Case Study – Axiell Limited

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Case Study – Axiell Limited

Leading provider of solutions for libraries delivers highly controlled and transparent customer service across a complex product portfolio through ITIL processes enabled by Supportworks.

Client profile

Axiell is the global leader in solutions for public and school libraries, education, media, museums and archives. It partners with customers that share its vision of spreading culture in the connected society. Its solutions are currently used by over 6,600 customers around the world who rely on Axiell for their physical and virtual libraries. Axiell has over 270 employees, experts in understanding the demands of its customers, and serving those customers through innovative and flexible solutions.



Axiell’s service delivery team provides a service desk, backed by a full range of support, for all the company’s UK customers, including library authorities and archives. This includes resolution of issues or queries about any of Axiell’s many software products; some customers also receive hardware support.

Today’s libraries and archives are highly automated and Axiell’s solutions are often mission-critical to customers’ activities. One of Axiell’s largest installations is a multi-authority solution that nearly half of London’s boroughs rely on.

The right service management processes, supported by the right IT solution, are essential in such a complex and demanding operation. A few years ago, the service delivery team began implementing ITIL processes but found that its service desk solution could not support them. The solution was also limited in terms of automation and reporting.

After a painstaking review of the market for ITSM solutions, the team found that Hornbill met key requirements such as ITIL support, a user-friendly self-service portal, easier capture of incidents (with automatic retrieval of customer details), linkage of incoming emails to existing incidents, automated workflow to route work to the right expert, flexible management reporting – and did so at an acceptable price.

Axiell went live with Hornbill Supportworks in 2011. It’s used primarily by a core team of fewer than 25 service desk and second-line support staff, though most of the company uses it from time to time. In addition, customers are constantly interacting with the solution via the self-service portal.


Supportworks went live smoothly in 2011 and was rapidly accepted because of its ease of use and helpful functionality. Since then, with the help of the Hornbill team, Axiell has continued to use the solution to improve its service to customers, achieving a high level of control and transparency. Supportworks’ reporting has helped Axiell to reduce its backlog of work dramatically, and demonstrate that it has done so.


Progressive, innovative ITIL introduction

Axiell’s ITIL implementation took a leap forward when Supportworks went live. Supportworks supports all major ITIL processes but they can be switched on as and when the user organisation is ready. This is just a matter of enabling and configuring the process – for example, in the case of change management to configure the authorisation process. Axiell experiments with new processes in a separate test environment before they go live.

Axiell has taken advantage of this flexibility to facilitate a progressive rollout of ITIL. It started with incident management, subsequently introduced request fulfilment, and is now looking at implementing change management.
Axiell uses the request fulfilment process to provide a wide range of functionality. For example, one internal team can request a service from another as a way of automating workflow. Where Axiell is providing a customer with a managed service – such as a complete library solution – Supportworks ensures that only authorised staff are allowed to submit requests for actions such as a change to library fines.


User-friendly portal with knowledge sharing

As soon as Axiell went live with Supportworks, it encouraged customers to use the self-service portal for logging incidents and checking statuses. The portal is more user-friendly than its predecessor – that, combined with the fact that it can be used at any hour of the day or night, has increased customer take-up.

Customers using the portal have access to a knowledge base containing technical documents and frequently asked questions. In addition, customers can view enhancements already requested, and comment on which ideas will be useful to them. This helps Axiell steer its product development in the direction its customers really want.


Flexible reports for internal and external management

It’s easy to report performance against SLAs to ensure commitments are met and identify areas for attention – for example, a customer might need consultancy to help with a recurrent issue, a customer or an internal team might benefit from training, or a customer’s system might need an update. Supportworks helps the team schedule reports (standard or tailored) to be sent automatically to customers, either regularly or as a one-off. In this way, Axiell can keep customers informed about the status of their requests and demonstrate the value they’re getting from Axiell.


Reducing manual workload across a complex portfolio

Most incident reports and service requests are now received either via the portal or by email, and in either case can be processed automatically (since the system allocates emails to the right ticket if one already exists). The way the portal collects information reduces the need for service desk staff to contact customers for more information. Incoming phone calls are now rare. Incidents and service requests are profiled
so that they are linked to the right part of Axiell’s diverse product portfolio.



At a glance


Axiell Limited


Specialist IT services for libraries and archives


Supportworks ITSM


Needed a solution to help with ITIL implementation and automate data capture and workflow with a self-service portal


- ITIL processes are turned on progressively as the team becomes ready, and have proved flexible enough to support a range of requirements.

- Self-service portal is popular with customers and provides access to a knowledge base including pre-existing enhancement requests.

- A range of flexible reports assist management of service delivery and make it easy to keep customers informed about progress.

- Automation of previously manual processes allows the team to concentrate on problem resolution and achieve high levels of efficiency and customer experience.

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