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Collaborative Service Management sharpens IT performance at Derby College

The feedback from happy Hornbill Service Manager Customers keeps flooding in.  This week I chatted with Derby College about their migration to Hornbill Service Manager.  Derby College had used Supportworks for 15 years and Steve Giller (Senior Business Systems Support Specialist) had really lived up to his job title as a Supportworks Specilaist. With around 2,800 posts, Steve was a prolific contributor to the Supportworks Customer Community Forums, always willing to help other customers to get the most from the tool.

Supportworks had served them well, but Derby College felt that it was time to modernise their ITSM to provide increased mobility and a more intuitive service experience for customers and IT staff.  In November 2015, Steve Giller invited Neil Hutchinson (ICT Systems & Ops Support Team Lead) and Shamaila Yousaf (Senior Service Desk Advisor) to the Hornbill User Group (HUG) to confirm what he already knew; that Hornbill Service Manager would be an ideal fit for Derby College.  

Love notes for Hornbill Service Manager

During the demonstration at the HUG, Shamaila and Neil made notes for later comparison.  Hornbill Service Manager clearly made an impression; Shamaila called them "Love Notes" because she loved the simple, modern interface and richness of the functionality. They particularly liked that Hornbill Service Manager was a true SaaS application, and were keen to pursue this, as many educational institutions are now adopting SaaS.

A fantastic, well-organised 30-day trial and switch-on

Hornbill had some indication that things were going well, as before Derby College had completed their 30-day trial, Steve Giller was back on the Hornbill Community Forum, this time helping Hornbill Service Manager Customers with their queries.  Steve said, “The 30-day trial experience was fantastic and well-organised. The import tools made it very easy for me to get data from Supportworks into Service Manager and AD integration was straightforward.  There was a learning curve transitioning our process design between the tools, but with help from the Hornbill Product Specialist, that was sorted out quickly. We were impressed with his help and proactiveness in putting templates together, taking notes and coming back to us with suggestions about what to do next”. 

Neil Hutchinson offered the following advice, “Make sure you have your processes documented in advance, because the 30-day trial and switch-on is fast-paced and you’ll want to get the most from it. When planning the migration, set some goals, so you can walk before you run, because the tool is so powerful and you could get carried away”. 

The possibilities are endless

Shamaila Yousaf was impressed with the ability and ease of configuring Service Manager.  She said, “The possibilities are endless. We really didn’t appreciate how much difference Collaboration would make to our support organisation. It’s so easy to engage other people, simply by mentioning (@name) them. Our workload, activities and responsibilities are much more visible and this makes our teams more effective. People are better informed about what's going on, we’re working with greater transparency and communication between our teams is so much sharper because of collaboration”. 

Collaboration brings teams together inside the tool

Neil Hutchinson said, “We’re supporting people over several campuses and Collaboration is bringing our teams together as one support organisation. We were using other tools to collaborate, but they were external to the Service Management tool.  With Hornbill Service Manager, we’ve got collaboration inside the tool, which makes it much more effective.  Now we’re looking to bring other areas of the business on board, so that we can collaborate across the organisation and offer a one-stop shop for all of our services”.

It’s not software, it’s a service

“There’s a big difference between installing software and subscribing to a service”, said Steve Giller.  “From the back-end, things are really seamless. We never have to worry about upgrades again. Service Manager has been updated a few times since we went live.  The process is so fluid that service desk staff aren’t even aware of these updates until “Harry Hornbill” pops up with tips and guidance on how to use the new functionality that has just appeared in Service Manager”. 

A real community

Derby College is excited about their future with Hornbill Service Manager.  Neil Hutchinson said, “It’s still early days for us, but the interface has already improved the efficiency of our support operation. We’re using the Heads-up Display to give greater visibility of work in progress, both for IT teams and for our customers. Boards are offering real transparency of our workload and Collaboration makes it so much easier for us to engage our teams and manage our projects.  We’ve established a great relationship with Hornbill over the last 15 years.  The Hornbill Community Forums feel like a real and vibrant community where both Hornbill and other customers really quick to respond to your posts”.

Collaborative Service Management is a game-changer

We regularly hear that Collaboration is key to success in ITSM, yet ITSM tools are often designed around IT silos, which restrict the flow of information and communication between IT groups.  Collaborative Service Management retains all the hard fought lessons of best practice, but introduces new ways for IT teams to communicate, collaborate, and share knowledge and expertise using innovative approaches commonly found in our favourite consumer and social applications.  We believe that Collaborative Service Management is a game-changer and it’s fantastic to hear that it’s already making such a difference for Derby College.

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.