Technology Positioning Statement Report

3.1.8 Help Desk and Call Management Systems

Description: General-use applications for centralized support of user issues regarding enterprise-supported resources.

Category: 3 - Communication Technologies   Subcategory: 1 - General Purpose Communication Technologies
Old Category: none


  Applix Enterprise


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Customer satisfaction; call response time; incidence tracking; staffing; scope of applications served; cost.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: "Today's workplace is an increasingly complex environment of technology, systems, internal rules, external regulations, and social presence. Employees, even those well-versed in their job functions, at times find that they need assistance in either navigating an unfamiliar system or solving a problem in order to perform their jobs."

"Most companies have put in place support organizations to assist with this problem-resolution process. The telephone is the most common interface to this group, though electronic mail, fax, and face-to-face interactions are also key methods of communication. This is the role of the Call Center."

"Call Centers are not limited to supporting the computing environment. A human resources department may have a Call Center to help an employee navigate the range of benefits available, file a medical claim, or locate an outside resource."

"Additionally, Call Centers can be internally focused, centered on assisting the employee, or externally, aimed at resolving customer problems."

"A call center is [technically] a really hard problem. And the process is there very intensive and very thorough. But if they can start to begin decomposing it and saying, ok, I have a service here, a generic service here, a generic service there, a generic service there, it turns out to be that they can solve 60%-70% of their problem on these base services, and the rest is process and user experience. And that’s the fun work for people, once you have the base services done. But get the plumbing done, and they’re finding some pretty neat business opportunities, because they’re not having to rethink their entire business every time they see a new partner come online." -- Microsoft .NET developer Tim Sinclair

"Virtually all aspects of Call Center management, regardless of the purpose or focus of the Center, can be measured and tracked using quantifiable metrics. Every Call Center must determine what it needs to measure and which decisions should be data driven." -- Help Desk and Call Center Metrics, Chip Gliedman, April 29, 1996.

SC Usage: SC has a Support Center that provides email and telephone support for the standard hardware and applications on the standard desktop, including Microsoft Office 2000 Professional products. Products used in the Support Center include:
* Applix – As a historical record, statistical data, Trouble Ticket center, asset inventory.
* Apropos – A phone call routing system. This is directly tied in with Applix and allows for data population during calling, which increases overall productivity.
* Office 2000 – As a catch-all for presentations, inventory add-ons, document generation etc.
* System Management Server, remote agent in NT environments
* Pagers, Phones and Blackberry wireless devices.

SC Application Impacts: Indirect. Support and training for IMSC applications should be provided via the call center. Many business process improvements, such as document management and workflow, require increased user cooperation in order to make them function efficiently. Help desk support and training is an important and value-added feature of these improvements.

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