First Class Honours for Plymouth University with Sunrise Software IT Service Management
Founded in 1862 as a school of navigation and now the 15th largest university in the UK, Plymouth University is one of the leading modern universities, ranked in the top four institutions under the age of 50 in the country and 37th internationally by Times Higher Education. It has won numerous accolades in respect of its teaching and research and has one of the highest number of National Teaching Fellows of any UK university (20 National Teaching Fellowships in Higher Education since 2000). Its 27,000 students, which include those at its partner colleges across the South West, are enrolled on courses from farming to fine art, business to biology, and design to dentistry.
The University plays a key role within the South West economy and through its £100 million network of support facilities and services, is growing and supporting hundreds of businesses across the region and beyond.
Moving away from the ‘data bucket’ approach
In spring 2014, Plymouth University set the ambitious task to overhaul its IT Service Management (ITSM) solution to drive greater efficiencies and gain deeper visibility into its IT services. Despite having a 10-year old legacy solution, the IT team found themselves faced with the challenge of a lack of data to enable them to run services effectively and understand what improvements were required. Working within a tight implementation timeframe, Alice Trethewey, Service Improvement Manager at Plymouth University, and her team sought an ITSM solution to enable them to implement changes to the way they handled incident and change requests.
Alice says: “With the university improving the technology and processes that underpin our service offerings, it became clear our incumbent solution was not fit for purpose. We didn’t have the capabilities to categorise the data coming in or split it into types of incidents or change requests. We had also taken small steps to implement some Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes but needed a more fundamental change to make the improvements we wanted.”
It was at this point that the university took the contract out to tender with a clear remit. It was looking to implement an ITSM toolset and take the university to a place where it could start splitting out, categorising and prioritising work. This would help identify where attention was required to improve the quality of service and speed of query resolution.
“We wanted a system, with no data conversion, to provide us with a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), and the ability to split incident requests and changes out from each other rather than having a big bucket of jobs to sift through. It needed to be pre-built and have the ITSM templates ready to go,” explains Alice.
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Photograph by Lloyd Russell, Plymouth University