The Support Automation Show: Episode 12

In this episode of The Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity, Justin Schmidt is joined by Melissa Teater, Senior Operations Consultant at World Wide Technology. They discuss digital transformation, business value through automation at World Wide Technology, and the positive impacts of automation for organizations.

Listen now!

Justin Schmidt: Welcome to the Support Automation Show, a podcast by Capacity. Join us for conversations with leaders in customer or employee support who are using technology to answer questions, automate processes, and build innovative solutions to any business challenge. I’m your host, Justin Schmidt. Hello, Melissa, welcome to the Support Automation Show. Where does this podcast find you?

Melissa Teater: St. Louis, Missouri.

Justin: Lovely town, isn’t it?

Melissa: It really is. Nice and automated.

Justin: Yes, it’s beautiful. Capacity is based here in St. Louis and I don’t usually get to talk to people from St. Louis, and it’s always a pleasure to do so. Melissa, you’re the Senior Operations Consultant at Worldwide Technology. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, Worldwide and what you do there?

Melissa: Sure, thank you. Thanks for having me. I am a senior consultant. I  focus on the people and process parts of transformations. A lot of that is a background in service management, service support strategies, and, of course, part of that is the processes and the workflows that we use to help companies go through data transformations, or digital transformations right now. Before that, I worked at other companies as service delivery management, and then I ran a Global Service Desk for the better part of about 17 years.

Justin: Very interesting. In that experience when you think of the Global Service Desk over that period of time, I’m sure you’ve seen tons of change and everything– the trends, implementations. When we were talking before the show a little bit, we were talking about how you brought up this really wonderful sentiment that I am totally going to steal and use in a marketing copy somewhere. If you see it out there in the wild, you can smile and know that you made an impact on me. That support automation is really, when you think about it, a potential subset of digital transformation.

I thought that was really interesting because one of the first questions I always ask on the show is when I say, “Support automation, what does that mean to you?” I think because you offered up that nugget, maybe that’s the place to start today. If you don’t mind, double-back on what you meant by that.

Melissa: I work with clients all over the world. One of the common themes and the new hot buttons right now is digital transformation, or even just transformation. To me, one small component of that is automation capabilities, and how we can optimize processes, and optimize the work that our people are doing, I hate using the word ‘resources’ because we’re humans, optimizing our resources and optimizing our processes so that we can do more, we can think more, we can strategize better. We can really provide value back to the business with new and interesting capabilities.

Justin: It’s interesting to me too because one of the things that we hear a lot at Capacity, being a software-as-a-service business who sells into internal employees support and also customer support organizations, we do come across the comment that we’re looking at– we, being the prospect, the enterprise, we’re going through a digital transformation effort right now, and we’re looking at all these different things that we’re trying to do, whether it’s bringing OCR and intelligent document processing type stuff to digitize paper-based workflows, whether it’s even simple stuff like level-zero support with, I say, “simple,” chatbots or-

Melissa: Self-service, [crosstalk] options.

Justin: Yes, exactly. This is all on the spectrum of the same thing, which you touched on that I find really interesting, and also I’m heavily invested in because one of our values here at Capacity is to help people do their best work. You mentioned, through digitization process automation, you do unlock some potential there. I’m thinking in your experience, running large-scale enterprise support-type functions, what are some of the biggest unlocks that you’ve seen that really have driven transformational value for organizations?

Melissa: I think the capabilities that we have and some of the toolsets now are really amazing, like, the APIs that you can plug into to, let’s say, different ITSM platforms such as ServiceNow, or Remedy, or Cherwell, or whatever, and being able to use them. I’m not being paid by any of these companies, by the way, the name drop. I’m just giving an example here.

To be able to leverage and harness the power of those different APIs and those different plug-in opportunities, makes my job so much easier when you’re talking about the really challenging parts, which is changing human behaviors and that’s when we think about process. When we think about process that’s an underpinning to support.

When we’re able to wrap that all up to an automated platform, and we’ll be able to leverage all this really amazing technology, even though I’m really tool agnostic as a process and people person, it’s so fascinating to see how you can take ticket handling times down to just seconds, or service request processing times down to, you don’t even have to speak with a person because it’s automated. I know those people are able to do really other cool things instead and work on the harder things.

Justin: It’s exactly right. Wrapped up in that is another point that you brought up in our conversation and back and forth before we booked the interview, which was that automated workflows aren’t scary. I literally have in my show notes that’s a question that we ask a lot on this show because, ultimately, when people hear “automation,” on the one hand you imagine the assembly line as Henry Ford first innovation that compared to, the way I’d pick a modern Honda facility or something where there’s robots all over the place, and it’s very much like-

Melissa: Lean Six Sigma and the whole thing.

Justin: Scale quotes automation. In the knowledge worker, white-collar jobs if you will, you’re starting to see a bit of displacement and automation there as well, stare and compare on spreadsheets, and copying and pasting things from one function to another, that absolutely exists. To bring that change management, to go through the digital transformation, enterprises do have to message the implementation of all the stuff with their employees carefully so that people don’t find it scary.

I’m curious about your career and what you’ve seen. Have you seen that done well, poorly? Are there any key insights that if you could tell someone in your shoes 10 years ago who’s getting ready to go through some big implementation or something? Is there a piece of advice or thought you would give them?

Melissa: I’ll even do it better than something that I told myself 10 years ago, which probably would be different. I’ll tell you what I tell my clients now. My clients are generally, CIOs, CEOs, CTOs, you name it. We’re talking with C-level executives who are desperately trying to transform their operations. They’re trying to do that with tools, and where they always fall short are in three buckets.

Number one, if you’re not preparing your teams and your organization for the transformation, organizational change management, and the transformational activities that occur, you’re asking somebody to do something different, to think differently, and to press a different button, or get up on a different side of the bed, or use a different application. If we’re not preparing our organizations for that type of transformational change, you will fail every time.

I equivocate it to, my mother needs to get a new phone and she’s been on an Android, now I hand her an iPhone, and then I say, “Well, good luck with that. Here’s your new phone,” and then I walk away. She’s going to say, “Now, I’ve got a brick that’s really expensive. What am I supposed to do with that? How do I get to the interwebs?” Inevitably, I’m on a support call with my mother for two hours.

Number two, organizations who aren’t supporting with buy-in across the entire C-suite, and across all of their direct reports and beyond, will also fail because now we don’t have the investment, we don’t have that strong leadership change and it spills into, of course, the organizational change management that we’re talking about.

Number, three is– of course, this is outside of being the financial investment that you’re going to need to make to either purchase the technology, go through the processes of changing all of your processes, and doing the organizational change management, it’s getting the buy-in from the rest of your staff and keeping them informed, making sure that they recognize that they are important, getting their take, and letting them be part of the process, creating those change champions that will help you be more successful as you’re creating that adoption into the new support realm, whether that’s support automation specifically, or just the digitization, transformation activities that are occurring.

Justin: Very interesting. Of those three; preparation, leadership buy-in, and then three is communication, and everything, where do you see people get it wrong the most of those three?

Melissa: What I see the most frequently as businesses and organizations are going through transformation right now, is that so many businesses are siloed and aren’t communicating with each other already. They have a lot of times what I call, and I say this lightly, look-busy kits, like, “This is what I do, I press these buttons. This is my job, and this is what I do every day.”

What makes it scary for some folks, whether you’re an executive, or whether you’re a person who’s an analyst, or whether you’re a mid-level manager, it doesn’t matter, when we are working in our own little fiefdoms and we’re not communicating and cross collaborating and working cross-functionally, then we lose a lot of opportunity to move forward and to transform. That’s where it starts to become scary for some folks because we’ve created these silos or fences around our world and now someone wants to change our world or change the landscape of that. That’s just a change in general. That’s why the communication and the organizational change management components are so critically important.

This is all kinds of companies, Justin. These are massive multi-billion-dollar-a-year banks. This is animal health care. This is radio conglomeration. You name it.

Justin: When you have a bunch of people working together, you’re setting yourself up to potentially run into one of these three issues.

Melissa: I’ll just think of it from an IT Service Management perspective, you can channel business management and operational management into the same philosophies. If you think all the way back to the 2000s and early 2000s when ITIL first started becoming the new hotness, it was really very siloed. Even now, all of these different incident problems change, et cetera, all are combined and connected and different by some means or another. They’re all connected to another.

We created, as companies and organizations, very specific governments and groups and ownership of those different functional activities and practice areas. Now, it’s our opportunity, as we are all transforming, to look at that from a different perspective and really focus on the business value and the objectives and goals that the business is looking to achieve so that we can support those capabilities for them going forward. I know that sounds like a whole lot of words. [laughs] You can trim those however you’d like.

Justin: You’re talking to someone in marketing. I like creating a bunch of words.

Melissa: It’s a whole a lot of words but I suppose the point to this is, we created these silos very purposely to gain rigor and cadence in something that was very messy as we were learning how to compute, as we were learning how to support PCs, as we were learning how to, “What do we do with BYOD and all of this other technology?” We created these little silos and fiefdoms intentionally to make things operate in a way that we could understand.

Now, we’re at a point where so many organizations have gained enough maturity, in some cases, that they’re ready to launch to that next step. They do have the capability, they have the IP, they have the smart workers and the brainpower to create new strategies to invoke things like service automation, for example.

Justin: Change management is definitely an aspect of support automation that we don’t talk about enough on this show. I’m glad you brought it up. It’s particularly interesting to me right now just because Capacity is a startup. We’re a small but mighty team of businesses growing, business is good, we’re hiring, everything’s great. We’re still a startup. We’re still relatively small compared to ServiceNow, just to pick a name like that.

Change management, even in a company the size of 75 employees or wherever we’re at, it’s a thing. I’m going through it right now with my revenue operations team, we’re looking at fiddling with opportunity stages in Salesforce. That’s change management. You don’t just go changing something in Salesforce and the sales team is like “What’s going on with–” It’s change management, you got to run it.

When I think of what that must be like at, I don’t know, Monsanto or Bayer now, or Coca-Cola or some monolith, that’s a real challenge because your three buckets there of preparation, leadership buy-in, and then the communication downstream, the project management involved in getting any one of those three things right is a pretty gargantuan undertaking.

My follow-up question to you, and this is, candidly, maybe a little self-serving just as someone who sits on the other side of this world trying to bring our product into these types of situations, the person in your shoes, or the buyer’s shoes, what are some things that they should be looking out for with the vendors they’re trying to work with, to make sure all that stuff goes smoothly?

Melissa: It’s interesting that you bring that up. I have worked with several clients to help them go through even just that process of bringing in a managed service provider or working with a new supplier or vendor. It’s their ability to work agilely and to be flexible. When I see a contract that is exceptionally locked down, and very rigid, without any opportunity, other than maybe, a change order to try to fix the pricing, or the scope, which can take months, as we know, in a lot of these large organizations, you have to bring the new hotness to the game. You can’t bring some archaic methodologies for business to a new hot game, you just can’t.

I look for companies who are dabbling in innovation who are willing to do something, even if it’s a little bit messy, a little differently, and then be willing to have a little slack on either side from a contract perspective, but also just from an operating model perspective. I want to know that a company’s not just going to show me their A team when they’re during their sales pitch, and then I end up with the C or a D team at the end of the day. I want to know, “Who am I going to be working with?” Let’s face it, at the end of the day, Justin, just as we’re doing right now, business relationship management is the key for all business getting done ever.

You’re going to come back when you have that relationship, when you gain the trust, when you understand that you’re working with somebody that has credibility, that doesn’t just say what they say, but they do what they say. Those are the things that I look for; innovation, credibility, someone that is being forthright and really not willing to make a mistake, but also willing to be flexible enough to work around that in a fair and not-ridiculous way. We don’t want to spend a bunch of money on mistakes, but sometimes we have to make the mistakes to be innovative.

Justin: You get this symbiotic relationship where you’re pushing the boundaries of the product and as a– I think about myself as a marketer. We spend money with literally two of the three largest tech companies on Earth, shout out to Google and Facebook here, on advertising. Sometimes, I wonder if there’s any humans on the other side of that relationship. From a product perspective, the interface for Google ads and Facebook advertising are two of the most just remarkable things that exist. They are so powerful, so much you can do, they load extremely fast. They work on all browsers. I can make some of the best business decisions in my life and I can make some of the worst business decisions of my life on that platform at any given time. Right?

Melissa: That’s right.

Justin: That’s what’s really amazing, but from my seat anyway, I have absolutely zero impact on what that platform can do outside of what it already does. At the enterprise level, with what you’re talking about, let’s keep Coca-Cola as our example here, if Coca-Cola, and– I don’t know if they’re a ServiceNow customer, but let’s pretend they are for a second, they can maybe bend each other in certain directions but there’s a weight to two massive organizations with what, I’m sure is a multi-million dollar a year contract and a huge relationship between the two of them.

Understanding your relationships with your vendors on the other side, maybe you don’t get to write the next chapter of their product roadmap, but all feedback is important. The working relationship you have is very valuable. That’s another thing that we don’t talk about a lot on this show, and I’m glad you brought it up, is the back and forth relationship between the technology provider and the customer.

Switching gears a little bit, when you think of driving business value through automation, it’s another thing we touched on a little bit, one thing that I’m always curious about, and you’re uniquely positioned for this, just given the purview you have with working– Worldwide Technology is a very successful, massive company. You guys deal with a lot of very successful, massive companies in your line of business.

I’m curious, how do you quantify the value-driven through automation? Do you look at hours saved? Is it the ticket deflection rate? Does it depend on the use case? I’m just curious, what you’ve seen work and maybe not work when it comes to proving the ROI of this stuff, if you will, because I think that’d be helpful for our listeners who are kicking the tires, so to speak on bringing automation into their business.

Melissa: I’m going to answer that question a couple of different ways.

Justin: I love it. Floor’s yours.

Melissa: I’m not going to do interpretive dancers’ sayings yet. I could give you the consultant answer, which is, it depends, but I’m not going to do that to you today, Justin. Today, Justin, I will say this, when we’ve understood the capabilities that the business is wanting to achieve, then we can map to those success criteria. When we think of a service value chain or the service value system, we start with, “What is the critical success factor?”

Basically, you have to name it to tame it, Justin. One of my colleagues says that all the time, you have a name to tame it. When we understand what the business is looking to achieve, what is their objective? What outcomes are they seeking? I could make up all kinds of things that I would say to you, Justin, “If we change the way that your microphone is sitting in front of your computer, you’re going to get this much more times of airspeed time, and bah, dah, dah, dah, dah,” but is that valuable to you? Do you care? Are we measuring something that doesn’t even matter?

Frequently that’s where organizations get lost. Particularly from an IT services perspective, or really just from a support perspective, what is important? The goals might be, we need to decrease our handle time for our manufacturing sites by X percent because it’s costing us eleventy billion dollars a minute to run this one particular thing, and it’s taking us three years to run it. We’re saying that we need to decrease or increase speed, decrease or create situations where we have automation.

Potentially, before we can even automate, we have to modify the process. We have to know what it is. Before you even look at technology or a technical solution, you have to understand what that process is first, you optimize, then you automate. In this odd little example that I gave you as a use case of eleventy billion minutes and a bazillion dollars or whatever it was, of course, there’s a financial outcome to that.

Maybe they’re having human challenges with staffing. Now, they need to find new and clever ways to automate some of those processes, but they have to optimize it first. We don’t want to optimize the things or automate anything that we’re doing just because that’s how we’ve always done it.

Justin: The concept of understanding the process before you even get into implementation is one of those ideas and concepts that has a bit of this veneer of obviousness. It’s like, “Of course, that’s what you want to do,” but that’s not often how people work. They have their acute pain and they’re like, “We’re spending eleventy billion dollars a minute,” in our little fictional example, like, “Fix it.”

The next thing you know, you’re reviewing a contract from SAP or whatever it is, shout out to SAP, and you’re about ready to add another seven figures to your annual deal there, but you haven’t thought through just good old fashioned process design first because maybe you can get it done with your existing tools, maybe you could get it done with what you’ve already got, maybe this has nothing to do with technology, and maybe you’ve got people in the organization that need to be coached or managed out or whatever it is.

Melissa: It could be behavioral. It could be that we’re using outdated processes. It could be culturally based. It could be all kinds of things, culturally specific to that company or organization, or even the business culture.

We can use a lot of things like a lot of Lean Six Sigma modelings, Kaizen events and Pareto charts, timings, and all kinds of things to collect the process steps and understand who’s doing what at what time and what group. That’s a lot of just the how-the-sausage-is-made scenario when you’re looking at process optimization, but you have to know what all those steps are.

What’s interesting is a lot of companies don’t have those processes documented because maybe they’ve been doing it for so long, that’s just embedded and ingrained in a workflow already, or they just have had one person there for a really long time and they have all the tribal knowledge and it hasn’t been transitioned over to anybody else or shared. Those are really common scenarios and that’s where a lot of that fear can come into play. Going back to one of your other questions, but this is what I do. Have you heard the Grandma’s Ham story?

Justin: No.

Melissa: This is what I use a lot of times when we’ve been doing the same thing forever and ever and ever, and we don’t even question it. The mom is cooking a ham and one of her children comes in and she sees that the mom’s cutting the end of the ham off. The daughter or the son says, “Hey, why are you cutting off the end of the ham?” ” Because your grandma always did it.” They go and ask grandma, “Grandma, why do you cut the end of the ham off?” She’s like, “I just don’t have a pan big enough to fit the ham.”

We need to always go back and recognize the variables that we have in every situation and what might’ve changed since the last time we looked at this process, or the last time we optimized this process, what’s different in our lives now that may not have existed before.

Justin: Like a bunch of people who transitioned to work from home, for example. Right?

Melissa: Right.

Justin: These things happen. We certainly live through it. We have a lot of customers in the mortgage and financial services space. I was doing some research for a campaign we’re going to run and came across a really interesting study that I think Freddie Mac ran this survey, 83% of the mortgage lenders surveyed said that the pandemic was a catalyst for them kick-starting some digital transformation efforts inside of a business.

It’s one of those things where, pick the lens at which you want to look through life and look at the economy and everything else, and you will find that the last 18 months influenced the direction that that cohort is going very significantly.

When I think to myself outside of just the pandemic, but the march forward of progress and technology and all this, there’s a thought that pops into my head, that I’m very curious what your thought on this is, that is, you have a growing amount of very powerful platforms that companies can go out and invest in. Some of those platforms are a lot more, I’m making quotes for those of us on video, open from an API and data interchange than others are.

There’s building the source of truth, the system of record. Salesforce is the one that I deal with in my line of work all the time on this where it’s like, that is the source of truth for so many things, and because of that, they get to wield that in terms of lock-in and upsells, and all sorts of other stuff. They’re providing great value. I can fill this entire podcast ranting about Salesforce.

Melissa: [laughs] Preach on.

Justin: Shout out to our friends over at Salesforce.

Melissa: That’s right.

Justin: You get to this point now when you really start looking at a changing business and doing things and start really having this build-versus-buy conversation. Ultimately, this circuitous plane that I’m trying to land here is when you start to enact change when you have the impetus for transformation, when you want to start automating, you start having the build-versus-buy conversation, again, whether you’re Coca-Cola with a couple of 1,000 people in their IT and Development departments across the world, or you are Capacity and your team of 80. How do you approach build-versus-buy? What do you tell your clients and customers?

Melissa: I’ve mentioned that I’m tool-agnostic. I am because to me, you buy the thing that’s going to suit your needs. The tool never fixes the problem. The tool is only a mechanism for which you can automate and leverage your transformation. The end. I know that every person I know who is a salesperson all around the world is probably rolling their eyes and cringing their teeth right now, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to go sell someone a whole slew of Palo Alto routers, you’re not going to go sell someone a whole suite of ServiceNow platform. If they’re a mom-and-pop shop, they just don’t have the need for that.

You’re a startup. Do you really need to have that kind of a robust customer-facing thing?ServiceNow is probably going to be a heavy hit, Zendesk is probably fine.

Yes, we have to use tools because they’re the platform that we get to show off our awesomeness, and our strategies, and our processes, and all of our amazing talents as humans who are working in an organization. Those are the things that should be the microphone for which our organizations are able to speak through if you will. They’re not the thing, “Yes, it seems like a catch 22, but we can’t do these other cool automation things without the technology,” yes, but you have to know what you’re doing first and understand your strategy before you go and build versus buy.

Sometimes it is better to just try something homegrown. For the most part, there’s a lot of really cool technology out there from a tool perspective that if it’s going to suit your needs, yes, I generally will go that way. Sometimes it doesn’t even require buying something new. Sometimes you can make some configuration changes.

Justin: Deep in the bowels of the settings.

Melissa: Sometimes now, not so deep anymore, and that’s the difference. It used to be all big and scary trying to program your VCR. Hey, kids listening at home, a VCR is a tape cassette that we used to use way before.

Justin: Before DVDs. What’s a DVD?

Melissa: That’s right. What’s a DVD? [laughs]

Justin: I was going to make a double-down on the joke about looking back at DVDs and looking forward to the future and what excites you most about the future of automation, but I’m just going to make the transition really blunt here and say, what excites you most about the future of support automation?

Melissa: Gosh, I think to me, more than anything else, it is not just a transformation, it’s a user experience. We need to be focused on what that looks like. As a consumer, I get excited about not having to call somebody, being able to handle something myself, scheduling something online. I might sound like I have a dynamic personality, but I really am very much a hermit. It gives me a lot of opportunities.

From, let’s say, a practitioner perspective or a consultant perspective, or maybe a delivery perspective, where we’re providing items and capabilities to an end-user, to me, it’s so exciting that we can do so much. If we can imagine it, we can make it happen. That to me, coming from– I’m a girl who started off in the help desk, supporting AS/400 technology, green screen, and the whole deal, to now, I’m in my kitchen talking to you through a laptop using these ridiculous HUDs video technology, and it’s so great. It’s really amazing.

Will we have flying cars and all the others–? That’s the kind of automation I want to see. I want to see Marty McFly flying Back to the Future cars. I want to see that type of stuff, but I think because we’ll have automation, that we have a real opportunity to provide a whole different level of customer service.

Justin: Yes, by making the mundane stuff as handled via automation and you have your best people have their best energy. I tell the story all the time because I’m going to use a fancy word here, it’s the paradigmatic example of why automation helps us. I had an issue with a TV I bought at Best Buy. I went through their little automated triage to get an answer. Couldn’t get the answer. Finally, got to a support agent, but as someone who works in this business, you’re just noticing that the way they built it was pretty good and that their automated help would have covered 90% of use cases.

I say this to say by the time I had to call them and got on the phone I had this wonderful experience with the person on the other line because it was very clear to me that she didn’t spend her entire day just repeating the return policy 15,000 times to people. She was only getting phone calls for weird esoteric issues like what I had. It was a delightful experience. If they didn’t create that self-service level zero support funnel that they had, it wouldn’t work. Congratulations to Best Buy for doing the work there.

Melissa: No doubt.

Justin: That was definitely just one of many examples of the future here. This has been a fantastic conversation. I can’t thank you enough.

Melissa: [chuckles] You’re welcome.

Justin: We’re going to land the plane here with our quickfire round. What’s the book that you most often recommend to people?

Melissa: Surrounded by Idiots.

Justin: Surrounded by Idiots. That’s one that’s come up a couple of times on the show.

Melissa: It is a profound insight into character, into personalities, and into communication, which I think has been one of the themes of this particular conversation today. When talking about your change management, know your audience.

Justin: When you think of all the different productivity hacks and techniques and everything you’ve picked up over the years, what’s the one that stands out as the one that you’re still using and the best one?

Melissa: I think it’s one that’s newer. I’m really into the Cortana Microsoft plugin that schedules focus time for me two weeks out. If I don’t leverage that then I don’t have time to be strategic and to be heads-down and to improve whether that’s for myself or for my clients or for whatever the reason is. That little feature has really helped me learn how to create some boundaries for myself to give myself that time to be a better person.

Justin: For anyone who’s a Google Calendar user, there’s a little plugin you get called Clockwise that does the same thing. If it can, it will move your meetings around to try to give you as many uninterrupted two-hour blocks in the day as it can, which is really great. That’s a good one.

If you could recommend one site blog, slack community, LinkedIn group, physical, go-actually-talk-to-people-in-real-life group around the automation support, et cetera, what would it be?

Melissa: This is going to sound like a shameless plug, but it really isn’t intended that way, We have an amazing group of automation. We’ve got our labs, our ATC lab. If I want to learn about any kind of new automation that’s coming out or any kind of new tool capabilities, I can go in and get into this place, I can set up my own use case lab that is temporary and can be free. I can just go out there and learn all these different use cases that are already set up in these labs. I get that I work for this company and I love this company, but this company does some really, really cool stuff. [laughs] Leverage it.

Justin: Melissa, you’re allowed to get a plugin.

Melissa: To gloat a little bit of how awesome my company is.

Justin: If there’s one person in your world of business and operations and support, et cetera, change management,in the world you operate, if there’s one person you could take for either coffee or a cocktail depending on the time of day and whatnot, who would it be?

Melissa: I don’t know that I have a good answer for that. In my specific industry, it would have been one of the founders of the Help Desk Institute from a long time ago just because he was so great. I don’t know how relevant that is now.

Justin: That’s perfectly fair because Help Desk Institute is something that I lurk a lot there.

Melissa: I really find that there’s also some really great forums on the LinkedIn sites specifically around Knowledge Center support and around ITIL 4. More than anything, where I learned the most and continual growth is when I’m working with my clients, being able to apply the knowledge that I have now and then finding new use cases and going, “Let’s problem-solve through that.” That’s really interesting. I know I didn’t give you a straight answer. That wasn’t straight talk with Melissa Teater today. I apologize, Justin.

Justin: You don’t have to apologize.

Melissa: There you go. [laughs]

Justin: These conversations are meant to be real and helpful and dynamic. I can tell you right now just looking at my typical show notes script thing, I’ve only used two of the questions I normally ask which is my definition of a great podcast.

Melissa: Oh, good. [laughs]

Justin: Melissa, thank you so much for joining me this afternoon. Where can people find out more about you and World Wide Technology?

Melissa: You can find me on the platform at and look for Melissa Teater or you can also look for me on LinkedIn. It’s Melissa.Teater. There’s two Melissa Teater’s out there so you got to look for the one that works for World Wide Technology. [chuckles]

Justin: Thank you so much, Melissa, for coming on the Support Automation Show. Hope to see you around.

Melissa: Thank you.Justin: The Support Automation Show is brought to you by Capacity. Visit to find everything you need for automating support and business processes in one powerful platform. You can find the show by searching for Support Automation in your favorite podcast app. Please subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. On behalf of the team here at Capacity, thanks for listening.

Related Content