The technical support operation provided by specialist outsourced IT service, The Help Desk, to Wandsworth London Borough Council is now live.
The Council contracted with The Help Desk last summer for an out-of-hours telephone service to support an increasing number of staff who work outside of normal hours, and need access to key systems. The first phase of service rollout took place in July; the second and final phase took place in February 2014.
As David Tidey, Head of IT & Business Communications for the Council explains: “Working practices have evolved over the past few years. When we looked at the situation more closely, we realised a growing number of staff were working longer hours than just those spent in the office and therefore needed to access the systems they rely upon to do their job at any time and from any location. To facilitate this change, we looked at the resourcing of our help desk services.”
“It was a challenge to get 24/7 coverage efficiently and cost-effectively using our own team, so we looked at other options,” continues Tidey. In the course of his research, Tidey’s attention was caught by the work The Help Desk does for retailers in particular.
“We could not help but be impressed by The Help Desk’s experience and scope of support operations across industries such as retail and hospitality. It was clear they could provide precisely the skillsets and out-of-hours coverage we needed and do this more cost-effectively than our resourcing it internally,” he says.
The Council’s strategic objectives for the project included improving the organisational structure and performance of this team by taking responsibility for the checking of critical systems; not just reacting to things going wrong. At the same time, the Council has been able to redirect or restructure available resources to respond to critical system issues elsewhere.
“The activities of the council do not stop at 5.30pm, “comments Tidey. “With The Help Desk’s out-of-hours support to back them up, our staff now has round-the-clock access to critical systems to support the citizens within the local community. Better IT support is helping our staff to provide a better service in the care of citizens in Wandsworth.”
Dan Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Managed Services of The Help Desk, adds: “The out-of-hours service we provide encompasses a 1st line helpdesk, scheduled job checking and reporting, and network and server monitoring. In addition to supporting staff in their systems access and resolving any technical issues that come to light, we share the knowledge we get from our proactive monitoring. This intelligence helps us and Council IT staff to address any potential technical issues before they turn into problems.”
About The Help Desk www.thehelpdeskuk.com
Formed in 1999, The Help Desk (part of Retail Assist) has 14 years’ experience offering high-quality outsourced IT solutions, help desk services and facilities management solutions. With all services tailored to fit the needs of the individual customer, The Help Desk offers a unique provision, bridging the gap between the capabilities of in-house IT departments and the services traditionally offered by systems providers.
Specialising in incident management and remote desktop support for a variety of market sectors, the service includes support across the entire business from head office to front line. Services are available in seven foreign languages where required.
The Help Desk provides around the clock support 365 days a year. It works to ISO 20000 accredited processes for better results. Call handling is undertaken by highly-trained professionals, who can provide rapid remote desktop support. Services can extend to 3rd party supplier management and facilities management to save client businesses time and money and ensure the smooth functioning of their complete environment.
About Wandsworth London Borough Council www.wandsworth.gov.uk
Local authority, Wandsworth London Borough Council, is one of 32 London borough councils. Wandsworth is divided into 20 wards, each electing three councillors. Since 1978, the Conservatives have had an overall majority on the Council.
The Council’s Health & Social Care department includes a specialist Children & Families team dedicated to the health and wellbeing of infants and young people, covering areas such as adoption, fostering, parenting and childcare, and youth services.
The Council’s work takes place against a backdrop of racial, religious and cultural diversity. Its adoption services in particular have secured ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted ratings.