Desktop Support: The Hub of IT
Attack your desktop support woes
Webcast Desktop Support. There it is. We said it.
In December we surveyed Reg readers about desktop IT support, and we made a webcast to discuss the results. It's here and it's free (reg req'd).
So what's it all about?
In the grand scheme of things, the old - and we mean old - desktop support processes often face neglect. Your company has been doing business the same way for a long time, which probably means that static budgets have resulted in support staff that have been stretched very thin. These IT heroes must deal with a ton of requests, and the users can often make the entire support process a challenging one.
The end result - despite the best efforts of the IT team - is a bunch of unhappy employees or customers. And much of their unhappiness stems from waiting too long for help or being asked to perform technical tasks that stretch beyond their areas of expertise.
The Register's analyst chums over at Freeform Dynamics did a study trying to pinpoint the user and customer worries around desktop support. What they found isn't terribly encouraging as the vast majority of users said they were unsatisfied, satisfied and indifferent about their IT support. Only a minuscule amount of people felt they received above average help.
The funny thing is that most corporations think their IT support systems are working just fine and that there's no real room for improvement.
El Reg asked Freeform Dynamics analyst Tony Lock to go over his findings as part of an online presentation around desktop support. Lock spends about 30 minutes digging into some of the problems we've highlighted above.
After Lock's presentation, we find Barry Dacus from Citrix talking for a few minutes about his company's GoToAssist remote support technology, which lets companies provide help on everything from databases to USB drives via a secure, web-based service. Dacus covers some of the GoToAssist highlights around how companies can save time and money with the technology, while making everyone in an organization happier.
The online presentation left room for plenty of questions from you - our blessed readers. Have a gander right here. It's on demand, don't ya know. ®
Well Said. Thats why I left said support companys. They never want to pay for skill, They rather get the noobs in underpay them and then say.. We cant justify your pay with said noob person. WTF you comparing me with a noob. 10 year experiance over 6 months and a MCSE ahhahahah
The one place I worked in our fearless leader was a noob. Had no clue! How you going to lead a team when you have no idea what to do your self. Yes argue managers dont have to be technical.. I say have a look if your customers are happy... NOT!
They just cant have a good person fix a machine in 5 minutes, If it takes a noob 3 hours its a full 3 hours pay and they always look busy and expanding due to this. Investors love it.. cant get enougth.. And those MCSE make me a M$ twat* partner.
I wont touch a support company with a 6 foot pole. It Admin is much better and much more happy now.
Suuport or lack thereof
The vast amount of times I have recieved poor support has been from outsourced support services. The poor wages paid by these companies do not attract the most qualified and competent people at any level of the organisation. From the person on the phone through to the team manager and supervisors. Simply put, pay peanuts get monkeys.
Now there are some good people working for these outsource companies. I have done so myself in the past, as I'm sure have many others who read El-Reg. The problem is not the people as such as given time people can be taught to support the systems in use. The problem of course is with low pay, people do not stay long enough to learn the details of the systems in use. They leave for better pay taking their knowledge with them.
The outsource company makes money, the service provider or product manufacturer saves money for it's shareholders and often makes more money by convincing end users to upgrade to their latest toy rather than fix the issue. The people that suffer in the long run will always be the end user.
I once worked for a organisation who I will not name who had such a poor wage package that staff turnaround was measured in weeks. While working there I dealt with a case from a well known british ex-Morning TV presenter, who had been dealt with before by a number of people all of whom had left the company. The woman's case had been passed around the callcentre until it finally came to me.
By simply asking could I have her mobile number and promising not to record it on a database, I was able to go of research the case call her back while she got on with her day and provide her with a solution to the problem. Her attitude, while at first oh no here we go again changed in moments when I called her back when I said I would and told her what we could do to resolve the issue.
She did send an email to my manager praising me for what I had done, it unfortunately arrived after the bollicking I was given for spending so much time dealing with the case. Also after I told my manager where he could stick his disciplinary action and his job.
So from that you can see the problem customers be they external or internal see support as allready paid for by purchasing the product or service. To them it is their right as a customer to have any problem fixed ASAP. Business on the other hand sees support as a "value added" service and wants to make money off it.
So long as the two conflicting arguments exist the people providing the support will never satisify the people who need said support. Remember from the customer's point of view he should not need the support in the first place. Because to the customer, "this blinking thing should just work".
Still not singing the hero song
Does this sound familiar?
*Not sure if we support that = I dont know how that works.
*It seems to be a MS bug = I will come back another time when there is a SP rather than reload or fix this now.
*The engineer got lost/sick/accident on his way there = The engineer is still working at another client/computer
*Computer is slow = Let me order more memory/pc without checking becuase I could not be bothered to see why.
*My Computer needs a reload lots of errors fixed many times already = Let me see if I can hide the errors and avoid a reload.
* You get your PC reloaded and find nothing setup = You only told us to reload you should tell us if you want your files, sign, email address cache and settings.
* You get your reloaded PC and notice old Profiles still on the pc = I did not have time for a reload so I did a over install because it was faster but still charge for a reload.
* We can only send a engineer in 4 days time = You are to far from us so we only send a engineer ever so many days to that area.
* I dont have all the tools to fix this software issue right now = I have to go do research and come back when I know what to do becuase its taking to long.
* I have to ask X person about this and will get back to you = I have no idea what this bloke did to your system so I need to ask him.
* Your Software is nolonger compatible you need to buy X = I will only help you when you buy software X
* Freeware software is full of malware and spyware = I rather you buy software from us even if I use the same freeware at home.
* My new printer you installed stopped working = Please call the manufacture, I dont want to go there and do it myself.
* Your server is nearly out of warrenty, you need to get a new one = I wont tell you about getting a extended warrenty becuase I need to up my sales.
* We dont support old equipment like that = I rather you buy a new one than fix this one.
* You did not tell us to backup this folder = I know I am meant to be your IT support but I have no time to get to know your system so your responsible even if i was the one who made the folder for you on a company share.
*New routers today dont support Wireless B anymore = I did not do my homework and sold you something what wont work for you and I am not giving you a new one or your money back.
*The 10hours on the qoute includes setup time in our office thus so high = WE deliver the server/computer directly and setup in 4hours in your office.
* You send a email asking why one new computer has more memory than another new computer at the same price = You get a qoute back for upgrading the memory for X amount.
* You are told you get training with the new software = a techie who installed the app show you some basics in 10 minutes and leaves you even more confused!