Explore introduces self service web portal

News Release

Over 95% of IT support calls are now being logged by users themselves.

Chessington, UK – 12 February, 2008

  • Tour Operator specialist automates logging of calls, focuses on business
  • Sostenuto ITSM holds its promise of exceptional flexibility
  • Development processes now more formalised, with projects and change requests now being logged in Sostenuto ITSM

Explore, the leading adventure holiday specialist, has reported that 95 per cent of its support calls are now being logged by users themselves, allowing the service desk to focus on the introduction of a formalised process for development requests.

With a number of in house applications being used, early in 2006 Explore recognised the need to develop a clear link between development and the service desk. This was not possible with the service desk product in place at the time, so Andrew Lowther, who heads the team of 11 IT staff, and Sarah Knox the Service Delivery Manager who manages the three staff, began the search for a replacement system.

ITIL with added flexibility

During their visit to the Travel Technology Show, Explore saw Sostenuto ITSM and were impressed by its ability to allow them to autonomously configure the system to their requirements. They also looked at competitive service desk products, but saw many advantages in choosing Sunrise, including value for money and the ability for end users to monitor and update their own calls. Sunrise’s culture as a business was also seen to be a better fit. Explore needed ITIL compatibility, but also needed flexibility to introduce a development process as well as optimise their current service desk processes.

Roll out started, with the Finance department housing a live test in October 2006, and Sostenuto was quickly rolled out to the rest of the company by December. Once installed, the well-designed look and feel of Sostenuto has meant that staff have adapted to it quickly. This extends to the use of Chameleon, Sostenuto’s self service web portal, which allows users to log and track the status of their own calls. This has proven to be so easy for users to embrace that it is now logging 95 per cent of all support calls, drastically reducing the workload.

Better control of projects

Sostenuto has vastly improved visibility of staff activity, which has according to Sarah Knox improved the work flow between development and support staff. Sarah Knox has adapted the change management capabilities of Sostenuto, so that development tasks are fully visible to the business. This contrasts with the situation pre-Sostenuto where development requests and priorities were defined by individuals rather than the business. Explore can now produce reports showing the status of the different development projects that have been requested. This means the business managers can prioritise new projects according to their importance for the business and view the progress of projects in hand.

Andrew Lowther summarises the change that Sostenuto has ushered in for his department and the business: “There has been a big change in the way we work, nowadays the business – not IT – decides the strategy and Sostenuto has been the tool to underpin this change.”

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