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Scottish Agricultural College


SAC sows seeds of success with assyst

IS and non-IS departments at SAC use assyst to manage
their processes more efficiently and produce meaningful
management reports
Scottish Agricultural
College (SAC) The Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) supports IS Group
the development of land-based industries and
communities through 3 main areas: specialist research Initially, assyst was intended for use by the IS group
www. only. However, it quickly became apparent that the
and development resources; education and training
Country United Kingdom provision; and expert advisory and consultancy tool could be used effectively across all groups within
the Finance and Corporate Affairs division. Rolling
Industry Higher Education services. The organization places particular emphasis
on agriculture and related sciences, rural business the tool out across the entire division was expected
development and management, food chain quality to take a lot of time and planning so SAC chose to
Key Statistics and safety, and rural resource and environmental follow a phased approach to implementation.

ƒƒ 2500 incidents per month management.

Property and Estates
ƒƒ 900 users supported
SAC has a Finance and Corporate Affairs (F&CA) Only 4 months after the initial implementation within
ƒƒ120 ITSM/Service Desk staff
division that is made up of Information Systems (IS), IS, SAC deployed the software in the Property and
Property and Estates (PEG), Human Resources (HR), Estates group. This area uses the tool for reactive
Finance, Health and Safety (HS) and a contracts
Key Challenge office.
maintenance, whereby calls are logged and dealt
with in a similar way as IS incidents. SAC identified
ƒƒImprove management reports that most of the employees within this area were
ƒƒFind a better process for managing Challenge – Improve processes and field workers and don’t always have access to the
incidents electronic system so they have set up a process
ƒƒAlign processes to ITIL
management reporting capabilities SAC whereby these people receive an email, which they
can access remotely, or are given a print out so
SAC was using a call management system that no longer they know what jobs they have. They do not use the
provided the depth of functionality they required within
Key Strategy the organization - they had the ability to log, assign,
application directly but do follow the process so that
their actions are logged in assyst. It is also used for
ƒƒImplement assyst by Axios Systems process and close IS related calls, but not the capacity preventive maintenance where calls are automatically
within the IS group to provide adequate reporting for management in raised at given times for certain assets.
ƒƒFurther deploy the software order to analyze progress or inefficient areas.
throughout the various departments Finance
at SAC
It was essential that SAC find an IT Service Management
ƒƒUse a phased approach for the assyst was then implemented in Finance, who use the
(ITSM) tool that would manage their incidents more
deployment of assyst system for key activities such as invoice requests. SAC
efficiently and that could provide detailed management
has created a form on assystNET, Axios’ self-service
reports. In addition, the tool needed to be fully aligned
portal for its assyst solution, which is completed by
Key Benefits / Results to ITIL, encompassing all disciplines, as this would
the end-user and generates an incident in assyst.
allow the organization to establish firm procedures for
They have also created a report in Crystal that
ƒƒSteady decrease in number of Incident, Problem, Change, Configuration and Business
provides SAC with the information of this incident in
recorded calls Continuity Management.
a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is then uploaded into
ƒƒAdherence to SLAs increased from SAP, its finance system, thus reducing the workload in
60% to 80% Outside of IS, other groups at SAC had some simple
Finance and minimizing errors.
ƒƒAble to identify areas for processes in place for logging issues or requests but
improvement more efficiently these were mostly noted in spreadsheets or other
ƒƒImprovement in reporting documents, and were very limited in detail. The
capabilities organization had to therefore find a way that they
could improve processes in all other departments as

“Our existing tool could no longer provide the depth

of functionality we needed in order for us to function
efficiently as an organization.” said Belinda Haig,
Project Manager, SAC.

Strategy – Implement assyst by

Axios Systems throughout the entire

SAC chose the ITSM tool, assyst by Axios Systems, to

help them achieve their desired processes and level of

09 10 CCS SAC US v1.0
Scottish Agricultural College

Human Resources In addition to the management of call volumes, the Human Resources
IS group has noticed a significant benefit in the
Human Resources was the next phase of the assyst roll- measurement of the group’s adherence to Service Within the HR group, assyst allows them
out at SAC and was the biggest challenge for the IS Level Agreements (SLA’s). Before the implementation, to create processes for activities such
group as a lot of the information used by HR is private the group was only able to achieve 60 per cent of as new starts and, as a result, everyone
and sensitive and therefore requires measures to ensure SLAs and it is now closer to 80 per cent. The Service that needs to know when a new person
this information is protected. Certain activities were Desk allows SAC to monitor this weekly and organize joins the organization is advised
identified as acceptable to put through the system, staff accordingly. automatically. They can also record
including the new start process. any actions that they have taken, which
allows them to provide a slicker service
Property and Estates
IS has created a change process for new starts, which for new staff.
in addition to creating the tasks for HR to carry out, This group has noted many benefits from the assyst The same process has also been
also goes to Finance and IS for the creation of accounts implementation, including providing tangible data implemented for people that leave
in certain key systems. This is tailored depending on of work in progress and enforcement of targets for the organization - this is helping from
which department the new employee is in. SAC has achieving closure actions within SLA timeframes. an Asset Management point of view
also linked the probation stage to the new start process, Tom Corall, Technical Services Manager, “All as they no longer have phones and
which automatically generates emails to line managers calls are now automatically linked to SLAs and laptops lying in cupboards.
at certain times reminding them that the next probation comprehensive event logging provides instant
report is due. There are a number of other processes status of current calls. assyst has provided useful Other Groups
that IS has started to implement using assyst for HR, real-time information to clients and a structured
SAC now provides comprehensive
including the leaver’s process. platform which has enhanced the overall
control over processes across all areas
performance of the Property and Estates group.”
of the F&CA division. While ensuring
Health and Safety continuity throughout the organization
Finance for logging and monitoring customer
As with HR, some information can be sensitive and
therefore cannot be put through the system due to data There are two key benefits that have been identified problems and requests against agreed
protection. However, simple calls are logged for this within the Finance group at SAC. performance targets and SLAs, there
area of the business, such as if a fire exit is blocked or if has been an improvement in user
a carpet is loose and could trip someone up. These can Firstly, the Service Desk is being used to monitor support and the provision of accurate
be logged in the system to be passed onto the relevant recurring problems and, as part of the division’s and high quality management
person to address. continuous improvement culture, they can now seek information reports.
to improve internal procedures in order to enhance
Vehicles Administration customer benefits more effectively. “Since implementing the assyst
software we have noticed a
The Vehicles Administration group use assyst to log a Secondly, service request levels are monitored remarkable improvement in our
change of driver or request new authorizations. SAC to enhance resource planning. If large volumes reporting – assyst has given us the
provides the DVLA with this information and will soon of requests are being received into one area of ability to be more efficient as an
be receiving information back from them, which will Finance, staff are diverted from other areas of the organization,” Belinda concludes.
be kept in assyst. SAC also plans to add details of all group to provide additional support and so ensure
owned and leased vehicles into assyst and will use the SLAs are achieved.
software to log calls against them.
“Since implementing the assyst software we
Marketing and Communications have noticed a remarkable improvement in our
The final area that began to use assyst was Marketing reporting – assyst has given us the ability to be
and Communications. assyst is used in this group for more efficient as an organization,”
requests such as creating posters and organizing events.
They have created a form on SAC’s Intranet page that,
when completed, sends an email to the team that Belinda Haig
provides detailed information on the request so that the Project Manager
team do not have to make follow up calls to ask for SAC
further information.

Benefits - increased efficiency and Axios Systems in Education

reporting capabilities
Axios has been providing ITSM
solutions to the education industry
SAC has now implemented assyst across the entire
for more than 20 years. assyst,
organization, and all groups are reaping the benefits. is a fully integrated, out-of-the-
box solution, available in on-
premise and SaaS models, which
IS Department helps organizations optimize IT
Before the Service Desk was implemented at SAC, not infrastructure efficiency, reduce
all calls were recorded and the IS team had no idea overheads and lower the total
cost of IT ownership. Our focus on
who was working on what and what part each person
helping companies deliver top-line
played. They are now seeing a steady decrease in the value has been well demonstrated in
number of recorded calls, which they have attributed the education sector with customers
to staff adopting a more pro-active approach and including Aberdeenshire College,
preventing calls by providing training programs. The University of Notredame and
The University of Ljubljana.