High-touch global end user support model for leading international investor UK PLC.

The need for change

This leading private equity and asset management firm had an outsourced end user and infrastructure operation that was being delivered remotely from its providers shared service centre. It was a model that worked for the firm at the time but as financial services organisation reviewed its overall business objectives and ambitions, it became clear it needed to make a change.

One of the key requirements was to build an IT support function focused on being the voice of the end user support in IT. Its users required high availability and high performance from its IT systems and they value good customer service and capability from its IT support teams. With a majority of its 250+ staff located in London, the remaining employees are based across 7 countries.

The other key requirement was to ensure that international users also received this same high level of service, regardless of location and time zone.

Designing a future solution

Re-defining the end user support model was part of a wider IT transformation project for the internal IT team
which also covered improvements to infrastructure and application support. The firm engaged a third party consultant to assist with the procurement and tendering exercise of the full solution.

In the evaluation process, Acora’s focus on end user satisfaction and experience stood out. It was clear Acora had listened to the firm’s requirements and really understood what was wanted in terms of performance, capability, skillsets and behaviours. Acora’s proposed solution was a hybrid 1st and 2nd line support team that would be based on-site in London. Acora was able to provide some great client references within the sector which gave the firm confidence that the designed solution would be a success.

Delivering the new model

Working in collaboration with the internal IT team Acora began implementing a combined 1st and 2nd line on-site support function at the firm’s London head office. The team consists of highly skilled desktop engineers, with great customer service behaviours who have all undertaken thorough training on the client’s environment, its processes and the demands of its users.

Individual KPIs and overall service measures were geared towards quality, customer satisfaction and first contact resolution, rather than volumes of calls handled. Whilst the firm had sourced other IT partners for its international operations, the model was adapted so all initial contact from end users were still directed to the Acora Service Desk. Acora then handles the communications and logistics with the local IT suppliers to resolve any issues. This means a much easier and more consistent experience for international users. Acora organised the on-site London team so there is availability from 7.30am to 7.30pm, and the team includes skilled and site-trained absence cover to ensure adequate capacity. During nights, weekends and bank holidays, support calls are transferred to Acora’s 24/7 Shared Service Centre. This team has secure remote access to the firm’s Service Desk tool and aligns to its processes and procedures to ensure a seamless experience for end users. Acora’s model includes regular service review meetings between a dedicated Acora Service Delivery Manager and the client. These sessions assess performance against service levels and also monitor progress against an agreed continuous service improvement programme.

Achievements so far

The combined Service Desk and desktop team and the emphasis on customer service has been paying off. End user satisfaction is now at a record high of 98% and first contact resolution has more than tripled with the new model.

The client wanted a ‘high-touch’ support team and Acora is consistently delivering this. Overall, Acora has brought knowledge and direction to the service and individually they have been building rapport with the firm’s user base and take personal pride in resolving each ticket. Where there have been development areas, the team and management at Acora have been quick to respond and resolve.

The investor firm has undertaken a number of IT transformation projects in the last twelve months, and at times this has caused inevitable disruption or necessary change to users. It has been beneficial to have a support team acting in the interests of end users as the internal IT team deliver these. The Acora team are able to deliver clear and effective communication to staff around any IT initiatives and changes that may affect their work. This has really helped to improve the overall perception of IT at the firm. There have more IT projects in the pipeline and the IT team are confident they can rely on Acora to support them along the way.

End user satisfaction is now at a record high of 98% and first contact resolution has more than tripled with the new model.


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