In addition to adopting the appropriate tools and technology to power Managed Services delivery in order to maximize efficiencies and maintain SLAs, the Solution Provider will need to develop effective processes and procedures for operating their service desk.
The goals of a successful Service Desk include providing a single point of contact for end-user issues, facilitating the restoration of normal service operation while minimizing impact to the end-user and delivering services within agreed-upon SLA’s.
Figure 1 – Service Desk Goals
The duties of a successful Service Desk include:
In order to maintain a successful Service Desk, internal objectives need to be clear, client requirements and SLAs documented and understood, and training for Service Desk Staff as well as clients needs to be conducted regularly. Service Desk deliverables need to be clearly defined and service levels monitored regularly and modified as needed. Additionally, clearly defined response, resolution and escalation times must be incorporated into an SLA and communicated to Service Desk staff as well as clients.
Figure 2 – Example SLA
It is also important to identify and document Service Desk support tiers. Providing this information to the client assists in managing appropriate expectations with all parties.
Figure 3 – Support Tiers
An effective Service Desk relies on a clearly defined escalation process to insure that all service requests are handled in a consistent, standardized manner by each technician or system engineer.
Figure 4 – Service Request Escalation Procedure
If issue can be resolved in Tier 1:
If issue cannot be resolved in Tier 1:
If issue can be resolved through Tier 2 Support:
If issue cannot be resolved through Tier 2 Support:
If issue can be resolved through Tier 3 Support:
If issue cannot be resolved through Tier 3 Support:
If issue can be resolved through Onsite Support:
If issue cannot be resolved through Onsite Support:
In this section, you will find information to help you understand the general daily operations and workflow experienced while supporting end-user clients in a Managed Service Provider’s business. Whether you are a Solution Provider Owner/Operator, Account Manager or Systems Engineer, you’ll find important information about the Managed Services service delivery process.
In this context, a Managed Services service delivery process is defined as those processes and workflows which are necessary in order to allow the Solution Provider the ability to effectively deliver scheduled and unscheduled services to their clients efficiently, and include:
The Managed Services service delivery process addresses the following scheduled and unscheduled events:
Information required by the System Engineer during Managed Services service delivery includes:
Managed Services Tools employed by the System Engineer during service delivery include:
The Managed Services service delivery process includes a documented procedure for addressing any and all activity performed by a System Engineer during service delivery, and embodies a workflow which easily directs the System Engineer throughout the service delivery decision process.
The ability for the System Engineer to access information and leverage Managed Services Tools effectively during service delivery is a critical component for maintaining efficiency and adhering to established SLA’s, contributing to the Solution Provider’s profitability and increasing client satisfaction.
Figure 5 – The Role of Information and Managed Services Tools
In order to efficiently and effectively perform Managed Services service delivery, a consistent Problem Management and Resolution Workflow is required, allowing the Solution Provider the ability to standardize on their tools and technology, process and procedures. By following these standardized workflows, the System Engineer will increase efficiencies, and allow the Solution Provider to scale their services consistently to more clients, improving both client satisfaction and net profits.
In this context, the System Engineer participates in the Solution Provider’s Problem Management and Resolution process as a member of the Service Desk or Network Operations Center (NOC), and can be assigned to the following Tiers for escalation:
These Tiers are utilized in the prioritization and escalation process per the Solution Provider’s Service Desk Escalation Procedure. After an issue is identified and documented in the PSA Solution, non-critical incidents are normally assigned to Tier 1 for a System Engineer to begin problem resolution. Based upon priority, the issue will be escalated up through Tier 2 and Tier 3 support as necessary in order to adhere to the applicable SLA.
The Service Desk’s goals include:
The Service Desk’s duties include:
The System Engineer’s daily duties are determined by their Service Manager, whose responsibility includes the management of the Solution Provider’s Monitoring Solution and Service Desk, and the proper prioritization and assignment of all Service Requests to the appropriate Tier. Depending upon the Service Provider’s staffing level and number of clients managed, some staff may be assigned specifically to manage the Monitoring Solution, and fall outside of the Tier structure. The scheduling of all other onsite and remote service work is also the responsibility of the Service Manager, but this and other functions may be performed by a Dispatcher. It is the Service Manager’s ultimate responsibility to make certain the Service Desk is maintaining their SLA’s.
In this context, a System Engineer’s typical day may look like this:
It is the System Engineer’s responsibility to perform their own follow-up calls 24 hours after a Service Request has been classified as completed to verify that an end-user’s Service Request was resolved to their satisfaction and their issue can be closed.
The Service Provider has the capability to deliver services from remote locations, at the Service Provider’s NOC or Data Center and at the client’s facilities.
Delivered from any location other than the client’s facilities, remote service delivery may employ an RMM solution, a PSA solution and a remote-control solution.
Figure 6 – Remote Service Delivery
Bench or lab services can be conducted at the Service Provider’s facilities, where the ability to multitask and leverage in-house resources increases efficiencies and time to resolution for hardware/software issues.
Services may also be delivered at the client’s facilities when necessary; however, these services will be more costly to the Service Provider to deliver.
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