Monday 25th March

13:00 - 17:00 Pre-Conference Workshop

Service Desk Certification - Meet the Stars

Learn how to improve the value you deliver to your customers by using  SDI’s Service Desk Certification (SDC) programme. At this pre-conference event you will hear stories from organisations who have used, or are in the process of using the best practice Standard to achieve Service Desk Certification.

You will have the opportunity to discuss your own SDI certification experience and ask any questions about the process or challenges your organisation has faced.

Location: Arden

19.30 - 23:30

Pre-Conference Networking Event - Pub Quiz & Curry Night!

Location: Main Stage



12.30 - Registration

13.30 - An introduction to our event from our host Damian Bowen

14.00 - Paige Smith, Air IT’s SDC Journey: Overcoming obstacles & achieving 3-star success

14.30 - David Gordon, Head of IT Service Operations, Informatics Merseyside

15.00 - David Bullivant, Sunrise Software

15.20 - Break. Tea, coffee & light refreshments will be served.

15.50 - Lisa McDonald, ITIL Manager, University of Edinburgh

16.20 - Mark Bassett, Head of Service Management, Barnardo’s

16.50 - Q&A and Close


Tuesday 26th March


Stream 1

Stream 2

Stream 3

Stream 4


8:50 - 9:00 Conference Welcome & Open

Location: Main Stage


9:10 - 10:10 KEYNOTE: Jamil Qureshi, High Performance Teams

Jamil Qureshi is one of today's foremost practitioners of performance psychology. Having spent many years working with the world's elite, he is in a genuinely unique position to define 'what makes the difference'.

An expert in the psychology of leadership, leadership communication, improving people performance, Jamil specialises in purposeful and meaningful change techniques.

Location: Main Stage




10:15 - 11:00


Martina Holubcova

How (not) to measure customer satisfaction as an internal IT service provider

Martina, Head of Service Management at Manchester Metropolitan University will talk about the challenges of measuring and reporting on customer satisfaction when you are an internal IT service provider. There are many different types of metrics available - the Net Promoter Score, the Customer Effort Score, CSAT – but what do you need to know about each of these before you start using them?

Location: Arden

Barclay Rae

ITIL4 & Human Digital Transformation

The long awaited ITIL4 Foundation course and publication have recently been launched. This includes a number of new concepts and contexts to bring ITSM into the Digital Age, such as value streams, guiding principles and the co-creation of value, as well as some familiar and proven practices.

One of the lead architects  - Barclay Rae - explains the key elements in ITIL4, both the new and the familiar. The session also covers how ITIL4 can help to move all of our industry forward to meet the new and ever-changing challenges, whilst not forgetting valuable best practices.

 Location: London

Erika Dapkiene

Meet Watson at Danske Bank's Service Desk - artificial intelligence at work!

Building on IBM Watson Danske Banks Service Desk has created an intelligent machine, which in its first edition can answer "How do I do" questions. The possibilities are huge, because Watson can do much more: see the meaning and relationships of large amounts of data, learn and improve, understand the users' situation and wishes, and present intelligent choices. Erika Dapkiene, Head of Service Desk, Danske Bank, will demonstrate how Watson works and will examine the most important lessons learned on the way forward, including where to start and what to focus on if you want to succeed with artificial intelligence in the Service Desk.

Location: York

Chris Clarkson

Shift-Happens – Shift left and improve service quality using remote support tools

The industry has always looked for technology to reduce operational costs, while optimising the performance of the service desk and support staff. Chris Clarkson, Senior Solutions Engineer at BeyondTrust, will discuss how the correct remote support tooling can quickly deliver benefits to a shift-left strategy, enabling support desks to rapidly improve service quality.

Location: Cambridge/Oxford

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11:00 - 11:30 Refreshments, Exhibition & Networking

Location: Expo Hall 



11:30 - 12:15


Jon Hall

Swarming & Devops for ITSM

Digital transformation of enterprises, and the growth of DevOps, are driving enterprises to re-think the way they work. Many of ITSM’s previously accepted norms, such as the tiered support organisation, are coming under considerable pressure.

Jon, Principal Product Manager at BMC Software will discuss Swarming as an alternative practice for service organisations, showing that it is much more compatible with the goals and practices of DevOps. Using real examples, and aligning with other transformative thinking such as Cynefin, it explores the challenges faced by DevOps teams as they grow inside a large enterprise, and shows how Swarming enables greater mutual collaboration and success.

Location: London

Paul Phillips

The Amelia Project with CGI

Paul Phillips, Senior Service Desk Operations Manager at CGI will join us to talk about IPsoft's Amelia - Your Digital Colleague.

Digital colleagues who think, speak and empathise like humans and who are also adept at understanding how a business works are the future. Paul will be sharing CGI's story of investigation and investment in virtual assistants; how they are being used to enhance the service experience, the benefits being experienced by end users, clients and CGI and the future development and enhancement of this exciting technology and service.

 Location: York




Robert Hallam

Happiness and a deeper purpose comes first – Even When you Have 85,000 People

Some people think it’s easy for a small company to be happy but hard or impossible for larger organisations. Well, John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is here to show that it is possible.

Robert, Head of Democratic Engagement will be discussing how JLP’s ultimate purpose is “the happiness of all its members, through worthwhile and satisfying employment.” They achieve this by making all employees co-owners, by sharing profits and by running the company in a democratic way that encourages participation in decision making.

 Location: Arden

Sumit de

From ITIL to Agile – the new age of best practice

Sumit De, Head of Consultancy at TOPdesk will present:

IT is falling deeply in love with Agile. But is a happy marriage between agile service management and watertight ITIL processes really possible?

Agile is based around four core values, and they need only slight adjustments to be made applicable to IT service management. But how exactly do the principles sit with the ITIL framework - a framework that has been the gold standard of IT departments for decades?

Location: Cambridge/Oxford



12:15 - 13:20 Lunch, Exhibition & Networking

Location: Expo Hall

Lunch & Learn: Improve Your ITSM Delivery With AI Chatbots

Craig Whytock, Solutions Consultant, Axios Systems

Learn how AI Chatbot integration can transform your Service Management

The way businesses communicate internally has evolved rapidly, moving from email and telephone to automated digital communication channels. IT operations teams must meet the demands of digital transformation faster than ever before, with instant 24/7 support and faster ticket resolution.

In this presentation, Craig will explore:

  • Shift Left with Digital Transformation

  • Current AI Chatbot trends in the ITSM industry

  • The importance of a well-maintained CMDB and Knowledge Management

  • Use case - assyst’s AI Chatbot integration (featured in the next release)

  • Chatbot KPIs

Location: Arden

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13:20 - 14:05 KEYNOTE: Jeff Rumburg - The Future of Service and Support – A Brave New World!

IT Service and Support organisations worldwide are moving aggressively towards new business models. ITIL 4, AI, and hiring practices that place a premium on business skills are radically altering the landscape of the industry. A bright future awaits those who are prescient enough to embrace these industry megatrends, while those who are slow to adapt will operate at a significant disadvantage for many years to come.

In this keynote address, Jeff Rumburg, Managing Partner at MetricNet, will use industry benchmarking data to connect the dots and present a vision of the service organization of the future. Attendees will learn how people, process and technology are converging upon a tipping point that will radically reshape the support industry of the future.

Join Jeff for a roundtable discussion straight after his keynote session, sign up here.

Location: Main Stage




14:10 - 14:55


Hosted by Jamie Bell

Best Practice Standard 2019 Refresh – Ask The Experts

The SDI Global Best Practice Standard for Service Desk (Best Practice Standard) is being updated to help service desk teams everywhere achieve their full potential and raise the quality of service delivery, in line with the ever-changing Service Management and Service Operations landscape. A panel of the ITSM industry's leading experts answer your questions about the next iteration of the globally recognised best practice standards for Service Desks.

The panel will be hosted by Service Desk Specialist Jamie Bell. Panelists include SDI’s Chief Value & Innovation Officer David Wright, Consultant, Auditor & ITIL4 Author Barclay Rae, IT Service Management Advisor & Consultant Damian Bowen and Consultant & Customer Service expert Lynne Nash.

Location: Cambridge/ Oxford

Kathy Berkidge

Mindfulness at Work

Agile Consultant and Mindfulness Coach Kathy will discuss the key to genuine collaboration – mindfulness. Mindfulness enables us to be truly alert to what is happening with our work, with our team, and within ourselves, to be more responsive to our customers’ and stakeholders’ needs.

Location: York

Nick Harris

It's Never-Ending! Leadership and Change Skills for Service Managers and Team Leaders

Nick, Head of IT Service Delivery at Oxfam, will offer both serious and light-hearted tips on running an effective IS service in environments which are often challenging and endlessly changing. 
Nick will share best practice advice, plus his experience on leadership skills, running the team, improving service and delivering transformational change. 

Location: Arden

Jon Lucas

All On-board...!

Head of IT Engagement at University of the Arts London

“In 2015 we deployed Marval MSM, which replaced our old service management tool. Part of the project included on boarding other helpdesks across UAL. We started this in 2016 and deployed Marval to 5 other helpdesks. Since then we have seen an increase in requests being fulfilled or resolved across the board. With escalation across a number of support teams that would of normally be done via email, now being managed through Marval.

We are now approaching a time where word has got out, and other support teams want to be involved and use Marval.”

Location: London

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15:00 - 15:25 Refreshments, Exhibition & Networking 

Location: Expo Hall




15:25 - 16:10


Stephen Mann

The Inevitable Convergence of Internal and External Support 

In this presentation, Stephen, Principal Analyst and Content Director at, will talk about challenges and opportunities faced by internal support teams. He will discuss how the realisation that the bidirectional sharing, of support good practices and the enabling technologies, between internal and external support functions will significantly improve the operations and outcomes of all parties.

Location: Cambridge/Oxford

Mick Finnan

Transforming a Service Desk from Regional to Global

Head of Global Service Desk for Computershare Mick, will talk through the decision taken to centralise the Global Tech Support function and transition 5 Service Desks into a new technology hub. The session will include the challenges faced with relocating the Service Desk in each region, large scale recruitment, training, development, staff retention and ultimately the positives in making such a move.

Location: York

Scott Lake

Self Service & Automation Benefit Realisation – 15 Minute Incident Resolutions

Head of Global Service Desks at ESP Scott Lake will focus on the evolution of self service and automation at ESP and the benefits that their customers now enjoy as a result of taking on the self service and automation journey. The talk will also focus on ESP’s next challenge and how we keep evolving to meet new challenges and demands on operating globally.

Location: Arden


Driving digital transformation within an NHS Trust with a brand-new cloud based ITSM

Join us as we speak to Luke Richardson, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells' IT Technical Team Leader - Service Desk on how they migrated from a legecy on-premise solution to a cloud based ITSM. We’ll discuss:

-How they created a business case for their new platform

- Challenges

- Metrics for Success

- Advice for others

Location: London

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16:10 - 17:10 CLOSING KEYNOTE: Jo Fairley - The Story of Green & Black's: Building a Global Brand by Putting the Customer at its Heart

Jo Fairley has built her businesses – Green & Black’s, Judges Bakery, The Wellington Centre and The Perfume Society – in part by putting her passion for customer service at the heart of all these ventures.

Sharing the rollercoaster journey of building Green & Black’s into a global ethical brand, Jo will talk about running a one-woman customer service desk within her businesses to keep her finger on the pulse of what was bothering her customers. Jo will deliver amusing and interesting anecdotes alongside sharing insights into the bigger journey of building the business, focusing on what G&B’s got right.

Location: Main Stage


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Drinks Reception 19:30 - 20:00 (Expo Hall)

Awards Gala Dinner 20:00 - 01:00 (Main Stage)


Wednesday 27th March

09:30 - 09:40 Conference Welcome & open


Stream 1

Stream 2

Stream 3

Stream 4

9:40 - 10:30 KEYNOTE: Conference Energiser, Improv with Neil Mullarkey

After an evening of sparkles and celebration at the SDI Awards, Day 2 of the conference kicks off again in force! This high energy, high impact comedy improv session will get us all laughing our socks off. We guarantee you will be ready to face the day ahead full of smiles and happiness!

Location: Main Stage




10:30 - 11:15


Benjamin Drury

Build Culture and Increase Revenue: How to rid your organisation of politics and create a massively high performing team

Imagine every one of YOUR employees going to work excited and energised by what they do. Bringing their 'A' game, solving problems, hitting deadlines, going the extra mile…
This interactive workshop will take delegates through the four steps of the Culture Guy’s ‘One Framework’ looking individually at their purpose, teams, voice and focus. It is a practical session giving the opportunity to use some of the techniques and tools within the framework to begin the process of examining and explicitly creating organisational culture. 

Location: Henley, Arden

Jakob Sassersen

How co-creation secured us a front seat in the digital journey

Join Jakob, Associate Vice President at NNIT in this session to learn more about:

  • How NNIT through AI have improved their ticket routing with improved efficiency and increased employee satisfaction

  • How they use AI for improved problem management for their supporters & service managers

  • How Implementing a chatbot can be a learning experience before later gaining the ROI management desires

  • What’s next and how does it impact the profiles in the support organisation

Location: Cambridge/ Oxford

Mark Bassett

Where do we go now?

Follow Mark, Head of Service Management at Barnardo’s, on a journey exploring the future of the Service Desk and Service Management.

OmniChannel, Digital, Agile, AI, Knowledge, Big Data so many roads we can travel, but where is it we are actually going and do our customers want to go there too?

Location: Hampton, Arden

Jon Hall

The Future of Service is Cognitive 

Service Management is being transformed by technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), chatbots, virtual agents and Internet of things (IoT). These technologies are driving dramatic changes to enterprises. Highly cognizant business leaders are jumping in headfirst and applying AI and ML to solve real business challenges in service management and beyond to get a competitive edge in the market.

Join Principal Product Manager at BMC Jon, for an in-depth discussion about these advances in technologies and what they mean to the future of Service Management. He will talk about how organizations are managing through these changes and how getting a head start on them can benefit the organization.

Location: London

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11:15 - 11:45 Refreshments, Exhibition & Networking

Location: Expo Hall





11:45 - 12:30


Benjamin Drury Continued Workshop Session

Build Culture and Increase Revenue: How to rid your organisation of politics and create a massively high performing team.

Benjamin Drury will be offering a drop-in Q&A session during lunch at 13.30.

Location: Henley, Arden

Scarlett Bayes


SDI's research shows that over half of service desk professionals rank Customer Experience as the most important measure for their service desk. 

Analysing the survey data, Scarlett - SDI’s Industry Analyst, will look at whether analysts’ and commentators’ focus on CX is reflected by the industry, how service desks monitor their CX, and how to report this to the business to demonstrate a service desk’s value. 

Location: Cambridge/ Oxford

Sarah Thum-Bonanno

Managing Wellbeing At Work: An Introductory talk by a business psychologist

During Sarah’s (Business Psychologist at The Wellbeing Project) session, she will help managers lead and enable greater wellbeing in their team. In particular, the session will focus on:

· Pressure / Performance – the relationship between stress, mental wellbeing and performance

· Managing Emotions and Mood – an introduction to the mood map

· Creating a climate of mental wellbeing using the five-pillars resilience model

· Wellbeing conversations – best practice behaviours and some top tips

Location: Hampton, Arden

Mathieu Chevalier

It Shouldn't Be This Hard! Providing Better Support With Less Resources

There rarely is a time where you come to work and are told that you now have more budget and more resources. Especially in the world of support, this never happens! But what does happen is technology changes, demands increase, and everything is expected to be done fast! IT and support desk professionals are struggling to meet these challenges, including keeping end users happy, lowering costs, and more. In this session, Mathieu, Solutions Consultant EMEA at LogMeIn, will discuss how by utilizing the right team, the right processes, and the right technology, you can not only prosper in a world of reduced budgets, but thrive!

Location: London


12:30 - 13:30 KEYNOTE: Neil Mullarkey '7 Steps To Improve Your People Skills'

Author of 'Seven Steps to Improve Your People Skills' Neil is highly accomplished in the field of management training, having run many workshops and hosted conferences for private and public organisations. Neil will use techniques of theatre improvisation to inspire you and your team to embrace your creativity and enhance communication skills on your service desk.

Location: Main Stage



13:30 - 14:15 Lunch, Exhibition & Networking

Location: Expo Hall

Benjamin Drury will be offering a drop-in Q&A drop-in session in the Henley, Arden.




14:15 - 15:00


Feezaan Asghar

Cracking The Motivation Code: You Can Hack Your Customer Service!

Numerous studies have concluded that there is a significant difference in the performance of motivated and unmotivated staff. In this interactive session, Feezaan, Service Desk Leader at Leeds Beckett University, will discuss what the impact high and low levels of motivation can have on your service. You will learn how to Crack the Code and take away tried and tested methods for improving performance, moral and customer service.

Location: Henley, Arden


Heather Gilbank

Vodafone's chatbot journey

Heather, IT Operations Manager at Vodafone UK will discuss their chatbot journey and explain the ongoing processes.

Location: Hampton, Arden

Steven Wheeldon

Bad Management: Why your team hates you!

Are you getting negative feedback from your team? Glares and whispers whenever you approach? Head-butted as soon as you walk into the office? It doesn’t have to be this way…

Steven, Service Operations Manager at Sky Betting & Gaming, will present a tongue-in-cheek seminar for ‘old fashioned’, ‘authoritarian’, ‘firm but fair’ managers who just want to be loved. He’ll go over a whole range of bad management traits, how you can change them and what you can do to win your team over! Delivered by a naive and inexperienced Service Operations Manager who may or may not know what he’s talking about (his words not ours!)

Location: Cambridge/ Oxford

Cor Winkler Prins

Rethinking the Service Desk

Cor, CEO of 4me will discuss how simple changes to the way calls are handled on the service desk can significantly increase agents’ efficiency and leave a more professional impression with those that rely on their support. 

And to make sure service desk quality and satisfaction levels are managed to desired levels, it is important to set targets. Done correctly, agents will start to track their team's progress at First Line. It will make their professional lives more fulfilling and encourage other members of their team to be more successful.

Location: London




Location: Main Stage