Case Study – CSD

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Case Study – CSD

CSD delivers Government shared services using Supportworks


CSD (Customer Service Direct) is a public-private partnership between BT, Suffolk County Council and Mid Suffolk District Council. The organisation is a joint venture formed to provide a collaborative infrastructure that can support the councils and the services that they provide to the public.

The organisation provides central HR and ICT support functions based on ITIL best practice to the members of the partnership in a more cost efficient way. At the heart of the support services is a centralised IT and HR support desk that uses Hornbill’s Supportworks ESP (Enterprise Support Platform).


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Government reports have clearly indicated that the shared services model will drive the level of efficiencies required to deliver quality public services, and that by uniting resources and expertise, savings and efficiencies can be made. In addition, investments can be made in capital equipment or services that would not be possible on the individual council budgets.

CSD has pioneered such a new working partnership to share services. Implementing Supportworks as a central system enables the partners to deliver service at a consistently high performance, while also managing costs. Initially proven by the centralised ICT team to support council employees, Supportworks has been rolled out for use by HR.



Supportworks provides the service platform that enables staff to support over 6,000 PCs used throughout the partner organisations, as well as HR support to over 30,000 local authority staff and a further 40,000 ex-council staff.


Common database ensures consistent data and customer service

Supportworks is able to identify different types of customer, so that each receives the appropriate support level. In total CSD supports over 240 locations including council buildings, some schools and home-workers. Supportworks is accessible by all 500 IT and HR staff.

All incidents dealt with by HR and ICT are passed through a central call routing system and then captured on Supportworks by the HR and IT helpdesks. All staff on the service desks undergo the same customer service training and all helpdesk managers report to the same line manager.

This line of reporting and training ensures consistency of service, as staff are trained in their own disciplines as well as customer care. Forums across the helpdesk teams also enable ideas and work practices to be shared.

Both HR and ICT teams are able to access the same data on individuals – position, department, IT equipment assigned (clearly with secure access on confidential personal data).

Shared centralised resources enables effective first linesupport

In a similar model to that of an IT helpdesk, the centralised HR support team has a ‘front’ and ‘back office’. Typically 75% of the incidents and cases captured in Supportworks are handled by the first line HR support team. More complex enquiries, case work or time consuming activities, such as grievances and management of interview processes are passed onto the more experienced or qualified HR professionals.

This approach best utilises the staff skills and ability. Within the ICT support function, there is a generic IT desk, a strategic user helpdesk and a separate helpdesk that supports the schools. ICT support services are provided to council employees within all aspects of the Council Services – Children and Young People services, Social Care, Environment and Transport employees, Libraries and Heritage and Public Protection. Centralising the support in this way has also enabled the team to reduce the number of support contact numbers previously used across the councils.

Incident logging and tracking enables performance to be measured

All incidents are logged, routed and tracked enabling the team to monitor the length of time taken to deal with incidents as well as peaks in demand. The incident statistics from Supportworks help the teams to plan proactively for demand/staff ratios and for analysing opportunities to reduce costs or improve service performance areas. Since implementing the system in early 2005, the IT and HR team have racked up over 350,000 support incidents.

ITIL enables adoption of best practice work processes

Supportworks was selected for its ITIL certification through Pink Verify and its ability to support all processes within the ITIL framework. CSD has been able to adopt ITIL processes from its other BT Local Government Partnerships, and apply best practice much quicker.


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At a glance


CSD - BT, Suffolk County Council & Mid Suffolk District Council


Local government


Supportworks ITSM Enterprise


Supportworks ITSM Enterprise


- Common database ensures consistent data and customer service across disciplines – both HR and ICT

- Shared centralised resources enables effective first line support of ICT and HR

- Incident logging and tracking enables performance to be measured against SLAs

- Statistics and reporting enables workload planning and service improvements to maintain high levels of service

- ITIL framework enables adoption of best practice work processes to provide efficiencies

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