EMI Music streamlines IT change management, drives process transformation with the Micro Focus solution.
"After evaluating the Serena (now part of Micro Focus) solution for our IT change management requirements against an incumbent, 'out-of-the-box' IT service management solution we quickly concluded that it was far more flexible and cost-effective and it provided the visibility and reporting capabilities that we needed."
MR. TONY BENARDOUT
Senior Project Manager
EMI Music is one of the world’s leading music companies. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Latin, Capitol Records Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Records Nashville, Manhattan, Parlophone, Virgin Classics, and Virgin Records. Artists on EMI labels include some of the world’s best-known recording artists, such as The Beatles, Katy Perry, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, and Dépêche Mode.
To support an expanding range of revenue streams and business models including digital and physical distribution, sales, press and promotion, marketing, licensing, brand partnerships, live recordings and merchandising, EMI Music has a large number of applications that are distributed globally. “We needed a way to manage and communicate global application changes to all interested parties efficiently, to avoid conflict. Our complex environment was comprised of a proliferation of local processes with limited or no visibility between territories and we also worked with IT partners that managed some system components,” said Tony Benardout, Senior Project Manager, EMI Music.
Automating change management became increasingly critical as EMI Music began to transform its business to meet the challenges of the digital music revolution. “Many of our existing processes were paper-based, resource-intensive and time consuming,” said Tony. “Equally important was a need for better visibility into processes across all major territories, and the ability to tailor application-specific change lifecycles pragmatically. Additionally, we wanted our processes to be ITIL-compliant to help us meet regulations set forth by Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II,” he added.
These requirements led EMI Music’s IT team to look for a global change management system in 2005. “Serena (now part of Micro Focus) TeamTrack was already in use for IT process management in our German office and had proven to be a very capable product. In one situation, using the Serena solution, the German team was able to make the process changes requested by visiting auditors even before they left the building! That spoke volumes to us,” said Tony. “This combined with the endorsement of our colleagues in Germany prompted us to look at offerings from Serena.”
After evaluating the Micro Focus solution against an incumbent, ‘out-of-the-box’ IT service management solution. Tony’s team quickly concluded that the Micro Focus solution was far more flexible and cost-effective and it provided the visibility and reporting capabilities that they needed, as well as the option of creating a custom solution.
With the Micro Focus solution, EMI Music can effectively track and manage change requests and releases on a global scale to streamline the delivery of services. ”The Serena solution is extremely scalable and provides everything we need in a single platform. The team can now create forward change schedules automatically and drive agendas for Change Advisory Board (CAB) meetings through standard reports. The solution is capable of executing very complicated tasks whilst providing a simple user experience,” he said.
Soon after the change management processes were implemented, EMI Music embarked on a major transformation program to meet the challenges presented by the digital revolution. This resulted in many requests from the business to automate and re-engineer manual processes. Micro Focus’s powerful process management platform made it easy for EMI Music to rapidly automate and deploy new process-based applications (see sidebar).
EMI Music uses the Micro Focus solution to streamline support processes for various business functions, including credit control and royalties queries. As the bulk of the UK credit control help desk is outsourced, automation ensures that the outsourcer follows a standard process and that requests are formally tracked through to resolution. The US based royalties help desk now has an effective system for managing calls. The solution automatically sets SLAs based on the call priority and provides age analysis reports to keep track of outstanding requests. It therefore helps EMI Music ensure that the outsourcers handle these requests in a timely manner.
The solution is also helping EMI Music adapt quickly to challenges arising from the digital music revolution in the area of contract management. “We are developing a solution on Micro Focus Solutions Business Manager, which will help us streamline the process for credit checks, contract negotiation, meeting agenda creation and other tasks related to digital music distribution. We’re still tapping into what the system can do,” said Tony.
Today, roughly 1500 EMI Music personnel benefit from using the Micro Focus-powered applications. “Now that the Serena solution is established within EMI and users are familiar with it, we’ve found that a number of new solutions have been greeted positively,” said Tony “The solution is robust, secure and extremely audit-friendly.”
EMI Music has achieved some key milestones in terms of automating and optimizing business processes:
Tony added that the Micro Focus support team has been extremely responsive as EMI Music integrates the solution into the business. “I’ve worked with a number of vendors and I have no doubt that the the Micro Focus support team is the most customer-focused. They are willing to go the extra mile and make changes to respond to our needs.”