Computacenter has said its own intellectual property plays an integral role in winning and retaining customers as it hails the success of its consumer-style mobile app and Next-Generation Service Desk (NGSD) offerings.
The NGSD has been developed over the last two years and was designed with user experience in mind. The offering enables customers to flag up any IT service issues in a user-friendly way, with single-click buttons labelled "this affects me" or "chase" allowing them to raise and follow up on IT tickets. Push notifications can be sent to users to update them on the progress of their request.
It is available across the Computacenter group and is translated into local languages, with users' local culture taken into account too.
Computacenter's group service innovation director Steve Rayner said that the NGSD was designed much differently to other corporate offerings.
"We looked at the emotional state of users when they need a password reset or their system is not working," he explained. "How are companies like Amazon, Airbnb and eBay brilliant at that, but somehow in the corporate IT world we are lagging behind? The NGSD is very consumer-looking and every single piece of functionality is designed around what users told us they wanted, rather than what we wanted to provide as an IT services partner."
The firm is also developing a mobile app which has a similar consumer focus. The app is native, meaning it is not a pared-back version of an online portal, and allows users to raise a number of queries with their IT department.
Rayner said the company's own IP offering such as the mobile app and NGSD is of vital importance to the wider group's goals.
"We've spent over £6m developing the NGSD and it is absolutely strategic for us in terms of retaining our current customers and giving them something which isn't available in the market. It's important for the retention, but increasingly it is also important for winning new business. The reason [one recent customer] selected us is because – even though they are not going to take the NGSD as a product – we have done it and it demonstrated that we are serious about enabling users."
Rayner added that "consumerising" corporate activities in this way is important to him.
"I absolutely do believe [the corporate] space is lacking, and when I developed the NGSD, I used Google, TripAdvisor and Wikipedia as my [inspiration]. I think it's increasingly important and I don't see enough of it in the corporate world. In any part – not just IT support – like travel booking, it tends to be extremely painful."
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