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Vicki Gerson
Vicki Gerson
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Help for the Help Desk

UniPress tool enables Main Street Bank to manage requests, agent workflow and SLAs.

Having outgrown its IT environment, Atlanta-based Main Street Bank ($2.3 billion in assets) overhauled its IT infrastructure in spring 2004. The bank standardized its desktop equipment, centralized all platforms on an IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) AS/400 server and tripled its IT staff, according to Abbey Villegas, help desk manager and network administrator for the bank. Then Main Street turned its attention to its IT help desk, Villegas adds.

Main Street's legacy thick-client help desk tool offered limited functionality and was difficult to access, Villegas relates. "My tracking software was a dinosaur," she says. Although it allowed the bank to input work order tickets, "I had no centralized management and no ability to create business rules or define service level agreements [SLAs]," Villegas continues. "I had no time tracking or audit trails. I literally had to watch the entire queue all the time."

To improve help desk agent workflow and speed problem resolution, Villegas initially began searching for a solution in mid-2003 that could provide the bank with centrally managed tracking for the life of incoming customer requests. Further, Villegas relates, she wanted a solution that would automate the support center's operations -- including ticket escalation, e-mail notification and automatic request routing -- and support compliance with SLAs.

By the third quarter of 2003, Villegas narrowed the candidates to two -- FootPrints from UniPress Software (Edison, N.J.) and BMC Software's (Houston) Magic Service Desk. In late 2003, management selected FootPrints.

According to Villegas, FootPrints offered not only the features the bank required, but also guidance on industry best practices. "FootPrints offered all of the same features that Magic did, but at about half the price," she contends. Though the project was shelved temporarily by budget cuts, Main Street licensed FootPrints in November 2004.

To support the internally hosted, Web-based product, the bank purchased an HP (Palo Alto, Calif.) ProLiant DL380 G4 server, though it was not a requirement to implement the software. "Since we were using older technology, we didn't feel that the current hardware would hold up for the continued growth of the bank," says Villegas. "So we purchased a more robust server designated strictly for FootPrints." The software was configured and fully implemented within two days, she adds.

UniPress representatives trained Villegas' help desk staff, along with team leaders and managers who would utilize the software. "UniPress was excellent in providing me access to resources on such topics as automating customer support, change management and best practices," Villegas says.

Self-Service Support

According to Villegas, FootPrints has exceeded the bank's goals. It is easy to use and allows agents to log into the system from any location, a feature that, in the future, will allow "customers to manage their own support tickets" through a Web browser, she explains. FootPrints' Customer Self Service feature enables internal customers to create their own work tickets, manage current help desk requests and search the knowledge base for fixes to known problems, Villegas notes.

FootPrints also provides models and templates for setting up an environment or creating reports. "Almost all the reporting I needed to provide my management team was put together for me with ... reports already built into the software," says Villegas. "Although I've had to customize a few reports to satisfy all of the requests, it's easy to do."

As a result of the implementation, "IT reduces the time spent on tickets through managing and moving them efficiently through their life cycle," Villegas reports. In fact, she credits FootPrints with the bank's ability to provide improved help desk support, and the bank eagerly upgraded to version 7.0 of the software in August 2005.

Snapshot

  • Institution: Main Street Bank (Atlanta).
  • Assets: $2.3 billion.
  • Business Challenge: Improve help desk tracking and agent workflow, and speed problem resolution.
  • Solution: FootPrints software from UniPress Software (Edison, N.J.).

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