Thames Water uses ITSM on the Now Platform

Thames Water transforms the employee and customer experience with IT operations command centre

6K

Employees supported via AI helpdesk

93%

Reduction in virtual machine and platform build time

£6M

Cost savings per year

Thames Water is the private utility company responsible for the public water supply and waste water treatment in large parts of Greater London, Luton, the Thames Valley, and other areas of the UK. By using ServiceNow, Thames Water brings operational efficiency, drives positive employee experiences, and builds customer trust.

Thames Water lays the technology foundation for lifelong customer advocacy
The strategy at Thames Water is all about delivering for its 15 million customers to create lifelong advocates. The company knows that to provide amazing customer experiences, it has to be smart about the way it works, build a high-performance culture, and invest in new technologies. This is why Thames Water is fundamentally transforming its operational model.

“Technology has an essential role in transforming the perceptions of our customers and employees, but, in essence, we had handed the keys to our castle to our suppliers,” says Philip Taphouse, Command Centre and ServiceNow® Programme Manager at Thames Water. “It was time to take back control of our IT operations, service delivery, and all of our tooling.”

Thames Water takes control with a full IT and operations command centre with ServiceNow
In a radical move, Thames Water flipped its IT and operations model on its head. From allowing multiple suppliers to manage and report on every aspect of IT support and operations on its behalf, Thames Water took control of its IT operations and support.

By bringing in the Now Platform for a service integration and management (SIAM) model, Thames Water is now defining how its suppliers work, managing performance, and tracking key business metrics.

“We used to have no real control, insight, or understanding of our IT infrastructure and applications. In essence, we were letting our suppliers mark their own homework,” says Philip. “ServiceNow has changed everything to give us a full command centre for IT operations and support. The platform has given us ownership of all our tools, data, governance, and processes.”

ServiceNow monitoring helps keep water flowing to 15 million customers
With 900 locations and 263 million kilometres of piping to manage and support, maintaining “business as usual” for Thames Water is no small undertaking. For Philip and his team, having full visibility into every aspect of Thames Water’s IT infrastructure is crucial.

The master dashboard on the Now Platform gives Thames Water oversight of every application, incident, project, and machine, all in one place. This includes a vast and varied portfolio of 650 business applications that are essential to maintaining employee and customer satisfaction.

These applications include: an app stack for mobile and scheduling that runs over 250 servers and 60 databases; the Sample Manager tool for measuring water quality; and OEM, the Thames Water online account management platform where customers can check bills and water usage online.

Thames Water
CUSTOMER
Thames Water
HEADQUARTERS
London, United Kingdom
INDUSTRY
Energy and Utilities
EMPLOYEES
6,000

ServiceNow is a powerhouse of visibility that we have simply never had before in our IT operation.

Philip Taphouse

Command Centre and ServiceNow Programme Manager

“The platform makes light work of monitoring and managing our 650 business applications, and digital workflows accelerate all our processes so we can make sure the customer and employee experience is not compromised.” says Phillip.

“The biggest waste of time is knowing something is broken, but not knowing what it is. If we lose an app it can mean our engineers don’t know where to go or what to actually do when they get there,” says Philip. “With ServiceNow, we can very quickly identify the issue down to the level of a specific database queue or even a single line of code.”

ServiceNow orchestration and digital workflows bring time and cost savings
Thames Water estimates it is saving between £6 million to £10 million a year as a direct result of adopting ServiceNow across areas spanning virtual machine and platform builds, software asset management, and decommissioning.

The time taken for virtual machine builds has accelerated from 45 days to just three days, and the business can pop up microsites or create and run fully automated scripts to build an entire platform in only three hours.

The previously month-long decommissioning process has been reduced to minutes and digital workflows have reduced software discovery on servers and laptops from two weeks to three minutes.

A modern, seamless employee experience keeps the business moving
Crucially, the operational efficiencies achieved by using the Now Platform have been achieved in tandem with, rather than at the expense of, a far-reaching transformation of the employee experience at Thames Water.

Whereas previously, the Thames Water service helpdesk had often been referred to as the “unhelpful desk” by employees, Philip and his team have dramatically turned around this perception.

“Our IT infrastructure and applications are vital to the productivity of our 6,000 employees, whether they are in the field, liaising with customers in our call centre, or working in the head office,” says Philip. “Our Taps portal, powered by ServiceNow, provides a modern, light-touch way for employees to interact with IT, which is underpinned by powerful digital workflows that mean problems and requests are resolved at pace.”

The full integration of ServiceNow with Microsoft Teams has served to elevate real-time communication between the IT team and Thames Water employees, giving reassurance that major issues are being addressed.

In the event of an outage, the Virtual Agent within ServiceNow sends a message via Microsoft Teams to any employee who might be affected. A banner is also created by the platform to flag that IT is already working to fix the problem. Chatbots can also be launched to give employees an immediate way to find out more information and get updates in real time–with no human intervention required.

ServiceNow provides a foundation for continued innovation and progress at Thames Water
Looking ahead, Thames Water plans more operational and agent intelligence on ServiceNow to continue its programme of enhancements. As Philip explains, “This isn’t about replacing humans, but allowing our employees to do more ‘cool stuff’ by freeing them up to run mini projects that will add value to the business.”

ServiceNow has brought a foundation for continuous innovation and improvement to Thames Water. As Philip highlights, “Everything that happens from a technology standpoint goes through ServiceNow, whether it’s business as usual tasks or key projects. We now have the governance, control, and processes in place to take our ambition to the next level.”

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