For a newly-trimmed Service Desk department, coping with over 200 analysts across 16 divisions as diverse as payroll and motor vehicles was a big ask. That was, until they used vFire + vRealize Orchestrator to automate their Active Directory updates.
Account creation wait times reduced from 2 days to 30 minutes; massive time savings – the equivalent of two full-time employees? That’s music to a Government Agency’s ears.
Find out how they did it.
The Department utilized the Alemba vRO adapter to automate its Active Directory updates in vFire
The Department currently has over 200 analysts using vFire across 16 partitions
A restructure within a New South Wales Government Department meant that Service Desk staff were reduced from 34 to 18. With fewer hands on deck to tackle the workload of the rapidly growing agency, the Service Desk team were faced with a dilemma. They needed to find an innovative way to do more with less, without compromising on the speed and quality of service delivery.
The quickest solution was to identify and streamline those tasks that were taking up the most of the team’s time. Reports were run to identify the highest consumed services, and the results were eye-opening. The reports revealed that the majority of work performed was transactional and administrative. 61% of the top ten call types were creating, deleting, extending or modifying accounts, all of which could easily be automated. 19% of the top ten calls could have been resolved by implementing self-service password resets and a further 18% of the top ten calls could have been resolved by implementing a customer-facing knowledge base.
Manually processing, for example, account extensions meant that what should be a simple task was taking up to 15 minutes to complete. Considering the Department was processing up to 3000 account extensions per year, this all added up to a lot of wasted work hours.
Diagram courtesy of LIDA
It was clear that the automation of the highest consumed services would drastically enhance efficiency and service delivery speeds. “We decided to begin by automating those services that would be the easiest to do and have the largest impact”, says the Team Leader of Technical Support. This included some low hanging fruit, such as account creations, updates, extensions and deletions.
“We realised that if we managed to achieve automation, implement self-service password resets and implement a customer-facing knowledge base, we’d have removed almost 20% of our total volume across customer services”
Once the Department’s team had identified the best services to automate, the next step was deciding how to go about automating these services. The Alemba team recommended the use of VMware’s vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) to achieve the required automation.
How exactly does vRO integrate with vFire to automate services? It’s simple: vRO provides a set of plug-ins which let you run automated workflows against your existing infrastructure and tools. vFire is capable of initiating those workflows and passing parameters through to them.
The Alemba vRO adapter was the ideal solution to the Department’s need to find ways to automate its Active Directory updates.
The first order of business was to create new workflows for the Department, which were published on vFire Self Service. Once a user submits a form, a workflow is kicked off, and vRO and vFire begin to work their magic behind the scenes:
With the automation in place, no IT person needs to be involved in the process, except for the very rare occasions where an update fails. This frees Service Desk staff from performing monotonous tasks, saving time, energy and money.
The vRO automation process was simple and quick to implement. The Technical Support Team Leader and his team were up and running within a day or two without any real issues.
“We processed over 2600 account updates in the past six months, and all of them have been automated and all of them have been successful.”
What is being automated?
The Department chose to automate account extensions, account deletions, account creations and a portion of their account modifications.
A successful audit all of the account extensions has been completed and the Department is on track to reduce volumes by 3000 calls per year. “My service delivery team is exceptionally happy that we completed this by the end of the year last year, when there seems to be a peak of contract extensions,” says the Technical Support Team Leader.
The Department automated all of their account creations and deletions, reducing the wait times for new accounts from 2 days to 30 minutes. New customers can now be up and running quicker than ever before.
The Department also automated account updates, including location, contact details, reporting line and organisational hierarchy with a workflow connection to the HR team for the confirmation of details.
All in all, it was a big win for the Department. The Technical Team Leader says: “We processed over 2600 account updates in the past six months, and all of them have been automated and all of them have been successful.”
The Department reports a staggering total saving of over 2 FTE. Here’s the break down per service:
|Extend Account||Over 51 hours saved per month|
|Create User Account||Over 131 hours saved per month|
|Delete User Account||Over 62 hours saved per month|
|Updating User Account||Over 55 hours saved per month|
Here’s how the Department plan to further improve their Service Desk with vFire’s automation capabilities: