Training: External/Channel Support Workgroup Leader

Most training for IT professionals is based around ITSM (IT Service Management), or IT services as delivered to a corporate internal customer base. This two-day workshop is different. It is aimed at the support leaders in the Channel. The is the domain of the manufacturers, software authors, vendors, value added resellers (VAR), and managed service providers (MSP), who ultimately provide everything that we call IT. The channel should never be underestimated.

The External Support Difference

While there are some similarities with ITSM, external client support management (ECSM) differs from it starkly enough to warrant its own definitions. They are looked at in more detail in this linked article. Internal IT support desks rarely have to concern themselves with corporate sales except as users. But for external support, sales is often a critical consideration. It is a crucial component of the company’s offering. Poor support doesn’t just mean a longer backlog, as it may for internal desks – it can mean lost customers, sharply declining revenues. The quality of external support is inextricably linked to the continued survival of the company. This is because in the channel, IT support is not just an administrative overhead, it is a key part of the customer offer. And it turns up in two forms – pre-sales support, helping to generate new business; and post sales support, ensuring the retention of existing clients.

External and channel support workgroup leaders have to understand efficiency and effectiveness. They know about the sales and repeat business aspects of what they do, as the reminder is there constantly. They may have to recognise the important of mainstream IT services frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT, but mainly to dovetail with and respect their clients rather than as internal organisational models for their own workgroups.

Channel support has to be more disciplined in its provision. Here, Service Level Agreements are not just arbitrary numbers in a call-log database, they are the basis of penalty clauses, carrying genuine financial risk. MSPs know that an inaccurate-sized service can lead to later difficulties customer relationships. Vendors know that the competition is always a threat and so support has a role to play pre-sales differentiation as well as post-sales customer retention and repeat business.

Channel companies simply have to get ECSM right. It’s a business issue in ways ITSM never can be recognised as such.

About the Training

This two day workshop appreciates the external support difference, and focuses on it, but it doesn’t stop there. We’ll be going into depth with a range of techniques and methods for leading a successful support workgroup, that’s fun to work in and respected by its customers and appreciated by the company for its business contribution. There are no role-plays or soft skills, just solid, proven how-to, delivered by an award winning external support manager turned consultant and trainer.

All you need to bring to the training are an open mind, a readiness to take part in the discussions and a means of taking notes.

Do It Onsite

As well as public instances every few months, your company can commission private training onsite at your own premises. Onsite training keeps travel and accommodation costs down. It also that the training can take your company’s particular issues into account, and so get attendees closer to solutions they can use immediately. In an onsite instance, there is scope for customisation.

How much? Click here:

Pricing and logistics information

Who should attend:

  • Channel and external IT support managers, team leaders, technical leads, and supervisors from Servicedesk, Helpdesk or any other line of support
  • University and college IT support staff assisting students rather than institution staff

What you will learn:

  • Making the vital mental shift from technician to leader
  • Getting the best from your staff, motivation, resources orchestration
  • Incorporating the business realities into delivering support
  • Dealing with the sales imperative
  • Gain the respect of your group’s customers and the business
  • Managing your single points of failure by skills development
  • How, when, why, and what to delegate
  • What to measure, why, and how to report on it
  • Co-ordinate your different workloads – reactive, projects and routine
  • Give your staff a rewarding and enjoyable place to work
  • The techniques of fast resolution times
  • Co-ordinate your different workloads – reactive, projects and routine

About Your Course Leader

Course creator and presenter Noel Bruton is a UK-based consultant, author and leader of world-class IT Support workgroups.

He started his independent consultancy in 1991 and is the author of best-selling IT Support management books. He is highly regarded as a trainer and presenter, and in particular for the straight-talking way he delivers his highly practical solutions.

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