By journalist Klavs Andersen
Significant cost savings on IT budgets, and individually customized support and assistance of the highest quality. These are among the benefits that companies can achieve by using the NNIT service desk, which is housed in the Czech capital of Prague.
”Service desk assistance is often a big item on IT budgets, and a company will typically be able to save 20 to 30 percent of their service desk ex- penditure, by allowing NNIT to run this service from Prague – and in many cases, they will experi- ence an increase in quality,” says Mads Jakobsen, Associate Vice President for Global Operation Services, who heads the NNIT Support Center.
The service desk in Prague was established last spring, and a number of NNIT’s customers have already decided to take advantage of the services. Since service desk assistance is labor intensive, it is attractive for suppliers to provide it from countries where labor costs are low. Unfortunately, this often results in a lower level of service as well as language problems. By establishing the service desk precisely in Prague, NNIT has avoided this dilemma.
“We knew that a number of our customers were looking for multi-lingual service desk assistance of an identical high quality to the one that we provide from Denmark. Prague was an obvious choice because of its geographical location in central Europe in the same time zone as Denmark, as well as its existing advanced customer center culture, including broad access to language competencies at the highest level,” explains Mads Jakobsen and adds:
“It has gone beyond our expectations. My goal was to be able to provide service desk assistance from Prague, that was on par with what we provide from Denmark. They deliver very high quality and our customers are very happy with them. We now provide service desk assistance from the Czech Republic, which in terms of quality is on par with assistance in Denmark. We have simply succeeded in attracting excellent resources from Denmark as well as locally, with very high technical and lan- guage skills, and we can provide support in a wide range of languages, including Danish.”
Today, the service desk has 26 employees working under local contracts, including 10 Danes with an IT background. The other employees are serving customers mostly in German and English, but also in other languages. With the addition of the service desk in Prague, NNIT has a global virtual network of call centers at its disposal, with a total of 180 employees, who provide assistance from Denmark, the Czech Republic, China and the Philippines. We have established a virtual setup, so that the centers complement each other, so the users experience that assistance is provided from one and the same location.
“Some service desk providers have chosen to locate all their activities outside Denmark, but we maintain a balanced approach, where we have resources both at home and abroad. We would like to have additional locations, and we would like to perform our assistance tasks where they will be carried out best,” insists Mads Jakobsen.
Mads Jakobsen emphasizes that NNIT pursues a very high quality level for its service desk assistance: “We provide what we call a high-end service desk experience. That is why we have a core of experienced staff members who publish knowledge, make contact with the customer and take care of second and third line support in connection with installations and other more complex tasks.”
The high quality of our services is due not least to the fact that NNIT makes extensive use of knowledge sharing between its service desks. The knowledge sharing process is called Knowledge Centered Support (KCS), where the acquisition of knowledge is a dynamic part of servicing the customers. The process is supported by a unique Knowledge Management system, which ensures that knowledge and experience is structured in such a way that they can be reused in supporting the customers. In addition, this knowledge sharing process is also a key tool in the training of new employees, and it ensures that NNIT at very short notice, can establish a new Service Desk in Prague for any business.
“We document every request we receive through KCS with regards to both the content of the request and the resolution of the task. This ensures that we can re-use experience from each and every dialog, and in this way deliver consistent high quality in our services from the various locations,” explains Mads Jakobsen and elaborates: “This process is the backdrop for our ability to resolve servicedesk tasks as successfully as we do. It makes no difference whether the employees are located in the same room or many thousands of kilometers apart, because they use exactly the same process and information – and this has an impact on the service experience the customers receive.”