Local information technology service provider Adapt IT has more than 4000 users in over 25 sites across Africa, in the Middle East and North America. These sites generate more than 1500 customer support calls a month that need to be responded to by consultants across various business units within Adapt IT Solutions. “In response to the company’s growth and as a result of the increasingly competitive market that we operate in, Adapt IT identified the need to improve the quality of our customer service,” says service delivery manager Jacqui Stievenart. “The challenges of providing services efficiently were immense prior to implementing the ITIL framework. In addition, a number of service teams across different business units were interacting with the same customers using different approaches. We wanted to streamline and standardise our service management processes across the business so that all customers could expect the same high level of proactive service with more mature processes and capabilities,” she explains.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the most widely adopted approach to IT service management across the globe, and provides a practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services. “ITIL is a mature best practice framework for service management. It is an industry standard that provides a set of guidelines for how to deliver IT services more efficiently by improving management processes across IT business units that provide support services for networks, applications, databases and systems,” says Stievenart. The five core guides set out in the ITIL system include the entire service lifecycle, beginning with the identification of customer needs and drivers of IT requirements, through to the design and implementation of the service into operation and finally, on to the monitoring and improvement phase of the service.
The main drivers for the ITIL implementation project at Adapt IT are to increase user and customer satisfaction by introducing a customer focused service culture and to increase staff awareness of service management; improve service availability; improve resource usage, and to realise financial savings that can be passed onto customers by providing more efficient services. “ITIL is about having processes in place that enable the people, software and hardware you do have to work better so ultimately the need to fight fires diminishes, “explains Stievenart.
Over the last two years since the framework implementation began, Adapt IT has successfully defined and implemented ITIL processes that are applicable to its IT service offerings. Stievenart said that the company has implemented the Service Request Management, Change Management, Problem Management, Service Level Management and Configuration Management processes of the framework. It is in the process of finalising Release Management. The company is now able to measure service management processes with continual monitoring and improvement. Overall, the ITIL implementation has resulted in improved service awareness, reduced self-inflicted incidents, increased staff productivity, reduced service cycle times and improved governance.
“Implementation of the ITIL best practice framework is not an overnight success story, but takes a great deal of time and commitment to manage the change in the organisation in a phased approach,” says Stievenart. “A great deal of focus has been placed on the service operation area of the business as there were large efficiency gains to be made in this area. The clearly delineated incident and problem-management functions within the operations have helped to move the organisation from being a reactive service provider to being more proactive in resolving issues permanently,” she explains.
“From the onset of the project, we realised that we needed a technology-driven solution to increase the efficiencies to be gained from structured service management – but this could only be addressed once we had defined and implemented the necessary processes. We need to be able to work smarter, not harder, and we are now ready implement a new ITSM solution in line with the rest of our corporate goals of efficiency and best practice. Our existing 12 year old customer service system is not scalable,” Stievenart said. “It is both cumbersome and time-consuming, and was no longer able to support the goals of the business moving forward without considerable financial and time investment. We have selected the FrontRange ITSM system and are thrilled to be implementing a world class solution to support the ITSM processes that have already been put in place. Implementation of the new solution began in August and the project is expected to run for three months. We are extremely excited to be able to deliver best practice service management and support services to our customers” concludes Stievenart.