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Customer Success: How BCP Council reduced emails by 25% with Sunrise's self-service portal

2 Nov 2017
Customer Success: How BCP Council reduced emails by 25% with Sunrise's self-service portal

Number 1 3000 customers

Number 2 5000 employees

Number 3 151 sites

Product: ITSM

Customer since: 2012

Borough of Poole is the local government authority serving the needs of citizens in the Poole, Dorset, region of the UK. Comprising 16 wards and represented by 42 councillors, Borough of Poole is responsible for the running and implementation of public services across the town.

With more than 3000 customers across 17 departments and located in 151 sites throughout the Borough of Poole, the ICT and Customer Support team provides internal first and second line IT support services to the Borough’s 5000 employees.

What BCP Council were looking to achieve:

In 2012, the Borough of Poole’s incumbent ITSM solution – predominately an incident management product with a separate toolset for change management – was due for renewal. Having reviewed the functionality and associated costs of the legacy system, it was decided that it was time for change with the council taking the opportunity to uplift its solution and capitalise on the latest technological advancements available.

Simon Rees, ICT Customer Support Manager at Borough of Poole, explains: “We’d had our previous solution installed for 12 years and in truth, it was a clumsy and under-developed legacy system that was no longer meeting our requirements. We knew there were advanced alternatives available in the marketplace and we wanted to start looking a little further ahead at the authority’s long term strategy and adopting an enterprise service management approach.”.

The legacy renewal, and subsequent review of the ITSM capabilities, coincided with the council’s wider ICT infrastructure upgrade.

“We wanted one holistic service management solution that is easy to maintain, customisable and easy to scale up with our requirements. We undertook the project to rejuvenate and improve the whole infrastructure. This included decommissioning some of the older servers and applications, and cleaning up the data, so that we could improve our efficiency and save both time and money when we moved to a new solution” said Kev White, Service Analyst at Borough of Poole.

Critical to the success of the ITSM selection and deployment was the planning process that the team undertook to ensure they selected the solution that was the perfect fit for them. The ICT team spent four months defining the requirements and designing the Technical Design Proposal (TDP) before formally commencing the tender process. Simon said: “Our incumbent tool was so intrinsic to the way that we were working at the time that we had to sit down and discuss how this change would translate and still provide a service that our customers would recognise and fit with the way that we operate. For us, it was a competition between cost, functionality, usability and cross-platform usage.” As a local government authority, Borough of Poole was required to undertake a full and transparent tender process. Following the submission of ten responses, the IT team reviewed the proposals under the clear criteria they had outlined, before meeting with three shortlisted suppliers. Each solution’s functionality and usability was scored against pre-defined criteria, with Sunrise Software ITSM coming out on top. 

How Sunrise helped them achieve this:

“It has the right combination of cost, a user-friendly interface and functionality, alongside the web-based, cross platform accessibility, which enables the teams to login to the platform via mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. This combination sets Sunrise ITSM apart from the competitive offerings that we reviewed” added Simon.

Once Borough of Poole had selected Sunrise ITSM, they began the implementation and testing phase of the project, which was conducted over a 10-month period from the initial building of the test servers to going live in December 2013. During this time, the ICT team took the opportunity to manually assess the assets, data and information and ‘cleanse’ it so that only relevant, accurate data was imported into the new system. 

Since the roll-out of Sunrise ITSM, Borough of Poole has seen a marked difference in the visibility and time-to-resolution of tickets and queries raised from the team. Alongside incident management, other services utilised include asset management, contacts and change management. However, the service that has made the biggest difference is the launch of the self-service portal. To support its user base’s diverse range of skills and requirements, Borough of Poole wanted a new self-service portal that was fully integrated with its new intranet content and enables customers to get more from the ICT services offered, by “helping them to help
themselves.” For Simon, Kev and the ICT team, they wanted a tool that users would want to use, whilst simultaneously freeing up the time and resources of the service desk team so they could focus on other tasks within the authority. 

Kev explains: “Having a fully functional self-service portal has been one of our goals from the outset and now that we have the tools to make it a reality it has changed the way that the service desk operates and has led to an improvement in customer service. “We had some clear success criteria laid out from the start. We wanted to reduce the number of inbound emails and telephone calls coming into the ICT service desk by getting people to use the self-service portal to raise and track tickets, increase the quality of the information gathered via the tickets from the outset to ensure time was not wasted gathering details before the ticket could be actioned and improve the automated routing of tickets through to the correct team.”

The results

Since the launch of the self-service portal, all the outlined objectives have been met and, in all cases, it has exceeded expectations. Initially, the team set the target of 25% of tickets being raised via the self-service portal within two years. As of December 2016, 44% of tickets are now being raised through the self-service portal, with the service desk seeing a reduction of 12% in telephone demand and 35% on email demand. With customers taking more ownership for the tickets they are raising, they are better informed on the progress of their queries and target resolution date, whilst the technical teams have reduced the time and effort in collating the required information so that they can effectively progress the ticket.

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