Archive | May 2016

Super users – arise!

We’ve all been there – we’ve gone to book a holiday or shop online, filled in our information and entered credit card details, only for the connection to crash; or we need to update a plug in to latest version of Adobe to open PDFs.

When this happens at home, would you give up if you didn’t understand how to rectify the issue?

No, of course you wouldn’t. You would resolve the problem as quickly as possible, using your existing knowledge of software updates, reconnecting to local Wi-Fi networks or even switching devices to increase speed of response.

However, if we put the same individual in a professional environment with identical issues, using work-issued devices on a corporate network, the trouble-shooting nature of that person drastically changes. The tech-savvy, problem-solving ‘Super User’ that was actively resolving IT issues at home is now a shadow of their former self, relying on help desks, or IT teams, to take charge of the problem.

Why stay in the shadows?

This knee-jerk reaction to ask for help eats into both the employee’s and IT staff’s time. While the problem is being worked on, the user often can’t work, just as the IT team can’t focus on bigger, more challenging issues happening across the organisation.

I fully believe that the majority of employees have the knowledge when it comes to solving basic IT issues. However, many choose to rely on the IT team when in the office – perhaps out of habit or maybe even fear of creating a larger problem.

If an organisation has a group of skilled users and empowers them to address their own low-priority everyday problems, such as resetting passwords and lost files, not only would it increase the productivity of the employees, but also that of the IT team. These ‘Super Users’ should be embraced and encouraged by businesses, allowing IT to reinvest time and resources into other , more strategic areas, such as  cloud enabled technologies and increasing security in an ever growing device driven office.

Empowering your employees

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To enable employees to find their inner super user, organisations must prioritise the development and deployment of user-centric technology to encourage and incentivise employees to act when a problem strikes.

This means giving employees access to the devices they are used to using at home and empowering them with a sense of freedom to fixing problems and not dread. This will motivate them into acting when something goes wrong and quickly move their mind-set away from picking the phone up to call the IT team for help.

The expectation and demand for IT Service Desks are evolving beyond our imagination, creating a distinct need for agile, flexible and innovative solutions to meet rapidly changing business and individual needs.

Modern IT service desks are and will be positioned as the central hub for technological innovation within the workplace, offering and enabling users to empower themselves and their peers. Seamless integration between platforms, devices and applications are a desire for modern IT teams and by integrating intelligent service desk functions, this can be bolstered to maximum potential.

So with this in mind, I am urging management teams to find a way to uncover the Super Users in their workforce and enable those skilled individuals amongst us to step out of the shadows and start acting as they would when dealing with an IT issue outside of the office. That might be by pinpointing those who have a different device for every aspect of their lives, leaning on generation Z employees or just putting people on the spot.

Modern systems are designed and developed with the desire to be as user-centric as possible, as such meaning systems should work consistently and users shouldn’t experience issues of technological downtimes, however we are not quite there yet.

For these initiatives to become the working norm and adopted by all, it is down to the Super User champions in the workforce to drive the technology and functions.  By working together, we can solve trivial IT issues, boost productivity and have a business full of IT superheroes.

Stay tuned for my next blog where I will explore our NGSD proposition in more detail, and the work we have done to create Super Users in organisations such as Hays. To find out more on the work to date, see the full case study here.

An update from our 2016 associates…

Hi everyone;

First of all a big thank you to Jess for last month’s insight into Inside Sales and Bid Management; as a Service Management Associate it’s great to hear what happens on the other side of the programme and what we have to look forward to on our Bid Management rotation in September.

When I graduated from the University of Southampton in the summer of 2014 in Management Sciences and Spanish I thought that my learning days were over. However, this has been far from the truth. Since starting at Computacenter in January I have been constantly listening, learning and trying to get my head around how vast and complex the business is. Two integral divisions within the company are GSD (Global Service Desk) and GIO (Global Infrastructure Operations), with whom I have spent the past month along with my fellow Service Management Associates. Understanding all aspects of Computacenter, and how they pull together to deliver a great service and delight our customers is fundamental to the programme and also my own future success.

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My GSD rotation took me to Milton Keynes to spend two weeks with all the teams on the desk. I listened in to various calls to understand an average day in the life of an analyst, and also spoke to the Team Leaders and Operational Managers. This exposure has provided me with first-hand experience of the desk which will enable me to articulate the services we can provide to our customers. I am also now aware of the main pain points felt by the desk and how this relates to the pain felt by Contractual Services. As a group we also conducted a project to investigate the relationship between the Service Desk, Service Managers on each respective account and the Customer. It was apparent to us that these relationships are just as pivotal as any other I’ve come across, and reiterates how important it is to get to know the people you are working with at all levels within Computacenter.

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This concept is also transferable to GIO, who like GSD are one of the company’s internal service providers. It is evident that good and effective communication drives the business to work together and consequently deliver excellent service rather than acting in silos, which is crucial to take into consideration as there are twenty-four service lines just within GIO. It’s safe to say that after spending two weeks meeting all the teams and learning about their different functions, my brain was a tiny bit overloaded with new information. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to applying this knowledge and utilising all the new relationships I’ve formed on my aligned home account – Hays Recruitment Specialists – one of the largest Managed Service accounts we have.

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And if you thought my learning halted to a stop there, you’d be wrong! On Friday 13th May my University days were resurrected, when I attended the Services University which is hosted by our programme sponsor Julie O’Hara. The past two blogs have touched on the success of the Group Kick Off in Barcelona, which is for the sales side of the business; whereas this event is hosted for Service Management. Although we weren’t quite fortunate enough to jet off to sunny Barcelona, the sun did shine over the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow where the conference took place. Meeting early Friday morning, we enjoyed some bacon sandwiches and croissants whilst exploring the Knowledge Village – which gave the chance for our own internal service providers and additionally third party vendors to represent their business, position in the market and most importantly to engage with the Service Management community. This was probably the highlight of the day for myself, and when I asked Julie what she liked best about the day she told me that she also enjoys the vendor/ISP village – “it’s a great opportunity to catch-up with partners but to also meet and say hello to as many of our SM’s as possible”.

The day then started with a welcome from Julie before handing over to Kevin James, who marked his first time at Services University and gave an overview of 2015 and the future of 2016 from a sales perspective. Next we welcomed Michael Weiss all the way from Germany who looked at our strategy for the coming year; followed by John Beard who spoke about customer proximity and our podium customers. There was a warm welcome as Julie took back to the stage with Nat Ives, looking at our roadmap and accelerating change. Julie also highlighted that part of this change involved our own people and applauded all new starters (including us Associates!) and those going through the Services Academy and Career Development Board.

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Julie touched on three main points when I asked her what she identified as the key takeaways for the Service Management community from the day: the ‘One Customer, one team’ approach; customer satisfaction and also learning, saying that “we are all continuing to learn and we have to learn and adapt – whether that be knowledge of the market; customers; industry; ourselves!  Having a PDP helps us stay focused on moving forwards individually and therefore as a team.  Be inquisitive and inspired to learn and grow”. It’s very clear that Julie is a big driver in personal development and it’s great to recognise this in our programme sponsor.

With all this talk of change we had a lecture hosted by Joel Anderson where we were encouraged to take a moment and think about change, and how to positively channel our energy to embrace change as an opportunity and to successfully adapt to the fast pace of the industry. We also had a commercial lecture led by Fraser Phillips, Julian Wase and James March, and Neil Eke covered the Joining the Dots lecture which drew attention to the need to join up Contractual and Professional Services.

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The sessions were wrapped up by Mike Norris who spoke about our financial position last year and long-term aspirations of the company, inspiring success in everyone present. Afterwards, we all turned into Superheroes (quite literally with Julie appearing as Batman), we sat down for some food and drinks to celebrate everyone’s hard work over the past year and held a ceremony to give the most deserved accounts and Service Managers awards. However, it’s not just about the winners as Julie tells me, “it’s a great opportunity to recognise exceptional team and individual performances. The decision about the winners can be hard, but even being nominated is a huge achievement”. It’s no surprise that the evening was a huge success and I’m already looking forward to next year!

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All in all the Services University was a fantastic day and for me personally, a brilliant opportunity to network and have the chance to put some faces to names and also meet Service Managers on other accounts. To finish off I’ll leave you with a few words from our TMT & Retail Services Director Paul McAulay, which I think nicely sum up what the event is all about:

“The point of the day is to get all of the teams together and have an impact. We want everyone to know what we are trying to do and to understand how massive the opportunity is. We have the opportunity to be part of something special that other parts of the business don’t have, to be engaged and be better.”

Thank you all for reading, next month we’ll hear from Bryony Cooper.