Unisys: Changing the Game in Tech Support

In 2007, Unisys Corporation, a $5 billion IT services company, wanted to differentiate itself from its many competitors in outsourced technical support services, a brutally competitive market. Unisys wanted to find out if there were better ways in which they could provide tech support to their customers. Since they didn’t feel they already had powerful insights in-house, they set about conducting a research project which included 240 North American companies and in-depth case examples at 12.

Of the several key findings, one was that companies with the most effective tech support prioritize requests according to how close the user is to revenue generation, not who calls first, or who has seniority—typical prioritization criteria in the industry. Another was that instead of tracking the quality of tech support with Service Level Agreements as most companies do, leaders were instead measuring end-user satisfaction.

Unisys published the full set of findings in a report and used them to underpin a global marketing campaign called Unlearn Outsourcing. They placed articles based on the point of view in each of MIT Sloan Management Review, CIO magazine, Computerworld and Industry Week. In late 2008 the campaign won an IT Services Marketing Association “Marketing Excellence Award” for lead generation. Most importantly, by the end of the year, Unisys had earned returns in revenues and sales that had handsomely paid back their investment.