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TransAlta logo

TransAlta transforms the employee experience and maximizes visibility into IT service


Key modules rolled out in 7 months


Reduction in outages


Visibility into IT service health

An electricity power generator and wholesale marketing company, TransAlta operates 70+ power plants in three countries. Using ServiceNow, it jettisoned a hard‑to‑use online service request tool. At the same time, it took advantage of improved visibility into service issues to resolve the problems, achieving an 80% reduction in service outages.

IT responds more effectively to business needs

TransAlta relies on IT to power business operations
TransAlta is committed to providing its customers with the power they need, where and when they need it. The company relies heavily on IT to support mission-critical operations. For example, energy traders need a reliable platform so that electricity continues to flow to TransAlta’s customers. TransAlta also needs to ensure that its business services and desktop infrastructure effectively support its day-to-day operations.

Positioning the IT team as a strategic business partner requires agile service management tools 
TransAlta’s legacy ticketing tool gave the company an extensive set of metrics and reports, but employees found it difficult to use. Because of this, they regularly bypassed the tool, going directly to TransAlta’s IT service desk team when they had an issue.

“We couldn’t keep track of the work we did for them,” explains Jamie Duncalf, IT Operations Manager at TransAlta. “We ended up fixing the same types of incidents again and again because we weren’t collecting the data we needed for effective problem management.”

Having transformed their service desk, TransAlta then focused on IT operations.

It also lacked capabilities, such as a service catalog, that the IT team needed as they evolved to become a strategic partner delivering shared services across TransAlta’s business.

ServiceNow simplifies and automates the planning, delivery, and management of IT services
TransAlta chose the ServiceNow® IT Service Management solution, built on the Now Platform®, to replace its legacy ticketing system. The results were dramatic.

“We saw an immediate increase in recorded incidents, which meant that our end users were comfortable reporting incidents online,” says Duncalf. “We finally had a platform to measure our work, so we could begin to understand what the issues were, where we could optimize, and how we could make the most of our service desk resources.”

Despite the increase in reported incidents, TransAlta actually needed fewer staff to keep its service desk running smoothly—freeing up resources for other initiatives. 

TransAlta extends ServiceNow into operations for proactive service health and optimization
Using the ServiceNow® IT Operations Management solution also built on the Now Platform, TransAlta turned its attention to IT operations. TransAlta relies on the solution’s Service Watch capabilities to map and monitor the health of its key business services, providing real-time visibility into service delivery and performance. 

TransAlta logo
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Energy and Utilities
1,000 to 5,000
A colorful cityscape shot of downtown area

ServiceNow has given us back control of our service desk.

Jamie Duncalf

IT Operations Manager


Now, if there is an issue with a business service, IT is the first to know. “Service Watch has given us back control,” says Duncalf. “We’re already working on the issue before we hear from our users. With ServiceWatch, there are no more surprises.”

Armed with intelligence, TransAlta makes better business decisions and manages change effectively
Service Watch also enhances the way TransAlta manages change. Because the IT team now knows exactly which business services are affected by any given change, they can assess associated business risks accurately. This allows TransAlta to streamline its change approval processes. For example, rather than having everyone show up at change advisory board (CAB) meetings, people know in advance exactly who is needed to review each change.

Equally as important, IT can now more easily explain to its business partners how changes will affect the services they use. For example, when TransAlta traders learn that a change is going to impact their ability to place outbound calls during key trading hours, they understand exactly how that change will impact their work. In addition, the IT team can have fact-based, cost-benefit discussions with business colleagues.

“IT is no longer seen as a tax on the business,” says Duncalf. “Instead, people understand what they’re paying for and are part of the decision-making process.”

ServiceNow also helps TransAlta optimize IT spending as it moves to a hybrid cloud
As TransAlta transitions to a hybrid cloud infrastructure, Service Watch service maps help identify and separate specific sections of business services, and better understand the applications and IT components within them.

“We have an actual shopping list of the infrastructure we need to replace,” says Duncalf. “We now know how much it costs to run that infrastructure ourselves, and we can get a precise comparison of how much our cloud provider will charge us.”

With greater visibility into assets and service health, TransAlta will expand ServiceNow to other business areas
With its IT transformation well underway, TransAlta sees even more potential for change. The IT team plans to give departmental executives direct access to Service Watch dashboards for even further transparency. By providing visibility into business services—as well as cost and usage data—executives will have the information they need to make better business decisions. TransAlta also plans to roll out ServiceNow beyond IT, streamlining the delivery of legal, human resources, facilities, and other services.

“ServiceNow is our growth engine in IT,” says Duncalf. “While we’re cutting back in other areas, it is at the top of our investment priorities.”

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