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Delivering Off-Shore Data Center Support for a Technology Provider

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | NETWORK ServiceS

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Data Center Support for a Technology Provider

The client partnered with TEKsystems to support overnight overflow of tickets for more than 350 customers. With our support, the client is positioned to continue to improve customer satisfaction, reduce ticket backlogs and increase business.

The client delivers technology services and solutions to more than 200,000 end customers across various industries, such as healthcare, business, government and education. The organization’s integrated solutions span technology areas, including cloud, security, collaboration and mobility, among others. TEKsystems has supported this organization since 2011.

iSeries/SQL/UNIX, network, storage, Unified Communications, Windows

The client, a large technology services provider, was experiencing a high volume of service tickets from its customers. The client had difficulty keeping pace as is, and ticket volume was expected to continue increasing. The IT team responsible for ticket resolution worked around the clock, given the nature of the business and the geographic scope of the client’s end customers. Although the overnight local team was providing excellent support, they were quickly becoming overwhelmed by the volume of tickets. Slow resolution of tickets and a growing backlog were taking a toll on customer satisfaction.

In addition to these issues, advancement and attrition for the night shift to days created hiring and training challenges for the client. They did not have the capacity to deal with the backlog—nor the increasing volume—of tickets. Not only did they have a shortage of people, but also they did not have the technical skills to figure out issues in a timely manner.

Ultimately, the client needed to find a way to reduce ticket volume, better manage incoming tickets and quickly scale in order to accommodate fluctuating volume. TEKsystems was approached for this support, given our extensive partnership and previous support of multiple deployments over the past several years.

Given our long-standing relationship with the client, TEKsystems has a strong understanding of the business and was able to recognize and recommend the optimal solution. Under a managed services model, our team would be able to support anticipated business growth, while reducing ticket backlog and improving customer satisfaction. This approach would offer the client scalability to address growing business demands but also eliminate potential displacement of employees. It would also provide the client with granular reporting that would be critical to measuring performance and monitoring service level agreements over time.

TEKsystems would start with an off-shore, Bangalore-based team with a combination of skill sets to supplement the night shift, and provide the full level of support required. In exchange, the client would not have to put any day activities ahead of their customers. We would provide remote management of the team to oversee activity, address any personnel issues, monitor ticket volume and ensure we met our goals.

Why TEKsystems

We took a collaborative approach to designing the solution and truly partnered with the client to arrive at the right delivery model. Although the client had never commissioned off-shore outsourced work, they were confident in our ability to source and retain high-quality talent because we had established ourselves as a strong staffing provider in prior engagements and we were able to demonstrate the value of off-shore support. Based on our recommended approach and extensive history with the client, TEKsystems was ultimately commissioned to deliver our solution over the course of a three-year contract.

TEKsystems successfully delivered off-shore data center support to enable the client to better manage ticket volume and subsequently help improve end-customer satisfaction. In fact, within the first six months alone, our team managed 95 percent of tickets triaged and we met or exceeded service level agreements.

Transitioning Off Shore

To start, we brought several Bangalore-based team members to the client’s U.S. headquarters for rigorous and intensive training from the client’s on-site team. Documenting processes and identifying any roadblocks during the training enabled a smooth transition and knowledge-sharing with the remainder of the team in Bangalore. We successfully ramped up the team in the client-required 90 days; in fact, 85 percent of the team was fully onboarded in just half that time. Once the team was fully onboarded, we gradually transitioned support over a four-month period.

Transition Timeline

The following chart documents our timeline to fully transitioning support off shore:

Deliverables

Month 1

  • Communication and escalation plans

  • Quality and risk management plans

  • Off-shore lead training/shadowing complete and Bangalore Solution Center team training plan in place

Month 2

  • 90 percent of Level 1, 2 and 3 resources onboarded and base trained

  • Up to 10 percent (approximately 1,300) tickets being handled

  • Off-shore remote access set up and verified

  • Weekly status reporting for onboarding and training

  • Shift transition plan (warm handoff)

Month 3

  • 100 percent of Level 1, 2 and 3 resources onboarded and base trained

  • Initial warm handoff testing

  • 50 percent (approximately 6,400) tickets being handled

  • Weekly status reporting for resource training and readiness

  • Final go-live schedule defined

  • Continual service improvement model

Month 4

  • 100 percent (approximately 12,700) tickets being handled

  • Final warm handoff testing

  • Transition to steady state

  • Begin steady state monitoring and reporting

Workforce Planning

We evaluated the client’s IT service catalog, ticket volume and technologies supported in order to determine the size and skills of the team we needed. We assessed the level of the issues (L1, L2 or L3) and the technology (e.g., network, Unified Communications, storage, Windows/virtualization, UNIX, iSeries). Mapping out the volume of tickets based on these metrics enabled us to assemble the proper team, and we regularly revisit this approach to monitor ticket volumes and appropriately plan for future demands.

Given the nature of the client’s operations, our team was designed to deliver around-the-clock support. Two senior delivery managers were permanently assigned to the project—one being on site during the day with the client, the other with the team in Bangalore for overnight support. Off shore, we provided as many as 30 engineers to support the client’s enterprise call center at night; the team was knowledgeable in at least seven technology areas. We were able to scale and increase workload without incurring more costs for the client. Additional support on both sides of the world was available as demands fluctuate over time.

Realizing Results

TEKsystems has been partnering with the client to expedite project work, saving the client money and time. We have identified and removed key roadblocks to success from permissions, process, reporting and governance items. After six months, TEKsystems continues to increase ticket closures and is becoming the primary resolver for the night-shift team. Since initiating this support, we have enabled:

  • Reduced backlog: Reduced Level 1, 2 and 3 engineering backlogs in all technology stacks
  • Proactive monitoring: Developed plans to reduce noisy tickets
  • Better communication: Facilitated change management
  • Project work: Conducted patching and scheduled maintenance

Extending Our Successful Partnership

With our help, the client was able to extend their support services to one of their franchise clients—a huge win for them. The client has been so satisfied with our support that we have been exploring potential areas where we can add greater value beyond this engagement leveraging our other competencies, such as collaboration and Amazon Web Services.