The last twelve months have seen the start of one of the largest internal projects undertaken by EACS’ Managed Services division. This involved the replacement of our Service Management Tool (a previous version of Microsoft CRM) with System Center Service Manager and Cireson.
The journey started when we identified that our current tool would not be able to provide the features and functionality we needed to further develop our Service Desk and Service Management offerings.
Despite our strong skills and track record in the implementation of System Center solutions, we needed to ensure the tool we invested in truly matched our requirements.
We were clear in what we wanted our new Service Management application to do. We created a list of features and functionality needed, ranking these from essential to nice to have. The final list, which was constructed by all main stakeholders within the business, had over fifty headings to assess the suitability of prospective solutions.
The selection process was mainly conducted by our Technical Director, Service Desk Manager and Service Delivery Manager. Products that were evaluated included ConnectWise, ServiceNow and Autotask (which are all recognised and widely used tools in the industry), before we came to the decision that System Center Service Manager with Cireson (to provide a web interface) was our solution of choice.
It was agreed that the implementation must be handled with the same quality of approach as that used for our external clients, so a Project Board was commissioned and a Project Manager and System Center Technical Lead assigned.
As with all successful projects, planning was crucial. A phased approach to the deployment was adopted to ensure that following the incident and problem installation, enhanced management reporting, client portals and change management would be added.
Testing was another key ingredient before the system went live. Over three months of time was allocated to put both Service Manager and Cireson through its paces. Testing was conducted by representatives from the Service Desk including Analysts, the Service Desk Manager and Service Management. Any problems, or added development needed, were quickly fed back to the EACS’ System Center Technical Lead to address immediately, so as not to delay the go live date.
Go live was planned for 1st May and one week prior all Service Desk staff received hands on training to ensure all elements of the new tool were covered, service management processes were re-enforced and technical questions addressed.
On 1st May at 08:00 Service Manager/ Cireson was successfully launched. EACS operates a Continual Service Improvement Plan which means all stakeholders for the new tool were encouraged to make suggestions for enhancements that could either improve the efficiency of the tool or, even better, heighten the overall customer experience for Service Desk users. The plan still remains in place today and is regularly reviewed and actioned.
The initial benefit for our customers as a result of this project is the ability to view open or closed incidents and service requests online with their respective case notes and history.
System Center Service Manager with Cireson has provided EACS with a firm foundation to further enhance services and improve overall customer experience. Over the coming months the following will be implemented: the ability to log calls via a web portal, the introduction of self-help guides and the ability to report in detail on the amount of incidents logged. Now customers looking to adopt Cireson themselves can draw upon the knowledge and experience EACS has gained from our journey into the implementation and development of a service management tool. This is both from a technical perspective, as well as input from the operational teams involved in the deployment.