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Topcon uses ITSM
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Topcon standardises IT support across Asia


More cases can be handled by one person


Cases a month managed in ServiceNow


Unified portal for IT support across Asia

Innovative digital solutions across three lines of business

Founded in Japan in 1932 as a manufacturer of surveying equipment, Topcon has expanded and diversified its business globally through strategic mergers and acquisitions with international technology operators. Its corporate philosophy now focuses on enriching human life by solving societal challenges in healthcare, agriculture and infrastructure.

Topcon provides next-generation technology in three key sectors. Its healthcare division focuses on early detection of eye diseases by creating improved screening systems, while its agriculture operation aims to enhance productivity and quality in food production through automated farming operations. Topcon's infrastructure division focuses on automating construction processes to improve living conditions through urban development.

While Topcon actively promotes digital excellence for customers, it is also going through an internal transformation to streamline operations. In 2020, it launched a project to improve IT service management as part of this initiative.

"Previously, cases related to IT services were handled by phone. That wasn't just inefficient, it was inconsistent. The advice varied depending on who took the call", explains Takashi Nakajima, Head of Digital Transformation and Director of Business Operations at Topcon Corp. "By introducing a standard system, we wanted to promote greater productivity and efficiency, reduce unnecessary work, and improve service quality".

An overwhelming volume of calls

Nakajima joined the company in 2018 after working at a major electronics manufacturer and a consulting firm. He quickly realised that the 20-strong IT team were getting overwhelmed with support calls, which impacted productivity. Many of these calls related to issues with IT systems and equipment.

"After receiving the enquiry by phone, the IT team had to call the product owner for the relevant system to find out what was going on", recalls Nakajima. "When we'd worked out a plan to deal with the issue, we'd then phone the user who raised the ticket to update them—it was a relay of phone calls!"

Each case took between 30-40 minutes to resolve and required the IT agent's full attention. That limited each agent to handling around eight cases a day, as multiple inquiries couldn't be processed at the same time. This caused a delay in response times and risked cases being overlooked, which was impacting user satisfaction.

Topcon decided to replace phone calls with a dedicated internal portal built on ServiceNow IT Service Management, which is ITIL-compliant and comes with out-of-the-box features, such as FAQs and a service catalog. The company partnered with a systems integrator with a wealth of ServiceNow experience to design and develop the portal over a five-month engagement.

Live status updates on every case

The portal went live in April 2021. From a single login, users can access a service menu with a catalog of topics to categorise their query. They can also browse a library of FAQs for information on how to resolve common issues themselves and use a search bar to find relevant articles and services based on keywords.

When a ticket is raised, it's automatically routed to the IT team and assigned to someone to respond. When the issue is resolved, the user is notified, and the incident is closed.

If the assigned IT agent can't handle the case, he can click to escalate it to second or third-line support. The user who raised the ticket is notified at every step, and no longer has to wait for updates. Everyone has full visibility of who's working on the case in real-time, a significant improvement on the previous approach that lacked transparency.

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Topcon Corp
Customer Story Quote Background

ServiceNow significantly reduces pressure on our IT team; they have more time for innovation while users enjoy better support.

Takashi Nakajima

Head of Digital Transformation and Director of Business Operations

One person can handle 20x more cases

Since implementing the portal, Topcon has seen impressive results. As Nakajima says, "We've reduced the number of hours spent working on each case significantly, which is lucky because now that users don't have to wait to get through to the IT team to raise their ticket, the number coming through has increased to around 400 per month".

Where previously there were 20 people working on cases every day, now the same number of tickets can be managed by a single member of staff. "We've prepared more than 400 knowledge articles for our FAQ page. By empowering users to solve common issues and introducing a more efficient workflow, we can manage more cases with fewer IT agents", comments Nakajima.

Automated routing has also eliminated a time-consuming manual process, speeding up overall handling times. This frees up more time for the IT team to focus on digital transformation, which is more satisfying for them and better for the business.

Benefitting users across the business

With ServiceNow ITSM, cases can be raised as soon as the user is impacted by an issue. They're also handled much faster and being able to track the status in real time gives users the peace of mind that their ticket will be resolved soon. Standardising the case management process has also led to more consistent support and FAQs provide best practices on how to fix common issues.

"The new system is better for everyone. The IT staff can focus on digital transformation work, while satisfaction of staff who make inquiries has increased. Both staff and IT agents have a better user experience and can be more productive and efficient while issues are handled", says Nakajima.

Standardising IT support across Asia

Topcon rolled out its IT services portal across Asia, as well as Japan, to standardise its global infrastructure. Under this initiative, the IT team in Japan is responsible for managing IT services across the region.

"Previously, each region managed its IT services independently. It was impossible to get visibility of the IT assets each location was using", explains Nakajima. "I visited every site in Asia personally to understand the situation, and we tailored our ServiceNow portal based on my findings".

With its multilingual capabilities and scalability, ServiceNow ITSM was the ideal foundation for the portal.

Topcon is also using the ServiceNow platform to promote its wider digital transformation initiatives, expanding the scope from IT service management to inventory tracking and to manage shipping queries for local subsidiaries.

"In the future I'd like to use the portal for general affairs and sales functions. We're also considering rolling it out to our contact centre for customer support", adds Nakajima. "ServiceNow is helping to accelerate our digital transformation journey".

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