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Upgrades and User Support by the Numbers

September 30, 2011

If you have not downloaded Intelliteach’s 2nd Edition Guru’s Guide, do so as soon as you finish reading this post where I’ve put my spin on the data shared in the Guide. It is a treasure trove of helpdesk stats that will benefit any legal technologist. I’ll share the link at the end to make it easy to find.

A Little Background

Intelliteach opened its doors in 1999 to provide outsourced service desk support exclusively to law firms. As of this publication, they are supporting 100,000 users in 50 countries across 1,250 locations. Intelliteach services firms of all sizes and 30% of the Am Law 200. This guide is a compilation of 18 months of data representing 1.2 million service tickets from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. For my many friends planning an Office upgrade, the Guide includes analysis from 150 major software rollouts or upgrades from the last 5 years.

What Does the Data Say in General?

No surprise that Microsoft Office comprises the bulk of service requests weighing in at 43% of all tickets. Outlook leads the suite with 22% and Word follows closely with 19%. Assistance with the document management system follows with 19%. Service requests for Office have been increasing each month and more than doubled in the last 12 months. Office 2007 appears to be popular. In Q1 of 2011 it represented 44% of all Office calls across all versions. Just one year prior Office 2007 only represented 22% of Office calls. Office XP calls dropped to 7% and Office 2010 calls were just barely registering at 1%. However, in Q2 of 2011 Office 2010 service requests increased to 3%.


The Guru Guide, p 7

My curious mind wonders if the increase is a result of changes in workflow from staff to lawyer, decreased training durations during rollouts and upgrades or a by-product of the recession that stopped almost all law firm projects for at least a year. Given how busy we are at Traveling Coaches this year, I am keen to see what the numbers will look like in another year.

There is also a notable change in how help is requested. Did you know your legal professionals are increasingly choosing to email for services rather than call? Email today comprises 27% of first contact versus just 10% five years ago. The 69% that call for service are 78% more likely to get their issue resolved during that first call. Support by email actually takes six times longer for final resolution. The Futurist in me was pleased to see that more firms are trying new channels of service such as instant messaging or self-service.

Fun Fact

Which day of the week has the highest service desk volume?  Did you guess Monday?

If you do not provide 24/7 help desk support, then you guessed correctly. But for firms with around-the-clock support, Tuesday is actually the busiest day.

Call Volume Increases During Upgrades


The Guru Guide, p8.

Anyone that has survived a major desktop upgrade or conversion knows already that it adds to the volume of support requests and causes some level of strain to existing resource systems which, in turn, has an impact on service quality. Based on the analysis of 150 major software rollouts, the Guide reports that the average ticket volume increased 42% during firm-wide upgrades and took an average of 90 days to return to normal pre-conversion levels for firms with an average of 700 users.

The report goes a little further and shares two sample firm scenarios. Firm A has multiple offices, with international offices thrown into the mix and approaches the rollout using the Big Bang approach. The (Big Bang approach is converting a lot of users at the same time and often includes multiple offices converting at the same time.) Firm A can expect increased call volumes for 5 months before returning to pre-conversion levels. Firm B has multiple offices, but takes the slow approach to the rollout and returns to normal levels in about a month.

If staffing remains the same, expect a few challenges and bumps along the way…such as increased hold time, increased abandonment rates (users give up and hang up) and tickets taking longer to resolve. It all adds up to dissatisfied user experiences. The Guide does not go into detail about the impact this has on the support staff, but it certainly adds to the stress that is naturally part of the job when supporting end-users. Given that users are expecting more hands-on, individualized support today, if your support plan for a rollout is to make-do, take some time to read this report and ponder what it means for your upgrade or conversion project. You can either ramp up and staff extra service desk resources, place some key individuals on the floor for real-time support or communicate to the users that the service response time is going to change for a significant period of time.

If you’ve approached the service response time challenges in a creative way, we’d love to hear about it.  Email us at

The Guru’s Guide for Legal Service Desk Support Law Firm Specific Metrics & Key Performance Indicators
2nd Edition, September 2011
Lance Waagner, President and CEO

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