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Co-Managing a Service Desk and Deskside Support Engagement for a Biopharmaceutical Firm

Healthcare | Support Services



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TEKsystems introduced a co-managed service model to help our client improve performance against key service metrics and improve IT support.

The client, a worldwide biopharmaceutical company, develops innovative products and technologies designed to advance world health and help fight and cure disease. In the world of biologics, the company has established itself  as a true visionary, with one of the most robust  pipelines in the biopharmaceutical industry. They are proudly united by their spirit of innovation, heart of inspiration and strength of integration, as they advance science for better health.

As organizations evolve, develop new products, adopt new technologies and acquire or merge with competitors, the service desk takes on an even greater role. Service desks, staffed by skilled technical personnel, provide centralized support for an organization’s IT products and systems. The service desk is tasked with keeping IT functions operational and should be seen as an efficient partner to the organization’s users. Assistance ranges from answering common questions to managing software updates and installations. The deskside support team handles escalated requests from the service desk and specializes in working directly on a user’s laptop or desktop computer to resolve an incident or request.

Under traditional support models, service desks and deskside support functions employ a reactive approach by responding to user calls for assistance as they occur. In an effort to optimize efficiency and respond to ever-increasing incident calls, service desks and deskside support  functions are evolving from  independent support systems into one seamless strategic partner.  This strategic support function proactively identifies issues at the source, gathers information, eliminates communication gaps and develops relationships with the organization’s end users. A proactive service approach can result in a mature support model with the ability to resolve issues quicker and stabilize costs, leading to increased resolution rates, decreased demands on desktop support, optimized reporting and management tools, and restructured service level objectives to keep the overall end to end support function on track.

Level I and II support of the entire end-user computing environment, Shrink wrap and proprietary applications, Laptops, Desktops, Peripherals, Mobile Devices

In 2007, the client entered into an IT outsourcing relationship with a large international services company with the goal of promoting a focus on core competencies. The solution was adequate, but the client desired to improve its performance against key service metrics and operate its IT support through a more collaborative model. 

Our client outsourced their support model entirely and relied on an outside vendor to provide service desk and deskside support for 5,500 users across research and development facilities and distribution centers. The client’s support agreement did not meet service expectations, and the client experienced increased additional costs in order to resolve user issues. The inconsistent and inefficient support provided by the outsourced service desk also led to decreased satisfaction with IT throughout the organization and decreased user productivity.  

The client experienced the following challenges with its current service desk and deskside support model:

  • Limited insight - The client had limited metrics available on the service desk. The service level objectives were misaligned and the client did not have an accurate measure of success for the service desk and deskside support teams.
  • Low first call resolution - The client experienced first call resolution at the service desk of less than 10 percent, which led to high demand and escalation to the deskside team. The client operated under a reactive support model.
  • Low customer satisfaction - The organization had low customer satisfaction due to the low resolution rates at the service desk level, high escalation rates to the deskside team and low user productivity.

The client chose to initiate a new contract with a new provider. The client did not want another fully outsourced model, and a staff augmentation solution did not fit the client’s budget. The client needed a trusted partner to provide a flexible arrangement and integrated service desk and deskside support services.

TEKsystems has been an IT staffing provider and partner to the client for more than 10 years. During that time, we developed long-standing relationships within the client’s IT department and have become a preferred supplier of IT resources. TEKsystems proposed a co-managed engagement model to help the client realize high resolution rates and customer satisfaction. This solution provided more visibility into the team’s performance and direction and improved contract flexibility.

TEKsystems proposed a co-managed engagement solution to help the client realize high resolution rates and customer satisfaction. TEKsystems’ collaborative, flexible model aligned industry best practices with client-specific processes and procedures and built upon a long-standing relationship with the client’s IT department. TEKsystems’ solution included:

  • Phased transition plan - TEKsystems introduced our transition and optimization plan to manage knowledge transfer, resource alignment and integration of the client teams. During the discovery phase of the transition, we performed an in-depth assessment of current operations and conducted analysis on trends and benchmarking to evaluate call flow patterns, durations and resolution rates. During the implementation phase, TEKsystems implemented industry standard operating process and procedures, established weekly and monthly status meetings and measurement review. TEKsystems managed a 10-week transition phase at the service desk and an eight-week transition for the deskside support teams.
  • Dedicated support - An engagement manager worked with the client to build standard operating procedures and integrate operations and leadership. TEKsystems provided continuous oversight and project governance through weekly status meetings, monthly measurement meetings and service recommendations.
  • Personnel management - TEKsystems provided a mature service delivery leadership model to drive recruiting, onboarding, career development, coaching and mentoring for new hires and existing team members. As a result of the changes made to the standard operating procedures, discovered during transition, TEKsystems established a new hire and existing hire training program to include classroom training and team shadowing.
  • Reporting and metrics - TEKsystems provided reports and documentation to drive continuous improvement. The client and TEKsystems jointly reviewed and realigned service level objectives (SLOs) to the client’s objectives for the service desk and deskside support teams.

    TEKsystems delivered off-site IT service desk support out of our Maryland facility in conjunction with on-site support teams and service desk support. Both teams consist of a manager and specialized analysts. The integrated teams are managed by a TEKsystems global delivery manager, who ensures consistent quality for the overall program.


TEKsystems realigned the service desk team by training additional team members, redefining service metrics and analyzing trends in call requests. The service desk logged, tracked and resolved issues in the client’s incident management tool and escalated issues through a defined process that kept ownership of the call with the service desk. This process ensured consistency of response and allowed for better tracking of the call and the solution. Through efficiencies in the team restructuring, team training and onboarding, the service desk resolution rate increased. The service desk also met or exceeded metrics on average speed to answer a call, abandoned call rates, response time and customer satisfaction.

The deskside team was able to assume more responsibilities, as the efficiencies in the service desk reduced the number of calls escalated to the deskside team. This optimization resulted in a more than 300 percent improvement in overall incident and service request resolution time and incident and service request backlog.

The client further engaged TEKsystems to support overseas operations through desktop engineering and desktop support services. By extending the scope of the engagement, the client recognized global alignment of IT support to their business needs.

Successful outsourcing or co-management of a business function requires clear understanding of each party’s expectations and requirements. TEKsystems identified the following key steps to mitigate risk and develop strong partnerships:

  • Communication. TEKsystems implemented weekly status meetings and monthly measurement meetings with the client to discuss task lists, responsibilities, progress toward objectives and outstanding issues. These meetings kept the client and TEKsystems on track and moving towards common goals.
  • Strategy. TEKsystems and the client defined clear strategic objectives for the service desk and deskside support teams. After reviewing the client’s goals for issue resolution and user satisfaction, TEKsystems initiated a redesign of the client’s training and onboarding program, to include updated standard operating procedures and modifications to the incident management system. These changes gave new and existing employees a strong foundation and allowed TEKsystems to build a team with the right cultural and skill fit to meet the client’s goals.
  • Scalable support. TEKsystems presented a collaborative solution with a phased transition model based on the client’s current environment and expected business outcomes. Support was provided by a combination of on-site and TEKsystems-based services. This flexible approach enabled TEKsystems to accommodate new tasks and assignments during the engagement, such as the addition of overseas locations and changes in headcount at domestic locations.