April 2014: The specialist outsourced IT support operation provided by Retail Assist’s IT Help Desk, to Wandsworth London Borough Council, is now live.
The Council contracted with Retail Assist 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 Retail Assist does for retailers in particular.
“We could not help but be impressed by Retail Assist’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 at Retail Assist, adds: “The out-of-hours service we provide encompasses a 1st line Help Desk, 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.”
For more information about Retail Assist’s Help Desk, click here.