This quick article is going to explain the basis of Microsoft Office Systems Service Delivery (centered a little on SharePoint, ahem) and why it is so important to have in your organization. Also, check out my book (on this link) which covers a lot more on this topic.
As we begin, I want to explain why I’m focusing on Microsoft Office Systems service delivery and automation. I have worked in so many organizations where the delivery of a solution using one or more tools and services from the Microsoft Office suite (and other tools) has an overarching imperative, which is simply to provide good customer satisfaction and good customer experience in using that solution going forward—even beyond where the solution has been implemented. This is so they can ensure that they are getting the best value from the available tools, and at the same time meeting return on investment (ROI).
To me, Microsoft Office Systems (not just the ‘desktop’ tools – which by the way are now ‘cloud’ tools and therefore even closer to an entire cloud platform of tools) combines to provide a systems platform. Therefore, service delivery is required to guarantee that solutions created using one or more of those can be delivered using practical techniques and in a logical fashion. You will not be able to provide adequate services without taking into consideration issue, change, service-level, and operational requirements.
Here is my definition of service delivery:
Service delivery is about delivering services effectively which exceeds customer expectation, aligned directly to customer requirements and is fully supportable.
Service delivery combines what is being offered with how that service will be delivered. Service delivery is about ensuring that service always meets customer expectations. The most important aspect of sustaining User Adoption is ensuring that you are capable of managing the solution, understanding the customer, and providing a customer-driven, measurable service. Service delivery is about capability, availability, customers, and service. What you will need to understand is why these elements are important. Service delivery can be applied to one, or all of the products in turn. Consider the below for SharePoint and then think of your products and see why they are all in tune with service delivery:
For SharePoint why is service delivery about capability?
- Because SharePoint support services must be capable of supporting the delivered solution in line with customer expectations
- Because the SharePoint delivery teams must be capable on delivering on the promises that were made about time and quality
- Because associated SharePoint support services must be capable of standing over any key performance indicators or service level agreements.
- Because the people must be capable in using the delivered SharePoint solution
- Because processes and procedures created through the delivery of the solution must be capable in enabling and enhancing business productivity, knowledge, and solving information and management collaboration challenges
For SharePoint why is service delivery about customers?
- Because customers need to appreciate what is being delivered through adoption.
- Because customers are the ones who will give you feedback concerning the SharePoint service failures and successes
- Because customers are the people who have the power to affect SharePoint service financial reward. That financial reward, for example, could be the licenses for a SharePoint app, or charges made to external customers to provide support services.
- Because without customer satisfaction aligned to SharePoint support excellence, User Adoption will fail Because customers will measure the excellence of SharePoint support services
For SharePoint why is service delivery about service?
- Because SharePoint service delivery implies that something is going to be delivered in a sequenced and logical approach that the customer will understand
- Because SharePoint service delivery implies a degree of excellence
For SharePoint why is service delivery about availability?
- Because customers are among the organizations key resource. A disruption of this resource due to non-availability of SharePoint solutions will result in customers not able to perform their tasks
- Because availability of SharePoint solutions is based on the risk tolerance of the customers or organizations culture
- Because customers need to understand the impact of an outage or disruption of SharePoint services
- Because understanding the resources available to support the service is key to understanding its availability
While there are factors that will define the level of service, there is nothing to stop you from delivering that service excellently. The above not just applies to SharePoint, it applies to the entire suite of tools. You do this by creating a support service, and to do that, you need to understand the capabilities that the customer will require support for, related to internal and external considerations. Automation, compliancy, legal issues, availability, and resiliency are some of these considerations. The point of understanding these considerations means that you will be able to create a well-implemented SharePoint service whose performance can be measured by the customer.