Provance Case Study - Wiltshire Council (2013 Update)

A 2013 Update to the Original Microsoft, Provance and Wiltshire Customer Success Story from 2010

Wiltshire Council, Microsoft and Provance Case Study

Council Increases Efficiency and Saves £2 Million with Flexible Management Solution

The real value of the solution is the integration between the tools.... Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, and Provance work together with Service Manager, giving us the freedom to run our data centre the way we want to.

Andy Spurway, Head of Service Delivery 

Wiltshire Council

 

Wiltshire Council wanted to upgrade its IT service delivery platform to Microsoft System Center 2012 to support its cloud technologies. Microsoft Gold Partner Silversands managed the upgrade, using Orchestrator—an automated workflow deployment tool—to migrate data from a customised line-of-business application to the new platform. The council is saving £2 million a year with its highly automated IT solution, while improving services for its internal clients.

Business Needs

As part of its strategy to reduce costs and enhance service delivery, Wiltshire Council has transformed its information and communications technology (ICT) services in the last three years. In 2010, it began working with Microsoft Gold Partner Silversands on a project to bring its outsourced IT operations in-house. As part of this, it deployed Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010 and the Provance IT Asset Management Pack to manage service-desk, asset management, and other ICT support tasks. The council’s service desk logs around 4,000 incidents, changes, and service requests a month, and System Center Service Manager and Provance played a crucial role in reducing operations costs. 

The council’s long-term vision for ICT service delivery includes using both private and public cloud technologies to provide the best performance and service to its customers while obtaining optimum value for money. Integration and flexibility are key factors in the public–private network. For example, Microsoft Office 365 is currently used by 4,500 staff to access their Microsoft Office Outlook emails and calendars on computers and mobile devices, while Windows Azure hosts a range of public-facing applications and test facilities. Other line-of-business applications are hosted and managed in the council’s own data centre.

In late 2011, Wiltshire Council decided to upgrade its successful service-desk and integrated IT asset management solution to meet new business requirements. Andy Spurway, Head of Service Delivery, Wiltshire Council, says: “We wanted to make the most of the improvements available in Microsoft System Center 2012. For example, the latest version of Service Manager has enhanced the way incidents and changes can be managed. This function would help us to resolve incidents effectively and ensure we minimise the impact of service outages on our internal and external customers.” 


Solution

In 2012, Wiltshire Council again turned to Silversands to manage the deployment and upgrade to Microsoft System Center 2012 and the new version of the Provance IT Asset Management Pack. The software suite gives the council an integrated platform for managing applications and services across its public and private cloud infrastructures. Service Manager provides built-in processes for incident and problem resolution, and change control. Asset life-cycle management is provided by the process management pack from Microsoft Gold Partner Provance. As a result, users can now log on to Service Manager through a service-desk portal and log a change request. 

As part of the upgrade, Silversands used Orchestrator, a component of System Center 2012, to create a bridge between the data held in the central management database—such as change records and Active Directory configuration details—and the new service desk. Workflow management solution Orchestrator provides the means to automate the creation, monitoring, and deployment of resources in the council’s ICT environment. 
Mark Newton, System Center Consultant, Silversands, says: “With Orchestrator, we were able to carry out a complex migration cost effectively without causing any downtime for users.” Silversands also re-configured data with Orchestrator. For example, if a form field existed in the previous solution that wasn’t in the new solution, the data was re-directed to a new field. To support internal management and reporting to its corporate team, the council configured Orchestrator to capture data such as first and second-time fixes.

Orchestrator is being used to further automate service-desk processes, such as the ICT administration process for leavers. Spurway says: “Once an Active Directory account has been deleted, Orchestrator ensures that the workflow will prompt other applications, such as email, disabling and eventually deleting them.”


Benefits

By bringing its ICT in-house and deploying Microsoft System Center 2012, the council is saving more than £2 million (US$3 million) a year, improving system performance, and ensuring that ICT team resources are used as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

  • Solution helps save £2 million annually. Previously, all service-desk, desktop, and database services were outsourced. Glen Holmes, Head of Business Solutions, Wiltshire Council says: “Bringing our ICT in-house has helped Wiltshire Council save more than £2 million a year. Service Manager is a major part of our solution, giving us the tools to automate routine processes and ensure our team runs ICT services efficiently.” The council has also expanded its Microsoft SharePoint solution, deployed Microsoft Lync across the council and continued to maximise its existing technology investments.

  • Council extends existing investments. Spurway says: “The real value of the solution is the integration between the tools in Microsoft System Center 2012, and with partner management packs. Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, and Provance work together with Service Manager, giving us the freedom to run our data centre the way we want to.”
  • Tools support internal service-level reporting. The Wiltshire Council team relies on Orchestrator to support its corporate reporting and gain insight into how well the team is performing. Spurway says: “Orchestrator automatically helps us organise our first and second-time fixes. With Service Manager, we calculate metrics, such as the availability of key systems and how many times we have to fix the same issues. This saves considerable time in reporting to our corporate team and in identifying opportunities for improvement.” 

  • Council controls IT costs and increases service efficiency. A uniform view of the council’s ICT assets ensures the optimised use of ICT resources to help achieve cost targets. Access to IT asset detail and associated contract and warranty information allow the council’s front-line ICT service team to respond more rapidly to incidents and change requests, and continue improving services while cutting costs.

Overview

  • Country or Region: United Kingdom

  • Industry: Government

Customer Profile

Wiltshire Council is the unitary authority for most of the ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in the west of England.


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