“Without ServiceDesk Plus and SupportCentre Plus, there’s just no way we could have coped.”
Like many growing companies, Healthcare of New Zealand Holdings Limited (HHL Group) wanted to improve the management of business-critical IT infrastructure and services. In seeking a cost-effective, flexible and capable solution to support ITIL best practices, the company chose ManageEngine IT Service Management solutions. The result is a dramatic improvement in the capability, maturity and efficiency of its technology department, which today delivers reliable and well supported business systems.
Established in 1988, Healthcare of New Zealand Holdings Limited (HHL Group) is the parent company of Healthcare of New Zealand, McIsaac Healthcare, Panacea Healthcare Limited and Nursing New Zealand, as well as joint-ventures Freedom Medical Alarms and Pharmacy 547. HHL is one of Australasia’s largest providers of community-based health, rehabilitation and disability support services. The organisation has a dedicated team of 7,000 people helping more than 18,000 people throughout New Zealand to enjoy greater wellbeing, independence and quality of life.
When he joined the company in 2007, HHL Group’s ICT Manager, Mark Stead, says the ICT function was poorly established. “However, as a growing business, the necessity for improved control of what is an essential business function in almost all aspects of work was abundantly clear,” he points out.
Stead says there wasn’t even a helpdesk, yet the IT department was supporting computer users across multiple locations. “At the time, we were getting around 200 support calls per month and we had a home-grown application developed in an old version of SharePoint. This system was restrictive, didn’t allow the capture of relevant details and had no capacity to support proper KPI [Key Performance Indicator] reporting.”
As a result, he says there was a growing gap between the reliance of the business on IT and the ability of the IT department to support the needs of the organisation. “There was a good deal of user frustration within the business, while from an IT point of view, the system we were working with limited the ability of technicians to get their jobs done.”
“Our primary focus was to improve the ICT service provided to the organisation and to raise the maturity and capability of the ICT function. Working within the Information Technology Infrastructure Library [ITIL] service management framework, we needed a system to support good practice. In addition, we also wanted to formalise processes and procedures for Change and Problem Management, as well as Asset Management and Configuration Management,” Stead explains.
Only ManageEngine could deliver the required features with a price/performance calculation that made business sense, he says. The company therefore deployed ServiceDesk Plus, which is ITIL-ready help desk software with integrated Asset and Project Management; and SupportCentre Plus customer support software. Subsequently, it has added ManageEngine’s OpManager and Netflow Analyser. These modules monitor network and server infrastructure, generating alert tickets directly via ServiceDesk Plus.
Since implementing ManageEngine, HHL Group has grown substantially, as has the IT team. “We’ve gone from two or three people to 15 and now serve the needs of almost 700 users across 50+ sites,” says Stead. “Without ServiceDesk Plus and SupportCentre Plus, there’s just no way we could have coped.”
In addition, he says the company has also deployed a self service portal (a component of ServiceDesk Plus). “This has been very well received by users and IT staff alike. It takes the pressure off the helpdesk as users can go in and find a comprehensive catalogue of known issues to fix many of their service needs themselves.”
Some 40% of requests are now resolved this way, he says.
Stead describes the ManageEngine interface as clean and easy to use. “It is easily configurable in terms of which items you want on your template; some are prefilled [for standard ITIL service management processes], such as setting priority and categorisation, assessing urgency and impact.”
That extends to the financial perspective, too. “Where we once did purchasing manually, today it is all done through ServiceDesk Plus. That means the Finance department can reconcile with the technology configuration to maintain an asset database – which also allows us to see where the machines are physically located as well as the software asset inventory that the company owns,” Stead continues.
With that level of information-gathering, he says the ability to set and measure against SLAs is firmly established. The visibility across the department allows management to see the progress of unplanned work through the department, as well as the status of any attached devices at any time – Stead says it is now possible to identify and address service bottlenecks, while also improving processes in line with ITIL best practice.
Perhaps most importantly, Stead says the IT function has received a professional boost. “With ServiceDesk Plus and SupportCentre Plus providing the necessary insight and reports to confirm the essential nature of the services provided, it becomes a lot easier to help justify our existence and account for resources. Typically, perhaps 10% of what we do is visible to the organisation; with proper reporting, we’re able to demonstrate the critical importance of IT to the business.”
ManageEngine offers simple, easy-to-use IT Enterprise Management products at a price that every business can afford.