Putting “Help” and “Technology” Back Into the Technology Help Desk
August 09, 2017 7:01 PM
We’ve all been there. You need a piece of technology to do what it doesn’t seem to want to do. And if you can’t get it working soon, best-case scenario, it could set you back a full day. Worst-case? Let’s not even go there.
Your next move is to call on IT. And depending on the response, you might strum a chord of triumph on your air-guitar…or feel you’ve been cast into a newly devised 10th circle of hell—the one where technology foul-ups plague the unfortunate for eternity.
While Westbourne IT Global Services of Cork, Ireland, and Auckland, New Zealand, doesn’t dispense air-guitars, its business model is designed to ensure yours get strummed in triumph a whole lot more often.
“What we're good at,” says John Drury, Westbourne’s general manager, “is making people feel good about their experience by being easy to talk to, giving accurate and reliable information, and getting the problem solved as quickly as possible.”
In the days before offshoring, that might have been the presumed job description of anyone staffing a help desk. But a trend in recent years toward commodifying support roles has, in some places, elevated cost considerations above results.
“By all means, there is a long set of case studies that you can achieve dramatic cost efficiencies by doing that,” says Drury. “But it's pretty accepted that that is to customer service's detriment.”
Dissatisfaction with the commodification trend has opened up opportunities for service management niche players such as Westbourne, staffed by experienced technical support engineers.
“There are discerning clients out there who want a value for money proposition that isn't about just getting it as cheaply as possible,” Drury says. “Everybody wants to have good customer service, but our starting point is good engineering skills, and that's wrapped around customer service. Remote diagnosis and remote problem solving is critical for us to achieve the business objectives that clients want us to achieve—absolutely critical.”
This relatively small (130 employees) company provides IT help desk support to some of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical/ life sciences field, as well as other multinational corporations from the tech and manufacturing industries.
According to Drury, ten years ago, tech support meant phone support. Period. “People would phone up and say, ‘I'm trying to do this with the technology, but it won't do it.’ Now, we offer support through emails, through self-service portals, through social media like Yammer technologies—a whole host of different technologies and a whole host of different ways of getting help.”
Though its client list reads like a Who’s Who, Drury says the Westbourne solution can be tailored to small to medium-sized companies as well.
And thanks to its locations on both sides of the globe, Westbourne offers round-the-clock support, because Auckland’s days are Ireland’s nights.
“I don't know any other company that does what we do from these two locations,” says Drury. “We're able to access native language skills to service multiple countries.”
The applications Westbourne supports are as varied as the world of IT.
“It’s typically a very broad technology stack that we look after,” says Drury. “In any one client’s team, we could be managing up to forty technologies, from ERP systems to CRN systems, to security systems, to standard Microsoft operating system and Office applications.”
How might Westbourne partner with WPG members?
Drury says he’s eager to talk to those “who are breaking new ground in relationship to how to use automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence that can be deployed in service management. You don't have to be a big company, but if you're a software house, if you're a specialist service management to a provider, then we are…actively following specific lines of inquiry.”
He’s particularly interested in hearing from those working on ways to use artificial intelligence to, instead of replacing humans, find ways to improve “the capacity within which people operate. What that means is humans have better jobs, are more impactful.”
For more information about Westbourne IT Global Services, please visit: http://www.westbourne.ie/
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