Reduction in incident resolution times
Reduction in incident volumes
Reduction in incorrectly routed incidents
The University of Maryland relies on state-of-the-art technology to fulfill its mission as a leader in education, research, entrepreneurship, and innovation
As one of America’s preeminent public research universities, the University of Maryland is dedicated to the fearless pursuit of ideas. At the leading edge of education, entrepreneurship, and innovation, it depends on state-of-the-art technology to support faculty, staff, and students as they work to advance knowledge for the benefit of students, the state, the nation, and the world.
The university’s Division of Information Technology owns this technology mandate, delivering a wide range of communications, computing, instructional technology, and consulting services that help faculty, administrators, and researchers to achieve their goals. As part of this mandate, the division provides world-class support that allows university staff and students to easily access new services, get issues resolved quickly, and have their questions answered.
The university’s IT department chose ServiceNow ITSM to create a great self-service experience for university staff and deliver responsive support
That’s why the division chose ServiceNow® IT Service Management (ITSM). Sean Phelan, ServiceNow Architect and Team Lead at the University of Maryland, explains, “We want to deliver a fantastic experience for university staff and students. That means giving them intuitive self-service backed up by responsive support. We couldn’t do that with thousands of emails and a dozen disconnected tools.”
ServiceNow Architect and Team Lead
Since starting out with ServiceNow ITSM, the Division of Information Technology has transformed how it delivers service. A unified IT Support Center portal allows university staff and students to report issues, access services, find solutions, and share questions and answers with other members of the university community.
And, the services this portal provides go far beyond traditional IT. For instance, users can ask ServiceNow to automatically create a website for a new research project or other initiative, or to schedule delivery of audiovisual equipment for specific classes or entire courses.
Now Intelligence helps the IT team to get the right work to the right place faster
With Now Intelligence, the division is taking responsiveness and innovation to the next level. By leveraging native AI and analytics capabilities on the Now Platform® , the team is further enhancing the user experience, slashing service delivery times, and significantly increasing service desk productivity.
Sean says, “We started out by using Predictive Intelligence to automatically route incidents. Previously, our service desk staff routed incidents manually. Since most of our service desk staff are students, they’re still on a learning curve—and then they graduate. That means they often don’t know where an incident needs to go and route it to the wrong place. This causes delays and creates more work. In fact, we only routed 56% of our incidents correctly. With Predictive Intelligence, we now automatically route 85% of incidents to the right place first time.”
With Virtual Agent, university staff get instant solutions or common issues without needing help from service desk agents
ServiceNow Virtual Agent was next on the agenda. By having Virtual Agent answer common questions and direct users to the right resources—for example, knowledge base articles—the division has reduced incident volumes by nearly 25%.
According to Sean, “We got this deflection mostly by tweaking out-of-the-box Virtual Agent conversations, so it was relatively quick and easy. In some cases, the Virtual Agent helps users to solve their own issues. In other cases, it redirects them to the service catalog, so they make a service request rather than raising an incident. In either case, it’s one less thing for our service desk to deal with, and the user gets what they need faster.”
The IT support team is also leveraging Now Intelligence to dramatically reduce incident resolution times
With Now Intelligence, the division has also slashed incident resolution times by 75%. In part, this is because of more accurate incident routing with Predictive Intelligence, but it’s more than that. The service desk team is now using ITSM Agent Workspace, giving agents an intuitive, connected, and intelligent environment that helps them to work on the right things and resolve issues more quickly.
Sean points to the key role that Now Intelligence plays in Agent Workspace, saying, “We use Performance Analytics Spotlight to prioritize incidents for agents. Before, they tended to focus on things that interested them, while other incidents never got addressed. Now they work on what’s important. Agent Assist is also extremely useful since it shows agents potential solutions and similar incidents right in their workspace using Predictive Intelligence machine learning.”
Performance Analytics helps the IT support team to meet service-level goals and drive continuous operational improvement
Performance Analytics is also helping the division’s support teams to meet overall performance goals and drive continuous improvement.
“We’ve created dashboards and reports for our agents and our team managers. Agents see how they are performing against service-level expectations, which keeps them on track,” says Sean. “Our managers get visibility of specific issues—for example, incidents that are taking too long to close—so they can take action and fix them. They can also identify opportunities for improvement, such as creating knowledge articles for high-volume incidents. And, because Performance Analytics is easy to use, managers are now building their own reports.”
The University of Maryland continues to expand its use of ServiceNow ITSM and Now Intelligence
The University of Maryland sees many more possibilities to deliver IT services better and faster. For instance, it plans to extend its use of Virtual Agent to enhance support for some of its unique service offerings. It has also started to use ServiceNow® IT Asset Management to manage capital IT assets and is considering extending this into areas such as contract management.
Beyond IT, there are also opportunities to address service delivery in other areas across the university—giving faculty, staff, and students the responsive services they need to continue to advance the boundaries of knowledge.
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