APA-IT selected 4me to help with a greater emphasis on collaboration with customers and to provide a platform for better access to service from the organization. 4me now enables APA-IT to offer customers their own 4me environment for closer service collaboration.
Leader in Media Solutions
APA-IT is Austria’s leading supplier of outsourced media solutions. As a full service provider, APA-IT runs everything from corporate web sites and content management systems, to online newspapers and live video streaming. As a specialist in the media world, APA-IT on average logs more than 1.2 billion page impressions per month in its data centers. APA-IT hosts the web sites of Austria’s leading media enterprises. Its data centers are therefore equipped to handle the extreme traffic volumes that occur, for example, during elections and major sporting events.
The Need for a Modern Approach
The primary tool that the specialists at APA-IT were using to manage the support for the services was OMNITRACKER. Increasingly, however, it became clear that a different approach was needed; one that places more emphasis on collaboration with customers and performance tracking.
“We recognize that customers expect more transparency from their service providers,” explains Thomas Fruhstuck, Head of Strategy and Operation at APA-IT. “They also want their service providers to act as an integral part of their support organization. With 4me we are now able to offer our customers a whole new experience.”
The Self Service environment that APA-IT configured in 4me for its customers was the first step. It allows them to request standard services and submit incidents. The necessary forms are now dynamically incorporated in the different types of requests, which make them easier to fill out. This also ensures that the specialists who work on these requests do not need to leave the application to access these forms. And – if required – approvals or confirmations from the customer are now handled online in 4me Self Service. Some customers want to work even more closely together with APA-IT. For them, APA-IT sets up their own secure 4me environment. This allows these organizations to simply pass requests from their end-users to APA-IT when assistance is needed. Having their own 4me environment also gives them access to the real-time reports for the SLAs they obtain from APA-IT.
- IT Outsourcing
- Austria, Germany and Switzerland
- Customer support interface primarily dependent on email, despite well-defined and detailed support processes
- Unable to collect accurate support performance data for SLA reporting
- Obtaining formal approval from key customer contacts was time consuming
- Customer data may not be stored outside Austria
APA-IT contracted techwork to assist with the process of migration, because techwork had already successfully completed a few 4me implementations for other organizations in Austria. The goal was to complete the migration around existing projects with minimum disruption.
The implementation officially started with the on-premise installation of the 4me software. The single sign-on and email interfaces were activated at the same time. The next step was the population of the database. During this phase of the project, techwork primarily focused on the development of the interfaces for the export and import of data required for the registration of the service catalog, service hierarchy, customers, SLAs and configuration items. Close collaboration between APA-IT and techwork resulted in an optimized data structure and improved data relevance. This, allowed the specialists to immediately feel comfortable working in 4me.
After the data population activities were completed, the focus shifted to data maintenance. The necessary procedures were updated by techwork to describe which activities have to be performed in 4me when new customers obtain subscriptions to services, when new service instances are configured for existing customers, etc. These procedures were subsequently registered in 4me as standard changes. The workflows of these changes ensure that no steps are forgotten. They provide the basis for continuous process improvement and automated provisioning.
The following ITIL processes were included in the scope of the
deployment of the 4me service:
- Request Fulfilment
- Incident Management
- Problem Management
- Change Management
- Service Level Management
- Configuration Management
4me online Specialist Training module and training sessions provided by techwork were used to get APA-IT’s project team comfortable with the new ITSM tool. One hour in-house training sessions were then provided for all APA-IT specialists prior to go live.
- 4me Self Service provides customers online access to APA-IT’s support organization
- Customer contacts registered in 4me to facilitate the collection of digital approvals
- Customers that interface constantly with APA-IT can get their own secured 4me environment that allows them to work together seamlessly with API-IT specialists on incidents and changes without the need for an integration
- All customer SLAs have been registered in 4me ensuring real-time tracking and reporting of support performance
- 4me hosted on-premise to ensure customer data remains in Austria
From the first day 4me was taken into production, APA-IT customers started to use the 4me Self Service support portal, and over 110 APA-IT specialists started to use the 4me Inbox to manage their work. Since that day, the SLA reports are being generated to provide APA-IT the data it needs to ensure that its support resources are correctly allocated and the needs of its customers are being met. “Our customers are now able to track the progress of the incidents and change requests that we handle for them,” says Thomas Fruhstuck. “Add to that the fact that we are now able to share accurate service level management statistics with them. One can see how this has increased the level of confidence they place in our ability to run their services.”
“One of our customers, who wasn’t using 4me but to whom we’ve opened the self-service portal that comes with 4me, gave us the following feedback a month after go live: ‘I could no longer live without it’. This says it all.”
Thomas Fruhstuck. APA-IT