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Case study

Leveraging SMAX industry-leading integration capabilities to create a robust service management foundation shortens resolution times and improves efficiency

Fully Integrated ITSM Requirement

The nature of its business means that Zurich Airport works with a variety of partners, from luggage handling, to car hire, duty free shops, and airport accommodation providers. Its aim is to provide a consistent service to its internal and external customers. Transparency in its governance, processes, rules, and infrastructure is key to this objective, as Christoph Düggeli, Team Leader IT Service Management for Zurich Airport, explains: “We want to understand exactly what systems and interfaces we have, how these interact with our processes, what data is available and, more importantly, what data do we need to fulfill an IT order such as a workplace for a new employee.”

The team felt that structured IT service management is at the source of this and although there was an IT support ticketing system, this fell short in many areas. It had very limited integration capabilities and as a result the information available was of poor quality and did not reflect a real-time scenario. Because the information was mainly entered manually the system contained redundant and duplicate data. To create a consistent IT service management structure, Zurich Airport needed a new solution.

Leveraging Integration Capabilities in SMAX

Zurich Airport was clear on its requirements: the solution needed to be fully ITIL-compliant and contain broad integration capabilities to share data between key systems to ensure the IT service management solution would be efficient and provide the insights for continuous improvement. It also needed to align with the team’s IT priorities of governance infrastructure, and standardizing IT services and, of course, it needed to be cost-effective. After a full evaluation of the leading market options, Micro Focus SMAX was selected. “SMAX provided the integration capabilities we needed, and supports our ITIL-driven processes for full governance,” says Düggeli. “We can also see the potential for operational cost savings.”

A project team with representatives from Zurich Airport, Micro Focus, and technical teams in charge of the configuration management system (CMS) and enterprise service bus (ESB), which were the first integration priorities, came together to scope the main SMAX configuration, covering incident, problem, and change management processes.

By integrating SMAX with monitoring and alarm systems, the team can automate event ticketing flows, from fault detection to recovery, reducing Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). With SMAX out-of-the-box integration capabilities, for example REST APIs, and guided by Micro Focus Professional Services, Zurich Airport was able to integrate their infrastructure monitoring with SMAX to automatically update, resolve, and close tickets raised by system alerts, without any manual intervention. With an integration between SMAX and their SAP system, all organizational changes are now instantly reflected in SMAX. Whether someone joins an organization, changes roles, or leaves the organization, SMAX always has the right people context for every configuration. SMAX tracks all configuration items (CIs) from the CMS system, such as a laptop, mobile phone, or a server. Regardless of what system this information is stored in, the seamless integration with SMAX and SMAX’s fast CI detection based on automatic discovery, make it available through a single source of truth: Micro Focus Universal CMDB. Based on all this information, an agent can do a quick search based on an incoming ticket, for example, and ensure that the ticket is routed to the correct team for quick resolution.

Efficiency Gains with Faster Resolution and Fulfillment Times

With all IT services available through SMAX, over 1,700 users can now access a single portal for their IT service requests. More than 2,500 tickets are processed each month by 130 ICT employees. They leverage SMAX live support to quickly find answers to common requests and issues, and chat for directly interacting with the requesters. They can propose existing knowledge articles and other information for a quick fix and coach users in SMAX self-service capabilities. “User feedback has generally been really positive, with users understanding the potential of how SMAX can help in their daily work,” comments Düggeli. “They have noticed efficiency gains, with straightforward incident reporting and direct access to relevant knowledge articles.”

With SMAX the team can measure and report on issue resolution and request fulfillment times. Full service level transparency and key performance indicators (KPIs) helps service level agreements (SLAs) to be more efficiently met. Moving into the near future, Zurich Airport plans to expand the knowledge article library, and make full use of SMAX hot topics analytics. This will give the team advanced search and analytics capabilities to automatically detect trends enabling agents to view and analyze patterns, and to create knowledge articles or problem records based on those patterns.

SMAX ITIL-based best practices are ideal to extend to non-IT processes also, giving users a consistent experience across all services. Düggeli explains, “We look forward to onboarding other business departments in the future, so they can also achieve the benefits of streamlining their processes with SMAX.”

Düggeli concludes: “I’m proud of the collaboration and effective knowledge transfer within the project team, which has resulted in a solid service management foundation, well-designed and ready for further integration.”



certified best practices to streamline IT and non-IT processes



integration capabilities for faster resolution time



user adoption and satisfaction with self-service options and intelligent search

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Zurich Airport case study

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Thu Sep 9 02:16:18 PDT 2021