Innovation and changeDigital TransformationQ&A: Next generation service centres (Part 2)

Q&A: Next generation service centres (Part 2)

In the second part of this Q&A, Dave Pearce, Chief Technology Officer from the Bolton & Wigan IT Partnership, talks more about why service centres are key enablers of organisational productivity

In a world of disaggregated services and omni-channel touchpoints, the service centre is a key enabler to organisational productivity. In a recent webinar hosted by Agilisys and featuring Dave Pearce, Chief Technology Officer from the Bolton & Wigan IT Partnership, this topic was discussed further.

The webinar – which can be accessed here – covered:

  • The way the world is heading: disaggregated services and user expectations
  • What’s the best way forward: Service Integration and Management, what can a world class service centre achieve for your organisation?
  • What does a world class service centre look like in action?

In the second part of this Q&A with Digital by Default News, Pearce picks up on some of the remaining questions from webinar attendees. Read the first part of the Q&A here.

How do you deal with the challenge of managing that disaggregated supply chain?

“Where we have contracted services involving the IT stack, we seek to understand which elements of these are material to delivery of the service. Where possible, we have sought to bring material contracted services under our Agilisys Agreement, giving us clarity of end-to-end SLAs, and reducing the ‘hot-potato’ mentality and resultant ‘stop-the-clock’, which ultimately impacts the reputation of the IT service. Where it is not considered appropriate/ feasible to bring a contract into this model, we have a third-party service description which means that Agilisys work on our behalf, liaising with third parties such as software vendors, to manage incidents and requests in order to mitigate time delays as far as possible.

“Quality triage of customer contacts at the service centre is fundamental in ensuring requests are handed over to the most appropriate resource, whether that be Agilisys, Wigan’s internal IT Application Support resolver team, Bolton’s application support teams which are embedded into the business, or a third party.

“The key thing is maintaining good relationships across the board, understanding the landscape in terms of lines of demarcation of responsibility, and understanding the various constraints which may come into play.”

Leading on from that, how is multi-supplier collaboration encouraged and incentivised?

“Incentivising is difficult within local government. However, Agilisys do have the ability to incentivise staff performance, which is a benefit of working with a partner.

“It’s worth pointing out that Agilisys’ organisational size allows for the building of relationships. They’re a comfortable size: big enough to deliver the required service, but also small enough that you can speak to the same people all the time.  Relationships form between account managers here, third-party suppliers, and Agilisys and, because Agilisys deliver a breadth of services for us, they are also able to help to integrate software and solutions into the wider IT environment.”

You mentioned that you have a multi-skilled staff pool within the service centre – how do you encourage them to work within a service centre as opposed to any opportunities to work more senior technical roles?

“From a customer perspective, the more that can be resolved or provided on the desk, the better.  Our service centre is taking on more, so there is more first-time fix happening, but it’s not the absolute measure. First time fix is, however, a difficult one because it can become an obsession and is often at odds with other measures such as time a user is held on the call and the impact to the number of available agents.

“Ensuring service desk agents are engaged with the ‘bringing into service’ model means they are fully engaged with new products and solutions prior to rollout. Agilisys also embrace a shift left approach which requires regular upskilling of service desk agents.”

Data protection and privacy is clearly very topical. How are you managing data ownership?

“You’re right, it is very topical and rightly so. Taking ownership of data is difficult in today’s world, where there is an increasing requirement to share data in order to help our citizen’s in the most effective way.

“A key point here is to remember that it’s about more than just than IT. Information governance, data protection officers, GDPR specialists and IT departments must all come together to support the changing requirements. The service desk has a role to play, as does every part of the wider governance structure.

“From our IT perspective, we’ve got all of the necessary compliance measures in place for people handling calls through the service desk, and our information governance colleagues are educating users about the information they’re sharing and what will happen to it. Our key message is about colleagues developing a ‘keeping just enough for long enough’ attitude.”

To find out more about the role of a next generation service centres, here are five top tips to delivering a world class service desk.

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