Remote Working Project of the Year
What, exactly, is novel about the process/product or innovation?
Hyve operated a remote support desk for the first time, offering the same level of service as a traditional support department even though staff were working from home.
How does the product or process break with conventional ideas or processes in its field?
Hyve offers 24/7/365 support from its headquarters in Brighton. But it had to quickly shift to home-working whilst maintaining the same level of service.
How does it go beyond marginal improvements on something that already exists?
Engineers proved to be more effective when working from home, with productivity unexpectedly increasing.
How do customers benefit from the product/process or innovation?
Customers were facing uncertainty during the lockdown, with home-working disrupting their usual working practices. By implementing a remote service desk, Hyve was able to offer reassurance and support during the pandemic.
Introduction to Hyve
Hyve Managed Hosting is a UK-based cloud-hosting provider which prides itself on offering its customers bespoke 24/7/365 support and management. In the past year, Hyve has seen demand from new customers grow by 17%, with clients now including the NHS, Caffe Nero and Anglia Ruskin University.
With this growth in its customer base, Hyve has also seen increased demand for support services. So when the coronavirus lockdown forced its staff to work from home, Hyve was faced with a challenge: how could it maintain its support system when employees were no longer based in the office?
To make sure its customers stayed online and fully operational during the pandemic, Hyve had to quickly implement a support desk which could operate entirely remotely. This is the first time it has ever operated a remote support system and forced a dramatic rethink in working processes. Hyve’s engineers rose to the occasion admirably, improving their productivity during the pandemic and laying the groundwork for a radically different way of working.
A commitment to remote working
Hyve offers several products which allow its customers to work remotely. In the past 12 months, the Brighton-based firm launched its pioneering Desktop as a Service (DaaS) product which offers customers the ability to access their systems from home, giving them the ability to read emails or use business desktops without being in the office. The product makes it easier to run a company remotely, easing the pressures of running an in-house IT infrastructure.
Hyve was also the first UK-based cloud hosting provider to set up a fully managed, multi-tenant VMware cloud as well as offering a network capacity of more than a terabit to meet the demands of customers.
But it did not expect to have to roll out its own remote-working infrastructure at speed and under pressure, as the country retreated into its homes during lockdown and demand for online services skyrocketed.
Home-Based Support Desk
All of Hyve’s customers are able to draw on the expertise of a personal Account Manager as well as a team of technical engineers who work to ensure the solutions are operating effectively and at full capacity. Hyve’s support system means that customers don’t have to deal with automated call centres and are able to interact with human staff at any hour of the day or night.
When lockdown was imposed on the UK, Hyve had to quickly adapt to the new normal and operate a remote support service which maintained high standards whilst obeying the government rules forbidding staff from working in an office.
Lockdown began on March 23, prompting a flurry of support requests, with the number of tickets doubling in the last week of March. This was a major test for Hyve’s home-based support desk, which is closely monitored to ensure it deals with requests as quickly as possible. As well as tracking the number of support requests coming in, Hyve also tracks “queue length” which refers to how long it takes to resolve and close an open support request.
Statistics relating to the queue length of support tickets showed a slight increase in the time it took to deal with issues during the first week of lockdown (see supporting graphs attached). But then something surprising happened.
As the number of support tickets slipped back to normal levels during April, May and June, engineers had to deal with a workload that was roughly similar to pre-pandemic levels. However, Hyve’s statistics showed a sustained reduction in queue length that follows the end of March spike. In other words, the support system appeared to be working more effectively than it did before the pandemic.
This has prompted Hyve’s engineers to consider whether home-working could actually boost their productivity, rather than reducing it. The success in driving down queue times whilst maintaining the same level of support showed that Hyve can not only survive an emergency, but thrive during it. Hyve’s customers can be assured that the hosting provider can cope with unprecedented changes in circumstances whilst maintaining the support they need during troubled times.