Headquartered in the Netherlands, Panas offers innovative Cloud-based telephony solutions that enable small and mid-sized businesses to communicate more efficiently and cost-effectively. With telephony being such a critical and highly visible service, Panas pays close attention to the effectiveness of its Support teams and the quality of the customer experience.
With new services being launched to customers during 2016, Panas wanted to provide a more tailored support experience, based on the services that customers had subscribed to, and the types of requests being logged. The existing Zendesk solution did not provide the flexibility to route customers based on their service subscriptions, so Panas decided to look to the market for an ITSM solution that would support full business process management and service automation.
The search for an innovative ITSM solution
Alex van Engelen, R&D Engineer at Panas, lead the search for a new service management solution that could be implemented quickly to support the launch of these new services. “I looked at several Service Management tools”, said Alex. “I immediately discounted some vendors, based on price and significant implementation costs. I quickly got my shortlist down to two vendors, Cherwell and TOPdesk. However, for balance, we needed a third vendor, so I searched Google for ITSM and ITIL tools, and found Hornbill. I was impressed by the information available and the videos showing the versatility of Hornbill Service Manager. The collaborative features and the ‘Facebook-like’ social interface left me with the impression that Hornbill was a start-up, with disruptive technology. You don’t expect to see this level of innovation from a vendor that’s been in the ITSM market for over 20 years.”
Make the right decision by Investing the time to try, before you buy
Alex explained that at the very start of the selection process, Cherwell was the favoured solution. “At the start, we weren’t convinced that we would choose Hornbill. However, they were the only vendor that offered a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which included a full trial and a free switch-on service that gets you up and running with the tool within 30-days. We invested the time and effort to properly understand the product and get to know the people at Hornbill. During the regular one-to-one sessions with Hornbill’s Product Specialists we got excellent advice on how to get the most from the tool. The knowledge transfer was fantastic, and Hornbill records these sessions, so if you’ve missed anything, or simply want to refresh your knowledge, you can easily revisit a session.”
Alex recommends that people invest the time to get the most from the 30-day trial. “It’s a great solution, so make the most of it by getting active and getting to know the people at Hornbill and other customers on the community forums. The advice available is invaluable and the time you’ve invested will pay off. “
By the end of the 30-day evaluation, Hornbill Service Manager was fully configured and ready for use, proving that it was the right choice. Alex explains, “Cherwell wasn’t a true Cloud-based solution. It was quite expensive and there are a lot of up-front implementation costs. Hornbill is a native Cloud-based ITSM solution, which is important, as everything at Panas is Cloud-based. Overall Hornbill costs us less than Zendesk, but offers significantly more flexibility, with full business process management and excellent features for collaboration. In the end, it was easy to convince our executives to choose Hornbill.”
Improving the customer experience
To provide the best possible customer experience the Customer Portal was translated into Dutch. Alex and his team needed to do some work to tidy up the automatic translations that Hornbill provides. With the new skills acquired during the 30-day evaluation, Alex and his colleagues are now fully self-sufficient. Alex said, “We were having a hard time with the old tool, as it couldn’t direct customers down different routes according to the service against which requests were raised. Now we can ask customers mandatory questions and route requests based on who the customer is, which service they’re using, and the type of request being logged. The process has been streamlined; our customers get a better service experience, and the Service Level Management functionality within Hornbill helps Service Desk staff to properly prioritise their work. We could not have achieved this so quickly if we had chosen another solution.”
Collaboration adds a new dimension for service improvement
Alex said that Panas is now using the collaborative features of Hornbill Service Manager more extensively. “We’re increasingly making use of the workspaces to share information and knowledge. The ability to mention someone (@name) and bring them in immediately to help with a request is a simple, but very powerful feature. Collaboration is adding a whole new dimension that improves our communication and enables us to support our customers more effectively.”