Public Services > Central Government

UK Export Finance nets Littlefish to tackle cost savings drive

David Bicknell Published 12 July 2017

Export credit agency bids to save over 20% costs by disaggregating IT contract; picks SME Littlefish for service desk and on-site support


UK Export Finance (UKEF) has broken up its incumbent IT contract by adopting a cloud first approach and hired an SME, Littlefish, to help manage its IT transformation.   

UKEF’s move to the cloud led it to select Microsoft Azure to host its IT environment, and then used G-Cloud to provide a partner to provide ITIL aligned Service Desk and on-site support.

It chose Littlefish to deliver ongoing management and support of its IT systems, including a service desk, infrastructure support and management and on-site support.

Lawrence Nichols, head of IT at UKEF said, “Like all government departments, we are looking to improve the service we receive at the same time as reducing costs. We were able to achieve both these goals by moving to a model where we have contracts with specialist providers, allowing us to benefit from both their expertise, and the price transparency this model gives Our goal was to reduce costs year on year by at least 20% through disaggregation and we have achieved that from year one with ease.” 

Nichols said the transition to a new model of operation had been quick and problem free with some services being transitioned in just eight weeks. He added, “There has been a quantum leap in service quality, with better value for money. In our annual satisfaction survey, just six months into our programme with Littlefish, we found huge service and satisfaction improvements. They are genuinely a real alternative to the usual suspects.” 

Littlefish’s Service Desk, a round the clock manned operation delivered from its operations centres in Nottingham and Rochdale, has integrated with UKEF’s existing operations and other suppliers, providing supply chain management and integration over a short transition timescale and with a marked increase in service quality.

For UKEF, Littlefish’s service management function extends beyond the Service Desk to resolution and co-ordination of broader issues and services, with plans in train to further develop Littlefish’s portal functionality.

“What this means is that UKEF can disaggregate with confidence, knowing that the Service Desk can smooth the process of integration and enables maximum service performance,” said Littlefish managing director Steve Robinson.

“With this model, Littlefish customers have the option of overseeing their Service Management in-house, with their strategic partner delivering Service Desk as a seamless extension of the in-house function. This kind of flexibility guarantees there is a disaggregation route and a multisource model which is fit for every organisation.”

Nichols said the relationship with Littlefish had been a success and offered a potential model other disaggregating Whitehall departments could follow. “Littlefish have really proved themselves, making us feel like we matter. My advice for other organisations looking to disaggregate is to find the right provider and work together – the benefit is all you hoped it would be.”


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