University of Glasgow campus buildings.
Success story

“I’m Amazed” – How University of Glasgow Upgraded to Enterprise Service Management

How Ivanti helped one of the world’s leading universities transform service delivery far beyond the IT department.

The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1451, and ranks among the world’s top 100 universities.

As you might expect, its IT team is faced with complex service management challenges in supporting the multiple business areas within an institution with four colleges, 23 schools, over 32,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from 140-plus countries, and over 10,000 staff.

Custom-Built #Solutions with University of Glasgow

Needed: An institutional enterprise service management platform

The university’s IT department had previously worked with an on-premises ITSM solution. The inflexibility of the on-premises solution, though, meant it was time for a new platform. “A lot of people wanted to get away from the bad old days of using email for tracking things, or spreadsheets,” explains Mark Temple, the University’s Assistant Director, Service Management.

A major university has unique service management demands. For instance, service request volumes can spike significantly at the start of each academic year or semester as new students arrive. Protecting the personal data of students is paramount, as well as other governance, reporting and compliance requirements that must be satisfied.

Beyond this, each department or unit may have its own workflows and requisites, or even nomenclature (a “customer” for IT is an “employee” for HR or “student” for a student affairs office) that make it impossible to universally apply a one-size-fits-all service delivery model.

Mark and his team realized they needed to move to a scalable, flexible, cloud-based enterprise service management platform to provide centralization and visibility along with the flexibility to meet the many extremely varied needs of a large institution.

They picked Ivanti after a long and detailed procurement that evaluated no less than 19 vendors using a 150-point checklist.

We’ve got over 20 business areas to service, including accommodation, campus security, complaints, crisis support, data protection, finance, facilities and health, safety and wellbeing.

Functionality meets flexibility

One strength of Ivanti’s Neurons for ITSM offering, Mark says, is how his team knows it will be able to build on a solid foundation when a service delivery model is “transplanted,” as he puts it, to other departments with different needs.

“You’ve got all of that out-of-the-box functionality” with Neurons for ITSM, he says, and his team can also layer on the customizations needed to solve problems facing a particular line of business. “The only thing that holds you back is your imagination or your creativity.”

In the case of Human Resources, for instance, “you're delivering an HR case management system to them, because that's what they want to see.” But functionality developed and polished for one process or department can be applied to others. A feature Mark’s team has honed for data protection in HR case management “is also going to work for our complaints handling and student conduct teams” he says.

An “amazing” embrace across business lines

As the system has been rolled out across different business units, Mark’s team hasn’t needed to sell others on its benefits: Many have proactively approached them after seeing the results their peers enjoyed.

“There's been no big stick to force people to do it,” he notes. “They've come along of their own volition.”

This widespread embrace was a gratifying surprise. “I’m amazed,” he says. “The mission at the start was definitely to go outside of IT when it came to service delivery,” but the degree and speed at which other teams have taken to the platform was unexpected.

Using Neurons for ITSM in other business areas has grown and grown and grown, and without an army of people advertising it. That’s fulfilling. It’s kinetic, it's rolling, and it won't stop.

Would it even be possible to deliver digital services without Ivanti Neurons for ITSM? “I think things would just be so fragmented that nobody could get their head around what that would look like,” Mark says. “It’s not a place I’d want to go.”

Benefits on every front

The savings and efficiencies that Neurons for ITSM has delivered extend in nearly every direction.

Resource optimization
Mark points out that “we’re working here with a scalable and configurable and customizable platform, so we don’t have to go out and license another product or train people on something else. So you’re able to be making the best use of the resources that you have on hand.”

“Magical” productivity gains
When it comes to productivity and efficiency, the platform has delivered startling results. To service the needs of no less than 399 distinct teams across the university, “magically, we have one person dedicated to the task,” Mark says, “and then a bit of me.”

Shifting left to savings
Over slightly more than two years, the platform processed nearly 44,000 fully automated service requests. As each would have previously required ten minutes of helpdesk labor, “we're looking at a saving of over £150,000,” Mark says. “And it cost less than £100 of my time to develop the automation inside the platform. It’s given us time back to do other things.”

Visibility that motivates
The single-pane-of-glass visibility Neurons provides in quickly identifying and remediating issues is “an enriching experience” for helpdesk personnel, Mark says. “They get to help people at the source, without escalation, which is what they want to do.”

Dashboard-enabled insights
Business unit analysts – over 1,600 in all – and leadership, among others, can now mine valuable insights via “rich live dashboards at your fingertips showing you what the state of the nation is,” Mark says. “That’s the way we wanted to rock from the start, and that’s what we’ve had since day one” with Neurons.

Improved service delivery
The platform enabled centralization and better delivery of services related to student records, accommodation, library services, exams, finance, HR and campus security and more. “People want to help themselves where and when they can,” Mark Temple says. “If you lead them to the tools to do that, they appreciate it. It’s a win-win.”

Partnering for the future

Previously, working with a “smaller software house” meant Mark and his team had the mobile numbers of everyone from the CEO on down. “In moving to a multinational, global provider, the worry was that we were going to lose all that,” he recalls. “That was unfounded.”

With Ivanti, “there's great visibility of what's coming down the tracks and, as customers, we have a say in that,” he explains, as it’s important to “work as a partnership” to improve products and services.  Moreover, they’ve been able to take advantage of being part of the Ivanti Community, especially the Ivanti Innovators group where they've witnessed a “a lot of ideas” being shared and where they can look to other users for advice and support.

When it comes to that continual push for innovation, “when we first started this journey,” Mark says, “I knew we will never be finished. And that's not a bad thing.” 

For instance, one area where Mark and his team are keenly looking toward collaborating with Ivanti is in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to future automation needs.

He’s confident about the outcome. “I think it was me,” Mark says, “who first said that AI actually stood for ‘ask Ivanti.’”

Note: A customer’s results are specific to its total environment/experience, of which Ivanti is a part. Individual results may vary based on each customer’s unique environment.


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