Putting Customer Happiness First: EMC IT’s New-Look IT Service Management

If early results are any indication, EMC IT Service Management is making its customer 30 percent happier than we did two years ago. We are also giving them more control over addressing IT Service incidents via self-service options, cutting down on reassignments of their service requests from one service agent to another, and using more standardized processes resulting in fewer emergency service issues.

It’s all part of EMC IT’s recent initiative to transform our clients’ IT service experience by forging a new IT Service Management (ITSM) program that optimizes service management processes and technologies.

The project, which we call UnITy, was a massive undertaking to replace our outdated, inconsistent and less-than-agile ITSM processes and obsolete platforms to better meet the evolving needs of our customers.

The fact that we have created Service Management capabilities that will enable EMC IT to continuously improve its services to deliver a better customer experience as well as enabling millions of dollars in future savings through operational efficiencies are certainly something to get excited about. But this was also a crucial step in a more fundamental journey for our IT operation as well as for the industry as a whole—namely the need to transform from a technology-siloed, budget-constrained organization to a competitive service provider that is driven by customer demand.

EMC IT has been on this multiyear transformational journey, transitioning to a virtual and private cloud infrastructure and creating an IT as a Service operating model to unlock more agile capabilities. Along the way, however, breaking down the traditional technology silos into a customer-centric ITaaS organization exposed the fact that our IT support capabilities needed for this new model were lacking.

In fact, our ITSM processes were dated, not consistently documented, and lacked the agility to meet all our customers’ needs. The tools and platforms that supported these processes were obsolete and unstable and lacked important functionality like mobility, community and self-help features inherent in modern application architectures.

To be successful it was crucial to have buy-in on the problems that needed to be solved and the required solutions.  To start, we conducted more than100 interviews and held numerous workshops to collectively understand and secure leadership support for the problem, business drivers, end-state vision and critical success factors.

The outcome of this collaboration was UnITy’s widely agreed upon objectives:

  • Become services focused
  • Improve quality
  • Operate more efficiently
  • Deliver self-service capabilities
  • Enable more informed consumption decisions
  • Optimize for the mobile world
  • Eliminate technology barriers
  • Improve IT employee quality of life

To achieve these, the program addressed four key points within EMC IT.

  • Enhanced the customer experience by evolving IT’s perspective from a technology-focus to a service-focus, allowing the customer experience to drive prioritization and responsiveness
  • Enabled IT to operate as a business by optimizing processes and improving transparency through service metrics and better service quality
  • Aligned IT’s resources with customer expectations and improved capabilities such as self-service and the availability of better decision-making data
  • Optimized IT support to eventually realize significant annual savings by reducing the use of in-house production support and managed service provider; decommissioning redundant IT systems; and using self-service to reduce calls to the service desk

More than 30 were dedicated full time, while over 100 others were on the program part time throughout its duration and many others were pulled in at various times.

In Phase I, the program introduced incident, request and knowledge management processes to:

  • Raise and route incidents effectively
  • Field requests efficiently
  • Manage knowledge better, improving IT’s ability to triage and fix issues
  • Deliver self-service and self-help capabilities

Phase II continued the EMC IT transformation, further extracting value from the platform and enabling new capabilities with the introduction of Problem, Change, Service Asset and Configuration Management ITIL processes.

Ultimately, this initiative provided the foundational capability for the continuous improvement of services, delivering service management capabilities that are transforming EMC IT. The program took a culture entrenched in old technology and habits and introduced it to a new way of doing business.

While the initiative is still evolving, customer response to our quality improvements has been positive. For example, customer satisfaction with our service desk’s handling of incidents and requests has exceeded expectations at some 90 percent. We have decreased the number of reassignments in handling incidents, increased standard practices and increased self-service by customers.

Through increased accountability and more clearly defined roles and responsibilities, we will continue to hone our customer responsiveness and identify opportunities to improve our service quality.

The capabilities delivered by UnITy are far more integrated and feature rich than anything utilized by EMC IT in the past.  This enables EMC IT to run and compete like a business by demonstrating value and optimizing 60,000 users’ IT consumption decisions.

Uniting IT to enhance the customer experience was critical for EMC IT’s overall ITaaS journey.

In future blogs, I will share details on how we defined our ITSM project, lessons we learned that will hopefully help your organization in its journey to ITaaS, and what we are seeing as our new ITSM continues to evolve.


About the Author: Dana Swanstrom