• November 1, 2006
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Curbing PC Downtime

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What happens when CSRs can't access vital support software due to downtime tied to PC infections? Ultimately, productivity takes a hit. That was the issue facing Time Warner Cable's Greensboro, NC (TWCG) call center, which employs more than 600 people--about 200 of them are call center agents)--and serves about 365,000 customers. "We were spending hours and days trying to battle viruses, adware and spyware issues, and hardware failures," says Sanjeev Shetty, Time Warner Cable's director of IT at Greensboro. The call center sought a solution that would allow it to use its existing hardware while centralizing PC management so that TWCG could easily manage PCs remotely and eventually remove hard drives. The call center selected Ardence, a software platform developer that specializes in software streaming--the on-demand delivery of applications and the operating system to a diskless desktop client. The center went live with Ardence Desktop Edition in August 2005. The software-only solution stores the operating system and applications on a central server, but allows them to run locally on agent desktops. "You have distributed computing with centralized management, and that's exactly what we were looking for," Shetty says. The call center has eliminated 80 percent of support issues as a result of removing the hard drives from PCs, and reduced PC maintenance costs from 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the PC to between 5 and 10 percent. Additionally, the center can complete upgrades in 30 minutes (rather than the 100-plus staff hours previously needed), protect existing hardware investments, extend PC life, and maintain labor costs. Perhaps the most telling result is the reduction in PC downtime that boosts agent productivity; by simply rebooting, spyware, adware, and viruses are removed, and agents are up and running again. In the past, Shetty says, "it could have been hours before they came back on."
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