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14 May 2008

Shere Booking and Ticketing Systems has selected Hornbill’s Supportworks, the service desk management solution for its customer service desk. Shere pioneered and developed the FAST range of self-service ticketing systems that you find in most railway stations and airports in the UK. They supply bespoke machine versions to more than 26 train operating companies and airlines, as well as specialist self-service reception kiosks for hotels. Hornbill’s Supportworks is used by over 16 support desk engineers to track calls at Shere’s support centre in Guildford. The team are supporting more than 1200 self-service machines installed at client sites nationwide. Since implementing Supportworks, Shere has seen improved productivity and efficiency of its engineers, as well as the ability to meet and exceed stringent SLAs, avoiding sometimes significant financial penalties.

Supportworks automatically captures, logs and allocates problems to the service desk team, many of which are raised automatically by the machines themselves. The machines connected to clients own local networks use VPN technology to allow the machines to communicate directly with the support centre systems.

A key driver in the selection of Hornbill’s solution was to allow Shere to optimise their ability to meet it’s Service Level and contractual obligations associated with each customer contract. The SLAs are specific to each client, with an SLA matrix automatically determining the severity, chargeability and regional allocation. Any problems that arise with these machines need to be dealt with quickly to avoid penalty charges being incurred. The automation is key to achieving this.

According to Dave Webster, Support Manager at Shere; “For our clients, being able to provide tickets and handle payments is a critical part of their business. The machines that we provide account for almost a billion pounds worth of business annually.

“Our core business is developing and providing self-service ticketing machines, and we wanted to concentrate on this. We recognised that we required a reliable, efficient service management system to support our customers and rectify problems when they occur, and Hornbill’s Supportworks met with all our criteria.”

The customer support desk resolves 60-70% calls remotely, says Webster, and over 50% calls are rectified on first contact. When a call cannot be resolved, the area supervisor is contacted who can access the details via a handheld PDA and send the location and nature of the problem to the nearest engineer. The engineer then updates and closes the call.

Supportwork’s open architecture enabled easy integration with the system monitoring solution, Insight. Insight provides a traffic light system (green, amber and red) that alerts Shere to machine status in real time. This is linked to Honbill’s Supportworks solution, which in turn advises customers of the call status and resolution progress.

Gerry Sweeney, CEO of Hornbill Systems commented, “Shere have built their business on providing and supporting efficient, reliable machines that sell tickets, these machines are critical to the success of their clients’ business. The open nature of Supportworks ESP and our ability to build a fully integrated solution with the minimum of fuss gives Shere a real edge. This is one of the many excellent examples of Supportworks in action in an environment that is different from your run-of-the-mill IT Service Desk, I am very proud that Hornbill has the opportunity to work with Shere and in some small way help them achieve their objectives.”



About Shere Booking and Ticketing Systems

Shere was founded in 1992 by Neil Briscoe and David Parson with a vision of a self-service future for ticketing machines. Shere is now the leader in the market with over 1200 self-service machines and desktop machines installed, nearly two-thirds of the total market.

Shere pioneered and developed the FAST range of self-service ticketing systems, and supplies bespoke versions to over 26 train operating companies. Shere has also developed self-service systems within the airline and hotel sectors.

Shere has experienced over 300% growth over the last three years. Its clients include Cap Gemini, Virgin Trains, Stage Coach, National Express East Coast, TfL, British Midland and KLM.

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About Hornbill Systems

Service Management software from Hornbill enables organisations to provide excellent customer service while benefiting from the economies of consolidation on a single technology platform. Supportworks’ service desk templates are designed for rapid deployment within any employee or customer support environment, including ITIL-compatible IT Service Management, IT Helpdesk, Customer Service, HR and Facilities Management with the flexibility to build additional desks at minimal extra cost. Hornbill’s software supports thousands of commercial and governmental sites worldwide. Hornbill Systems was founded in the UK in 1995 and has US offices in Dallas and New York.

High profile customers include Atos Origin (Athens Olympics 2004, Torino Winter Olympics 2006 and Beijing Olympics 2008), Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greggs, London Metropolitan University, RSPB, Chubb Insurance, House of Fraser, Halfords, The National Archives, and Camelot.

For more information about Hornbill’s solutions please visit

For Company and editorial information contact:

Ann James
Hornbill Systems
Tel: 0208 582 8223

Andreina West
PR Artistry
Tel: 01491 639500

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