In 2016, medical, scientific and industrial imaging specialist Olympus Australia had expanded rapidly from around 200 to 400 people, outgrowing its IT process tracking system.
The IT group's internal customers were increasingly mobile and geographically dispersed, so there was little need for face-to-face support.
So IT operations manager Cliff Wheatley (pictured) went looking for a cloud-based system that would allow support on an anywhere, any time, any device basis.
Wheatley also wanted a system that delivered ITIL compliance straight out of the box, and one that provided product management and configuration services so the benefits of the project would begin to flow quickly.
Another aspect of the search was for a vendor that could help Olympus quickly adopt best practices.
After considering various options, BMC Remedyforce was selected.
Remedyforce fitted in easily as Olympus was already a Salesforce.com user and Remedyforce is built on the Salesforce App Cloud. Integration with Active Directory and other systems was also straightforward, Wheatley told iTWire.
Over a three-month period, a BMC project team worked with Olympus on the processes to be implemented: incident management, problem management, change management, and knowledge management (as in sharing IT knowledge with colleagues and users).
It then took another three months to build, test and roll out these processes, giving Olympus a system that was ITIL compliant, integrated with its technology stack, and accessible anywhere, any time and from any device.
The results were impressive: even though the amount of work coming into the IT team increased, completion times have fallen by 60%.
That was possible thanks to the much improved visibility provided by Remedyforce.
Work can be allocated more effectively. Tasks that can be performed by first tier staff are no longer being escalated unnecessarily to specialists or vendors, and thanks to Remedyforce knowledge management those tier-one workers are able to handle a wider range of issues than they previously could.
The improved visibility also makes it possible to prioritise tasks according to the impact on the business and their urgency.
Another benefit has been a 50% decrease in the number of IT incidents. Wheatley told iTWire that this resulted from Remedyforce's contribution to root cause analysis. Fixing underlying problems means the symptoms are less likely to recur, so business units suffer fewer disruptions.
Business users find "it's such an easy way to interact with IT", he said. It provides multiple communications channels, and they can see how their requests are tracking. And new employees often remark on how easy it is to log any issues.
That ease of use is also appreciated by IT staff, he said, and is noticed in areas such as adding content to the knowledge base.
Wheatley said he would recommend Remedyforce to organisations looking for an ITIL-compliant service tracking system. BMC offered experience with ITIL-compliance, provided an open and frank discussion of Olympus's ideas, and supplied a robust system that works with multiple device types and offers simple integration. Picking a proven vendor and platform means a high chance of success, he noted.
But this is just the start for Olympus: "The IT team's a proof of concept," he said, and the company is now investigating how it could be deployed more broadly. "Whatever we put in had to be able to expand" to other functions.
Possible areas include customer service, non-IT asset management, human resources and finance. "It all comes down to time and priorities," he said, but "I think we'll have our hands fill over the next 18 months."
The senior leadership team is providing lots of support for this broader project, Wheatley observed.