Companies want to keep track of problem reporting and resolution in a timely and affordable fashion, given today’s tighter IT budgets. Integrating a reporting process into legacy systems or upgrading those systems to include reporting is a challenge because most companies run a mix of software, from home-grown applications to commercial application service provider (ASP) offerings.
When Ingersoll-Rand Co., a $9 billion diversified industrial and commercial equipment and components manufacturer based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., upgraded its Siebel Systems’ suite of customer relationship management (CRM) applications, Corio Inc., its outsourcing provider of several years, also recommended incorporating a new component: a single point of management process for problem reporting of every workflow process. Ingersoll-Rand initially hesitated at incorporating this proposed solution.
Corio, which is based in San Carlos, California, hosts and manages Ingersoll-Rand’s Siebel CRM suite and monitoring of its Oracle software remotely. Scott Wiegers, IT manager for collaborative applications at Ingersoll-Rand’s Club Car division, reports that even though Corio had been using this integrated workflow reporting component to manage its own helpdesk requests, his company still wasn’t inspired to use the service. But it didn’t take long to see things differently.
“When we first went live with the Siebel upgrade, our project leader wanted to manage all event reporting and resolution internally. But about six weeks later, we decided to try Corio’s iSRVCE event management process,” he says. “They had already built a solid reputation with us. So we decided to trust their word when they said it would make event reporting and resolution easier.”
After a very quick implementation, Ingersoll-Rand discovered that the new service does indeed improve event tracking in real time, including the assignment of personnel and streamlined, efficient communication of event status between managers and employees.
The foundation for this new solution is called technology resource management (TRM). Benefits of TRM include the ability to enhance service levels and increase customer satisfaction. This in turn helps to place true values on ROI for both existing software investments as well as new initiatives because performance is easier to monitor.
Easing the Challenge of Managing Multiple Applications
Corio’s iSRVCETM TRM model is an integrated software package for managing, reporting and automating processes via an ASP. It gives users an integrated view of systems and process environments, which leads to greater visibility and decision support.
Kamini Rai, senior product manager for Corio, says iSRVCE “provides a single place for customers to review critical information and trouble tickets and monitor their status. In addition, they can also view and monitor higher-level metrics that are part of service level agreements (SLAs).”
Corio iSRVCE includes a Knowledge Share process, which allows groups working together to revise documents “on the fly.” “Sending various versions of working documents via e-mail can be quite confusing,” says Art Williams, an analyst and principal of ArtW Consulting of Goffstown, New Hampshire. “This repository eliminates numerous and confusing versions of the same document floating around. It also offers documentation of the entire history of an event.”
Creating Order for Ingersoll-Rand
Ingersoll-Rand’s Wiegers points out that unforeseen events are easier to track and resolve. “It’s a good system for managing error handling,” he says. “Rather than pick up the phone or send emails, it lets us transcribe precise information and communicate via the Web. It’s an advantage in today’s technology world because it enables us to input concise, complete service requests, then monitor them better.”
There’s a greater sense of security and control for companies using this type of service–a strategic advantage–according to ArtW’s Williams.
In addition, this service helps cut labor costs because fewer people can do the work of many. “The real value is the process effectively cuts out a middleman, someone who might take a phone call and fill out a report but, other than that, not really add anything to the solution. It allows for more concise and complete service requests, which in my view, leads to faster resolutions.”
Moreover, the program also handles week-end and holidays when an in-house staff person might not be available, another economic savings. While Wiegers says Ingersoll-Rand hasn’t had a week-end problem, he feels “more comfortable knowing that if something does happen during off hours, we have the capability to deal with such problems.”
Lessons from the Outsourcing Journal
- One emerging IT management outsourcing model is Technology Resource Management (TRM). Benefits of TRM include the ability to monitor, report and manage diverse negative events and resolve them in real time.
- RTM provides cost savings by eliminating the middleman. It also provides off hours support that wasn’t available when companies monitored their technology in-house.
- Your outsourcing provider can provide new strategic solutions by offering new initiatives that might solve a chronic problem.