Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation, and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. In infrastructure and industry solutions, the company plays a pioneering role. One of the world’s largest and longest-standing engineering and electronics companies, Siemens is committed to building on its strong history of innovation, disclosing 7,650 new inventions in fiscal 2015.
For years, Siemens has worked to steadily improve IT service management (ITSM) to ensure that its 10 divisions in over 200 countries receive high service quality at the best price. As its ITSM processes matured, Siemens moved into service integration and management (SIAM), eliminating silos and establishing a single service integration platform.
“We chose ServiceNow because it gave us a cloud-based integration layer to support the digitalization of our company from IT out and implement an industry-standard tool that allows the fast set up of interfaces to our service providers. ServiceNow gave us a solid starting point for our SIAM journey, allowing us to consolidate legacy platforms and reduce our reliance on point solutions,” says Dr. Matthias Egelhaaf, Program Director, who is responsible for service integration at Siemens.
“ServiceNow has helped us transform multiple processes within more than 15 tools into transparent, standardized processes, supported by a single service integration platform. For example, in the Mobile IT area we had 42 different hardware baskets in the past and now we have on standard hardware portfolio, which means far lower maintenance effort and a consolidation of hardware suppliers.
Also, creating full transparency and having all data available internally allows us to manage our providers in real-time across multiple dimensions. This visibility gives us the confidence to utilize cutting-edge services from new market players, especially in the cloud area.”
Siemens used ServiceNow as the basis for its FITS (Framework for integrated IT Services) project, rolling out a single self-service portal for end-users called myIT and an ITSM portal for IT staff, developers, and service providers. Instead of bouncing between multiple portals, users now submit service requests via one easy-to-use interface. With a one-stop shop for IT products and services, Siemens has improved agility and transparency while helping more than 285,000 employees stay productive.
“ServiceNow has fundamentally changed how we manage IT and collaborate with our providers,” says Egelhaaf. “To roll out a new global IT service in the IT infrastructure area we just have to use one toolset instead of 15, resulting in much faster time to market cycles for global IT services. We can easily plugin and out new providers while giving the providers the opportunity to harmonize their legacy tool environment and increase the degree of automation.”
Making Mobility Manageable
As Siemens expanded its SIAM model to gain full control of service delivery, managing mobility as a business service was a logical next step. Like most companies, Siemens has experienced a surge in demand for mobile technologies in recent years. A lack of transparency and visibility across multiple wireless carriers and systems made mobility difficult to manage with more than 160,000 mobile devices.
“We needed a scalable mobility management solution that would fully integrate with our ServiceNow SIAM environment,” says Egelhaaf. “ServiceNow suggested the brightfin, which we purchased from the ServiceNow Store. But brightfin is much more than just an app—it also includes carrier information integration, automation capabilities, as well as an active management of all mobile devices. If required, it also bridges routine work that is not yet automated.”
Available exclusively on the ServiceNow platform, brightfin integrates with major wireless carriers to streamline order management, track usage and expenses, and help companies reduce costs.
Certified by ServiceNow, brightfin gives Siemens an end-to-end view of mobile assets, expenses, and operators. Siemens was able to quickly deploy the cloud solution with nearly no additional application development required, accelerating time to value.
With a single portal Siemens will be able to proactively manage more than 12 mobile operators and in the same step, Siemens consolidated enterprise mobility management (EMM) systems and automated multicurrency expense and usage reporting of 160,000 mobile devices. By integrating mobile device inventory and actions from AirWatch into ServiceNow, powerful analytics are now available to analysts and cost center managers. Automated catalog management and mobile change requests speed fulfillment for new devices and services, helping users get what they need to stay productive on the go.
“brightfin and ServiceNow have given us complete mobile transparency, allowing us to streamline the internal tasks and shut down several legacy systems to substantially reduce operating costs,” says Egelhaaf. “In addition, we have been able to standardize our mobile processes such as device requests and plan changes across different carriers.”
It’s now easy for Siemens to confirm it is getting the best service for its money—and hold vendors accountable. “We have much greater visibility into comparative mobile operator and service costs to support ongoing contract negotiations,” says Egelhaaf. “And with the push of a button, we can know if SLAs are being met in real time. We don’t have to rely on carrier reports anymore.” As the mobile carrier market is a very competitive one, the mobile carriers are eager to work with Siemens to increase automation and reduce manual tasks. This generates a win-win situation for Siemens and its providers.
“brightfin and ServiceNow have given us complete mobile transparency, allowing us to streamline internal tasks and shut down several legacy systems to substantially reduce operating costs.“
Drive Continuous Improvement
With ServiceNow, Siemens is driving simplicity from an end-user perspective while improving process efficiency and reducing costs, helping the company accelerate its digital transformation. Now Siemens can:
- Simplify service management with a one-stop-shop portal (myIT) for end-users
- Improve IT service quality and time to market while having end-to-end accountability in place
- Provide full visibility into mobile assets, plans, and features
- Track usage and expenses to reduce overall costs and wasteful spending
- Agility and increased competition via fully automated interfaces that allows us to easily plug in and out providers
“ServiceNow is our speed dial for digitalization,” says Egelhaaf. “It puts IT into the position to provide better support and generate more value for the business.”
Challenges Before ServiceNow
- Many portals for end-user related services from different service providers
- End-users had to bundle and coordinate disparate technical services themselves
- Limited collaboration between major stakeholders and gaps in end-to-end control in multi-provider environment
- Strong dependency caused by lock-in situation with some providers
- Capabilities of new providers couldn’t be leveraged quickly, delaying time to market for new services
- Lack of unified contracts and interfaces for cross-provider service integration
- High degree of manual effort required for Siemens as well as providers, resulting in lack of transparency
Results with ServiceNow
- Enabled Siemens to put employees and their experience at the center of service integration
- Created the myIT portal, a one-stop-shop for all IT products and services currently used by over 285,000 employees to order and manage IT products and services and submit help desk tickets
- Fundamentally changed how Siemens manages IT, ensuring that the 10 divisions in over 200 countries receive high service quality at the best price
- Changed how Siemens collaborates with its providers by offering an eco-system with well-defined processes and standard interfaces, allowing Siemens to fully leverage cloud services
- Consolidated multiple systems onto one ServiceNow platform, increasing efficiency and transparency while accelerating time to market for new providers and services
- Achieved a timely ROI by shutting down legacy systems, increasing automation, driving self service, increasing competition, and providing full transparency
Next Steps: Gaining Even More Value
Based on its success in consolidating and managing IT services, Siemens plans to further leverage ServiceNow, for example by releasing additional processes and functionalities. This includes the introduction of new use cases like automating the onboarding process as part of its HR Service Management strategy, as well as shutting down additional existing legacy tools. “IT is a great place to start, but SIAM is a journey,” says Egelhaaf. “There’s so much more we can do with ServiceNow to increase business velocity also beyond IT.”
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