Liverpool City Council is the governing body for the city of Liverpool in Merseyside, England. It consists of 90 councillors, three for each of the city's 30 wards.
The Council's ICT department consists of approximately 160 staff, supporting around 5000 technology users.
Liverpool City Council implemented Alemba’s vFire as a single, integrated solution to provide their ICT customers with an easy to use service catalogue.
The Department consists of 160 staff supporting around 5000 technology users.
Liverpool City Council decided to replace a number of ‘point’ Service Management solutions with a single integrated solution that could also provide end user portal functionality. The council aimed to enable a streamlined and speedy migration from current to new solutions, and to support continued service improvement, expansion and efficiency.
The council implemented Alemba’s vFire as single, integrated solution to provide their ICT customers with a service catalogue.
Liverpool City Council relied on a number of different systems to provide the business with a service catalogue and a method of logging business changes into the ICT department.
“We were working with a number ‘point solutions’ that hadn’t been renewed for over 6 years, which often resulted in duplication and didn’t offer us the flexibility we could get with a single integrated system,”
One of the key challenges faced by the Liverpool City Council team was the limited interaction between the systems and fact that they required manual intervention to transfer information from one system to another.
They decided to streamline this process by implementing one system which can provide a more comprehensive and flexible delivery of processes and also allows automated interaction with other Liverpool City Council systems.
Alemba’s vFire could offer one central system for the delivery of request workflows to help Liverpool City Council manage their procurement and business change processes more effectively and efficiently.
Liverpool City Council implemented vFire to present their ICT customers with self-service access to the various services they provide. Known internally as the Userhub, vFire allows all faults to be reported through the ‘Report it’ option with the information pushed through to the core vFire application.
Similarly, the majority of the council’s Service Requests (over 100) are now available through the ‘Request it’ option. The council saw the benefit of being able to automate approvals, notifications and allocation of tasks. Consequently, they have built workflows for all of these Requests, allowing the customer to identify and select what they want and then raise their Request from the Userhub.
Other menu options such as ‘Relocate it’, ‘Dispose of it’ and ‘How do I’ provide links to pages on the Liverpool City Council Intranet. The ‘Tell us about it’ option pushes feedback, compliments and complaints into the vFire system.
The most used requests are set up as ‘promoted items’. These currently include access to team drives, new log-in accounts, access to team mailbox, reset a colleague’s log-in account, block/unblock website and standard application work requests.
There are many more options within the menu structure, including Requests for teams outside ICT. The council’s SAP (Finance) support team are currently also using vFire and they will shortly be rolling out the solution to Adult’s and Children’s Services support teams.
One of the council’s business drivers was to increase customer self-service and reduce call-handling. Within months of implementing vFire, telephone call volumes to the ICT Service Desk were reduced significantly.
“I like the fact that the system is very configurable. This has given us the opportunity to challenge existing processes and look at how best we can deliver our service using vFire and the underlying automation it offers,”
“For the last 3 months, compared to the same 3 months in 2016, we have seen a 30% reduction in phone calls to our ICT Service Desk,” says Brendan Lavelle.
vFire has also allowed the Liverpool City Council team to keep a meaningful audit trail. “Now that a lot of work is done from within the vFire application, a much more robust audit trail is presented,” says Brendan Lavelle. “For example, being able to issue emails from within the system is proving very useful.”
One of the challenges the council had previously was keeping their customers informed of progress. With vFire, customers can now track the progress of their Faults or Requests.
Brendan Lavelle concludes. “The true end-to-end automation we can create through vFire has significant potential.”
Liverpool City Council plan to evolve their use of vFire significantly in the near future.
One of the next steps is to integrate with VMware’s vRealize Orchestrator to allow for the automation and audit of server virtualization. vFire allows for the end-to-end automation of all business processes, dramatically improves the time to virtual server delivery.
In addition, the council is also planning to integrate with SNOW for license management, put in place a complex workflow for their project management and procurement processes, and are also hoping to integrate with their current enterprise architecture tool, Abacus.
Finally, the Liverpool ICT team are also eager to start encouraging other service areas to take advantage of the vFire capabilities.