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Seven Ways to Hit the Jackpot with IT Service Management

By Tim Yario and Kelly Blice From the moment you step into Altantic City's newest hotel and casino, Borgata, you experience the world-class service you'd expect from a company focused on letting you play, escape, indulge, interact, and have fun.
Apr 12, 2005

ITSM Watch Staff

By Tim Yario and Kelly Blice

From the moment you step into Altantic City's newest hotel and casino, Borgata, you experience the world-class service you'd expect from a company focused on letting you play, escape, indulge, interact, and have fun.

Borgata Hotel and Casino, a case study.
The valet and receptionist remember your name, service is fast and efficient, and the technology that enables this environment is just as personal and impressive as the elegant facilities. Borgata, a joint venture of Boyd Gaming Corporation and MGM MIRAGE, features 2,000 guest rooms and suites, 125,000 square feet of gaming, 11 restaurants, retail boutiques, a 50,000 square foot spa, event facilities and numerous other amenities.

From an IT perspective, this translates to supporting more than 400 miles of wire, 8,000+ ports, 7,000 phones, 130 OS devices, WiFi, thousands of Microsoft Exchange and portal users, and more. To deliver and build upon its exceptional service, Borgata's 40-person IT organization needed an IT service management solution that would help them respond to inquires and other requirements quickly, accurately, and efficiently; track assets; and provide the reporting information to help measure results.

Borgata identified a variety of key steps to increase the odds of a successful implementation:

  1. Align IT projects with goals: Borgata is focused on what's referred to as the five P's: Product, Position, Process, Pricing, and People. The casino required a help desk to support these values. The help desk had to offer comprehensive customer support for supporting the "product" and enhancing the "position" (Borgata's service and facilities). It had to incorporate seamless, convenient "processes," provide value ("pricing"), as well as support and improve the productivity of its most valued resource, "people."
  2. Pick the right solution: After identifying business objectives and the need for applications that the IT organization could use to manage its business, Borgata began to search for a solution that would become the "pulse" of the operation. Borgata implemented a service management solution that included help desk and asset management capabilities and delivered out-of-box industry best practices that optimize IT service and support.

    The solution included integrated applications that share a common workflow foundation and unified data model, which supports the integrated process approach outlined in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. This solution supports the 40 IT associates at Borgata, who in turn support customers and more than 4,000 associates.

  3. Use 100 percent Web-delivered services: A top priority was to replace a paper-based system for accessing requests, purchase requests and project forms, with Web interfaces. Borgata's service management solution provided a single location for Borgata's associates to submit questions, issues and requests via the Web.

    Requests, requisitions and project tickets are now created within the help desk application. Web screen workflows empower associates to assist IT staff in identifying specific issues they are experiencing. Web-delivered services enable help desk personnel to work quickly to resolve the users' issues.

  4. Make training a priority: Borgata trained the IT staff and other employees on how to use the service management solution and additional features. As a result, employees and customers have their issues resolved more quickly and overall IT staff productivity has improved.

  5. Develop a "quick ticket" workflow: Before implementing the service management solution, many issues were recurring, and the help desk staff had spent too much time creating individual tickets for recurring requests. Now, Borgata utilizes a "quick ticket" workflow process, which leverages stored summaries and solutions to problems.

    With this technology, the IT team was on a roll. It helped provide data consistency, increase staff productivity, and let everyone win by getting issues resolved much more quickly. This workflow populates a corresponding "solution to a problem," changes the status of the ticket to "resolved," assigns a default "priority," and sets an automatic "time spent" value corresponding to the summary. All the help desk associate needs to do is enter the requestor and save the ticket.

  6. Get visibility into problem management issues and the bottom line: Borgata's service management implementation enables management to receive and review issues and change requests quickly. They use time-tracking reports that analyze how much time is spent resolving issues, and receive ongoing statistics for better resource planning. In addition, an online summary and solution repository enables employees to find answers to common problems quickly.

    A procurement module also helped track purchase requests. After the request is received, the IT organization can access an asset record, which is automatically generated. The results? The company saves time by automatically generating requests, data is maintained electronically and record keeping is improved.

  7. Remember Best Practices Borgata turned to a service provider to help them develop and implement processes based on ITIL guidelines, an industry framework for best practices in service management. The service provider helped Borgata map out these best practices. By combining the expertise of the service provider with the out-of-box industry best practices in its service management solution, Borgata was able to win at the game of IT service management.

    Kelly Blice is Senior Manager of Solutions Marketing at BMC Software, responsible for defining, driving, and evangelizing BMC Remedy's Service Management market strategy and solutions. Blice has 21 years of experience in the Help Desk, CRM, and Call Center markets, as both a customer and a vendor.

    Tim Yario is CEO of Column Technologies. Column Technologies has been focused on Infrastructure Management Architecture since 1988. The company works closely with industry leading strategic partners and offers consulting expertise in strategic business processes, system design, application development and integration services.