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I.T. Friction and Social Media


What are People Saying About Their I.T. Experiences Online?


If you’ve ever had your work stopped or hindered by an I.T. issue, or if you’re an I.T. person frustrated by the fact that all of your calls seem to be for the same issue, you’ve experienced I.T. friction.  I.T. friction is not only the loss of productivity that those issues cause, but also the difference of perception between the I.T. person and the end user. Thanks to a first-of-its-kind Forrester Research report titled “Exploring Business and I.T. Friction: Myths and Realities,” we are finally getting a real picture of those productivity loss costs, and the numbers are eye-opening!


An astonishing 86% of the end-users the report studied lost an average of 18 work hours a month (that’s 5 full weeks a year) because of I.T. issues, to the tune of over $100 billion in lossesNow do I have your attention?


To follow up on Forrester Research’s report, we’ve been doing some of our own digging to find out how I.T. friction plays out on Twitter. We wanted to learn what specific I.T. issues end users typically have; what concerns do end users have about I.T. support experience; and what drives end-users to talk about these experiences online? To that end, we studied almost 200,000 I.T. support experience-related mentions from April 1, 2012 –April 1, 2013.


Our first finding is that a vast majority of the sentiment we’ve seen online around I.T. conversations is overwhelmingly negative. In fact, 63% of what we saw online falls under this category, with the remaining 32% being labeled “neutral”, which leaves a mere 5% for positive experiences with I.T.


Let’s have a look at some representative tweets:


Believe it or not, Trinderella, the purpose of the I.T. help desk at your work IS to help people. As any I.T. veteran can tell you, there are a lot of factors that can chip away at your I.T. department’s ability to do their jobs effectively, and a breakdown of communication between I.T. and the end-user is often at the top of that list.

TJ Jablonski.png

Well, I can certainly understand your frustration with I.T., TJ, but maybe they just have a cold.


Clearly, I.T. friction exists, and it is a problem we hope to solve with MyIT.  However, one person offered up an interesting solution:

Katie Parch.png


“I.T. puppies”?  Well, that’s something we hadn’t thought of.  Not sure if HR would approve, but we certainly think it would ease some stress levels.

IT Puppies.png

“You’re not helping, I.T. Puppy!” (Image by K. Kuszpit obtained through Creative Commons)


Stay tuned for more results from our social listening around I.T. friction. We’ll be taking a closer look at why end-users decide to make their complaints so public on social media, the breakdown on what they are specifically tweeting about, and what is to be done about all this.


In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on our findings so far and your experiences.. Why is so much sentiment online only negative? Is it just a case of no one noticing when I.T. does their jobs well?


Let us know in the comments below or tweet me David Manks!


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It seems like almost every technology retailer now offers some kind of in-store, in-person support facility. The model is well suited to modern life: customers are able to choose when and where they get support for the products they own. It’s easy, it’s convenient - it’s service on the customer’s terms.ITConcierge.png


It’s a win for the retailer too: customers who use in-store support tend to be more loyal and buy more. This all depends, of course, on the experience being a good one. Every time.


In a bid to stay relevant and keep pace with modern expectations, many corporate IT departments are starting to invest in similar facilities. Tom Kaneshige of recently wrote a very informative analysis of this emerging trend, which I'd thoroughly recommend reading.

The logic of offering a better, more aligned service to your customers seems obvious; but will it work for every organization? How do you know if you’re ready to branch out and build a concierge bar?


Read all about it


Earlier this year, we produced a free handbook and accompanying SlideShare presentation for those planning to build a concierge bar. Both pieces are very pragmatic and practical in their approach and invite you to think long and hard about your decision to invest in face-to-face support.


Like any other project, building a concierge bar has to have a projected return for the organization and must also be built on a foundation of operational readiness. The first half of the handbook guides you through an assessment of your motivations, the prospective return on your investment and an appraisal of your process maturity.


In the second half, the handbook turns to the details of planning, staffing, building and operating a concierge bar. For many organizations, this is a fundamentally new operating model and so it’s important to understand the different challenges and best practices at play with in-person support.



Maturity Issues


For most face-to-face facilities the customer’s requests span simple ‘how to’ through to light repairs or component swaps. More complex cases albert_einstein__s_tongue_photograph_by_zuzahin-d5pc5py.jpgare referred to second or third line teams, just as they would be in the more traditional service desk model.


This pattern translates as a relatively high volume of simple, repeatable requests that still need to be tracked and measured.The book therefore argues that your core incident and service request process and supporting technology need to be up to scratch.

The moral of the story?  Building a concierge bar won’t fix a flaky process, no matter how flashy you make the seating area!





Different strokes


Another important concept from the handbook relates to staffing your concierge bar. Perhaps unsurprisingly, getting face to face in IT support requires both technical understanding and well developed social skills.


While many helpdesk agents are competent and confident on the phone, quite a few won’t fare so well in-person; especially when the going gets rough with a difficult case or when their first tricky customer shows up.


Think about the skills you’d need to a handle a prickly executive who was actually the cause of their own technology problem. Enough said.



How deep is your love?


The concierge bar promises many efficiencies, particularly when it comes to the rapid resolution of the simpler, more common issues and the effective use of time that an appointment approach delivers. But there’s something more interesting going on, something the retailers value Bee Gees.jpggreatly in terms of the deeper relationship that face-to-face support can engender.


With the relative anonymity of telephone or online support removed, employees from the business and IT build a very different kind of relationship. This closer integration of a key IT operation into the wider business environment is one of the key benefits the handbook describes.


For many IT organizations who have recently adopted this model, transforming their relationship with the business was in fact their primary driver for investment.



Want to know more?


The handbook covers the themes above in much greater detail and gives practical guidance on many more additional themes and concepts too. It’s free to download - no forms and no fuss.


How about your organization? Maybe you’re like us here at BMC having recently opened your first concierge bar. How did it go? Any lessons to share?

Or perhaps you’re more skeptical or wary about making the investment?


Whatever your story, I’d love to hear more in the comments section below, or you can find me on Twitter as @messagemonger





Banking on MyIT

Posted by Chris Rixon Jul 4, 2013
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In this Blog series, I’ll be looking at some of the interesting and inventive ways customers are working with MyIT.  This week, it’s a financial services organization and one of the very first companies to embrace MyIT as part of their broader initiative to modernize the working Dollars.jpgenvironment.


In addition to delivering mission critical services across the globe, using physical, virtual and cloud technology, the IT function also has to contend with an extensive office infrastructure spread across a number of large sites.


For this company, the decision to invest in MyIT was all about increasing productivity. With a sizeable and complex physical estate, finding and using office technology was creating a lot of additional effort for business users, not to mention the IT teams supporting them.



Low-complexity, high-effort - the bane of support teams everywhere


“Hi, this is Marie, we’re in Building 5 in Conference Room 10, the projector won’t turn on and nobody can connect to the wireless network”. You know the drill: the agent could talk them through it (providing they know Room 10 well enough) but it’s going to be a little faster to send someone down.


Most requests the team receive from office staff are very simple, each issue taking just a few minutes to address. But the problem is one of sisyphus.jpgscale: with a workforce this big and with this much stuff to support, a significant amount of time is spent handling very simple requests.


Like most organizations these days, they’re not overstaffed in IT!  Every minute spent resolving these requests is lost in a very real and direct way from more strategic work.


However, all that is starting to change: MyIT now provides business users with a view of their immediate office surroundings, the location of key technology resources in that environment, together with instructions of how to connect and use the equipment. The result? A substantial reduction in the number of low complexity, high effort calls.



Find it. Book it.


Finding a meeting room and booking it can be complicated enough even in a modestly sized organization.  In a large facility, it can be an extremely time consuming exercise. Again, imagine the amount of wasted effort spent across the entire company on what is a very simple undertaking.


Using MyIT, together with an integration to a building management system, makes it easy to locate and then book meeting rooms from a compass.jpgmobile device. The company is now able to drastically reduce the amount of time and resources spent on managing room allocation. Employees unfamiliar with certain locations are able to navigate buildings and locate rooms much more easily (and without distracting other employees.)


The fact that MyIT offers location based filtering of services also allows IT to target key updates and services to specific locations. Further streamlining the task of getting information and assistance.



Have your say


What about your organization? Do you routinely get mind-numbingly simple requests that take an inordinate amount of time to address? How much time would you calculate is wasted on low complexity, high effort calls across your company?


I’d love to hear your tales of the mundane! Drop me a note in the comments below or find me on Twitter as @messagemonger