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2nd July 2009


Pioneering shared service deploys Supportworks service management software to support IT

Hornbill’s Supportworks is vital to the operation of the NorMAN Out of Hours Helpline which provides out of hours first line support to 200,000+ users from a growing number of universities. From an initial support service for the five universities in the North East Metropolitan Area Network (NorMAN) that is Durham, Newcastle, Teesside, Sunderland and Northumbria started in September 2006, the NorMAN Out of Hours Helpline now covers 17 universities located in Scotland, Yorkshire, the Midlands, London, the South Coast and South West with 3 more joining the service in July. This unique low cost subscription based shared service operates through the night, all year round receiving queries via phone, email and text. Operated on behalf of NorMAN by Northumbria IT Services, the Helpline team log every query, where possible resolving them, and pass on the details in daily reports to the home university.

Hornbill’s Supportworks service management platform has been successfully implemented by Northumbria University for a range of services. Hornbill’s system was selected for its user interface, functionality and cost effective pricing.

The 130-strong IT Services department at the University provides a support service to around 40,000 internal users. According to Debbie Figgis, IT Customer Service Manager at Northumbria University; “Supportworks ticked all of the boxes. It was easy to use, we could configure it to suit our needs and it was an affordable option within our budget. There is no doubt that we can now provide a better, expanded service to our internal customers, while retaining the same level of IT resource. Supportworks is essential to provide the out of hours service, enabling us to record all queries quickly and accurately and send daily reports of queries logged to home universities.”

In addition, the use of Supportworks has been extended to other service departments – including facilities, finance, security and library services. The facilities team use the system to log catering and cleaning requests, while the library manages a range of requests from basic directions to complex research queries. The security team logs a range of queries – from crime reports and car park management to lost property calls. The finance department also uses the facilities within Supportworks to improve handling and tracking of student fee queries.

The automated response facility within Supportworks is of particular benefit - users can request new passwords, either by text or via the web portal that are sent directly to a mobile phone or user account. IT Services also uses the management reports from Supportworks to monitor performance against target service levels. Debbie Figgis added “Supportworks’ SelfService option has made our service more transparent, which has also improved our customer satisfaction ratings.”

Gerry Sweeney, CEO of Hornbill Systems commented; “Northumbria University has successfully implemented Supportworks for its IT service desk, benefiting from a more efficient and well managed support service. It has managed to build on this success, not only by extending the use of the service desk disciplines and Supportworks platform to other departments, but also with its collaborative working with other universities. This shared ethos has enabled other organisations to benefit from the out of hours support service that would otherwise be too costly to implement. Such innovation builds on the best practice that the IT team has employed and that Hornbill’s system has been designed to support.”



About NorMAN Out of Hours Helpline

The NorMAN Out of Hours Helpline is a subscription-based, shared service providing first line support for IT and library queries to students and staff of participating universities and colleges at times when the main support services are closed. The service provides support via phone and email from 17.00 to 08.00 weekdays, 24 hours weekends and public holidays.
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About Northumbria University

Northumbria University is an expanding multicultural learning community, with excellent links with further and higher education, industry and commerce throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. Renowned for the excellence of its teaching, as well as for preparing students for the world of work, Northumbria also provides research opportunities for professional reflective practice.

Situated in the north-east of England, Northumbria has two separate campuses. The largest, City Campus, is situated in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne opposite the Civic Centre and has recently been extended with the building of a £100 million+ development at City Campus East. Coach Lane Campus is situated in a leafy suburb of the city, 3 miles from City Campus.

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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.

Hornbill has earned many industry accolades including; Service Desk Institute “IT Service and Support Technology Supplier of the Year” for 2008, “Best Business use of Support Technology” with Sharp Electronics and “Support Excellence Award for Smaller Helpdesks” with Camelot in 2005.

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.

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For Company and editorial information contact:

Julie Aguilar
Hornbill Systems
Tel: 0208 582 8205

Andreina West
PR Artistry
Tel: 01491 639500

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of PR Artistry Limited in the following categories: Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit