Tempe Transforms IT Customer Service

Located in southeast corner of Phoenix, Arizona, the city of Tempe is home to Arizona State University – and nearly 170,000 residents. To serve these residents, the city provides critical services such as fire, public works and police. And to help departments meet their missions, a centralized IT team supports city services.

Looking to improve customer service for their city departments, the Tempe IT team looked to Hewlett Packard (HP) for guidance. They wanted to solve city IT problems quicker and more efficiently, providing better customer service so departments can have access to the necessary IT services and tools to meet their missions.

“HP servers and storage form part of a highly virtualized environment and a variety of applications support vital services such as dispatch and records management for the police and the city’s traffic management system. Tempe relies on efficient delivery of these services but this had been done in the same way for 30 years. IT processes were out-of-date and no longer relevant,” said an HP report.

HP recommended that Tempe IT employees take part in an interactive simulation on IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and IT Service Management (ITSM), both to be run by an HP expert. Broadly, ITIL refers to creating a set of standards or practices that aligns IT to business needs. This process allows IT teams to provide services that will help end-users accomplish their missions, and can work to improve communication across teams.

The simulation showed the benefits of ITIL standards, and ultimately led to a seven-day HP Education Applied Service Management Workshop, which was attended by a cross-functional taskforce of 10 city employees.

At the workshop, IT teams defined their biggest challenges as incident management and request fulfillment. To help them overcome these challenges, HP sent an instructor to work with Tempe officials and provide training on how ITIL could help. The training has already led to improvements within the city.

“We were able to drive up our first call resolution average from 52 percent to 67 and with continual service improvement we’re targeting 75 percent. What that means to the customer is that 67 percent of the time they are now getting their issue resolved right there on the phone and that drives up customer satisfaction,” said Mark Wittenburg, Tempe’s IT manager.

But improvements on call resolution haven’t been the only benefits. The case study cites the following as improvements:

  • Measurements show that the number of trouble tickets requiring inefficient and expensive field visits has fallen from 25 percent to 12 percent.
  • The number of issues closed by the agreed due date has increased from 88 percent to over 95 percent.

With HP’s Applied Service Management Workshop, Tempe improved their customer satisfaction and service. They are planning additional workshops to address other organizational challenges, and to document processes properly.

“With documentation and knowledge databases that we have now created, the service desk has all the information they need at their fingertips when they would previously have had to waste time by forwarding the call on to a third level service practitioner,” said Wittenburg.

“Having agreed processes in place has increased the productivity and efficiency of IT staff and it has also improved the service we give to the citizens of Tempe.”


HP’s mission is to invent technologies and services that drive business value, create social benefit and improve the lives of customers — with a focus on affecting the greatest number of people possible. Check out their HP for Gov group on GovLoop.


Photo credit: FickR Creative Commons, Alexander Nie

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