Rexam embraces ITIL for outsourcing

The global packaging company, Rexam has standardised its global IT service delivery on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practice framework.

The manufacturer embarked on an ITIL compliance-driven change programme two years ago and has been so successful in improving the performance of mission-critical systems, it is now about to begin the process outsource its new IT service management function too.

Jonathan Chapman, global service delivery manager at Rexam said ITIL was the best method to standardise IT delivery in support of mission-critical, global manufacturing and business processes in response to an IT outsourcing strategy the company decided to pursue at the same. "We've outsourced the core data and network IT, and now we're heading towards outsourcing the IT service management function we've just designed and built."

Chapman told IT PRO that, once you consider the UK Rexam data centre handles 2-billion worth of critical transactions alone, it became clear to the company that one, global standard around key performance indicators (KPIs) would be necessary if the running of the IT infrastructure was moved outside the company. "When you have to make a can or glass bottle to exactly the same specification around the world, standards become essential," he said.

After selecting ITIL for its modular, non-prescriptive approach - allowing Rexam to "take what we need from it as a foundation and very quickly build our own processes on it, unlike Prince 2," according to Chapman - the methodology established through certification courses from the Training Camp paved the way for the introduction of a comprehensive ITIL programme.

A data warehouse of formal requirements, guidelines and related data that each ITIL team around the world can draw on has been built to support the programme. Chapman said: "It has definitely affected the way we procure outsourced services, where HP has been an invaluable partner in this. The operational side is now much more considered from the start, affecting how we draw up a managed service contract in terms of how it applies to the day-to-day running of the company."

He added that, while the company had previously had a helpdesk and other various IT service management components, the introduction of a dedicated corporate IT service function has maintained and improved rate of repeat incidents and other KPIs.

"We're about six to eight months away from completing a consolidation of the function we've set up into one team. I may well take a few of those guys back to the Training Camp for ITILv3 refresher courses, as I found the training I received was really tangible and very relevant in building up our data warehouse," said Chapman.

ITIL recently launched only its third version of the best practice IT service management framework last month (7 June). At the time, ITIL chief architect and president of Canadian IT service management consultancy Aspect Group, Sharon Taylor said: "ITILv3 really talks about how IT organisations deliver services within their companies and the processes that underpin the successful delivery of IT services. This is something we have been saying over the years but until now it has never been part of the core volumes."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.