The growth of Eastern Group from an electricity supplier to an energy provider has seen its IT service help-desk grow from a skeleton staff in 1993 to a service centre of 45 people. The helpdesk is divided into three sections to meet different customers' needs. There is a 24-hour helpdesk which manages problems with anything from pagers to mainframes, the SAP R/3 accounting system to Microsoft Office products, and anything in between. The buildings and business services (BBS) section acts as a call logging centre for both maintenance and accident reporting, and the telecoms section specialises in managing anything related to the PABX and LAN systems. Customer support centre manager Samantha Hollingsworth said: "Each of these activities require different skill sets - BBS is concerned with call logging and reporting, while the IT service provides first call-first fix services." All helpdesk activities are based on a system developed using the Knowledge Group's RMS products but with special features that are specific to Eastern's needs. One of the key features is that all sections feed into a single Ingres database, so that everything to do with the helpdesk function can be maintained centrally with minimal fuss. Each section has service level agreements with customers and Eastern has developed a strategy that lets them meet those regardless of the source of help. For instance, the BBS section provides information that is used for proactive accident prevention. To be effective, it is essential that Eastern obtain as much information as possible. "One of our prime objectives was to encourage people to make reports, so we kept the interface as friendly as possible," said Hollingsworth. People are encouraged to report "near-miss" incidents so that statistical information can improve safety. On the IT service line, the main purpose is to provide a structured service: calls related to Unix systems are transferred to specialist personnel while Microsoft Office queries are handled at the point of contact. And 10% of Office related queries are handled on a first-call, first-fix basis. "We're moving from being a call logging service to one of problem solving," said Hollingsworth. The helpdesk is always in the spotlight and Hollingsworth concluded, "The key to remaining on track is not to stand still."
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago