DIRECTV, the leading provider of satellite-based television service in North America, was looking to upgrade its legacy customer support system last year for its information technology (IT) help desk and customer service department. Its current support system had a number of shortcomings, including weak workflow and case-ownership capabilities, inability to track service level agreement (SLA) performance, lack of an automatic escalation mechanism and limited reporting and ad-hoc query tools. This left DIRECTV with a number of challenges in delivering the best support possible to both customers and its own employees.

DIRECTV had several issues that needed to be addressed in order to upgrade its current customer support environment. The same software solution would be used for both the internal IT help desk and the customer service department. The solution had to minimize impact on the third-party customer call center that is employed to off-load support needs. Rapid implementation had to be completed long before Y2K issues came into play, and the software solution had to accommodate business rules that would automatically escalate cases requiring special attention from supervisors or management. Since the internal IT department would take ongoing first-level support responsibility for the solution, it was also important that the IT staff participate actively in the project team.

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