Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

With the strength of over 120 years in business, The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company is no stranger to transformation and firmly embraces change as it continues to grow and evolve.

Founded in 1896, Wawanesa Insurance is the largest Canadian Property and Casualty Mutual insurer with $3 billion in annual revenue and assets of more than $9 billion. With over 5,000 employees, Wawanesa proudly serves over two million policyholders through regional offices and service offices in Canada and the United States.

Wawanesa’s Information Services IS department knew improving its Service Desk would be integral to supporting the company’s growing workforce and needs. They also knew their Fulfiller and Service Desk teams had the potential to add more value to the business by automating manual processes and freeing them up to focus on more strategic priorities. As a result, the Wawanesa IS team launched a search for a new solution to replace their legacy FrontRange IT Service Management (ITSM) software.

Enter ServiceNow

Wawanesa wanted to provide a robust, scalable ITSM solution for their employees and begin to capture a Return on Investment (ROI) as soon as possible.

In addition, the Wawanesa team was growing quickly and consistently exceeded their license count, costing more than they were willing to spend on a legacy, sunsetting software. With that in mind, the team researched new options that could solve their growth and scale needs, rather than upgrading an outdated system.

From the beginning, project leads Kimberley Gray and Judy Lee were looking for “more than just a ticketing tool,” adding self-service, Configured Items (CI) into their Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and automation to their wish list.

ServiceNow’s mission to “change how the world of work, works,” aligned well with Wawanesa’s focus on innovation and their desire to better enable its employees. The team also liked the platform’s ability to empower cross-enterprise workflows, develop “intelligent” business automation, and more.

Between the scalability, functionality, and ease-of-use of ServiceNow, along with its innovative reputation and reasonable pricing, it was the clear winner.

Finding a Partner Who Cares (Enter Acorio)

Wawanesa issued a Request for Information to over ten companies.  The Wawanesa team focused on several critical factors in their new partner relationship:

  • Product knowledge and experience
  • Breadth and depth of knowledge specifically for Service Portal and Discovery
  • Project management excellence
  • Quick implementation
  • Affordability
  • Culture fit

Acorio soon became their partner of choice for one specific reason: we believe in providing guidance even when its counter to what the client may want to hear and share best practices, which often means adapting to the platform for seamless delivery.

Unfortunately, the limitations of their previous system, FrontRange, meant the Wawanesa IS team had created processes that were no longer efficient as they rolled out ServiceNow company-wide. They needed a partner who could not only lead with experience and guidance in their ServiceNow journey but also provide best practices – from technical to advisory, Organization Change Management (OCM), Governance, and Roadmaps, in which Acorio specializes.

Transcending Traditional ITSM: Success with ServiceNow

Eager to rollout ServiceNow quickly, Acorio and Wawanesa went live with Incident, Problem, Change, Survey, Knowledge, SAM Premium, Configuration Management Database (CMDB), Discovery, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Integration, and most importantly, Catalog/Request – all in six months.

In an email describing the Go-Live, Wawanesa’s Kimberley Gray, Director of Service Management and the project’s executive sponsor, remarked, “If we’re able to all be standing here [celebrating] that’s a really good sign. We’ve had minimal issues and this is only the beginning. We are going to roll out more functionality!”

So, what were some of the results?

First and foremost, the team is now able to separate their incident and request notifications – allowing teams to identify IT issues and properly prioritize requests and incidents based on urgency.

In addition to this they’ve also seen significant improvements with:

  • Managing Software licenses. Software Asset Management (SAM) Professional is enabling Wawanesa to manage their software licenses more efficiently and accurately. The team is loading software models into the tool on an ongoing basis, allowing them to be better prepared for software audits. This also sets the groundwork for future functionality such as software metering and reclamation, which will further assist with managing the software budget.
  • Eliminating excessive email. Previously, 80% (or more) of tickets were reported by email. Three months after their Go-Live, email was cut off almost entirely for requests, as employees are now being pushed and encouraged to use the Service Portal, which will ultimately drive down costs and increase internal customer satisfaction.
  • Enabling work. The online portal empowers employees to submit a request for service, access, hardware or software.
  • Improving service. By putting real-time data in the right hands through ServiceNow, they’re seeing better responsiveness.
  • Gaining more data. ServiceNow allows for more tracking and reporting.

The success of the launch continued and just 1-month after the first Go-Live Wawanesa continued its adoption of the ServiceNow platform adding Hardware Asset Management (HAM), 3rd party barcode scanning app, Service Portal, SAM Premium enhancements, and Change Management Change Advisory Board (CAB) workbench and enhancements.

Lessons Learned

Transitioning from legacy technology to a more modern system of work, like ServiceNow, can be hard – not only are you switching tools/platforms, you are also changing processes.

Wawanesa, to a degree, faced similar OCM challenges, such as reluctance to adopt the platform or use the Service Portal or Catalog. In addition, the transition from paper to electronic proved to be a challenge.

So, what are some of the ways Wawanesa combated these OCM challenges? Since rolling out ServiceNow, they have focused on communication and transparency, adding multiple feedback channels and creating internal process training (not just platform navigation).

Having some ServiceNow champions also helped the transition. Maddison Kehler, a Service Desk User Admin, shared with the Acorio team on Day 1 of Go Live:

“I am excited! ServiceNow seems to be more than I expected. I started using it today and the possibilities seem endless. This is wonderful from a fulfillment perspective. I used to spend hours deciphering Word documents for new user setups and this offers us the automation and customization we need as the company continues to grow. I see this as a great step forward within Service Delivery.”

Standing the Test of Time

Despite the challenges associated with introducing a new tool and processes, the Wawanesa team is continuing to expand their roadmap as they look into Service Mapping, Event Management, Orchestration, plus Demand and Facilities Management.

What’s even more exciting is that other sectors of the company are expressing interest in the tool and its capabilities outside of ITSM.

In keeping with where Wawanesa wants to move in the future, the company is sophisticated in its adoption of new technology, as they continue to find ways they can improve, simplify, and automate manual processes and tasks for their employees.

From a small-town farmers’ mutual insurance company to a bustling enterprise serving customers in Canada and the United States, Wawanesa continues to showcase its aptitude for growth and transformation in changing times.