ITIL perfect drop for alcohol giant

French alcohol company Pernod Ricard centralises support desk to bridge Tasman

Pernod Ricard, maker of Absolut Vodka, Kahlua and Wild Turkey, has bridged the Tasman to unify its separate Australia and New Zealand service desks.

The Pacific arm of the French alcohol giant manufactures and distributes wine and spirits across the region, such as Jacob's Creek, Wyndham Estate and Poet's Corner from some 50 Australian sites including wineries, production facilities and vineyards. It is comprised of Orlando Wines, maker of Jacob's Creek, and New Zealand-based Montana Wines, which was acquired from Allied Domecq in mid 2006.

IT help desk manager Ciaran Moore, part of an IT team of 36, said the NZ business was isolated after the buy-out because its IT environment did not integrate with that of Pernod Ricard Pacific.

“The IT for Montana Wines was operated out of North America so they had the rug pulled out from them when they were acquired,” Moore said.

“It was missing out on the benefits of centralised IT such as service desk, access to applications, e-mail and Internet.

“Establishing a regional service desk is a top priority for us and we needed an incident management tool to support it.”

Moore's IT shop supports about 2200 users and more than 2000 devices including desktops, laptops and HTC-model PDAs and BlackBerrys.

The trans-Tasman deployment is part of wider plans to develop a regional follow-the-sun support desk which will expand across the Pacific.

Support staff are trained in the Information Technology and Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 3 in Service Operations, Release Deployment and Change Management.

“ITIL is great to reinforce the notion that we are a conduit for business services, and we are not just there to fix things that break,” Moore said.

He said the framework may be rolled out throughout the organisation in the future.

“The beauty about ITIL is that you can take it to the nth degree. It's down the track but ITIL could be rolled out further through the business.”

“One of the systems had to go,” Moore said. “With a single platform, we have centralised reports, management of critical issues, change management and logging, and we can have visibility between the offices.”

Users are encouraged to use the system's Web portal to request services, rather than phone or mail, and are given faster service as an incentive.

Moore said IT managers should avoid the easy route and research what solution is best for the business. “Once we found products that fit business requirements, we went for one that is light on the client side and comes from an established provider so the software can benefit from ongoing developments.”

Pernod Ricard Pacific deployed BMC's Service Desk Express.

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