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BT uses TSM on the Now Platform
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BT Group eyes £25M in savings with AI-led operations


Savings forecast by 2027


Months to successfully launch Order Management


Service management systems to be retired

A trusted connector 
In an all-connected, always-on environment, few businesses have the reach, range, and responsibility of BT Group. 

As the UK’s primary fixed-line, broadband, and mobile telecommunications operator, BT Group’s services enable businesses, connect friends and families, and provide critical links between the public and essential facilities, such as the NHS and emergency services. 

BT Group’s mission is to be the world’s most trusted connector of people, devices, and machines, while maintaining sustainability at the core of its business.

Responsibility and responsiveness
Delivering telecommunications on this scale is no easy task, and BT Group’s corporate and network infrastructure is complex and multifaceted. BT Group’s Enterprise unit serves over a million customers in the UK and Ireland, its Global unit has operations in 180 countries, while BT Consumer supplies telephony, broadband, subscription television, and a range of other services to around 30 million customers in the UK.

As with many national telecommunications and other large corporations, BT Group’s aging technology estate – built up over decades – made service management slow, complex, and labor-intensive. It needed to be refreshed to allow it to continue to operate the levels of service and experience that customers expect today.

A critical point of inflection, recalls Alex Bell, BT Enterprise Architecture Director, was when an analysis of customer-facing teams was carried out and found 56 separate legacy service management systems in use by more than 15,000 people across the business.

“That was the catalyst, a clear signal that we had to change,” he explains. 

BT Group is dependent on a very large service management team to minimize disruptions across the group. The numerous siloed systems used were making it difficult to secure end-to-end visibility across the support cycle for both BT Group service agents and customers, and extended times to fix problems.

“A support call would generate multiple hand-offs,” says Alex. “Tickets would be passed from desk to desk before reaching an engineer, and there was no ability to keep customers updated on progress.”

BT Group’s ambition for transformation relied on agile responses and faster resolutions. Achieving this would require a single platform providing best-in-class capabilities to deliver an excellent experience for both customer and employee. After a rigorous analysis of market solutions, BT Group turned to ServiceNow.

Co-creating a new experience
BT Group began the process of reimagining its customer service processes, including proactive notifications and improved self-service capabilities. It sought a platform that would simultaneously give agents end-to-end visibility while reducing duplication and double-keying and providing accurate, easily accessible information to optimize the customer experience.

As part of its strategic digital transformation program, BT Group worked in close collaboration with ServiceNow to dramatically simplify service management processes across the group. 

The phased roll out began in 2019 when BT Group transferred 500 agents to ServiceNow Telecommunications Service Management (TSM). This was followed by the Global Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network and the initial pilots for the Enterprise and Global businesses. The team then started the development of new products and fulfillment workflows using out-of-the-box functionality supplied by TSM and Order Management for Telecommunications (OMT), which was launched in just three months as part of a managed services implementation. 

“What’s more, ServiceNow is slotting into a new, consolidated strategic technology architecture for the group,” enthuses Alex. “It’s something we’ve been championing for the last two years.”

BT Group logo
BT Group
BT Group
London, UK

With ServiceNow, we’re massively simplifying the process, providing a common experience and transparency of information.

Alex Bell

Enterprise Architecture Director


Customer-centric transparency
The step-by-step deployment continued, encompassing BT Group’s change management and voice network operations, and its employee portal. 

To date, 11 legacy service management systems have been replaced by ServiceNow TSM, encompassing some 6,700 BT Group support agents and around 70,000 customers. 

“Those agents are all now able to share information on a common platform,” explains Alex. “They know instantly when an issue in another system is causing the problem they’re handling. With ServiceNow, we’re massively simplifying the process, providing a common experience and transparency of information for everyone.” 

The results include significant reductions in BT Group’s ‘mean time to repair’ and a 75% reduction in change efforts, although Alex is particularly excited by the more customer-centric outcomes, such as an always-on service.

“Once we are more substantially through the roll out and closure of the remaining systems, customers will no longer need to worry if critical equipment isn’t working or their site is down,” he says. “The information is there and it’s available, and we’re working in the background to make sure it stays that way.” 

And the advantages of the new system spread far beyond BT Group’s internal operations. “We’re involved with most customer and government operations in the UK, and a large number of overseas ones,” says Alex. “Our customers range from the NHS through to those in the banking and pharmaceutical sector and beyond. What we do can have a significant effect on people’s lives across the world, so if we’re getting things right there’s a huge positive impact on society as a whole.”

Exponential improvements
The goal is to replace all 56 systems, of which 11 have already been transferred to ServiceNow. Alex and BT Group are now focusing on continuing the roll out and making further use of the capabilities it offers. 

“There’ll be a hockey stick effect. As more and more service management systems are closed and migrated to ServiceNow, the improvements will snowball,” Alex explains. “The more duplication and double-keying of tickets we remove, the more the benefits spread from one system to another.” 

With net promoter scores (NPS) and customer service ratings already rising, Alex is looking to the longer term, envisioning a three-stage transformation for BT Group that is forecast to deliver £25 million in savings for the business by 2027. 

The current ‘customer ops’ stage will be followed by ‘AI ops’, which will enable proactive and predictive alarms that flag up problems before a customer realizes they have any. This will then lead to the ‘zero ops’ phase, using ServiceNow’s automation layers to help build self-healing systems. 

“Our proactive service outage monitoring, root cause analysis engine, spots that something’s gone down. The continuous integration and delivery process runs a set of diagnostics looking for an automated fix which could be a restore pattern, rollback, or virtual machine restart, which then brings it back up, and closes the ticket before an agent even realizes,” Alex says. “Additionally, the CI/CD system notifies the original code developers that a longer-term fix is required, closing the loop with DevOps. The more we can use ServiceNow to bring automation into the operation and focus more on the customer, the more we can delight the customer. That’s the vision; that’s what we’re aiming for.”

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