8/8/2011. Help Desks: In House and Outsourced Options. Help Desk Essentials. Help Desk Essentials

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1 Help Desks: In House and Outsourced Options End-User support is an essential component of a well-run law firm IT department, but it can be difficult to manage and costly to properly implement. Come examine the many help desk options available to law firms today and the costs involved with each, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of in house and outsourced models. Barry Keno President, Keno Kozie Associates Chicago Help Desk Essentials There are several key elements to the provision of an effective help desk function for a law firm these must be addressed whether the service is provided by an in house team or an outsourcing firm: Staff For any sizeable firm, an experienced staff must be provided. Supervisors, team leaders, senior analysts and junior analysts all play a critical role in ensuring proper support for your users. Help Desk is NOT an entry-level job. It is highly stressful, requires extensive knowledge, great communication skills, experience and maturity. Communications Users need to request support and receive assistance through many channels. Telephone systems, , chat and remote control are all used to efficiently help the professionals and support staff and allow them to return to productivity. Help Desk Essentials Help Desk Systems In addition to communication channels, a well-run help desk utilizes several important applications to provide effective support: Incident Management System This is the heart of the help desk. All support activity is recorded here, escalations are processed, reports are generated and insight is gained into the overall health of the IT environment; Knowledge Base Used by the support analysts as well as the end users, an effective knowledge base can speed the resolution of issues and allow users to resolve their own incidents if desired. 1

2 Help Desk Essentials Phone/Contact Routing Contact routing systems can be extremely powerful tools for the help desk. By ensuring that all communications are handled in a timely and accurate manner, uses are connected to the right analysts as quickly as possible, s and chat messages are not lost in voice mail limbo and historical reporting on communications activity is readily available. Some routing systems provide advanced functionality such as queue prioritization, automatic call-back and chat routing. Metrics Help Desk Capacity There are a number of factors that impact the size and structure of a help desk, including: Call per Analyst per day (30 calls, 24 incidents) Hours per Shift, Shifts per Day, After hours/weekends/holidays Coverage for Breaks, Vacations, Meetings Surges in Volume due to Upgrades, etc Phone line capacity, etc Metrics Help Desk Performance The help desk structure impacts performance against key service levels, including: First Call Efficiency 65%/80% First Call Resolution 80%/95% Customer Satisfaction 90%/95% Telephone Answer Time 80%/85% Answer Time 90%/95% Telephone Abandon Rate 6%/2% 2

3 Help Desk Options Option 1 In House Help Desk, Business Hours Only Option 2 In House Help Desk, 24x7x365 Option 3 In House Help Desk with Outsourced Supplemental Support Option 4 Outsourced Help Desk, 24x7x365 Other Outsourced staff, dedicated within your office Other Help Desk Options Channel Walk-in, Telephone, , Chat, Self-Service Software Custom, Packaged Solution, Hosted Location Centralized, Distributed After Hours Staffing Fully Staffed, Partially Staffed, Pager/Cell Phone Support Help Desk Options Pros and Cons In House Help Desk Advantages: Familiarity with your environment More control over the function Physical proximity Psychological comfort of end-users Perception of stronger security and confidentiality Consistent systems and procedures Disadvantages: Overall cost is higher More extensive HR and management involvement required Need to implement internal systems Loss of knowledge when analysts leave the firm Staff can get overwhelmed with support calls and cannot focus on more strategic tasks 3

4 Help Desk Options Pros and Cons Supplemental Support Advantages: Expands coverage for afterhours and overflow Manageable costs for extended support Allows for a leaner internal team Provides relief for internal team no weekend coverage, etc Disadvantages: Outsourcing firm needs to make a profit impacts cost Inconsistent volume does not allow for extensive familiarity with the users, environment or issues Inconsistent systems makes for inefficiencies in recording activity and reporting Help Desk Options Pros and Cons Outsourced Help Desk Advantages: Overall cost savings Extensive institutional knowledge Flexible staffing models, overflow capacity Reduced HR and management requirements Allows internal staff to focus on more strategic tasks Consistent systems and procedures Disadvantages: Outsourcing firm needs to make a profit Potential adoption issues with users ( we like our own people Security and confidentiality concerns? Geographically remote Telephone logistics Reduced control over the function Help Desk Costs In House Help Desk Sample costs for 500 user firm. 1,250 incidents per month. Staff: $225,000 (supervisor, team lead, senior, junior) After Hours Support: $12,000 (8 hours overtime per week) Benefits and overhead: $67,500 HR and Management Time: $5,000 Systems, phones, software, etc : $5,000 $314,500 ($26,208/month) 4

5 Help Desk Costs Supplemental Support Sample costs for 500 user firm. 1,250 incidents per month. Staff: $185,000 (supervisor, team lead, senior) After Hours Support: $23,400 (25 incidents per week) Benefits and overhead: $55,500 HR and Management Time: $4,000 Systems, phones, software, etc : $4,000 $271,900 ($22,658/month) Help Desk Costs Outsourced Help Desk Sample costs for 500 user firm. 1,250 incidents per month. Staff: $0 (supervisor, team lead, senior, junior) Outsourced Support: $255,000 (288 incidents per week) Benefits and overhead: $0 HR and Management Time: $0 Systems, phones, software, etc : $0 $255,000 ($21,250/month) Summary Ultimately, the choice of a help desk model depends a lot of the personality and culture of the law firm some firms are more comfortable with an outsourcing decision than others. Generally, outsourcing the help desk can provide cost savings and the ability to refocus internal IT personnel on more strategic tasks. However, if the professionals and support staff will not accept and outsourced firm, the psychological cost will outweigh the financial savings. With the increasing trend to push non-core services out the door to the cloud, etc, outsourcing of the help desk will continue to grow. However, this is a very individual decision which should be carefully considered, planned and implemented. 5

6 Thank You! Keno Kozie Associates, Ltd. One North Franklin Street Chicago, IL (312)

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