Traynor said the center is now seen as a desirable place to work. The first call resolution rate is about 80% and he hopes to get it higher. Customers have also gained online self-service access to address routine help desk issues.
The TVA's decision to put network operations and the help desk in the same room may not be all that common, said Roy Atkinson, an analyst at HDI, formerly known as the Help Desk Institute.
But Atkinson says that there is lot of experimentation going on in the help and service desk areas to reduce resolution times as well as adapt to demands coming from enterprise use of social media and consumerization.
"There has been a movement to put more technical expertise on the front line so you don't have to wait," Atkinson said.
Atkinson said the industry average for first call resolution is 66%, but that's typically defined as the first person who answers the call, not necessarily the handoff. But even with a handoff, the TVA's figure resolution is high, he said.
Traynor said he is seeing changes in how IT interacts with the business. There is now an advisory council to help prioritize IT investments. The TVA's IT budget is about $200 million a year.
Traynor is working to move the IT organization into more strategic roles to help the business innovate and run better. That will be possible because, "we're more in a leadership role than we used to be," he said.
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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