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Support industry leaders have entered into a joint effort to provide the an on-line, real-time, and perpetual database of benchmark performance and policy metrics.

The Help Desk Institute (HDI), Service Management International (SMI), Decisive Technology and Customer Support Management magazine have signed collateral agreements for the design, development, and deployment of this unique Web-based service for support executives and managers.

Ron Muns, founder of HDI and recently returned association owner, says, "The opportunity to contribute our grass roots expertise to the benchmark is a perfect fit with our mission of being the collection place for true, open standards and metrics for the IT support industry. The benchmarking database will be linked to our soon to be released HDI program for certifying support organization quality. For the first time, we will be able to relate benchmarking data to quality measures."

Leveraging its worldwide membership, HDI will offer the benchmarking executive briefing free to members and substantial discounts to members for the more extensive reports and annual subscriptions to access the benchmarking database.

The research and underlying development of this benchmark database is the culmination of a grass roots effort, on-going since 1997, and led by SMI vice president Dick Szymanski. The effort has rallied a dozen charter members and several local HDI chapters.

The charter partners include help desk managers and executives from Sybase, VISA International, Bank of America, Autodesk, Hershey Foods Corporation, HealthSystems Minnesota, PeopleSoft, Charles Schwab, and others.

Szymanski, an advocate for industry benchmark data and certification standards, says, "This initiative has been a focused effort to harness the acumen of a cutting edge group of charter partners in the formation of measurements that will provide true apples-to apples-comparison. The information, gathered from industry participants worldwide, will be easily accessible by all subscribers. Using an intuitive navigation motif, subscribers will have real-time access to industry-wide metrics and a powerful ability to filter the data to create a 'like-to-like' comparison with their own help desk organization in an adhoc, 'slice and dice' fashion."

Decisive Technology, riding a successful transition into a role as the leader in real-time customer intelligence monitoring services, is providing the advanced web deployment, OLAP database, analytical reporting and data gathering expertise necessary to provide powerful and useful intelligence at a price range suitable for all support operations.

"We're delighted to apply Decisive's sophisticated research technology and web-based customer intelligence tools to this important industry-wide initiative," said Frank Sammann, general manager.

Customer Support Management magazine will publish insightful, fact-based and unique credible analyses of the benchmark data. "We are very excited to be able to provide this kind of real-time information to our readership," says editor Katherine Grayson. "Nothing could be more valuable to our audience at this point in time than the examination and critique of metrics across like industries."

SMI recently announced the appointment of Cinda Daly, research analyst with over 16 years industry experience, as managing director for the project. "We anticipate that this web portal to benchmark data will begin delivering reliable, real-time IT help desk metrics this fall," says Daly.

About Service Management International

Founded in 1993, Service Management International (SMI) is a professional services firm dedicated exclusively to improving high-technology service businesses and corporate information technology help desks. SMI is comprised of five key practice areas that complement our "Four Pillars of Success" philosophy -- Process, People, Technology, and Performance Measurement.

The Operations Improvement Practice provides strategic and operational assessments, process design, business process reengineering, and other operational improvement initiatives. The Technology Solutions Practice includes the definition, selection, implementation and integration of support automation tools. The Organizational Development Practice provides a suite of training programs designed for service management and staff. Knowledge Management consulting moves beyond technology and process to the very architecture of a knowledge sharing organization. Our Service Marketing & Pricing Practice helps clients develop and position their service offerings to optimize revenues and increase customer loyalty.

SMI also performs standardized industry benchmarking, research and analysis services and offers several publications, including the CustomerCare Newsletter and Compare, the only industry supported, web-based, performance and policy metrics database.

SMI's clients range from small start-ups to large, multi-national firms, including Autodesk, ATT Wireless, Cadence Design, Cisco Systems, Claris, Intuit, Kodak, Microsoft, Motorola, NetCom, NCR, Solomon Software, Sun Microsystems, Qualcomm, K-Mart, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Energy Services. (

About Help Desk Institute (HDI)

HDI is a member centric organization, focusing on the needs of internal and external support organizations that comprise HDI's membership and the vendors who support them. Help Desk Institute's (HDI) mission is to set standards, establish certification and training programs, and to encourage member collaboration.

HDI's focus is to lead the customer support profession world-wide. HDI provides targeted information about the technologies, tools and trends of the help desk and customer support industry, as well as customized training and certification programs for both the individual and support organization sites.

HDI also provides numerous opportunities for members to network with their peers, either via participation in one of HDI's 50 local chapters or in gatherings in which HDI host such interactions. HDI cosponsors the Support Services Conference and Expos, offers regional training, and publishes a wide range of training publications and research materials. HDI is a support services association with more than 3,500 members worldwide, with partners in North and South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. (

About Decisive Technology

Decisive Technology, founded in 1993, is a provider of Internet-based outsourced solutions for real-time customer-driven decision making. Decisive has been helping customers make better business decisions by efficiently gathering accurate and valid Real-Time Customer Intelligence.

Real-Time Customer Intelligence, collected and analyzed by state-of-the-art research methods using Internet technology, gives you rapid and continuous business improvement, driven by actionable measures of what your customers, employees and partners are thinking. This critical company customer intelligence is the essential element required for accurate, real-time decision making that can help ensure the success of your company.

Decisive Technology's client-server product combines Windows-based technology in a simple-to-use interface to bring survey execution to the electronic age. Decisive's Service Division combines technology expertise with an extensive market research background to provide a complete solution for specialized and extensive survey projects.

Decisive provides customized solutions for Customer Support, Marketing and HR organizations to over 700 customers, including Fortune 500 companies, major financial institutions, leading technology organizations and government agencies.

Decisive Technology recently announced it has been acquired by MessageMedia (Nasdaq:MESG), a provider of email-based customer relationship management and direct marketing services. (

About Customer Support Management

Customer Support Management is the only publication providing "real-life" customer relationship management solutions and strategies, enterprise-wide, for senior-level executives and line managers responsible for customer support and service. The publication reaches over 42,000 readers, representing Fortune 1000 corporations and the top 5000 customer call/contact centers in the U.S. Customer Support Management is a publication of Intertec/Primedia. (

For more information, call 916/608-0755.
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Publication:Online Product News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 19, 1999

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