Most businesses rely on systems that are central to their daily operations; systems that log and process orders, record reservations or track a parcel’s journey from store to a customer’s home address.
Operations can be significantly impacted – financially, legally, by customer dissatisfaction or loss of productivity - when a ‘business critical’ system fails so it is fundamental to have support in place to ensure that it can be restored as quickly as possible.
Typical issues that require urgent intervention include errors in data feeds, problems with connectivity or queries around data validation. Sometimes, the numbers “just don’t look right”.
Outsourced service provider NSL has contracts with many third parties, from Transport for London to over 60 local authorities where they provide everything from parking enforcement services to validating identity documentation. change++ has been providing monitoring and reporting systems to NSL for their clients’ use for over 10 years and must ensure that any issues relating to business continuity are resolved immediately.
Support has always been a key element of the BI systems development service change++ provides and was an important factor in NSL’s original decision to work in partnership with the team. As there are often penalties for service failures or data availability delays built into NSL’s contracts with clients it followed that it needed a partner that could resolve problems as soon as they arose. With clearly defined priority levels and associated response times, it is imperative for all sides that issues are raised and handled in a swift and targeted manner.
“We are very proactive in the way we manage NSL’s queries,” confirms Kristian Grant-Riach, change++ Support Manager. “There might be an issue with their data ETL processes, so as soon as we hear from a user or get an alert from the ‘automated support dashboard’ that reports out of hours or overnight issues, we jump onto it immediately, usually before anyone’s realised there’s a problem. If it’s a server or resource issue managed by a third party infrastructure host we’ll talk to them – we have good relationships with them all – and troubleshoot what’s happening.”
“What we value about the support service at change++,” says Richard Arnold, IT Service Delivery Manager at NSL, “is their willingness and ability to investigate and resolve issues before they impact on our service delivery commitments. We know they’re an agile team of consultants and support analysts; their in-house development team are in close contact with the support team so can react immediately. This is certainly not the case – in my experience – with many other support providers.”
“We understand that different customers demand different levels of service and change++ will always endeavour to be flexible and offer a support model that suits each business”, confirms Grant-Riach. “The strength and agility of our team means we that where we have the appropriate skills we can also offer a support service on any pre-existing systems or applications.”
Grant-Riach continues, “An additional service we offer to our standard Service Level Agreement is access to our development team as a resource; if someone wants to write some reports but is struggling due to time pressures, or when there’s a lack of experience in-house for more specialist tasks, extra development days mean we can help. Clients have found this really valuable when time is short.”
“There’s a very responsive culture here with a team that really cares about resolving issues impacting on operational business. We’ll do everything we can to ensure disruption to ‘normal service’ is minimised.”