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Broader Process Sharing - Service Request Fulfillment

While at a BMC UserWorld conference a few years ago, I wrote the following. It still applies and I wanted to put it down in a permanent spot where I could find it later.

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We're perfecting the Service Desk call center. What would it look like if we invited other campus support units to share our processes and tools, if not our Service Desk?

My recent experience moving into a new building has sharpened my focus on this issue. I'd like to share a taste of my experience by way of introduction and illustration of my implementation recommendation.

In my new office, I need to obtain keys, request door locks to be installed, deal with furniture alterations, move network and power outlets that were obstructed by furniture, request appropriate signage for our department, order new furniture, resolve electrical wiring problems involving and interface with the furniture, request building card swipe access, request thermostat adjustments, and request permanent placement of a projector in our conference room.

All of these tasks dealt with different departments, but involved a nearly identical process. I needed to locate the appropriate contact and submit a request, either via telephone, email, or web form. The service requests involved some degree of personal consulting and approval. I then had to track the progress of each request through to completion.

With each department, the procedure to request and track the service was different. Some of my requests were immediately taken care of. Others were more troublesome. In one case, the department marked the work as complete even though it hadn't been. There was no uniform way for me to learn the status of my multiple requests or to provide feedback to the various service entities.

It would be ideal to have a unified Service Request Management tool that allows users to browse a service catalog, understand pricing and billing options, request service, track order status, receive notifications, add comments, and evaluate completion. Such a system would act as a front-end interface to other existing systems. The work isn't completed in this system, but merely tracked within it. Since we expect each department is already tracking this workflow in some way, we wouldn't expect this to be an increase in work, just a modification.

The benefits in efficiency and customer satisfaction in such a system would justify a significant investment by the university in such a tool.

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