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How Village Roadshow modernised ITSM with cloud

Australian theme park and cinema operator reduced ITSM costs by 60% to improve problem resolution and other outcomes from use of Freshworks' cloud-based ITSM service

Australian theme park and cinema operator Village Roadshow operates a diverse business that is largely staffed by young temporary workers and a corporate office full of professionals, such as lawyers and accountants.

With 5,500 people across 37 locations, its IT service management (ITSM) system is the first and most important touchpoint between its employees and IT operations. But for some time, the company had faced “massive issues” with its legacy ITSM system, said Village Roadshow group general manager of technology Arul Arogyanathan.

Cost escalation was at the top of his list. Licensing, support and maintenance costs were increasing, and the complexity of maintenance and patching meant he had to dedicate one of his team to the task.

Furthermore, administration was so time consuming that it affected productivity and the technology team’s ability to respond promptly to requests from the business.

The contract management capability was also lacking. With no automation, it took up to seven days to add a new contract to the system, and too many people from the legal, procurement and IT functions were required to contribute to the task.

And – as often happens with legacy software – the old system lacked user friendliness, which meant it wasn’t used as broadly across the organisation as it could or should have been.

A decision was made to replace the legacy ITSM system, but the replacement had to fit into the company’s “cloud-first and buy-before-build” IT strategy. Around 60% of its workloads are already running on a variety of cloud platforms, and work is underway to migrate some of them, so the bulk of the work is done on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Cost, features and usability

After considering the options, Arogyanathan chose Freshworks’ Freshservice ITSM system, which “ticked all the boxes”, including factors such as cost, features and usability.

The migration to Freshservice was completed in six weeks. “I never believed that would be possible,” he said – especially without technical specialists or project analysts. Just two of his staff worked with Freshworks to complete the task in that time, including integration with the existing payroll, customer relationship management, and workforce scheduling and attendance systems.

The financial benefit was significant, as total ITSM costs have been reduced by 60% since adopting Freshservice.

The service delivered to the business has also improved dramatically. For example, it used to take two weeks to onboard a new employee, and that has been slashed to five minutes. Similarly, the time to add a new contract has been reduced from up to seven days to just minutes, and the average ticket resolution time has improved by 25%.

“So far, the journey has been great,” said Arogyanathan, who expects to reap further benefits from integrating Freshservice with Slack and Teams, taking advantage of Freshservice’s configuration management database and orchestration capabilities, as well as its Freddy artificial intelligence (AI)-powered service desk.

His preference is to focus on the business rather than the ITSM, and Freshservice allows Arogyanathan’s team to do exactly that.

If ITSM complexity is getting in the way of innovation, an organisation should consider moving to Freshservice, according to Ben Pluznyk, Freshworks director and country manager for Australia and New Zealand.

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It should be possible to make changes quickly and easily, without needing specialist staff or consultants, and optional features should be available as soon as they are needed. Just because an ITSM system is provided as software-as-a-service doesn’t mean it offers the agility that Freshservice does, said Pluznyk.

Freshworks started in the customer service market, then added ITSM because organisations shouldn’t need two systems to handle IT requests and travel bookings. “We’ve got that customer service mentality,” he said.

The Freshworks platform does what it says on the box, and “it’s a very modern platform, which is why it runs so well”, said Pluznyk.

While Freshworks customers include large enterprises such as financial institutions and government departments, it’s also used by startups at the seed funding stage and small retailers that need to get a CRM system up and running quickly.

Other Freshservice customers include the National Rugby League (for IT services), recruitment agency Randstad (to automate HR workflows) and customer experience specialist Probe Group.

There are price points to suit all organisation sizes – the Freshservice starter plan is $25 per agent per month – and transparent pricing means they can see what they need and how much it will cost, said Pluznyk.

Arogyanathan observed that where other systems need constant maintenance and specialist skills, everything in Freshservice is a configuration item. “It’s a self-sustaining solution, allowing me to concentrate on other aspects of technology,” he said.

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