Why is Password Reset Still a Top Call Driver?

Posted on 01. Jul, 2011 by | 0 comments

According to industry research sources (HDI and others), it is estimated that at least 35 to 40 percent of help desk call are related to password resets, and on an average each ticket consumes 20 minutes of a help desk technician’s time.

You would think today that the password reset issues would be a minor incident category with nearly every IDM vendor providing a self-service portal, password synchronization or single sign-on capability. To make matters worse, the sheer number of password protected applications and devices are going up, not down.

The truth is that end user enrollment in password management solutions is low and single sign-on doesn’t cover all applications and service. Furthermore the lack of success of end user enrollment decreases the chance that the standard IDM solutions for desktop lockout can really be successful.

Add to this the need for more aggressive security policies to lower corporate risk by forcing passwords to change quarterly or monthly, and enforcing strong passwords that are difficult to remember – and it looks like the problem isn’t going away anytime soon.

The fact is that users still depend on the service desk to solve password reset related issues. But, service desk agents are ill equipped to efficiently assist the end user. Why?

  1. Identify management personnel are responsible for security/authentication, not the service desk agent
  2. Providing administrative rights to a service desk agent is frowned upon by IT security personnel and does in fact compromise security policy
  3. Password Reset is a complicated, manual process that requires administrative access to multiple systems/applications

Why is password reset a more complicated business issue for MSPs?

  1. Every client has a unique ecosystem
    1. Security policy
    2. Compliance requirements (HIPPA, PCI, etc.)
    3. Directories, Systems, Applications
    4. MSP’s have limited influence and control over the adoption of Identity Management Solutions
      1. Single Sign-on
      2. Password Synchronization
      3. Self Service
      4. Generally there is little or no financial incentive for the MSP client to eliminate password reset calls

Support Automation can Significantly Impact the Economics of Service Support

Eliminate calls by improving the success rate of self-service

  1. Increase Enrollment in IDM self-service Password Reset solutions
    1. Determine if user is enrolled
    2. Alert user to the value of enrollment
    3. Guide the user through the enrollment process
    4. Improve the Success Rate of Password Reset Self-Service
      1. Automate the Password Reset process for the end user by integrating with existing IDM solutions to proactively assist with end-user challenge questions and password reset workflow
      2. Capture the user at the point of pain – detecting failed authentication when using 3rd Party applications – and providing automated or manual direction to the existing IDM solution for password reset.

Automating the password-reset workflow for the technical support analyst

  1. Reduce the Handling Time Password Reset Related Calls by:
    1. Providing automatic look up of the user to see whether they are enrolled with the IDM solution and provide the challenge questions/answers
    2. Performing one-click password reset for many systems that enforces conformance to security policy for password strength

Give us a call to discuss how Support Automation can lower the cost and improve customer satisfaction for your Password Reset related incidents.


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