Category Archives: Managed IT Services

Help Desk Basics: How Effective Is Your Help Desk, Really?

An Effective Help Desk

Before you can determine how effective your help desk is, you need to determine what your help desk does. What would you say your help desk’s most important purpose is?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different help desks of many different sizes. I’ve found, almost in every case, help desk technicians are unable to answer the basic question of why they work for the company. Some will say “We fix PCs!” or “We answer phones!”

Those may be good examples of their duties, but they do not directly answer why they have a job.

For internal IT help desks, the answer is simple, but rarely communicated or discussed:

The role of all help desk employees is to reduce employee downtime and maximize employee financial productivity.

If you or your team do not have a clear understanding of your primary goal, you may be working on solving problems that do not impact your core objectives. You will also never be able to truly determine how effective your help desk is.

Many metrics are available to help desk managers and employees, including Average Talk Time, Call Abandon Rates, First Level Resolution, Client Satisfaction Scores, etc. Out of all of your metrics, if “Financial Productivity” is your primary focus, this helps narrow down your key metrics to a smaller number.

I do want to state that all metrics are important to understand and measure, but decisions and directions should be primarily determined based on your key drivers. The # 1 most important metric when identifying effectiveness:

First Call Resolution 

How often does your help desk have the tools, knowledge, and access to resolve reported issues on the FIRST call, without delay or escalation? The only faster way to resolve an issue is by avoiding the issue altogether—a topic we will cover in a future blog post.

Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  I would love to hear from you!

By Steven White, Director of Customer Service, Managed Services

How to Build a Modern 24/7 Help Desk

Check out the infographic below to learn how GreenPages’ Help Desk helped a customer drastically improve service desk support while saving 30%. Learn how we can help you lower cost, reduce risk, and increase services efficiency. 

If you’d like to decrease time to resolution, measure service improvement, build a first-class knowledgebase, and leverage support communities, listen to this recent presentation from Jay Keating, SVP of Cloud and Managed Services, and Steven White, Director of Customer Service.

GreenPages Help Desk


By Jake Cryan, Digital Marketing Specialist

How our Managed Services Team Responded to Heartbleed

By Jay Keating, Vice President of Managed Services


A lot has been written about the Heartbleed bug impacting versions of OpenSSL software in recent weeks. For an in-depth description of what Heartbleed is and how to respond to the vulnerability, you can refer to or any number of 3rd party reports. This blog won’t review the actual weakness, but rather describe how our Managed IT Services team responded to the incident in support of our customers.

As software and hardware vendors release code updates to deal with vulnerabilities such as Heartbleed, our Managed IT Services team assesses overall risk in context to mitigating factors and then recommends a course of action. In the case of Heartbleed, since the scope was so broad, we prioritized our assessment in the following tiers:

  1. We quickly evaluated our internal systems and support tools. This important step had to happen immediately so our own management tools weren’t creating risk or concern for our customers.
  2. We then evaluated all Managed IT Services customers’ Internet-facing devices such as firewalls and web servers. All devices that were exposed have been patched at this point, and customers were notified of the risk and mitigation plan immediately. In this case, given the extent of the exposure, we declared emergency maintenance windows with our customers rather than wait for pre-approved monthly maintenance windows.
  3. Finally, with the Internet-facing systems no longer vulnerable, we have refocused on our customers’ internal networks for the next round of assessments and mitigation. As we work through this phase, we will once again work collaboratively with our Managed IT Services customers to coordinate an acceptable maintenance window as soon as possible.

With Heartbleed still top of mind, I suggest a few moments of reflection to think through how your organization responded.  Here are some questions to help frame your review:

  • Do you have a formal security incident response program in place and was it useful in responding to Heartbleed? If not, who will manage your response and what process will be followed?
  • How long did it take you to fully understand your risks? How long did you expect it to take?
  • Do you have support and maintenance contracts in place for all components of your infrastructure, and are the support contact details documented within your security incident response plan?
  • Who is responsible for internal and external communication in case you need to declare emergency maintenance periods?
  • What will your staffing plan be if your team goes into extended hours of operation in response to a security threat?
  • Who are your key IT delivery partners and what resources could they bring to your assistance if you need help with assessment, planning, communication, mitigation, and / or recovery? 

Just answering those six questions will improve your response program. Let us know if we can help.

Learn more about how your organization can properly manage your IT environment