NTT Managed Services EMEA (NTT MS) is a next generation, global managed services provider, delivering smart, reliable and secure IT solutions to organisations worldwide.
The company’s market differentiation is built around offering a comprehensive global solution from a single service provider, with one set of SLAs and one management portal. Yet the simplicity of the customer proposition belies the complexity within the NTT MS operation in providing 24/7, global ICT solutions and support for multiple organisations, simultaneously.
On an ongoing basis, the NTT MS team manages more than 12,000 systems, which triggers approximately 4,000 events and 500 incidents every day. Yet the existing service desk system was unable to cope with both the volume and the nature of the requests.
Oscar Garcia, Chief Operating Officer of NTT Managed Services EMEA, explains: “Managing customer interactions with our existing service desk system was time- consuming and involved a large element of manual processing. We also frequently needed to spin up specific teams to manage key issues, which was expensive and inefficient.”
A key issue was the lack of integration with customer systems, the multiple tools within NTT MS, and the company’s affiliates, where workflow across the global group was essential.
“Our customers were comfortable with their own internal ticketing system, yet we needed them to interface with our system for our outsourced services. The workflows and integration were too complicated.”
Garcia highlights: “Our customers were comfortable with their own internal ticketing system, yet we needed them to interface with our system for our outsourced services. The workflows and integration were too complicated.”
Creating a single system of record
Run as a separate entity within the wider NTT Group, NTT MS had the freedom to select its own service management platform and move away from the NTT Group’s legacy toolset. According to Garcia: “It became evident very quickly that moving to ServiceNow was the ideal way to centralise service delivery.”
NTT MS deployed the platform as its central system of record and this has become “the place where all our engineers live”, says Garcia, housing the
configuration management database (CMDB) and acting as the hub for operational support systems.
NTT MS now has a single source of truth to drive its service delivery, as Garcia explains: “We deal constantly with information that is time critical and can’t afford to miss even one interaction with a customer. Eighty per cent of the time delivering managed services is about communicating with customers and sending emails is not effective. Now we have automated workflows and visbility of all incidents, making our service highly efficient.”
Total integration control
The move marked a fundamental shift in NTT MS’s approach to service delivery, but complete integration with other systems across the NTT Group, project management tools and other customer systems was a must.
As Garcia points out, while it was acceptable for NTT MS to select its own tools, it would be perhaps “arrogant” not to expect to have to fit into an established set-up within the multi-billion dollar NTT Group.
“A key success criteria was the ability to integrate our chosen platform with our wider ecosystem, but there were inherent complexities that would push any team to the edge,” says Garcia. “We needed to be able to exchange a huge amount of meta data, with full tracking and complete control and visibility of our workflows.”
ShareLogic provided NTT MS with advanced integration capabilities through Unifi, its ServiceNow Store-certified integration application.
NTT MS is now managing all integrations in one place, leveraging the ServiceNow platform for zero reliance on third-party middleware. This includes systems used by its customers, its NTT Europe affiliate, where most of its business flows through, and internal developers and engineering teams. The impact has been staggering, with the time it takes to implement an integration reduced from six months to only two weeks.
“We have delivered one of the most complex ticket exchange integrations I’ve ever envisaged. We’ve migrated all our customers onto a single platform, seamlessly integrated with every critical touchpoint within and outside of the business.”
Garcia highlights: “We have delivered one of the most complex ticket exchange integrations I’ve ever envisaged. We’ve migrated all our customers onto a single platform, seamlessly integrated with every critical touchpoint within and outside of the business.”
A platform for technology innovation
ServiceNow and Unifi have created a powerful combination for NTT MS, which is bringing a new agility and flexibility to how it approaches the development and delivery of services to customers.
The change has brought immediate benefits to both customers and the NTT MS team. “The roll out has been a very interesting process,” says Garcia. “We were planning a phased migration, for one customer every two weeks, but they are eager to see such a significant change and want us to move more quickly to the new platform.”
The approach is also proving to be highly motivating for NTT MS’s team of support engineers. Ticketing is their critical touchpoint with customers and they are now empowered to deliver a fantastic experience, with rapid response and resolution times.
Teams also welcome the opportunity to develop on the platform, as Garcia highlights: “There’s a lot of development on the platform, which is fantastic for our tech enthusiasts. We are creating APIs for pretty much everything, working with Python scripts for example. A new world of development and integration has opened up that we simply couldn’t take advantage of before.”
Empowering future change
Looking ahead, Garcia sees ServiceNow as the foundational platform for NTT MS, touching every person within the business, with Unifi providing the powerful integration capabilities to enable the IT operations approach to evolve.
“We have an ambition to always be at the ‘bleeding edge’ in agile, efficient and reliable service delivery and ServiceNow provides that foundation for our IT operation,” says Garcia. “ServiceNow was a high-profile move within the NTT Group and we are being watched with interest to see how other areas of the business can benefit.”