New Zealand is a popular destination for the filming of recent Hollywood productions that include The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and The Last Samurai. The pioneering spirit behind each of these is embodied by IS department at healthAlliance NZ, Ltd., which provides various shared services such as procurement, materials management, recruitment, payroll, finance, and information services to the Counties Manukau and Waitemata District Health Boards in New Zealand. A recipient of various IT awards, including two Bearing Point Innovation Awards, one of which was presented to CIO Phil Brimacombe by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the healthAlliance IS team is recognized for its IT thought leadership.
Tackling two issues
For the January 2009 issue, I had a chance to interview Brimacombe and Alistair Mascarenhas, the service delivery team leader, about their different endpoint management solutions in “The Making of an Iconic Production: An IT Journey that Starts and Ends in New Zealand.” Brimacombe explains that complaints from the IT helpdesk and clinicians prompted him and his team to embark on implementing a series of different endpoint management solutions. Specifically, the end users complained that the IT helpdesk was unresponsive and their IT issues weren’t being solved, and clinicians claimed they didn’t have enough IT assets and the ones they did have were too slow and old.
IT assets, the helpdesk, and workflows
After a lengthy RFP process, Brimacombe and his team settled on Altiris-based technology solutions from Symantec. The first project they tackled was asset management, deploying Altiris Asset Management Solution and Application Metering Solution. They now know what assets exists, who is using them, and where they are located. In addition, they’re also able to meter application usage, thereby allocating applications to only those who need each application.
The second project involved the roll out of a helpdesk solution using Altiris Helpdesk Solution (part of Altiris Service Asset and Management Suite). End users can submit their own helpdesk tickets and track their status, while IT helpdesk personnel can directly view the inventory for each end user—comprising more than 1,600 monthly move or change requests.
The third project moved the bar even higher, as Brimacombe and his team began to address various manual workflow processes with Altiris Workflow Solution. They started with two areas—the helpdesk interaction evaluation process and user software requests—but are looking at five or six other areas as well. Brimacombe explains that they’ve “only scratched the surface” thus far.
The final initiative involved rolling the solution framework for the helpdesk over to the payroll department. The solution provides real-time views into payroll issues and is helping healthAlliance to expedite the resolution of payroll problems or disputes.
Finding more information
Those interested in more detail on the different endpoint management solutions Brimacombe and his healthAlliance IS team have implemented should check out the Business Value Analysis Study by The Alchemy Solutions Group. Or, for the full interview that I conducted with Brimacombe and Mascarenhas, you can check out the Executive Spotlight Podcast.