Athena Beteiligungen GmbH

From Outlook to ITSM virtually overnight

Athena is an independent investment company based in Hamburg, Germany. True to the company motto "More than just an investor", Athena provides companies not only with money, but also with know-how, a network and a comprehensive infrastructure. The aim of the investment is to support the financed companies in achieving sustainable and profitable growth.

 

Athena invests its own capital and, in individual cases, that of selected co-investors. The investments focus on German SMEs and are designed for the long term. Athena currently holds investments in the fields of electronics, mechanical engineering, IT/digitalization, food, consulting and services.

The Challenge: Starting from Scratch

Athena faced the major challenge of procuring an efficient incident management system for information technology as quickly as possible and gradually expanding it into a comprehensive IT service management system in order to secure and expand its status as a managed service provider (MSP).

The Hamburg-based company does not define itself as a traditional investor, but rather aims to provide all-round support to the companies in which it invests, such as IT services or the processing of incidents and service requests. Previously, the four-person helpdesk team had no integrated and automated processes across departments. Many things still worked on demand or via email. This prevented a transparent presentation of the cost drivers and made it difficult to justify the fees to be paid by the subsidiaries.

"The fact that no new software had to be installed for this was an aha moment for the Head of IT"

BJÖRN FISCHER, HEAD OF WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT

Athena Beteiligungen GmbH

The Solution: ITIL Processes and IGA Functions

At an orientation event organized by the certification service provider SERVIEW, Fischer looked around for a suitable ITSM product. In addition to Efecte, "Topdesk" from the provider of the same name made a good impression. Efecte ultimately won the race, as it had unique selling points that also convinced Fischer's boss.

Efecte is designed for the cloud from the outset (in technical jargon: "cloud-native"). The tool can also be configured by the user with little support. It offers easy-to-understand dashboards for evaluations, which Athena's management was particularly enthusiastic about because it enables the definition and control of key figures.

For the helpdesk, however, two other points were decisive: Efecte already contains a standard kit for all important ITIL processes, which are also stored with customizable workflows.

Last but not least, the management of identities and access rights is directly integrated into the service management. This makes it possible to regulate who is allowed and able to access particular information. Other providers only provide this function separately.

 

Effie and Jeffie waving (1)

 

Current Status and Future Planning

Athena decided to gradually implement the software processes, starting with the most important function of any ITSM, incident management. This is now in production and, according to Fischer, most employees have recognized the added value of the solution on their own initiative, especially when it comes to recording and solving problems. The self-service portal is already in progress, with implementation scheduled to be completed by early fall of this year. The helpdesk team is also planning to introduce the service request management module.

An equally important function for Athena is the cost transparency, so that employees can see how much they are being charged for ordering a particular piece of hardware. It is also clear which devices are assigned to them personally. And very importantly, all registered users can call up status information on the whereabouts of their service tickets.

So there is always something new to do. "We can't even define an end to the project," concludes Fischer, "because it is constantly reinventing itself." But what he can already say today is that the productivity of the helpdesk has increased considerably.

Quick Wins

  • The ITIL processes were already available in the software standard.
  • This meant little implementation effort and an immediate start.
  • Transparency quickly prevailed with regard to asset and service costs.
  • Customers and, above all, the company's own management have a complete overview.
  • With the implementation of the self-service portal, users can always stay up to date.
  • Software implementation required few resources and little time
  • Little need for consulting
  • Software implementation as standard as possible, only good basic ITSM knowledge required for independent configuration.
  • No-code architecture means that customizations can generally be implemented without any programming knowledge.
  • Help from Efecte consultants with the configuration of interfaces, handlers or listeners.
  • All in all, the Athena helpdesk saves time and therefore money.

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