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
establishes a body of knowledge around current industry topics and practices for IT service and technical support.

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

  1. 1. A Compilation 2011-2012P e a r l s of W i s d o m
  2. 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 www.ThinkHDI.com/BePartOfTheCorner.Send any questions regarding the HDI Research Corner to research@ThinkHDI.com.
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 www.ThinkHDI.com/BePartOfTheCorner. 7HDI Research Corner, July 2011
  8. 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. 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 calculated.how 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 www.ThinkHDI.com | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 7
  10. 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. 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 www.ThinkHDI.com/WebinarArchiveresource 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 www.ThinkHDI.com | A Professional Journal for the IT Service and Technical Support Community 9
  12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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