In a world with an irrefutable appetite for data, two data center firms, one based in Denver, CO and the other in Charlotte, NC, merged in 2017 to become the market leader in hybrid IT solutions in Northern America. Despite its new branding, this organization has a 20-year history helping data-intensive businesses transform their IT departments from a cost center to an asset – promising innovation, improve speed to market, and lower risk.
The Big Picture
- Robust suite of satellite companies, spanning over 20 markets, 40 data centers, 10,000 cross-connects, and 13 cloud nodes serving over 5,000 customers.
- One half of the merged organization was mature with ServiceNow, the other needed further education and technical maturity.
- Starting with a rock-solid foundation, ServiceNow ITSM, Acorio built out a risk-free CSM solution so the two organizations could then consolidate their data centers without having room for error (or headaches) typical of their previous, domain separated environment.
- Additionally the company; added GRC and SecOps (with 13 integrations) to improve the existing level of security, enhanced their ITSM solution with best practices and maintained a robust, secure integration to Salesforce and other high priority applications.
- This $1.5M project delivered major digital transformation outcomes, including CSM revisioning and unification, platform enablement to deliver critical capabilities across the business, and optimization of internal technical staff.
- Addition support is being provided via Acorio’s Virtual Assistance plus the team is about to engage in an additional ITBM project.
To read a full version of the case study, click here, or skim a preview of the solutions provided below.
Putting Their Customers First: How One Merger Offered an Opportunity to Break Away from Legacy Processes and Systems
For the team, this merger served as a time of reflection, allowing the two firms the time to realize their pain points. It also forced the newly united organization to form new process and decide how they could work together, ultimately to create a unified solution targeted at delivering outcomes and top-notch service for their growing, joint customer base.
One of the largest obstacles towards unification was the fact that the former East Coast data center used ServiceNow’s ITSM solution to solve for their Customer Service needs. However, that instance had some structural challenged for the new merge. Prior to ServiceNow’s CSM solution being invented, they operated in a domain separated IT environment, with over 2,400 domains, inhibiting their ability to scale effectively and proving to be costly.
In order to ensure maintainability, upgradeability, and scalability in the future, the organization required a single, non-domain separated instance.
By starting with a rock-solid foundation and reorganizing ServiceNow ITSM and building out a risk-free CSM solution, the two organizations could then consolidate their data centers without having room for error (or headaches) typical of their previous, domain separated environment.
Additionally, the organization looked to:
- Add GRC and SecOps to improve the existing level of security
- Migrate and enhance their ITSM solution with best practices to dramatically improve their ability to audit, protect, and secure internal and external customer data, improve process
- Improve process visibility and automation of common requests by enabling more efficient overall operation and platform management with ServiceNow
- Maintain a robust, secure integration to Salesforce and other high priority applications to ensure key data continued to flow and be leveraged in light of their merge, and therefore, changes in their core architecture
Expanding their Use of ServiceNow and Finding Acorio
Since the East Coast data firm was a mature ServiceNow ITSM user and they had already made an investment in the platform, the organization didn’t consider another Service Management solution during the merge. Knowing they needed guidance during this merge, a ServiceNow sales representative recommended looking into Acorio as a trusted consultancy in the ecosystem.
Acorio and the organization built a true partnership by working together as one unified team, taking the time to ensure everyone was on the same page and understood the value in the ServiceNow solution Acorios was proposing. From the beginning during pre-sales meetings, Acorio was very transparent about the lift involved with uniting two significantly disparate systems in a short timeframe. They worked as partners to understand everyone was in the project (and merge) together.
Real-World Results: Migrating from Domain Separation to Deploy a Leading CSM Solution
Rather than remain domain separated which inhibits scalability and adds costs, complexity, and time-to-resolve, Acorio was the only partner to recommend a unique solution that leveraged ServiceNow’s robust Customer Service Management.
CSM, compared to a domain separated ITSM environment, risks no cross-pollination. Plus, rather than configuring requirements per client (thus repeating the same processes over and over), with CSM, you only had to configure once, saving the firm time for more valuable work. This also allowed the Hybrid IT solution center to provide an increased level of security for their 5,000+ customers worldwide.
With domain separation, this organization was struggling to deliver the data their clients wanted, often forcing customers to travel through a maze of different systems, with plenty of clicks in between. Now, with CSM and Service Portal, customers can request information – like firewall changes, service reboots, and change requests – all in one place. During a rare occurrence that they can’t find what they’re looking for, they can easily use chat to connect with someone real-time. For the data center’s internal team, Acorio created a better user experience by implementing an internal customer Service Portal so they had better visibility into their own tickets.
Outside of CSM, Acorio also worked with the organization to align with ITSM best practices for the following; Incident Management, Change Management, Problem Management, Project Management, Knowledge Management, and CMDB.
Additionally, Acorio implemented a salesforce integration, which serviced as a contract management system so contracts would automatically get routed to the data center’s internal customer implementation project management teams. Once a project was completed, they could easily use ServiceNow as their one-stop-shop and bill their customers via the integration.
During the engagement, the biggest surprise for the Acorio team was the organization’s request to add SecOps (Incident, Vulnerability, GRC) during the contract process. While it wasn’t intended to be a part of the original solution, it was a component of the platform that got their team excited. It enabled them to realign their assumption of the platform and proved that ServiceNow can have an impact for the overall business. With 13 SecOps integrations, they’re now actively tracking customer vulnerabilities in a single dashboard.