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An Al Jazeera news reporter with a microphone is surrounded by a group of young Middle-Eastern boys and men
Al Jazeera Media Network logo

Al Jazeera Media Network automates workflows, streamlines broadcasting


Increase in service management processes


Reduction in average MTTR for tickets


Time saved in asset tracking

Al Jazeera Media Network has applied the principles of IT service management across the business to ensure the right equipment is available to provide the best news coverage for 310 million households worldwide. By consolidating multiple disparate systems and processes with ServiceNow, Al Jazeera improved service management processes by 700%.

Leading the media industry in service management

Al Jazeera Media Network sees ITSM as a way to help ensure high-quality, timely broadcasts—and strengthen its reputation
Since its founding in 1996, Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) has been reshaping global media. The first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to providing comprehensive news and live debate, AJMN now broadcasts to more than 310 million households in over 140 countries. With 82 news bureaus globally and over 70 nationalities represented on its staff, AJMN’s newsrooms are among the most diverse in the world.

AJMN is constantly working to strengthen its reputation as one of the world’s most respected news and current affairs channels. Broadcast quality and timeliness are key. Having the right equipment available can make the difference  between a high-definition picture and a blank screen. An innovator in its industry, AJMN is applying the principles of IT service management (ITSM) to the broadcast space.

AJMN adopts a consolidated IT service request portal with ServiceNow, allows 2.5 FTEs to manage 30 development streams
Like many companies, AJMN initially concentrated its service management efforts on IT. Its first two attempts at ITSM were not successful. Incident reports and service requests still came through almost entirely by email and telephone. Multiple portals slowed service delivery. In addition, the contract management team needed more flexibility in managing renewals.

“Our previous ITSM efforts were not widely adopted by the business because the tools we tried to use were IT-focused and difficult to customize,” says Grant Totten, Head of Performance Management, AJMN.

AJMN needed to consolidate disparate systems and establish a single system of record. “When news is on the air, there’s no time to go through multiple steps to log an incident,” says Grant. “We needed a service management platform that would be flexible and simple to use.”

AJMN decided to replace its legacy tool with ServiceNow. Working with SilverStorm, a ServiceNow partner, AJMN swiftly implemented customized incident, change, problem, and asset management. Within 12 months, the company onboarded more than 500 IT staff from 60 teams, offering automated request fulfillment.

Building on its success with automating IT workflows, Al Jazeera is bringing those same efficiencies to broadcast.

“Custom development is very quick with ServiceNow, and working with SilverStorm helped us move even faster,” says Grant. “For example, we built a shipping module in just a couple weeks, leveraging a lot of out-of-the-box functionality. That would have been impossible with our previous tool. With ServiceNow, just 2.5 full-time employees manage over 30 development streams.”

AJMN worked hard to get the cultural buy-in needed to be successful. “By the end of the first year, we saw triple-digit growth across all KPIs, including a 200% increase in change ownership and 167% increase in team buy-in,” says Aamer Maqsood, Head of Service Management.

User adoption hits 100% as ServiceNow transforms IT services across the company
AJMN began to revamp IT processes across the company, beginning with procurement and legal requests for 82 news bureaus around the world. By automating contract renewal and request fulfillment, AJMN can keep needed services from expiring and make sure vendors are paid on time. More than 300 contracts with a value of $10 billion were migrated from the old system to ServiceNow, saving millions in avoided penalties for expired contracts.

“We’re now at 100% user adoption of ServiceNow from an ITSM perspective,” says Grant. “Everybody’s in the system, recording what they do, so we can look at reports and identify trends. That wasn’t possible with service requests submitted through email.”

With ServiceNow, emergency changes are nearly eliminated, and the mean time to resolution for tickets is now 13 hours instead of 83 hours. Using ServiceNow® Problem Management to identify known errors and resolve root causes, AJMN was able to resolve 28,000 incidents by tracking problems to resolutions.

“Because of the visibility ServiceNow gives us, we were able to take level-three technical requests and push them down to the service desk,” says Grant. “We’re saving money and reclaiming time for our highly skilled engineers.”

AJMN extends IT service management mindset to broadcasting—automates media production lifecycles and tracks equipment worldwide

Building on its success with automating IT workflows, AJMN brought those same efficiencies to broadcasting. “We recognized that ServiceNow had done a great job for us in IT, and there’s a lot more it can do for us as an enterprise,” says Aamer. “To be true innovators, we had to penetrate the broadcast arena and bring the service management mentality into our core business.”

Broadcast is the most critical aspect of AJMN’s business. It’s also on a huge scale. “We’re tracking 158,000 assets across the globe,” says Grant. “If one unit goes down, we go black on the air and potentially lose viewership.”

AJMN used ServiceNow to build a request portal and service catalog for all broadcast-related equipment and services, giving its news bureaus faster access to the assets they need.

“It’s all about workflows, regardless of the business area,” says Aamer. “The same service management mentality that we use in IT can be applied to media production. For example, we can automate all the processes around a new television program from concept to production. We can use it in our innovation department to make better decisions about content—incubating the right ideas and eliminating others before they cost too much money.”

To further improve the process, AJMN worked with SilverStorm to develop an Arabic language interface to the ServiceNow catalog and accomplished this in just four weeks. “The ability to switch between Arabic and English with ease will greatly improve communications, eliminate back-and-forth, and make sure people get what they need,” says Aamer. “Arabic is a first language for many of our employees, so this will be critical to the adoption of the platform.”

Custom ServiceNow workflows help AJMN manage the full broadcast lifecycle, delivers a 40% time savings and saves millions of dollars
By connecting its news locations to a single system of record, AJMN is achieving its primary goal of being a timely, accurate, and high-quality news organization. If a cameraman needs a high-definition camera, they can use the service catalog to locate one and not miss a story.

Hardware asset tracking with ServiceNow has resulted in a 40% savings in staff time as well as significant cost savings. In one example, the network saved $10 million in assets required for a location in South America by being able to reallocate unused assets already in the region. ServiceNow® Asset Management has also given business decision-makers the ability to make quicker and more informed decisions.

The Media Management team developed a ServiceNow workflow to automate media archiving spanning multiple teams in under two weeks. The team now has full transparency on the archiving status of media, enabling rapid turnaround for retrieval and availability for on-air transmission.

AJMN was also able to automate the program production request process and integrate with SAP for financial information. The team saw reduced costs by eliminating wasted time, optimized use of equipment for increased capacity, faster program delivery, and more effective reporting across all phases of the broadcast lifecycle.

ServiceNow helps AJMN strengthen its reputation as a credible broadcaster and inspires innovation companywide
Over three years, AJMN has driven 700% growth in its service management processes. The network now has 30 ServiceNow product offerings in development, resulting in the deployment of 1,300 features.

With ServiceNow, AJMN is delivering better service to the business, helping its global broadcasting locations capture and report on the events that impact millions of people’s lives. Now the network can:

  • Retain and grow grow viewership by keeping its channels continuously available
  • Empower executives to make faster, more informed business decisions
  • Achieve greater agility and flexibility to deploy value to the business
  • Justify purchases, resources, and budgets with reliable insights
  • Enable 2.5 FTEs to manage over 30 development streams
  • Inspire and nurture innovation throughout the company

“We’ve reached a tipping point where the value of ServiceNow is well known throughout our organization,” says Grant. “It’s so fast and easy to use that people are now coming to us and asking how we can streamline more workflows and solve more business problems.”

Aamer agrees: “No matter which part of the business we interface with, ServiceNow lets us be more effective. I haven’t yet found a single business problem we haven’t been able to solve.”

Al Jazeera Media Network logo
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera Media Network
Doha, Qatar
1,000 to 5,000
A colorful view of a TV news studio

We’re not just using ServiceNow for traditional television broadcast, but also to help AJMN be more effective in the digital media world.

Aamer Maqsood

Head of Service Management

AJMN extends its ServiceNow implementation across the business
AJMN is implementing ServiceNow® Vendor Management and ServiceNow® Legal Service Management, giving the network greater visibility into vendor performance and legal work. In the near future, it will use ServiceNow to manage facilities and human resources more effectively. It’s also developing a user feedback system from its digital media properties that will route requests to IT, editorial, or production as needed.

“We’re not just using ServiceNow for traditional television broadcast, but also to help AJMN be more effective in the digital media world,” says Aamer. “And what we’ve done so far is just the tip of the iceberg. The journey is just starting.”

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