Service Excellence

When Proactive Situation Management Saves the Day

Mary Cay Kosten By Mary Cay Kosten Senior Vice President, Dell Technologies Services Operations December 10, 2019

No one can predict the future—or can they?

Dell Technologies is protecting our customers by leveraging predictive analysis, forecast modeling, real-time analysis and active war rooms to monitor, prepare for and mitigate impact from natural disasters and other events.

When such events threaten business operations—they also disrupt mobility and supply chains. These disruptions can hinder Dell’s ability to provide field support at the very time our customers need it most.

Over the past year, situation management teams in our Global Command Centers have implemented new tools and programs that enable us to be more proactive and effective in working with our customers during these times. They are applying big data and AI to develop new kinds of predictive analytics and automated systems that alert us—and our customers—to potential problems, sooner, and guide us in preparing for, mitigating, and recovering from impact.

Recently, Dell’s innovation in this area was recognized by the Technology Services Industry Association as a finalist for its 2019 STAR Award for Best Practices in Field Service.

Today, we use:

  • Predictive analysis and forecast modeling to identify at-risk customers, employees, partners, and Dell Technologies supply chains and infrastructure prior to an event
  • Automated communication capabilities to send proactive notifications before, during, and after events—both internally and to customers
  • Virtual ‘proactive war rooms’ for Dell and our partners to coordinate pre-incident mitigation planning
  • Real-time analysis for insight into actual customer and business impacts
  • Incident ‘active war rooms” to drive recovery actions and activities during an event, including automated response playbooks to help guide and accelerate restoration

When Seconds Count

Dell’s strategically placed Command Center locations across the globe proactively monitor government and scientific sites, news feeds, weather forecasters, and social media for early warnings of incidents (e.g., natural disasters, political unrest, large public events, security incidents) with the potential to negatively impact our customers or our ability to service them in the field.

New tools and forecasting models, developed internally by our situation management teams, now aggregate data about world events with data about Dell parts warehouses, supply chain, service dispatches, work orders, the location of customer assets and associated service level agreements.

Built-in AI-enhanced intelligence quickly identifies high-risk situations, issues alerts, and delivers impact assessments on customers and their systems. Powerful data visualization dashboards help our teams zero in on and track situations as they unfold.

Previously, customer and field impact assessments were done using manual tools and typically took 3-5 hours to complete. Today, they take less than a minute. That gives our customers and our teams more time to prepare—and in many situations those extra hours can make a big difference.

Continuous Proactive Communication

In addition to faster analyses, we have developed smart, automated communications that proactively alert at-risk customers and field teams as quickly as possible—and keep them updated as events unfold.

These communications include general announcements to customers and employees in the impact zone, prior, during, and after an event—as well as specific communications to specific customers, for example, if the scheduled arrival of parts or engineers to their site is going to be delayed.

Behind the Scene

Virtual ‘war rooms’ bring together teams from across Dell Technologies and our partners (e.g., parts, logistics, field services, technical support, shipping) to develop mitigation plans prior to events and coordinate response during events.

Based on the experience of these teams, we’ve developed a growing set of ‘playbooks’ with automated templates based on specific types of events.  These playbooks capture learnings from previous teams to help guide preparations and response.

Dell Technologies Global Command Center

Best Practices

To-date, recent Global Command Center improvements in situation management have delivered 300% efficiency gains; improved on-time service (OTS) delivery; and reduced incoming customer call and contact volumes and the costs associated with those.

But we’re not standing still.

After each event, a close loop corrective action (CLCA) process is executed to capture new lessons learned.

And, to maintain readiness, our regional teams launch scenario-based end-to-end exercises every quarter, unless there has been an actual event. These exercises everyone stay prepared and up-to-date in their training.

A More Predictive Future

As incidents of political unrest and natural disasters grow worldwide—and as 2019 marks the fifth consecutive year in the U.S. with 10 or more weather events with greater than $1 billion each in economic impact—the need to become more prepared and proactive is clear.

Summary

At Dell Technologies, we’re continuing to expand the scope of data that we monitor and  developing more predictive analytics to alert you to potential threats sooner. And we’re continuing to invest in proactive and response capabilities to help all of us become more resilient.

You can learn more about our Global Command Centers and our disaster recovery programs by taking a ProSupport Tour at any of our six locations. Contact your sales representative to schedule a tour.

Mary Cay Kosten

About Mary Cay Kosten


Senior Vice President, Dell Technologies Services Operations

Mary Cay leads a team of 1400 professionals that provide operational support to the Dell Technologies Services organization. Her team is responsible for driving operational excellence and implementing innovations across Dell Technologies Services. This includes areas such as eServices & Knowledge Management, Program and Change Management, Business Services, Remote Support Contact Center Operations, Command Center, Process Engineering and Data Sciences, Data Enablement and Analytics, and the Global Centers of Excellence.

Kosten has over 30 years of experience in service and supplier management, with a proven track record in building outstanding service delivery organizations. Prior to joining Dell EMC, she was Vice President of global customer services delivery for Oracle/Sun Microsystems, responsible for delivering all elements of Sun Microsystems’ support services.

Under her leadership, Sun achieved the prestigious J.D. Power Certified Technology Service and Support (CTSS) Award for "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience," the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) Award for Excellence in Service Operations, and Sun was inducted into the STAR Awards Hall of Fame.  

Kosten is a 2008 recipient of the Denver Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business (High Tech and Telecommunications) Award and a 2006 recipient of the Silicon Valley YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Award. She also is on the Advisory Board for TSIA’s Field Services discipline.

She holds an MS degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a BS in marketing from the University of West Florida.

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