Working better, together – smoothing supplier/client relationships with integrated service management

Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that we don’t do anything about. It could be that we’re not sure how to go about solving the problem, it could be that the problem is so common that we take it for granted.

All too often we see relationships between suppliers and clients who are both running support desks, who both have tickets that need to be worked on by both parties and who are copy-pasting between systems. Or if they’re not copy-pasting, they’re emailing updates back and forth.

In this post, we’ll explore a few of the reasons why this approach is so damaging to operations.

Spend time being constructive rather than on busywork

Nobody grows up wanting to copy-and-paste for living. Copying content from emails into tickets, or worse yet, from tickets in one system to another system, is a huge waste of time and effort. That’s not to mention the significant likelihood of error creeping in.

In one Seamless engagement, our client had an employee whose responsibility was keeping their helpdesk in sync with a significant client’s helpdesk. He wasn’t able to actually help resolve tickets as his entire day was consumed with copying data back and forth.

The ROI on this Seamless integration is driven by reducing the headcount cost of supporting the contract, reducing the error rate and increasing the speed of getting the data into both systems. With the integration in place, not only is our Seamless client much better positioned to meet their SLAs, they’re doing so at a significantly lower cost.

Bring clarity to ownership

One of the benefits of a great support desk system is that it gives clarity to who is taking responsibility for addressing a problem. Well oiled support organisations will have processes for triage and assignment of tickets. This makes accountability clear.

The question of accountability becomes more pronounced across organisational boundaries. If a ticket is being emailed/copy-pasted back and forth, who really feels a sense of ownership for resolving it?

By introducing automation to ensure that the ticket is kept in sync between the two support desk systems, business rules can be applied to ensure that there is clarity of ownership. It can be evident, within both systems, who currently owns the ticket – both at an organisational level and, if appropriate, at an individual level.

Seamless provides a range of flexible data transformation and mapping options. This enables us to support a wide variety of business rules around updating ticket assignment and ticket status. As the ticket is worked and updated by either party, Seamless will keep the ticket up-to-date in both systems in accordance with these business rules.

Compare apples with apples

Bringing data together enables the ability to consolidate reporting. Tickets that are being managed in another system don’t only present operational issues, they present intelligence issues. Once these tickets are fixed, the intelligence that could come from them is lost to one of the parties.

Tickets being managed in a single system under a meaningful categorisation allow either side of the integration to generate better root cause analysis on why tickets are being raised. A more complete data set – that is to say a view on all tickets raised – gives more potential insight into potential underlying problems enabling better root cause analysis.

Of course, this assumes the integration is able to match and assign categories between the two systems. Seamless’ flexible transformation capabilities enable this to be quickly setup and evolved as the business categorisation evolves over time.