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Syntrus Achmea IT becomes a strategic business partner by transforming service management

50%

Increase in release volume

50%

Increase in projects that support business development

Better

decision making

Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance finances, develops, and invests in real estate and mortgages on behalf of pension funds and other institutional investors, managing more than €20 billion for its clients. Using ServiceNow, the Syntrus Achea’s IT operation has become a business enabler for the organization and removed its reliance on external contractors.

Syntrus Achmea IT shifts its approach to work more strategically

A finance leader in the Netherlands, Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance finances, develops, and invests in real estate and mortgages on behalf of pension funds and other institutional investors. Efficiency and innovation are at the heart of the business systems helping Syntrus Achmea sustain responsible rates of return.  

For years, Syntrus Achmea’s IT team was busy managing and delivering everything IT-related for the business, from the fibre going into the company’s buildings and the enterprise architecture, to the in-house data centre and software application development. 

Yet this approach left little time to think strategically about the IT operation or to innovate. There was a backlog of obsolete systems and a lack of investment in developing software and infrastructure to support the wider organisation. 

Syntrus Achmea IT Director Martijn Groenewegen explains: “We were spending so much time doing everything ourselves that we weren’t questioning or planning our approach. We had to change our strategy and get into a position of steering and orchestrating the IT operation, rather than just carrying out day-to-day work.” 

Martijn had a vision to let go of operational IT activities, such as system maintenance and hosting, and transform the company’s approach to service management. This meant bringing in specialist vendors and freeing his team from manual, service desk-related tasks.

Syntrus Achmea implements ServiceNow and restructures IT, laying the groundwork to work in a smarter way
Martijn knew that a restructuring of the IT organisation was required to create a smarter way of working. ServiceNow provided the ideal platform to streamline the service desk and maintain overall control and visibility while other areas of the IT operation could be outsourced to partners. 

“Rather than reinventing an approach, we wanted a solution that was already proving its value in the businesses,” says Martijn. “It was clear that the Now Platform would provide the structure we needed to take a best-practice approach and engineer transformational change.” 

Working with ServiceNow integration partner Paphos, Syntrus Achmea introduced the new service management platform in less than three months.

Problem, change, release, and incident management were the priority. Through a self-service portal, employees and partners can now log incidents, retrieve information, and track requests with ease. 

“The mobile interface has completely changed the way people interact with IT,” says Martijn. “Senior management loves the way they can confirm approvals on their smartphones as they move from meeting to meeting. The consumer-style approach makes accessing the platform quick and easy.”

The Now Platform provides a single source of truth, providing greater visibility and control 
The new approach to service management is also shaping Syntrus Achmea’s outsourcing collaboration model with its external providers. Partners now must have a ServiceNow instance to ensure everything goes through the Now Platform. 

Email processes have been almost completely eliminated, as every request, change, problem, and incident will only be dealt with if it is raised through the self-service destination. 

“Through ServiceNow, we’ve achieved a single source of truth, and that’s given us control of our operation,” says Martijn. “For the first time, we have complete visibility into all our workflows and the demands of the business. The bird’s eye view gives us the ability to analyse and learn—and helps us make strategic decisions.”

Syntrus Achmea
CUSTOMER
Syntrus Achmea
HEADQUARTERS
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
INDUSTRY
Financial Services
EMPLOYEES
Less than 1,000

With ServiceNow, we haven’t delivered a technology project, but a total transformation programme.

Martijn Groenewegen

IT Director

ServiceNow workflows and automation eliminate manual tasks, allowing IT to support more changes

A key benefit of ServiceNow has been removing the company’s reliance on external contractors. Today, an in-house team is empowered to drive compliance, delivery, and innovation. In just three months, Syntrus Achmea’s release volume has increased by around 50%, as intelligent workflows and automation eliminated manual tasks and enabled the team to support a significant increase in the number of changes. 

“ServiceNow immediately boosted our performance and our experience, which has proven that you can make a quantum leap in a very short period,” says Martijn. 

The change has been noticed by the senior leadership team, who, according to Martijn, “are amazed at how many things the IT team has been able to execute at the same time.”

Syntrus Achmea implements ServiceNow Project Portfolio Management to move beyond IT and serve the business more efficiently 
Introducing ServiceNow® Project Portfolio Management is the next step for Martijn’s team, to move beyond prioritisation and planning within IT to bring visibility and control over demand, resources, and project portfolios across the business. The implementation request came directly from Syntrus Achmea’s board, as a result of the success of the IT transformation initiative. 

The project portfolio has already increased by approximately 50% as the IT team incorporates additional initiatives such as residential projects and smart buildings. 

“We’re in a new position as an IT team as a result of using ServiceNow,” says Martijn. “We can now coordinate, manage, and control a vast number of projects simultaneously. The business is no longer bypassing IT, but actively involving us in delivering key projects.”

Syntrus Achmea looks to extend the use of ServiceNow to become a transformation partner across multiple areas of the business
Syntrus Achmea is now exploring additional ways to use ServiceNow across multiple areas of the organisation. Martijn states, “We’ve fired up the ambition of the business, which sees IT as an energetic collaboration partner and a force for positive change.” 

For the IT team, it’s rewarding to be recognised and valued. Martijn says, “My team is being actively sought out to contribute to project scoping and steering requirements, and the board looks for our approval before signing off on significant initiatives.” 

Given the highly regulated environment in which Syntrus Achmea operates, Martijn also sees a big opportunity to create a control framework to continuously monitor, prioritise, and automate the IT controls required to ensure compliance. 

“With ServiceNow, we haven’t delivered a technology project, but a total transformation programme,” says Martijn. “Developing bespoke systems to bring control, structure, and best practice might sound like the ideal approach, but the result needs to be as good as the market standard. ServiceNow is that standard.”

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