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Tier 2 Help Desk

Setup Guide

ScienceSoft provides help desk outsourcing services since 2007.

Tier 2 Help Desk - ScienceSoft
Tier 2 Help Desk - ScienceSoft

Level 2 (L2) Help Desk: summary

Level 2 help desk serves to resolve IT infrastructure and/or application issues (e.g., issues of software and network configuration, software and hardware interoperability), which helps improve the reliability of IT infrastructure and applications and reduces their support costs. L2 help desk includes steps like planning, design, choosing a sourcing model, and launch and requires the roles of a manager, a team lead, an engineer, and a system administrator.

For 15 years, ScienceSoft helps companies quickly resolve user (L1) and technical issues (L2, L3). 

Tier 2 Help Desk Setup Plan

Level 2 support setup steps may differ, depending on a company’s IT landscape complexity and maturity and the service/product nature and complexity (for customer service desk). Based on ScienceSoft's 15-year experience in help desk, we highlight general setup steps for L2 help desk:

Tier 2 help desk planning

Duration: from 2 weeks
  • Identify the goals of your Level 2 help desk (e.g., prevent IT infrastructure downtime, increase app availability).
  • Define the scope of your Level 2 help desk: issues it’s supposed to deal with * (e.g., software and network configuration, log investigation to identify root causes), the estimated number of tickets per month, and the number of required L2 engineers.
  • Calculate the budget for Level 2 help desk and create a risk management plan (to mitigate such risks as too long resolution time, higher than planned number of tickets, etc.).

* We set up Tier 1 help desk to handle common user issues (e.g., questions about software and infrastructure usage) and escalate technical issues to Tier 2.

ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft

Tier 2 help desk design

Duration: from 2 weeks
  • Define Tier 2 help desk KPIs (e.g., average resolution time, mean time to recovery, mean time to resolve) according to the defined goals.
  • Draw up from scratch or adjust the existing help desk standard operating procedures to include standards for ticket resolution, the process of escalation to L3, etc.
ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft

Choosing Tier 2 help desk sourcing model

Duration: from 3 months

3.1. If Tier 2 help desk is done in-house

Hiring and training L2 help desk staff

Duration: 1-3 months

  • Define the qualifications an L2 help desk manager (technical background, team management skills, etc.) and L2 support engineers (e.g., experience with cloud infrastructures) need to possess.
  • Conduct onboarding training with the hired L2 team to get them familiar with your company’s tech stack, IT infrastructure or product/service specifics, issue escalation processes, etc.
Ticket management software selection and customization

Duration: from 1 week

  • Select either a free and functionally limited ready-to-use ticket management software, a paid solution with extended features (e.g., omnichannel support tool, AI-driven chatbots), or custom software completely fitting your case.
  • Perform customization (for platform-based software) and integrate it with required IT systems (e.g., CRM, ERP).

3.2. If Tier 2 help desk is completely or partially outsourced

Vendor selection

Duration: ~3 months

If you decide to outsource Tier 2 help desk to get reduced help desk costs, up to 24/7 service provision, and a scalable and experienced IT support team, choose the L2 help desk team that:

  • Adheres to ITIL principles in delivering tech support.
  • Provides regular comprehensive reporting (performance reports, incident reports with root cause analysis, etc.).
  • Has a clear vision of collaboration with L1/L3 help desk teams and users, but is willing to adapt to your processes.
  • Is ready to provide knowledge transfer (e.g., to L1 help desk team).
ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft

Tier 2 help desk launch

Duration: 2-4 weeks

At this stage, the integration between help desk tiers is established. Help desk software and its infrastructure are made ready for use, the L2 help desk team gets the necessary access to help desk software. Help desk demo run is performed.

ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft

Consider Professional Services for Level 2 Help Desk

Since 2007, ScienceSoft provides help desk and application support services.

Tier 2 help desk consulting

  • Designing L2 help desk workflows (resolution, escalation, collaboration with L1 and L3).
  • Drawing up a L2 help desk launch plan.
  • Defining a suitable L2 help desk sourcing model.
  • Selecting ticket management software.
  • Defining L2 help desk KPIs.
Consider help desk consulting

Full or partial outsourcing of Level 2 help desk

  • Calculating price per L2 ticket.
  • Defining L2 help desk KPIs and service provision protocols.
  • Delivering self-managed L2 help desk tech support or in collaboration with your in-house help desk team, according to SLA.
  • Providing comprehensive reporting.
Check our offer

ScienceSoft as a Trusted Support Services Provider

For the past 6 years, ScienceSoft has been a reliable partner in supporting and maintaining our HR software product. They have fixed hundreds of bugs in the product’s performance since the start of our cooperation back in 2016 and keep modernizing HR on our demand, introducing new features and tweaking existing functionality to let us better cater to our growing client base. Moreover, ScienceSoft has successfully migrated our product from onpremises Microsoft Access to cloud-based Microsoft SQL Server, ensuring uninterrupted, smooth operation and high availability of HR in the new infrastructure.

Peter Hermann, CEO , ZEITundZUTRITT GmbH

Why ScienceSoft as an IT Help Desk Service Provider?

  • 15 years of experience in help desk services.
  • 33 years of entire experience in IT.
  • 9 Microsoft Gold Competencies, including Application Development and Integration, Data Platform, Data Analytics, Collaboration and Content.
  • AWS Select Services Partner, IBM Business Partner.
  • 700+ IT professionals on board.
  • 1,200+ happy clients worldwide: from North America and Europe to Australia and New Zealand.
  • IT team holding a range of certificates, among which are AWS Certified Solution Architect, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA), Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (SOA).
  • Mature quality management system confirmed by the ISO 9001 certification allowing to implement projects fully meeting customers' quality, time, and budget expectations.
  • Guaranteed security of the customers’ data we access proved by ISO 27001 certificate.

Our Hallmark Help Desk Projects

IT Infrastructure Support for a Private Diversified Business

IT Infrastructure Support for a Private Diversified Business

ScienceSoft provided L2 and L3 support for 28 infrastructure components in compliance with ITIL standards during the Customer’s business hours.

Knowledge Management Software Support for a US Corporation

Knowledge Management Software Support for a US Corporation

ScienceSoft adapted its automated IT support workflows to the Customer’s internal processes and ensured quick incident resolution and updates which resulted in high CSAT.

Cloud Infrastructure Maintenance and Support for a European SaaS Provider

Cloud Infrastructure Maintenance and Support for a European SaaS Provider

ScienceSoft’s team kept a complex 300-server infrastructure safe and proactively improved on 8/5 shifts.

Data Capture Application Support for a UK Software Company

Data Capture Application Support for a UK Software Company

ScienceSoft carried out NOC monitoring and multi-tier support (L1, L2, L3) for the Customer’s solution and customized it to the customer’s needs.

L2, L3 Support of A Marketing Campaign Management Solution

L2, L3 Support of a Marketing Campaign Management Solution

ScienceSoft rendered L2 and L3 support of software under ongoing development to keep it stable and promptly introduce new system components.

Remote IT Support for a US Telecommunications Services Provider

Remote IT Support for a US Telecommunications Services Provider

ScienceSoft provided support and maintenance of multiple .NET-based web applications: troubleshooting, bug fixing, urgent introduction of changes upon request.

Typical Roles for Tier 2 Help Desk

While delivering L2 help desk services, ScienceSoft usually dedicates the team consisting of the following roles:

L2 help desk manager

  • Plans and manages L2 help desk budget.
  • Decides on L2 help desk staffing and/or outsourcing needs according to the types and number of issues the help desk deals with.
  • Defines L2 help desk KPIs and oversees their achievement.
  • Designs or approves and oversees Tier 2 help desk processes (e.g., escalation, reporting procedures).

L2 help desk team lead

  • Establishes goals and KPIs for the L2 help desk team and manages their achievement.
  • Plans L2 engineers’ work schedules to ensure sufficient support coverage during operating hours.
  • Drives L2 help desk team professional development.

L2 help desk engineer

  • Resolves technical issues (software updates, malware removal, remote desktop connection issues, etc.), performs issue root cause analysis.
  • Escalates technical issues to a higher-tier support team when more detailed research on the code level is needed (performance tuning, bug management, etc.).
  • Transfers knowledge (e.g., to L1 agents via extending and maintaining a knowledge base).

Help desk system administrator

  • Installs, configures and monitors help desk software and hardware.
  • Resolves arising help desk software and hardware issues to ensure stable help desk operations.
  • Provides timely updates of help desk software.

Level 2 Help Desk Sourcing Models

Tier 2 help desk is in-house

Pros:

  • Complete control over L2 help desk infrastructure and resources.
  • Your L2 help desk team has a deep understanding of your company’s internal business processes or the products or services you provide.

Cons:

  • High help desk setup and management risks.
  • Lengthy establishment period due to staff hiring and training, help desk software selection and customization.
  • Turnover of L2 support engineers.
  • Risk of underloaded L2 support engineers.

Tier 2 help desk management is in-house, L2 help desk engineers are partially or fully outsourced

Pros:

  • Optimized L2 help desk costs by easily scaling up and down the number of L2 support engineers according to the volume of incoming L2 tickets.
  • Up to 24/7 service coverage, including your off-business hours.

Cons:

  • It may be challenging to synchronize the work of the in-house support team and outsourced resources.

Tier 2 help is fully outsourced

Pros:

  • Optimal L2 help desk costs.
  • L2 help desk team scalability.
  • Up to 24/7 service coverage.

Cons:

  • It may be challenging to find a vendor experienced enough to quickly dive into your business processes, IT and/or application infrastructure, or product/service specifics.

Benefits of L2 Help Desk with ScienceSoft

Mature processes

Our help desk team adheres to mature ITSM processes and ITIL principles.

Flexibility

We offer a variety of pricing and service coverage models, allowing our customers to find the option that suits them best.

Proactive approach

We practice preventive infrastructure monitoring to take measures before a failure occurs.

Technologies We Work With

Ticketing systems

Monitoring tools

Zabbix
Nagios Core
Prometheus
Elastic Stack
Grafana
Datadog

Platforms

Remote collaboration

Connection

VPN
RPD
TeamViewer

Communication

Skype
Zoom
GoToMeeting

DevOps

Containerization

Docker
Kubernetes
Red Hat OpenShift
Apache Mesos

Automation

Ansible
Puppet
Chef
Saltstack
HashiCorp Terraform
HashiCorp Packer

CI/CD tools

AWS Developer Tools
Azure DevOps
Google Developer Tools
GitLab CI/CD
Jenkins
TeamCity

Monitoring

Zabbix
Nagios
Elasticsearch
Prometheus
Grafana
Datadog

Clouds

Back end programming languages

Front end programming languages

Languages

HTML5
CSS

JavaScript frameworks

MeteorJS
Vue.js
Next.js
Ember.js

Mobile

Databases / data storages

SQL

Microsoft SQL Server
MySQL
Azure SQL Database
Oracle
PostgreSQL

NoSQL

Apache NiFi
MongoDB

Cloud databases, warehouses and storage

AWS

Amazon S3
Amazon DocumentDB
Amazon Relational Database Service
Amazon ElastiCache

Azure

Azure Data Lake
Azure Blob Storage
Azure SQL Database
Kinect DK
Azure RTOS

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud SQL
Google Cloud Datastore

Tier 2 Help Desk Costs

Below we provide essential factors that influence Tier 2 help desk costs:

General cost factors

  • The number of L2 tickets per month.
  • Service time coverage - 24/7, 12/5, 8/5, etc.
  • IT landscape complexity or product/service type (higher complexity implies more skilled staff or a higher price per ticket).
  • Whether a knowledge base for L2 support engineers is to be maintained (although the maintenance incurs cost, the knowledge base may reduce tech issue resolution time).

Cost factors that may influence the cost in the outsourced cooperation

SLA terms, e.g., average resolution time, mean time to acknowledge, ticket backlog, etc. A higher service level may cause a higher price per ticket.

Note: Additional costs of in-house L2 help desk include ticketing software customization and licenses (usually charged per user) and maintenance of ticketing software.

The price per ticket for outsourced L2 help desk greatly depends on the number of tickets per month. Here are sample prices to get the picture:

$32 per ticket

  • Time coverage: 12/5
  • 165+ L2 tickets per month

$38 per ticket

  • Time coverage: 12/5
  • 40-164 L2 tickets per month

$46 per ticket

  • Time coverage: 12/5
  • 20-39 L2 tickets per month
About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. Since 2007, we provide our customers with Tier 1 – Tier 3 help desk outsourcing services to help them reduce support costs and increase the user satisfaction rate. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee data security to our customers during cooperation.