Interview with Mr. Thomas Völzel, project manager EcholoN
The state company Hessen-Forst maintains, shapes and cares for forests in all parts of the country, because forests are an indispensable livelihood for all of us: as a carbon dioxide reservoir and thus an important climate buffer, as a water reservoir that provides natural protection against flooding, as an oxygen producer, as a habitat for animals and plants and as a place to relax. Our concept of near-natural forestry integrates aspects of nature conservation into all measures in the forest and thus actively promotes the biodiversity in Hesse's forests. Our forest care creates value: it improves the forest assets of the forest owners, protects nature and the environment and gives people space for balance and leisure.
It is present across the board in Hesse with 439 forest districts in 41 forest offices and the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park Office. We have had our forest management checked annually by independent experts since 2001. This is done in accordance with the strict requirements of the PEFC, the "Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes", for ecologically, economically and socially balanced forest management.
A total of 2,800 employees work at HESSEN FORST, including around 1,800 at IT workplaces, which are looked after by almost 40 IT employees.
EcholoN: What is the job of the IT department?
Mr. Völzel: The complete handling of everything that has to do with IT and telecommunications. The IT employees are divided into different subject areas: system technology - from the PC to the server, telecommunications - from the cell phone to the WAN line, specialist applications - from the forest inventory and logging to the timber sale GIS - for the maps. Overall, the processing ranges from planning through procurement and commissioning to ongoing support and further development. We are involved in the systems of the State of Hesse such as the email traffic.
EcholoN: Why looking for a service management solution?
Mr. Völzel: The following question arose: How can a user service be organized? We set out to find out in which way the previous process (slip management and hall discussions) can be structured more effectively.
EcholoN: What is supported?
Mr. Völzel: All inquiries from the supervised areas are supported. Even with systems that we do not operate ourselves, such as email or SAP, all inquiries are answered by our user service and answered as far as possible.
EcholoN: What is the special challenge?
Mr. Völzel: HESSEN FORST is a company that covers the whole of Hesse. There is a head office, 41 forestry offices, 5 special operations, 420 forest foresters and another 40 home offices. It is important to get them under one roof and to look after them both effectively and efficiently.
EcholoN: What goal should be achieved by introducing an IT service management solution?
Mr. Völzel: Accelerate the work of the IT department, increase its effectiveness and efficiency and make the management of operations and locations positive in terms of structure and information flow.
EcholoN: How did the selection process go?
Mr. Völzel: As part of the state administration, we had to submit a tender. For this, a catalog of requirements had to be drawn up and the offer opening had to be prepared later.
EcholoN: What were the main criteria in the specifications?
Mr. Völzel: We had created a catalog of requirements of 23 points: client-server solution - based on a relational database - user group assignment of the tickets entered - ticket status: in progress / forwarded / solved / closed - email interface (Exchange Server) - service level agreements - All master data can be entered / changed by us - knowledge database - search function in all tickets (including closed ones) and in the knowledge database - quick tickets - attach documents (e.g.: doc, gif, tif, etc.) - export options for selected data at least. according to CSV - Assistant for the initial entry of a ticket - Rights management (User - Admin).
EcholoN: What were the main reasons to choose EcholoN?
Mr. Völzel: The main reasons were the fulfillment of the criteria of the catalog of requirements, an out-of-the-box product, little customizing and of course the price. EcholoN simply met our requirements.
EcholoN: How was the installation and setup of EcholoN?
Mr. Völzel: No problem.
EcholoN: How is the cooperation between mIT solutions GmbH and Hessen-Forst?
Mr. Völzel: It is gratifyingly rare and if it is, it is still good. We are satisfied with the technical support. EcholoN runs and runs and runs - so far there are few, but if there are, then good points of contact.
EcholoN: Did you face any further challenges during the installation phase?
Mr. Völzel: Yes, with regard to the facility and the structures to be built within EcholoN. It was good that we had support in the competent support from EcholoN.
EcholoN: How is EcholoN support organized today?
Mr. Völzel: Classic service desk as SPOC (Single Point of Contact) with process orientation according to ITIL. Here around 50% of the problems are to be solved immediately by qualified employees.
EcholoN: Were the goals set achieved?
Mr. Völzel: The goals set so far: yes, everyone! I think we will also be able to achieve the new goals with EcholoN.
EcholoN: Would you choose EcholoN again?
Mr. Völzel: yes, without question!
EcholoN: Would you do something different afterwards?
Mr. Völzel: You learn during the procurement process and during daily work ... and so there is always something that could be done differently afterwards.
EcholoN: What positive effects have you noticed since installing EcholoN?
Mr. Völzel: Unfortunately, they cannot be measured because there are no comparative values. But our prompt processing, the associated high level of customer satisfaction and the lower data loss speak for themselves.