In the run up to the SDI Awards 2022 gala dinner and prize-giving on 22 March, we’ve been asking our finalists about their experiences, reasons for entering and hopes for the future. Here’s the story from Robert Banks:
Finalist – Service Desk Analyst of the Year 2022
What made you decide to enter the awards?
I was nominated for the Service Desk Analyst of the Year award by my colleagues at ADM Computing so it was a bit of a shock when I found out I would be entering for this, in all honesty. However, I believe I was nominated because I have represented the company well in the past year, so it was a proud moment to find out that I have the chance to showcase my attributes and achievements but also to give something back to ADM Computing who have given me many opportunities in my IT career.
What part of the awards process did you enjoy the most?
After being shortlisted, producing the presentation for the judges allowed me to reflect on what I have accomplished, what makes me the engineer I am today but also perhaps where I can improve going forward. Therefore, creating the presentation was a positive experience.
Why did you choose IT Support as a career?
I’ve always had an interest in technology and how it continues to evolve, seemingly at an accelerating rate. However, my eagerness to solve problems and help people made IT the perfect career choice. With the various aspects of IT out there, it’s always possible to further yourself with no boundaries to what you can learn. This opportunity to continuously develop was another reason for my choice.
In the last 18 months, what has been the most successful initiative you have implemented to help your business improve its performance?
As a result of the increase in working from home we, as I expect is the case with many Service Desks, had to adapt to our customers’ requirements so that they remained efficient and we could continue to provide the best service. Remote meetings became a large part of the way we now work so my knowledge of Microsoft Teams turned out to be useful in this period. I was able to migrate customers to Microsoft Teams and provide remote training sessions for customers of varying environments, be it businesses and also schools, for whom the implementation of Microsoft Teams was beneficial with the possibility of now delegating digital assignments and marking pupils’ work remotely.
Office space was also no longer a necessity for customers so as part of a shift to the cloud, I contributed in multiple projects to migrate phone systems to Microsoft Teams and provide training as well as troubleshoot the teething issues that are associated with any migration.
I feel this contribution helped improve the service provided by ADM Computing and, subsequently, improved the performance of our clients.
What are your top 3 tips to make a service desk successful?
I think the following three elements help a service desk function and provide the best service possible:
- Open communication – This applies to communication with a customer but also with colleagues.
When talking with customers it’s important to be honest and, at the same time, listen to their thoughts and ideas. Whilst we will always try to implement solutions as per our best practices, sometimes it can be beneficial to consider a customer’s point of view and adapt the solution so it is more suitable for them. However, a customer may have some unrealistic expectations and in this moment we need to be honest, in a respective manner, to advise of the risks associated with an idea or perhaps explain why a proposed solution is the route to take.
Communication within a team allows colleagues to bounce ideas off each other and come to a resolution sooner and more efficiently. It also helps people learn from each other and ensure the service desk improves as a whole rather than become a team of individuals.
- Responsibility – Taking responsibility can come in different forms, whether it be taking responsibility for a role, an area of knowledge, or even for a mistake. Being responsible means a service desk will be more productive and give people more of a purpose to provide the best support and learn.
- Drive to improve – Having a team that always wants to improve will increase the knowledge of a service desk and also create a positive environment where people have a passion to satisfy customers. This can set an example and be infectious to everyone on the desk.
What one thing do you think really makes you stand out as a support professional?
I think my empathy for customers allows me to contribute to the great service provided by ADM Computing. Understanding how important IT is to customers and their requirements ensures I am dedicated to finding solutions but also to furthering myself so that I can take on more tasks and be more approachable to my colleagues.
How are you preparing to evolve your service desk over the next few years? Please share your most exciting plan with us!
The service desk will continue to evolve as a result of the efforts of the team as a whole. I will therefore contribute to this by completing exams so we are certified for products that we provide to customers. I will also continue in my efforts to develop as an individual so I can assist colleagues with queries and pass knowledge on. The service desk will consequently continue to run efficiently and improve.
What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the ‘Service Desk Analyst of the Year’ category?
As mentioned before, it is a proud moment and one that has given me the chance to reflect on my years at ADM Computing, as well as the past 12 months more specifically. To be acknowledged for the work that I have done is encouraging, and to be a finalist has forced me to ask myself, “what more can I do?” I hope it also means a lot to ADM Computing as without their trust and patience in me I’m not sure where I would be today.
What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards next year?
Be confident in what you have achieved and use it as a chance to celebrate your work prior to entering for the awards, even if it doesn’t result in being shortlisted or becoming a finalist. Take the opportunity to analyse and be honest with yourself, so your personality can be expressed to the judges.
What would you do to celebrate if you won ‘Service Desk Analyst of the Year’?
I’d share the evening with my colleagues, who I’m very grateful to for their help in getting me to this stage, and see what Birmingham has to offer for a few celebratory drinks. I’d also take the time to thank everyone at ADM Computing as this award would be a far reach without them.
Find out more about this year’s Awards categories and watch the highlights from the last Awards ceremony for a taster of this incredible event and what it means to our community.
SDI Awards are sponsored by: