IT Service Management

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1 IT Service Management

2 Contents 1 Executive overview 3 2 Heightened customer expectations 4 3 An effective response to the 21st Century customer 6 4 BT and the customer-centric approach 8 5 Conclusion 10

3 1 Executive overview How companies interact with customers is becoming evermore important in today s business environment. In a business world where customers now routinely expect to enjoy a positive customer experience rather than just receiving a product or service from providers, it is now seen as essential that companies take a customer-centric approach to service delivery if they are to remain competitive and grow their business. For too long companies have professed to take a customer-centric approach to service delivery without making the fundamental cultural and process changes necessary to embed best of class customer service strategies offering enhanced customer experiences. Yet the necessity of such changes cannot be overstated. In a 2002 survey carried out by Shaw and Ivens, 85 per cent of business leaders acknowledged that differentiation by price, product and service is no longer a sustainable business strategy, with 71 per cent recognising that the customer experience is the new battleground. 1 In an increasingly connected global business environment customers, employees and business partners are brought together in an always-on, demanding commercial ecosystem. Global connectivity has enhanced the capacity for companies to locate any part of their organisation anywhere in the world and work seamlessly across time zones and borders. The provision of managed IT and network services as an integrated entity enables companies to define services, first and foremost, in terms of business imperatives, rather than network or IT requirements. Through leveraging replicable and standards-based service products, greater clarity is achieved between the customer and provider; leading to improved customer satisfaction and enhanced business efficiency. The emergence and increasing adoption of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) principles enables companies to gravitate from costly bespoke solutions to industrial, modular solutions consisting of re-usable components that minimise complexity, drive-down cost and provide the customer with the service they really want. BT fully recognises the importance of improving the customer experience and is committed to ensuring that every customer interaction is simple, accurate and places control firmly in the hands of the customer. By bringing together networking and IT capabilities into a single service delivery capability we can offer our customers a standard, end-to-end integrated service that will allow them to thrive in the digital networked economy 2. As a consequence, the importance of information technology and the communications solutions it provides to the everyday operations of companies has increased dramatically. Customers now require a world-class service providing seamless interactions between IT services and network infrastructure. In recent years the focus has shifted towards providing ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) that ensures that business requirements drive IT implementation and help to deliver the customer experience needed to succeed in today s competitive global marketplace.

4 2 Heightened customer expectations 2.1 The changing face of business communications The nature of business communications has, in recent years, been going through a period of disruptive change. The emergence of an always-on, globally connected business environment, facilitated by increasingly available broadband connections, has fundamentally altered the way companies approach how they do business. Many now routinely locate operations across disparate geographies and time zones and, as a consequence, demand secure, affordable networks that provide the capacity to connect offices, facilities, employees, customers, suppliers and business partners together into a commercial ecosystem. The end result of such changes means that the importance of IT to the everyday operation of companies has greatly increased and has fed a burgeoning demand for integrated services. Companies are no longer satisfied with receiving IT services with network services as an afterthought, or vice versa, they now require a holistic approach that harnesses the opportunities provided by a fully integrated global IT infrastructure. 2.2 Increasing complexity They recognise that the increasing complexity associated with managing both network infrastructure and multiple applications can have a negative impact upon core business activities. Many are now focussed on solutions that will minimise this complexity, drive-down cost and deliver much needed improvements across a range of business processes. For many companies gravitation towards an Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) solution is seen as the answer to the rise in communications management complexity. ITSM services, in combination with extensive Information Technology Integrated Library (ITIL) solutions 3, can help companies focus on the core business requirements, rather than what the IT department thinks the business needs. They enable companies to streamline operational processes and engage in business-to-business interactions using a standard business language, which is essential for success in today s increasingly horizontal business environment. By minimising the responsibility for in-house management of network and IT services, they let businesses concentrate on core responsibilities, while at the same time, leveraging the rich functionality of today s converged services. 2.3 Facilitating flexible working As work becomes more and more a thing we do, rather than a place we go, the need for IT solutions that facilitate effective flexible working strategies is becoming ever greater. By implementing the correct systems and work processes teleworking can be a highly effective way of deploying a flexible workforce when coupled with ITSM and ITIL strategies. It provides companies with the tools to effectively make the most from both its people and IT resources without overburdening in-house IT staff. For a number of years BT has embraced flexible working solutions in the drive to improve competitiveness and make the most of its people and resources. We have been at the forefront of providing multi-functional capabilities that help to empower employees and improve their effectiveness through leveraging the flexibility, collaborative opportunities and increased business agility delivered by leading-edge integrated networks and services. As a consequence, more than 70 per cent of our employees now work flexibly and more than 10 per cent are home-based. Our commitment to facilitating flexible working has helped to increase job satisfaction, enabled employees to achieve a more effective work/life balance and helped us to retain key personnel. However, the bottom-line benefits of our approach to flexible working should not be overlooked. Through implementing widespread flexible and home-based working, BT has realised property savings in excess of 319 million in the last decade. Our commitment to providing the platform for collaborative working, through a range of remote conferencing solutions, has led to a saving of 1,800 person years in travel time and helped to reduce our impact upon the environment. Comprehensive ITSM solutions can enable companies to leverage the rich functionality of 21st century communications technologies in the most cost-effective manner and with minimal impact upon internal resources. Today s ITSM solutions enable voice, data and video information to be effortlessly converged and managed within a single IT estate running robust standards-based applications.

5 2.4 Best practice solutions As the telecommunications industry develops consistent, standard process frameworks for the provision of network services, such as e-tom (the enhanced Telecoms Operating Map) and robust ITIL principles, companies are now demanding that service providers deliver best practice solutions across both networks and applications provision. There is now an increasing demand for services based on standard, repeatable, modularised components that deliver better, more transparent communications and enable companies to use a single consistent language for interfacing with employees, business partners and customers across geographies and boundaries. 2.5 The extended enterprise As more and more companies become networked into the extended enterprise of large corporations, ITIL and ISO/IEC registration is becoming a pre-requisite for involvement in major IT contracts. In Europe for instance and the UK in particular, companies aiming to fulfil government contracts are also finding that ITSM and ITIL adoption is becoming an essential element of a successful bid. And as ITSM and ITIL adoption increases it is expected that IT service providers will be required to adopt best practice as a pre-requisite for entry into today s commercial ecosystem. 2.6 Emotion: A key differentiator However, in an increasingly commoditised marketplace the key differentiator for many companies when seeking to implement ITSM/ITIL solutions is the quality of service they can expect to receive from providers. Analysts now argue that there is a vast marketplace for support needs that requires a reinvention of the business model underlying the market, the technology and the enterprise logic. Many companies are beginning to recognise the significance of emotions in their relationship with service providers. Emotional customers are no longer seen as problematic, they are increasingly recognised as customers who care, share their views with the world, pay a premium for optimal service and stay around for the long run. Many companies now demand that every single step in the customer relationship is done well and that the customer experience is not driven by a single action, but is predicated upon linked actions that help build a cycle of growth, profit and investment. What many companies now recognise as the added value component in their relationship with service providers are often classified as soft issues. For example, how do you quantify the monetary value of a trusting working environment or a service that helps to bring out the best in employees? Yet many believe that it is these intangibles that can make or break a working relationship in the 21st Century global economy. Although such intangibles are hard to quantify, it is difficult to argue that companies are happier to do business with a provider that they trust and have confidence in to provide the levels of customer service they need to be competitive. 5

6 3 An effective response to the 21st Century customer 3.1 Focusing on the customer A key change in recent years has seen companies shifting their focus to sit firmly on meeting the needs of the customer. They now recognise that IT is a service provider function that needs to align the delivery of IT to meet business requirements defined and driven by business need. With the emergence of multiple channels through which to interact with customers, suppliers and business partners, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to have access to the rich networks and applications functionality that can enhance and encourage such interaction. 3.2 A platform for business-to-business interaction ITSM and ITIL can act as a powerful enabler by providing the platform upon which business-to-business interaction can be facilitated using open systems connections as a generic business model. They provide companies with the capacity to implement and benefit from a network and applications infrastructure that is designed around their specific requirements. ITSM helps companies ensure that the requirements of the business drive the needs of IT implementation through defining a set of key-metrics to actively manage the performance of IT and guarantee that services are delivered as specified. Through bringing standardisation into the requirements process ITSM enables companies to develop frameworks of tools that are far better focussed on specific needs and provide the capacity for more seamless interworking between suites of tools. This standardised approach ensures that geographically diverse teams can simply and securely leverage essential resources and benefit from the rich functionality they provide regardless of location. The emergence of standardised components is helping companies to gravitate away from costly bespoke solutions to individual business requirements. They can now benefit from industrial/modular solutions that leverage re-usable components capable of minimising complexity, driving down cost and reducing the diversity required in the system estate to support key business requirements. As ITSM and ITIL enable IT departments to focus on what the business really needs the greater rigour required, not just of the supplier but of the supplier/customer relationship, helps to ensure greater clarity between the business and the supplier regarding the service provided. This helps to improve customer satisfaction and efficiency as the customer is receiving the service that they really need. 3.3 The single service platform Companies that choose to migrate to a single service platform are able to take advantage of services that are developed independently of the access mechanism. It makes service management easier as they only have to do it once and they can then benefit from a single network, a single IT infrastructure and a single service management strategy. The single service platform approach enables companies to effortlessly converge broadband and fixed/mobile information using an IT infrastructure with comprehensive global presence. The international multimedia news agency, Reuters, is one company that has recently implemented a major business transformation project that supports an open, industry standard communications platform. The BT designed and implemented solution leverages a range of fully managed services that have helped the company to introduce new working methods and streamline business processes. The services are fully scalable and provide the critical communications services necessary for a range of networked business applications. 3.4 Robust functionality The solution has enabled Reuters to extend its LAN capabilities so that dispersed locations appear as a single entity and users can take advantage of application sharing across company sites. The robust functionality of the service ensures that Reuters benefits from services that support collaborative working among the workforce and benefit from greatly enhanced real-time business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities. BT s solution has enabled Reuters to rationalise connectivity and bandwidth to best suit its own business requirements as well as being the enabler for significant cost reduction. As a global information company it has also enabled Reuters to introduce increased functionality that enables customers to easily and costeffectively search for and access information and integrate it with other content. As a leading provider of content, analytics, trading and messaging capability to the world s financial institutions Reuters needed to ensure that such a solution would provide the necessary security and integrity of data expected from a globally recognised provider. BT s fully-managed solution provides the capacity for the replication and mirroring of information between data centres handling critical financial transactions and customer information. Backed up by extensive, multi-lingual, 24/7 support from regional service centres, BT s solution not only enhanced Reuters business efficiency, but also enabled it to more easily satisfy its data storage and distribution compliance requirements.

7 3.5 Meeting the need for integrated business solutions As the Reuters example illustrates, there are a number of ways in which technological solutions can enhance, simplify and reduce the cost of carrying out key business activities. Yet it is vitally important to recognise that for technology solutions to be truly effective it is essential that they form part of an integrated business solution to fulfil their potential. Today s ITSM/ITIL solutions represent much more than just a telecommunications service, they represent an opportunity to implement the infrastructure that will allow companies to thrive in the digital networked economy through a converged offering of voice, video and data. Here at BT we have developed the roadmap and are well on our way towards a converged and modularised service offering, for networked IT services. It will enable our customers to manage their global IT infrastructure in a manner that is simple, complete and integrated into their business needs. 7

8 4 BT and the customer-centric approach As a service provider, BT is fully committed to improving the customer experience in an effort to ensure that every interaction is simple, accurate and places control firmly in the hands of the customer. As a consequence, we build into our approach to service a relentless determination to look at everything from the eyes of the customer, with a view to providing the optimum customer experience. We aim to provide customers with the capabilities to get the most out of their personal and business activities and benefit from the highest levels of customer service. 4.1 What the best do differently We recognise that the best service providers pay close attention to their customers and aim to ensure that our approach encapsulates: A fanatical focus on customers we listen to them and respond to them. A fanatical focus on employees we listen to them and respond to them. Inspirational, risk-taking, passionate and innovative leadership. A clear mission, strategy and culture to support improved customer experience. An understanding that customer experience is more than just providing a contact centre. Using technology effectively to support the whole customer experience rather than allow it to take over and drive that experience. A commitment to ensure that processes deliver a holistic customer experience. A keen understanding that customer service is an investment not a cost. A realisation that CRM is more than just technology. Support for our people to enable them to realise their full potential and differentiate service through their innovation and intelligence. An embracing of innovation. Early market entry with innovative new business models. Using customer data to change the way we do business. Measuring what matters to the customer, not simply profit and loss. In order to achieve our ambitious goals we follow a rigorous methodology. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, we concentrate on customer outcomes. We closely examine the effectiveness of the customer contact, for example, I only needed to call once to get my problem resolved, rather than focusing on the cost savings of the interaction. Secondly, we trace the customer s journey across BT s various processes, which helps to identify which service capabilities and products have been called upon to realise a customer experience. And finally, we use hothouses to develop new or improved service capabilities that help refine the customer experience. Through using hothouses, which bring together all of the relevant stakeholders, including BT staff, suppliers and customers for intensive, collaborative sessions, we are able to identify where improvements can be made and enhance the overall experience enjoyed by our customers. 4.2 At the forefront of innovation BT is, and has been for a number of years, at the forefront of providing innovative business solutions for its global customer base. Our strategy is to become the global supplier of choice for major business customers seeking robust, secure and highly functional networked IT services. The ongoing construction of our all-ip 21st Century Network, which is capable of providing the infrastructure for converged services backed-up by global presence, is the outcome of, but not the framework for, our thinking in terms of innovation. BT is, and always has been, an innovator and it is this capacity for and history of innovation that gives us our unique advantage. In the last year or so, we have been developing a new approach to innovation based on open principles, which focuses on turning innovation into value. Our aim is to provide ITSM and ITIL solutions based upon standard, repeatable components that provide the following benefits: Accelerated delivery: Through re-use of modular components for large and complex contracts. Consistency of service: Enabling every part of an organisation to speak ITIL will ensure that across business units and geographies companies can speak the same language with customers. Better and more transparent communications with customers: Using a single consistent language for interfacing with our customers will cut down misunderstandings and enhance the positive customer experience. Lower cost base: Using ITIL is an important enabler in our strategy of building re-usable modular components to serve our customers and reduce their costs in a competitive market. 8

9 4.3 Providing customised solutions It is through our capacity to marry our renowned networking capability with our highly-developed solutions business to provide clients with customised solutions that extend past transport layer, to include IT services, CRM and application management and outsourcing that sets BT apart from other providers. We achieve this through leveraging our broad skills in network design, seamless service management, local language support and capacity to integrate third party capabilities where they are needed. We also deploy many of the most advanced IT solutions we have developed for internal use in our drive to provide the highest level of functionality and service to our clients. As a global service provider with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in both network management provision and systems integration capabilities we are now focused on building a best practice IT services business. To this end we have formed an alliance with Hewlett Packard (HP) that will enable us to combine networking and IT services into a single service capability. By doing so we will be able to offer customers a standard, end-to-end integrated service that goes beyond IT stitched onto a networks solution or networks stitched onto an IT solution. 4.4 Integrated services architecture Working alongside HP we have developed an innovative, integrated services architecture (ISA) to ensure end-to-end quality and integrity of data across the client s joined infrastructure. Using ITIL as a common language, BT and HP have now aligned ten processes and implemented an automated ticket exchange to support the integrated incident management process between both companies, an example of business-to-business bonding that uses the principles and language of ITIL, but also goes beyond it. In a bold move, we merged our systems integration and networks services organisations in the summer of 2005, which has enabled us to implement six key enablers that will allow us to deliver a robust integrated service offering. 1. Standardising our ITIL offering: Many BT employees have been trained in ITIL and we are assembling skills communities, through the use of a standard skills capture tool, which will enable us to more consistently identify and leverage the skills of our people. 2. Achieve ISO/IEC registration: We have already implemented best practice at the request of some of our major customers, such as the UK National Health Service and have already achieved registration as far as our IT operations are concerned for service supplied to a number of European countries. 3. Develop standard ITIL-based processes: Our experience of implementing ITIL best practices for major customers has allowed us to develop a series of standard ITIL processes that can be integrated into the process management framework. This will allow us to achieve a single way of doing things across both IT and network services. 4. Develop the systems to enable effective process implementation: We are developing a systems architecture for the delivery of integrated services, using mainly New Generation Operations Systems and Software (NGOSS) principles, based on the process requirements from both ITIL and enhanced Telecoms Operations Map (e-tom). 5. Embed ITIL into our portfolio development: we aim to place ITIL at the heart of our portfolio offering and as a consequence are building it in to our products and services 6. Develop our people s skills and engage them in the change: We aim to develop our people s skills through the skills communities we have established so they are capable of meeting the networked IT services requirements of our customers. We have established a major change programme to develop a New Breed of Services Organisation through leveraging a formal change management methodology that will help to ensure that this transformation delivers the expected results. 4.5 Investing in customer service An indication of BT s commitment to providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction is the amount of investment that we have committed to improving our portfolio of services. In the past year more than 90m have been invested on improved CRM infrastructure, enhanced network availability and improved service processes. We employ more than 14,000 highly skilled service and technical professionals located in more than 170 countries worldwide and every year we gather feedback from more than 30,000 corporate and government clients on how we are performing. The information we receive drives our focus on improving performance in the areas that matter most to our customers, ranging from initial customer engagement to planning, delivery, commissioning, billing and support. Every action that we take as a result of this extensive performance monitoring is closely examined by our senior managers to ensure that service levels are maintained and enhanced where possible. The end result of this commitment to the highest levels of service is reflected in our recent performance figures. In the past year we have achieved per cent network availability performance, delivered 95 per cent of 40,000 orders per month by the customer committed date and cleared 95 per cent of severity 1 faults within the specified SLA. The strength of our commitment to improving customer satisfaction has been recognised by both our customers and the industry, with BT receiving several awards and accolades from industry analysts and recognised service institutions. 9

10 5 Conclusion About BT For companies and organisations seeking to thrive in the digital networked economy the emergence of fully integrated network and IT services solutions represent a significant opportunity to reduce cost, improve business performance and minimise the complexity of managing multiple forms of communication. In a rapidly evolving business environment that is increasingly encompassing dynamic horizontal working relationships, the capacity to speak in a common business language is becoming a pre-requisite for success. BT s strategy of providing ITSM services complemented by robust ITIL solutions and supported by an integrated service architecture will help its customers respond effectively to the demands of the 21st Century customer. The rich functionality of our portfolio, combined with our renowned commitment to customer service and industry-recognised network and applications expertise, will enable our customers to manage their global IT infrastructure in a manner that is simple, complete and integrated into their specific business needs. BT is one of the world s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale. We view our approach to customer service as one of our most important weapons in an evolving business environment. We don t see ourselves as a technology business; we re a people business and as a result aim to deliver services that truly measure-up to our brand values. By designing everything around the needs of our customers we help them succeed in the digital networked economy on their own terms. 10

11 About the Author References Roel Louwhoff President Customer Service and Network Operations, BT Global Services Roel Louwhoff is responsible for the BT customer experience throughout Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Leading a global team of 14,000 people, Roel views his remit as driving up customer satisfaction whilst providing a consistent experience for BT s customers and reducing customer dissatisfaction to worldclass levels where the customer experience is reflected in value for money. Roel has set himself and his team a clear goal for BT to be recognised within the next two years as an industry leader providing world-class customer service. 1 Shaw C and Ivens J: Building Great Customer Experiences, Palgrave Macmillan (2002). 2 The digital networked economy Communication has always defined how business works. We are now entering a new age where the information systems that have already transformed how we work can now interconnect. Through their interaction they are creating new opportunities, changing customer expectations and redefining how businesses can organise themselves and their assets. Low cost broadband connections mean this power is reaching into every aspect of international life, and transforming the global economy. This is the digital networked economy. Because BT s business has always been about bringing people together, bridging gaps between systems and locations, enabling communication and interaction, we bring a unique perspective to the challenges of working in this economy. 3 Information Technology Integrated Library is a framework of best practice approaches to delivering high-quality IT services. It represents an extensive set of supplier-independent management procedures that are intended to support businesses in achieving quality and value for money from IT operations and providing guidance across infrastructure, development and operations. 11

12 Offices worldwide The services described in this publication are subject to availability and may be modified from time to time. Services and equipment are provided subject to British Telecommunications plc s respective standard conditions of contract. Nothing in this publication forms any part of any contract. British Telecommunications plc 2007 Registered office: 81 Newgate Street, London. EC1A 7AJ Registered in England No Designed by Unigraph Limited 22853/01/07. Printed in England. PHME 51962

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