By Your Side


laire Ryan, Zolv's new Application Support Specialist, gets to the heart of good support Everybody needs support from time to time, and when you do it's good to know that the team you rely on will react quickly and sensibly while keeping you updated on progress. I'm delighted to have joined Zolv to head up the support activity. I'm responsible for the end-to-end process that starts with a user flagging up a problem and finishes with a good solution that gets them back to work.

I've put together a short guide to how Zolv's support function works, how you engage with it, and the standards we work to. It explains our support packages, the way we categorise response levels, and the way we deliver support.

Support, like any other service, can be delivered at many levels, so it's important that clients get the right level for their needs. No one wants to pay over the odds for a gilt-edged service that they don't really need – but equally no one wants to be under-supported if a real business show-stopper crops up. Our packages let clients choose the support availability that's right for the business. And when an incident occurs, we don't want users to have to navigate a complex entry process. Our guide to support therefore includes advice on what users should include in a support request so that the support team can take it from there. In fact, we also include a checklist of simple things users can do before alerting Zolv – just in case there's some snag they can fix themselves.

Incidents are assigned to one of four levels of criticality, depending on their business impact. Each of these levels has associated standards for response time, update time and workaround time. These are the outside limits within which we will fix each type of problem. We ask the customer to assign the criticality level to their incident and then verify that assignment. This helps speed up the process considerably. We also set out clear escalation timings so that incidents continue to be driven through the fix process.

There's an art to having a strong, well defined support process that doesn't become a barrier in its own right. So we have tried to keep the process as clean and lean as we can. Crucially, it's a process that's performed by smart, committed people all the way through. The real heart of support is communication: users, with help, describing the problem and support staff guiding them to the quickest and best resolution.