Centrelink is to begin a 16 month roll-out of service management software that will eventually see staff help desk queries consolidated and automated under one system.
The social services and welfare agency will deploy HP's OpenView service desk software to 1,200 staff as part of its move to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.
Centrelink contracted HP for the $5 million project in June last year following an open tender.
Help desk staff currently log change and support requests from colleagues in three different databases, according to Branko Milenovic, ITSM project manager at Centrelink.
Centrelink has 300 staff in its service desk centres across Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra. Their support queries are fielded by 900 staff in IT operational teams that provide second and third level support.
"Our internal staff that deal face-to-face with customers may experience a problem, either when they're attending to a customer, or a processing issue, and they will contact what we call the first point of contact, which is the service desk, to report the issue," Milenovic said.
"Then of course the normal processes take over and the level one and level two, level three support areas get involved in resolving the issue."
The systems currently used to collect problems and incidents, Analyse and Quantum, are over five years old and will be replaced as part of Centrelink's first release of OpenView in December.
"We're actually using HP OpenView as the central repository for all service support information, as part of ITIL," said Milenovic.
Release 2, scheduled for March 2007, will see the first non-IT workers at Centrelink use the system.
Some will be able to bypass the service desk and lodge service requests, such as how to relocate their workstation, via web-based forms. The form entries will automatically be recorded on OpenView for further action.
Release 2 will also implement change and configuration management.
The final release, scheduled for delivery in June 2007, will focus on service level management.
Service support requests currently came from both phone and online channels, but Centrelink was trying to drive more towards the web-based forms, according to Milenovic.
Centrelink eventually wants to extend this web-request functionality to welfare recipients.
"So Joe Blow off the street, if they access our network at 3 o'clock in the morning, they will be able to report or lodge an incident.
"I'm pretty confident that we will probably enable that capability within the next 12 months," Milenovic said.
The OpenView deployment follows a related three-year project which saw it consolidate 90 IT help desks into one virtual help desk using integrated voice recognition.