Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) is redefining the future of our support services across the organisation. With the unveiling of our Halo service hub, we’re not just addressing the immediate needs of our stakeholders but also laying the foundation for a more integrated, efficient and user-centric IT future.
In today’s agile world, IT support needs to transcend its traditional boundaries. It’s not just about addressing problems, it’s about anticipating them, integrating solutions seamlessly into our daily workflows and ensuring that every stakeholder, irrespective of their role, has access to consistent and top-tier services that aren’t just restricted to traditional IT but embracing our other support services that can harness this technology.
Our IT landscape, like many housing providers, relied on conventional communication channels such as phone and email. While these methods have served their purpose, they come with inherent limitations, especially for our field-based staff who often find themselves tethered to the office for the simplest of tasks.
The challenges with our existing system were evident. Our vision was clear; to maintain an impressive customer satisfaction score above 90 per cent while revolutionising the way our colleagues interact with the other teams.
Multiple task streams
LHP’s PR and communications manager, Jonathan Byrne, was one of the early adopters of the service for his team. He said, “As we moved to a more digital focus, the challenge of managing incoming tasks became more difficult. Departmental inboxes and Teams messages were added to the traditional methods of email and telephone, and it became a veritable pea soup for end-users and team members alike, an ever-revolving vicious circle of ‘where should I go next?’.
“The move to Halo as a service hub solution had immediate benefits for us; the ability to assign tickets at the click of a button (so the right person receives the right task first-time around), being able to bring other relevant colleagues into the mix in one conversation stream, and the simple approval system, make the role of our communications and marketing team much more streamlined.”
Intuitive IT support
After a meticulous evaluation process, we decided against merely upgrading our existing system or maintaining the status quo ante. Instead, we decided to implement a new platform-based IT service desk solution. This innovative approach not only aligns with our strategies for business change but also significantly enhances our end-users’ experience. A highlight of this transformation is the integration with Microsoft Teams, ensuring that IT support becomes an intuitive part of daily communications.
But this transformation isn’t only about technology. At its core, it’s about people; our colleagues are at the heart of everything we do, so this project is our commitment to ensuring that they have the tools and support they need, whenever and wherever they need them. That’s why we’ve encouraged traditionally non-digital departments to adopt the service hub as their go-to portal for answering colleagues’ queries.
LHP’s services manager, Clare Wingate, said, “Having multiple streams to capture requests quickly becomes unmanageable, particularly when you’re away from the office with limited access to systems such as Outlook and Teams.
“Moving everything into one place allows us to provide a better service to our colleagues, monitor where we need to improve, and spot where there are recurring requests that we can provide a proper business solution for.”
The take-up and feedback have been so positive that our health and safety department will soon be moving onto the Halo service hub. LHP’s health and safety manager, Will Buxton, said, “Halo is the next logical step for us. Having all health and safety requests in one place will streamline how we work and means we can provide opportunities for colleagues to self-serve, taking the strain away from the team.”
Budget considerations, environmental impact and return on investment are integral to this project. With a clearly defined budget for the next three years, we’re also making a conscious effort to be environmentally responsible. By leveraging cloud infrastructure, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint, aligning with our other sustainability goals.
The expected benefits of this transformation are varied. From faster IT fix times and enhanced end-user experiences to the potential for future integrations and expansions, LHP is setting the stage for a digital revolution.
In conclusion, as housing providers across the country grapple with the challenges of modern IT, we believe our initiative serves as a beacon, highlighting the possibilities that lie ahead.
Frank Manoharan is the corporate head of ICT and digital at Lincolnshire Housing Partnership.