“ADARIS supported us with the preparation, installation, configuration and training … ensuring a smooth and quick transition. I truly believe we would be at least 18 months behind where we are without their support.”
Acting Network Manager for CTS
Court Technology Services (CTS) is a team of government staff directly supporting the courts and judiciary, providing key business systems such as video conferencing, email, directory, network file/print, etc.
Historically, Alberta Justice looked towards Open Source when assessing new tools for its IT infrastructure. The appeal of no upfront license costs led it to Open Technology Real Services (OTRS), which was used for many years as a helpdesk management system. However, as the CTS team grew to 35 staff, supporting over 2,000 court and judiciary clients, it was felt OTRS consumed more person hours than it saved to justify continued use.
The impact of system and application downtime is the reduced ability to hold court, as processes will have to be managed manually, directly affecting the public of Alberta seeking simple and timely access to justice.
In addition, CTS looked for a tool with improved reporting capabilities, an identified weakness in OTRS. Influenced by Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a set of practices focused on aligning IT services with the needs of the business, CTS plans to move from working practices with change notifications to a more sophisticated and business-focused Change Management process.
Working with Canadian service provider ADARIS, CTS learned about Service Desk, a complete ITIL-certified application for managing service requests, incidents, and changes across the network. Robin Seaman, Acting Network Manager for CTS, Alberta Justice, explains: “It was great working with ADARIS. One of our big challenges is a lack of staff resources which means people wear multiple hats and are stretched thinly. ADARIS supported us with the preparation, installation, configuration and training for Service Desk, ensuring a smooth and quick transition. I truly believe we would be at least 18 months behind where we are without their support.”
The CTS team receives up to 175 support re- quest every week ranging from very simple IT support requests to complex ones, for instance related to the software modernization project currently underway. Using Service Desk every ticket is categorized and prioritized according to its impact on business continuity. The new system has been welcomed by the CTS engineers and an internal survey shows comments such as “it’s really effective” and “I like it much better than our previous system.” This means internal buy-in and adoption has been swift, with tickets being created for items which previously wouldn’t be captured.
Seaman comments on the day-to-day impact of Service Desk: “The superior reporting function within Novell (now part of Micro Focus) Service Desk is already making a difference to us. We can report on very specific IT items, for instance, how many tickets were raised by our AS/400 support group. It has also helped us expose our limited resources and make a case for improving this. Reports are great for highlighting pain points you didn’t appreciate were taking up a lot of time.”
While CTS are working on a self-service portal for its judiciary clients, ticket status is kept up-to-date within the system and clients regularly receive an email update. Client feedback on this increased communication and transparency has been positive.
Incident management has been formalized using Service Desk with a workflow in place which automatically routes a reported problem into a ticket and monitors its journey to a resolution.
Seaman concludes: “Although ITIL wasn’t at the forefront of our mind when we looked at a new solution, we now appreciate that the ITIL workflow component within Novell Service Desk gives us the scope to provide a much better service to our clients.
The move from an Open Source solution to a commercially supported one means that we can ask for assistance when we need it. ADARIS is a very knowledgeable partner with a close relationship to Novell and Micro Focus, which gives them a direct line back into development. They are experts in their field and bring their own real-world experience to our benefit.”