Top 10 University Transforms Employee Experience with ServiceNow

Over the past 150 years, this university has grown into one of the top 10 largest university campus systems in the United States, with tens of thousands of matriculating students and a diverse network of faculty and staff.

Higher education institutions have faced a rash of changes over the past decade, with rising costs prompting them to continuously revisit customer and employee experience (EX). Universities of today must connect the entire organization to deliver on their mission of shaping the minds of tomorrow and providing world-class experiences to students, alumni, and faculty alike.

A Century-Old Mission, Adapted for Today

Today’s Higher Education institutions are under a great deal of pressure to adapt to virtual learning experiences and manage ongoing research and grant applications, all while continually developing curriculum and handling large workloads. Faced with these challenges, this university realized that the current state of its HR operations was unable to fully support its strategic plan moving forward.

They needed a Service Management tool that would enable automated business processes and fully integrate with other functional areas, but the sheer size of their campus meant that any HR transformation they underwent would be broader than most of their previous projects. Nevertheless, they pushed forward to streamline the way they ran their HR department so they could better retain faculty and maximize each staff member’s impact.

The client team fully recognized that the future of work lies in a transformative EX. Thus, their end goal became revolutionizing their EX by treating their employees more like customers – a strategy that has become common-place for many Fortune 100 and other top-performing organizations.


A Modern HR Solution, Powered by ServiceNow

With this in mind, the university embarked on an enterprise-wide, multi-phase HR transformation initiative. They chose ServiceNow to serve as their HR enterprise backbone, knowing the platform had the potential to power a truly connected campus through data-driven automation and seamless workflows.

The institution had already developed a detailed ServiceNow roadmap to guide them on their HR transformation journey. They opted to first release the solution to a pilot group, and then expand it to a wider group of users once they had secured initial user adoption and buy-in from the team.

A Multi-phased Approach Ensures Success

The university enlisted Acorio as a trusted partner after being introduced through ServiceNow. Working together, we completed a multi-phase project that included:

  • Phase One: This first phase of the multi-year transformation project focused on a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) release of HR Case and Knowledge Management, laying the foundation for HRSD success in subsequent phases.
  • Phases Two and Three: These phases, originally conceived as two separate releases, were ultimately combined to focus on enabling Self-Service by delivering an intuitive, modern user experience and included additional configurations of HR Case Management. It included Payroll, Service Catalog, Employee Surveys, Performance Analytics, a Workday Integration, and more.

The project team began with a pilot release involving a small group of HR agents. Staggering the rollout boosted user adoption by ensuring HR agents were already familiar with the platform before rolling it out to the rest of their HR employee user base.

The second release, which opened the door for all other HR users, focused on the implementation of the Employee Service Center (ESC), additional HR service builds, and user-facing HR catalog items that employees could use to submit requests in the portal.


Looking to the Future

With this project under its belt, the university’s HR functions are now centralized into a single, shared service. Their HR agents have a comprehensive platform to view and track all of their tasks and processes. No longer relying on email and legacy systems to complete requests, they’re empowered with increased efficiency and visibility in ServiceNow.

Acorio was with them every step of the way, but the project’s success was driven significantly by  the university team’s active engagement and preparation throughout the implementation. Their commitment to learning the tool ensured their in-house ServiceNow admins are now fully equipped to continue supporting the platform for years to come.