You don’t need a CIO to tell you how many cloud-based applications modern companies now rely on. From functions like file-sharing to security to customer relationship management, the sheer number and diversity of apps can wreak havoc for any enterprise IT team.
Companies today need an umbrella solution to manage all their discrete applications, and that’s exactly what RightScale Cloud Portfolio Management provides: a single source for enterprises to manage, govern, and optimize applications in public, private, and hybrid clouds. With RightScale, enterprise IT teams can control user access, standardize technologies and processes, ensure security compliance, and enforce budgets. In short, RightScale simplifies what can otherwise feel unmanageable.
It comes as no surprise that the support team serving enterprise IT teams would be, by their own admission, an “extremely techie bunch.” RightScale offers their customers a variety of levels of email, phone, and chat support, as well as a managed services program for clients who want to offload management of their cloud portfolios.
Walking the walk
For a company well-versed in cloud technologies, it was important for RightScale to take care in selecting its own cloud-based customer service software. Bailey Caldwell, VP of Customer Success at RightScale, particularly values tools that are agile. “When I saw Zendesk Support, I was immediately impressed with its capabilities,” he said. “You had the open API and the customization abilities that we needed.”
The team had been using their previous system for seven years before switching to Support. “We originally implemented RightNow when we put our support team in place,” Caldwell explained. “But eventually we needed to get the right data to the right people and to gain more insight into our business to support our next-level needs.” The RightScale team was surprised and pleased to find that they were able to migrate seven years’ worth of data and workflow to Support in just two weeks.
Bridging the gap between customers and engineers
Many Zendesk customers use Support alongside their products, but RightScale went a step further and integrated Support with its platform, allowing the company to funnel customer feedback directly to the engineering team. An email form enables customers to create an incident from within RightScale products. “Now we have the ability to give our engineering team widgets for in-line help,” said Caldwell. “Our engineering team likes that flexibility to customize the look and feel and embed the support interaction naturally into our products.”
On the support side, RightScale customized its instance of Support to easily differentiate between standard support incidents and customer-reported product defect incidents so that the support team can track and report on both. It’s a great way to ensure that product defects are moved quickly and seamlessly into the engineering process.
Streamlined support for complex needs
There are two primary types of support that RightScale’s support team provides, each with their own time-tracking requirements. Customers can purchase support plans that allow for a maximum number of “consultative support incidents.” These might include questions about product use, or hands-on troubleshooting or automation scripting. Over time, the team must track the number of actual consultative support incidents against the number the customer purchased.
For managed services clients, it’s a different story. The team must track time spent on each contact and report plan overages at the end of the month.
“We live and breathe the ticketing system,” Caldwell said. “We log everything with a ticket in Zendesk Support.” To track time, Caldwell’s team uses two different apps. This way, managed services hours are routed to finance while time tracked for consultative support is used for reporting on resource utilization.
The team has also integrated Support with a host of other applications including Assembla, JIRA, Magic Help Desk, and ServiceNow. Yet given the vast number of applications used by different clients, the support team can’t integrate with everything. Instead, they create users in clients’ own systems that email into Support. Then, using triggers, they’re easily able to identify the client, system, type of issue, and team the ticket should route to. “It’s very natural for the customer,” Caldwell said. “It’s natural for us, too. We’re not going outside our workflow.”
Finding ways to use a single tool to perform so many specific functions reflects the innovative, outside-the-box thinking at RightScale. Complex support offerings are simple interactions on the customer’s end, and the results in time savings and efficiencies means everyone spends more uptime in the cloud.
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