iCore Ltd

Keeping businesses moving …

Case Study, Avon Protection PLC – Service Management Improvement Programme

Avon Protection PLC recognised that support was needed to ensure an effective and achievable strategy was set, and that key processes and other supporting capabilities could be established to underpin the desired IT Service Management model the CIO wanted to move towards.


Avon Protection PLC  (Avon) specialises in the engineering and manufacturing of protection equipment for military and first responder personnel. In early 2020, as part of Avon’s growth strategy, Avon acquired 3M’s ballistic-protection business, enabling the company to rapidly expand its product portfolio in Military and First Responder markets.

Based on this acquisition, and an overall vision of creating a global IT Service Management capability that fully aligned IT with business needs, it was a priority for Avon’s CIO to address the following challenges –

  • Transition the Avon `Helmets & Armour` business away from 3M Group (and the current Technology Services Agreement), and into the Avon technology estate.
  • Transform Avon IT, across all divisions and sites, from local/regional capabilities into a global technology function and centralised capability, to drive improved standards, stability, and cost control.

Avon recognised that support was needed to ensure an effective and achievable strategy was set, and that key processes and other supporting capabilities could be established to underpin the desired IT Service Management model the CIO wanted to move towards. iCore was delighted to be selected as Avon’s partner to ensure that these goals were achieved, and excited to be part of the company’s global IT transformation journey.


The engagement started with our lead consultant working with the Avon IT Management team to gain a clear picture of the current Operating Model and effectiveness of key Service Management processes. Armed with the appropriate information, we put forward pragmatic and logical recommendations for change, along with priority actions for a phased Service Management programme that would enable Avon’s goals to be achieved.

With the priority actions having been outlined and agreed with the Avon IT Management team, iCore was engaged for a 15-month period to develop and document the operational Service Management processes necessary to underpin the future global model. This also involved taking a hands-on role in supporting the implementation of the newly acquired Manage Engine ServiceDesk Plus Cloud (SD+) tool to best support Avon’s goals and ambitions.

Approach and Deliverables

Following an initial review of key operational Service Management processes, and the capabilities needed to underpin a global Service Management approach, the following processes were designed and documented to provide a foundation for success:

  • Incident Management
  • Service Request Fulfilment
  • Change Management
  • Knowledge Management

As the SD+ toolset was going to be crucial in all improvements, we reviewed the initial implementation, including the way that the processes had been configured, and identified opportunities to optimise its effectiveness. This resulted in iCore leading the implementation of enhanced processes in a new instance of the SD+ tool that would better meet Avon’s business needs.

Following the successful deployment of the new toolset instance, the focus turned to the integration of Incident and Service Request ticketing with two of Avon’s key third party partners. iCore worked closely with the external teams to fully document requirements, use cases, and test plans for the integration. This provided the following areas of functionality that would be crucial in ensuring Avon’s objectives were met:

  • Creating, updating, and resolving a request or incident.
  • Receiving an update or resolution from Third Party partners.
  • Allowing Third Party partners to raise incidents.
  • Sending and receiving attachments with Third Party partners.

After this was achieved, iCore worked closely with the Avon team and Third-Party teams to develop and improve the integrations, including identifying limitations within the SD+ toolset, raising enhancement requests and developing workarounds where necessary.

iCore’s focus then shifted to embedding two further critical processes that Avon needed to develop: Hardware Asset Management (HAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM); and the configuration of the SD+ toolset necessary to support them. Work was carried out with the Avon Infrastructure teams to implement agent-based tooling for the inventory of the laptop, desktop and server estates, and agent-less probes for the discovery of network connected devices. Foundational, documented procedures and work instructions were produced to support the end-to-end IT Asset Lifecycle, ensuring that Avon could then fully embed the capabilities and realise the benefits of mature HAM & SAM processes.

At the end of the engagement, iCore worked with the Avon teams to ensure that the processes and SD+ toolset were fully documented and could be supported and continuously improved. This left Avon with the capabilities needed to ensure that on-going Service Management activities and Continual Service Improvement would seamlessly support the achievement of business goals.


The close working relationship forged between iCore and Avon enabled several key goals and important objectives to be achieved, including –

  • Improved productivity, through introducing effective Change Management, resulting in a significant reduction in incidents caused by poorly planned and controlled changes.
  • Improved customer experience and engagement, through faster incident resolution times, effective and timely responses to requests, and greater transparency to all key parties.
  • Enhanced Supplier Management capabilities, driving the desired outcomes from outsourced agreements through a joined-up approach.
  • A `Service-First` culture and CSI approach across all key IT personnel and outsourced partners.
  • Significant reductions in the cost and complexity of delivering IT services, through standard, repeatable and effective ways of working that do not compromise speed and quality of service.
  • Key foundational HAM and SAM capabilities were created for Avon to take forward and fully embed.
  • Coaching & development of employees to ensure that the new processes and capabilities could be taken forward, and that Avon would be self-sufficient at the end of the engagement.

iCore hopes to work with Avon through the other phases of the IT Service Management improvement programme and to continue our excellent working relationship.

About iCore

iCore is a UK based IT Service Transformation consultancy, serving organisations across all market sectors, and has been in business for 25 years. We have a long and proud track record of delivering large, complex modernisation projects, both on time and within budget, resulting in the outcomes that our customers require. Because all our consultants are experienced IT and business change professionals who continually work on new and challenging assignments, we adapt to new environments at a faster pace than generalist consultancies and can deliver results in shorter time frames.

In all our engagements, we use a pragmatic blend of modern (and relevant), good practice frameworks and bodies of knowledge, i.e. ITIL®, Agile, DevOps, Lean Six Sigma, IT4IT, SFIA, and SIAM, along with our own first-hand experience of how to achieve business and technology change in complex environments.