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Creating frameworks for stakeholder management and improved operational efficiency and effectiveness

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University of the Arts London (UAL) offers an extensive range of more than 100 courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts. The university is made up of six world-renowned colleges spread around 16 sites across London which are: Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, London College of Communication, Camberwell College of Arts, Chelsea College of Arts and Wimbledon College of Arts supported by CentralServices.

As part of a long-term development plan, the colleges will continue to have their own entities but will be diminishing the physical number of sites – the London College of Fashion
will be moving to Stratford in 2022 – going down from 7 sites to 1 site. The London College of Communication, where IT support is based, will also be relocated in 2025.

The IT Services Department supports all sites, ensuring that the services provided are aligned with the organisation’s critical objectives for increased performance, sustainability
and collaboration, by providing a robust IT infrastructure which is consistent with their academic ambitions and developing efficient University-wide operational systems that enhance the student experience and increase satisfaction.


The Challenge

Being such a large university with over 5,000 staff and more than 45,000 full and part time students located in different areas of London, service and support is a huge undertaking. More than 150 people are dedicated to managing support services across many functions. Each college has its own autonomy, so it is important to introduce common processes to ensure standardised and equitable levels of service throughout the university.

The departmental responsibilities of UAL IT team are for introducing, communicating and supporting new services, managing the desktop environment, the whole of the network infrastructure and the software deployment systems and also working with the colleges to improve their experience of IT. They are also instrumental in delivering UAL’s long-term IT strategy.


Enterprise Approach

The Marval MSM environment within UAL has grown quite considerably since its introduction in 2015 –from initially just being IT focussed to having multiple helpdesks now using Marval MSM for different departmental functions.

UAL currently has 6 support teams using Marval MSM and are planning to introduce a further 4 over a period of six months.

Jon Lucas, Head of IT Engagement, UAL explains, “Marval MSM is being used across the board and it is continuing to expand. We have recently gone live with Halls of Residence and plans are in place to introduce Marval MSM for Human Resources, Procurement and Estates. Last year 54,000 IT related and 11,000 non-IT related requests were raised.”


Project Objectives

To implement a web-based software solution which would enable UAL to embrace service management activities efficiently, follow ITIL good practices and achieve the SDI service desk certification standard.

Essential requirements included:
• Introduction of an improved web self-service portal
• Improved and better-defined process workflows
• Defined, agreed and communicated Service Catalogue
• Improved Knowledge Management
• Improved customer experience
• Implementation of selected ITIL good practice service management processes
• Meaningful and up to date reporting and management information


The Solution

UAL looked at several service management solutions on the market and Marval MSM was selected, not just by IT but also all the other support teams as it fulfilled all the organisational requirements and budget.

Key Considerations for its selection:
• Comprehensive product functionality
• Knowledge transfer and collaboration with product and service management specialists
• The flexibility to introduce specific innovations and service improvements for UAL
• Easy to implement and configure software
• Comprehensive rules, roles and permissions and security protocols to ensure only authorised personnel can few specific requests
• Ongoing professional services

From initial scoping to implementation and a fully working system took less than 30 days. One area that UAL are particularly proud of is the configuration of their Marval web self-service portal - ‘MySupport’ in the way it looks and feels and the way that users are able to navigate, engage and be presented with interactive knowledge articles.

Introduction of web self-service has also increased satisfaction levels. Users know who is dealing with their request or incident and have the ability to go on line and look at all the updates to the request. They can also update the requests themselves and leave feedback on the quality of service in response to that request.



Implementation of Marval MSM within UAL has certainly exceeded expectations. It has provided standardisation in process, order, control and accountability of the IT support department, improved communication and collaboration, operational efficiency and effectiveness enabling UAL to achieve higher levels of first time fix rates.

They have successfully introduced selected ITIL processes including request fulfilment, incident management, problem management and change management.

Jon Lucas concludes “Marval MSM is very intuitive, you can actually work out how to manage it yourself. Marval is working well for us and it is helping us become more proactive in our service management approach. But there is always room for improvement in managing our resources and developing the software in new directions to meet new requirements.”

Since the introduction of Marval MSM service management software and improved working practices, results speak for themselves:

Statistics showing UAL's improved working practices

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