HEAT Software was very limited as we grew and changed. We used it for requests and for incidents, but it didn't support the other important processes we were deploying due to the high labor requirements and cost to properly customize it. We did create problem management records in HEAT, but it was really just a sub type of break/fix and barely met the requirement. We also didn't have change management and relied on a very dated home grown web application. The existing tools didn't have any concept of release management at all. We did have knowledge management in HEAT, but it was only used by the Service Desk and the asset management was also limited to PCs and printers.
We did a fair amount of integration with HEAT Software, but it required a lot of ongoing care in terms of managing and maintaining the system requiring a least one FTE and often more. Unfortunately, every time it needed upgrading, it was always last on the list to get resources because the business, clinical and EMR applications in the hospital are the top priority. Obviously the need to focus on clinical applications is required so we can deliver the best healthcare services possible. When we did perform upgrades for HEAT Software, we would usually break some functionality. When it broke, it usually stayed broke for a long time and so we would actually lose functionality following an upgrade. We felt like we were moving backwards with HEAT Software.
We had to have one person who was dedicated to managing and maintaining HEAT Software and all the customization required to keep it running. Eventually, we concluded we're not large enough to really have dedicated resources for an IT help desk ticketing tool. We really needed to give this responsibility to someone else. Our conclusion was to give the responsibility to a HIPAA compliant cloud service provider that specializes in ITIL help desk software. We wanted the vendor to develop, manage and upgrade the application, as well as let them worry about all the other aspects of the ITIL application. This is how we came to look at cloud vendors. We looked at pretty much all of the well-known ones such as BMC Remedy Service Management, ServiceNow Service Management, HP Service Manager, HP Service Anywhere on SaaS, CA Cloud Service Management, CA Service Desk Manager, BMC FootPrints, Salesforce.com RemedyForce, Manage Engine Service Desk Plus and SysAid.
We had two different RFPs and we may have had a third before I was here, but a lot of the cloud products came down to cost and that is a big factor. We are a public hospital and healthcare organization and we don't have a large budget for help desk software tools. We have to focus most of our budget on providing clinical applications, so finding budget leftover for help desk software is really difficult. With Giva, we have reduced the total cost of ownership (TCO) of our Service Management tools by approximately 60% when you consider a 5 year period.
Since we are a public entity, we had to issue an RFP for a project of this size. When we carefully reviewed and evaluated the RFP responses, we concluded that Giva was the product that had the most flexibility and to us that was really the key. No product was the perfect fit, but Giva won the RPF because it was an excellent fit from the standpoint of their feature set and modules and they were a trusted partner we could work with to implement the product. They also had a track record with other healthcare and hospital customers and were also open to working directly with our hospital to further enhance the product by listening to our feedback. Giva uses an Agile Software Development lifecycle so they put out a new release every 3 weeks. None of the other vendors were putting out new releases with this frequency. We see new features and functionality on a regular basis and we have had 100% backwards compatibility in all the new releases. None of our current configurations and customizations have been compromised. The Giva upgrades have been completely seamless.
So far the Giva team has delivered on all of the things they committed to. Early in our conversations, we talked about the fact that we're a hospital and healthcare organization and we are very concerned about security and the possibility of Protected Health Information (PHI) being entered in the Giva system. We have to be very careful if there is patient data that gets into an incident or problem record. Not long after that discussion, Giva launched their HIPAA certification and signed our Business Associate Agreement. That pretty much proved to us that Giva was listening and would be a company that we could work with in the long term. We felt that if we had new requirements that came up, we could pass those requirements along to Giva and they would get implemented into the product. In the year that we have been working together Giva has definitely demonstrated the ability to listen and then implement new features.
It wasn't initially a requirement, but later on we discussed our need for a mobile application for our field techs to use Giva on their mobile devices. It was something that Giva already had on their roadmap and the first version of it was launched in the timeline that Giva committed to. Their mobile application will significantly increase the productivity of our field techs because they are always away from their desks and need to know when new tickets are assigned to them. The Giva mobile app is unique in that it is a pure cloud application and not a download, so it is much more secure. It is HTML 5 and browser based so it can work on any mobile devices or tablet regardless of the operating system. It helps our team stay out in the field longer and be much more productive as they can plan their day in the most efficient manner while walking around our campus fixing hardware and software issues. We anticipate that we will realize about a 70% productivity improvement in this area when fully deployed.
We thought that Giva was really flexible and we wanted it not as just a tool for IT, but a help desk ticketing system that we could offer to other departments within the hospital. Everywhere we looked in the hospital many departments had made requests for call tracking software, whether it was Facilities, Human Resources, Marketing, Radiology or a half a dozen other departments. Giva is a very flexible help desk ticketing tool for the entire hospital and not just a tool for IS to create problems, incidents, requests for change, or other IS type requests. With Giva we can create a separate instance/independent service desk which can be used by any department in the hospital. As soon as we were up and running on Giva, we had demand from these other departments to automate many of their manual processes using Giva.
Another use of Giva's multiple instances/independent service desks is the "confidential" service desk we created. Since we are a hospital delivering high risk healthcare services there is always the possibility of litigation. In these situations, which occur very rarely, we have to investigate and create special request records that we only want the legal department and a few other people to be able to view. Having the confidential service desk with very limited access allows us to manage this process in Giva.
Separate independent instances of Giva are completely isolated from each other, but they all feed off of the same underlying database of employees in our Active Directory. Facilities, Human Resources or Marketing can all have their own instance of Giva that can be fully customized. They are separate silos where you have to be a member of the service desk to access it. In the past, we often saw departments go outside of IS on their own and purchase help desk software that required additional cost and support. Now with Giva, we can quickly create a new service desk and have any department up and running in a day. We are saving the hospital capital and providing departments with better integration than other stand-alone applications.