Province of Antwerp
The Province of Antwerp Switched to 4me to Increase Service Quality and Efficiency
BOOST IN USER SATISFACTION
For the Province’s Dynamic IT Organization 4me Proved to Be the Perfect Fit to Modernize and Improve Their Service Management.
As a dynamic regional government, the Province of Antwerp wants to make sure that the area is attractive to live, to work and to visit. They are committed to acting as a partner to the 69 municipalities where people live and to the associations and overarching organizations working for the interests of those inhabitants. Since 2018 they are located in a new modern provincial building that is part of the Antwerp skyline.
Their centralized IT organization provides its services to a large range of different organizations, around 50 of them, from schools to research centers. These are spread over 30 locations across the province, with around 2,500 end users.
The well-organized IT department has around 75 dedicated employees, external and internal, who work hard to ensure that the diverse group of customers can all work in a safe and efficient IT environment. This can be quite complex to organize with the enormous variety of services. To be able to do this efficiently, one of the most important tools is an IT service management application.
The Best ITSM Tool to Serve the Province’s Needs
Every 4 years, government organizations are required to renew a contract by issuing a tender. It was at that time that 4me was invited to present their solution. Karel Scheerlinck, team leader of IT operations at the Province of Antwerp, explains that four companies were invited to participate in the tender.
In the end, 4me was chosen based on the requirements from the tender. Karel: “It simply was the best tool based on the criteria that we set. 4me’s solution fulfilled our comprehensive set of requirements and the whole process was very interactive. It was what we call ‘a tender with negotiation’ and there were several contact moments and question and answer sessions during which 4me convinced us of their expertise and superior and innovative solution.” Criteria were price, quality of the service (which SLAs can you offer, how the tool works) and the plan of action for the migration to 4me.
Karel: “And this time, we also added an evaluation of the proof of concept by test users as one of the criteria which really made the difference in the case of 4me. Everyone in the test panel was very enthusiastic and impressed by 4me.”
- Antwerp, Belgium
- The Province of Antwerp was in need of an easy-to-use and modern service management solution that would help them create greater efficiency.
“Switching our IT service management tool to 4me turned out to be a great decision. During the tender, our test panel was already very enthusiastic about 4me’s innovative and user-friendly solution and now that we’ve been working with it for a year, I can say that all our expectations have been more than fulfilled. We’ve seen a real boost in efficiency and user satisfaction. I would recommend 4me to anyone who’s looking to improve service management quality and efficiency.”
Karel Scheerlinck, Team Leader IT Operations
The 4me implementation was efficiently organized by 4me’s partner Infravison in collaboration with the Province of Antwerp’s IT department. The process started in October 2019 and the plan was to launch in April 2020. Technically everything was ready in time for the launch. However, at the end of March, we were suddenly faced with a lockdown due to COVID-19, which put a lot of extra pressure on the IT department. It was felt to be a shame to introduce this great new tool during this hectic time and it was decided to delay the introduction and focus on the COVID situation first. In the end, the introduction was postponed until July 2020 so that IT could offer the necessary support when the 4me tool was introduced.
4me went live quickly and without any problems. The team used the additional three months to prepare and add some additional components. They created more knowledge articles and instruction videos, and where possible, they made an extra effort to create workflows, request forms, etc. So, when the new tool finally went live, the IT team was really well prepared. Karel: “The collaboration with Infravision was great; it was a pleasure to work with them! The entire process was managed very smoothly.”
To train the team, the ‘Train the trainer’ principle was used. The support team that takes care of the day-to-day management of 4me first received training on how to manage the tool. Aside from this training, IT also used the online training platform that is included in 4me. This support team then trained the other IT specialists. There was an online classroom training specifically designed for the province, and during this training, the 4me basics were also covered.
For the end users, a short 4me instruction video with an Antwerp voice-over was used. This was an ideal way to introduce them to the system. On top of that, the team successfully introduced a learning platform for specialists as well as end users. The platform consists of various tiles on 1 page with the most relevant instructions for frequently used items.
- Request Fulfillment
- Incident Management
- Knowledge Management
- Self Service
- Problem Management
- Asset & Configuration
- Service Level Management
- Change Management
4me went live in July 2020 and was received with much enthusiasm by its users.
Karel: “The first time that I said ‘YES, this is it!’ was when requests were coming in via customized templates with the right information and immediately ended up with the third line support team who had all the information needed to start working on it. Before, people often filled in standard forms with inadequate information, which meant the third line team had to call first to obtain the extra information needed to solve the issue or problem. With 4me, this was all handled more efficiently.”
“The second time was when we received the first feedback from the end users. We announced the new tool on the intranet with an instruction video and a learning platform to help people get used to the new system quickly. As the tool is intuitive and easy to use, the end users adapted easily and with enthusiasm to this new way of interacting with IT.”
“The third time was when other departments actually started to ask me about the tool to check if they could use it too. That is when you know you’ve made the right choice.”
Working with 4me’s system also forced IT to have a good look at the service catalog to continually improve the quality and efficiency. The team talked to service owners to discuss what they were offering and if it was all arranged in an efficient manner. Since the introduction of 4me, IT has initiated an annual review of the service catalog to check whether it still meets the needs and expectations.
As a result of the switch to 4me, the IT organization has seen an enormous increase in efficiency and a boost in user satisfaction. The end users are delighted as they feel the system works very well for them, giving them the chance to solve issues quickly and get back to doing their work.
Over the past year, on average around 1,000 requests a month have been handled through 4me. It is amazingly easy to find out who can help you with a question or problem, whereas before this often proved difficult and time-consuming. The tool is intuitive and from the number of knowledge articles used, IT can tell it is working well. People enter a search word, click through, and indicate that they received the help they needed. This ‘Shift left’ is particularly important to improve efficiency.
Karel: “What we notice is that people are charmed by 4me’s Self Service portal. They like the way things are highlighted and linked to knowledge articles. This empowers them to solve issues for themselves. And this is great advertising for the tool of course. More and more departments are now saying they are interested in what our IT organization has achieved with 4me, which is an enormous compliment for the IT support group and 4me.”
The success of the switch to 4me is the result of a combination of different players. It all started with the power of the 4me tool, which was implemented flawlessly in collaboration with the experienced team at Infravision. And after that, the IT organization, who had a dedicated team working on the 4me solution, worked hard to make it a success.
“It goes to show, sometimes you have to be bold and open to new ways to fulfill your ambitions. Selecting 4me felt a bit like stepping off the beaten track, but it really worked out well for us.”
Karel Scheerlinck, Team Leader IT Operations