The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) implement a standardized ICT Service Portal based on the ServiceNow Platform – Fruition Partners supported them actively in this project.

SBB are the Swiss Federal Railways headquartered in Bern. Besides the transportation of people and goods, they also own real estate and provide railway infrastructure to other railway companies. The stock majority of SBB is held by the state. SBB has more than 33,000 employees and transports more than 1 million passengers every day.

SBB Informatik employs approximately 1200 people and is responsible for the entire IT system landscape of the company. SBB Informatik is one of the biggest IT employers in Switzerland, delivering more than 100 IT projects every year.

The project started in mid-2013 with a tender for the integration and operation of an IT service and support platform. After a first evaluation and a conception phase, a first process – “Knowledge Management” – was implemented at the end of 2014. In 2015, together with the newly built ICT Service Desk, Incident Management was implemented (approximately 600 – 800 incidents per day). Problem and Change Management followed by the end of 2015 and in Spring 2016, the latest step of the implementation was carried out: Approximately 1000 available ICT products were transferred to Request Fulfillment within ServiceNow. As the platform allows an end-to-end process management between internal and external partners more than a dozen interfaces were implemented in the process. Overall, ServiceNow was one of the first SaaS solutions to enter the SBB IT system landscape.

The main reason for the project was the consolidation of the user interface for ICT products and services in a central ICT service desk. After an extensive evaluation, the decision was taken to insource the ICT Service Desk and to consolidate it in a central unit within the IT Operation Management. The previously used tool did not meet the requirements anymore and the decision was made to replace it. Already during the tender process, it became clear that all IT service and support processes should be consolidated on one platform, that a market standard based on ITIL should be realized and that a further step towards standardisation within SBB IT should be carried out.  

As a result, SBB IT now has a standardized and completely new ICT Service Portal where users can order ICT Services and working materials as well as report incidents. A central ICT Service Desk provides support 24/7 and is completed by a Knowledge Base accessible by users. The implemented invoicing functionality allows to charge services directly to the corresponding cost center. Due to the high integration in SBB’s system landscape and the integration of internal and external providers it is possible to have an end-to-end view of process management. Therefore, SBB IT can control and supervise all interventions and improvements consistently within the platform.  

This new IT Service Portal is available 24/7 to 33,000 end users and 650 process users.

Measurable impact and improvements  
The implementation of ServiceNow brings many improvements. Hans Marti, Head of Program and Project Solution Center Infrastructure SBB highlights two: Firstly, the Knowledge Base which can be used in case of breakdown. Since the implementation of ServiceNow the information in the Knowledge Base have been regularly updated (which was not the case before). Additionally, with the implementation of ServiceNow and the insourcing, the troubleshooting became more transparent, paint points are easier to identify and a better management is possible.

Thanks to the consolidation and the insourcing, the lead time of tickets was improved and the ICT user interface became around 10% more cost-efficient.

Excellent feedback from the business units and within the IT
Before the implementation of ServiceNow a slight decrease of user satisfaction was expected during the tuning phase but it did not prove true. On the contrary: The user satisfaction even rose slightly during this critical phase. Within the IT the feedback was very good, too. The insourcing and the analysis of the processes were received positively. Furthermore, the initiative to find ways for better collaboration between business and IT got a positive response.

Hans Marti was very satisfied with the project result and the collaboration with Fruition Partners: “Fruition Partners is one of the most experienced partner in the ServiceNow environment, they provide competent resources, the appropriate know-how and bring in best practices, so the wheel does not have to be reinvented.” According to him “the main success factor of the project was a phased migration scenario”. He adds: “It was important not to lose customer acceptance in the first phase that is why it was helpful to follow standard processes.” He underlines the importance of showing users the value of such a platform and the harmonization of processes.

What are the next steps and the plans for the future?
The company has big plans with ServiceNow. The tool becomes an increasingly strategic platform for SBB. “Even projects outside IT are possible”, reveals Mr. Marti. A next step could be to expand Incident Management to the entire railway infrastructure.

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