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University of Gloucestershire extends ICT service management software to Facilities

Two key departments within the University of Gloucestershire, ICT and Estates, are working together to offset their investment in Service Management software and achieve sweeping process improvements. The University, which is home to 11,000 students and 1000 staff, is showing a proactive approach to the financial pressure now common to higher education establishments.

ICT Manager Clive Fenton and Head of Facilities Andy Simpson have extended the use of Sunrise’s service management software Sostenuto to manage not only the University’s ICT queries but also Estates issues raised by students and staff.

Clive Fenton introduced Sostenuto to ICT in 2008, based on its flexibility and adaptability, which meant that the system could be tailored to other service desks across the university.

“The long term objective, right from the word ‘go’, has been to use Sostenuto across a range of services,” said Clive. “This falls in line with the vision of having a combined helpdesk bringing together general operations and business information systems. Such a structure is ideal for allowing jobs to flow through the system unhindered, and importantly, avoiding a proliferation of applications which would be expensive and resource intensive to support.”

With ICT service level performance having been raised from 70% to 90% as a result of the project, the idea emerged to extend the use of Sostenuto to fulfil the requirements of the Estates department.

“Our aim was to create a process driven Facilities function, underpinned by Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM),” explained Andy Simpson, who is responsible for support services and the Estates administration helpdesk, taking care of the University’s buildings set across the five campuses, as well as off-site halls of residencies. “We were using an old access database which had lots of issues and wanted to engage with a CAFM system, however we were not in a position to fully commit to one.”

Estates now uses Sostenuto to manage the myriad of calls it receives from students and staff with property related issues, from leaking toilets to ‘no power to the building’. The software is used to log these calls, monitor progress and link into other sources of information, such as the asbestos database.

“Our main drivers for the project were threefold,” continued Andy. “To offer a better service to our customers, maintain accuracy of records and ensure legal compliance. We looked at a number of solutions. The reason we chose Sostenuto to drive forward our Facilities function was not just that it had been tried and tested in IT, it was also the software’s inbuilt flexibility to accommodate our specific needs.”

“Now,” he concluded, “We will be able to carry out fault trend analysis, cost analysis, as well as improve compliance with the numerous rules and regulations with which we have to comply, from asbestos monitoring to permits to work. Trend analysis informs us on decisions such as whether a boiler needs renewing, and to justify the investment. Sostenuto allows us to use data to understand what’s happening, so that we can predict and plan our activity. Simply put, it allows us to be proactive.”