I've just returned from an exciting two days at this year's Service Desk Institute Conference and thought I would share a few thoughts with you post event.
Before going any further I have to thank the SDI for providing me with a free pass for the two days so that we could record an ITSMWPROW podcast there. More of that latter.
Being an inveterate people watcher I found the mix of the audience interesting. This is very much a grass roots service desk practitioner event and that was reflected by the people in the room, but all were unified by an overwhelming enthusiasm for what they do - not because they think it is interesting, but because they believe it is important to the people they serve.
I'll call out, perhaps unfairly, two teams for special mention. The Kent Council IT service desk have recently retained their SDI 4 star rating, and talking to Paula and Emily on the first of the two SDI11 podcasts we recorded it was clear that they are driven by a desire to go on improving the service they provide whilst acknowledging the constraints the UK public sector is currently working within. They also echoed a common message among attendees - addressing customer satisfaction mechanisms is a real challenge.
The second team I'm going to call out have addressed that challenge head on. TNT Express, the well deserved winners of the Large Team Award. They get close to the customer by sending team members out to experience "a life in a day" of their customers, which means helping out the delivery drivers on the road wearing overalls and safety boot. Again we will be featuring them on an upcoming podcast and I really urge you to listen to what they have to say.
The great thing about a conference like this one is that the technology stays firmly in the background and the spotlight falls on people. This was certainly reflected by the messages of most of the speakers. I'm sure that for a lot of people Catherine DeVrye's sessions were inspirational.
James West picked up an interesting theme about the role of ITIL at the event, which I think reflects what we are hearing at other conferences as well, and the theme was also evident in some of the comments made by various industry gurus on Barclay Rae's ITSM TV.
Having put in a lot of links to Twitter accounts in this article I should mention Frieda's session on social media. It still seems to be the case that Twitter is under used at UK ITSM events which is a real shame, especially for those who cannot attend in person.
So there you are. We will be covering a lot more from the conference in the upcoming podcasts, but a heartfelt thanks to Howard, Emma Tessa and the rest of the SDI team.