City of Buffalo Automates IT Service Management and Improves Self-Service Delivery
City governments aren’t typically known for their speed of service. But with help from TeamDynamix, the city of Buffalo, N.Y.’s Department of Management Information Systems is streamlining the delivery of IT service for 2,100 city employees. As employees receive faster IT service, they’re able to serve Buffalo’s 250,000-plus residents more effectively.
The TeamDynamix IT service management (ITSM) platform enhances the delivery of IT service in many ways. For instance:
- Automated workflows ensure that no service request falls through the cracks and results in frustrating delays.
- Managers can track the status of all service requests from start to finish, and they can analyze key metrics to identify potential bottlenecks and drive continuous improvement.
- A knowledge base and self-service portal reduce the amount of time that IT staff must spend fielding calls, answering questions, and routing requests—enabling them to focus on more strategic work.
Creating an employee self-service portal was a pivotal step in streamlining IT service for the city.
Enabling Employee Self-Service
“Creating an employee self-service portal was a pivotal step in streamlining IT service for the city,” says System Support Analyst Nathan Ignatz.
Powered by TeamDynamix, the portal allows city employees to find answers to their IT questions online. This provides instant gratification for employees and eliminates the need for further assistance in many cases.
If employees can’t resolve their own IT issue, they can submit a service request through the portal by choosing from an online service catalog. Their request is then routed automatically to an appropriate IT staff member for a response, based on the nature of the problem or request.
Aided by the dynamic workflows built into the TeamDynamix platform, a small team of IT staff members create and maintain knowledge base articles for the city, ensuring that this information always remains relevant and up to date.
“Before the service portal existed, employees would call or email the help desk to ask questions or request service,” Ignatz says. This tied up IT staff time in fielding questions, creating service tickets, and getting them into the hands of the correct team members. Having employees enter service requests directly through the portal ensures a faster resolution to their issue and frees up IT staff to work on other tasks instead.
“It allows us to provide service quicker,” Ignatz observes.
Of course, having a service portal means nothing if employees aren’t using it. Building awareness of the portal and encouraging employees to use it requires continual effort. Buffalo’s IT team has implemented creative approaches to tackling this challenge.
For instance, Ignatz and his colleagues meet quarterly with all of the employees who’ve called or emailed the help desk for service during that quarter in order to promote the service portal and explain how it can help them get a faster resolution to their problem or question in the future.
“The quarterly meetings have definitely helped with the adoption of the portal,” Ignatz says. “Discovering who needs a little nudge helps.”
Since implementing these quarterly meetings, the city’s IT department has reduced the number of phone calls to its help desk by at least 20 percent.
“We’d love to have 100-percent adoption of self-service, but I recognize that likely won’t happen,” Ignatz says. “There will always be people who just like the human interaction of a phone call.”
Resolving Tickets Quickly
Having the ability to track the status of service requests through TeamDynamix ensures that tickets are resolved in a timely manner. In addition, the platform’s intuitive reporting capabilities give Ignatz and other IT leaders key insights that are helping them improve IT service, such as the average time it takes to resolve various kinds of support tickets.
Team members meet regularly to go over core metrics and discuss how they can further improve operational efficiency.
Resolving support tickets faster not only empowers city employees to be more effective; it also creates more time for IT staff to complete other work, such as installing new hardware and software and making other enhancements to IT operations.
“Resolving tickets quickly is critical,” Ignatz concludes, “and that’s a key benefit of using TeamDynamix.”