FleetPlus taps BMC for cloud-based ITSM

The fleet management company is also mulling Salesforce.com Chatter to enhance communications.

FleetPlus took IT service management to the cloud to save money and refocus resources on its core business, according to the company’s head of IT, David Tanti.

FleetPlus, a privately owned provider of fleet management and leasing services in Australia and New Zealand, chose BMC RemedyForce service desk and is now considering adding Salesforce.com Chatter to the mix, he said.

Shortly after joining the company seven months ago, Tanti did a risk analysis and found he was dissatisfied with FleetPlus’ existing service management platform, dotProject.net. The main problem was that it didn’t cater well to the company’s growth plan, Tanti told Computerworld Australia.

“It wasn’t really aligned to [the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)], which for me is critical for a helpdesk or service management system,” Tanti said. “Change management wasn’t incorporated into the system”, extracting information was difficult, and “it was all done through e-mail, so users weren’t really able to keep track of all the tickets being logged”. The system had worked suitably, but as the company grew “it wasn’t keeping up”.

Tanti wanted a cloud-based platform, he said. “I just see a lot of IT departments spending time on managing hardware and licenses and performance issues, and I just think that adds no value,” he said. Tanti decided it would be better for FleetPlus to focus IT resources instead on its core business. Cloud also provided great cost savings, he said.

FleetPlus didn’t find many cloud-based service management alternatives to the BMC Remedyforce service desk. However, the company considered ManageEngine ServiceDeskPlus, Tanti said. It wasn’t “too bad”, but Tanti had used the BMC product before and believed it could better fulfill his change management requirements. The BMC platform could facilitate a change approval process after a user logged a problem; ManageEngine didn’t have the same capability, he said.

Integrating Remedyforce was not difficult, Tanti said. FleetPlus worked with a BMC partner, Arxxus., he said. “I must admit we didn’t follow the recommended implementation process ... which was a series of WebEx seminars over a two-month period. So I just requested two months of consulting time,” focused on FleetPlus’s specific requirements, “and to be honest I achieved everything within 20 hours," he said.

FleetPlus has had the BMC RemedyForce platform for four to five months and in general has seen “increased efficiencies,” Tanti said. The biggest benefit has been “much better reporting and analysis” that has allowed Tanti to flag common problem areas. The system also has provided a better interface for users to log and check the status of tickets, he said.

FleetPlus plans to make minor adjustments to the ITSM system, but Tanti expects them to be easily made, he said. When a new system is implemented, “you’ve always got teething problems so as you use the system you want to tweak it in different ways,” he said. Some of the adjustments Tanti plans to do himself, while others he will seek assistance of one of BMC’s partners, he said.

FleetPlus is considering turning on Salesforce Chatter within the BMC service management system to replace its existing intranet, Tanti said. The Chatter service adds social networking capabilities for businesses. “It might be too large a leap, but it’s a potential." Chatter would put more information in the hands of FleetPlus salespeople on the go, he said. “It’s the way that more and more companies are going.

“There’s better ways of sharing information than we’re already doing,” he said. Implementing social networking services like Chatter requires a major cultural shift for a business, “and it’s probably not something that’s on my radar for the next six months,” he said. “It’s a matter of convincing the organisation’s key people that this is a better way to communicate and track your information.”

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