Who is Norsk Helsenett?
Norsk Helsenett (NHN) is a state-owned ICT service provider for all healthcare agencies, hospitals, and doctor/dental offices in Norway. With 1,100 employees and three main locations in Trondheim, Oslo, and Tromsø, NHN serves more than 7,000 customers. When health and lives are at stake, a service provider must deliver. NHN needed a modern and dynamic ITSM system for interacting with customers and handling cases. Faster, higher quality services were necessary to free up time, stay proactive, and focus on things that really mattered.
Seeking an ITSM System with a Heart
“We needed a heart,” Tor Kristian Hansen, NHN ITSM project manager for Internal Systems Management & Support, said of their need for a new ITSM system—one service platform for managing customer interactions and handling cases.
“ITSM is the heart of an organization—that’s where work happens. It’s where employees go every day to communicate with their customers, plan changes, and manage incidents.”
When thinking of healthcare, there’s also an emotive association between a heart and automation. ITSM with a heart is empathetic—it understands users’ needs, simplifies their lives, and helps them achieve their goals.
From the get-go, what stands out with NHN is their sheer positivity and commitment to continuously improve. This service provider takes pride in making sure agents and users are happy, which starts by listening to their needs.
“We’re always working to be a better service provider and the best team player we can be for our organization,” Hansen said.
Going Big with SMAX
Although NHN was using Micro Focus SMAX as an internal help desk, an older service automation product (Micro Focus Service Manager) was used for handling requests. Essentially, there were two parallel service desks. In 2021, NHN went big on SMAX and rolled it out across a large customer base. The service provider worked with Micro Focus partner Manage-E Nordic AS to complete the migration from Service Manager to SMAX in eight short months.
SMAX was a natural choice.
“We already knew what SMAX was capable of doing. The ITSM system had to support standardization with as much self-service and automation as possible. It had to be forward-looking and grow with our changing needs.”
Today, service request management is the biggest process automated by SMAX at NHN. “SMAX involves everyone in the organization,” Hansen said. “We’re trying to make every employee a case handler.” Multiple service definitions are available from one self-service portal. Here, healthcare agencies can select from requests that include onboarding new employees, new user registrations for applications or service instances, and IT/infrastructure services.
The project was a success from the start. Standardized processes, streamlined ways of working, single portal access for 1,400 agents and 4,000 users, and readily available KPI reports are proof of that. Agents and users appreciate how SMAX provides positive interactions and helps them work in a professional way. Management appreciates the ease of accessing reports, which help them track cases received, level of attention needed, and resolution times.
Moving Forward—More Automation, Open Communication, and Ongoing Training
“ITSM is only as good as the data it’s built on,” Hansen said. That’s why his team is working on automating their service catalog with Micro Focus Universal Discovery and Universal CMBD. The finish line is close. Discovery for on premises is done and the team is working through discovery for the cloud. Automated change and incident management comes next.
During the SMAX implementation, NHN prioritized communication and training—and those priorities remain. “For successful implementations, keep regular lines of communication open with your stakeholders,” Hansen said. “Share your vision, your roadmap, and the business benefits of automation use cases with your leadership.”
Agent and user satisfaction is equally important. “Make sure agents and users feel listened to and cared for,” Hansen said. At NHN, agents take part in a formal SMAX training program, and end users can access how-to and service-offering videos.
“We hope that superior user experiences will help expand SMAX adoption and greater automation,” said Hansen. “Automation is a never-ending story because processes and technology will keep evolving.”