By replacing an outdated helpdesk solution with Micro Focus Service Desk, the school cut TCO and enhanced the user experience

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About Holmesglen

Established in 1982, Holmesglen has grown to become one the largest providers of TAFE (technical and further education) in the state of Victoria. The organization offers over 600 programs to more than 50,000 enrolled students across four major campuses. Holmesglen’s programs include degree and graduate certificates, apprenticeships, short courses, and trade accreditation.


To prepare its IT support infrastructure for future challenges, including BYOD (bring-your-own-device), Holmesglen decided to replace its existing IT service desk management solution from CA. The organization wanted a more modern and open solution built around ITIL best practices, and the total cost of ownership for the new solution was also a very important consideration. Significant cuts in the budget provided by the state government have increased the financial pressure on Holmesglen.

To overcome this broader challenge, Holmesglen embarked on a strategy both to increase its revenues by attracting more students and to cut its administrative costs. For the IT function, this translated into a commitment to deliver annual savings of 250,000 AUD in software licensing costs—while maintaining or improving service levels.


Holmesglen is a long-term user of our technologies for a number of core IT services, including directory services, IT resource management, and collaboration. The organization recognized that deploying Service Desk to replace its existing solution would simplify integration with its core systems and provide a stronger negotiating position for a new software licensing agreement.

“With an eye on the long-term cost of ownership, we also liked the openness of Service Desk, which means that we’re not locked into a particular vendor’s technology,” said Paul Abschinski, CIO of Holmesglen.

The company worked with Holmesglen to understand its budget constraints and put together a three-year licensing deal that met all its requirements, including additional product training.

“They really stepped up to work with us during tight financial times, enabling us to reduce our annual cost in return for a longer commitment—which we were more than happy to make,” said Abschinski. “Our experience has convinced us that Novell (now part of Micro Focus) technologies offer lower TCO than competing options from Microsoft, not least because we don’t have any of the integration and support issues that our peers seem to experience. Everything works well out of the box without additional license or product gotchas.”

The user-friendly web-based interface to Service Desk is helping to drive adoption of the solution at Holmesglen, making it quick and easy for teaching and administrative staff to report issues and request support. At the back end, the solution is integrated with Micro Focus ZENworks, enabling technicians to apply fixes directly to remote machines. Service Desk provides clear, easy-to-navigate information on outstanding issues, helping Holmesglen IT support staff prioritize and track tasks.


With Service Desk, the relatively small IT support team at Holmesglen is able to manage a large volume of work efficiently and effectively. The solution enables management to plan staff resources and schedules more accurately, both for incident-based work and for project work, helping Holmesglen achieve the optimal balance between cost and service levels.

“Service Desk helps us to achieve more with a small team, supporting our aim of reducing IT costs while maintaining high service levels for users,” said Abschinski. “The links with ZENworks are good, and the roadmap will deliver further integration down the line. We already automatically link incidents to specific IT assets and provide all the relevant configuration information to the first-line support team—accelerating resolution and improving service to our users.”

Holmesglen is using the workflow engine in Service Desk to automate selected provisioning tasks—integrating with Identity Manager for authentication—and plans to extend this automation.

“We see significant untapped value in integrating and automating processes across our landscape; for example, delivering new software directly to a user when they request it through Service Desk,” said Abschinski. “As we look to enhance the user experience in support of our business growth strategy, our vision is to be able to automatically provision the appropriate resources for any user on any device. The openness of our environment gives us confidence that we’ll be able to adapt to whatever the future may hold.”

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One of the largest providers of vocational and higher education in Victoria





Asia Pacific



  • Enabled faster and more efficient support for users
  • Created automated workflows for user-controlled provisioning
  • Gained new capabilities and maintained service levels while reducing IT spend
  • Implemented an open solution that simplifies integration with core systems

"Service Desk was very competitively priced, fully aligned to the latest ITIL standards and offered close integration with both ZENworks and Identity Manager from NetIQ (now a part of Micro Focus)."


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