A Decade of Innovation: Celebrating 10 Years of the Remote Support Desk

What an incredible journey it has been for those who have been part of the Remote Support Desk (RSD) since its inception in 2013. RSD plays an integral part in supporting SECOM’s service delivery and has aided a significant improvement to our customer service over the years. The story began against the backdrop of the 2012 London Olympics, when SECOM identified a crucial need to support its clients in Westfield shopping centres, which were temporarily closed for the grand event. This marked the first step in what would become a remarkable journey, one that has brought this momentous milestone of RSD’s 10th anniversary. Andy Lister, Head of Service Delivery, who was a key contributor to RSD’s success, reflects on the journey:

“Our journey was steered by the vision of Operations Director Paul Weaver, who, with previous experience in technical support desks, understood the profound impact they could have on service delivery. My own experience working on a technical support desk aligned perfectly with Paul’s vision, and together, we saw the potential of bringing a technical support desk to life. Through Paul’s unwavering determination, we managed to secure a modest budget of £1,500, and that’s where it all began.

“Our early days were a true testament to our dedication. We were resourceful, borrowing servers and monitors, and setting up shop in my little office in Leeds. With just one dedicated engineer and a trainee, we officially launched RSD in 2013.

“We were determined to forge new paths in remote support, and our partnerships with panel manufacturers and signalling providers played a pivotal role. Through extensive research and development efforts, we not only embraced remote solutions but also pioneered innovative technology that is now used industry wide. This pioneering spirit is something I take immense pride in.

“Our journey was not without its challenges. Initially, convincing engineers that RSD was developed to assist them, rather than replace them, proved to be an uphill battle. It took time and patience to help engineers understand the true value that RSD brought to their work. Over the years, we steadily expanded our network of remotely connectable sites, always with a focus on increasing connections and improving our customers’ wait times for issue resolution. Our team evolved as well, with more dedicated and skilled engineers joining our ranks.

“In 2016, everything changed when we won a tender to take over intruder, CCTV, access control, and guarding for one of the UK’s largest food retailers. Facing tight timelines, we made the bold decision to carry out most of the takeover remotely, leveraging RSD’s unique skill set. Within just three years of its launch, RSD played an instrumental role in the largest takeover in SECOM’s global history. The team managed over 100 new connections daily for three intense months, and I have no doubt that without RSD, this takeover wouldn’t have been as successful.

“As time passed, our team continued to develop their skills and training. Now, our team primarily consists of RSD engineers with no field engineering background, a testament to the comprehensive training programs we’ve developed to ensure we attract and nurture the right talent for RSD.

Our achievements have been remarkable. From a fix rate of 40-45% in 2014, the team now consistently exceeds this target, with an average fix percentage ranging between 70-75%. We’ve also added planned preventative maintenance visits, conducting around 300-1,000 remote PPMs monthly to support our field engineers.

“The PSTN project remains a focal point for us, as we strive to connect to as many systems as possible to assist engineers and clients whenever needed.

“Our current team, led by Jake Hayward as the Team Leader and Connor Turner as the Senior Engineer, wholeheartedly commits to assisting with any panel or issue they believe they can resolve remotely. Their dedication to continuous improvement mirrors the mindset we’ve always held within RSD, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team. The fact they are still supported by Chris Spencer as the National Service Bureau Manager speaks volumes to the dedication we have had over the years.

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed to RSD’s success. A special thanks to Paul Weaver and Chris Spencer, who have been with me on this remarkable journey from the very beginning, and to all the engineers who have made our connections possible.

“Here’s to another decade of innovation and many more milestones in the future. Happy 10th anniversary, RSD!”