CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, offers many services for its staff and visiting scientists. As Joanna Partridge reports, its Service Desk helps resolve any queries and uses the organisation's resources most efficiently.
A mini-city, straddling France and Switzerland. At CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, scientists are working to unravel some of the mysteries of the universe. It's funded by 21 different countries and around 6000-7000 people are on site each day. Some are just visiting and in need of accommodation How, then, to let them know about all the services the organisation offers. From the shuttle bus timetable, to getting on the wifi, or renting a CERN bike. They created the Service Desk - run by Reinoud Martens. SOUNDBITE: Reinoud Martens, Service Manager, CERN, saying (English): "We use the same forms, the same process for IT and non-IT requests and incidents, so if you would request a shuttle or a car it goes through the same kind of processes if you would request access to the wifi network or request something from IT." They set up an inventory of all the services CERN offers - such as car rental. And there's just one helpdesk number to call and one address to email. PTC If some of the thousands of scientists or people working here at CERN have a problem or a request, they end up here at the Service Desk, where the team are on hand to answer their query, or point them in the right direction. It's all part of trying to use the organisation's resources most efficiently. SOUNDBITE: Sudarshan Paramesvaran, CERN, saying (English): "I've used them a couple of times when I've had problems with my user account, they've always responded and fixed the issue very quickly." SOUNDBITE: Despina Hatzifotiadou, Physicist working at CERN, saying (English): "Now everything is centralised, it is very useful. Certainly it helps us save time because rather than looking for, when there is a problem, whom to contact, what telephone number to call." When setting up the Service Desk, CERN turned to firm Service Now - known for providing enterprise service management. They've built a system which is entirely automated, says Service Now's CEO, Frank Slootman. SOUNDBITE: Frank Slootman, CEO, Service Now, saying (English): "A request is created, it's routed through a set of workflows, a set of automations, and the records are kept in the systems. It's a fully automated process as opposed to a communications process which is what most of us are used to. But for enterprises this is actually relatively new. I mean they still rely on a huge amount of person to person interaction for their service needs and the simplest things." CERN was an early adopter of this kind of all-encompassing helpdesk, and even has something to teach big business. Top car makers including Volkswagen have come to CERN to learn. SOUNDBITE: Reinoud Martens, Service Manager, CERN, saying (English): "A lot of people come to see us, to help them convince their management that this can work. It's not something which is only applicable to a physics lab, it can be applied to any commercial or non-commercial organisation." For the scientists it all means less time trying to get a bulb changed and more time shedding light on the origins of the universe