Resetting the device support experience


Posted on: January 16, 2018 by Charley LeMaster

From spinning circles of death to new employee setup, sometimes you just have to ask for help. When it happens to you, do you dread contacting the helpdesk? I used to! This is how I overcame the fear.

In my experience, being cut off from my trusted technology isn’t the worst of it. I’m feeling isolated, I’m not getting any work done, and the clock is ticking. The last thing I want is to navigate an IVR maze only to wait hours (I’ve actually waited days before) for someone to get me back up and running. But there I am. Forget about it. My sympathy goes out to tech support agents taking calls from frustrated users like me.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when my smartphone died while I was traveling to a client meeting. Making do without it wasn’t an option. So I dropped everything to find internet for my laptop. What happened next was almost disorienting. Logging in to our self-help portal to open a ticket, I was instead notified of an app update for my phone. It solved my issue in minutes.

What!? I had been braced for the worst. Not knowing what else to do, I ordered a hot chocolate and biscotti to help me adjust to this shift in user experience.

It shouldn’t be a surprise. Digital transformation is what I do for a living. Prior to this, I can’t remember the last time I needed tech support. All I do is comply with weekly updates that get pushed to all of the employees’ devices.

Change has started

This is the trend known as “consumerization” of the employee experience, though I call it the people-first approach. It relies heavily on data and automation to deliver a more personalized and efficient experience, like you’d get from your favorite online retailer. It’s your favorite for a reason, right? Well, it’s becoming a model for employers.

When companies talk to me about digital workplace transformation, their questions have changed. They used to be driven solely by cost reduction. Now it’s:

  • Will this improve employee satisfaction and productivity? (Everyone has a KPI for employee satisfaction now)
  • Will this simplify our IT landscape and make it less complicated to work here?

I love being able to tell them that digital workplace, done right, can do all that AND help with costs.

What does done-right look like?

Initially, the most straightforward answer is a self-service portal system that is self-explanatory for the user with easy navigation that limits clicks. Consider an app-style navigation portal, like that on an iPhone, taking you to the right place.

On top of this you want:

  • Employees to choose their devices from the portal
  • Built-in user profiles to track roles and devices
  • Devices to be delivered directly to employees ready to go, with profile-specific services, security and controls preinstalled
  • Proactive identification and fixing of issues before users encounter them
  • A uniform user experience across devices

People-first approach

The best way to approach workplace redesign is to focus on the end user, and then on the business benefits you want. How can a digital workplace improve collaboration and increase the productivity of a workforce? Begin with these questions in mind – thinking outside-in to make sure the workplace design directly contributes to the bottom line while giving employees the experience they want.

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About Charley LeMaster

Chief sales officer for Atos North America
Charley LeMaster is chief sales officer for Atos North America. His responsibilities include sales, business development, marketing, alliances and third-party advisor relations. With over 20 years in the technology services field, Charley has served in roles such as senior vice president of sales and senior managing director for healthcare IT. His experience includes helping large enterprises grow, improve client services, run global operations and manage P&L. From his perspective, technology powers everything you do — so you need to get with it. Working in an R&D-focused company like Atos, Charley enjoys being at the forefront of business technology. And, despite his resistance, he admits to occasionally being infected by new tech-head enthusiasms for business staples like systems integration, managed services and business process outsourcing.

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