With the advent of new age technologies, the convergence of a business user with an end user is evident. The services they use now are more packaged and modular compared to some time ago. While the providers of the services have become more sprawling, the Service Desk remains at the centre for all the interactions for the users. The management of suppliers has a direct impact on time to service a request at service desk, hence the level of integration of services becomes very important. Service Integration and Management (SIAM) addresses these challenges, while expecting the Service Desk to evolve to fit in the concept.
As SIAM relies on a lot of component for its success, the Service Desk is one such crucial moving part.
Besides being a function, it plays the pivotal role of clubbing requests and incidents for various
suppliers. This is an additional responsibility and is addressed through a set of additional
processes to follow for resolutions through multiple suppliers. The Major Incident management
involving multiple suppliers is one of the challenging scenarios that invokes the Service Desk’s capability to integrate and collaborate.
Pragmatically speaking, a Service Desk has to be competitive to deal with multiple suppliers while
ensuring the SLA and OLAs across suppliers are met. The toolset that can assist in this is still
evolving, so till the time it gets matured the onus lies on the Service Desk as a function to provide that
seamless experience to the customers. Service Desks need to develop capabilities to utilize the
knowledge that is available across the suppliers and use it to an integrated cause.
The suppliers come with their own processes and tools, while integrating them into single portal
for a Service Desk to use remains a challenge, consequently, the Service Desk is forced to pick some manual activities like ‘Swivel Seating’ (just in the interim) and be the runway for overall SIAM transformation.
SIAM enables independent layer for governance and control and this calls for reporting that
are consolidated across suppliers with a multiple set of stakeholders (for tactical , strategic and
operational). The Customer experience management now is monitored across services, rather
than service towers and functions. Hence the CSAT has to evolve to a more comprehensive
Another challenge that service desk faces is adapting to multiple processes. Being a single
point of contact (SPOC) the Service Desk has to behave as an integration mechanism for various Suppliers and their processes as well. Here, the Service Desk has to take the additional responsibility of recording and maintaining inter-supplier issues and their resolution. For SIAM, a separate queue is created to resolve such issues, nonetheless, the Service Desk has to play its part.
With the role of SPOC for various suppliers comes additional responsibilities, While some
suppliers have standard set of processes, some may not. In such a scenario the service desk
has to be the flag-bearer of Standard set of processes created and deployed by SIAM for the
organization. This in turn implies that the Service Desk has to be more educative in their approach rather than just break fix point of contact. Providing the right way to do the things to Supplier teams while also helping them to fix the issues.
The technology is advancing and the evolution of Service Desk with SIAM needs to be seen with the
technologies of the future. While Chatbots for Service Desks are the talk of the town, SIAM needs more mature cognitive capability to analyse MO (Modus Operandi) across the suppliers (both Internal
and External) and aiding the Service Desk in facilitating inter-supplier interactions. This can be explained with a simple example: Consider, there is a single SD for HR, IT and Finance for all the users in an organization, the idea is to ensure that whatever issue a user faces in any of these streams
needs to be reported, investigated and resolved but the resolver groups. These resolver groups
may comprise of multiple suppliers.
For Service Desks to react and provide First Call resolution, the knowledge across the various streams, held with multiple suppliers need to be processed by the Cognitive Technologies for Chatbots used at service desk, which conventionally would operate on a limited dataset provided for single stream. The linkage between the Cis would need to be established to relate the objects across the streams and give a comprehensive response to a query. Over and above a greater level of data relation would need to be developed for the technology to be useful for a SIAM scenario.
It can be clearly understood now that a conventional Service Desk solution has to evolve to
cater to the needs of SIAM. Even though there are tools to support the new age business
dynamics, the role of a good SIAM based service desk architecture cannot be undermined,
hence a huge focus is required to achieve better outcomes from Service Desk in the age of
About Rakesh Kumar
Rakesh is a Service Management professional and thought-leader in SIAM and ITSM space. ITIL ® 2011 expert, ISO 20K and Asset Management certified, he has a strong consulting and operational experience in processes and enabling tools and has worked with with some of the biggest IT organizations in the world.
Rakesh is an active member of service management forums (including ITSMF India) and has been a speaker at numerous events in these forums. A regular blogger and co-author of the first Book on SIAM ‘Making SIAM work: Adopting Service Integration and Management for Your Business’ (www.makingSIAMwork.com)