Linklaters revamps service desk with SDI accreditation

Law firm Linklaters has achieved a 3 Star Service Desk Institute (SDI) accreditation rating for its IT help desk, which supports 5,500 staff across 28 countries.

Law firm Linklaters has achieved a 3 Star Service Desk Institute (SDI) accreditation rating for its IT help desk, which supports 5,500 staff across 28 countries.

Eddy Smerdon, manager of UK IT Support Desk at Linklaters, said, "Our objectives were twofold: to ensure a consistent high standard of user experience, and to give our service desk analysts a goal to work towards. Each of the 14 service desk team members achieved an individual SDI qualification, which took around a year to complete."

The year-long process for SDI accreditation has allowed Smerdon to formalise the help desk structure at Linklaters and improve the response time for help desk calls. He said, "89% of calls to the support desk are fixed by first-line support and we spend 3.5 minutes per call on average."

He now runs three levels of support: 90% of calls are answered by first-line support staff; 9% by second line staff, who focus on root cause analysis; and 1% is third-line, which may involve custom coding. This is outsourced to Perot Systems.

The company provides a per head training budget, which Smerdon said has been used to provide staff with computer-based training to enable support staff to train and obtain Microsoft Office Specialist certification. This allows the team to solve more queries on first-line support. "There's an element of competitiveness in the team. Several of the team have achieved all the Microsoft Office accreditations," he said.

The SDI Service Desk Certification standards covers all aspects of Linklaters' service desk operation in terms of management, staff, resources, tools, training and delivery, strategy, planning and continuous service improvement.

The certification process involved a full review of the company's entire service desk operation using interviews, desk-side observations and a review of service level metrics. The audit took four days and involved an SDI auditor asking more than 300 comprehensive questions in order to assess the service desk's maturity rating.

The audit showed that Linklaters needed to improve its data capture management processes and user experience. Linklaters consequently set up an internal focus group made up of a cross-section of their user base to invite open feedback.

Howard Kendall, founder and chairman of SDI, said, "Supporting IT for such a global organisation is pressured, and each analyst and manager has worked hard individually, and as a team, to meet these criteria and so thoroughly deserve their certification awards. The SDI 3 star Accreditation is a reflection of the excellent level of IT support service that Linklaters is delivering to all its users."

Linklaters now intends to start working towards SDI certification of its New York and Hong Kong service desks later this year.

SDI accreditation

1. Leadership

How all levels of management and other staff in team leadership roles define success, and inspire and drive continuous improvement.

2. Policy & Strategy

Service desk management incorporates the organisation's values and quality concepts into the definition, communication, review, and improvement of service desk policies and strategies.

3. People & Management

Realising the full potential of human resources.

4. Partnerships & Resources

Access to the resources and tools necessary to achieve objectives.

5. Processes

How the IT support operation identifies, reviews, documents, and revises its processes and procedures in order to deliver optimal levels of support.

6. People Satisfaction

People (support staff) drive the quality of service and support. Satisfied people are crucial to successful support. The organisation's perception and feelings about support centre staff are essential to its long-term success.

7. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction information is regularly captured and used, and it is aligned to the organisation's objectives and the expectations of customers.

8. Performance Results

The IT support operation's performance results are measured against its planned performance.

9. Social Responsibility

The Service Desk strives to understand and respond to the expectations of their stakeholders. It comprehensively measures and achieves outstanding results with respect to society.

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