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A unified platform for better staff and student experiences


’Good’ satisfaction rating on resolved incidents


Of incidents resolved within SLA


Single platform to manage Digital and HR services

Delivering unified experiences to staff and students 

University of Canterbury (Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha) is New Zealand’s second-oldest university. It is ranked in the top 2% of universities globally and has a five-star Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rating for its research and teaching.

With 150 years of experience in the higher education sector, the University of Canterbury (UC) delivers a high standard of educational programs and innovative research for the benefit of local and global communities.

Its vision is to offer accessible, flexible, and future-focused education and provide a personalized and connected experience for both staff and students.

With multiple, disparate systems and processes for digital requests, it was proving difficult to deliver consistent services to staff and students. Many requests were sent via email, or even paper forms, and when an incident was raised, there was the potential that it could disappear or remain unseen for months. UC needed a modern, unified service management platform with problem-management capability and visibility into SLAs, such as data fulfillment times. The purpose was to enable the University to improve service delivery and support future growth.

“The old system wasn’t loved by users,” says Michael Oulsnam, Chief Digital Officer at the University of Canterbury. “Many requests were not recorded as staff and students would either email requests directly or simply walk into an office and ask for assistance.”

Driving excellence in service operations

Over the past nine years, UC has used a traditional ticketing system for IT service requests. This wasn’t well integrated with the broader ecosystem and failed to provide the comprehensive service management capabilities that the Digital Services team needed to ensure consistent and efficient support.

After a rigorous procurement process, ServiceNow was chosen as a strategic platform for enterprise service management.

Within ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM), employees and students can now easily raise or track service requests, such as password resets or software procurement, with minimal friction via a single service portal.

“ServiceNow isn’t a place where requests go to die,” Michael says. “Requests have to be actioned and maintained, and we have the data to ensure this happens.”

Ensuring service availability is critical for teaching and learning. With the successful uplift of ITSM capabilities with ServiceNow, UC has since adopted ServiceNow IT Operations Management (ITOM). The goal is to improve response times for system outages and minimize the impact on delivering services such as upgrades to staff and students.

By using ServiceNow ITOM Discovery, UC is now collecting data on its systems to build its ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB). A future phase is to create alerts for events and share them with the service desk to improve response times.

“With the ServiceNow platform, we now have the insight to better manage SLAs and support continuous improvement. For example, we’ve seen 91% of incidents resolved within SLA,” Michael explains. “Also, 100% of changes are now mandated to be managed and communicated via the Change Advisory Board. We aim to ensure the least possible disruption to services to maximize productivity.”

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University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand
Customer Story Quote Background

With ServiceNow as a unified platform for Digital and People and Culture services, we can deliver better user experiences.

Michael Oulsnam

Chief Digital Officer

Unifying Digital and People and Culture experience

Following the implementation of ServiceNow ITSM and ServiceNow ITOM within the Digital team, UC has consolidated more than 10 People and Culture forms into ServiceNow HR Service Delivery, with more forms planned to be moved across in the future.

Staff can now easily log a request to update bank account details, make payroll donations, or update personal details via ServiceNow. This enables the People and Culture team to quickly track and respond to these requests.

With support from ServiceNow Partner EY New Zealand, UC took an agile approach to deploy ServiceNow HR Service Delivery in stages. Rather than defining requirements and waiting for months to see a new system, the University worked closely with the partner and its HR team to consolidate the first 10 processes and forms.

Harnessing the power of one platform

UC went live with ServiceNow ITSM in just five months and implemented the HR Service Delivery implementation six months later. UC now plans to expand its capability to ServiceNow IT Asset Management (ITAM) to complement the ongoing ServiceNow ITOM and CMDB work.

Overall, implementing a modern digital tool at the University is paying off, delivering improved experiences and levels of efficiency for both staff and students. A unified platform provides a better user experience across the University.

“ServiceNow is a single place for staff and students to engage across Digital and People and Culture services, making it easier for our teams to manage and action requests for our users,” Michael says. “This has been reflected in an 88% ‘good’ satisfaction rating on resolved incidents.”

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