Defining Requirements

By Tim Donohue Print this article Print

TTX is running its IT organization like a business with the help of an ITIL-compliant service delivery system.

Finding Our Cornerstone

When this challenge to automate IT service delivery was presented by management, I hadn’t heard of packaged service catalogs. But my team researched the market and evaluated offerings from five vendors that provide an ITIL-compliant catalog.

During the fall of 2007, we identified the system requirements, and our IT team began a search for a robust but easy-to-use ITIL-compliant system. Our service catalog needed the capability to:

• give IT customers a single point of entry for IT services

• enable self-service requests

• provide status updates on open requests

• automate cross-silo IT service delivery processes

• integrate easily with existing problem management and project management solutions.

We needed content management, business process management, e-commerce and application integration capabilities rolled into one.

Of the five vendors we evaluated, we chose PMG because it was a better fit in these key areas and was intuitive for our users. It also offered the elements we needed to allocate costs to each department and to summarize data by department.

Since it was easy to use, we were able to get the system up and running quickly. The service request and workflow customizations were straightforward, and there was no need for us to write any code. We created services categories, services and related workflows within weeks. Then, in late 2007, we began a controlled internal rollout, initially with IT users, then with our corporate office employees and finally with our remote offices in 2008.

The TTX service delivery system does not require extensive training, for it leverages a familiar shopping-cart model. But it does require a paradigm shift for the users to request the service online as opposed to running down the hall or calling the help desk. Even so, adoption of the process has been much smoother than expected. The users appreciate the 24/7 availability and the immediate assignment of a ticket number.

We didn’t offer formal training, but we did host a few luncheons with about 50 attendees per session. Immediately after each luncheon, visits to the service catalog went up, and the number of calls to the help desk began a steady decline. About 70 percent of our service requests now come through the service catalog. Only our external partners, who do not have access yet, call the help desk for service.

Our employees rely on this application for incident reporting and managing new service requests. Also, our corporate services department, which is responsible for printing, shipping and office supplies, published its customer-facing services through the service catalog.

This article was originally published on 2009-04-06
Tim Donohue is senior manager of service delivery at TTX.
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