Virgin Blue is implementing a new service management system this month as the airline moves towards adopting the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.
Virgin Blue general manager of information technology, Nick Brant, said the airline had purchased BMC's Remedy service management software at the start of the year -- following a tender -- and was in the final stages of implementation.
The software and new server is expected to go live later this month, he said.
"We're using this as the catalyst for ITIL," Brant said. "Things like change management, release management; we're making the change from being a reactive department to a proactive one."
Virgin Blue has around 25 service management staff in its total technology team of about 100. The new system will help IT manage the 6,000 domain accounts of Virgin Blue staff (and related companies like Polynesian Blue) who work in areas like booking and contact centres.
The growth of the airline over the last few years had forced IT to upgrade its existing "home-grown" system, according to Brant.
"The previous system was more a logging system and a helpdesk tool but the growth of the company has meant we needed more robust software ... Remedy will takeover logging tickets, incident management, configuration management [etcetera]," he said.
Brant expected to see benefits in Remedy's integration with Virgin's monitoring tools, such as system and database monitoring. Systems monitoring will become more automated, he said, and notify IT of problems in advance.
The new system was a "good cornerstone investment" in Virgin's ITIL strategy, said Brant. The airline is six months into its 18 month plan.
Virgin was initially working on implementing service support standards around things like incident and problem management and will later move on to the service delivery phase, which covers areas like capacity management, according to Brant.
"We see ITIL as the next step for IT departments to get better at service management.
"It's flexible enough that you can use the framework as you like in your organisation. You can go deeper into it where it suits you," said Brant.
Remedy was the basis for ITIL at Virgin, said Brant, but acknowledged following the framework was more than just a software implementation.
The company has been seeking consulting advice on ITIL and some managerial staff were trained in the framework last year. Other staff are due for additional ITIL training over time, according to Brant.