SMAX Supports Process Alignment in Complex Environment
The merger between these market leaders brought the challenge of connecting people and processes across the newly formed organization. New technology was required to bring both worlds together, with IT and infrastructure needing to adapt fast to new services. Processes were reshaped to align and unify business operations in both banks in response to business demands for better and faster customer engagement. Timothy Mburu, Head of IT Service Management at NCBA, explains further: “We needed a platform that could grow with our new business, while maintaining a low TCO. The complexity of our infrastructure demanded a reliable automated solution to support our IT and non-IT processes. We used BMC Remedy Force, but this didn’t have the level of maturity we needed when we manage over 120,000 configuration items. A user-friendly mobile application was important for us too, so that we can promote self-service to our users as much as possible.”
Micro Focus SMAX came out on top in a technical evaluation and NCBA worked with a local implementation partner Hakken and Micro Focus to implement SMAX within just six weeks – realizing a very fast time to value. This represented an agile implementation, leveraging many out-of-the-box processes and rules, with some minor customizations.
The new experience was richer, as Mburu comments: “We introduced modern, comprehensive, and user-friendly self-service and smart virtual agents. This immediately reduced ticket traffic, and improved our customer satisfaction.” The bank also appreciated the value of flexible deployment options – unlike other vendors where it could require switching to another solution – SMAX offers easy and straightforward migration from on-premises to cloud and vice-versa should their needs evolve. With this quick win under their belt, NCBA moved onto the next phase of their SMAX implementation.
SMAX: Issue Resolution Time Cut in Half
Guided by the ITIL principles already adopted by NIC and CBA, the organization leveraged standard SMAX workflows as a baseline to accelerate process reshaping, resulting in a new and global IT service catalogue definition and implementation. This encompasses asset and configuration management with automated infrastructure discovery, thanks to SMAX streamlined integration with the existing discovery solution. The team saves time and reduces human errors when managing its dynamic and complex infrastructure. Upgrades are automatic, providing instant access to new features and resulting in reduced TCO. NCBA teams are able to make basic workflow changes themselves and execute requests that would have required 3rd party support in the past.
The next stage was the implementation and customization of other key SMAX offerings including Request Fulfillment, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change and Release Management, Service Level Management, and Knowledge Management.
The service desk receives up to 12,000 requests each month that can be fulfilled in any number of ways. NCBA’s users access the easy-to-use self-service portal where they can interact with the service desk. They can also access the self-service portal through their mobile phones, making it simpler and faster to track their requests and tickets. Managers use the native mobile app to approve requests. They offer 750 items in the catalog, so users can easily find the right service. When submitting an issue, users can leverage smart ticketing; describe the issue in natural language or attach a photo and submit the case. Underlying machine learning will automatically create the ticket with categorizations and route to the most suited agent. Service desk agents save precious time through automatic ticket classifications. As a result, problems are resolved twice as fast. And, finally, users can ‘ask a friend’. Through social collaboration, answers are sourced from the community, enhancing end user autonomy and reducing the workload of their 250 agents.
“We use SMAX surveys for our continuous service improvement,” Mburu says. “SMAX surveys provide valuable information from our users. The data collected is processed through the smart analytics engine and enables us to better align our services to the user’s expectations and requirements.”
Autonomous Users Leads to Improved Satisfaction
NCBA is looking to the future where automated incident remediation will be managed through Micro Focus Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for further productivity improvements and higher service levels. SMAX also integrates with Micro Focus Operations Orchestration, intended to automate NCBA service provisioning, to eliminate manual tasks and enable the service desk staff add value to the users. Further integrations with SMAX into the organization’s CRM tool and the call management solution used by the service desk will streamline processes even further, and is made easy through SMAX API-driven integration capabilities.
Mburu is pleased with the SMAX progress: “Thanks to SMAX automated workflows, we have halved our issue resolution time and improved satisfaction levels. Our users are more autonomous and love the mobile interface for the service desk. The self service capabilities enable users to seamlessly get assistance or assist others, and this is reflected in reduced monthly ticket numbers. By consolidating onto one central service environment, we reduced our TCO, while increasing our service quality and productivity.”