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Case Study - Technology

Covalen designed and implemented a Quality System and an Employee Engagement programme, transforming Service Desk operations across geographies for a Fortune 500 technology company.

The client is a Fortune 500 company and represented in the S&P 500 Index. Delivering modern technology solutions across the entire enterprise technology stack—they work with B2B clients in several industries. The company has delivery centres and data centres, servicing clients globally.

Challenge

The company works with a range of industries, market segments and customers. Resourcing was a key challenge, with talent retention a critical issue, particularly across the Nordics region. This impacted service-desk efficiency, and the SLA’s they were required to meet.

Opportunity

Cpl and Covalen had a significant market presence in the Nordics region, The Netherlands, and Germany with several sites in Central Eastern Europe (CEE). It was crucial the client improved service desk capabilities and scaled up IT operations with key talent.

Solution

Despite their diverse client base, a consistent, streamlined approach to recruitment, HR and talent management was required—with effective systems and training to hire, develop, and retain resources. Increasing quality standards to achieve a variety of SLA’s was critical.

Covalen’s Approach

Design and delivery of seamless 24/7 service desk support to meet the unique needs of diverse end-to-end business users in multiple languages – English, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, German, French, Dutch, Polish, Spanish.

Resources – Covalen and Cpl Jobs created a bespoke workforce planning tool, Resourceful, to forecast headcount in line with service deliverables and longer-term business initiatives. Covalen strategically evaluated resources to ensure a key talent pool was always available.

Quality – The client asked Covalen to lead quality management initiatives. Covalen created a Service Desk Quality Framework, a bespoke system called Experior to assess, manage, and improve call and case quality from a service, team, individual, and process level.

Training – Covalen developed an entire catalogue of employee training consisting of specialised company-certified training programmes. This approach led to a rise in the numbers of skilled employees— with the competencies to deliver high-quality service levels and achieve client SLA’s.

Career Progression – Realising the need to retain talent within the organisation, Covalen designed an employee progression plan incorporating six areas of career progression within the client’s service desk operations. The progression plan included internal mobility, i.e. service desk employees deployed to other accounts and geographies, and succession plans enabling promotion within departments such as Quality, Coaching, and Training. This method equipped the business for transition and growth.

Leadership Development – Impressed with the results of the employee training programme and career progression path, the client recognised the need to develop and expand leadership capabilities. Covalen advised, created, and implemented a Leadership Talent path, which again gave rise to increased engagement levels.

Retention – Covalen improved length of service from six to 18 months. The engagement model was instrumental in meeting business objectives, fuelled by a highly engaged workforce prepared to move up the career ladder internally.

Business Process Excellence – Covalen streamlined all capabilities and developed a leaner service desk organisation, and the client benefited from Covalen’s bespoke employee change management system, Centralis document control. Training employees to create, update, and centrally store documents for every process including change control, Covalen ensured the business was prepared for business continuity (BCP) and transition.

TIMELINE

1997: Covalen’s relationship with the client first began with a Managed Staffing model for IT Helpdesk staff.  

2005: Covalen moved to a Managed Service model in one of the client’s Dublin based operations.

Covalen took ownership of service desk delivery from an operational perspective – Staff, SLA compliance, GSD local and global support, and managed staffing provision.

2008: After scaling headcount from 365 to 900, the client requested to extend Covalen’s Managed Service model to Hungary. Covalen planned to transfer its proven system to Hungary, taking cultural and regulatory differences into account.

2011: Covalen implemented a service desk framework through a Managed Service model for 650 employees over three Hungarian sites.

2013: The client wanted to transform their Tunisian operation and awarded Covalen a Managed Service contract for 500 employees.

Again, the client extended Covalen’s contract to a second site in Galway, Ireland, for software development and manufacturing under a Managed Staffing model, which successfully scaled to 300 employees.

2014: Standalone support changed to a leveraged environment in the Dublin site. To support the client’s strategy, Covalen implemented projects to deliver cost savings and increased productivity,  and provided contingency support.

2015 to 2017 - The client went through significant changes, including a restructure and a merger. This supported their focus on product/ service specialisation.

Over two decades, the co-creation approach between the client and Covalen inspired a trusted partnership, with Covalen operating as an extension of the client’s business. Consequently, Covalen sustained the client agreement and account relationships following the merger and restructure.

Covalen has continually evolved with the changing client organisation providing value through increased efficiencies, reduced costs, and best-in-class service delivery.

Dublin operation in 2017: •  500 managed service employees. •  35 managed staffing employees. •  Covalen entrusted with over 400 service level agreements: 98% achievement of SLAs •  14 business improvement and cost savings projects completed on the Dublin site. •  11.83% achievement in cost savings meeting client goals.

Hungarian operation in 2017: •  610 managed service employees. •  Covalen entrusted with over 650 service level agreements: 99% achievement of SLAs. •  10 business improvement and cost savings projects completed on the Hungarian site. •  11.3% achievement in cost savings meeting client goals.

Tunisian operation in 2017: •  250 managed service employees. •  Covalen entrusted with over 57 service level agreements: 98% achievement of SLAs. •  4 business improvement and cost savings projects completed on the Tunis site. •   3.5% achievement in cost savings meeting client goals under a managed solution model.

Key Outcomes
  • Scaled resources up and down across geographies to achieve client business goals
  • Leveraging Project in 2014 resulted in cost savings of $13.5 million within 3 years (Dublin)
  • Successful transition of multiple services desks to other locations
  • Cross-site support between Ireland, Hungary, and Tunisia
  • Collaborative approach with the client for Business Continuity Planning (BCP) including a new, highly successful service delivery model during Covid-19