The Case for Outsourced Help Desks
Managed services are magic. Through remote control tools and automation, solution providers can change the customer tech support relationship from a one-to-one equation (the proverbial “truck roll”) to a one-to-many solution. This multiplying effect is what gives managed services companies high and sustained profitability and enables them to do more with less.
Unfortunately not everything can be automated or remotely remediated. Some tasks require human intervention and support – and that requires a help desk, also increasingly called service desk.
Help desks, customer support services and call centers are staples of the IT industry. Vendors, distributors and solution providers have service desks in place to resolve customer problems of any size and are a key part of maintaining high customer satisfaction. Help desks are essential components to a services business because they give customers another way of notifying providers of problems, remediating issues and providing end-user assistance.
To meet that increasing demand for human interaction, many solution providers are turning to outsourced service desk partners. Here’s why.
Increasing Devices Mean Increasing Costs
The cost of building and maintaining help desks is expensive and only increasing with the growing complexity of technologies supported by managed services and the expectations of subscribing end users. As more devices and applications become part of the managed services and cloud computing fabric, more human expertise is required to provide help desk support. For many smaller solution providers, the cost is simply prohibitive.
According to a study on in-house and outsourced help desk options by Keno Kozie Associates, the cost of supporting a modest in-house help desk operation is more than $300,000 per year – and this is just for the staffing and infrastructure. When the cost of training and certifications are added, the costs balloon even higher.
If you assume these costs are just to cover the rudimentary technologies of homogenous Windows servers, backup and endpoint, it could be relatively manageable. But the world isn’t confined to homogenous systems. End users are looking to their managed services providers to help them maintain and control a variety of technologies ranging from mobile devices, storage, telephony and collaboration systems, printers and displays, and, soon, back-office applications. Standardization is becoming the exception, not the norm, and that drives up help desk demands and costs.
What solution providers need is a more economical way of delivering help desk support for the wide variety of technologies coming under their management umbrella. This is where an outsourced service desk works to the solution provider’s advantage.
Added Value from a Solution Provider
An outsourced help desk provider offers greater staffing expertise across a wide variety of platforms and technologies, and hours of operations at a substantially lower cost – all by leveraging economies of scale. Just as MSPs provide their customers with lower, more palatable costs structures for managing IT infrastructure, outsourced service desk providers can extend a high level of support, human availability and expertise by bundling and distributing the operating costs across a large number of solution providers. The savings and advantages are tremendous; solution providers not only defer the cost of building a help desk, but also gain access to a number of technology skill sets that would otherwise be beyond their reach. This only enhances their value in the eyes of their customers.
We at Continuum recognize the importance of help desk operations to our solution provider partners. We are consistently investing in our infrastructure, skill set development, technology expertise and capacity to ensure we can meet the current and future needs of our MSP partners. And with our integrated network operations center (NOC) working in tandem with U.S.-based service desk technicians, MSPs have the peace of mind knowing that Level 1 thru 3 issues can be resolved efficiently. Additionally, we give our partners choice in how they utilize our help desk services. For example, partners can handle calls during business hours and let us provide after-hours support.
Even better, end users don’t need to know Continuum is the one providing the service desk support. Solution providers can opt to white label the help desk service, meaning the Continuum service will be represented under the partner’s brand. That way, the credit for quality service delivery goes to the solution provider.
Given the increasing demand for more support and the need to contain costs, solution providers who outsource their help desk operations to a trusted partner such as Continuum have a tremendous advantage in technical capabilities, support scalability and sustained profitability.
Steve Ricketts, VP of Marketing, Continuum, which provides an end-to-end intelligent remote monitoring and management solution, 24 x 7 Service Desk, and business continuity platform offering – all integrated with a 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that enables MSPs to profitably backup, monitor, troubleshoot and maintain IT environments.