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Three Ways to Simplify IT Automation for Customer Service Organizations

Customer Service BPOs (Business Processing Outsourcers) are companies that specialize in handling customer queries that come in via email, chat, phone, social media, and other channels. Studies show that organizations who have strong customer service (can solve customer problems quickly) tend to have faithful customers. Because BPOs serve many organizations at the same time, and the organizations they serve have seasonal demands that vary (such as Christmas for retail), they tend to need to bring in a lot of employees at certain times, and at other times they need to reduce their headcount. This means they are different from a typical business that has slow and steady turnover.  A BPO may need to hire hundreds of employees in one week. This can lead to headaches such as: training a large number of new employees, onboarding new employees to all the needed IT systems etc. The typical help desk is not setup for this type of challenge.

Customer Service BPO IT System Challenges 

  • Provisioning New Users – Hiring large numbers of new customer service agents means a lot of work for IT.   New staff require new login accounts, email accounts, team collaboration accounts, customer service software accounts, new badges etc. This puts a strain on the IT Help Desk, and the identity and access management team which manages user provisioning.  If new employees come onboard but their IT system access is delayed, it means you are paying someone, but you’re not generating any revenue in return.  In the BPO game, revenue always has to be higher than cost. 
  • Deprovisioning Users – During slow times of the year, or if a customer is lost, BPOs need to reduce their headcount. This means customer service agents need to be deprovisioned, their accounts cancelled, and software licenses re-claimed.  If this is not done correctly it means you’re paying for software licenses without getting any benefits.  Deprovisioning mistakes can also lead to security exposures.  An account could still be active even though the employee no longer works in the organization.  Phantom accounts can be used by hackers to gain access to critical business information.  
  • Audit Requirements - Often auditors want to see proof that critical IT processes have been completed.  For example, checking that user or group privileges are correct, ensuring that accounts do not exist for non-existent users, or software licenses do not exist for terminated employees.  If these processes where completed manually, say be someone on the IT Help Desk, it can be difficult to provide proof that the process was completed successfully. 

Using Identity Automation to Overcome BPO IT System Challenges

The above problems can be easily overcome by using an Identity Automation platform.  Automation means that the above processes can be completed in a fraction of the time without any manual involvement. 

  • Connect Your Identity Automation Platform to Your HR System and your IT Service Management System (ITSM)  Once your Identity Automation platform is connected to your HR system, you can automatically extract information on any new employees, giving you valuable information needed for identity automation.  If your current business processes for things like kicking off provisioning and deprovisioning involve creating IT Help Desk Requests, then being able to connect your Identity Automation system to your ITSM will allow you to continue to use the same kickoff your business people understand today, while introducing identity automation to complete the actual provisioning and deprovisioning.
  • Provide a library of pre-packaged automation bots – Automating IT processes can be facilitated and accelerated in two ways.  First the Identity Automation platform can provide a library of pre-packaged bots that can be quickly customized to any business requirements.  For example, a pre-packaged provisioning bot that automatically creates Office 365 accounts for things like account access, email, and Team collaboration provides a quick start and can then be customized to handle other provisioning tasks. The second way is for the Identity Automation platform to be cloud based.  This allows an organization to begin automation immediately without having to obtain hardware / install new software etc. 
  • Provide out of the box reporting capabilities – The Identity Automation platform should come with the ability to quickly generate reports on any automation process.  These reports can track the progress of automation (such as provisioning, deprovisioning, reclaiming software licenses), ensure the automation is completed successfully, and ensure errors do not slip through. Reports can be generated on a per user or group basis and can be used to meet auditing requirements. For example, auditors could easily reference a report to prove that software licenses were reclaimed successfully when a terminated employee was deprovisioned. 

To see how the Readibots Identity Automation Platform helped one of the world’s biggest BPOs, see the Alorica Case Study.

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