Service Operation Service Desk in ITIL – ITIL Course

Service Operation

Service Desk 
A Service  Deskestablished  by the IT service  provider  serves as a single point of contact between the user and all IT service operations.
Service Desk is one of the four functions within Service Operation.
Service Desk is not a process, it is a functional unit. It is the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for the IT organization and handlesvarious types of calls. It handles all types of calls, which may be either reportedby a user or automatically
generated by a tool.
The Service  Deskuses the Configuration  Management  System  (CMS)  for logging and tracking calls. The CMS is a set of tools that supportsIT Service Management.
The purpose of Service Desk is to support the agreed upon IT service provision by ensuring  the accessibility  and availability  of the IT organization  andby performing various supporting activities.
Role and Objectives
•              Provides a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) on a day-to-day basis dealing with calls made by end users
•   Restore the normal services as quicklyas possible
•   Logging, resolving and escalating Incidents appropriately
•   Communicate with end users about service status
•   Updating the CMS

Organizational Structure
There are several types of Organizational Structures for a service desk.
•   Local Service Desk
ƒ    Located within or physically close to the user community
ƒ             Advantages:    Aid communication,    physically   and   visibl present amongst the user population
ƒ    Disadvantages: Inefficient and expensive
•   Centralized Service Desk
ƒ    Located at one physical locationfor multiple business locations.
ƒ    Advantages:More efficient and cost-effective
ƒ    Disadvantages: Lack local presence due to the distance from users
•   Virtual ServiceDesk
ƒ             Multiple  Service  Desk  locations,  which  can  be  contacted  through  a single point of entry (e.g. one phone number). End users will not know to which location they will be connected.
ƒ             When  this  structure  is  used  to  provide  24/7  support &nbs
using  different timezones, it is called ‘Follow the Sun’
ƒ    Advantages:More efficient and cost effective
ƒ             Disadvantages: Having to safeguard commonprocesses, common tools, shared database information and culture
Companies  with  a global  presence  may  apply  a “Follow-the-Sun”  approach.  This allows24-hour coverage at a relatively low cost. However, aspects such as common processes,  tools, shared knowledge  base, etc., must be taken into account before establishing this approach.
Skilled individuals are an importantfactor in the Service Desk.
5 areas of concern:
•   Staffing Levels: Correct number of staff to match demand
•   Skill Levels: Ensure appropriate skills are available
•   Training: Staff should be adequatelytrained
•              Staff  Retention:   Ensure  staff  are  recognized   and  work  in  a  motivating environment
•   Required  Skills:  Communications  andSoft Skills  are pre-requisite  skills  for
Service Desk staff

Performance  of  the  Service  Desk  should  be  regularly  evaluated  using  metrics. Metrics  are used  to assess  the performance  and quality  of a service,  in order  to detect weaknessesand plan for improvement.
There two types of Metricsin Service Desk:
•   Hard Metrics
ƒ    Measures that involve numbers and statistics (fact-based)
ƒ             Derived by assessing the health,maturity, efficiency, effectiveness and any opportunities  to improve  Service  Desk Operations,  leading  to the following eight points:
¾   Call handling statistics
¾   The first-line resolution rate
¾   Average time to resolvean Incident
¾   Average time to escalate an Incident
¾   Average Service Desk cost of handlingan Incident
¾   Percentageof customer or user updates
¾   Average time to review and close a resolved call
¾   The number of calls broken down by the time of day and day of the week
•   Soft Metrics
ƒ    Measures that involve personal approach, perception-based
ƒ    The following aspects are commonly found through surveys:
¾   How effectively customers feel their calls have been answered
¾   If the Service Desk agent was courteous and professional
¾   If the Service Desk agent instilled confidence in the user
ƒ             Types  of  surveys  include  after-call  survey,  telephone,  email,  online, personal or group interview.

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