Delivering technology support at enterprise scale
Reducing the need for Service Desk support using proactive interventions, automation and self-service
Accenture’s global IT organization faces the dual need of providing high-quality, multi-channel, intuitive technology support across a vast, global employee base at optimal cost, while ensuring high levels of employee satisfaction.
Employee technology support is made easier through Accenture’s streamlined infrastructure with a single application technology platform, more than 95 percent of Accenture applications in the cloud, and a robust collaboration infrastructure. Getting to this point has been the result of a long transformational journey. During this time, Accenture’s employee technology support model has developed into a highly efficient, employee-focused and cost-effective support solution.
Accenture technology environment
Mobile device management
Mobile application management
Files stored in OneDrive for Business
Data in OneDrive for Business
Over time, our global IT organization has transitioned from providing traditional technician-based support, with local Service Desks in most locations, to a global support model framed around proactive support, self-service and automated resolution of issues. Where there is a need for an employee to contact a Service Desk technician, a flexible choice of contact channels is provided. A highly skilled Level 2 team works using remote tools to resolve all traditionally “deskside” support issues, with only those issues needing a physical touch to the PC, going to deskside support teams.
A self-service culture is firmly embedded at Accenture, and together with a “shift left” strategy throughout the support model, issues are resolved early in the support chain with fewer than five percent of issues needing deskside support. Customer satisfaction is consistently high across all channels reflecting the importance of focusing on the employee experience, throughout the journey.
On a regular basis, our global IT organization collaborates with Accenture business stakeholders to set a cohesive employee technology support vision and strategy that underpins all initiatives. The focus is on providing one place to go for accessible, cost-effective and innovative end-to-end support services that minimize the impact of incidents on employee productivity.
To enable all this, our global IT Technology Support organization focuses on five strategic areas:
Wherever possible, we prevent employees’ technology challenges, either by proactively managing and resolving issues or encouraging employees to learn more about their day-to-day tools. A major capability in this area is ProtectMyTech, a tool that performs automated scans on employee laptops and provides guided issue resolution. For employees, it takes away the pain of staying security compliant by running in the background and generating notifications of anything that needs action. The tool automatically logs a ticket in ServiceNow if an employee needs help. ProtectMyTech is supported by a dedicated service desk dealing with both proactive and reactive incidents.
To encourage learning, we launched “Know How with CIO” virtual IT learning several years ago. Supported by a small team of dedicated technicians, Know How offers a range of ways to learn about the tools and technology Accenture people use every day. It is accessible through Accenture’s Technology Support portal, and offers self-service learning via workshops, learning boards, videos as well as one-on-one coaching sessions.
A global Technology Support self-service portal also heavily emphasizes proactive support. Technology Support is a single entry point for solutions, training and support for Accenture technology, applications and collaboration tools. It also provides a self-service password reset capability as well as personalized features including security compliance status and technology-related notifications.
Built on ServiceNow, Technology Support is integrated with the back-end ticketing and request module, enabling employees to request IT services and submit, update and check the status of tickets. The portal is well established among Accenture people with most support contacts made through this consumer-style, self-enablement channel. We extend that support experience to a mobile Accenture Support app, also built on ServiceNow, for the times when employees are not connected to their laptops. In addition, the Technology Support portal is integrated with Accenture’s primary Accenture Support portal, providing employees only one website to access all support services, regardless of business area.
The self-service area across Accenture is one of continuous improvement and investment with new capabilities being added to drive more incident volume, and resolve more incidents, via self-service channels. Accenture is moving toward having all support and services that can be self-enabled delivered that way.
Automation at the global Service Desk
Accenture’s global Service Desk includes more than 200 support agents across eight global locations providing multi-language support 24x7x365. The Service Desk provides quality support, with industry-leading service level agreements (SLAs) across all channels.
The key strategic focus of the Accenture Technology Support model is to greatly reduce the number of incidents requiring Service Desk assistance through the introduction of tools and technologies that automate service delivery. New self-service and automation capabilities are being developed providing automated solutions to common problems, real-time diagnostics with semi-automated solutions for agents and self-healing technology. Service delivery will be analytics driven and fully integrated with digital channels to proactively manage and deflect issues to minimize employees’ use of the Service Desk.
Significant savings have been delivered to the organization through the introduction of an automated password reset facility, available via the Service Desk telephone system (IVR). After only three months, more than 50 percent of password resets were via the new automated solution on the IVR, delivering a significant cost saving to the Service Desk organization.
Other key initiatives in the area of automation include:
We provide remote support capabilities to resolve issues anywhere, anytime, keeping Accenture people productive at client sites, in their homes, or in other locations, without the need for an in-person visit. Our Technology Support organization offers remote control via LogMeIn at both the Service Desk for more routine troubleshooting and through Remote Technology Support teams.
These teams are positioned as the equivalent to local office “deskside” support teams and provide remote resolution for complex issues. Today, they resolve 75 percent of the PC software issues that would previously have been resolved by onshore local teams. The business benefits of introducing Level 2 remote support are many: Accenture people remain productive in the field, the support is cost-effective as teams are located offshore, and local office support teams are freed up to focus on higher-value activities.
Deskside support through local in office teams has long been a focus area for cost reduction in IT shops around the globe. What we have done is to refocus these teams on value-add activities, moving away from traditional break/fix to become “trusted advisors” to the business. Customer hubs are now available in many locations and office-based employees can drop in, or schedule an appointment, to visit local technicians to learn more about Accenture tools, get their “how to” questions answered and reduce the likelihood of experiencing further issues. Break/fix support is still provided by local teams but only where the incident cannot be resolved remotely and a physical touch to the PC is required.
The support model is designed with the employee experience front of mind—to be simple and intuitive, and provide a choice of ways to interact with the support organization. The development of the Technology Support portal owes much to extensive user profiling and analysis to build real-life, Accenture-specific “user stories” that define what employees need from their support organization. In recognition of the surge in social media usage in the consumer world, Service Desk agents now offer support via Accenture’s social media platform, the Stream, where employees can also help each other through crowdsourcing support.
Much has been done to understand “pain points” for employees and to identify innovative solutions to reduce IT issues, and when they do occur, make them easy to resolve. When it comes to automated solutions, these are evaluated and only implemented where they help, not hinder, the employee.
Today, Accenture’s technology support model addresses the complexity of Accenture’s environment while providing high-quality, proactive technology support. This model enables Accenture people to work efficiently and collaboratively without interruption of technology issues through a continuous focus on improving employee technology support.
This continuous improvement has led to a reduction in the number of incidents per employee, which in turn, has reduced cost to serve. Cost-effectiveness has steadily improved as global IT has implemented our strategy. We continue to look at how we can further reduce support incidents, in particular, through proactive education, self-service channels and automation, which optimizes support and enables people to resolve issues, simply and quickly.
The technology support strategy is designed with Accenture people at its center, with the specific intent of making resolving an IT issue as simple as possible. Accenture people tend to be tech savvy, happy to use self-service and are often first adopters of new technology, but that also makes them harsh critics if solutions do not work well. Customer satisfaction with technology support has been maintained at between 90 to 95 percent throughout the entire transformational journey. Newer services like remote technology support and webchat tend to have higher satisfaction scores than more established services, which helps corroborate the strategy of always pushing for the next innovation in support.