Virgin Money used to use manual tools, display panels and photography to track and record its IT incidents. But after deploying a Ricoh interactive whiteboard solution, IT incident management is faster and more efficient. Not only does the Ricoh solution help improve team collaboration and bring together relevant information more effectively, it also provides a much better way to archive and audit IT support activity.
Virgin Money is a UK retail-only bank, primarily focused on providing residential mortgages, savings, current accounts and credit cards, along with a range of complementary financial products, including investments and insurance. The bank operates a digitally-led distribution model supported by contact centres and 75 Virgin Money Stores spread across the UK. As part of its approach to offer a different banking experience, the bank also provides customers with Virgin Money Lounges in a number of cities, including London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Norwich. Virgin Money has 2.8 million customers and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
At the bank’s head office in Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a skilled but relatively small team manages IT incidents for all of Virgin Money’s head office, back office and retail branch operations. This includes large computer systems handling banking and customer information, corporate networks and staff PCs, through to iPads used in branches to help customers.
In the incident room, IT events and incidents that the team work on used to be manually recorded on six display panels. Additional support information had to be accessed independently. Once completed, details of each incident were recorded by taking a photograph of the panels, but this did not include support information.
As the bank’s operations expanded, this method of incident management became complicated and inefficient. Since several IT teams are present at different locations, sharing incident information was complicated.
As an existing Virgin Money partner, which has provided a number of business improvement solutions and services to the company, Ricoh was asked to review the problem. Ricoh looked at how Virgin Money operated incident management and then suggested using one of its latest business solutions featuring visual communication technology.
Virgin Money decided to use a Ricoh Communication Services solution comprising two Ricoh Interactive Whiteboards – one in the Gosforth incident centre and one in its Norwich location, where some IT operations are based. The two whiteboards serve and link Virgin Money’s IT incident teams in Gosforth and Norwich. Now, the Ricoh solution acts as the key information management tool bringing real-time collaboration to Virgin Money’s IT incident operation.
When an IT incident occurs it is still recorded, but with the Ricoh interactive whiteboards in place, paper and ink are replaced with an electronic record of the information. Each incident starts with a handwritten problem statement, but then additional information, such as requirements and actions taken, is added to the case.
Documents associated with an incident, like network maps or spreadsheet data, can be pulled up electronically, viewed on the whiteboard and then attached to the incident. Any subsequent changes to any items, such as marking up a network diagram, are automatically saved and become part of the incident record. Now, when an incident is closed it, along with all associated information and documentation, is saved as a single incident pdf.
Because the Ricoh whiteboards integrate with Virgin Money’s corporate network, information can be shared, in real-time, between the two whiteboards, or accessed via a web browser on a PC or mobile device.
Ricoh supplied the equipment, but because it is simple to use and set up, Virgin Money was able to install the equipment itself, including integration with the network and business systems.
The Ricoh solution has made a tangible difference to the way Virgin Money handles IT incidents by making information easier to manage, share and archive.
Jeff James, Team Lead for IT Incident & Problem Management, says, “The Ricoh Interactive Whiteboard solution is extremely useful and now forms an integral part of Virgin Money’s IT incident management process. One benefit is the improvement in the way we collaborate and share knowledge and information between the Gosforth and Norwich teams, in real time. But the biggest benefit is being able to collate and record information efficiently and then create an accurate, reliable audit trail of incident management.”
Not only does the Ricoh whiteboard solution enable the team to display incident details in a more presentable and flexible way - with text and imported information and images - recording incident information is automated and can be made available to anyone across the whole organisation. The pdf record of an incident can be linked to relevant incident information in the bank’s service management application and archived.
The ability to easily collate and save all relevant information in a single document improves information sharing. Instead of exchanging information via email, phone call or meeting, anyone who needs the information can access it online. Now, the incident team in Gosforth has rapid access to additional expertise and knowledge from the Norwich team as well as from other teams within the business.
Jeff James says, “Time is an important factor in managing any incident, and the clarity and speed that the Ricoh whiteboards introduce make a big difference. It’s early days, but I do think this is having a positive impact on our ability to resolve issues faster and more efficiently.”
The Ricoh solution also helps Virgin Money meet compliance regulations. Because the Ricoh solution can save and archive incidents, it provides the bank with a simple, but comprehensive audit trail. Any incident can be retrieved and associated actions - who took them and the outcomes - can be reviewed. Documentation to support an incident can be extensive, and being able to access a living document while an incident is ongoing, instantly and whenever they need to, can help improve efficiency for the incident management team.
Inspired by the success of the Ricoh Interactive Whiteboard solution within the IT team, other parts of Virgin Money are looking at how they can use the technology to improve their business operations.
what our client said
“The Ricoh Interactive Whiteboard solution is extremely useful and now forms an integral part of Virgin Money’s IT incident management process. One benefit is the improvement in the way we collaborate and share knowledge and information between the Gosforth and Norwich teams, in real time. But the biggest benefit is being able to collate and record information efficiently and then create an accurate, reliable audit trail of incident management.”
Jeff James, Team Lead, IT Incident & Problem Management