London Borough of Merton has upgraded its IT service management platform to increase the proportion of requests that go through online channels.

The council has upgraded to Hornbill’s Supportworks ITSM Enterprise version 3 to encourage users to take advantage of the platform's Customer Portal feature.

With telephone support previously being the primary channel for logging service issues at busy periods, end-users often experienced long waiting times.

The Customer Portal within Supportworks ITSM Enterprise enables customers to submit faults, request loan equipment, track the progress of fault calls and view FAQs and quick tips that may help them diagnose and resolve issues themselves.

The initial phase of the Customer Portal implementation has allowed end-users to log service issues and track progress all the way to resolution. This has contributed to a 20 percent reduction in calls to the service desk, said Merton.

Angela Wint, IT customer support services manager at Merton council, which employs 5,000, said, "Our team pride themselves on their ability to address service issues and fix a high proportion at the point of contact. But with such a high number of end-users it’s not always possible to quickly respond to all support calls and keep the waiting time to a minimum."

With phone-based support, she said, it is not impossible to prioritise the urgency of one request from another. The Supportworks Customer Portal has allowed the council to address this problem, said Wint.

The next phase of the self-service implementation is to introduce the platform's Service Catalogue, which will enable customers to subscribe to the services they need with the benefit of being able to raise simple service requests via the portal. The council also aims to take advantage of the Twitter integration capabilities in Supportworks, creating another channel that further enhances the self-service strategy.

Supportworks ITSM has also supported Merton’s strategy of centralising a number of disparate business support desks into the core IT service desk that supports over 2,400 desktops.