About SOCAR Turkey
Focusing on its main investment areas, namely petro-chemical products, refining, natural gas trade and distribution, SOCAR Turkey provides support to enable Turkey to be an influential power across the international energy arena with its investments. Having completed the integration process in refinery, petrochemicals, energy, logistics, distribution and storage, the group forges ahead to become the biggest industrial holding of Turkey.
IT Architecture Consolidation Calls for Single Service Management Platform
All SOCAR companies were operated independently with various IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, resulting in multiple processes and rules. Uğur Çetin, IT Architecture Group Manager for SOCAR, explains further: “Our IT operations were measured differently with no consolidated reporting or dialogue between them. This meant a heavy overhead in terms of system maintenance, and we didn’t have a clear overview of our IT asset data as this was all stored in different structures and locations. Our ITSM agents and end-users could not access the same ITSM solution which caused data entry repetition and confusion. As part of a corporate initiative, we decided to consolidate our IT architecture, while modernizing key components. Our aim was to create a single service management platform serving all SOCAR Turkey companies and unifying our IT processes.”
Market research and input from valued technology partners led the organization to Micro Focus and a set of IT Operations Management solutions were chosen. Micro Focus SMAX simplifies service management and automates process and workflows to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). Micro Focus Universal CMDB maps and consolidates IT asset inventory data for proactive impact analysis. Micro Focus Operations Orchestration is used to achieve technology-agnostic integration and automation across SOCAR’s heterogeneous environment. “We were impressed with the capabilities presented by local Micro Focus implementation partners and our first focus was on SMAX, as the center of our new service management model,” says Uğur Çetin. “SMAX is a complete enterprise service management (ESM) platform with a modern user interface and great comprehensive out-of-the-box capabilities.”
Impressive SMAX Integration Capabilities Save Costs
With 5,500 end-users, over 300 service agents, more than 100 functional groups and departments (75 percent of which belong to non-IT functions), and 7,000 IT assets, implementing the Micro Focus solutions took approximately four months. “We tried to stay within the out-ofthe-box configuration as much as possible and worked on our service catalogs to make them easy to consume by our end-users,” comments Uğur Çetin. “We introduced SMAX in phases, with corporate support services first, followed by a human resources catalog. Within a couple of months, we integrated SMAX with Universal CMDB for asset discovery, introduced change management, and worked on a variety of other SMAX processes. We were then in a position to retire old tools and catalogs, creating an immediate license, infrastructure, maintenance, and general operational cost savings.”
The main purpose of SMAX was initially for IT service management and here it quickly showed its value. Almost all SMAX modules are in full use by the team and configuration management is supported by Universal CMDB data for automatic asset discovery. Task scheduling, contract management, and financial management features are in active use.
The solution also supports automated network security operations where automated workflows determine the action that should follow a cyber security threat. These actions, such as firewall IP blocking, URL domain blocking, or limiting the internet access of specific servers, are then automatically executed through the integration between SMAX and Operations Orchestration. “Operations Orchestration manages all our SMAX integration,” says Uğur Çetin. “It provides a seamless link between our SMAX-based service center and our Active Directory, Exchange servers, HR system, security operations center, our assets in Universal CMDB, and various vendor solutions to automate related workflows and tasks.”
SMAX Loved by Non-IT Audiences for Its User-Friendly Interface and Mobile App
“As an enterprise service management (ESM) solution SMAX has won the hearts and minds of the non-IT community,” comments Uğur Çetin. “It provides a single, unified employee portal where all requests are logged and managed.”
It is used to complete satisfaction surveys and service level monitoring reports. When SMAX was first introduced, three non-IT business units adopted it, but the word has spread and now seven non-IT business units leverage it, with the number of SMAX offerings increasing by 50 percent. Executive reporting is much appreciated by the organization and is proving to be an effective management tool.
SMAX is ideal for building your own fit-for-purpose apps for business departments to drive better, faster, and cheaper back-office operations. SOCAR took full advantage of codeless configuration capabilities, as Uğur Çetin explains: “We leverage SMAX for time and capacity management within our enterprise application development teams. Our insurance department uses it for insurance policy and claims tracking, our corporate fleet tracks and manages company car loans, our plant maintenance team uses SMAX for inventory management, and our mobile management team tracks inventory and invoices. Our Information Security team is evaluating the assets in a custom app in SMAX which will support the regulations we need to comply with from the Digital Transformation Office of the Republic of Turkey. If we hadn’t been able to leverage SMAX we would have had to purchase stand-alone applications, at significant cost to the organization.”
SOCAR employees love the SMAX mobile app, and with IT and non-IT users leveraging the same solution there is no need for users to navigate between different applications; they can all reach the same service portal in a single click. By offering up relevant SMAX knowledge articles many users can find the answer to their request themselves and service tickets are automatically fulfilled. Automated approval workflows require no human intervention and are managed much faster than in a manual, step-by-step process. Through SMAX service level monitoring teams can directly analyze their performance and justify their time. It’s easy to identify bottlenecks and streamline their way of working.
Increased Transparency and Governance with SMAX Managing 96% of Requests
SMAX has given SOCAR a unified enterprise service management platform with a modern interface and mobile access. A single portal serves all needs: replacing faulty equipment, ID card renewal, mobile signature requests, etc. “SMAX has increased our transparency and with its standardized processes we have improved control and governance,” says Uğur Çetin. “We can analyze and justify our workload and have a great platform for custom application development which has given us significant cost savings. We process up to 8,000 requests each month and offer 440 SMAX catalogs, with over 50 percent aimed at our non-IT audiences. 96 percent of all requests are submitted directly via the SMAX-based service portal or mobile app.”
The team is excited about all they’ve achieved with SMAX but can see many more opportunities. “We aim to continuously improve our catalog offering and add new business functions,” comments Uğur Çetin. “We are also working on SAP ChaRM (Change Request Management module) and SMAX change management integration to support automated deployments.
And we are introducing a virtual agent to improve our user experience even further.”
He concludes: “Enterprise service management is like a living organism and that is how we view SMAX. We are continually in touch with our stakeholders to identify improvement areas after we’ve seen how things work in a real environment. We were able to get up and running quickly because we started simple and used out-of-the-box SMAX configuration as much as possible. We are delighted by the adoption of our SMAX-managed services by our non-IT colleagues; this has really unified our business as a whole.”