The client is a British multinational professional services partnership headquartered in UK.
Our client is one of the largest leading professional services networks in the world. In the fiercely competitive global professional services industry, efficiency and client-centricity are paramount. As a renowned market-leading firm, despite its exceptional reputation, encountered some challenges in its IT support approach and service quality resulting in a sub-optimal service. Defined by traditional IT support methods which relied on outdated reactive practices, uncertain completion times, holding users hostage during support interactions, and interrupting their workflow, all fell short of meeting the high expectations of both its workforce and ultimately its clients. The consequences were far-reaching: compromised user experiences and disruptions leading to potential setbacks in crucial client engagements. With an overwhelming multi-million volume of support tickets raised annually, the firm’s reactive model hindered productivity and failed to deliver optimal results for employees and clients alike.
Recognising the need for transformation, the firm embarked on a journey to revolutionise its global IT support. Objectives were clear: introduce both proactive and pre-emptive solutions to deliver an exceptional support experience. While the firm had invested heavily in cutting-edge technologies, the need was to integrate them to address UX issues comprehensively. Here, Mason Advisory’s expertise proved invaluable.
Mason Advisory not only possessed a deep understanding of the technologies but also excelled in the design, implementation, and operationalisation of the end-to-end solution. This holistic approach provided a complete understanding of the firm’s issues and a clear roadmap for addressing them successfully. Armed with extensive knowledge in automation, data-driven insights, and service innovation, Mason Advisory supported the client in pulling together disparate solutions to revamp employee IT support, elevate experiences, and empower its workforce. Through a next-gen, agile support framework, the firm aimed to set new industry standards, reaffirming its commitment to delivering excellence in client service.
Strategy: Shaping Vision and Approach for Transformation
Mason Advisory played a dynamic, critical, and collaborative role from the outset, aiding in shaping the vision, strategy, and approach, and forging a visionary IT transformation program. Collaborative efforts involving strategic workshops with key stakeholders and internal subject matter experts resulted in a well-defined, unambiguous vision and approach. The imperative was not just to move from a fully traditional and reactive support model to a proactive, user centric service, but to ensure seamless transition to the transformed service.
This encompassing strategy embraced vital components, including the identification of a global IT service desk partner, the integration of cutting-edge reference support methodologies, the establishment of centralised system monitoring, proactive issue anticipation and correction mechanisms, seamless integration of innovative technologies, the cultivation of user-centric support frameworks, and the seamless continuity of employee workflows.
Figure 1: Support strategy/vision
Sourcing, Procurement, and Contracting: Selecting the Right Partner for the Journey
With the vision set, the firm needed to go to market and secure a new and capable global IT service desk partner. Mason Advisory guided the firm through the sourcing, shortlisting process, procurement, and contracting phase in the search for a leading digital services provider. Our experience meant that Mason Advisory played a crucial role in this phase, leading on tasks such as requirements definition, tendering, selection, and contract award for the new global IT service desk partner. The challenge lay in finding a partner who could deliver on the vision in a capacity to handle the client’s substantial business scale and its member firm structure – a provider capable of aligning with the firm’s goals, automation requirements, employee empowerment, and client service excellence. Mason Advisory took a meticulous approach, beginning with defining and structuring a Request for Proposal (RFP) that clearly articulated and outlined project goals, expectations, service details, timescales and crucially, the desired benefit outcomes.
Mason Advisory helped introduce a tailored scoring system based on previous experience and insight from external learnings with industry leaders, enabling the evaluation of potential providers based on ability, and capability to align with strategic objectives. The scoring process involved multiple cross-functional stakeholders within a complex organisational structure, which provided critical considerations for professional service firms to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.
To optimise the client’s partnership with the new global IT service desk partner, Mason Advisory, recognising the unique challenges posed by the client’s complex corporate structure, recommended the implementation of a collaborative solutioning approach. This approach involved convergent efforts between the client and the selected supplier to conceive solutions that adeptly addressed the client’s diverse needs and objectives, taking into account the client’s intricate governance structure between its professionals and stakeholders. Drawing from industry best practices and leveraging insights gained from prior engagements, Mason Advisory ensured that this approach adhered to the highest standards for large-scale suppliers. Navigating these complexities, Mason Advisory diligently maintained alignment with the business requisites throughout the entire process. At the end of this process Mason Advisory successfully guided the client through a smooth procurement and contracting phase.
As a result, Mason Advisory were able to ensure that the client successfully embedded a new global IT service desk partner, who could match the scale of their IT operations on a global scale and ensured that they were able to deliver automation for a large amount of the IT support services.
Figure 2: Scoring and evaluation methodology
Governance Set Up: A Comprehensive Framework for Success
Mason Advisory supported the client programme team in establishing and managing a well-structured and meticulous governance and delivery framework which offered clear unbiased perspectives and structured methodologies that proved instrumental in steering the project towards successful completion. At the heart was the meticulous definition of roles and responsibilities across all levels of the project hierarchy, with individuals given distinct ownership for each facet of the transformation process, ensuring accountability and seamless coordination. This empowered the project team to make informed decisions, resolve issues quickly, and maintain its flightpath. Additionally, the framework attained an intelligent balance between centralised programme control via a steering committee and localised workstream autonomy. This helped teams to quickly adapt to changing situations while keeping the main project goals in check.
However, a robust governance framework is not solely reliant on hierarchical and reporting structures. A meticulously documented set of charters and guidelines was upheld, enabling adherence to industry standards and regulatory benchmarks. Regular audits and reviews with strategic steering groups and the CIO ensured that the project was aligned with core objectives, while agile methodologies allowed for iterative improvements. This comprehensive governance approach not only fostered transparency and accountability but also upheld the highest standards of project execution and crystallised into a coherent orchestration of decision-making, communication, and risk management.
Figure 3: Governance
Transformation and Transition: Agility and Innovation at Work
In the process of devising the delivery approach in collaboration with both the client and its new supplier, Mason Advisory recommended a strategic stance by prioritising transformation over transition. This strategic emphasis emerged as a pivotal decision, underscoring the significance of constructing a Minimum Shippable Product (MSP) as the foremost step. This approach facilitated the immediate delivery of value to the onboarding countries during the transition phase. With the establishment of the MSP, subsequent transition waves seamlessly aligned with ongoing transformation phases. This approach fostered an agile and streamlined delivery process while effectively mitigating potential disruptions during the transition phase.
The program was delivered through two parallel yet interconnected workstreams: transformation and transition. The transformation workstream focused on the strategic deployment of technological enhancements. It managed the introduction of cutting-edge solutions and innovations that elevated the organisation’s proactive, pre-emptive solutioning landscape. Concurrently, the transition workstream orchestrated the global release of the new solution, migrating countries and associated regions from the current mode of operation to the future mode of operation. This methodical phasing strategy prioritised specific countries, based on language requirements, ensuring seamless integration. The orchestration of this process across over 100 countries and close to half a million users, spanning multiple phases, including moving from the incumbent service desk provider to the new global IT service desk partner, reflected a meticulous consideration of diverse contexts and requirements across regions.
Significantly, the transformation workstream assumed a leadership role, guiding the program’s overall direction, while the transition workstream closely aligned its rollout strategy with the evolving transformation. As the program progressed to its transition phase, the focus shifted to the global implementation the innovative solution. This systematic rollout strategy facilitated localised and controlled implementation, upholding the project’s vision, scope and objectives.
At the core of the operational transformation’s success was the synergy between agility and innovation. To facilitate this synergy, Mason Advisory supported the client in establishing two solution design working groups: one for overall design and the other for the automation initiatives. These working groups streamlined the decision-making process, benefit tracking and expediting the approval of proposed tools and solutions. The design working groups provided architecture support, design and documentation reviews, Data Privacy and Privacy Impact Assessment reviews, including engagement with global and local Data Privacy and Group Compliance Officers, UAT planning and solution acceptance as part of the transition governance process. This agile approach optimised both speed and benefits realisation. Running in parallel with transformation and transition, the automation support stream achieved significant success. Through Mason Advisory’s understanding of the ecosystem that inhibited automation from progressing, setting up the right governance, processes and outcome focused workflows resulted in numerous high-value benefit automation use cases being deployed in just five months, a remarkable contrast to the prior state of zero use cases in the initial eight months.
An evolution in customer interactions was realised rapidly with the introduction of virtual agents for both voice and chat interactions, blending technology with personalised, intelligent, and engaging experiences. Integrated digital solutions included a significantly complex ServiceNow re-implementation, moving away from a heavily customised and expensive to maintain instance to an ‘out of the box’ instance. In addition, a cutting-edge contact centre, automated detect and resolve incident solutions were deployed with sentiment analysis and advanced intelligent agent dashboards planned for future releases. Each initiative was underpinned by an updated operating model, augmented by Mason Advisory’s thought leadership, comprehensive operational processes expertise, and quality of service assurance.
Mason Advisory played a pivotal role in guiding the global IT service desk partner through the intricacies of designing and documenting the target operating model. Their approach not only incorporated industry best practices but was also tailored to the unique needs and context of the global IT service desk partner organisation. This resulted in the development of a comprehensive Operational Procedures Guide that would guide the organisation’s operations in alignment with the new solutions and services. Through this meticulous documentation process, Mason Advisory provided the IT service desk partner with a tangible blueprint that encompassed the nuanced details required for seamless execution and supported them with defining the processes and procedures to underpin it. This approach facilitated clarity on processes, reduced ambiguity, and set a solid foundation for streamlined operations. Mason Advisory’s organisation change management service ensured the effective delivery and embedding of successful changes and realisation of benefits.
Figure 4 – Transformation/T&T
From conception to execution, Mason Advisory’s partnership proved instrumental in crafting a successful transformative journey. The approach of prioritising transformation before transition optimised operations, aligned technology with outcomes, and ensured a seamless migration. Collaborative joint solutioning fostered a clear vision and roadmap, while structured program management and streamlined workstreams facilitated a smooth transition. The results were evident: a greatly enhanced customer experience, as evidenced by significant improvements with the achievement of industry leading service levels and KPIs, optimised processes, minimised time impact for employees and their clients, and adaptability to evolving market demands. In the end, Mason Advisory’s expertise set the stage for lasting success and empowered the firm to deliver excellence in IT support and client service.
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