ITIL compliant help desk ups service level: consultant

Application offered to customers as a service

A reactive approach to service management has driven an IT reseller and consulting firm to implement an ITIL compliant help desk application which has streamlined service operations.

Melbourne-based Netsolutions Australia needed to improve incident management and had no formalized system in place to deliver service level agreements for its customers.

Netsolutions managing director Theo Dimopoulos said as the company - an IBM and Juniper Networks partner - moved from product sales to consulting it fell down with service management due to lack of appropriate software.

"We had no way of managing incident and change request so we looked at an ITIL compliant system," Dimopoulos said.

Netsolutions manages configuration items and assets and does product replacements so it needed to manage that process with a way to report back to Juniper.

The company looked at service desk products from Heat, Infra, TOPdesk, Touchpaper, and Microsoft.

"We wanted it to be Web-based for logging in via portals," Dimopoulos said. "We quickly realized a lot of applications are designed for in-house IT and not the service provider unless we went to the next level which was economically unviable for a company our size."

Netsolutions chose BMC's Service Desk application, which Dimopoulos said gives all the required functionality and allows it to be delivered to third parties in a software-as-a-service fashion.

"BMC allowed us to be flexible as we can outsource the service desk to the customer," he said. "We're offering this software as a service and price-wise BMC was extremely competitive. We also needed local support and integration partners."

Dimopoulos said BMC Service Desk is easy to customize and integration with other systems is not a problem.

"Our integration partner Planwell assisted us in developing BMC's software to suit our requirements," he said. "BMC had reference sites to other service providers and from a base to a live system we had 10 to 15 days of consulting."

The new system has been operating since April.

"It fits in perfectly and the staff have embraced the changes," Dimopoulos said. "It's changed the whole service delivery of our business and clearly defines roles for people in the business. By formalizing all the processes it has really driven a huge change and you can't fudge the system!"

Netsolutions was using Microsoft's business solutions service desk module, which Dimopoulos said is a good product, but it wasn't ITIL compliant and was "really just managing service calls".

"Now we are tracking every single call, every device the probes find issues with, and we can track SLAs and measure performance of staff," he said.

"We incur penalties for missing SLAs so we have created accountability. We needed to align ourselves with industry compliance, but the project also delivered obvious improvements."

Netsolutions' service delivery manager is ITIL certified and the company is now getting the rest of the support team certified.

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