Medical researchers find solution for better IT support

service desk software

January 25, 2010


The Manchester-based firm’s SupportDesk solution emerged as the clear winner after a comprehensive review of vendors, Service Desk Manager Carl Bilsbrough said.

NIHR provides the framework through which the research staff and infrastructure of the National Health Service in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. It also provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training.

Increased customers meant the Institute needed greater functionality and reporting capability than could be provided by its previous basic fault recording system. It also required software verified by certifying body Pink Elephant as complying with the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), internationally accepted guidelines for best practice in IT Service Management.

The list of potential software vendors was daunting, Bilsbrough commented. After reviewing numerous products on-line and narrowing this down to a shortlist of four, I started a formal options appraisal which included Web demonstrations.

He said he had been impressed by SupportDesk’s logical layout, structure and ease of configuration, standard suite of reports and ad-hoc reporting functionality. Although two other products initially appeared cheaper, once licences, maintenance and consultancy were factored in, House-on-the-Hill was the most economic option.

After two formal in-house demonstrations of House-on-the-Hill to the wider support team and telephone conversations with some of their current customers, we had a clear winner, he went on.

Benefits the Institute hopes to achieve include improved reporting which will lead to better Management Information Systems and trend analysis.

Bilsbrough said SupportDesk’s adaptive Web portal would enable medical research professionals, located throughout the UK, to log and amend their own IT incidents and requests. The service desk is also hoping to use the portal’s knowledge base to provide a self-service facility. In addition, the Institute’s desk would be able to initiate and maintain Service Level and Organisational Level Agreements.

The NIHR aims to support outstanding individuals working in world class facilities within the NHS and at universities on leading edge research focused on patients needs. See

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