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Specsavers upgrades IT service management

Karl Flinders

Specsavers moved to an IT service management system from BMC Software when it wanted to become ITIL compliant and standardise the service globally.

The optical retail chain implemented BMC FootPrints in 2008, when it upgraded a system which did little more than log calls.

“We wanted to move down the ITIL route and add things like workflow and call-tracking,” said Mark Beard, IT project manager at the retailer.

The system has improved service to stores around the globe, achieved of 99% of its service level targets for the business, increased visibility through a centralised global system and provided an open architecture option as Specsavers moves away from Microsoft and other proprietary platforms.

When the company put out an RFP it got four responses that met its demands which included using open source software. Because one of its suppliers at the time, Fujitsu Siemens, had gone through a similar process, Specsavers went to it for consultancy.

Beard said the BMC system met its price and flexibility requirements as well as meeting its need for more open source software.

Specsavers conducted a pilot scheme using the software on one service desk. When it tested successfully, Specsavers rolled the BMC system out across the company. 

“The software is easy to install and configure as long as you know what you want it to do,” said Beard.

The software was intended to support the company’s expansion, which involved opening up operations in Australia, New Zealand and some Nordic countries.

One central platform supports all regions. While regions such as Australia have their own IT departments, problems can be escalated quickly to the central team in the UK.

The system is web-based and hosted on BMC servers, because one of the demands from Specsavers was to remove the need for systems to be hosted internally. This was the first big system that Specsavers did not want to host centrally. The company pays annually for the service.

Organisations, including Deloitte Imperial College London, are using cloud based ITSM to take advantage of lower up-front investments and subscription payments.

Beard said Specsavers is an advocate of cloud services where it makes sense. 

“At the time of implementing the BMC system, it was about as cloudy as you can get,” said Beard.


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