Measuring ROI

By Wylie Wong  |  Posted 2008-11-26 Print this article Print

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s tech support call center, which receives 100,000 calls a year on more than 1,000 educational products, resolves customers’ computer problems by taking over their desktops using Web-based remote software, also know as a clientless remote-support tool.

Measuring ROI

When the tech-support center implemented the Bomgar remote-support tool nearly two years ago, the publisher saw an immediate return on investment, ranging from faster call resolution to cost savings, Baird reports.

After the first year, average call times fell from 12 minutes to 10 minutes, and that dropped to about nine minutes at the end of this summer. The faster resolution rate improves customer service because it allows staffers to take more calls.

That, in turn, saves the company from having to hire more tech-support employees. Every 1.5 minutes that’s shaved from the average call saves the publisher one full-time employee, Baird says. So a reduction from 12 minutes to nine minutes a call obviates the need for two additional full-time employees a year.

Switching from the old vendor to the new one also saves $12,000 a year in software licenses.

Overall, Bomgar’s remote-administration tool has made the job faster and easier for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s tech-support team. “Since we installed this product, there has not been one single minute of downtime, no connectivity problems and no security breaches,” Baird says. “We couldn’t live without it.”

Hosted or In-House Solutions?

Clientless remote-support tools are available as either a Web-hosted solution or as software and server appliances that are installed on an enterprise’s in-house network. The type an organization chooses depends on its corporate policies, says IDC analyst Matt Healey.

For example, if security is a concern, a business may choose to install the technology in-house because all the data is housed internally, he says. However, he adds that with hosted solutions, companies can increase the number of software licenses almost immediately, while an on-premise product requires IT staffers to handle the installation.

The market for clientless remote-support tools is still emerging. Sales of these tools are expected to more than double in the next four years, from an estimated $156.4 million in 2008 to $335.7 million in 2012, according to IDC.

Wylie Wong is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.

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