Kingdom of Belgium
ICT Shared Services
Belgian Government ICT Shared Services switched from CA Service Desk Manager to 4me for improved SLA tracking and increased collaboration.
Shared ICT Services for Belgium’s Government Agencies
ICT Shared Services provides information and communication technology services to nearly 35 of Belgium’s federal government agencies and public services. The organization offers more than 50 different ICT services including Mail and SharePoint, federal government website hosting, SAP platform hosting and e-premier (a workflow application for the Council of Ministers). The customers of ICT Shared Services include the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Fedict, Personnel & Organization, and Budget & Control, but also very large organizations like the Belgian Police Forces. Relying on a shared services organization provides these organizations improved economies of scale.
Running a shared services organizations for multiple government entities has its challenges, especially when orchestration is a strategic objective.
“Fundamentally, though, we believe that we need to deliver what we promise. To enable our people to deliver on our promises, we needed to make sure they can see how we are performing against our targets,” says Yves Vander Auwera, Director ICT Shared Services. “Giving access to this information reinforces the open culture that we have managed to establish within our organization. And when something goes wrong, we do not try to cover it up. Not for ourselves and not for our customers. In fact, since we implemented 4me, our customers have access to the same single version of the truth regarding the services we deliver.”
But the cold numbers are only one aspect that has helped ICT Shared Services improve its service delivery. There is also the day-to-day reality of its customers. They can be under a lot of pressure, especially at times when their work is attracting much media attention. In such situations, the SLAs may dictate a specific resolution target, but in practice the customers are faced with a political situation that requires the fastest possible response.
- Orchestration becoming more important as parts of the service delivery are co-sourced
- Contracts with external service providers stipulate strict targets and penalties
- Accurate tracking of service levels obtained from third parties, and provided to external customers has become critical
- Need to work together with the IT departments of strategic customers
- Data privacy and security a major concern
- Language sensitivity must be respected
Offering customers premium service
“4me provides us the flexibility that allows us to push a customer request to the top of the list, without affecting the overall service delivery level,” explains Yves Vander Auwera.
“And then we also rely on some external providers for parts of the services we deliver,” continues Yves Vander Auwera. “Our contracts with these third parties have strict targets and there are financial implications when these targets are not met. So we simply had to have the ability to get a common objective and transparent view of the services delivered, while at the same time we have tried to improve our overall efficiency with our external service providers. That’s the unique capability that convinced us to look at 4me in more detail.”
Even though it might have been possible to customize the existing service management application to track all dependencies between the services that are provided to external customers and the services that are obtained from external service providers, the costs would have been prohibitive. Yves Vander Auwera points out: “With 4me we get these advanced features out of the box. We also considered the efficiency with which our specialists are able to manage their work. That has improved dramatically with 4me.”
There was one more factor that ultimately convinced ICT Shared Services to migrate. “With 4me we are now able to offer each of our customers their own premium IT service management environment. Each environment is completely autonomous, yet they allow requests to be passed to us without having to build any integrations,” says Yves Vander Auwera.
ICT Shared Services implemented 4me for the support of the following
- Request Fulfilment
- Incident Management
- Problem Management
- Change Management
- Service Catalog Management
- Service Level Management
- Configuration Management
- Capacity Management
“It took one month to prepare the production environment for ICT Shared Services,” says Wouter Wyns, Service Management Consultant for Atos. “After that we used the relatively quiet summer period to pilot 4me.
“The speed of implementation is incomparable with a toolbox ITSM solution,” adds Wouter Wyns. “4me’s out-of-the-box functionality is much more sophisticated. 4me does not allow organizations to stray from the right path, and yet it is incredibly flexible. Had it not been, we would not have been able to implement it in such a complex environment as ICT Shared Services with all its external customers and third party service providers.”
- 4me installed on-premise within the data centers of ICT Shared Services
- Separate 4me accounts prepared for the larger customers that have their own IT department
- Around 100 IT specialists of different organizations are working together
- All agreements with customers and external providers are tracked
- All customers are served in their preferred language
The public services Fedict and Budget & Control have already set up their own 4me accounts. This enables their IT departments to work directly with ICT Shared Services while 4me tracks their agreements. What is special about these 4me accounts is that they are all hosted on a high-availability infrastructure within the data centers of ICT Shared Services. Because the 4me data is stored only in these data centers, ICT Shared Services has complete control over the security and privacy of this data, which was a specific requirement for the new IT service management solution. “The on-premise 4me solution has performed very well,” notes Wouter Wyns. “Since the initial installation, we have already completed 2 upgrades and they both went smoothly.
“It takes an actual implementation in a complex government environment to fully appreciate 4me’s completeness and flexibility.”
Wouter Wyns, Atos