Warwickshire County Council says its IT operations have reduced costs and downtime because of IT Service management (ITSM) software.
Warwickshire County Council council, which provides educational services, road maintenance, libraries and leisure facilities to 530,000 inhabitants, relies on Horbill’s Supportworks ITSM platform for faster project completions.
Warwickshire County Council has 5,000 IT users spread across the council from workers in the council’s main office to library staff and mobile. It also supports about 8,000 users at schools in Warwickshire and has an IT service team of 220.
The council’s change and development manager, Keith Hattee, told CBR that too much downtime prompted him to explore new systems in 2008.
"Prior to using Supportworks, we were using Frontrange Heat product that had been heavily customised to how we wanted to work, but to move forwards with our intended adoption of ITIL best practice we needed to start again," he explains.
"As an IT Group within a local authority we need to ensure we are providing our services in the best and most cost effective manner we can."
Three suppliers pitched their system to the council, which the council’s IT team tried out.
"Following the tender process, three companies were shortlisted and we spent a day with each having a demonstration of their products and then allowing our key staff to road test the systems," Hattee says.
After feedback from the users, the council settled with Hornbill’s Supportworks for its ease-of-use and resilience. "Supportworks was the clear winner in the useability stakes," he added.
London-based Hornbill Service Management, founded in 1995, says it delivers the "right technology for the job to be done".
The Hornbill system, which is integrated with the council’s content management database (CMDB), logs all changes directly to the CMDB, allowing the council to complete projects more efficiently.
"The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is now set up with all the relationships between Configuration Items, enabling us to get an excellent view of how our services are built up end to end and meaning that we can assess the impact of any incidents or changes to any item from a technical and business perspective," Hattee explained.
The process helped to speed up the integration of IT support desks at schools, the transfer of email to Google and migration to Windows 7.
Self Service module
The council said it has also benefitted from Supportworks’ self service support, which allows users to fix their problems without having to spend time on the phone or waiting for support.
"This has enabled customers to make requests online for such things as mobile phone bar lifting and access requests, reducing time and effort for both the customer and the IT staff as the forms will be populated with the right information and the process will follow a workflow involving the right staff," says Hattee.
The self-service capability has so far resulted in a 10% drop in support calls. "Our ability to understand our end to end service better has meant that we can identify weak spots in our infrastructure and plan changes to ensure a more consistent service," added Hattee.
Version 3 of Supportworks
Warwickshire updated to Supportworks ITSM Enterprise Version 3 in June 2011. With Supportworks’ ease of use, the roll-out took place over one weekend; meaning that users left work on Friday and returned on Monday with no disruption to their ITSM services.
"We are now in the process of upgrading the ITSM template to a later version as there are continuous improvements and added functionality made available within them," Hattee continues.
"Hornbill listen to their customer’s needs and where an improvement/customisation is made for individual customers, they will consider whether that improvement fits with best practice."