Keep it simple, stupid: TelstraClear

Summary:After completing a year-long upgrade to BMC's ITSM 7 service management suite, NZ telco TelstraClear has warned against making heavy modifications to company-standard software packages.

After completing a year-long upgrade to BMC's ITSM 7 service management suite, NZ telco TelstraClear has warned against making heavy modifications to company-standard software packages.

As a full-service telecommunications company in New Zealand, TelstraClear has a service desk division which provides technical support and monitoring services to enterprise IT customers.

Before the roll-out of ITSM 7 software suite, TelstraClear ran on an out-of-support, highly customised version of Remedy.

A big part of TelstraClear's services business is network monitoring and fault alarms — that is, when a fault occurs on a system, the client and the service desk is notified.

The Remedy system was able to produce network fault alarms, but precious response time was lost by service desk personnel having to manually process a ticket of work to rectify the fault.

Once the job had been logged in the system, TelstraClear had very little in the way of analytical data to monitor the timing and delivery of a fix. That reporting had to take place manually.

TelstraClear also had to tinker the software suite significantly to accommodate new technologies supported by the organisation, making system upgrades tricky and time consuming.

Andrew Crabb, head of Networks and Services for TelstraClear, decided that it was time for a change, and that this time around, customisation would be off the agenda.

Crabb went to market, but decided to stay with BMC's products because of what they could do and because of the existing relationship. The teclo chose to implement BMC's ITSM 7 suite.

Crabb said that given the customisation issues TelstraClear had encountered, je plans to stick with an unmodified, out-of-the-box style deployment of the ITSM 7 suite for its services business, shunning a heavily customised software approach.

"If you do customise a product heavily, [and] have to change or upgrade it, you'll have to rebuild the customisation again. We've taken the architectural approach, making it as stock standard as possible so that upgrades are easier," Crabb said.

With ITSM 7, TelstraClear has been able to eliminate manual processing when logging jobs into the system, meaning that technicians are free to handle the job at hand.

Clients can also recieve network alarm notifications and file a job request themselves via a self-service portal, speeding up the response time once again.

"The ability for us to present portals to our customers is something we've never had before," Crabb said.

Service desk staff are able to look at detailed reporting on a job while it's in process to better manage response times and critical tasks.

"Once we've logged a job into the system, we can now monitor the time it's taken for that job to be completed and the time in which it needs to be completed to comply with a client's service level agreement," Crabb said.

TelstraClear plans to expand ITSM 7 across the business to handle change management projects in the near future.

While it was a time consuming move for TelstraClear, Crabb said that the telco had nearly finished migrating its roughly 50 customers to the new platform and had been attracting more customers as a result of the deployment.

"It's simplified our business considerably. We are taking on customers on an ongoing basis...and putting them onto ITSM 7," he said.

Topics: Telcos, New Zealand, Telstra

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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