Sunrise Software, a leading supplier of IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, today announced that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has upgraded its ITSM platform and refreshed and extended its services to support its nearly 1,000 staff as they safeguard lives and property across an area of 2,400 square miles.
Operating from 44 fire stations, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service helps to protect an estimated population of 678,461 people as well as hundreds of thousands of tourists and visitors. Annually it attends around 3,200 fires, 500 road traffic collisions and 500 other emergency incidents.
Technology is mission-critical to the service’s role, from the alerters (pagers) used to call retained firefighters to incidents, through control room systems to the mobile data terminals on appliances. The six strong IT support team handles thousands of technical calls per year.
A long-term user of the Sunrise service management platform, North Wales Fire and Rescue first introduced self-service in 2018. As part of its journey it was keen to maximise its use of the platform to increase efficiency, better support users and extend Sunrise’s capabilities and functionality into other departments.
This has led to a full upgrade to Sunrise ITSM 4, going live early in 2020. This provides for a user-friendly interface for self-service, management dashboards and a new automated approach to requests around new starters/leavers and providing access to specific folders. Previously this was all paper-based, adding considerably to the time taken to authorise requests as forms had to signed, authorised and manually sent back to IT.
“We rely on a lot of bespoke systems and configurations, which means service management has to be efficient and effective to ensure we are delivering on the frontline,” says Steve Morris, ICT Technical Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. “Thanks to the flexibility of Sunrise and the introduction of ITSM 4 we can now make big improvements in the way we deliver ICT service to users and ensure our teams continue to be best equipped to protect the lives and property of the people of North Wales.”
The new Sunrise implementation also provides a platform for other departments to reach employees through the self-service portal. As well as IT-specific content, this includes training videos from the corporate communications team to make it easier to share knowledge, and to reduce the need for trainers to travel large distances to deliver courses. Future plans could see further expansion. As well as potentially adding HR forms, the data protection team is evaluating switching to Sunrise to record and monitor incoming Freedom of Information requests. This would enable previously manual steps to be automated, with in-built SLAs ensuring response times are met, as well as providing a full audit trail.
Geoff Rees, Director of Operations and Sales of Sunrise, comments: “The emergency services rely on technology, making its effective support a vital part of their operations. As North Wales Fire and Rescue’s experience shows, introducing automation and self-service can increase efficiency and deliver real value in a fast-paced, resource-constrained environment.”