ISO 20000, published in December 2005 and developed based on the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) framework, is an international standard for IT service management that includes audit and certification processes for organizations and companies. Once service providers are certified, it means they are capable of providing services with high reliability and availability.
The continuing advancement in technological innovations is driving more and more businesses to improve and perfect IT service mechanisms and this spurs increasing demand for deployment of information systems and equipment that are growing in scale and complexity. Now companies are turning to premium information service providers to help them reduce service costs, boost service quality and eventually reach the goal of raising productivity.
In view of this, IT departments of businesses, governments, and academic institutions are progressively seeking ISO 20000 certification to ensure they provide IT services that are compliant with their objectives and their information management architecture follows the ITIL practice to enhance system and service reliability as well as availability. Furthermore, some information service providers are implementing ISO 20000 for the purpose of creating differentiating services and values to win customers' trust even though they have a much broader and complex customer base than just IT departments at their clients.
Tatung System Technology Inc. (TSTi), as a system integrator, is one of the few ISO 20000 certified information service providers in Taiwan. Mark Chen, Vice President, Software & Service Center, TSTi, stated information products have clear specifications and customers can easily tell between good and bad products. Services, on the other hand, are intangible and to enable customers to visualize service quality, a set of international requirements needs to be followed to guarantee the service procedures are on par with world-class standards. This was exactly why TSTi stepped up efforts to go for ISO 20000 certification in November 2013.
The 10-month long implementation poses tremendous demand on the physical and mental strength of the TSTi team
Any organization or company setting a goal to obtain ISO 20000 Certification has to undergo a rigorous process. It is not easy as the devotion of considerable resources and months of preparation is a must. Brad Yu, Director, Customer Service, Software & Service Center, TSTi, drawing on the company's experience, commented the preparation for ISO 20000 certification took 10 months, the first two of which were spent on training to promote employee recognition on ISO 20000 values and then willingness to fully commit to its implementation. Thereafter, the TSTi team took the initiative to gather a large amount of information to help build up the ITIL system and embraced changes to the operation procedures.
After establishing a common ground, TSTi started the preparation of related specification documents based on ISO 20000 framework and practice. The construction of its service management system (ITSM) is focused on four key procedures – emergency and service request management, service standard management, service availability and sustainability management, and supplier management. ITSM meticulously logs the deployment, changes and repair requests related to customers' systems, so TSTi can deliver services meeting customers' needs.
After 10 months of hard work, TSTi successfully completed multiple stages of the certification process including preliminary review, reexamination, documentation review and on-site audit and was awarded the ISO 20000-1:2011 information service management system certificate in September 2014. Keeping on perfecting its flow, TSTi passed audits again two years in a row in 2015 and 2016, which shows TSTi's persevering commitment to providing top quality services and fail-proof IT management systems.
Chen added that in order to really make ITIL practice a part of its corporate culture that energizes the technical support team to strive for perfection, TSTi bases a part of employee evaluation on their compliance with ISO 20000 requirements. If an employee fails to follow the ISO 20000 standard when carrying out a task and this results in a customer complaint, there will be negative an impact on his or her job evaluation.
An increasing rate of successful off-site support cases translates to lower service costs and higher competitiveness
Summarizing on the actual benefits of ISO 20000 certification, Chen said, first of all, TSTi's service efficiency is boosted as it keeps track of all events, issues, and changes, and augments its ability to respond to and troubleshoot customer issues through the accumulated records. The introduction of ISO 20000 has benefited TSTi with a 6% annual increase in successful off-site support cases, reducing the costs of having to provide on-site services otherwise.
Another benefit that ISO 20000 brings is enabling TSTi services to be visualized through complete reports generated by its ITSM for customers to help with evaluation and planning. For example, customers can find out from the reports which equipment tends to have a higher failure rate and likely to cause service interruption and therefore they can plan a replacement schedule to increase operation efficiency.
Last but not least, ISO 20000 ensures high service availability for customers. TSTi uses Availability and Continuity Management to guarantee the continuous and timely availability of its human & material resources, customer service systems, network, power supply, and other resources to prevent any interruption to customer operations. The ISO 20000 implementation has generated impressive results as customer service availability and continuity is up from 98.9044% to 99.45206%, in complete correspondence to the 24/7 service level agreement engaged with customers.