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Australian Catholic University delivers consumer-grade staff and student services on the Now Platform
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Australian Catholic University delivers consumer-grade staff and student services on the Now Platform

3 Person

Provides consistent experience for 9 directorates

Improve IT costs

Reduces platform licensing, custom solutions, and staff resource costs


Knowledge base articles enable employee self-service

The Now Platform enables Australian Catholic University to deliver Service Central, a transformational initiative that provides modern enterprise service management, by integrating the services of nine business areas into one platform. The platform also delivers a Student Services portal for AskACU, the university’s student inquiry management solution

Leading Australia university serves thousands of students and staff across multiple campuses
For staff at Australian Catholic University (ACU), delivering administration services to more than 35,000 students efficiently across seven campuses can be a difficult task. There is a wealth of institutional knowledge across the organisation, but traditionally staff have had to work with fragmented processes that were inconsistent across departments and campuses. This has made it difficult to get work done.

As providers of services and the face of the university, staff needed a solution to free them from manual processes so they could focus on more strategic and meaningful work.

“We have been listening to feedback from our customers–both students and staff. To meet ACU’s changing service needs we’ve responded with a solution to make work better and customer service seamless,” says Dr. Stephen Weller, Chief Operating Officer at ACU. “To do this we needed a platform that could streamline and digitise workflows across complex, multi-departments.”

ACU sees an opportunity to eliminate siloed, manual processes for staff
ACU saw an opportunity to resolve the problems caused by siloed, manual work processes. The institution, among the Top 10 Catholic universities and within the top 3% of universities worldwide, surveyed staff about their service experiences. The process included capturing data for 512 services, conducting process mapping workshops for 81 service processes, and undertaking numerous focus groups and in depth interviews with staff.

The exercise found staff preferred a single location that was simple to use, streamlined, and consistent in delivering consumer-grade services. The university responded by providing one place for all access needs to services and information. ACU changed its service delivery model to focus on the service experience and put the user at the heart of its service design. This model gives employees complete visibility and tracking of requests, as well as the opportunity to be able to provide feedback—replicating a centralised service platform already supporting ACU’s students.

University partners with ServiceNow and RXP to centralise staff services and scale to meet staff and student needs with Service Central
ACU selected ServiceNow as one of its key technology strategic partners to integrate systems, people, and data across the institution. RXP was selected as the university’s implementation partner to build a great service hub experience for employee, which the university calls Service Central. This hub would manage the highly transactional and tier one service work, freeing up service specialists to deal with more complex issues and invest in activities that added greater value to the university.

The project focused on a range of challenges. “Some business units were using limited service management systems,” says Sharone Ciancio, Director, Corporate Services, Office of the Chief Operating Officer at ACU. “Existing processes within business units—including the widespread use of email and phone service—meant there was limited data and no consistent service experience on which to base the Service Central model.”

To gain staff buy-in and build enthusiasm for the project, ACU implemented a range of engagement and transition strategies. A steering group comprising executives representing each of the nine business units incorporated into the model guided the project, while staff provided feedback during the design state to ensure its layout and functionality were user-friendly.

The university structured the Service Central model as one unified, omni-channel service offering to support staff services across a range of business units and respond in the preferred way, whether that be online, form, phone, email, or via chat. There are major benefits to technology not being implemented standalone.

All staff and student queries can be resolved through one request that alerts multi-departments, across one platform. This is unique to ACU. The organisation delivered the project in phases, with IT, human resources, property and facilities, finance, marketing, legal, governance, planning and strategy, and student administration all included.

The Service Central model scaled seamlessly in response to anticipated service demand, with additional staff recruited as needed. 

“The introduction of Service Central was a key initiative to enable ACU to improve the customer experience, but also to provide staff with a seamless service experience,” says Ange Forrester, National Manager, Service Central at ACU.

Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University

The power of technology to free up our people from the manual work so they can focus on the value-add, has played a big role in shifting the way work gets done.

Ange Forrester

National Manager, Service Central

Service Central provides consistent, accessible services to every location
Service Central has made it easier and faster to deliver great experiences to ACU employees for new and existing workflows across seven campuses in three states and the Australian Capital Territory. “We are providing a consistent and accessible service, regardless of the location and mobility of our staff,” says Sharone.

Service Central relies on ServiceNow® Customer Service Management to provide integrated service management across nine ACU business units. “This unique initiative enables a seamless and consistent service experience for staff, as one service request ticket can be created with tasks to be completed by various business units,” says Sharone.

According to Sharone, “This helps break down the barriers among units and means that requests can be resolved in a more efficient, transparent, and collaborative way. Adding to the benefits, we’ve made the most of the out-of-the-box functionality, which has everything we need. By limiting customisation, we can continue to upgrade simply and speedily.”

“Australian Catholic University is one of the first universities in Australia to use a cloud-based platform across multiple functional units, centralising all staff services under one, truly integrated platform,” continues Sharone.

ServiceNow enables ACU to leverage investments with existing systems delivering savings to the university
The intuitive interface is the key point of difference for Australian Catholic University—enabling the institution to continue leveraging its investments in existing systems. “ServiceNow is not replacing existing corporate service systems but rather supports them to respond to various service requests,” says Sharone. “The front-facing capabilities and overlay enables various technologies to draw from all systems to respond to service requests.”

The project has delivered savings across platform licensing, bespoke solutions, and staffing resources. In addition, the implementation of Service Central powered by ServiceNow, ACU has access to the standardised, real-time service data.

“This improved service measurement provides analytics and insights that will improve productivity and service delivery continuously into the future, as well as foster greater accountability of services,” says Sharone. “We are delivering a consistent, consumer-grade experience to staff across our seven campuses.”

Accessing ACU knowledge from more than 1,000 articles today, with additional services planned for the future
Staff members can access a ServiceNow-powered knowledge base with more than 1,000 articles at any time, while a chat service gives them more options to seek help when they need it. They can access information and services and track the progress of requests through a portal available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Staff members can also provide instant feedback on their experiences, supporting informed decision-making that places the user at the heart of service design.

ServiceNow now supports the ACU’s staff and student portals, with the standardised configuration enabling the alignment of student and staff data and feedback collection mechanisms. There are more than 260 service request forms. The team also runs a monthly ServiceNow Advisory Committee (SNAC) to ensure governance and transparency across all stakeholder groups and to inform future enhancements.

Over the next 12 months, ACU plans to analyse system-generated data to inform service and business process improvements, as well as exploring the potential to add more services to Service Central. 

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