NHS group's F4 IT Services Uncovers Valuable Insights into its Service Desk Operations and Speeds Up Data Analytics with Analytics Plus
"Analytics Plus puts our service desk data in a visual context in the form of reports and dashboards [so] that it's easy for us to visualize our process, gain insights, and make faster business decisions," - David Whitfield, IT customer services manager, F4 IT Services
F4 IT Services is a UK-based IT Management and Support Service that works closely with the health care industry and NHS. The company specializes in server and network management, system hosting and support, asset management, service desk support, and information governance. F4 IT Services serves over 13 customers mainly in health and social care industry verticals, and supports more than 2,500 end users and over 2,000 devices. F4 IT stands apart from their competitors by placing customer service as their highest priority, ensuring the customer is always put first and always receive a friendly, approachable and reliable IT service.
The primary goal for F4 IT Services is to provide fast, reliable, and seamless customer services to each of its managed customers. To achieve this, they needed granular insights into the workings of their business such as technician performance, SLA compliance, percentage of first call resolutions, and detailed trend analysis so they could speed up their service delivery and improve efficiency. Simultaneously, they also wanted to give each of their customers a transparent and overarching picture of the IT Service they receive, so their customers could discover first hand the value in outsourcing IT support and maintenance.
To achieve this, F4 IT Services needed an analytics solution that is robust, flexible, customizable, easy-to-use, and, most importantly, integrates with their myriad of IT applications.
Before using Analytics Plus, F4 IT Services had to export data from several IT applications and build reports manually both for internal management teams and customers. This process was both time-consuming and complex.
David Whitfield, the IT customer services manager for F4 IT Services, explained, "We used to spend a lot of time creating custom reports for our internal teams and our clients. The reports didn't always provide the information required without a lot of manual input.î
Analytics Plus' automated report generation made it so easy for Whitfield to create personalized dashboards for each of his internal teams, like service management and the service desk, as well as for external customers.
Whitfield explained, "I've created several dashboards for engineers to give them live updates on how many service requests are coming in, how many have been responded to, how many have been closed, and how many are due to breach SLA. This helps create a healthy competition within the service desk team, with each engineer trying to outperform the others. Likewise, I've built management dashboards so that the management team can now see what the service desk is working on. They no longer have to come to me and say, 'Dave, can you generate me a report?' They can now view reports at the click of a button. These reports include an overview of incidents, problems, changes and projects, whilst also giving us detailed asset management reports."
Aside from internal reporting, Analytics Plus also helped F4 IT Services build tailor-made reports for each of its customer accounts. While earlier IT had to create several reports for each of customer manually, now it can simply show each customer a tailor-made dashboard with their complete account history.
Citing an anecdote, David added, "One of our customers wanted to know what devices had to be replaced in their organization. It would be very time consuming to prepare a report for this requirement. But with Analytics Plus, I was able to create a formula based on asset acquisition date to calculate the age of assets, create a report, and add it to the customer's dashboard. Not only that, I was able to show them assets split by type such as laptops, desktops, or tablets. When the customer saw our dashboard, the next question they asked us was, 'What would it cost to replace these devices?' I was able to answer this question in seconds and provide a quote with very little effort."
Besides saving time and democratizing the reporting process, Analytics Plus helps the F4 IT Services team gather a lot of useful information on important aspects of their service desk such as:
Incident and problem management: F4 IT Services didn't want to simply report on incidents and incident SLAs. They were looking for ways to cut down the number of incidents logged in a day. They wanted to identify recurring incidents, and find and fix the root cause to cut down future incidents. Whitfield illustrated this with a use case: "Printers are one of the most problematic devices for any service desk and we were no exception. We were getting close to 30 incident calls each month regarding [the] printer. Using Analytics Plus, we were able to investigate deeper and make changes to our printer service cycles that cut down printer-related incidents to about two or three per month."
Change management: Managing IT changes is no simple task. Getting a preview of what changes are coming up can help with creating an effective change management policy. Using Analytics Plus, F4 IT Services can not only get a summary of past changes and measure their impact, but can also foresee upcoming changes and plan to implement changes strategically.
Resource management: Too big of a help desk team drives up service costs, while too small a team will bring down efficiency and profitability. F4 IT Services wanted to rightsize their IT head count. Using Analytics Plus, they can now analyze the number, nature, and frequency of service and incident calls, and determine the right number of service technicians to handle incoming tickets. Additionally, it can now collate results from customer satisfaction surveys, and send out feedback to service technicians along with tips on how they can improve service delivery to offer exceptional customer services.
Summing up the benefits experienced after using Analytics Plus, Whitfield claimed, "Analytics Plus has helped increase our service desk productivity and overall responsiveness. We are now able to respond to incidents and service requests faster, resolve more requests, and continuously improvise our processes."
Speaking of Analytics Plus support, Whitfield said, "The support team is fantastic. They are helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable about the product. Furthermore, any time I need help in generating a report, I can log in a call, and I know I'll get a response quickly."
Speaking of his company's future plans, Whitfield added, "We've just been using Analytics Plus for six months now, and we're really pleased with [it]. It's so easy to create reports and dashboards that we're actually looking forward to using it as a full-blown business intelligence (BI) solution by having all our other departments try it as well."
Analytics Plus is a business intelligence and IT analytics tool that enables organizations to visualize their IT data from several IT applications and monitoring tools. With the combined capabilities of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, Analytics Plus' AI assistant Zia responds to voice and text-based questions with rich visualizations that drastically reduce report building time and enable organizations to make faster, data-driven decisions. Additionally, Analytics Plus offers predictive analytical capabilities, contextual collaboration, and real-time data alerts based on threshold violations.