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Award-winning IT transformation at AVDC

Although I regularly get to hear about improvements our customers have made, complete transformation of the IT organisation is less common. Five years ago Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) was a traditional IT organisation, with complex infrastructure and on-premise applications, supported by best practice ITSM processes.  In 2010, AVDC’s CEO, Andrew Grant, realised that grant funding of local authorities would cease as austerity measures forced Government to tighten the purse strings.  A new value proposition was needed and Andrew and his team started work on a vision for Commercial AVDC.

Over the next five years, AVDC set about transforming the organisation and its’ business model, getting rid of traditional council departments and restructuring the organisation, with broader sectors focussed on customer and community fulfilment.  AVDC’s vision was to become a commercial and customer-centric organisation, providing services that people wanted to buy. In the process, ADVC saved £14m and became a shining example of how modern councils need to operate on the road to financial self-sufficiency.

Simplifying and modernising IT Service Management

The council was the first in the country to so with Amazon Web Services and the first to work with Arcus Global to implement a commercial platform to deliver services to customers.  This transition to an infrastructure-free environment meant that AVDC had to rethink its’ approach to IT Service Management.

 AVDC had been using Supportworks for 7 years, but the product was deployed on-premise, which didn’t fit with AVDC’s Cloud-based IT strategy.  AVDC decided to go to market for an ITSM SaaS solution that would simplify and modernise IT service delivery. They needed an innovative solution that would improve communication between the service desk and the customer, and provide new and more flexible ways of working.  Adam Haylock, Service Delivery Manager, knew that the project would only be approved if it delivered significant reduction in AVDC’s operational costs and if implementation could be completed within a 30-day window.

Hornbill was able to meet these requirements and Hornbill Service Manager was implemented within the 30-day deadline, going live on the targeted date, Feb 6th, 2015.  Almost immediately, AVDC recognised that the collaborative features of the Hornbill platform were breaking down silos; improving communication and enabling IT teams to focus on delivering the best possible service.    

The Enterprise Service Management Journey

These IT improvements quickly captured attention and other parts the business became interested in using Hornbill Service Manager to manage their own requests and collaborate with other teams. The Finance team was the first to join IT on this collaborative journey, then HR & Payroll, with other teams now planning to use Hornbill Service Manager for Enterprise Service Management.

In this video, I chat with Adam Haylock, Maryvonne Hassall (IT Strategy Manager) and Andrew Grant (CEO) about their Enterprise Service Management journey.  We discuss how Enterprise Service Management and collaboration offers a common digital experience that can be leveraged to fulfil requests for staff and deliver a better service to customers.  There’s plenty of sound and practical advice on implementing Enterprise Service Management and using collaboration to improve speed and transparency, understand goals and share knowledge.

External recognition and multiple awards

Five years on from the start of this journey, AVDC is a very different organisation.  They’ve already received recognition and won several awards.  Adam and his team won the SDI Award for the Best small service desk in 2016.  AVDC won the IESE’s Council of the Year Award in 2015, the SOCITM Innovation Award in 2016 and the top trophy for Customer Experience at the European IT & Software Excellence awards.

Click here to watch Adam Haylock speaking about AVDC’s experience with Hornbill Service Manager

Watch out for our next blog post and video, when we discuss AVDC’s digital transformation programme.

Patrick Bolger

Written by Patrick Bolger

Patrick is dedicated to the communication of industry best practices, working with customers, industry associations and IT luminaries to identify trends and educate organizations on the opportunity associated with service excellence. Patrick is an active contributor to a number of strategic groups and partnerships that influence the service management industry, including the Service Desk Institute (SDI), Help Desk Institute (HDI), and the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF). He is a compelling and popular speaker at events worldwide and contributes to many industry publications.