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July 2020

Helping service desks cope with load shedding ticketing

Your business will, if you want it or not, be affected by the unfortunate return of load shedding and the numerous problems it brings. During this time, while your employees are already overwhelmed by the Coronavirus, you want to diminish the impact on IT service desks, as they are being flooded with support issues when proactive monitoring detects the infrastructure is down. But don’t fret, we have a solution.

In order to keep our support levels high, we have developed an application that links specific customers’ sites to load shedding schedules by area.

As soon as a customer site goes down, the application is able to check against the load shedding application and confirm whether or not it is linked to load shedding. It then automatically updates the ticket with the required information.

During our research, running and testing our new load shedding application internally, we saw how drastically load shedding degrades our time to acknowledge and act on tickets. In January 2020, 44,27% of our IT service desk’s time was spent on load shedding tickets, while in July we spent only 0,47% on load shedding tickets utilising the application.

It is difficult for C-Level staff and owners to get a complete view of how often their various sites’ productivity is affected by load shedding. We can now, however, provide statistics showing how many times a site goes down due to load shedding.

So, now that we have the information, what do we do next and how do we use this information to solve clients’ problems?

One of the key benefits of the application is that it allows us to respond quickly to actual outages instead of sifting through the large volume of outage tickets generated by Eskom’s power interruptions.

The service we offer ensures that a client’s ticket system keeps accurate details and our Fractional CIO’s and Service Delivery Managers (SDMs) can trend tickets without having to deal with the large volumes of tickets with unknown status due to load shedding. This allows us to ensure that clients can keep trending accurately and focus proactively to identify actual issues.

Knowing that an outage is as a result of load shedding helps ensure we put our focus on actual outages that Reflex Solutions can rectify, thus ensuring we keep our levels of support to the high standard you are accustomed to.

Further benefits the application offers our customers include the ability for us to perform detailed SLA trending for load shedding and help customers identify how much downtime is caused by power outages. We provide customers with more information to make the correct business choices of investing in power infrastructure or not. The ultimate benefit of this is being able to focus attention on resolving actual outages and related issues, whilst reducing unnecessary ticket volumes for a service desk.

There are a number of other services we are currently investigating to possibly develop closely related to this application and to manage the impact of load shedding on organisations. For instance, developing area maps linked to load shedding and enable automatic checks when power is restored to ensure equipment or UPSs are powering back on, as well as ensuring the safe shutdown of equipment if running on UPSs and load shedding kicks in.

This added value load shedding service we provide will not only reduce lost-work-time for IT service desks having to deal with unnecessary ticketing logs but also put our customers’ minds at ease when the unwanted power interruptions surface and negatively impact their business.

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