Buckinghamshire Council targets better ITSM

Buckinghamshire County Council has replaced its ITSM system in a bid to improve enquiry management and cut costs.

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Buckinghamshire County Council has replaced its ITSM system in a bid to improve enquiry management and cut costs.

The council has implemented the Supportworks IT Systems Management software from supplier Hornbill.

The local authority estimates that following the installation of the service desk tool across its ICT network in 2007, providing a centralised service desk on a single technology platform, savings of up to 50 percent have been realised on the separate implementation of Finance and HR service desks.

During the same period the council said internal help calls to ICT have dropped by 16 percent.

Increases in efficiency were achieved primarily through sharing the capabilities of the management system across these three service teams, said a council spokesperson. Other advantages from the system include knowledge sharing across departments and development of a consistent method of handling customer queries.

Features of the system include automated forms for customers, such as merchant ID and school vendor request forms, and a self-service portal – through which just under a third of all requests by service users are now made.

The use of Supportworks' reporting tools means that issues referred to the service desks can be tracked and the knowledge recorded in order to improve services and future responses. This creates a "virtuous circle", said a council spokesperson, whereby customer experience is improved as more information is gathered.

Nick Brennan, of Buckinghamshire County Council Extended Services, said the principle benefit of the system for users was the presence of a "single, simple point of contact to solve the issue".

He added: "By automating relatively simple processes and using the self-service tools to gain extra information and direct queries to the relevant support desk, we can ensure that our users' queries and issues cause them the bare minimum of inconvenience."

The improvements carried out by the Buckinghamshire County Council are part of a wider programme of change in ICT designed to deliver £2 million savings over five years. The council has earmarked a total of £58m in savings to be effected over three financial years following a 14 per cent cut to its grant from central government.