In an earlier post I discussed why you’d want to use Unified Service Desk (USD) . In which I used a crazy analogy of USD technology as being an enabler like the canals in Venice. (I know stupid but kind of made sense at the time!) I’d now like to expand on that post and cover when you might want to use Unified Service Desk.
This is a topic I have been thinking about quite a bit recently as my views are shifting.
If you operate one (or more) contact centres with 50+ staff in each and potentially provide a variety of products / services using multiple line of business applications then the use of Unified Service Desk is probably not just obvious but essential to creating an efficient solution.
But outside these diverse high volume environments can the investment in USD give enough return to provide a clear business case for its implementation?????
If you’d asked me this question 12 months ago I would probably have said no. However USD is evolving and my position is shifting with this evolution.
When Microsoft first launched Unified Service Desk, it was at best unreliable, documentation was poor and access to support difficult as the user community just wasn’t established enough to provide any outside help.
Over the last 12 months that position has improved. I won’t go as far as to say that Unified Service Desk is a completely stable piece of kit but to be fair its reliability has greatly improved. Plus the information provided on Microsoft’s websites is now much more comprehensive. And you will now find multiple people writing blogs and responding to queries on forums so the user community is starting to have a buzz about it.
With CRM2016 just around the corner, USD looks poised to make some major advances. The enhancements seem heavily focused on developer tools / stability rather than new features, this is a good thing. As very soon we can expect a product that is quicker, uses less memory, is less prone to crashes and is easier to support.
Price. This was a major issue when USD was first released. Getting a price for an on premise deployment was impossible, it wasn’t even listed in Microsoft’s price book. The only way to purchase USD was to upgrade to the Enterprise license for an online instance. Enterprise isn’t a cheap license and ruled USD out for most. (FYI: Enterprise also includes Dynamics Marketing, Parature etc, which was overkill for most USD users.) But now USD is bundled in the Professional license. Meaning the costs are much more acceptable, most businesses will probably already be using the Professional license and therefore there may be no additional license fees.If your users are only on the Basic license upgrading just the contact centre staff to Professional won’t break the bank.
If you couple all of these facts together then I would argue that finally smaller organisations should be thinking about implementing Unified Service Desk. Collectively they turn USD into a game changing technology.
I would recommend starting off with a limited deployment sticking a “simple” server side configurations. And then over time (using an Agile approach) build in an increasing amount of functionality. This way the level of investment is controlled and user adoption will be greatly improved.
One final thing is happening, Microsoft Partners have now had time to work with the product. They are therefore creating entry level pre-customized solutions that can be deployed more quickly. (USD Accelerators if you like.)
I hope to be implementing Unified Service Desk in a small company near you soon ……..