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ITIL Training Zone -an Outsourcing solution Case Study

September 21, 2011

Outsourcing Services helps sustain growth and maintain profitability–

Partnering with Managed Services provider ProcessFlows, to supply remote administrative resource to support online IT Service Management students, has enabled ITIL Training Zone to sustain rapid growth and maintain profitability.

Providing online IT service management qualifications

ITIL Training Zone provides online training courses and examinations for IT service management qualifications, via their websites. They support qualifications from Foundation up to the coveted ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library®) Expert certification.

Our ITIL courses are definitely not technical. Courses focus on the practical, business side of IT. They cover things like; how to run an efficient helpdesk; establishing a sound IT business model and how to implement upgrades with the minimum of inconvenience and system down time.
Claire Agutter, MD and joint founder of ITIL Training Zone

Classroom based courses are not always convenient

MD Claire Agutter and fellow founder Robin Yearsley, who had both worked in service management for a number of years, recognised that classroom-based training is not always possible.

Business Service Customer Support Office Working Concept

For those that work full time or away from home and have family commitments, it can be hard to clear the diary to fit in a course. But if the coursework can be completed online, in spare time, drawing on video tutorials, downloadable study guides, reference materials, online quizzes and exercises, practice exam papers and a dedicated tutor to support, training can be fitted around busy schedules.

Over 10,000 online student ‘customers’

ITIL Training Zone has grown fast since its incorporation in 2007 and is already recognised as an online training specialist for the globally recognised ITIL IT service management qualifications, with over 10,000 students, some as far afield as the US and Australia, currently studying online.

There are no limits with an online business like ours, as long as you have the resource to meet growth demands” comments Claire, who puts their business achievements down to the fact that the Internet has levelled the playing field, so you no longer have to be a large corporate, with a huge marketing budget, to compete in global business markets.

Social media has played a key role in the success of our marketing strategy. Couple this with being able to consistently deliver a product that meets customer requirements at a competitive price, backed up by excellent service levels and you are in business.

A successful business needs good quality staff to underpin growth

As more people signed up to their courses, the amount of communications with students, particularly via email, ramped up substantially.

Quick growth is generally a good thing, but the Company is very aware that too much growth, too soon, can be detrimental to the overall health of any business.

A high level of customer service is paramount in order that ITIL Training Zone can continue to deliver the consistent and positive study experience that students have come to rely on. Their success is based on this, so they needed more people to help deal with the increasing workload.

It was a dilemma. Additional permanent staff would be great, but it is an obligation and funding them would be costly and not without risk. A move to larger premises in due course to accommodate them was also a possibility, which would incur further costs.

They could take on temporary staff, which were less of a financial and contractual commitment, but when they left, the next temps would have to be trained, so there would be no continuity and staff would never be there long enough to understand the business fully.

Another, but not very realistic option was for the directors to handle all of the admin themselves. If this resulted in a situation where they had to multitask to such an extent that they had no time for course and business development, it would have a negative impact on the business.

The best use of resource

The other option was to use someone else’s resource …

The decision was made that an outsourced, pay-as-you go administrative services contract, with fixed costs and tight Service Level Agreements (SLAs) would deliver the consistent and high level of customer service required. It would also be affordable and risk free.

A strategic business partner

An outsourced business model gives small companies and start-ups access to the same skills, resources, 24hr operations and business processes and services as their larger competitors, at a fraction of the cost of setting up in-house.

The Company is confident that the tailor-made administrative outsourcing package that ProcessFlows is providing will enable ITIL Training Zone to continue to grow their business exponentially with the minimum of investment.

I view our relationship with ProcessFlows as a partnership, rather than a client/supplier association. ProcessFlows took time to understand our business needs, budget and future plans, before coming up with a proposal that met our exact requirements and SLAs.

ProcessFlows’ outsourcing services model for ITIL Training Zone provides a ‘seam free’ and virtual administrative resource, that takes full responsibility for all ITIL Training Zone’s customer email exchanges – course enquiries, student communications etc. The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) team process emails as ‘virtual employees’ of ITIL Training Zone.

We do it your way

Claire spent time on-site with the ProcessFlows BPO team in Bulgaria, familiarising them with the company and disseminating product knowledge. Back in the UK, she has direct access to her team via phone and email, so she can always be in touch.


Outsourcing services are totally scalable. As business grows (or retracts) monthly spend can be adjusted to fit the changed level of business.

I have been so impressed by the quality of staff ProcessFlows assigned to our project” said Claire. “The time taken to train and educate them about our business has been well invested. They go the extra mile for us without even being asked. They are proactive, coming up with new ideas, advising our students and following up to check that a problem has been resolved, or they have received information sent.

Claire is already planning to outsource some of her marketing activities to the ProcessFlows Bulgarian team.

Other BPO services available from ProcessFlows

ProcessFlows also provides pay-as-you-go managed services for helpdesk, data entry, telemarketing and server monitoring. All of our BPO packages are specifically tailored to meet the individual needs of clients. Costs are fixed and SLAs agreed, so there will be no nasty surprises or unexpected invoices.

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