A Global Expansion Requires a Sophisticated Service Management Solution
With recent acquisitions accumulating over $1B in the past 5 years, this fortune 500 global biotechnology company, based in Cambridge, MA, was undergoing substantial growth. The organization, which discovers and develops therapies for neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, needed to reevaluate its services model to keep up with increasing requirements. With offices in 28 countries, the team decided to look into ServiceNow to drive service and collaboration efficiency gains in support of their overall global business services (GBS) initiative.
To meet their business demands, the organization was realigning resources, moving several employees to new locations throughout the US and Eastern Europe. Between sales, manufacturing, and research sites, the company reached over 30 locations globally, which challenged them to assess its services strategy and improve its customer service support through a unified entry point. They were anxious to replace their sunsetting CRM cloud-based software solution, which, for their teams and functions, was proving to be cumbersome, ineffective, siloed, and expensive.
Within a GxP regulated industry, the company had significant requirements for tracking approvals – but was struggling to accomplish that effectively within their siloed environment, which was spread across multiple systems and email. For example, if someone finished testing a new drug, it was crucial for them to extensively document the process. Yet, despite that presumably small task, their CRM and documenting systems were segregated, causing this “simple” ask to get repeated in every system, redundant and annoying use of their employees’ time.
Looking to evolve and mature their services model on a global scale, the biotechnology company was committed to a GBS strategy for long term efficiency and scalability.
Aligning to this strategy, the organization underwent a considerable organizational shift. First, their VP of GBS had a major initiative to connect four key (previously siloed) departments – HR, Finance, Learning Management System, and Legal – to streamline and consolidate their services into one, unified platform to service all requests. Secondly, their HR department had the added pressure to provide a better employee experience, as they were moving several employees to a satellite office in the South East.
ServiceNow as the Backbone to their GBS journey
Nearing the end of its CRM software license, the company was looking for a new platform to strategically fit within their GBS initiative. ServiceNow’s enterprise-wide platform solution soon became their top choice. In particular, they were impressed with ServiceNow’s ability to customize case, knowledge, and ServiceNow’s service portal – which their previous CRM solution lacked the functionality to do.
A Successful Solution Starts with a Rock-Solid Foundation
With a goal to create a single, unified employee service center and unite their separate global departments, the organization needed to start its transformation from the bottom-up. It was important to provide their GBS initiative with a solid foundation to build on – and in this case, that meant consolidating their existing CRM and IT systems into a single platform, ServiceNow.
To get this foundational layer secure, the team first reviewed and refined platform-level requirements and decisions (for example, defining groups and who needed to be notified at specific levels) before they dove into individual applications and design the overall environment.
To streamline this potentially onerous process, Acorio worked with the company to assign each department a primary decision-maker (either a senior manager or associate director) and a platform decision-maker (senior director for GBS). By defining departmental accountability, this process enabled leaders to make project decisions promptly so they could successfully rollout within their 14-month project timeframe.
What does a GBS Project Rollout Look Like?
The biotechnology company separated the project into two phases, focusing on incremental progress. For their first phase, they aimed to establish a GBS foundation by consolidating Finance, Legal, and Learning into one single management system. Within this first phase, they implemented:
- Case management
- Internal knowledge base
- Surveys, Reporting, and Performance analytics for Finance and Centralized Learning
For their second phase, they wanted to enable self-service through a seamless user experience with a service portal, rolling out HR services. They implemented:
- Case management
- Knowledge management
- Internal Knowledge base
- Surveys, Reporting, and Performance Analytics for HR and Legal
With their new portal, they unified four service areas (Centralized Learning Services, Human Resources, Financial Shared Services, and Legal) allowing their employees and customers to find answers, submit service requests, ask questions, report issues, and track tickets from one place.
Working with Acorio’s Advisory Team
Like many clients we see, Acorio knew the success of this GBS rollout would hinge on the critical people and process elements of the final implementation strategy even more than the technical code.
With experience working on GBS projects, we know it’s necessary to have organizational buy-in across the organization, but especially at the middle management level, which this organization worked diligently on. From an organizational change management perspective, middle management needs to communicate the value of ServiceNow and how it affects the organization as a whole. By doing this, you can avoid learning curves and headaches and increase user adoption and buy-in. It’s when these extra measures are overlooked, we see projects go awry.
Critically, their executive team was also involved from the very beginning. They participated closely with the project, and after a couple of months, they felt comfortable letting Acorio make decisions because of our deep expertise within the platform and our commitment to learning and supporting their business objectives. The Acorio team was able to embed themselves into the company’s team, working onsite throughout the project and attending executive team meetings, which allowed them to understand the business and adjust their approach accordingly
By building this dynamic of “one team” (versus a typical partnership), Acorio gained full visibility into the organization. This transparency allowed Acorio to advise the organization so ServiceNow strategically aligned with their business objectives. As a result, our teams worked together to define the value of moving to a unified platform and how to report on that. What we first started to look was what they couldn’t measure and what they needed to measure to prove success for the GBS model. This meant tracking:
- Impact to users
- Time on task
- Time to wait for a solution
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Trendlines between other cases
The team also ended up developing two sets of metrics to place value. The first was operational, meaning what was happening in the moment, and the second tracked trend lines and where improvements were being made. This allowed the project team to easily prove the ROI of ServiceNow.
By prioritizing the values of the biotech’s GBS strategy, Acorio and the Biotech organization were able to complete the first initiative of their ServiceNow rollout. In 14 months, they consolidated four departments into one, single platform and built a self-service portal, which exists in 9 languages to service their employees and customers individual needs on a global scale.
With roughly 16,000 contractors and employees at the company, the Portal drew more than 2,800 unique visitors just one week after Go-Live. Now customers and employees can quickly get help or create a ticket in the portal, which has separate pages for HR, Learning, and Finance & Payroll. For example, an employee can get to the Finance & Payroll portal home page in two clicks and easily access payroll or travel and expenses or even look for answers within the Finance and Payroll knowledge base.
Currently, the biotechnology company is focused on increasing the number of services and improving their UX and the service portal. Additionally, they’re creating better workflows between applications so customers can easily request services and the different departments can work better by transferring tickets between groups, instead of requiring a whole new ticket.
Ultimately, this biotech company and Acorio worked together to create a world-class, service-oriented global business service powered by ServiceNow to enable scalability to support the organization’s rapid growth. Now, employees are empowered with a modern portal, improving employee satisfaction and speed of rapid resolution, and HR, Finance, Legal, and Learning are working in synergy with greater transparency to solve for their team and their customers.