ahead of therace. These results are very similar to the 2010 findings. 5% 8% { Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies Percent of Support Centers } 1 2 3 4 Not Supporting 52% 50% Struggling 40% 41%% Keeping Up 2% 3% Staying Ahead [1 ] Not Supporting the Devices [2] Struggling to Keep Up with the Pace 2010 2011 [3] Keeping Up with the Pace [4] Staying Ahead of the Technology 38HDI Research Corner, January 2012
  • 39. Supporting Specific Devices BlackBerry devices continue to be the most supported company-owned devices, but the support gap between devices seems to be closing quickly. The percent of organizations fully supporting company-owned Apple iPhones and iPads is increasing. More specifically, the number of organizations that are at least partially supporting iPads increased from 46 percent in 2010 to 74 percent in 2011. { Supporting Company-Owned Mobile Devices } 2011 2010 ANdroid blackberry iPhone iPad windows phone other ANdroid blackberry iPhone iPad other 100 100 13% 12% 80 41% 80 68% 29% 70% 60 60 22% 23% 27% 24% 40 21% Partially 40 20% 35% 33% Support 16% 29% 30% 20 19% 20 22% 15% 15% 9% Fully 0 Support 0 Percent of Support Centers Percent of Support Centers Companies are supporting personal mobile devices more, at least partially, across the board. Again, iPhones and iPads have seen the most acceptance by support centers in the last year. 2011 2010 ANdroid blackberry iPhone iPad windows phone other ANdroid blackberry iPhone iPad other 100 100 80 80 { Partially 60 51% 51% Support 60 Supporting 44% 39% 36% 44% 40 40 Personal 32% 34% 35% 29% Mobile Devices 20 20% Fully 20 Support 14% 13% 12% 11% 0 7% 0 7% } 6% 4% 5% 5% 4% Percent of Support Centers Percent of Support Centers 39HDI Research Corner, January 2012
  • 40. Connecting to ResourcesRegardless of the type of devices, we have seen an increase in the number of organizations allowing them to access resources. As alegacy device, BlackBerry continues to have the largest support. Although other devices are gaining acceptance at a more rapid rate,and although BlackBerry saw the smallest increase, it remains the most permitted type of company-owned device. { Resource Access for Company-Owned Devices } 2011 2010 38% 32% 13% 10% Android 18% Android 17% 31% 31% 72% 68% 9% 13% BlackBerry 5% BlackBerry 5% 14% 13% 52% 42% 17% 16% iPhone 8% iPhone 10% 23% 32% 52% 37% 24% 17% iPad 8% iPad 11% 16% 35% 32% 40% 10% 9% Windows Phone 19% Other 15% 39% 36% 8% 19% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Other 19% 53% Percent of Support Centers 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Percent of Support Centers YES, for anyone who has one YES, for some customers (i.e., executives) We DO NOT ALLOW anyone to connect with these Do not have / does not applyFor personal devices, company policies appear to relate more to resource access than the particular type of device. The numbers werevery similar across the list of devices in 2010, and there was minimal variance in 2011. Microsoft’s line of Windows Phones, which wasadded to the survey in 2011, is the exception. They are least likely to be permitted to connect to company resources. Overall, however,more devices and people are being granted access to resources remotely. 40HDI Research Corner, January 2012
  • 41. { Resource Access for Personal Devices } 2011 2010 41% 31% 23% 17% Android 26% Android 38% 10% 14% 42% 32% 22% 22% BlackBerry 26% BlackBerry 34% 10% 12% 48% 32% 27% 22% iPhone 19% iPhone 34% 6% 12% 46% 30% 29% 24% iPad 19% iPad 31% 6% 15% 36% 28% 15% 15% Windows Phone 33% Other 35% 15% 22% 12% 23% 0% 20% 40% 60% Other 32% 33% Percent of Support Centers 0% 20% 40% 60% Percent of Support Centers YES, for anyone who has one YES, for some customers (i.e., executives) We DO NOT ALLOW anyone to connect with these Do not have / does not applyPolicies and ChangesOrganizational policy development continues to lag behind support needs. Survey results actually show that more support centers feltthey had well-defined policies in place in 2010 than in 2011. It appears that, as the technology race continues, organizations are findingthat they were not as prepared as they may have thought they were, and they may be going back to the drawing board to developmore-enduring policies that will fit their customers’ needs and that fall within the support center’s capabilities. Deeper analysis of thesurvey data validates and reinforces the importance of well-defined policies. In both 2010 and 2011, those organizations with well-defined policies were more likely to feel like they are keeping up with the pace of emerging technologies. { Formal Policies around Supporting Mobile Devices Percent of Organizations } 36% Policies Are Well Defined 45% 48% Policies Are in Development 44% 2011 9% 2010 No Policies Currently in Place 6% 5% Other 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 41HDI Research Corner, January 2012
  • 42. Many organizations are not only creating and developing policies, but also changing areas of their support to address the influx ofmobile device tickets. More than one-third of support organizations have implemented mobile device management systems, 23percent have made changes in their staffing structures (i.e., adding staff dedicated to mobile device support, outsourced staff, etc.),and 20 percent have implemented virtualized applications or infrastructures. { Implementations Related to Mobile Device Support Percent of Organizations } Mobile Device Management System 35% Virtualized Applications or Infrastructure 20% Changes in Staffing Structure 23% (e.g., dedicated staff for supporting mobile devices, outsourced staff, etc.) 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%ConclusionThe 2010 report triggered many questions about where the industry would be a year later with respect to mobile device support.The 2011 results proved that this is a rapidly changing area for IT support. However, instead of throwing up their hands and sendingcustomers directly to the vendors, most organizations have jumped in with both feet. They are not only continuing to support thedevices that are currently on the menu, they have also expanded their services to include support for more devices. However, it isapparent that this is and will be an ongoing battle. It is a rapidly changing landscape and, in general, organizations seem to be muchin reactive mode. Consumers will continue to use various devices—and, more specifically, personal devices—and the industry willcontinue to be challenged to find ways to manage their support.For all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit 42HDI Research Corner, January 2012
  • 43. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and Challenge Roy Atkinson | Senior Writer/Analyst, HDIExecutive SummaryIn February 2011, HDI published a white paper on “The Mobility Revolution and ItsConsequences for Support.” Since then—and especially at the end of 2011 and thebeginning of 2012—this revolution has gained momentum. It is no longer necessaryto predict mobile, always-on, always-connected styles of work. They are here, andlikely here to stay.In an effort to track the progress of the ongoingmobile revolution, HDI conducted a new survey In every support environment, from higherbased closely on the 2010 Research Corner on the education to healthcare to manufacturing,same topic. In this way, we were able to compare mobility can be a benefit to both productivityyear-to-year results and identify trends. The new and profitability; but it can also be a treadmillsurvey was in the field at the very end of 2011, of keeping up with rapidly changing platforms,and the results were published in January 2012, standards, and applications.based on responses from 286 support centers.The purpose of this paper is to look back over the past year, extract meaningfulinformation, and take a look at what is and is not being done in the world of mobilesupport.This paper will cover the following areas: • An update on the past year of the mobility revolution • Rapid change • Security • The state of mobile device supportA word about BYOD Where does the line between mobile device support and policy end and the larger“bring your own device” (BYOD) question begin? In future years, there may not be any division between the two, since it’s already beginning to blur. Right now, though, mobile device support is both running ahead of and driving more inclusive BYOD policies, although gathering accurate and meaningful numbers about the breadth of BYOD’s current state is difficult at best. The state of the larger BYOD question—and its relative, the consumerization of IT—is too large to tackle in this paper, but will be covered separately in future HDI research and publications. 43 800.248.5667 I I 1
  • 44. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012During the latter part of 2011 and into 2012, many online sources (blogs and thesocial media world) seemed to take it for granted that the majority of companieshave “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies in place, and that most workers arebuying and using their own computers, tablets, and smartphones for work.1 This isdemonstrably not the case (yet), according to our research and that of others. This isnot to say that people are not bringing personal devices to work and using them inunsupported ways. However, most organizations do not yet have formal policies inplace to allow or encourage employees to use devices they have personally purchasedas a matter of course for their work.Related topicsThere are questions related to the use of mobile devices for accessing organizationalresources that go beyond the support organization itself, but which may and shouldbe considered by HR and other senior management. These questions include, but arenot limited to: • Impact on compensation of hourly staff for access to email and calendar during “off” hours; • Impact on employee vacation time; and • Possible tax implications of stipends, allowances, or other methods of compensation for devices and data plans.These questions should be born in mind by management, but do not bear directly onthe questions of mobile support considered here.IntroductionHere are some astounding statistics about the mobile industry at the beginning of2012:2 • There are now 5.9 billion active mobile phone subscriptions worldwide (representing 4 billion unique users), compared with 1.1 billion landlines. These subscriptions represent 4.8 billion mobile handsets. • Nineteen percent of the global installed base is smartphones. • At 1.2 billion, the smartphone installed base approaches the total installed base for all types of personal computers (1.3 billion personal computers, including desktops, laptops, netbooks, and tablet PCs like the Apple iPad).To put this another way, not using a smartphone is getting to be about as anachro-nistic as using a pen and paper for business recordkeeping. People lead complex1 See, for example, Galen Gruman’s blog at Smart User. The results of several surveys fail to support his open-ing statements. Early analysis of HDI’s 2012 research on BYOD indicates that more than half of respondentcompanies are currently not considering BYOD policies for smartphones, laptops, or tablets.2 Tomi T. Ahonen’s Almanac 2012 44 800.248.5667 I I 2
  • 45. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012lives, and the line between personal time and work time is becoming more and moreblurred. Children have calendars for school and extracurricular activities. Parentsneed to coordinate errands, travel, meals, and often caregiver duties for their ownparents—all in addition to increasingly demanding work schedules. The need forreal-time communication of both business and personal information is increasing,and voice calling is not always—or perhaps even often—the best way to communi-cate. Text (SMS) messages, tweets, Facebook posts, and emails are often the preferredand most efficient ways to get information from point A to point B, or to points B to Z.The demand on organizations to expand support for mobile devices has intensifiedduring the past year, especially with regard to personal devices (i.e., those of theemployees’ own choosing). This paper explores the consequences of those demands,and how support centers are attempting to meet them.The Mobility Revolution: Year in ReviewMany of the trends articulated in our previous mobility paper have continued andgrown. Mobile device sales have soared, and more people than ever are using, orasking to use, their mobile devices for work purposes. Many of these devices arepersonally owned—not selected and purchased by the company—and that compli-cates the matter in many ways. Fewer organizations say that they are not support-ing mobile devices (from eight percent in our 2010 research to five percent in late2011). The iPad has become one of the most popular devices, and is now given atleast some support by about three-quarters of support centers that responded to oursurvey,3 challenging BlackBerry as the most supported device. Mobile device manage-ment (MDM) tools have been implemented in over one-third of respondent supportcenters, and almost one-quarter of support centers have changed their staffing struc-tures somewhat to adapt to the surge in mobile devices. These are all rapid, big chang-es in the way support organizations are doing business with regard to mobile devices.The proliferation and diversification of the mobile marketplace has complicatedmany organizations’ attempts to create mobile device support plans that are not soconfusing and time consuming that they become impractical. We all see this in theadvertising of countless mobile devices, whether they are running Android, iOS,BlackBerry, or Windows Phone systems. Mobile service providers all seem to say thatthey are the best and the fastest and have the most network coverage. New devic-es are introduced regularly, each having some features that a subset of customerswants, and support centers find themselves scrambling to learn enough to provideeven rudimentary support. To make matters worse, hundreds of thousands of appsare available through the Android Marketplace and Apple’s huge App Store, whichposted its 25 billionth download earlier this month. What do these apps do? How willthey interact with corporate resources, if at all? How can support centers even beginto vet these apps and/or their seemingly incessant updates?3 Jenny Rains, “Supporting Mobile Devices in 2011,” HDI Research Corner (January 2012). 45 800.248.5667 I I 3
  • 46. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012Changes in the mobile business itself have also created complications. A year ago, fewcould have predicted the course of events at Research in Motion,4 the marriage of Nokia toWindows Phone,5 the purchase of Motorola Mobility by Google,6 or the wide popularityof Apple’s voice-driven iPhone assistant, Siri. Tablets seem to have tapped an unforeseenmarket somewhere in between smartphones and laptops, as well. Tablet sales grew anastounding 260 percent in 2011.7 These market-driven changes and others have donenothing to simplify the choices facing organizations and their support centers.Rapid ChangeThe treadmill of device revisions, model expansions, and app updates has contin-ued to accelerate. Market conditions continue to fluctuate, and the decline of Black-Berry and the increase in Android and Apple device penetration into the enterprisecontinues. Despite this rapid change, support for connection from mobile devicesto internal resources, which include email and calendar, is up across the board forboth company-owned and personal devices, and device support continues to crossbrands and platforms. Last year, we reported that about one-third of the respondentssaid they did not allow connections from personal devices; those numbers fell during2011. In the case of personal iPhones, for example, last year 34 percent of organiza-tions said they did not allow connections, while this year that number had droppedto 19 percent. Similarly, 31 percent said last year that they were not allowing iPadsto connect, while this year the number had again dropped to 19 percent. PersonalAndroid devices also gained some ground. The percentage of organizations prohibit-ing Android devices from connecting dropped from 38 percent last year to 26 percentin our latest research. At the same time, the percentage of organizations allowingpersonal Android devices to connect for “anyone who has one” rose from 31 percentto 41 percent.Still struggling to keep upLast year, we reported that just about half of respondent support Mobile devices are being released andcenters were struggling to keep up with the pace of change in the embraced by customers faster thanmobile device world, and that 41 percent claimed to be keeping up. organizations can create policies aroundThis year’s survey reveals that 52 percent are struggling to keep up them and support teams can learn aboutand 40 percent say they are keeping up with the pace of change. them.This indicates that the struggle to keep up has intensified, at leastsomewhat. There seems, however, to be no let up in organizations’4 Elizabeth Woyke, “RIM CEOs Balsillie and Lazaridis Step Down as COO Takes Top Post,” (January22, 2012).5 Kevin J. O’Brien, “One Year Later, Nokia and Microsoft Deliver,” The New York Times (February 27,2012).6 “Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility,” press release dated August 15, 2011.7 Greg Quick, “Friday Grab Bag: Tablet Sales Grew 260% in 2011,” mobile sports report (January 27,2012). 46 800.248.5667 I I 4
  • 47. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012determination to provide support. The percentage of respondent organizations that saythey are not supporting mobile devices dropped from eight to five percent since lastyear. Now only a very small portion (3%) of our survey respondents report that theyare actually keeping up with the rapid pace of change.In “The Mobility Revolution,” we cited a November 2010 Technology Review BusinessImpact report8 that did predict a change in the brands and types of devices that wouldbe coming into the enterprise in 2011 and 2012. Although that publication reportedthat 57 percent of IT decision makers preferred BlackBerry in 2010, it also predictedthat in 2012, BlackBerry would have only 34 percent of the market, while iPhonewould increase from 20 percent to 34 percent, Android phones from nine percent to28 percent. As we now know, both the Apple and Android markets have dramaticallyincreased in both overall popularity and enterprise penetration.9Security Concerns and Access to Internal ResourcesThere are still many open questions regarding mobile device security. Mobile malwareis on the rise. Recent events have revealed highly insecure aspects of some embed-ded smartphone software and some mobile apps. Employee behavior, especially as itrelates to the online storage and sharing of proprietary business documents, is also aserious concern.The reports of “Carrier IQ” embedded software10 and the unauthorized uploadingand storage of address book contacts11 that surfaced in late 2011 and early 2012placed new emphasis to the security concerns of many organizations, and may haveincreased their reluctance to offer broad BYOD access to organiza-tional resources and data, in spite of strong indications that suchpolicies produce an increase in productivity.12 But hidden appli- “Total lockdown is rarely an option andcations and bad app behavior are not the only cause for concern. is almost never a good idea.”The cloud storage and sharing utility Dropbox now has over 45 — Monica Basso, Gartnermillion users.13 The Dropbox app for mobile devices—and otherstorage and sharing services such as Evernote, Huddle, GoogleDocs, and—make online file storage and sharing extremely easy andaccessible. Is it then likely that corporate documents and spreadsheets are beingviewed on mobile devices and stored in third-party sites? In a word, yes. It is impor-tant to remember that even though these sites may be “secure” in that they use a8 Mark Lowenstein, “The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Policy,” Technology Review Business Impact: The MobileEnterprise 1.2 (November 3, 2010).9 Zach Epstein, “IDC: Smartphone sales hit all-time high in Q4 led by Apple, Samsung,” BGR (February 6,2012).10 Jaikumar Vijayan, “FAQ: Behind the Carrier IQ rootkit controversy,” Computerworld (December 1,2011).11 Nicole Perlroth and Nick Bilton, “Apps helping themselves to address books,” The Bulletin (March 12,2012).12 Larry Dignan, Rachel King, and Andrew Nusca, “Bring-your-own-device becoming accepted business prac-tice (survey),” Between the Lines (November 21, 2011).13 “Dropbox Now Open for Business,” press release dated October 27, 2011. 47 800.248.5667 I I 5
  • 48. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012secure protocol (HTTPS) and require authentication, unless the organization hascomplete access control, organizational data will be stored and possibly shared usingmethods and utilities of which the organization has no knowledge, and over whichit has no control. Mobile devices serve as the enabling technology. Even if there is apolicy (and an agreement with end users) that a company or institution will “wipe”a device—whether personal or company-owned—there is no guarantee that criticaldata and/or intellectual property that might have been transmitted to the phone viaemail attachments have been deleted. Those documents may very well still exist inone or more online storage sites. Organizations continue to be very concerned aboutsubstantial data leakage through the use of mobile devices.Malware attacks on mobile devices have also increased. As stated on MIT’s Technol-ogy Review site, Lookout, a mobile security firm, says that “four percent of Androidusers were likely to encounter malware over the course of the year—up from onepercent of users a year ago, though part of the increase may be a function of improveddetection.”14 Fortunately, the marketplace has continued to respond with innova-tive solutions, ranging from enhanced MDM to virtualization on the mobile device,allowing a separation between corporate and personal apps, contacts, and data onthe phone.A recent summary of answers on the topic of mobile device securityprovided some suggestions for best practice, including:15 • Understand the compliance issues related to your business; • Limit network access; • Properly identify all devices; • Mandate user authentication (PIN or passcode on the device); and • Invest in mobile device management software.In spite of these security concerns, more organizations are allowing access to internalresources, including, but not necessarily limited to, email and calendar. Our researchcompares access to resources afforded to company-owned and personal devices. Yearover year, there has been significant change, and more of it is happening with respectto personal devices. This can be taken as an indicator of the trend toward mobileBYOD.14 David Talbot, “Attacks on Android Devices Intensify,” MIT Technology Review (February 9, 2012).15 Amy Babinchak, Martyn Davies, Bob Egan, Rasib Hassan Khan, Josh Lipton, and Ken Wineberg, “Best Prac-tices for Managing Security on Mobile Devices,” 48 800.248.5667 I I 6
  • 49. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012The State of Mobile Device SupportJust under half the support centers in this year’s survey report that formal mobiledevice support policies are “in development.” It is noteworthy that the percentagereporting “well-defined” policies has dropped since last year. This is disconcertingbecause, as the Research Corner report on mobility says, “Deeper analysis of thesurvey data validates and reinforces the importance of well-defined policies. In both2010 and 2011, those organizations with well defined policies were more likely to feellike they are keeping up with the pace of emerging technologies.”16Support for company-owned devices still exceeds that of personal devices by large(though shrinking) margins. BlackBerry still leads the way, with 72 percent of respondentorganizations supporting company-owned BlackBerry devices with access to internalresources, compared to runners-up iPhone and iPad (both 52%), Android devices (38%),and Windows Phone (32%). In all cases, the number of support centers not supportingcompany-owned devices for access to internal resources is less than 20 percent, andfor most device platforms, less than ten percent.16 Jenny Rains, “Supporting Mobile Devices in 2011,” HDI Research Corner (January 2012). 49 800.248.5667 I I 7
  • 50. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012A small percent reports that they support resource access for only some customers(e.g., executives), but the only case where there is a large differential is with iPads.Personal device support for resource access increased noticeably from year to year.Many companies allow use of personal devices solely for email and calendar. Othersare providing access through secure gateways to virtualized infrastructures. Stillothers are building “mobile first” websites and venturing into the development ofapps.Last year’s paper identified the state of support as “developing,” and this year’s researchconfirms that development has proceeded rapidly in every area except policy. A strongindicator of the move to open up the organization to multiple mobile platforms isthe increase in implementation of mobile device management (MDM) systems. Morethan one-third of the respondents to this year’s mobile device Research Corner surveyreport that they have implemented MDM. Perhaps even more telling, however, is thefinding that almost a quarter say they have made changes to staffing, either dedicat-ing some staff to mobile device support or outsourcing some or all of that work.Both the MDM implementation and the staff changes are indicators of how great thepressure is to get mobile devices integrated into organizations.Many businesses and institutions (20% of our respondents) have expanded andaccelerated their plans for virtualization, with the intent of providing access to virtualdesktops and virtualized applications to mobile devices, especially tablets. 50 800.248.5667 I I 8
  • 51. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012Virtualization has many levels and approaches, and, depending on the organiza-tion and its infrastructure, not all of them are well suited for supporting mobility.Although many organizations have hurried to provide virtual desktop infrastructure(VDI) in the hope that end users would be able to simply connect from mobile devic-es to a virtual Windows desktop configured and controlled by IT, in some cases thishas not proven to meet the needs of the end users. A physician who wants tabletaccess to medical records so that updates and changes can be made at the bedsidemay find that logging into a virtual desktop (depending on network bandwidth andinfrastructure) can take minutes rather than seconds.17 In addition, trying to navigatein a Windows environment from an iPad may be difficult. In some cases, however,applications can be delivered well and quickly to the tablet without the interveningvirtual machine. There are individual organizational goals and capabilities that needto drive the technology choices, rather than having the choice of technology drivingthe goals.Thinking that desktop virtualization can solve all the potential riddles associatedwith the move to mobility is a kind of tunnel vision. Providing secure access to avirtual desktop may be all that some organizations need to do, while in other casesthe money spent on virtualizing desktops may be an unnecessary expense. Mobileapps or mobile-enabled websites may prove to be a better solution.How the technology marketplace is helpingTo meet the needs of mobile users, providers of software aimed squarely at thismarket have grown and diversified. In addition to antivirus and antimalware applica-tions, some companies have devised ways to virtualize a corporate “personality” onthe mobile device itself, basically creating a “wall” between the personal apps andcontacts and those used “officially” by the enterprise. This type of technology hassome advantages, namely:17 One healthcare institution we spoke with clocked the connection and login time, and, in their case, it tookup to six minutes to log into an application from an iPad through a virtual desktop. This was unacceptable totheir physicians. 51 800.248.5667 I I 9
  • 52. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012 • The personal personality of the phone or tablet never overlaps with the cor- porate side, so that an end user’s desire to use social media, camera, or other applications is met without imposing artificial obstacles; • In the event that a mobile device is lost or stolen, no proprietary data from the company or institution resides on the device itself; and • The corporate personality can be wiped from the device without affecting the personal data, providing a clean process for separation (offboarding).The “best of breed” of this technology will avoid degrading performance as much aspossible. If performance of the mobile device is severely degraded, end users will eitheravoid using their smartphones—and lose productivity—or will look for ways aroundthe security restrictions, taking the mobile support question back to square one.Because of the wide array of products now available for the mobile enterprise, organi-zations need to think strategically (above and beyond the budget) about how theiremployees use (or want to use) their mobile devices; what access employees need(email and calendar only, enterprise applications through secure gateways, enterpriseapplications optimized for mobility, and proprietary corporate mobile apps, etc.);and what expectations the organization has for savings or efficiency improvements.In determining the type and extent of support your organization will provide for mobile devices, answer these generalquestions: • Does the organization currently possess the mobility management and security tools necessary to provide the level of support to which the company has committed, through policies, procedures, compliance requirements, and service level agreements? • Does the support center have the appropriate level of access to those tools, and/or a clear escalation path for resolving incidents and requests? • Is information about mobile devices—at whichever levels of support are appropriate—included in the knowledge management system? • Are support analysts being appropriately trained to assist and to capture new knowledge? • Are end users/customers aware of the support center’s ability to assist them, the policies that exist, and their responsibilities to the organization? • Are there consequences for violating organizational policies that clearly apply to personal mobile devices? (Does your acceptable use policy make it clear that personal devices connected to corporate network assets are subject to the same use policies as company-owned devices, or state what the differences are? Do end users/customers know the consequences of sending confidential data across insecure connections?) — “The Mobility Revolution and Its Consequences for Support” 52 800.248.5667 I I 10
  • 53. The Mobility Revolution Redux: Continued Change and ChallengeAn HDI White Paper I March 2012SummaryThe trends we saw last year are continuing to accelerate, putting increasing pressureon the support center to accommodate mobile device support or find ways toabsorb the extra work. Markets shift, devices evolve, and support either transforms,outsources, or dedicates staff to the tasks required to provide mobile device support.Nearly everyone is—or feels as if they are—running behind and struggling. Policiesthat appeared well developed last year may not appear to be that way now. Althoughthere is some consensus around what best practices are with regard to mobile devices,the sheer speed and pressure of the move to mobility are making policies difficult towrite and enforce.Last year’s paper suggested three approaches to mobile support: • The exclusion approach: Defined as the organization limiting support to de- fined devices, or to no mobile devices. This approach, given the increases in supported platforms and devices across the board, is shrinking. • The limited-support approach: This approach appears to have blurred over the last year, opening up the organization to more mobile devices and tend- ing more toward BYOD. • The BYOD approach: With regard only to mobile devices, and without get- ting into the larger questions of laptops or other equipment, this approach most certainly is growing. Personal devices are connecting to and accessing resources more than they were, and to a large extent fueling the treadmill on which the support organization finds itself today.As we stated earlier in this paper, the larger BYOD and consumerization question iscurrently at the forefront of the issues facing many organizations. Lessons learnedduring the ramp-up of support for mobile devices will undoubtedly be revisitedwhen companies and institutions review their policies for the provision of equipment.The experiences that organizations have now with the security and support of mobiledevices will pave the way for notebooks, laptops, and other devices in the near future.Roy Atkinson is HDI’s senior writer/analyst. He is a certified HDI Support Center Manager and aveteran of both small business and enterprise consulting, service, and support. In addition, he has bothfrontline and management experience. Roy is well known for his social media presence, especially onthe topic of customer service. He also serves as the chapter advisor for the HDI Northern New Englandlocal chapter. 53 800.248.5667 I I 11
  • 54. march 2 0 1 2 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Hot or Not?Jenny RainsSenior Research Analyst, HDIBYOD is the hottest acronym in IT since ITIL. Whether professionals are a part of a “bring your own device” (BYOD) program, on a teamthat supports such a program, thinking about adding a BYOD program, or have no association with BYOD outside of their own curiosity,they want to know what is going on with BYOD. The response to the online Research Corner survey on this topic, conducted in Januaryand February 2012, is proof of that: The survey received 844 responses from support professionals in more than thirty-five industries(more than any past Research Corner survey—and this resulting report was the only incentive).The results presented in this report speak to the current level of popularity and current practices of the BYOD programs across the ITservice and technical support community. This report also identifies the drivers that motivate the implementation of these programs, aswell as employee satisfaction associated with BYOD for each type of device.Survey ResultsMany companies have adopted BYOD programs through which either some or all employees supply their own device(s) to performtheir work duties. In fact almost half (47%) of the companies have BYOD programs for tablets, cell phones/smartphones, and/orlaptops. The results, broken down by type of device, are presented in the chart below. { Percent of Companies with Official BYOD Programs For SOME Employees or for ALL Employees } some: 36.2% s ome: 21.2% s ome: 9.7% ALL: 7.6% ALL: 1.9% ALL: 1.3% Cell Phone/Smartphone Tablet LaptopFundingHow companies are choosing to fund these devices varies. While budget is not the most pressing driver for BYOD implementation(we will discuss that in the section on motivating factors), it does appear that organizations are taking the opportunity to move to morecost-effective solutions, such as employee funding for devices. Most BYOD tablets and laptops are funded by the employee, with noassistance from the company. This also is the most popular way to fund cell phones/smartphones, though many companies do providea stipend for phone devices. The most common “Other” response for tablets is usually some other combination of self- 54HDI Research Corner, March 2012
  • 55. BYOD Is Ne Emplo w or yee-f in Bet unde a d Some vs. All Reimb ursem in the company. BYOD up to ent/Stip Is Op e { tiona a Set l Reimb ursem Amou nd nt BYOD f a Perc ent/Stipe entag nd fo Positi or Select e of C r ons O nly ost (N=170) (N=185) tablet Full R tablet eimbu O n - B oB Y O D P a r t rseme ardin o by Co nHDI Research Corner, March 2012 g Onl f mpan t y y { Other Other 76.2% 9.7% 2.2% 5.4% 6.5% 41.2% 41.8% 25.3% 0.6% 4.7% BYOD Is Ne w or Emplo in Bet yee-f a unde BYOD Reimb ursem d Is Op up to ent/Stip tiona l a Set e Reimb Amou nd BYOD urse nt f a P e rm e n t / S t i p e Positi or Select centa 55 ons O nly g e o fn d f o r Cost (N=303) (N=367) BYOD Full R On-Bo eimbu ardin Part of r g Onl by Cosement y mpan y Other 23.1% 49.8% 36.3% 1.3% 8.3% Other cell phone/Smartphone cell phone/Smartphone 43.9% 31.6% 11.4% 4.6% 8.4% How BYOD Devices Are Funded BYOD Emplo Is Ne yee-f w or unde in Bet a Reimb ursem d } BYOD up to ent/S Is Op a Set tipend tiona Amou l Reimb ursem nt BYOD ent/S f a Perc tipen d Why Some but Not All Employees Supply Their Own Devices Positi or Select entag ons O e of C for ost (N=81) (N=92) nly Full R laptop laptop eimbu O n - B oB Y O D P a r t r o ardin g Onl f y } by Cosement mpan y Other Other 75.0% 12.0% 1.1% 5.4% 6.5% 25.9% 46.9% 27.2% 1.2% 11.1% funding and corporate funding. As for cell phones/smartphones, the most common “Other” response is that the phone is purchased by the employee and the company pays for the usage. Finally, some companies’ funding policies depend on the employee’s position
  • 56. As seen in the first chart, it is more common for companies to have some employees supply their own device rather than all employees.The most common reason for limited BYOD programs (i.e., the program does not apply to all employees) is that it is optional andvoluntary: employees are allowed to choose to participate. Another reason is the BYOD program’s maturity. For example, a newprogram (or one still in beta) is the second most common explanation for why only some employees supply their own tablets.Furthermore, for cell phones/smartphones and laptops, employee position is the second most common determining factor in whetheror not they supply their own devices.BYOD SupportWhen employees bring their own devices to work as part of company policy, who supports the devices? The most common responsefor all types of devices is the vendor. For each type of device, over 40 percent of companies that allow employees to supply their owndevices require the employees to contact the vendor directly. About one-third of organizations have the IT support center supportthe BYOD devices, and minimal support of these devices is being outsourced. Almost all “Other” responses report that they have acombination of support center and vendor support. They either provide “best effort” support at the support center before sendingthe employee to the vendor, or the support center is limited to connectivity and/or application support, leaving other issues, such ashardware support, to the vendor. { Support for BYOD Devices } ’s ’s ’s Conta quired to Conta quired to Conta quired to enter enter enter ndor ndor ndor Other Other Other urced urced urced O u t s oT h e s e O u t s oT h e s e O u t s oT h e s e IT Sup Company IT Sup Company IT Sup Company c t Ve c t Ve c t Ve port C port C port C Devic pport for Devic pport for Devic pport for Re Re Re My My My yees yees yees es Is es Is es Is Su Su Su Emplo Emplo Emplo 43.6% 44.6% 41.6% 36.5% 35.9% 31.9% 25.9% 19.1% 17.4% 0.5% 0.8% 2.2% tablet cell phone/Smartphone laptop (N=185) (N=367) (N=92) 56HDI Research Corner, March 2012
  • 57. Employee SatisfactionOn a 1–10 scale, in which 1 is extremely dissatisfied and 10 is extremely satisfied, respondents were asked to rate employee satisfactionwith the BYOD programs at their companies. There wasn’t much variance in the average scores across the types of device: tablets =6.87; cell phones/smartphones = 6.92; and laptops = 6.76. Deeper analysis revealed that, not surprisingly, when employees fully fundtheir own devices, their satisfaction with the program is a bit lower compared to the overall averages: tablets = 6.77; cell phones/smartphones = 6.60; and laptops = 6.39. Lastly, companies at which the IT support center supports the devices, as opposed to havingthe employee contact the vendor, have employees who are slightly more satisfied with the program: tablets = 7.08; cell phones/smartphones = 7.00; and laptops = limited data. { Average Satisfaction 1 = Extremely Dissatisfied – – 10 = Extremely Satisfied –> } Laptop 6.76 (N=62) Cell Phone/ 6.92 Smartphone (N=242) Tablet 6.87 (N=107) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 Driving BYODWhile it appears from the data and discussion thus far that cost and decreasing tickets might be the factors motivating a BYODimplementation, they are not at the top of the list. Employee demand—meaning employees will use their own devices with or withouta BYOD program—is the number-one motivating factor (77%), followed by employee satisfaction (60%) and advances in cloud/virtualization capabilities (31%), all of which come in before budget and ticket volume. Increased flexibility, mobility, and productivitystood out from the list of “Other” responses, along with a few mentions of cost benefits outside of budget changes, as well as severalremarks about tax changes. Employee Demand (i.e., they will use 76.8% Factors their own devices anyway) { } Employee Satisfaction 60.4% Motivating Increased Cloud / Companies Virtualization Capabilities 31.2% to Deploy Budget Decreases 30.8% a BYOD Need to Decrease Tickets 8.9% on Device Support Program Budget Increases 1.6% Other 8.3% 57HDI Research Corner, March 2012
  • 58. Future of BYODAs this is the first HDI Research survey to focus exclusively on BYOD, we cannot report on any changes in adoption over the past year.However, through our involvement in the IT and technical support community, we can say with some confidence that these types ofprograms have been accepted and implemented by many organizations in the past couple of years. What are the expectations for thenext year or more? { Considering Adding BYOD (Of those currently without BYOD) } Tablets cell phones/ (N=616) smartphones laptops (N=471) (N=741) 34% 35% 65% 49% 17% 47% 16% 19% 18% Not Considering BYOD In the Next Twelve Months In More Than Twelve MonthsAbout one-third of organizations that do not currently have a BYOD program for tablets plan to implement this in the next twelvemonths, with an additional 19 percent planning to implement after twelve months. Of those without a current BYOD program for cellphones/smartphones, 35 percent plan to implement the program in the next twelve months, with an additional 16 percent planningto add the program after twelve months. Only 17 percent plan to add BYOD programs for laptops in the next year, with 18 percentplanning to add it in more than twelve months.A few survey respondents mentioned the word “fad” in their survey responses. As mentioned previously, the data is not availableto draw any firm conclusions about the change in BYOD adoption from past years; however, we do see that the industry is at leastplanning on continued implementation. Future analysis will be needed to determine whether BYOD is/was a trendy acronym or anenduring IT practice.For all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit 58HDI Research Corner, March 2012
  • 59. Embracing the Consumerizationof IT : A BYOD Case Study By Shawn GenowayFour years ago, going strictly by the numbers, it could be said that collaboration, and cloud technologies,employees were happy with IT support services at Citrix. FCR, Citrix set the stage for their IT support teams to begin embracing the transformationabandonment rates, and customer satisfaction were all meeting or taking place around the consumerizationexceeding stated SLAs. However, just below the surface, employees of IT at the support level. That supportwere voicing a general discontent with the corporate IT experience and transformation was manifesting itselfthe image of the anonymous IT professional, hiding behind a ticketing in different ways. Business leaders, forsystem, militant desktop standards, and an endless series of web-based instance, were finding that the consumer shopping process offered a richer self-support services. service experience around selection, choice,Then, in 2008, Citrix launched a BYOD (“bring your own device”) program for its price, delivery, and setup (which did notworldwide employee base. Already a leading provider of virtualization, networking, always mirror the corporate IT experience).40 Suppor tWorld | May/June 2012 59
  • 60. Informally, BYOD was already prevalent across the organization. Same experience as a managed device: This translatedFor one thing, hundreds of employees worldwide connected to providing Internet connectivity and support for Citrix Receiverto the Citrix network everyday via Citrix Receiver from their and a Citrix-provided antivirus program (or one of the participant’spersonal home devices. In addition, during mergers and choosing). As mentioned, hardware was not included. And sinceacquisitions (M&A), the IT teams delivered either Citrix Receiver the device belonged to the participant, no systems managementor XenDesktop to every acquired desktop on the very first day.1 software was installed.Both of these activities highlighted the fact that corporate-issueddevices were no longer as relevant to the support structure as they Reduce dependency on IT: IT support was challengedonce had been. with the task of rewriting support documentation from step one to completion. While the existing documentation was good, itThe program launched in 2008 provided full-time employees fell short of providing employees with a thorough end-to-endwith a choice of either receiving the standard corporate IT- walkthrough. Getting this right was instrumental to the program,managed laptop or using a personal device, either a PC or Mac. as it made no sense to offer a BYOD program and then haveAs a BYOD participant, the program pays a stipend of $2,100 in to task staff with supporting it. Currently, ten percent of onethe form of a bonus (minus any applicable taxes). The employee FTE per month is required to maintain the BYOD website andcan either purchase a new personal laptop or use an existing make payroll submissions.personal laptop, with the stipulation that they have a vendormaintenance program for the duration of their three-year Self-service via a BYOD website: In addition to supportenrollment in the program. At the end of the three years, documentation, the website provides comprehensive downloads,employees can re-enroll with management approval. If a employee purchase programs, hardware discounts, a BYOD blog,participant leaves the program within one year of their en- and a discussion board.rollment date, he or she is required to reimburse the company Control the service, not the hardware: Earlier in thisfor the remaining stipend, prorated over the months remaining article, I brought up the topic of maintaining device standardsin the agreement. to drive service consistency and support. Trying to control theAcross the IT support teams, reactions to BYOD were mixed. proliferation of devices in the workplace is challenging at best.Some welcomed the approach. Others believed that users would As a service provider, IT support decided that it was better to benot be able to manage on their own without some level of IT in the “yes” business than the “no” business. Stellar customerinvolvement; others feared that it meant an end to their jobs. service and comprehensive virtualization were the keys to allayingThis last point prompted a review of hardware-related incidents device-specific understand the number of hardware tickets per employee Simple to participate: Participation by a full-time employeeper year, and what, if any, impact BYOD would have on our requires manager approval. The agreement stipulates that thedesktop engineering team. The ratio of hardware to total tickets employee must either already have a Citrix-managed laptopproved to be quite low, which we attributed to the three-year (which is returned when the employee joins the program) or be avendor warranty standard for Citrix-managed devices and few new employee. In the early stages of the project, the team startedif any client/server application installations on the device. All down the path of defining participation based on job rolecritical and noncritical business applications were delivered (i.e., whether the employee was a knowledge worker, a taskvirtually, thereby reducing complexity at the device level. worker, or a road warrior, traveling perhaps ten percent or more). It became readily apparent that defining these roles would beThe Program a challenge, even more so to base participant approval on theHow did we embrace consumerization to ensure that the BYOD amount of travel or a particular job function. This approach wasexperience was easier, simpler, and more successful? From subsequently abandoned.the outset, it meant abandoning existing support mechanismsand methods and taking a fresh look at the customer experience. Five Key MilestonesTo be an IT service offering choice to the employees, we made With the BYOD experiences defined, the project had five keya number of critical decisions. milestones:The employee chooses the laptop: The mix at Citrix is 1. Survey the even split between Macs and PCs. Since the program’sintroduction, there has been an explosion in the number of 2. Set the stipend.personal and Citrix-owned tablets and mobile devices. However, 3. Review corporate policies.regardless of device, the virtual experience is the same. 4. Review security. 5. Draft the program’s rules.____________________________1 Citrix Receiver is a universal client technology that enables on-demand delivery of virtual desktops and Windows, web,and SaaS applications to any user or device—including PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. If a Citrix employee is usinga BYOD iPad, tablet, smartphone, corporate laptop/desktop, or a thin-client device, XenDesktop delivers their Windowsdesktop in high definition. 60 | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 41
  • 61. Survey the Employees company-owned and -managed device. The three-year agreement ensures that the device is near the end of its life. While thisA prepilot survey gauged employee reactions to a BYOD program. slows the adoption rate, it’s a more measured approach, it’s inTwenty-three percent of employees responded, and the results line with budgetary considerations, and it ensures the asset ishelped Citrix to understand whether the program would be of no longer depreciating.interest, identified elements that influenced participation, anddrove recommendations for the program components (i.e., what Early in the program, one of the key concerns centered on thepeople wanted from the program). Of those surveyed, the majority quality of the device a participant would bring to the program.were enthused by the prospect of having a choice beyond the Whether the device was a new or existing device, did it warrantcurrent slate of IT offerings. Twelve percent already used their increasing our loaner pool of Citrix-managed laptops toown devices for some Citrix work. There were those that were accommodate participants if they needed to send their personalhappy with an IT-supported device, but willing to take on the devices out to the vendors for service? Citrix assumed that theresponsibility of managing their own devices. Fifty-four percent majority of participants would purchase new and opted notof employees believed that their productivity would increase, to increase its loaner pool. Over the past three years, we havethough only 11 percent of managers agreed. Prior to the pilot, received few loaner requests from BYOD participants. We’veIT support spent a lot of time predicting the appeal to Gen X found that BYOD participants appear to taking better care ofand Gen Y. This didn’t factor into the final adoption, though their personal devices now that they’re used for work. Unlikethe program is offered as one of many incentives when HR is our Citrix-managed devices, there have been no reports fromrecruiting talent. The program’s 1,300+ participants span a our BYOD participants of vinaigrette dripping from the sides ofbroad age group and the real draw is a simpler and easier IT. a laptop or tire tracks across the screen (true stories).Set the Stipend Review Corporate PoliciesIn the employee survey, we asked employees whether they The Citrix BYOD policy is less than two pages. We focused onpreferred to receive the stipend as a lump sum or in installments. keeping the rules the same for all, with the same policies inThe response was overwhelmingly in favor of the lump sum, effect for both Citrix-managed and personal devices. Workinga preference that was also reflected in the survey comments. with HR, legal, and finance, we agreed that all corporate policies—the code of business conduct, security, corporateTo determine the stipend amount, existing device costs (including governance, intellectual property, etc.—still applied. The onlyprocurement, imaging, security, deployment, monitoring, and consideration was the device itself. As Citrix no longer ownedmaintenance) were factored in. Over a three-year period, the the device, in the event of litigation employees would havecost of a standard laptop was $2,500–2,600. The purpose of the to be subpoenaed to gain access to their devices.stipend was to allow program participants to purchase a laptopthat was comparable to a Citrix-managed device and for Citrixto realize savings of up to 18 percent. After taxes (assuming Review Securityan average rate of 35%), and with a pretax stipend of $2,100, Existing corporate security policies applied whether theparticipants could expect to be able to put approximately $1,500 employee had a Citrix-managed device or a personal device. Ontowards a new device. Taking $1,500 as the base amount, the device side, there is antivirus and two-factor authentication.the team then looked at consumer devices on the market to Leveraging vendor offerings, Citrix provides participants withdetermine whether or not an employee could realistically and free antivirus software. Employees connect to their applicationsreasonably purchase the equivalent of a Citrix-standard laptop. via the Citrix SSL/VPN, using Citrix Access Gateway coupledIf employees wanted more memory or a better processor, that with perimeter firewalls, intrusion detection and preventionwould, of course, be an additional out-of-pocket expense. (IDS/IPS), web filtering, and overall threat management.Some additional considerations included global stipends, device Draft the Program’s Rulesdepreciation, and device quality. In terms of a global stipend,a single worldwide stipend is certainly easier to manage, but To keep the program efficient and easy to follow, there are ten rules:for those countries (e.g., Germany) with higher tax rates, it 1. Manager approval is required.meant that employees would receive a smaller stipend aftertaxes. A better approach is to offer regional stipends (Europe, 2. The employee receives a $2,100 stipend (minus applicableMiddle East, and Asia [EMEA], Pacific, Americas, etc.). Citrix taxes) for a laptop and a three-year maintenance plan.considered country-specific stipends, but there was simply too 3. If the employee leaves the company within the year,much overhead. the stipend is prorated.Citrix also decided to time the employee’s submission and 4. Participating employees must return their managedmanagement’s approval with the lifecycle or depreciation of a laptops to their manager(s). 6142 Suppor tWorld | May/June 2012
  • 62. 5. All BYOD hardware issues are to be addressed by themselves or as an IT support request. They were confident that the vendor. the lessons learned from the BYOD program—keeping it simple 6. Antivirus software is required on all BYOD laptops. and easy—would hold true. Of the 4,800 desktops refreshed in the first three months, 675 were completed by IT support and the 7. All personal devices must connect remotely through remainder by employees, with no reported data loss. The lack of Citrix Receiver/Citrix Access Gateway. complexity and a consumer-centric approach drove that success.2 8. All applications must be delivered (online and offline) Citrix IT support’s shift to “consumerized” IT continues to evolve by the data center. and take shape. Initiatives like the BYOD program have pushed 9. Applications are to be provisioned through Citrix Receiver. IT support from the back streets onto Main Street, where we 10. All existing corporate policies apply. can listen to our employees, align with their day-to-day work schedules, anticipate the next consumer trends, and break out ofLessons Learned our comfort zone to deliver a great customer experience.Three years after the program was launched, BYOD participationcontinues to grow steadily. At its core, BYOD enabled Citrix IT about the authorsupport to revisit and reinvent the user experience. It’s by no means Shawn Genoway has been active in the ITperfect, but by adopting a consumer-centric approach, it created industry for nearly twenty years. He hasopportunities to change how IT support did business. For example, experience in technical architecture, desktop standardization, service level management,in the case of the Windows 7 desktop refresh, it was offered as business process re-engineering, IT automation,either a fully automated self-service option for employees to do mergers and acquisitions, regional operations, and service and support. Shawn has been____________________________ with Citrix for more than twelve years, and he2 Another initiative, driven by our success with the BYOD program, is the Citrix IT storefront. These are places where people is currently the senior director of worldwidecan drop by to have their IT issues resolved or their questions answered. They’re nothing fancy; IT support professionals justgrab available space in high-traffic areas and set up shop. The worldwide IT support team began opening storefronts in 2010. IT service delivery and the NOC, as well as the program manager forCurrently, there are storefronts in Bangalore, Santa Clara, and Fort Lauderdale, with two more scheduled to open in EMEAin 2012. the BYOD program. 62 | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 43
  • 63. may 2 0 1 2 Support Staff StructureJenny RainsSenior Research Analyst, HDIThis month’s Research Corner report reveals that many support centers across the industry are making changes to their staff structures inorder to improve customer service. Thirty-seven percent have added one or more tiers to the help desk, while 27 percent are planningto add tiers within the next couple of years. Fifteen percent have eliminated or moved tiers from the help desk, and eight percent planto move or eliminate tiers in two years or less. Despite the structural changes being made, most organizations have retained the helpdesk as the single point of contact (SPOC).The online survey about support staff structure collected responses from 555 support professionals between March and April 2012.The responses revealed current practices associated with tiered and nontiered support, SPOC, location of positions within theorganization, recent and future changes to the structure, and what seems to be proving successful.Survey ResultsSPOCOnly 14 percent of organizations allow customers to contact higher levels of support directly (e.g., level 2 or 3) instead of contactinga single point of contact to be directed to the appropriate person; this practice is slightly more common for support centers thatprovide support solely to external customers (19%). The help desk/service desk is the most common SPOC in the technical supportindustry. Calls that come in to the help desk/service desk are routed to other levels or areas of support as necessary in 84 percent oforganizations. In addition to being the most common practice in the industry, organizations with the SPOC appear to be happier withhow their support staff is structured. The chart below shows the breakdown of how well current staffing structures are working in SPOCand non-SPOC environments. Satisfaction with Staffing Structure SPOC vs. non-SPOC } 2% of organizations have a SPOC No SPOC SPOC Is the Help Desk/Service Desk 84% of Organizations that is outside 14% of Organizations the help desk/ 10% 3% service desk. 9% 19% 15% 20% } 57% 68% I wouldn’t It gets us by, I would like to The structure change a but it could change more about needs a thing. be better. the structure than I complete would like to keep. overhaul. 63HDI Research Corner, May 2012
  • 64. Tiered SupportMost support organization have a tiered support model in which tickets are moved from tier 1 support (basic) to a more sophisticatedlevel (based on time limits, ticket types, skill set required, special customers, service level commitments, and/or other criteria). Sixtypercent of respondents reported having a tiered support model in their organizations, with an additional 33 percent reporting havinga modified model of tiered support.A small portion of the industry is currently tier-free. When analyzing this group’s responses to the question of how well their currentstructures work, they tended to respond more toward the extremes than the other two groups. This might indicate that someorganizations do not have tiers because they are small and/or immature, on one end of the scale. Other organizations that supportcomplex and mission critical applications assemble teams of experts and often work tier-free toward problem resolution. Still, othersare tier-free because they have made a strategic decision to move to that type of model for the reasons this report uncovered. Satisfaction with Staffing Structure Tiered vs. Tier-free YES Tiered Support Model 60% of Organizations SOMEWHAT Modified Tiered Support Model 33% of Organizations NO No Tiered Support Model 7% of Organizations 8% 3% 5% 10% 13% 16% 17% 22% 24% 47% 68% 68% I wouldn’t It gets us by, I would like to The structure change a but it could change more about needs a thing. be better. the structure than I complete would like to keep. overhaul.Changes: Recent and UpcomingAs mentioned previously, 37 percent of organizations have added tiers to their help desks in the last twelve months. The level(s)of support were either acquired from other areas of the organization (28%), created new for the help desk (23%), or both (there isoverlap between the two groups). Fewer organizations are decreasing or eliminating support tiers from the help desk, but 15 percentof help desks have made that change in the last year. 64HDI Research Corner, May 2012
  • 65. Changes in Support Structure 2% One or more tiers within the help 3% desk/service desk are eliminated. 6% 3% One or more tiers formerly within the help desk/ 2% service desk moved to other areas in the organization. 11% 7% New tiers of support created within 15% the help desk/service desk. 23% 4% The help desk/service desk owns tiers that formerly 9% resided in other areas of the organization. 28% Percent of organizations: 0 % 5 % 1 0 % 1 5 % 2 0 % 2 5% 3 0 % In One to Two Years Next Twelve Months Past Twelve MonthsThe goal of improving customer service is the most common motivation for changing staff structures. Staffing factors, such as skill setavailability and limited or reduced staff, are the next most popular factors influencing changes, ranking second and third respectively.The full list of results is available in the chart below. Those that selected “other” listed ITIL alignment, pushing more tickets to the helpdesk/service desk, and staff morale as their motivations. Factors Motivating Changes to 50% Staff Structure Improve Customer Service 29% Skill Set Availability 27% 22% Limited Staff/Reducing Staff 20% 20% Technological Advances Changes to Knowledge Cost/Budget Base or Process 6% 6% Mandated Other Percent who selected each factor 65HDI Research Corner, May 2012
  • 66. Knowledge BasesSurvey respondents were asked to rate the information in their organization’s knowledge base on a 10-point scale, with 10 being thehighest (“couldn’t be better”). The average is a bit surprising at 4.99. Organizations are apparently struggling to create and maintainreliable knowledge bases.Because the quality and use of a knowledge base can affect the success of both tiered and nontiered models, we analyzed thesequality and success factors a bit more closely. We compared the ratings for knowledge base quality against satisfaction with the currentsupport staff structure and the results are quite revealing. As illustrated in the table below, the better the knowledge base is the moresatisfied professionals are with their staffing structure. Satisfaction with Staffing Structure By Quality of Knowledge Base Average Rating Quality of Knowledge Base (1-10 Scale) 3.84 3.56 5.96 5.00 I would like I wouldn’t It gets us to change The by, but it structure change more about needs a a thing. could be the structure better. complete than I would overhaul. like to keep. Satisfaction with Current Staffing StructureCurrent Staffing Structure: Location of ResponsibilitiesFor organizations that have a call screener (34%) or customer service representative (64%), this position most commonly falls underthe help desk/service desk. Additionally, 92 percent of organizations have a level 1 support/support center analyst position at the helpdesk/service desk. Level 2 support lives at the help desk for about half of the organizations that have this position and elsewhere in theorganization for the other half. Desktop support technicians are part of the help desk in 36 percent of organization, but more commonlyfall elsewhere under the support umbrella. Only 10 percent have the more technical role of level 3 support within the help desk/servicedesk. The chart below illustrates where each of the support positions currently reside (if at all) within the organization. A list of each ofthe job titles and descriptions can be found in the appendix at the end of this report. 66HDI Research Corner, May 2012
  • 67. Current Staffing Structure Location of Responsibilities 1 00 % 92% 90 % 80 % Percent of organizations 70 % 65% 66% 60 % 51% 53% 50 % 47% 45% 40 % 36% 36% 31% 30 % 22% 20 % 10% 8% 10 % 5% 5% 6% 6% 2% 3% 1% 1% 3% 4% 3% 0% At the help desk/ In another area of Other We do not have service desk the support organization (outside the support this level organization) Call Customer Level 1 Level 2 Desktop Level 3 Screener/ Service Support Support Support Support Dispatch Representative Technician 67HDI Research Corner, May 2012
  • 68. Appendix: Job Titles and DescriptionsCall Screener/Dispatch: This position collects information from the customer, including contact information and details about theincident or service request, then routes the ticket to level 1 support or another appropriate contact. Call screeners/dispatchers differfrom level 1 support in that they are not expected to resolve problems or answer questions.Customer Service Representative: The customer support professionals who receive and handle customer inquiries, most oftenfor nontechnical issues. They are expected to provide answers to common questions, perform routine procedures to resolve a highpercentage of inquiries, and route more complex issues to a higher level of support.Level 1 Support/Support Center Analyst: The frontline technical support professionals who receive and handle tickets. Theseprofessionals are responsible for providing customers with information, restoring service, providing specific services, and escalatingtickets to a higher level of support. These individuals are typically technical generalists.Level 2 Support: The technical support professionals who handle tickets that are escalated from level 1. These professionals requiregreater technical skills and/or access rights than level 1 support personnel. They are typically technical specialists and may also beresponsible for participating in root cause analysis of problems.Desktop Support Technician (DST): An IT support professional who responds to incidents usually escalated by the service deskthat are related to customer equipment; additional skills, knowledge, tools, or authority are required. They may resolve the incidentsremotely, at the user’s deskside, or via equipment returns.Level 3 Support: The technical support professionals who build, maintain, and/or enhance technical products and services. Theseprofessionals are typically “engineer”-level staff. They are involved when the ticket cannot be resolved by either level 1 or level 2, andwhen there is high business impact or urgency. Level 3 support is commonly either an internal engineering/development team or anexternal vendor.For all available HDI Research Corner reports, visit 68HDI Research Corner, May 2012
  • 69. No More Tiers:Is Intelligent Swarminga Better Way to SolveCustomer Issues? By Greg Oxton“We have eliminated the word ‘escalation’ from our vocabulary,” says levels or tiers of support and theMarco Bill-Peter, vice president of Global Support Services at Red Hat. escalation process is giving wayMeanwhile, Steve Young, in charge of Service Business Transformation to a new model of collaboration:at Cisco, talks about “playing catch, not ping-pong,” and how “the intelligent swarming.first person to work on a customer issue (case or incident) [should Intelligent swarming is a dramaticallyengage] the best resources needed to solve the issue and [manage] it to different way to organize the supportresolution.” Red Hat and Cisco are just two of a number of companies organization, challenging thirty years ofthat are rethinking how they align people with work. The old model of accepted practice and structure in support.30 Suppor tWorld | May/June 2012 69
  • 70. However, the early adopters of this model are seeing improvementsin all key operational measures of support, including productivity,time to resolve, employee growth, and customer satisfaction. Andwhile it is not appropriate for all support environments, swarming ismost effective when solving new, complex problems. The goal is toget the right people working on new issues, together, and as quicklyas possible. Intelligent swarming facilitates the collaboration alreadyhappening between support agents and leads to faster and morecreative resolutions.Let’s examine what is driving this change, how it works, where itapplies, and why it can be a more efficient and effective way todeliver support.Why Is the Tiered Support ModelBecoming Obsolete?There are three drivers behind this change. First, supportorganizations are doing a better job of capturing and reusingwhat they collectively know. Many support organizations haveimplemented Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS), a methodologythat focuses on creating and maintaining knowledge as a by-productof solving customer issues. By searching the knowledge base,support agents can quickly find answers to customer questions andproblems that have already been solved. Reusing the knowledgeimproves the rate at which issues are recognized as known, as wellas the speed and accuracy in providing customers with resolutions.As a result, known issues are resolved faster with fewer escalations.To achieve a corresponding improvement in solving new issues, weneed to facilitate collaborative problem solving.Second, the steady increase in customer self-service activity ischanging the ratio of new to known issues that come into the on the web feel like they have to “run the gauntlet” to get theirsupport center. (“Known” issues are those that are captured and problem solved…every time! As known issues are removed from thesearchable in the knowledge base. “New” issues require diagnostic support organization’s workflow and the percentage of new issuesactivity or research before they can be resolved.) KCS creates increases, we need to rethink how we align resources to work.content in the customer’s context, so knowledge articles aresearchable and usable by customers on the web. As customer use Third, support organizations are undergoing a shift in focus fromof and success with self-service increases, the number of known internal productivity to customer productivity. This is a deeper,issues reported to the support center declines, shifting the ratio more philosophical transformation, one characterized by a broaderof support requests to new issues. sense of awareness that includes the customer and the customer experience. At Microsoft, one of the key metrics they are usingAs solutions move closer to customers via web-based self-help, to measure their success is customer effort. Yahoo! has becomethe response processes in the support center must change. In the obsessed with understanding the customer experience. Andpast, support tiers acted as filters, with each level resolving 70 to 80 Oracle is changing its support vocabulary, swapping “cases” andpercent of the problems it received. The problem had to be pushed “customer satisfaction” for “customer health” and “productivity.”or escalated toward the solution. With the web, we are pushing The enlightened support organization is as concerned withthe solutions toward the problem! Customers are now solving 80 customer productivity as it is with its own productivity. We can nopercent of their issues using the web. This is a great thing, but there longer optimize our productivity at the expense of our customers’.are two important implications. First, a positive web experience Enter intelligent swarming.resets customer expectations about time to resolution. Second,when customers contact the support center (for the 20 percent ofissues that aren’t solved on the web), the likelihood that problem How Does Intelligent Swarming Work?will require escalation is very high. This has a compound effect. Swarming is not a new concept for support agents and engineers.Customers expect an immediate response, and the chance that the They have always collaborated to solve problems, often in spiteproblem can be solved on first contact is much lower than it used of the processes, structures, and measures we traditionally use into be. The support requests coming into the center are new, unique, customer support. So what if we facilitated collaboration insteadcomplex issues. As a result, customers who can’t find a solution of inhibiting it? 70 | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 31
  • 71. Every interaction is an opportunity to improve the next interaction. Unfortunately, a collaborative process doesn’t align with the way most support organizations think about their people or their processes. Over the years, a caste system has emerged between the tiers, with a strong sense of “us versus them,” and arbitrary boundaries that can only be crossed by escalation. The idea that anyone in support could “earn the right not to have to talk with customers” (a common attitude in higher tiers) is a ridiculous notion. Customer support is, after all, about supporting customers. Thus, the transition from a streaming model (the old, linear, tiered structure) to a swarming model (collaborative) is not easy. It is a significant social change in that we are dismantling the support caste system. Swarming also requires us to give up the highly siloed and compartmentalized structures we have created. Too many support organizations have become so enamored with their internal processes and service levels between support tiers that they haveSupport organizations with good self-service models are rethinking adopted the dysfunctional practice of “rejecting” incidents. Theytheir support processes and moving from an escalation-based model are more focused on their niche processes and metrics than onto a collaboration-based model. They are collapsing their support solving the customer’s issue, when the only service level agreementtiers, creating a single team of people who collaborate on solving that truly matters is the one with the customer. By contrast, in acustomer issues (playing catch). This is replacing the model of swarming model we don’t reject customer issues. We pursue theirmultiple teams that toss issues back and forth through incident resolution with enthusiasm; we choose to help.routing, rerouting, escalation, and rejection (playing ping-pong). Intelligent Swarming:Intelligent swarming is about getting the best people to solve the issue When Is It Appropriate?working on the issue as quickly as possible. While we don’t have tiersof support in a swarming model, we do have many different types As a general rule, intelligent swarming is most valuable in solvingof skills. We seek to engage the most appropriate or relevant skill(s) new, complex issues. Two key considerations in determiningon a customer issue, based on what we know about the customer whether intelligent swarming makes sense are complexity and the(some are experts, some are novices) and the issue. At the highest ratio of new issues to known issues. Time to resolve is a reasonablelevel, we could think about generalists and specialists. Some issues indicator for both. If your support center solves a high percentageare poorly defined and require lateral-thinking skills and an ability of customer issues in three to five minutes, it would imply that ato talk to customers in their own context. This is the value of the high percentage of your issues are known and the complexity isgeneralist; they help define the problem when the customer can’t. low. While a robust KCS program can improve the speed andA good generalist can define the issue in such a way that we can consistency of resolution in this environment, swarming typicallyturn around and identify required the specialist skill. However, if doesn’t make sense.the problem is already well defined, we may be able to immediately If your average time to resolve is greater than fifteen minutes, thisidentify the specialist(s) that would be best able to resolve the issue. would imply a fair amount of complexity and possibly a higher rateThe most valuable resource to the support organization is a support of new issues being reported. Ideally, we want to use our supportagent that is both a generalist and a specialist. resources to solve new issues, not ones we have already solved. TheIn a swarming model, the person who takes ownership of the goals are to get the known issues to the customer through self-serviceissue often owns the issue until it is resolved. They may engage (or remove the cause of the known issues from the environmentothers in the process of solving the issue, but they don’t toss it through root cause analysis) and facilitate a collaborative problem-over the wall (escalate) and lose touch with the resolution. This solving process for new how we create support agents who are both generalists andspecialists! More importantly, this is how collaboration enables Is This Really a Better Way?skill development. In the existing model, we aren’t giving people Four members of the Consortium for Service Innovation arethe opportunity to develop the range of skills that are most valuable promoting and enabling variations on intelligent swarming: BMC,to the support organization. Cisco, Microsoft, and Red Hat. Each has reported some very32 Suppor tWorld | May/June 2012 71
  • 72. compelling benefits. At BMC, one product team has achieved Intelligent Swarming:the highest level of customer satisfaction it has ever enjoyed; the A Work in Progressbacklog is down, and employee morale and enthusiasm is at an all-time high. Cisco, meanwhile, is in the midst of a major initiative For the past eight years, the Consortium for Service Innovation hasto improve their tools’ collaboration capabilities by enabling both been searching for a better way to align people and work, and we area request for help model and an opt-in for help model. Their goal currently working to identify the swarming principles and practicesis to improve skills development for the support engineers and to that will enable support organizations to make this dramatic shiftget the right engineer(s) working on an issue as quickly as possible. efficiently and effectively. Since intelligent swarming is an emergingThe initial results are faster problem resolution, less escalation and practice, we don’t have operational experience with all elements ofbouncing of the customer between people and teams, and a very the model as envisioned. However, we are learning a lot about whatpositive reception by the support engineers. makes it work and what pitfalls to avoid. If your company is toying with collaboration or is interested in helping to develop the nextMicrosoft has a program that helps support agents find the right best practice, please visit for collaboration. In a large, global support organization,knowing who could help best is a major challenge. Microsoft isbuilding rich profiles of support agents, including agent interestsand a skills profile based on the content the agent has created, about the authormodified, or linked in the past ninety days. This skills profile is Greg Oxton is the executive director of themaintained by the system, so the profile is always up-to-date and Consortium for Service Innovation, a nonprofitcontains a sufficient level of detail to ensure relevant connections. alliance of customer support organizationsAs mentioned earlier, Red Hat has both integrated KCS and develops innovative ways to address thethe swarming model and banned the word “escalation” from its challenges of customer service and support, like the Knowledge-Centered Support methodology.vocabulary. By improving the support engineer’s visibility on relevant Before joining the Consortium, Greg heldwork and thinking about the support team as a community, they are management positions in customer service,seeing improved skills development, faster problem resolution, and operations, planning, support strategy, andincreased customer satisfaction. development at IBM, N.E.T., and Tandem Computers. Not All Data Recovery Companies Are Created Equal Before engaging the services of a data recovery provider, ask for proof of their cleanroom technology, recovery experience and data security protocols. Call DriveSavers: 800. 440.1904 Fast • Reliable • Certified • Secure • Since 1985 Annual Security Risk Assessments and SAS 70 II Audit Reports — 24/7/365 Customer Support Authorized by All Leading Data Storage Device Manufacturers — High Security Service Available — ISO-5 Certified Cleanroom 72 | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 33
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  • 74. About HDIHDI is the leading professional association and certification body for technical service andsupport professionals. Facilitating collaboration and networking, HDI hosts industry con-ferences and events, produces comprehensive publications and research, and connectssolution providers with practitioners, all while certifying and training thousands of profes-sionals each year.HDI serves a community of over 110,000 members, followers, customers, solution pro-viders, and contributors throughout the service industry, supporting sixty local chaptersacross North America. Guided by an international panel of industry experts and practitio-ners, HDI is the community’s premier resource for best practices and emerging trends.