Creating a Service Culture
“The shape and culture of the business is changing,” says Nadir Altmışdört, manager, Service Management Systems, KoçSistem. “IT was seen as the system integrator – we were the people who got the hardware to work. Now, we’re operating in a world where IT must be much more service orientated.”
The transition is not complete, he admits: “We’re pushing into the cloud services market and this requires two attributes. Firstly, we have a job to do helping customers move to the cloud – they’re looking to us for advice. Second, there is an expectation of flawless service desk delivery and near real-time analysis, not just weekly reports.”
To achieve this KoçSistem needed to make its service delivery more efficient and accountable by automating its Service Desk.
“Addressing service issues was not simply an internal issue,” says Altmışdört. “We wanted to examine IT Service Management from the perspective of employee engagement and customer expectation.
“From an internal standpoint, we wanted to be able to understand the daily challenges of running IT services out of our call centers and data centers. But we also have more than 250 customers and we’re managing more than 10,000 configuration items, including more than 7,000 servers running different operating systems and IT applications. So, what do our customers want and expect from an IT service provider? We wanted to understand the different service needs and, we needed to make all of these improvements without downtime.”
Specifically, the project would transition KoçSistem from the incumbent ITSM platform to a new Service Desk, establishing new, optimized processes.
It would consolidate service alarms and improve operational awareness through better service management analytics and reporting.
Proven Service Management
KoçSistem named the project Samarium, and Micro Focus is central to its success. It covers Service Desk, Incident, Request, Change, Problem and Configuration Management processes.
“We quickly appreciated [Micro Focus] offered a portfolio of solutions to address our challenges,” says Altmışdört. “Also, the solutions were well used in Turkey. For us, it’s not enough that a product has been used internationally, we need to see it has worked locally. [Micro Focus] has the solutions, the local partners and the local support.
“We don’t want to take unnecessary risks with our customers. We can’t tolerate unproven products.”
KoçSistem is using Service Manager and Operations Manager. Service Manager simplifies and consolidates service management through a single point of contact for all core IT service desk processes including incident, problem, change, request and knowledge management. In tandem, Operations Manager consolidates events from across all local and remote servers and KoçSistem’s monitoring tools, aggregating event and performance data from these heterogeneous IT silos to reduce redundancy.
“With service desk automation, when a customer opens a new interaction, it is automatically dispatched to an internal record, based on the ticket type and the affected service,” explains Altmışdört. “We use ticket type to determine if the interaction corresponds to an Incident, a Change, or a Request. Likewise, we use affected service to determine the assignment group of this ticket. We maintain a lookup table to orchestrate this auto-dispatch functionality.”
He says the key here was in making sure the implementation of IT service management software went smoothly: “We had three dry run migrations before going live, we couldn’t afford any downtime. But this was always going to be more than just the products. We also wanted to users to come with us on our journey.”
Better Allocation of IT Resource
“As a service provider, the Samarium platform is the most important platform in the business,” says Altmışdört. “If our enterprise resource planning application is down for hours, it’s not ideal but we can live with it. But 30 minutes of downtime on the IT Service Management platform? No, 30 minutes is too much.”
Altmışdört also believes that Operations Manager has ensured a more stable event management structure, with no downtime during the implementation: “With the smart event consolidation and correlation, instead of escalating events to incidents directly, we keep them in the event wait queue for a specific time. We can assign different wait times for different event categories. For example, we assign three minutes for IP availability, and seven minutes for URL availability events.”
Events may then be tackled before turning into incidents: “The number of incidents has since decreased almost 30 percent due to the use of the event wait queue.”
Ultimately, KoçSistem IT is now able to monitor more events, yet spend less time on menial tasks.
“We’re monitoring 150 percent more events, and we’re quicker to spot which ones will require the most attention. We now have a screening process, asking three simple questions to establish the urgency of a request. Latest figures suggest 84 percent of incidents would not be classed as critical.
“It means we have a better allocation of IT resources: more tickets are being self-managed as users realize they can solve an issue themselves – leading to a 26 percent drop in total incidents. We’re now spending more quality time on higher value issues.” This has enabled the business to make organizational changes, forming a new first line ITSM support team, called Data Center Operation and Support Team.
“In the data center organization, while technical teams have vertical in-depth knowledge about their corresponding areas, this first line support team has a horizontal but broader knowledge about all the different technical areas,” says Altmışdört. “Technical teams in the silo structure can offload some of their repeating responsibilities to the first line. For example, CPU events from the UNIX team, or service events from the ERP team can be directly assigned to the first line. Sixty percent of repeatable incidents are now dealt with at the first line, he says, producing an immediate cost reduction impact.
Altmışdört says analytics within Service Manager allows the business to better understand the pressures on the Service Desk, identifying patterns and proactively managing emerging problems: “Thanks to [Micro Focus] we’ve been able to understand the whole topology of IT Service Management, from top to bottom.”
The result, he says, is more efficient Service Desk, more effective scheduling of regular maintenance and a more proactive IT service management team: “It comes back to the need for a change of culture. There is no one standard for every internal user. We can now create different service portals for our internal customers, with a template to suit, but the ticket is automatically patched through to the correct resource at the backend, with automatic escalation where necessary.
“This solution enables us to have the time to be more flexible, to work with both internal and external customers and to understand and solve their particular problems.”