Service Desks by TCS: Efficient and Effective Structures in IT Support for the Finance Industry a Case Study

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1 White Paper Service Desks by TCS: Efficient and Effective Structures in IT Support for the Finance Industry a Case Study The financial sector is facing a number of challenges markets are continuing to react volatilely, while requirements are on the rise. Here especially, a high-performance IT infrastructure is essential for responding immediately to market movements. The pressure to reduce operating and support costs is, however, also on the rise in the IT sector. But how can elementary business processes be improved and costs reduced without limiting service offerings and quality? This technical article, using a practical business example, describes how Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) supported a global financial services firm in improving service-desk offering. The success of this project depended on uniform, fully integrated processes that are subject to constant quality control and customer-specific service level agreements (SLAs), and on a risk-free transition strategy with low overall long-term costs.

2 Management Summary In banking and finance in particular, a high-performance IT infrastructure is essential for responding immediately to market movements. IT support plays a crucial role here it has to handle requests as quickly and efficiently as possible. The pressure to reduce operating and support costs is, however, also on the rise in the IT sector. Against this background, TCS developed, for a leading European financial services provider, a new nearshoring/ offshoring operating model for IT support, including a migration scenario and implementation. TCS, a specialist in both IT and outsourcing, handled all the stages of work from planning down to support services. TCS consolidated the service desks previously been scattered across Europe into one central Contact Center. It serves as an enterprise-wide place for IT support, ensuring a consistent customer experience. The financial services provider benefits from faster, more reliable and cheaper services resulting from an effective combination of nearshore and offshore components with best-of-breed processes. Transparency and service quality are guaranteed by comprehensive quality management according to internationally recognized standards, as well as SLAs tailored to the customer. This case study examines the general requirements of the project, the approach taken and points of added value to the business in an anonymous form. About the Author David Zion holds the position of Lead Engagement Manager for industry-wide infrastructure services at TCS. During his tenure at IBM as a senior client solution executive, he was responsible for business development of large outsourcing projects in Germany. Based on 20 years of experience in sales management, he was also responsible there for the Software-as-a-Service and Cloud Computing units. Previously, Zion had provided business development and sales assistance both to the computer and software manufacturer Sun Microsystems and to the computer manufacturer Digital Equipment. 2

3 Table of Contents Customer Profile 4 Terms of Reference 4 Goals of the Project 4 Excursus: The TCS Value Proposition Competent, Scalable and Cost-effective IT Support, Including Infrastructure 5 Approach and Scenario for a Solution 6 Customized Analysis for Accurate Results 6 Three-tier Service Architecture 6 Nearshoring and Offshoring in Perfect Harmony 7 Qualification of Service-Desk Staff Members 8 Service Workflow 8 Service Level Agreements and Reporting 9 Quality Management and Security 9 Implementation 9 Key Results at a Glance 11 In a Nutshell 12 Appendix IT Service Desk-related Project References 13 References for Support Services in Various European Languages 15 3

4 Customer Profile The financial sector is facing a number of challenges markets continue to react volatilely while requirements are on the rise. Political calls grow louder for bigger capital cushions and a general levy on banks, while shareholders demand constantly increasing returns. In this situation, all companies in the sector need to reduce costs. At the same time, fundamental business processes have to become more efficient, yet still ensure the same or better service. A leading European financial services provider contracted the IT, consultancy and outsourcing specialists at worldwide TCS. Its goal was to replace the structures at its Contact Center for IT support, so as to reduce operating and support costs while boosting efficiency, especially in the IT unit. The client is part of a corporate group with multiple financial services companies. The group employs more than 160,000 people and has over 9,500 branch offices. It is represented in 50 markets worldwide, including 22 European countries, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, in addition to Italy. It is a leading company in the asset-management sector. Terms of Reference The provider asked TCS to redesign its Contact Center, which is responsible for telephone IT support. TCS was to handle all stages of work, from planning down to the various services. The initial situation: The customer s IT support was handled entirely by telephone, using a service desk tool, Remedy and Multichannel Contact Center System manufactured by Genesys. Approximately 3,000 users, with regional focuses in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany, handled around 10,000 calls per month. These broke down primarily into the following subject categories: user and access rights management, problems with desktop hardware, specific business applications and the Microsoft Office package. The Contact Center was available around the clock to the financial services provider s employees: From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., support was provided in English, Italian or German; between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. in English only. Contact Center locations were spread over the UK, Germany and Italy. The customer designed all workflows and processes itself. These differed from location to location, which resulted in inconsistencies in service. Goals of the Project To describe the initial situation and existing processes in detail, TCS, together with the client company, first performed a comprehensive stocktaking. Next, a desired result was designed and recorded in workshops. This process included specific project goals: Consolidating the service desks spread across Europe into a central Contact Center for IT support. Consistent customer experience based on an enterprise-wide and comprehensive service model. More efficient processes with a higher service quality and success rate. Sustainably lower costs from outsourcing to TCS with transparent services and, in the long term, from reducing support in German and Italian. More flexibility for request spikes to support. Greater transparency and consistently high service quality through industry-specific benchmark SLAs and ITIL-compliant processes. 4

5 Excursus: The TCS Value Proposition Competent, Scalable and Cost-effective IT Support, Including Infrastructure Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a worldwide provider of IT, consulting and outsourcing services, as well as business solutions that together bring fast and lasting benefits especially for companies that operate globally. IT infrastructure services are among TCS s core competencies. More than 12,500 consultants provide customers worldwide with a comprehensive range of services from computer-center operations to end-user management, innovative IT service desk solutions and transformation solutions. Customers get scalable, flexible and transparent solutions that can be tailored to their particular requirements, enabling them to reduce operating costs, while avoiding having to invest in systems and hardware. At the same time, they increase their room to maneuver so they can again focus on their core business. All services meet the highest privacy and data-security requirements. Geared to ITIL standards, services from TCS provide fast and consistently high customer benefits. processes and access rights. This consulting service provider also offers innovative solutions that enable previously separate support units to be merged into one integrated, uniform and enterprise-wide service desk. TCS handles all the stages of work for customers from planning through integrating technological infrastructure down to the end help desk services. TCS currently operates more than 20 IT help desk centers worldwide, which offer comprehensive, high-quality support around the clock in more than 30 languages. Close to 1,500 qualified employees handle over six million calls per year. These IT help desk centers are an integral part of TCS s unique Global Network Delivery Model TM (GNDM TM ). It opens access for TCS customers to virtually any scalable resources desired for consistently high-quality service at low cost. A migration strategy tailored to individual customer requirements minimizes transformation and handover risks. TCS s technology partners in the IT service desk field include BMC Software, HP and CA Technologies. TCS assists customers from all industries to restructure their IT support or redesign it from scratch. This includes IT security and monitoring, as well as management of identification 5

6 Approach and Scenario for a Solution The central element of TCS s approach was to set up a uniform, enterprise-wide referral structure for IT support. A single point of contact (SPOC) ensures consistently integrated processes and concurring customer experience. As a result of the Contact Center organizational structure designed and operated by TCS, the financial services provider benefits from faster, more reliable and substantially more cost-efficient services. Customized Analysis for Accurate Results Solutions tailored precisely to the customer are the crucial quality criterion of services in the IT support field. For this reason, TCS initially performed a detailed analysis of the provider s requirements and processes. In intensive dialogue with the customer, the end-user structure, as well as the entire IT environment (hardware, software and network structure) were examined, and the focal points of support and communication channels were identified. The same applied to all ITsupport-related business processes. The SLAs were geared precisely to the needs of the client. TCS combined the results of this customized evaluation with tried and tested processes from its comprehensive knowledge base, which includes the wealth of experience from projects it has completed in the IT help desk field (see table in the Appendix). This unique combination of customization and standardization ensures fast and reliable implementation of the outsourcing process. It is the primary unique proposition that distinguishes the TCS offering. Three-tier Service Architecture The architecture for the Contact Center follows a three-tier model. Level 0 is based on an extensive range of automated functions and documentation, which end users can use to solve many problems without further assistance, such as resetting passwords. TCS has developed customized FAQs, configuration scripts and solution generators, which automatically compare error current messages with ones already remedied. Level-1 support helps employees of the provider when they cannot solve a problem unassisted. This support is provided mainly by phone, but is also available via or the Internet. For particularly difficult situations, designated IT experts are on standby for Level-2 support. These TCS employees provide support to customers by phone, perform a detailed analysis of the situation and develop customized solutions, which are automatically added to the knowledge base. Constantly updating and developing this knowledge base is an important element in TCS s left-shift strategy: to shift as many events as possible from Level 2 to Level 1. This allows further cost savings, faster, more efficient problem resolution and reduced downtime. The service package for this provider s Contact Center includes support for problems involving stationary and mobile devices (desktop PCs, laptops, trading boards, BlackBerrys, etc.), plus management of access rights and standard requests for investment banking applications from third parties, such as Reuters or Bloomberg. Each request is recorded and handled using an advanced ticketing system. 6

7 Nearshoring and Offshoring in Perfect Harmony The outsourcing process is divided into two phases. In the first two years, IT support is performed exclusively in Europe via the Delivery Center Budapest in Hungary (nearshore). The Contact Center is available to the financial services provider s employees around the clock. The languages offered are English, German and Italian. The Delivery Center Budapest currently serves 33 client companies and is triple ISO-certified. Its over 770 staff members can take service requests in over 30 languages. From the third year, the TCS Delivery Center in Bangalore will take over English language support and be available on weekdays 24 hours a day. The Delivery Center Budapest will continue to be responsible for support in German and Italian, but with service reduced to 16 hours on weekdays. This second stage of shifting to India (offshore) has a significant impact on the cost structure. TCS s service desk teams comprise several service desk agents who, under the supervision of a service desk manager, are in direct contact with customers. The manager, together with a quality analyst, make up the next organizational level. Both report to the service delivery manager, who has regular exchanges with the client s IT management. In addition, an individual in charge for TCS is locally available as a contact partner to customers in Germany Total Hungary India Germany Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Figure 1: Composition of the IT Support Team Responsible for the TCS Customer 7

8 Qualification of Service-Desk Staff Members Regardless whether the support service is furnished from Hungary or India, intensive training serves the particular needs of the financial services provider. TCS attaches great importance to basic and further training of its service desk agents. Experienced staff members receive targeted advanced training courses and are motivated by a performance-based incentive scheme to continuously pursue further training. New employees go through an extensive training program. This prepares them for the customer-specific technical and operational requirements, familiarizing them with the processes, quality features and documentation system. Another fundamental part of these training courses is soft skills accent training, articulation, cultural competence, how to behave on the phone and how to deal with stressful situations. In subsequent onthe-job training, new service desk staff go through multiple stages together with an experienced mentor: from listening in on incoming calls to eventually taking calls, unassisted, with regular monitoring. Service Workflow Whenever an employee receives a service request or fault report at the Contact Center operated by TCS, it triggers a structured and efficient process (see Figure 2). The aim is to successfully handle as many inquiries as possible during the first call, achieving a high first-call resolution (FCR) rate at Level 1. A TCS team member records and classifies the problem and enters it in the ticketing system. Together with the caller, the call center agent performs an initial diagnosis of the problem, using the knowledge base and fault database. When a problem can be solved by this route, the agent closes the job order. When a service desk staff member is not able to clear up a matter, he or she forwards the job order to the IT experts at Level-2 support. They perform a detailed analysis of the problem and seek a suitable solution. Status Updates Customer LEVEL2 LEVEL1 Knowledge Database LEVEL-0-Support Solution TCS Contact Center LEVEL-1-Support Recording, Classification, Diagnosis, Solution TCS Contact Center LEVEL-2-Support, Recording, Analysis, Solution Troubleshooting LEVEL0 Service Desk Leader Figure 2: Service Workflow at the TCS Contact Center 8

9 During this procedure, the call center agent keeps the customer updated every half hour. As soon as the Level-2 support has found a solution, it returns the case to the Level-1 staff member. He or she passes it on to the customer and closes the ticket. The knowledge base is updated accordingly. If a case remains cannot be solved, it is passed on to the service desk team leader or to the service delivery manager. Service Level Agreements and Reporting For regular performance monitoring and quality assurance, TCS developed customized index figures and SLAs with the financial services provider. The special thing about these agreements is that they are based on a precise analysis of the job order and the customer s goals, so that they meet the service focal points and needs at the company. The most important targets include: Solution rate for events/tickets: 80 percent Average waiting time: 90 percent within 10 seconds Termination rate: 5 percent Customer satisfaction: 4.0 (on scale from 1 to 5) Customized dashboards assist the team s quality analysts in evaluating the index figures. Other automatically generated reports enable detailed analysis of the automatic call distribution (ACD) and the tickets issued. For example, accurate information can be gleaned from calls taken about: problems resolved during the first call (first call resolution, FCR), average handling time (AHT), average speed of answer (ASA) and average after-call work time (AWT). Likewise, all tickets issued can be evaluated according to problem categories or special field. Quality Management and Security TCS relies on quality management systems and methods established worldwide to continuously improve service quality and process efficiency. All delivery centers are certified internally and externally multiple times and are fully auditable. The guidelines and standards used include, among others, ISO , ITIL, Six Sigma, PCMM, iqms and the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM) developed by TCS. This model, for evaluating and improving performance, examines: guidance system, strategic planning, customer orientation, information and analysis, personnel policy, process management and business results. Beyond the collection of index figures using dashboards and reports, all customer feedback is followed up and analyzed. Using NICE/VERINT software, specifically developed for the purpose, the quality manager or service desk manager monitors all incoming calls either live or via recordings. Based on these findings, service desk agents regularly receive detailed feedback and exact instructions on which area they need to improve. TCS also conducts targeted training courses to refresh and improve performance. To ensure uninterrupted handling of services, TCS operates redundant, globally convergent network architectures with cloud components. This structure guarantees 99 percent availability. Implementation To minimize risks during the handover of IT support, TCS has developed a tried and tested transition method (see Figure 3). Its several phases run in parallel, each pursuing a different subject area. The primary objective is to experience as few delays as possible in the ongoing service, while keeping support quality at a consistently high level. 9

10 Once TCS had signed contracts with the provider, implementation began and lasted 17 weeks. From the first through the eleventh week, two processes ran simultaneously: TCS put together a Contact Center team and trained them in the financial services provider s content and structures. In other workshops, team members practiced their language skills and cultural competence. Team-building activities also strengthened mutual understanding and group cohesion. Concurrently, technical implementation was carried out for the services provided. TCS experts set up the necessary interfaces and connections to the provider s IT and telecommunications infrastructure and established the tools required. The transfer of knowledge from the client company to the TCS team took place in weeks 4 to 7. During the secondary support stage (weeks 8 to 11), TCS duplicated the client teams and further trained its own staff members in the processes to be handled. The client teams, however, still handled the operational work. During the subsequent primary support stage (weeks 12 to 17), the process was reversed: TCS handled the operational work and was shepherded and monitored by the client teams. A six-week pilot phase took place concurrently with the last section, then the TCS team took over the IT support at the push of a button, as Transition Roadmap Steady State Contract Sign-Off and Project Launch Team Ramp-Up: Introduction, Communication, Cultural Alignment, Language Skills Technical ICT-Infrastructure Knowledge Transition Secondary Support Primary Support Pilot Delivery Center Budapest Delivery Center Bangalore W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13 W14 W15 W16 W17 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Figure 3: The Implementation Process at a Glance 10

11 it were, and continued on its own. Spot checks were made, but the SLAs were not yet applied. At the end of the successful testing period, the provider permanently handed over its IT support to TCS. Key Results at a Glance After the Contact Center was successfully reorganized, and all IT support services were taken over by TCS, the financial services provider benefited from the following advantages: One centralized point of contact (SPOC) for the provider s users TCS ensures consistently high-quality service from the moment a request is lodged to the solving of the problem. Trilingual phone support (English, German and Italian), combined with and Internet contacts. Optimized use of Remedy, a user-friendly service desk tool. Extensive knowledge base and FAQs for unassisted problem solving by users. Improved knowledge management: more requests solved at Level 1 (left-shift strategy), and improved general resolution rate in first calls (first call resolution, FCR). Optimum composition of teams reduces average speed of answer (ASA), ensuring high customer satisfaction (CSAT). Solution Elements Before After Delivery Location Germany German users United Kingdom British users Italy Italian users Years 1 and 2: Hungary From year 3: Hungary and India For all users Service Processes Self-designed processes Location-specific in part, with different manifestation and service quality Best-of-breed processes according to accepted industry standards and ITIL V3 Consistent service activities Improvement of the service Service Desk Tools Remedy Optimized use of previous tools Contact Medium Telephone Telephone (primary), and website Telephone Solutions Unicenter Multichannel Contact Center System (Genesys) TCS Telephony Infrastructure (Avaya Systems) Comparison: Before vs. After 11

12 Tools: Added value of existing investments, maximizing their ROI. SLA-driven service delivery model. ITIL V3-based service processes and strict implementation of Six Sigma standards. TCS telephony platform adapted to particular customer needs and based on Avaya Contact Center System for outstanding reporting, performance monitoring and continuous improvement of performance. In a Nutshell In summary, TCS offers a unique package. Based on a comprehensive analysis, the IT and outsourcing experts drew up a solution for the financial services provider individually tailored to its needs. The customer benefited both from TCS s many years of experience in the service desk field and from its tried and tested automated implementation methods. Other important elements of the overall package were the client-specific mix of nearshore and offshore capacities within the global TCS service network, making nearly unlimited scalable resources available. The key factors leading to the provider opting for permanent collaboration with TCS were: uniform, fully integrated processes subject to constant quality control and customer-specific SLAs, and a risk-free transition strategy with low long-term overall costs. 12

13 Appendix IT Service Desk-related Project References Customer Calls/ Month Main points: A worldwide leading marketing information and media information company 60,000 Consolidation of seven service desks into a single, centralized one for five regions with 55,000 users Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and Polish Increase of Level-1 resolution rate from 15 % to 50 % in first three months Improvement of customer satisfaction from 65 % to 90 % A leading British energy company 33,000 Conversion of two service desks from different suppliers into a central service desk with a user base of 55,000 Relocation to India followed once the target business model was stabilized in the UK Initial resolution of 73 % is above the agreed rate of 70 % The world s largest parcel service 35,000 Consolidation of four service desks into one central service desk Stabilization of the service desk in Montreal before relocating to India Optimized customer experience for 400,000 users resulting from improved index figures and SLAs 13

14 Customer A leading health and hygiene company Calls/ Month Main points: 20,000 A regional service desk in Hungary with support in six languages, as well as English support from India Worldwide user base of 50,000 A new way to reset passwords automatically significantly aided both users and support Migration of 2,500 written articles from a knowledge management system to a new system, and revision of 2,000 additional articles on technology fields The largest provider of mobile telephony products in the United Kingdom 25,000 Establishment of a central service desk for 500 branch offices and 2,000 back office users ITIL processes and a Remedy-based toolset Institutionalized KPIs and SLAs 14

15 References for Support Services in Various European Languages Customer Countries Locations Users Languages Advantages A printing and imaging manufacturer operating worldwide ,200 French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Hungarian A more stable and more reliable system Improved documentation High ROI Optimized customer experience and fewer backlogs A manufacturer of paper products and cleaning solutions ,600 French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech and Italian Uniform processes and tools Centralized governance Annual cost reduction Improved business Continuity Fewer events A global manufacturer of adhesive materials, office and paper products A diversified technology and production manufacturer 8 n/a 6,000 German, French, Spanish and Dutch 6 n/a 6,000 French, German and English Integrated service delivery model Shifting move events from Level 2 to Level 1 Higher rate of first call resolution 24/7 service Improved knowledge management and intranet Greater efficiency Spanish and Portuguese as additional languages, depending on team skills 15

16 About TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT, BPO, infrastructure, engineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata Group, India s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 198,500 of the world s best trained consultants in 42 countries. The Company generated consolidated revenues of US $ 8.2 billion for year ended 31 March, 2011 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information please contact: TCS Design Services l P l 02 l 12

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