While HCL Software as a division within HCL Technologies has grown tremendously over the last 4 years, many of you have asked what HCL Software Support is all about. How do we work? How can we ensure that you get help when in need? How can you depend on us?

Of course, we do have our Objectives defined in our legal framework, the Support Guide, to meet Legal obligations. Practically, however, that does not always give you the perspective of how we work.

To help you get up and running as fast as we possibly can, we strive to be a Support Team that is responsive, communicative, technically sound as well as professional in troubleshooting.

That may sound straight-forward and easy. But as often in software engineering, we find that the engineers who are deeply specialized might not exhibit the best general communication skills, while communicative and empathic employees might not always be the best ‘techies’. We intend to bridge that and build a team that is your trusted partner in deeply technical and complex environments.

Similarly, a doctor needs to be an expert in his or her medical field but also needs to have a sense of empathy, an ability to talk to different patients at different levels, and, through questioning, make an analysis of what might be going on.

I often use the medical industry as a metaphor. You want to trust your medical professionals to do the right thing. We in HCL Software Support aim to be the medical professionals of the Software Industry. Organisationally, we therefore have an emergency ward to assist you 24 by 7. There are general practitioners to have good conversations with you to assess the urgency and identify possible avenues of further analysis or recovery. We have specialists to help in specific fields that require deep skills. Sometimes we engage a surgeon to build a fix, while at other times we request pharmacists to provide medication (workarounds) to mitigate symptoms.

There are three capabilities that we believe are core within that level of professionalism.

  1. Responsiveness: what is going on? When you reach out to us, we will try to call you to review your perspective of the concern you raised, gauge the impact, grasp the technical context, and evaluate follow-up options. To set expectations we need to understand the concern. Do we need a quick remote session? Do we miss version information? Is the observed behaviour repeatable? Do we need to call in experts with specific expertise? Or can we address the concern on the fly? These are all aspects that might or might not apply to the situation at hand. The thousands of Enterprise clients HCL Software works with all have unique implementations of our software. This approach would be comparable to what a general practitioner would do in their conversations with patients. What is aching? Does it ache all the time? What have you tried so far? Do we need to move you to the ICU? Being responsive while asking the right questions is critical to how we believe Software Support is delivered.
  2. Product and Domain expertise. A Support Engineer working for customers using a Marketing Application like Unica will need to understand the application back to front. Not only the product Unica, also the multitude of different implementations of Unica, including the connecting technologies it works with, like operating systems, extensions, databases or cloud environments. Think of a neurologist who is an expert in neurons as well as in all the connecting tissues and organs, or an ophthalmologist who might understand the physics of the eye in detail but is nowhere if not also understanding how it is connected to the brain. The same is valid for our Support Engineers working for the Domino suite of products or our DevOps portfolio, or any of the other Product Families that HCL Software offers. We are therefore organised by Product Family but also have cross domain skills to provide the right expertise for your query.
  3. Troubleshooting. We, at HCL Software, partner with the Kepner-Tregoe Company to teach our engineers the Kepner-Tregoe troubleshooting methodology over the next few years (www.kepner-tregoe.com). This helps our engineers to become professional troubleshooters. It puts a logical framework around a natural tendency that we all have when ‘things go wrong’. This helps Software Support Engineers to communicate clearly, prioritise, define problems factually, and think through options. With this approach, we bring One Language to our Engineers in the communication within our teams and with you, our customer. There is this famous test of the Invisible Gorilla (http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/videos.html). While the spectators were focused on the ball being thrown from player to player on a basketball court, a Gorilla moved around this court. Most of the spectators missed even spotting the gorilla. That research was reproduced with radiologists searching for nodules in lungs of patients. They asked radiologists to perform a familiar lung nodule detection task. A gorilla, almost 50 times larger than the average nodule, was inserted in the last case. 83% of radiologists did not notice the gorilla (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964612/).

With our partnership with the Kepner-Tregoe company we aim to reduce the percentage of misses in our Software Troubleshooting.

So far, we have done remarkably well. When referring to the industry standard of Net Promoter Score on surveys, we consistently score 60 or higher, amongst the top performers in the Software World (see for example: https://delighted.com/blog/what-is-a-good-nps-score).

But, of course, we are still young and not perfect. We continue to learn, strive to be better to exceed your expectations and HCL’s wish to build a Relationship Beyond the Contract.

For more information, visit: https://support.hcltechsw.com/csm

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Digital Solutions | January 8, 2021
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