As a managed service provider (MSP), providing a high quality of service is tantamount to the success of the business. The range of services provided by an MSP includes providing support, maintaining equipment, and improving the operations, all with an eye to anticipating future needs and optimizing cost. The relationship between the service provider and its customers is predicated on a contract wherein the service provider commits to providing a particular level of service for a given price point. For customers, this is a great way to leverage expertise outside of the organization, allowing their own team to focus on their own domain. In the healthcare and medical industry, timeliness is an especially important factor as patients’ health may be at stake. For these reasons, OneDesk proves to be an ideal suite of tools for devising and adhering to workflows in accordance with an MSP’s commitments.
One of our clients is a healthcare MSP who came to us seeking an easy-to-use and intuitive tool to help them manage their workload. Their previous solution was very clunky and did not have a full range of capabilities in terms of automating and streamlining their workflows. Specifically, being able to escalate and notify the team about high priority support requests is crucial to them, and having straightforward ways to view in-progress and outstanding work is necessary for understanding if the workload is evenly spread across the team. Having a portal for both internal users and external customers to access is also an aspect that they want to provide. Visibility is key, and having reporting options to bring concerns to light before they become problems is important to our client.
Organizing work with ticket types and subtasks
At its heart, OneDesk way of capturing work is based on a hierarchical structure. With portfolios at the top level, there are projects and folders beneath them which contain tasks or tickets. These can then have sub-tasks beneath them. Depending on how our client wants to organize their work, they can choose to use any or all of the portfolio, project, and folder containers. This flexibility opens up options and possibilities for a fully tailored and personalized experience. One aspect that our client’s previous solution offered was the ability to link various physical assets to work requests. One example would be if they would like to link a particular inventory item to a support or maintenance request. At the base task and ticket level, our client can define up to 10 different types of work items. We advised our client to leverage these work item types to capture and represent the various categories of assets they want to link to their support requests, which would then mirror their process completely. All tickets and tasks can have an unlimited number of items linked to them.
Automations to manage work and workflows
As our client aims to provide timely service to their customers, it is deeply important to them that awareness of priority and time is part of their management processes. Both of these aspects can be tracked and recorded by default for every work item in OneDesk, and service level agreements (SLAs) can be created and defined around the different priority levels. What’s more, workflow automations can then be used to force actions to take place based on a certain criteria being met. For example, for a 5-star, high priority item, our client can set an SLA of 1 hour for the first reply to go out from their team to acknowledge the issue. A workflow automation can then be set up to trigger when this SLA is being breached, and whatever actions our client has specified will then take place automatically: assigning the task to someone, changing the status, sending a templated e-mail out to the customer. Workflow automations can be set up for a wide range of triggers on nearly every aspect of a ticket, whether it’s a status change or the amount of time that has passed. Much of the overhead and burden of managing tickets can simply be automated in OneDesk in this way.
Dashboards and views to provide different levels of insights
By default, OneDesk offers a number of viewing options that provide some basic insights into work. From Gantt charts to status boards to calendar views, there are various ways to display data so it can be explored. In particular, our client was looking for a way to show dependencies between tasks. Our Gantt view addresses this perfectly; our client can lay out their schedule of work and denote which tasks require other items to be completed, or to be in progress, in order for work to start. Another aspect that our client is concerned about is the state of work and whether incomplete tasks have been assigned to anyone yet. Through filtering and grouping, it is straightforward querying for the desired information, but there are also some quick navigation tools that our client can use to quickly see these key insights. At the top of each of our views, OneDesk presents some widgets and visualizations that provide high-level information around how many items are displayed, the allocation of item assignment, and any in-progress timers. Any of these charts can be clicked on, which will filter the data down on-the-fly, and create a view. This view, as with any custom view, can then be saved and exported to be shared with anyone, even if they are not a OneDesk user.
Granting visibility through the customer portal and knowledge base
One way that tickets can enter the OneDesk system is through the customer portal. Although it is a separate application, the customer portal seamlessly integrates with the ticket and task management in OneDesk while allowing customers to log tickets through a branded portal. Using webforms, customers can enter all the relevant details for their request from the start and have a ticket logged right away. These customizable webforms support a variety of different input values and can even require certain data to be entered, ensuring all necessary information is recorded before work even begins. Along with each instance of a customer portal, OneDesk also offers knowledge base functionality. By allowing tickets to be published as knowledge base articles, information can be shared in one centralized spot in the portal. As multiple customer portals can be created, our client can also have multiple knowledge bases, which allows for better organization of information.
In terms of diving into data to understand workflow efficiency, OneDesk offers all of the flexibility and customizability to do so. With different views that can filter and group data, our client gets visibility into all aspects of their work – status, dependencies, assignment, communications, priority, and much more. On top of that, workflow automations can be built to handle the brunt of the work of notifying people, updating statuses, and automatically sending out communications. Existing workflows can be captured in OneDesk with just a few clicks, and with our extensibility options, these workflows can then be streamlined, expanded upon, and improved with our intuitive setup. For an MSP, OneDesk makes it easy to stay on top of every request so the best quality of service is always provided.