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Mural Proves the Value of Support Interaction Optimization (SIO)

by Brendan Read 23 Apr 2015
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As pointed out by Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison in her blog, support interaction optimization (SIO) is a new and powerful tool that helps companies improve their customer experience, lower costs, and measure the results. Case in point is Mural, a Portland, Oregon-based professional services company that specializes in cloud IT sales, onboarding, and support.

Mural has over 40 cloud IT services delivered through communications as a service (CaaS), device as a service (DaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) applications. Its portfolio includes solutions from CenturyLink (Savvis), Cisco (WebEx), Citrix, Dell, EMC, McAfee, Microsoft (Lync, Office365, SharePoint), and Symantec. Mural serves and supports customers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia.

The Situation

Mural’s professional services are “productized”, meaning that each service has a set scope, price, and set of deliverables. Mural’s processes guide the work of its 80 Cloud Technology Advisors (CTAs), who work in Mural’s Customer Experience Center, located in Tucson, Arizona.

Mural CTAs have been using dialogues and scripts in its CRM system as workflow management tools. However, by 2014 this methodology was becoming outmoded. For example, the CTAs needed to perform tasks like on-premise-to-cloud migration faster and more systematically, but the applications would not let them. The company also needed to remotely access users’ devices -- desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones - for application installation, upgrades, service, and support.

“We needed a better solution as the number of products and programs we supported for our customers rapidly increased,” said Steve Zimba, president of Mural. “That now included providing remote service and support.”

The Response

Mural began looking for a new solution and, while investigating various alternatives, learned of Support.com. There the Mural team was introduced to SIO, which is embodied in Support.com’s hosted Nexus application.

Mural signed on with Support.com in summer, 2014, and incorporated Nexus into its MaaXcloud productized service, which is aimed at small to midsized businesses (SMBs). MaaXcloud helps SMBs select cloud solutions and onboard and train staff on their use, and supports them through the whole process.

“We needed a single tool that would enable remote device access, implement work flows to enforce our repeatable process, and give us a way to measure how effectively we are delivering our services,” said Zimba. “Nexus fit the requirements.”

The Results

Mural and Support.com established a three-phase implementation program for Nexus. The first phase covered remote access, which was completed by August, 2014. The second phase included workflow implementation, which began in October, 2014 and is ongoing as the company adds it to support more services.

Mural has been highly satisfied with how Nexus performs. Prior to adopting the SIO application it had little means to enforce adherence to workflows but with Nexus it achieved 100% compliance.

Mural will be launching the third phase this summer, when the Nexus API will integrate and flow data collected through the Nexus platform into Mural’s hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.

The company also plans to expand into the APAC and EMEA markets, using Nexus as its primary SIO tool for those new clients.

“The partnership with Support.com has been excellent; the feedback and input we have provided has been incorporated into rapid development of the platform to meet our needs,” said Zimba. “Because the Support.com team has experience delivering services similar to ours, their understanding of our business and expertise in helping us adapt Nexus to improve our business has been a huge value add.”

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