Are You Ready for the Enterprise Genius Bar?

More and more, users want to be self-sufficient with their mobile devices. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and bring-your-own-services (BYOS) movements are driven by employees’ preference for services they are familiar with and that are not always provided by the organization. And companies want their employees to be satisfied; they want to turn what is commonly thought of as a frustrating IT help desk experience into an enjoyable, empowering one.

But organizations often lack the expertise to support users on mobile platforms that they did not formerly support, like iOS or Android. They also face the challenge of a set of disruptive factors: supporting multiple devices and operating systems while ensuring mobile data management and data security. Managed mobility services that encompass mobile application development, security, device management and end-user support are, therefore, emerging as increasingly popular offerings. But the softer, more accessible approach to the IT help desk is a differentiator in the delivery of these services that providers generally overlook.

Historically, service providers have tried to win client confidence by stressing the fact that they follow best practices and adhere to ITIL processes. But following standards and best practices in service design and delivery is no longer a differentiator. This service approach needs a refresh.

Perhaps the answer lies in the way some companies have already begun to change their help desk by creating an enterprise Genius Bar – an exclusive space on company premises where employees can receive tech support on their device or applications. This spin-off of the Genius Bar concept at Apple retail stores enables employees to self-support their troubles.

The world of IT and services is driven more by demand-side pull than supply-side push. Business function leads are more involved in buying decisions than ever before. In this environment, the client support teams of service provider organizations need to be more than support professionals; they need to empower end users to manage their devices and applications. Social media channels could be used constructively to resolve incidents and general queries. Yammer and Twitter, for instance, can be used to develop specific communities focused on particular areas of interest within a company. A service provider could monitor the conversations in these channels, review and validate them and create knowledge assets for the service desk.

This could lead to more customer stickiness and sales. Starbucks, Lexus (Toyota) and SAP are a few of the companies that have already integrated on-premise, friendly tech support stations that are claiming greater employee interest and satisfaction in the self-management of helpdesk requirements.

Now, the next question to ask is: Are service providers positioned to provide such evolved customer service? Are they equipped to deliver experiences that capitalize on automation, remote support and onsite hands and feet?

About the author

Amit Tripathi is a knowledgeable ITO BPO industry analyst who brings considerable insight on sourcing and market dynamics to ISG clients on both sides - outsourcing firms on the buy-side and service providers on the sell-side. Amit led the firm's offshore Momentum Research practice for 1.5 years, during which he was responsible for the design, generation and delivery of Momentum Research products and services. Among the most accomplished analysts at ISG, he has undertaken and supported top IT service providers in their operational excellence pursuits involving account mining, growth and prioritization initiatives. Amit holds a Masters in Computer Management (MCM) and a Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology, both from Pune University, India.