After spending three days at the HDI conference in Orlando, the world’s largest helpdesk and service desk event, I can say that American companies and organisations are currently focusing strongly on introducing Level Zero support, which is the level before first line where users can help themselves.
I attended a seminar presented by Christophe Chapel from Atlassian on “The DIY (Do IT Yourself) Service Desk: Maximizing the Value of Self-Service”. My mistake was to arrive only five minutes before the session began, which meant I had to stand. The interest in anything relating to self-service and Level Zero was unmistakeable. Many exhibition participants turned back at the door once they realised the room was packed and that there were no more seats for Christophe Chapel’s seminar on maximising the value of self-service. Many of those who came in stood along the walls, and some even opted to sit on the floor!
A demo every five minutes
Further evidence of the current demand for Level Zero among American companies is that we presented a demo (in English, which can be challenging for a Swedish company) on the ComAround stand every five minutes throughout the week of the expo. Every eight minutes, a new business signed up for our Free Trial version of ComAround Zero™ – and without our having to attract people with a raffle for things like iPads. In fact, we could only have done more demos if there had been more of us there. There is huge interest, and the hunt for concepts and tools that will help companies/organisations introduce a Level Zero is one of the strongest emerging trends right now.
I did a presentation for decision makers in General Motors’ global IT organisation. I described how GM had historically employed a “do it yourself” strategy, building all their IT tools themselves, but that recently they had slowly begun to change tactics, with more and more tools coming “out of the box”. GM liked what they saw, and wanted to test our Free Trial version, as did 70 other American companies over those few days.
Maggie Angeline, IT Incident Manager at Paychex, presented another seminar around self-service entitled “Creating a Self-Service Culture”. This was packed out, too. Maggie described how they introduced Level Zero and reduced costs in their 14,000-employee organisation from 29 to 11-12 dollars per case in 2013.
Nordic countries lead the way
My guess is that American companies will catch up, and take over the baton from us in the Nordic countries in showing what enormous benefits Level Zero can provide. Although we might think of ourselves as “early adopters” in creating and driving development in Level Zero, the volume and power of a giant market like America’s make it hard to stop once it has started rolling. ComAround definitely wants to be involved in the development of Level Zero, and we hope we are well prepared in terms of both the product and the packaging of concepts. One comment I have brought back with me from those few days in Orlando came from a service desk manager who was well up to speed. After five minutes of presentation, she exclaimed: “You guys are good!”. I sincerely hope she is right, and that the future will be as exciting as we think it could be.
Per Strand – Founder and Vice President, ComAround