January 16, 2010

Centralized Management Support Structure of Microsoft IT

The existing Microsoft IT NOC consisted of three teams that used different processes to perform a variety of technical support functions. These functions ranged from basic, routine tasks to highly complex issues. The three teams were responsible for the following activities:
Network connectivity, wireless access points, switches, and routers
Server configuration and monitoring

Telephony switches and hardware
One of the business challenges that Microsoft IT identified was a lack of standardized processes and workflow efficiencies between these three operationally independent teams. Several teams performed most incident response and change request work. Limited ownership and a lack of collaboration resulted in inefficiencies, and the organization barriers were a hindrance to the support structure. With interdependencies in technology, there was also a need for knowledge convergence across support teams to troubleshoot complex issues. Adhering to support service level agreements (SLAs) on complex issues was a huge challenge that affected the business.

To facilitate a more efficient and consistent structure, Microsoft IT transformed the NOC into the following support teams:

Change operations provided by a global change operations team. This team is responsible for routine change management.

Incident operations provided by a global incident operations team. This team is responsible for customer contact via a service desk team and routine incident management.

Problem management provided by technical escalation teams. These teams are responsible for problem management, creation process efficiencies, and the resolution of complex incidents and chronic errors.
With this new structure in place, Microsoft IT used MOF service desk, incident management, problem management, and change management best practices, coupled with MOM 2005 alerts and events, to respond to customer incidents and change requests.

Delegating support tasks between Microsoft IT and vendors enables Microsoft IT resources to respond more quickly to complex incidents and change requests and focus on chronic error resolution by using MOF best practices for problem management.

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