Gareth Brown

Gareth Brown
4 minute read | February 18th, 2019

How quickly can you respond?

At Sytec, calls are answered within 20 seconds, remote system support is immediately available and when required, engineers are often onsite within 90 minutes.

For deeper insight there is 1 critical question to ask any technical manager.

How quickly are reported problems resolved?

A very good answer will recognise this is a Key Performace Indicator (KPI) and will include the mean (simple average) time and a standard deviation.

Naturally, different types of problems will have different values.

To calculate the standard deviation for problem resolution

  1. Collect the date & time for reported problems and remediation
  2. Calculate the duration for each (and determine the mean)
  3. For each duration: subtract the mean and square the result
  4. Calculate the mean of the squares
  5. The square root of this is your standard deviation for problem resolution

Problem Resolution

The key to effective problem resolution is to maintain a consistent approach to incident management.  If it’s not being measured, it’s not being managed.

For me, effective problem resolution requires several vital elements to be in place for the service desk;

  • Preparation: Does this asset require monitoring?
  • Automation: How will alerts be created?
  • Acknowledgement: At what level does an alert become a problem?
  • Escalation: To whom is this problem assigned?

An effective service desk starts working when automated alerts are escalated as potential issues.  Service desk technicians are usually dealing with alerts in advance of problems impacting users, we call this First Sight.

First Sight requires skilled individuals who;

  • promptly deal with alerts,
  • have access to service tools, amd 
  • an awareness of the value of other people’s time.

In summary, First Sight enables the Sytec team to be more effective.


At Sytec the service desk team answer calls for IT support and manage requests for service changes using workflow automation tools.  Automation enables team members to handle a larger number of concurrent active tasks, identify and escalate urgent events to an appropriately skilled engineer.  Automation also ensures every task is opened, progressed, escalated, reviewed and closed with the same consistency.

We employ a lot of automation. An ongoing investment into automation tools ensures that, when a problem occurs we can devote skill into resolution rather than discussion and discovery. Automation tools increase the depth of support and reduce the fatigue of repetitive tasks.


To be consistently responsive, we aim to maintain an engineering utilisation rate of around 50%. Notably different to an industry average of 80%, our lower level is the result of automation and ensures the service team are consistently available and willing to respond in a friendly and professional manner.

Why choose to work with Sytec?

  • We focus on reducing risk
  • Our work and checks are separated independent processes
  • We consider compliance and security checks as the default
  • You will know which engineer has access and when they took action
  • You will have phone, email and face to face access to security certified engineers

About Sytec

Sytec provides IT networking, security, audit, consulting, and support services to a broad range of businesses. Based in Salisbury, engineers are available to respond on a same day basis to ad-hoc or emergency requests, and within minutes for customers with a prepaid pool of consultative support.
We enjoy representing many other IT companies who require responsive field engineers, for more about our coverage and response.


26 Parkers Close, Downton Business Centre
Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 3RB, United Kingdom

Call:  033 33 44 22 22
Text: 079 00 30 00 30
Fax:  033 33 44 77 77

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