London Metropolitan University selected Hornbill’s Supportworks to provide centralised IT support to over 4,000 staff and 34,000 students both in the UK and affiliate institutions worldwide.

Since implementing the first stage of the solution in the summer of 2005, the IT service desk has improved its service and now provides support to the university’s 160-strong IT and telecoms staff as well as anyone around the world, with one phone number, one email and web self-service.

After merging with another local university in 2002, the University had two IT service desks, one already using Hornbill’s Supportworks. “The roll out of the new Service Desk has provided a unifying element,” said Carolyn Saunders, Head of ICT Support at London Metropolitan University.

“Everyone is now able to see what everyone else is doing, and it has broken down the barriers. We can now produce good clear reports for the Executive Group, so that they can see how the team has responded to requirements. The fact that the performance data is now in an easy to read graphical format has also resulted in a lot of positive feedback to the department,” said Saunders.

Supportworks is used by first, second and third level support personnel and covers all IT and telecoms requirements. Calls that can’t be dealt with by the first level service desk are passed to second-line support which is spread across all locations. Any calls that they don’t resolve are passed to third line support that includes a systems team, information systems management (MIS), networks and intranet support.

The University is able to provide support to part-time and overseas students via a password-secure Student Portal. Using the self-service portal, students and staff have 24-hour access to the knowledge base and frequently asked questions (FAQs), freeing up service desk staff from routine queries.

The helpdesk system is also integrated with other systems, such as student records systems, enterprise directories for staff authentication records and desktop management systems.

The ICT Support Services department is also now able to work to pre-defined service level agreements (SLAs). Its reporting facility enables the team to see how many calls are dealt within SLAs so that they are able to monitor peaks in demand and deploy staff more efficiently, improving service. And a consolidated asset register within the system ensures that the University knows exactly what equipment and software it has.

Assets can be shared across departments. Saunders said: “The asset register has helped in a number of ways. With external contracts for hardware maintenance, we now have a much better oversight of what is covered by contracts, helping to cut costs by around 40%. Keeping more accurate records has also reduced our software licensing costs by 20%.”