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Rand Refinery forges service maintenance culture

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The world’s largest gold refinery, located in South Africa, has chosen the Heat helpdesk solution from FrontRange Solutions to improve information technology service management. Rand Refinery is the largest single-site refining and smelting complex for a variety of precious metal products globally.

According to Neri Credo, Rand Refinery CIO, the company relied on a custom-developed helpdesk system which was no longer capable of supporting its complex needs; she explains that Rand Refinery has a service-management approach to the delivery of IT to the company’s 250 users.
“Our information and communications technology is aligned with ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) best practice. Given the essential nature of IT services to the smooth operation of the business, we sought a helpdesk solution which would support ITIL and the delivery of consistent, reliable and accurate IT services,” she says.
FrontRange’s Heat emerged as a potential candidate. “We looked at several options. Heat not only met the essential requirement of instilling ITIL standards in the technology department, but FrontRange had a refreshingly candid approach to doing business.”
With the technology selection made, Credo says her impression of FrontRange was borne out in the Heat deployment.
“With considerable planning and discipline from the FrontRange team, we comfortably left the implementation in their hands. Furthermore, the after-sales and backup service has met our requirements; all problems are dealt with without any issues."
Since then, Credo says the IT department is far better positioned to clearly understand the status of the various services it provides to the business.
“Heat enables us to have a handle on what is being asked for by users. It shows us how long it takes to resolve requests, issues and problems. It also allows us to identify and follow up on any requests which have not been completed in a reasonable time,” she says.
The new system has also ushered in a more disciplined service regime. “Our users know that if they have any issues, they should log a call rather than ask a technician in the corridor.”
In addition to a wide selection of standard reports, Credo says Rand Refinery is looking to take advantage of more advanced business intelligence (BI) functionality which will support the IT department’s commitment to service management.
“With BI reporting, we can have a finger on the pulse of what is happening in terms of service to users on a daily basis,” says Credo.
She notes that it takes time to accumulate information to analyse for trends and patterns – and estimates sufficient data will be available with a year’s use of the system.
“We have a plasma display screen in the IT department which shows the Heat statistics; this makes everyone in the department conscious of service levels, while impressing upon users that we are striving to consistently meet their IT needs,” says Credo.
This information allows the company to track the performance of technicians, and identify problem users and equipment.
“Heat supports the ITSM [Information Technology Service Management]  approach to service delivery very well. We know that if there are no complaints, then things are going well. Supported by Heat, we are therefore well equipped to keep our user community happy.”
Paul Bornhutter, product manager at FrontRange, notes that structure is essential for technology departments taking a service delivery approach to IT management.
“As a standards-based solution, Heat provides companies like Rand Refinery with a reasonably priced solution which supports structure and best practice, allowing for reliable, managed service delivery.”