Waterstone Mortgage identified a need to implement a new approach to manage and provide access to technology services. The solution needed to:
- Provide access to key applications across the company
- Handle requests made of the IT department—and their processing
- Handle complex workflows related to employee onboarding and offboarding
- Maintain highly specialized features used in the firm’s existing ITSM tool. That tool, which was built on a CRM system, had reached an end-of-life state in which any further changes were prohibitive due to either access or economics.
“Our need was for a platform that would improve business operations in several ways—not just specific to the IT department but with user impacts across the company,” said Heidi Roberts, Web Applications Manager at Waterstone Mortgage, which is based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Therefore, Waterstone Mortgage’s IT leaders sought a new platform that could accommodate key aspects of its existing ITSM processes while improving other business processes, eliminating overhead requirements, and providing users throughout the business with a user-friendly portal.
After considering a CRM-based offering, Waterstone Mortgage chose ServiceNow as its new ITSM solution—extended to include a multi-tier user portal—and engaged with Concurrency to plan and implement the solution. The Concurrency team included a ServiceNow managing architect, an ITSM process architect, a systems engineer, a business analyst and a project manager. We applied our established project methodology based on an agile approach, beginning with a series of workshops then moving forward into development, testing, training and go-live.
Three features of this project stand out for their specialization:
- Preservation of custom, email-based incident management processing. Waterstone Mortgage had previously built a complex system of inbound email processing in which incident tickets would be generated based on recipients of the email (both to: and cc: in various combinations). As this system was well-established in the organization, Waterstone Mortgage wanted to recreate it in the ServiceNow environment. We did so, leveraging the full power of ServiceNow, including multiple integrations.
- User onboarding and offboarding workflows. To smoothly facilitate tasks relating to new hires, departures, employee transfers and employee data updates, Waterstone Mortgage wished to leverage ServiceNow’s powerful workflow management capabilities. We put in place a series of complex workflows and requests, including multiple levels of approvals. A given request might have 10 to 15 specific tasks associated with it—sometimes in sequence and sometimes in parallel. We built the system to include checklists to provide clear insight into each request. We worked closely with Waterstone Mortgage to greatly streamline and enhance all processes of this type, including through portal design that ensured only necessary questions are displayed for a given need. On the back end, the system had previously been static in that it sent out tasks to various work groups that had to maintain their own task checklists. Now, all aspects of the workflow are dynamic and feature checklists directly within ServiceNow. This approach enables far more employee productivity as well as richer reporting.
- IT portal for end users. We produced a three-tier portal that groups IT services into categorical offerings. In the portal, users can clearly see what services they have access to. Users can, for example, click a button for IT Services or Marketing Services—and from there click into a second tier to initiate requests. Each request form is customized so only the necessary and relevant information is requested of a user. To ensure successful user adoption and consistency with the company’s brand and culture, we worked closely with Waterstone Bank to develop the look and feel of the user interface. In addition to requests, the portal also offers users a top-level service health dashboard and banner messages—making this ServiceNow solution a true central point for IT questions and needs.
In addition to these three highlights of specialized aspects of the ServiceNow solution, another key project focus areas included a wide range of IT-specific business processes. To be successful in these, Waterstone Mortgage’s team worked hard on organizational change management. We provided training to the company’s key ServiceNow users, who then went on to run training sessions for marketing and operations users in workshops we facilitated.
Speaking of Concurrency’s ServiceNow architect on this project. Heidi Roberts of Waterstone Bank noted his skill at explaining the reasons for processes. “He was great to work with. That’s what really made this project go smooth—very sensitive to our needs and very good at communicating.”
This project is an excellent example of a successful effort working side-by-side with a client team that’s well-versed in the organization’s business needs and is dedicated to improving processes.