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help desk hours

By busby_123 ·
Hello All -

I recently joined here. I'm looking for recent information, studies, or your comments on your IT help desk support hours and polioies.

I work for a small company in manufacturing and provide IT help desk support on an 8 x 5 basis. Off hours support is available unofficially when an emergency arises.

However, we have employees located world wide and I am considering options to provide a more 24/7 help desk solution.

My own research finds that many small to mid sized businesses that are not in the IT industry themselves seem to mostly offer the same type of support I already do. However, its very difficult to come by this information so other than a few companies that state their support on their website, most of my information comes from colleges and universities. I'd really like to know how other small to mid business do it.

Anyone want to offer input or can anyone point me to a recent survey or study where I can review the stats?

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Don't worry about what other businesses do on that level

by JamesRL In reply to help desk hours

Because your business is not all small and medium size businesses.

You need to find businesses you can compare yourself to, not the larger sector.

The only way you will be able to create and fund and staff a 24/7 help desk is if you can prove to the senior level managers that fund IT that there is a compelling business case. You need to show that your business would gain something that would justify the increased expenses. A survey that doesn't consist of companies in the same situation as yours isn't going to be helpful in supporting your case.

Start with your worldwide employees. What problems do they run into? Do they lose productivity because they don't have timely access to a help desk? What the impact to the business? You may want to survey those worldwide employees to get your answer.

Your first step may not be to go from 8 to 5 directly to a 24/7 help desk. You may want to put one person on call per week, and have them monitor the number of calls they get. When they get too busy, you may want to look at other shifts on your help desk. That is how you will get there.

James

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thanks

by busby_123 In reply to Don't worry about what ot ...

Thanks for the input. I agree.

I'd ultimately like to benchmark against other companies like us, but such data is not easy to come by, so I'd really take what information I can gather and put it into some perspective.

I think there is a lot to learn from other companies with how they may or may not have elected to deal with it.

Learn from their mistakes and don't re-create the wheel so to speak.

At my place of work, we have 175 local employees that can be supported during the standard workday. We also have 75 global employees that would see limited productivity and bottom line gains from having access to support in their standard workday.

There are a lot of options - do nothing, fill off hours with temps, hire staff to cover hours, create a system of coverage for OT pay, outsource the off hours, etc. This is where it would be helpful to understand how others have approached and what did/didn't work well.

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It is conceptually sound

by JamesRL In reply to thanks

But difficult to do in practise.

Because to really learn lessons from another company's experience, you have to know a great deal about their support. You'd have to understand their service levels and expectations and match them up to yours. That is not information that is easy to get.

I did several attempts to do benchmarks at a previous employer. The first step was to look at industry catagorization. There are SIC codes that classify the business that a company is in. Then you can look at size of the company. You then can look at the type of IT environment it is. One major IT consulting firm, the one we dealt with, would classify them as either A, B or C companies -Type A use IT as a lever to improve the whole company, they invest heavily in IT and are on the cutting edge of technology. Type C spend as little as possible on tech (and support by extension). Type B is more or less the average. If you are comparing your company to another, you need to find similar industry, similar size and similar type of companies.

The most common scenario I've worked with, in two different companies, is off hours pager support. We'd get paid a certain number of OT hours to wear the pager, then additional hours if we answered a call. The pager rotated so that people could have a life. It works best if the people answering the page have the ability to remote into the problem system.

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My experience in a 24HRS IT support Service

by jlavini In reply to help desk hours

I just joined today this forum, but coincidently this case reflects a past experience in my IT career, and a new challenge at the present moment.
Beetwenn 1997 and 2004 I was part of a Support team for a software developer, with clients nation & worldwide.
We supported propietary software, that was running in a integrated system with Cient's onsite servers: Unix SCO, Unix Solaris, and Windows NT.
we established a 24 Hours support operation, but since all Support staff were located in California, the support hours were organized as follows:
1st shift: 4am to 1pm. (minimum staff) mainly dealing with emergencies. (system down, software crashes, or issues that impacted productivity in a large spectrum). Any other issue was entered in the support task amanagement software to be reviewed and solved by next shift.
2nd shift: 8am to 5pm (the rest of IT support personnel) that dealt with all kinds of support issues, including tasks openned during the early shift.
AFTER HOURS SUPPORT: from 5pm to 4am (next day) phones were forwarded to a messasing service co. that was in charge to contact the tech on call.
ON CALL services were assigned to IT support techs, in a weekly rotational basis, pay in a per day flat compenssation to techs.
The techs provided this on call service from any place they have an internet connection and a phone.
If the assigned on call tech was not able to solve an emergency situation, he would call, at any time a higher level support tech that should be available in a rotational basis too.
To end my story, I left IT at the beggining of 2005, and changed career to real estate.
Recently, I decide to restart and renew my IT career, and I am working in new certifications, in the mean time, I have received an offer from a Transportation company that uses sofisticated software and equipment, to become its Director of IT support, and organized and implement the 24 Support.

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New Trouble Shooting Tricks,Laptops and Desktop Repair

by z1996pac In reply to help desk hours

Hi to All I am also new in this forum,and I found this very helpful in New IT Technoligies,and Trouble shooting Skills in Servers and Data Centers.By the way I work in a HDD manufacturing company as a System Engineer Supporting Manufacturing Servers Services and Application.But I also want to improve my skills in Laptops and Desktop Repairs and Other Windows and Linux Application.Thats why I started this subject like this.Is there anyone can share their exprience and skills in Laptop and Desktop Repair?

thanks a lot.

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