SMAX

Bringing Machine Learning and Automation to a Global Financial Institution

How WhitlockIS helped two merged financial institutions sunset their legacy systems and deliver new ROI and improved ticketing and asset discovery through ITSM automation

The Problem.

Two large financial organizations merged. In bringing two companies into one, corporate leaders charged their IT teams to review their respective enterprise applications, remove legacy systems, and create a single, efficient IT infrastructure for the new company. The future-state solutions, leaders demanded, must achieve a high return on investment through capabilities that focused on using cloud/SaaS, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. And the new system was to be easy to run and integrate with existing business applications.

IT teams quickly identified IT Service Management (ITSM) as the first application requiring an overhaul. ITSM can uniformly deliver critical service value across the entire organization and eliminate the high-risk impact of an overlapping solution.

ITSM is a process of designing, delivering, managing, and improving the IT services that an enterprise organization provides to its end users. ITSM is focused on aligning IT processes and services with business objectives to help an organization grow.

The merged company’s future-state ITSM application needed to accommodate 3,700 service agents and 25,000 employees and other self-service portal users. With over 15 years of constant customization, the two companies’ legacy platforms had become overly complex, with patchwork customizations cross the applications. The new ITSM technology required as much out-of-the-box functionality as possible while supporting the newly defined requirements for everything from service requests to problem/change/request management to dashboards and reporting.

The merged financial institution also identified more issues with its legacy tools that needed to be fixed with the new ITSM solution:

  • The licensing models offered were perpetual only.
  • The delivery was on-premises and offered no options to run them in cloud-computing environments like Azure and Amazon Web Services or as a SaaS solution.
  • Its legacy architecture was too complicated, creating a burden especially on self-service users. Therefore, some self-service users avoided using it altogether.
  • The architectures had no ability to adopt the power of containers and other leading-edge technology innovations.
  • Tickets were unmanageable, with many duplicates and triplicates. Between the two enterprises, there were nearly 1,500 new tickets per week.
  • There was a slow time to ticket resolution, averaging 21 days between the enterprises.
  • Upgrades were painful and expensive. This resulted in postponements, which forced them to stay on older versions.
  • There was a lack of studio capabilities (to build customer processes without expensive consulting/programming), which limited the ability to expand the ITSM for integrating with non-IT business uses.

The WhitlockIS Solution.

Whitlock proposed Micro Focus Service Management Automation X (SMAX) as the solution to combine ITSM products for the merged financial institution. SMAX is a machine learning-based ITSM software solution that can meet all of the service desk and IT service management needs.

The solution offered ease of integration: The IT organization already had a mature and successful Micro Focus Configuration Management System (CMS) for discovery and its configuration management database, which could easily be integrated with SMAX. It was a full enterprise solution in one. SMAX was proposed to replace all legacy service-management tools, including Micro Focus Service Manager, IBM Control Desk, and Atlassian JIRA.

Aside from CMS, the enterprise also did not have an asset management process. The full complement of ITSM functionality was proposed, including service asset and configuration management, request/change/incident/problem management, and a unified end user portal and catalog of services available for end users. SMAX was integrated with their existing CMS installation to enhance change, incident and problem management.

Whitlock’s experience with the installation and implementation of SMAX, along with our long-standing partnership with one of the merged institutions, was the driving force for us to win the project and achieve positive results.

The Results.

In a single solution, SMAX unburdened service-desk agents, simplified self-service, and decreased the cost of ITSM. The solution also helped IT leaders get a grip on their assets and ensure compliance. SMAX can also be deployed on premise or in the cloud which provided flexibility in deploying fast, saving initial costs for on-premise deployment, and the eventually option of moving demand to SaaS.

In other words: SMAX checked all of the corporate leader’s boxes for achieving ROI and modernizing the merged institution’s IT systems.

The result of the project was a successful installation, configuration, and launch of SMAX. All of the modules are in use for the company as they look to sunset its legacy ITSM products. The company’s existing CMS, along with other third-party products, were all integrated into the new environment. In addition, a second phase is underway to further consolidate the IT environment to improve agent resolutions, improve self-service, and drive new ROI.

Contacts:
Kate Seamans
kate.seamans@whitlockis.com

Jim Copio
jim.copio@whitlockis.com

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