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How Strada Education Network reduced IT response time by 42% with atSpoke

7.6 minutes

Median response time

5.8 hours

Median resolution time


First contact resolution rate


Request type accuracy


Tickets auto-triaged


Deflection rate


500 employees


Indianapolis, Indiana




Higher Education






Every IT leader knows the high costs associated with switching software vendors. From cancellation fees, to setup and implementation, to employee training and adoption – switching costs add up, causing companies to stick with incumbent solutions that are mediocre or worse.

But nobody puts IT in the corner, notably the IT team at Strada Education Network. They calculated the costs versus benefits of replacing their help desk provider, and the resulting math demonstrated the quantifiable advantages of switching to atSpoke.

The Challenge

Strada Education Network, a non-profit dedicated to workforce and economic development, is working to help millions of Americans forge pathways between education and employment. But once upon a time, the organization realized that its own employees didn’t have an easy path to internal support and knowledge. It wasn’t hard to identify the key challenge: the organization was using helpdesk software, Zendesk, that wasn’t serving the needs of employees and agents alike.

In total, the Strada IT team spent 376 hours of maintenance on a system that netted minimal improvements in user experience or organization efficiency.

According to Rose Layton, Strategic Technology Partner at Strada Education Network, it took agents “several hours to configure a new request from scratch” with Zendesk. What’s more, employee adoption was low; employees found the ticketing system laborious, and therefore avoided creating tickets. Instead, employees took unofficial routes to accessing the help desk, such as walk ups and Slack messages.

The solution

The Strada IT team understood that, for their internal teams, they were facing diminishing returns by sticking with Zendesk. They explored alternative help desk solutions that minimized switching costs, as well as met the key requirements of the organization. The team established three must-haves of a support ticketing system:

  1. Omnichannel support to enable employees to submit requests from the channels they use most
  2. Easy and intuitive UI for agents to build workflows
  3. Workflow automation for better service efficiency

Strada’s search led them to atSpoke, a modern service desk that aligns with Strada’s way of working. atSpoke’s native Slack support, in particular, appealed to the company, since its employees already congregated on Slack. The team enthusiastically moved forward with implementing atSpoke.

Once launched, atSpoke was an overnight hit with employees. According to Jay Swiglo, Corporate Operations Engineering Manager at Strada Education Network, “Almost immediately after switching to atSpoke, we saw a rise in tickets — not because our users had more issues, but because we were finally accurately capturing their needs. The native integration with Slack in particular was a huge deal. atSpoke makes the whole process automatic, surfaces the analytics we need, and saves us an incredible amount of time.”

Added Rose Layton, “With atSpoke, it takes us as little as 20 minutes” to configure a new request form from scratch.

As for the dreaded high costs of switching software vendors? With atSpoke, the math was in Strada’s favor, amounting to plenty of ROI.

Employee Adoption Yields Efficiency

As Jay Swiglo observes, employee adoption is crucial for the success of any SaaS tool in an organization. Employees previously avoided putting in tickets because of usability challenges. However, they immediately embraced atSpoke because of its easy interface and accessibility from channels they regularly use, namely Slack.

In fact, atSpoke’s Slack integration allows Strada to capture over 75% of service requests, which significantly boosts time to resolution and improves visibility and accountability across its entire employee support operations.

Internal Support is a Team Sport

Since implementing atSpoke, Strada has reduced IT response time by 42%. Moreover, with atSpoke’s machine learning capabilities, the team auto-triage rate is now at an impressive 93%.

Given atSpoke’s popularity among Strada’s 500 employees and affiliates, as well as IT’s success metrics, the next step is obvious: deploy atSpoke across multiple departments throughout the company. Similar to Strada’s mission to provide Americans with clearer pathways to education and employment, atSpoke enables Strada to provide employees with clearer paths to getting the knowledge and support they need from different departments in the company.

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