Peer-to-peer support in practice: a sample scenario

Last time I introduced our new Smart Guide, Harnessing the Power of Peer-to-Peer Support, designed to help ITSM teams achieve greater efficiencies by embracing new technologies and the collaborative outlook of the modern end-user.

This time, I’d like to show how it works in practice by outlining a sample scenario from a progressive organization that has already embraced today’s collaborative support practices.

• Alan is a sales rep for an international company who is based in London. He’s been finalizing preparations for an important meeting with a prospective customer.

• After he goes home the evening before the meeting, his US-based colleagues continue working on the presentation, taking advantage of the time difference.

• Next morning, with the meeting just hours away, Alan tries to open the presentation, but gets an error message.

• Although the US team has gone home and the service desk is also closed, Alan is able to post a question on the company’s collaborative workspace, which is open 24/7. He assigns it the status ‘urgent’.

• A US-based colleague, Sean, receives an automated message at home via his mobile device to say that Alan needs urgent help. He thinks he knows what the problem is, because earlier he read that the VPN client version was being updated with likely effects on server access. .

• Sean tells Alan about the VPN change and posts a link on the workspace to the necessary software update plus instructions.

• Alan installs the new software and accesses the presentation successfully. He’s ready for the meeting.

As I mentioned last time, this type of collaboration can be seen as the logical next step in ‘shift-left’ – the drive to move issue resolution to the lowest cost level and/or as close as possible to the customer. Alan’s story illustrates the value of helping people to make use of the knowledge and expertise of their peers, 24/7. Harnessing peer-to-peer collaboration like this is a sensible way to take full advantage of modern end-users’ social and collaborative outlook.

In my next blog post, I’ll consider the recent evolutions in consumer expectations and behavior that are making peer-to-peer support so relevant today.

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