The Marks of ITSM Maturity: Denton Independent School District
My societal superheroes are school teachers and how they help shepherd the learning and emotional maturity of K-12 students along the pathway to adulthood. Equally deserving of admiration are school districts’ IT teams.
Learning depends on technology, and IT staff must be effective at meeting needs—no matter their organization’s level of IT service management (ITSM) “attainment” or maturity. Such is the case with Denton Independent School District (ISD), headquartered in Denton, Texas, about 25 miles north of Dallas/Fort Worth.
With the workload growing and resources flat, Denton ISD’s four-person Technology helpdesk team must support 5,000 teachers and staff, more devices, and more school sites. The district was looking to mature its service management processes to meet the growing demand.
Moving from HEAT Classic to Ivanti® Service Manager
“We made a decision to move to Ivanti Service Manager to get the enterprise-class features,” says Susan Cheatham, Helpdesk Manager at Denton ISD.
The centralized helpdesk team can now deliver Technology services to 40 school sites without having to drive to the locations. With web-based access to Service Manager, the team can work from anywhere.
Automating Workflows Increases Staff Efficiency
The greatest benefit of Ivanti Service Manager has been the ability to automate common workflows, which increases Technology staff efficiency and speeds resolutions.
For example, Susan Cheatham created an automated workflow to mitigate the impact of malware in email. Now, if an employee clicks on an infected link, the information is captured and sent automatically to the helpdesk and the Exchange administrator. The first person to see the ticket resets the password, and the other team member is notified. The campus technician at the school is notified automatically to clean up the infected device.
“With Service Manager, dealing with the fallout from infected emails went from a chaotic process where different people would change the passwords and they were stepping over each other to an organized process,” says Cheatham. “That’s important when the scenario can easily replay itself multiple times a day with different people.”
The Denton ISD Technology Division is currently working to automate workflows with streamlined approvals for software requests, replacing a laborious process that touches a half-dozen systems in Instructional Technology. “With Service Manager, we can do it in one request, and all customer and asset information and incidents are tied in,” says Robert Pierce, Data Network Manager at Denton ISD.
Business Services Extend Beyond IT
The value of using Ivanti to manage business services goes well beyond IT support. “Ivanti Service Manager isn’t just about IT,” says Pierce. “It will track most anything.”
After seeing Ivanti Service Manager in use for the Technology division, the Special Education team purchased the system to automate processes and track workflow related to managing student cases, including behavior plans. The team currently manages student cases manually with email but will use Service Manager to track all student cases automatically and view progress, open cases, or repeat cases needing additional attention.
Processes Continue to Mature
The Technology team at Denton ISD continues to mature its processes and is confident that its service management platform will grow with the organization.
For example, self-service support helps guide Technology staff and teachers through common questions, such as how to reboot a server or find the asset tag on their laptop. “Having a limited set of the knowledgebase available to users helps them solve some of their basic problems,” says Pierce. Many teachers are happy to quickly resolve their own technology problems, and that frees up the helpdesk staff.
With staff freed up, IT started moving away from a reactive environment to a more proactive setting by implementing Ivanti Change Management. Through automation, IT began focusing on reducing unintentional issues that would arise when different networking teams didn’t coordinate well. These “cross-collisions” of the networking and WAN teams were all too common due to change management performed manually—resulting in performance issues and unplanned downtime.
In Pierce’s view, Ivanti Change Management helps the different networking teams work more collaboratively. “It’s happened several times where the data network team and the WAN team both make changes simultaneously,” he says. “Using Ivanti will improve our change control processes.”
Phone-Enabled Service Management
Denton ISD is integrating its phone system with Ivanti Service Manager to improve customer satisfaction and increase first-call resolution rates. The district can take advantage of the capabilities of Ivanti Voice, including integrated voice response, voice self-service, screen pops, call recording, and skills-based call routing.
Given the fast-paced work environment, the helpdesk team would take work home. Ivanti Voice can make their lives easier. “I’m intrigued with the ability to set a wrap-up time for each incoming call with Ivanti Voice, so it’s not a constant onslaught,” says Pierce. “Agents will have a minute to wrap up a call, so they don’t need to put tickets in the system at night.”