Meet Robert Shoreson, Microlise Support Service Manager

What are your responsibilities in the role?
In short, to deliver excellent support to customers, ensuring that service levels are achieved in line with contracts. Managing the service desk teams to ensure we meet and exceed customer expectations/service level agreements (SLAs). To align the support teams with ITIL best practice, ensuring fully documented process are in place and delivering ITIL aligned processes and systems along with implementing operational level agreements (OLAs), key performance indicators (KPIs) and SLAs.

What was your last job?
Head of ITIL for BT. I held various roles over my 12 years at BT including warranty manager, service desk manager, engineer resource manager, technical support manager, ITIL Functions Manager through to specialising in ITIL and finishing there as head of ITIL.

What is ITIL?
Information Technology infrastructure Library (ITIL) is an integrated set of best-practice processes for delivering IT services to customers. It is a framework to follow which allows the most effective way of delivering IT services, and from experience, if you get it right and EVERYONE buys into it, then it is truly powerful and can change the way we work and improve the customer experience ten-fold.

It was born in the UK and has since been adopted worldwide. The primary focus is to maximise value to customers by aligning IT resources with business needs. At its core it is the basic idea that value is provided in the form of business aligned IT services. ITIL contains detailed process descriptions, flows, success factors, metrics and implementation guidance that organisations can adapt to work in their environment.

The ITIL framework can help organisations establish and improve their overall IT Service Management capability, increase alignment with the business, maximise and demonstrate value to the business. This is broken down simply into five core areas:

  • Service Strategy – The vision of where we are going, taking needs of the business, the customer and the market place into account
  • Service Design – What our services look like and how we deliver them
  • Service Transition – The building and deployment of the designed services
  • Service Operations – Delivering the services effectively and efficiently
  • Continual service improvement – Continually improves the effectiveness and efficiency of services and processes

How can best practice be applied to improve Microlise customer service?
ITIL is best practice for a reason; it offers a framework to manage the life cycle of the services IT provides, resulting in increased system up time, faster problem resolution and improved security. The heart of ITIL focuses on ensuring that the customer has access to appropriate services to support business functions. Some benefits include:

  • Increased user and customer satisfaction with IT services
  • Improved service availability, directly leading to increased business profits and revenue
  • Financial savings from reduced rework, lost time, improved resource management and usage
  • Improved time to market for new products and services
  • Improved decision making and optimised risk

ITIL implementation is not a quick fix, nor is it easy. It takes a lot of thought, commitment and hard work to successfully change the way an IT organisation does business.  The bottom line is that ITIL improves functions throughout the business.

What is the most important thing you learned in your last role? 
Silo working does not work; everyone needs to be one team to deliver world class customer service to customers. You need to define clear roles and responsibilities, ensuring that you document all processes and work instructions with people accountable for them. In my last role we set up a complex delivery forum where heads of functions/departments would come together once a month to discuss issues and remove any barriers internally or for the customer. This stopped certain managers wanting to be king of the castle trying to fix everything alone and they soon realised that if we all work towards a common goal we achieve more.

What experience are you bringing to Microlise?
12 years’ service management experience. I have managed many different teams in terms of size, ability and structure. I have tried things that haven’t worked and thankfully I have also tried many things that have worked, so I have a rounded view of how best to deliver service to customers, along with my ITIL knowledge and experience.

Do you have any hobbies?
Taxi driver to my daughters all weekend, oh no wait, a hobby is a pleasure not a chore so scrap that one… Family life has taken over many hobbies, but running is the hobby that I have managed to keep hold of. It is great for thinking time and to de-stress.