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Origin's new application support service – a Q&A with Tania Allison

5th June 2019

Written by Origin IT

Applications are the lifeblood of businesses today, allowing users to be productive, collaborative and connected. For your business, the best path towards modern applications might be utilizing SaaS products, or modernizing your legacy systems. Perhaps it’s building your own apps in-house. But no matter where you are in your journey, and whatever apps you currently have in place, it’s critical that your users receive seamless, timely support.

Over the years, many Origin customers have told us that they receive poor or fragmented support for their core business applications, leading to downtime, user frustration, and loss of productivity. Some of our customers have told us how much easier it would be if their staff had one point of contact for all their IT issues. We’ve met that need by developing a unique new offering; application support.

Tania Allison, Head of Services at Origin, believes outsourcing application support to Origin has the capacity to transform businesses for the better. Read on to find out why.

Q: You’ve said before that a big part of your job at Origin is ‘following the user’. What does that mean, and how did it lead to the development of the application support service? 

A: Our focus as a managed support provider is to stay abreast of the behaviour and expectations of users – our customers and their customers – and where they’re going next. Today, we know that users expect a seamless, secure and speedy digital experience across the many applications they use every day.

This is where application support comes in. Most businesses rely on an average of five to ten business applications for their day-to-day operations. This means that they’re dealing with multiple third parties supporting those individual apps. It’s frustrating for users to have to speak with multiple points of contact who often don’t understand their business.

Origin, on the other hand, acts as an around-the-clock, single point of contact for users, so that their experience is seamless and speedy. We have the people and processes to provide fast and effective support, and where necessary, we leverage our size and scale to escalate application issues to third parties. For example, if the issue requires the underlying application code to be changed, we’ll see the issue through with vendor until we’ve reached a solution.

Q:  What are some of the other benefits of switching to Origin for Application Support? 

A: All of our clients are at different stages of their digital transformation journey. Some might be working through the complexities of modernising their legacy apps, and some use a combination of SaaS and legacy apps. And increasingly, many of our customers are looking beyond SaaS products to develop a customised digital experience for their users. Their IT teams are working closely with in-house dev teams to build their own applications from scratch, or to modernise legacy systems.

Depending on which stage you’re at, there are a number benefits to outsourcing application support to Origin. Some that come to mind are:

  • Reducing risk by reducing reliance on multiple third-parties

  • Receiving support that’s tailored to your unique business needs

  • Reducing the cost of in-house support services

  • Assisting with the transition to modern applications

Q:  How do you reduce reliance on third-party teams and how does this, in turn, reduce risk?

A: Third-party vendors generally don’t document key information around the processes and systems associated with core applications (the same is often true for the single employee charged with overseeing a core business application). Should the third-party vendor shut up shop, for example, the business is left with no means of accessing the critical knowledge needed to keep their applications up and running.

Origin documents that critical information and translates it into a digestible, accessible format. That way, customers have better visibility into how their core applications are working for their business, and peace of mind that they aren’t at the mercy of an external party or an employee who could leave tomorrow. Collecting intelligence around user behaviour also means we’re able to identify and act upon commonly-occuring issues and areas for improvement.

Q:  How does Origin tailor their support services? What are the benefits of this? 

A: Our mission is to understand our customers’ businesses and this informs the delivery of our services company-wide. In the case of application support, this means that we have the knowledge required to escalate an application error or failure with the appropriate level of urgency and care.

A software vendor, on the other hand, is removed from the ins and outs of the customer’s business and has little-to-no understanding of the urgency or criticality of any one issue, or the knock-on effects it might have on other parts of the business.

Q: How does Origin‘s application support service help businesses who are developing their own digital products in-house? 

A: Our application support service frees up modern IT/dev ops teams to focus on innovation. It’s a big ask to have your team support existing applications while simultaneously developing and deploying new ones.

Our service also collects and sends intelligence around user behaviour and common issues back to your dev ops team to feed in to the development cycle, improving the speed of delivery and quality of new digital products.

Q: In-house application support is notoriously expensive. Why is it cheaper to get application support with Origin?

A: Application support is expensive because it requires a unique set of skills that are hard to come by. For companies with an in-house application support team, what’s really driving up costs is paying for those skills on a full-time basis.

Application support is an inherently reactive exercise. With Origin’s application support service, our customers need only engage application support specialists on an as-needed basis. It’s a practical solution to an expensive problem, and it doesn’t come at the expense of quality support.

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