Scottish Water extends ServiceNow following HR success

Having pioneered optimising the joiners and leavers process, the IT service management team at Scottish Water can now show other areas of the business the benefits of ServiceNow

Scottish Water is expanding the use of ServiceNow to enable its IT and back office technical teams to support the business better.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Norman Graham, service change and ServiceNow platform lead at Scottish Water, said the water utility company has been a customer of ServiceNow for six years.

“We started our journey with IT service management fundamentals looking at incident reports and change requests. But our journey really took off because we were able to show value in IT support in the platform.”

In particular, he said the IT service management team decided it could improve the joiners and leavers human resources (HR) process for setting up IT for new staff.

“Our biggest pain point was the joiner and leaver process. Rather than it taking six to eight weeks for someone to get all the equipment they needed, we wanted to make the joining experience seamless,” said Graham. This was achieved using ServiceNow with orchestration into the corporate HR system.

Scottish Water use Oracle’s PeopleSoft ConnectPlus to manage people’s data and payroll information. Integrating ConnectPlus with ServiceNow allows HR to trigger automated processes for joiners, movers and leavers, with no human interaction required.

“As soon as someone joins, we seamlessly deploy a laptop, log-in details, email, Skype for Business and their home drive,” said Graham.

The project team set a six-month deadline, but Graham said it managed to deliver the system in five. “It was a challenge because there were no references,” he said.

“We could not knock on anyone’s door and see how they had done this. Instead, the team worked on whiteboards with strategic partners and the business systems team to develop workflows that could then be implemented through ServiceNow.

“By using a typical IT service scheme, we were able to go to market very quickly, launch it and take on board new employees on quickly,” he said, adding that the success of the project helped to boost the business’ confidence in the IT team.

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The project drove customer satisfaction and enabled IT to demonstrate its success, which meant the team could go on to start building new features. 

According to Graham, other parts of the business are now looking at the ServiceNow implementation, following the success of the project. “It is not about reinventing the wheel, we can take you from a spreadsheet to a simple workflow by exploiting features in the platform,” he said.

“Our electrical mechanical team, who fix components in water treatment parts, are a bit like IT in that they provide a service to internal colleagues. We built something for them using ServiceNow and delivered the project in a month,” he added.

The result has been to move the electrical mechanical team from using spreadsheets to a simple workflow, with continuous improvement, powered by ServiceNow.

Using ServiceNow provides a way to build on customer feedback, said Graham. “We work in a managed service environment and look at how to drive further enhancement,” he added.

As an example, he said the performance analytics in the platform can be used to manage customer experience, such as allowing IT to look at the age of a helpdesk ticket. “If tickets have not been updated in five days, there is an opportunity for dissatisfaction,” he said. This data can then be presented using the analytics dashboard in ServiceNow.

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