Break-Fix is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

Insights Paper Engineering Services
Break-Fix is Broken.
Here’s How to Fix It.
How a new delivery model for engineering services can reduce IT costs and improve
business performance.
Traditional break-fix engineering
services can often increase costs, stifle
innovation and impede productivity.
This paper looks at an alternative
engineering services delivery model
that focuses on reducing costs, enabling
continuous improvement, and driving
superior business outcomes.
Is break-fix broken?
Let’s face it; IT has an image problem. In general, end-users only really
notice IT systems when they don’t work, which means IT is often seen as
a cost centre associated with failure and expense. This is compounded by
engineering services contracts that are based on inflexible service level
agreements (SLAs) and a traditional break-fix model where a fault is
logged, an engineer fixes it and then it’s business as usual until the fault
occurs again.
Rigid SLAs mean rigid service, with no allowance for peaks and troughs
in demand. Organisations don’t operate in static markets, they operate in
constantly changing environments, and they need dynamic, flexible and
agile engineering services contracts that reflect the reality on the ground.
The standard break-fix approach also has no interest in stopping the cycle
– preventing the ‘break’ so that the ‘fix’ becomes unnecessary. If you’re
paid by the call, why would you bother trying to stop faults occurring?
If you take a traditional approach to IT engineering services, you’ll get
the traditional results – inflexible response times, unnecessary costs and
recurring issues. Surely there’s a better way?
A new model for engineering services
At Fujitsu, we believe engineering services should add value, not
costs – enabling end-users to offer the highest levels of service to their
customers, and keep pace with technological changes cost-effectively.
But that requires an entirely new delivery model. One that uses a lean
approach to service, responding quickly to changing circumstances.
One that aims to make improvements rather than just provide a fix.
And one that uses flexible contracts to keep costs down and provide the
agility to meet peaks in demand.
Flexible delivery
Very few organisations need the same level of availability for every
application, service and device every day of the year. So why pay for it?
By combining pay-as-you-go pricing with SLAs that monitor and track
footfall or workloads, service levels will correspond to usage patterns and
the operational significance of individual products – so you’ll only pay for
the service you actually need.
So, for example, a retailer could specify very different availability for a
back-office printer on a Tuesday in February than for a till on the last
Saturday before Christmas. And a local government agency might require
higher availability for month-end financial processes than for day-to-day
Business outcome SLAs
Traditional break-fix models have always been reactive and unresponsive,
but a new approach is emerging that is built around business needs,
encouraging proactive interventions to prevent failures rather than just
fixing them.
With SLAs based on business outcomes, engineering services become
focused on improving productivity, driving revenue and increasing
customer satisfaction – things that can make a huge difference to
business performance.
Rather than focusing on cost-per-call, engineering services should be
adding value. For example, a traditional break-fix model would look at,
say, the number of tills out of service across a retailer’s estate and focus
on the time it takes to fix them. But the new delivery model focuses
on the amount of extra revenue the retailer could achieve if those tills
weren’t out of service in the first place.
Insights Paper Engineering Services
Moving away from cost-per-call
When contracts are built around inflexible service levels and cost-per-call
pricing, service providers have little incentive to reduce call volumes.
But when SLAs are based on tangible business outcomes, there is a shift
in perception, not just towards reducing costly engineer visits, but to
reducing the number of service calls.
Let’s say a call takes up an average of half an hour of an employee’s time,
from logging the fault, making the initial call, booking in the engineer
and monitoring and signing off the work. If you can eliminate 2,000 calls
a year – whether through better self-fix scripts, increased preventative
maintenance, or improvements to existing technology – you’ve gained
an extra 1,000 hours of productive time.
Saving time and money
At Fujitsu we find innovative ways to transform the old break-fix relationship and help our customers reduce the time and cost of service calls.
For example, we’re equipping customers with tablets featuring apps that
talk end-users through the diagnostic and fix processes the same way a
service desk agent would over the phone. If a self-fix isn’t possible the
app will bypass the service desk to log an engineer call and send the
correct part. This technology also allows customers to send pictures or set
up a live video link with the diagnostics team to get an answer faster.
»Fujitsu is a key element in the
service we provide to our retail
stores, who are extremely reliant
on the tills and devices that it
provides and supports. Fujitsu
not only meets our requirements,
but goes beyond the call of duty
to provide us with the best
possible service.«
Andy White, Service Manager, EE
Not only that, we’re currently looking at ways to streamline the fix process
even further – including using customers’ existing logistics infrastructure
to deliver spares that can be easily fitted by end users; saving costs and
reducing CO2 emissions.
Increasing efficiency
Another benefit of this new, proactive approach is that we continuously
look for ways to improve existing technology and drive business efficiency.
We constantly analyse technology performance and failure rates to
identify trends for improvement and enable us to prevent faults before
they occur. We conduct preventative maintenance and refurbish products
rather than just repair them, helping increase their service life. We’re also
developing ways to predict when a product will fail (for example, how
many card swipes a payment device can have before it needs cleaning),
so we can proactively replace or repair it before it impacts service –
reducing costs and increasing availability.
Insights Paper Engineering Services
Real-world results.
So how does this work in practice?
Let’s take a look at a few of the
organisations that are taking advantage
of this new approach to engineering
services, and examine some of the
benefits they’re achieving.
Mitchells and Butlers
Mitchells and Butlers is the UK’s leading restaurant and pub operator,
with a business spanning 1,600 sites, serving 130 million meals and
430 million drinks a year. To increase its IT agility and provide a more
flexible cost base, the company asked Fujitsu to introduce a superfast
broadband network and migrate old, inefficient applications to a new,
virtualised data centre.
Over a single weekend, our engineers migrated 40 business-critical
applications and 44 terabytes of live data to a private cloud – with no
disruption to guest services.
As Martin Taylor, Director for Business Change and Technology at Mitchells
and Butlers explains, “Every pub continued to trade, serve customers and
process payments smoothly. This is the real measure of success of the
project; the fact that nobody noticed such a major transition indicates just
how well-designed and well-executed the whole project was.”
Mitchells and Butlers virtualised applications now run at least 10%
faster than their predecessors, while a pay-as-you-go billing model keeps
overall IT costs down.
Post Office
With retail success measured in sales, retailers must process customer
orders quickly. From online channels such as click and collect to waiting
at the till in store, customers also expect a certain level of service speed
and accuracy. In both cases, efficiency is essential.
Matching these expectations in an increasing multi-channel or even
omni-channel retail environment demands flexibility and consistency.
Whether it is online ordering or queue management, physical store
innovations require support from agile engineering services that improve
efficiency and the throughput of customers.
That is why the Post Office came to Fujitsu to support its 11,250
branches and 30,000 counters across the UK – including the remote
islands off the coast of Scotland.
Via an integrated engineering services contract, we support everything
from the front office PoS devices to the back office systems, ensuring any
faults are rectified as swiftly as possible to prevent loss of business.
As well as undertaking the standard break-fix service, we conduct
regular testing of equipment at every branch to service and maintain
the existing hardware. Despite the fact that some of the technology is
15 years old, we have been able to improve Mean Time Between Failures
to keep efficiency up and costs down across the Post Office business.
Highland Council
The Highland Council, a unitary local authority serving 232,000 citizens
in the Scottish Highlands, asked Fujitsu Engineering Services to transform
ICT across its curriculum services, used by more than 34,000 staff and pupils.
The task was to modernise over 100 different desktop software and
security configurations and to introduce new hardware – all without any
disruption to services.
In the first phase of the project, we issued new devices to replace all
existing desktops, laptops and PDAs. After this initial capital outlay, the
Council now benefits from our unique utility pricing model – paying
only for availability support per device on a monthly basis. This means
the Council can scale its requirements up or down at any time to save
significant costs.
In phase two, we replaced the Council’s expensive printer estate with
a dedicated managed print service, so the Council now only pays per
page for printing, with all capital, consumables and engineering factored
into this price. Lower printing and support costs aren’t the only benefits
though. The Council has also seen a 66% reduction in energy bills as
well as lower engineering fees. And with fewer problems and a state-ofthe-art remote management, calls to the service centre and engineer
call-outs have also been reduced.
Insights Paper Engineering Services
So how do we do it?
Our new delivery model provides benefits in four distinct areas of engineering services:
Break-fix, Desk-side, Premium engineering and Projects.
Fujitsu Engineering Services
Our break-fix services provide hardware and software support across a
diverse range of products, including PoS, digital media, self-service
checkouts, ATMs, laptops, PCs, networks and servers.
Unlike traditional cost models, we match our SLAs to footfall, so you
only pay for the availability you really need, rather than paying a
premium for high availability during periods of low demand. And with
a 1,200 strong engineering team and carefully selected partners, we
can flex up to meet peaks in availability demand.
So for example, with one of the UK’s leading supermarkets our SLA for
the Christmas peak period turned into a lane-count SLA, with a maximum
of 25 tills out of 28,000 allowed to be out at any time. On December
22nd 2011, only five were out of service, providing a huge opportunity
for the company to drive revenue and customer satisfaction.
Being product-agnostic allows us to provide a truly end-to-end service
that can’t be matched by smaller providers or equipment vendors.
And because we’re also a telecommunications company, our engineers
can work on all ICT infrastructure, helping eliminate the time and cost
of managing multiple service providers.
We also focus on a ‘shift left’ strategy, working with customers to reduce
the number of engineer visits by removing wasted calls, developing
self-help scripts and conducting targeted preventative maintenance.
And when an engineer is needed on site, we drive for a first-time fix
and, even more importantly, a fix without spare – reducing service costs
and environmental impact.
This innovative approach to break-fix services also means we analyse
performance to enable proactive intervention before failures can impact
the business. In this way, IT becomes a key business enabler rather than
a drain on resources.
We provide on-site and remote hardware and software support for
everything from tablets and laptops to servers and wireless LANs,
keeping end users productive and providing a vital first line of defence
for business continuity.
To ensure a comprehensive service, our Fujitsu-employed, fully
accredited and security cleared engineers can also act as ‘smart hands’
for other departments and third-parties. We also offer VIP support
services, including floor-walking, PC clinics and user training.
Premium Engineering
As more organisations move to virtualised infrastructures, the need
for dedicated on-site engineering resources is shrinking. Our flexible
resource model means you can reduce fixed head count without putting
availability at risk.
Just like our break-fix services, the focus is on a shift-left strategy and on
driving out demand – helping improve IT and operational efficiency and
reducing service costs.
Premium engineering
Our Premium Engineering Services provide 24/7/365 on-the-ground
support for mission-critical data centre systems, including High
Performance Computing, servers, storage and network hardware.
By implementing Fujitsu Tier III data centre standards in our customers’
data centres we can drive out demand and reduce administrative
overhead. With resilience built into systems and services, instead of
paying for more on-site engineers and expensive spares, you can
maintain availability while moving the fix to the next day.
As with the other areas of our engineering services, it’s also important
that we’re OEM-agnostic. Our expert engineers can support technologies
from a wide range of vendors, including Oracle, IBM Brocade, NetApp
and many more.
Our new engineering services delivery model allows us to support
projects of all sizes by providing fully trained, accredited and security
cleared engineers at very competitive day rates – all employed by Fujitsu,
so we know exactly who we’re sending to your site.
In fact, we delivered 63,000 project man-days last year alone. From
retail store equipment upgrades to complex infrastructure transitions
like the Mitchells and Butlers data centre move we looked at earlier, we
have the expertise and experience to offer a broad range of project-based
engineering services.
Insights Paper Engineering Services
What makes us different?
Engineering services might not be the most glamorous aspect of IT, but
when it’s done right it can provide huge business benefits.
Our utility-based pricing means you’re not paying for service you don’t
need or use, reducing overall service costs and allowing you to refocus
IT resources on strategic initiatives.
By shifting from rigid SLAs to bespoke SLAs based on business outcomes,
you gain the flexibility and scalability to meet changing business needs
and we are rewarded for your success and our ability to help improve
your business performance. That transmits to our engineers too.
They’re assessed on the quality of their work, not the quantity.
An expert engineering team
It’s important to us that, unlike other service providers, all our engineers
are employed by Fujitsu, so we know you’ve got exactly the right person
for the job. When we do bring in third-parties, it’s because they can add
value to a particular project. Our commitment to developing our own
team of engineers means that last year Fujitsu Engineering Services
employed 300 people at entry-level – creating the next generation of
expert engineers.
Our engineers are a big part of the new delivery model, but that’s not
the whole story. We manage £35 million of stock in 19 locations and
1,500 intelligent lockers across the UK, so we know we can get the right
part to the right place at the right time. And we think differently when it
comes to repairs, not just going for the cheapest short-term fix, but fitting
superior parts at our dedicated repair centre to drive out future demand.
We don’t just repair products; in many cases we completely refurbish
them. We make sure that after a fix we do everything we can to extend
a product’s life. We make recommendations to customers about how to
prevent faults and we constantly test new hardware to see how we can
upgrade customer systems and avoid future availability issues.
So we’re moving engineering services away from the old cost-per-call
model to one that’s based on business outcomes. This new approach
gets away from the traditional, reactive break-fix cycle to a proactive,
preventative service that actively seeks ways to increase IT efficiency
and availability – and boost business performance.
»This is the real measure of success of
the project; the fact that nobody noticed
such a major transition indicates just
how well-designed and well-executed
the whole project was.«
Martin Taylor, Director for Business Change and Technology, Mitchells and Butlers
Find out more
To learn more about Fujitsu Engineering Services and how our innovative
approach could help you shape the future of your organisation:
To find out more call 0870 242 7998 or email [email protected]
Subject to contract.
Tel: +44(0)870 242 7998
Email: [email protected]
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