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G+J uses ITSM on the Now Platform
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G+J delivers higher quality service processes


Hours to complete onboarding process


Items in service catalog


Revenue in 2020

IT processes no longer a focus

Premium magazines STERN, GEO, or SCHÖNER WOHNEN, amongst others, are thecore product of Hamburg publishing house, Gruner + Jahr. However, digital business accounts for around half of all sales and this trend shows no sign of stopping.

For Pietro Tomasino, Head of IT at Gruner + Jahr: “Service provision for the entire organization has always relied on strong IT service management, but in the digital age, these services have become much more comprehensive and have started moving into IT organization territory.”

It was thus time for us to move away from traditional IT service management and towards cross-departmental, company-wide service management.”

This strategic goal was not achievable with the service management tool previously in use at the publisher. The functionalities were too focused on IT processes, while the user interface was specifically designed for IT employees. A few months ago, therefore, the Hamburg-based publishing house rolled out the Now Platform throughout the company.

“The choice of ServiceNow was mainly due to the new opportunities that the platform offers us. A big plus is that it is a cloud solution, which means we no longer have to operate our own servers. For us, moving applications to the cloud is a fundamental element of our IT strategy,” says Tomasino.

Company-wide IT service management
Since the implementation of the Now Platform, Gruner + Jahr has taken some initial steps towards company-wide service management. The classic onboarding process for new employees provides a good example of how the processes of the various service departments at the publishing house have today become digitally connected. In this case in particular, the HR department and IT organization have to work hand-in-hand to ensure that the new employee is quickly onboarded and able to be productive.

This process begins well before the new colleague’s first day of work, with the creation and transmission of the employment contract. All necessary work materials must be provided promptly, including office furniture and IT equipment, for example, and access to relevant applications. Equally important is the offboarding process; that is, the preparations for an employee leaving the company. In this case, a reference must be arranged for the employee, all equipment must be returned, and IT systems access should be prevented after the employee’s last working day.

Process redesign a first step
“For onboarding and offboarding, there are structured processes and workflows across the various service departments. We can now digitally map these end-to-end on the Now Platform,” Tomasino explains. “In the past, most of the process-related arrangements between the departments were managed by email. We have now put this behind us.” Key to the successful implementation was a complete redesign of Gruner + Jahr’s essential organizational processes. ServiceNow partner, ITC Information Technology Consulting GmbH, provided valuable assistance in this and mapping the processes on the Now Platform.

The Now Platform offers Gruner + Jahr a great many advantages. For instance, HR employees are now able to create employment contracts directly on the platform and future line managers can use the new, user-friendly service portal to order laptops or desks for their new team members. In principle, all employees at the Hamburg-based publishing house should be able to use the service portal to order services, of which there are currently around 1000 available.

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Gruner + Jahr
Gruner + Jahr
Hamburg, Germany

A big plus of the Now Platform is that it is a cloud solution. Moving apps to the cloud is a fundamental element of our IT strategy.

Pietro Tomasino

Head of IT

“Thanks to ServiceNow, employee onboarding now takes around half the time,” Tomasino reveals. “In fact, the entire process can now be completed in just 24 hours.”

Audit-compliant processes
“Although the greater speed is of course a bonus, the main advantage for Gruner + Jahr is the transparency: the central data storage on the Now Platform means that we now have a record of all equipment received by the individual employees when they join the company,” says Tomasino. “This makes the processes more transparent and audit-compliant. This information is useful both to auditors and to our data protection officers.

“The platform has also given us a high degree of transparency over service processes. Because the platform’s workflow engine controls the workflows, we can run reports based on key figures, which has significantly increased the quality of our service processes,” continues the Head of IT. “ServiceNow is greatly helping us raise the quality of internal customer service to a new level.”

More new ideas on the table
Going forward, Gruner + Jahr still has many ideas for the further use of the Now Platform. According to Tomasino, it may soon be possible for employees to reserve desks in a desk-sharing environment and for the finance department to use the platform to issue virtual credit cards to employees. He also finds the prospect of using artificial intelligence (AI) on the Now Platform very exciting: “This will allow us to make self-service on the service portal even more efficient.” He is also working intensively with the ServiceNow Security Operations (SecOps) module to be able to react even more quickly to threats and vulnerabilities.

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