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For competitive reasons, the client has decided to participate anonymously in this story. Should you decide to go through the sales cycle with LEAPWORK, we are able to provide a reference call.

 

Challenge

At a major utility company, all service desk requests are managed with the business process platform ServiceNow.

The company manages critical energy infrastructure, and as such, it operates in a high-risk environment: If there’s a system failure at any point in the process of how e.g. critical requests from energy suppliers are handled, it can be extremely costly.

The ServiceNow-based business processes include both support requests from external stakeholders (suppliers and end-users of gas and electricity), internal IT service requests, and then communication with vendors of IT products and services.

ServiceNow releases major updates to their platform twice a year. For each release, IT Service Management at the utility company had to test all their ServiceNow-based processes before rolling out the latest version to the entire organization to make sure that the flows had not been broken by the system upgrade.

The problem was, the company didn’t have a team dedicated to do testing and monitoring of the ServiceNow application, so for each upgrade, IT Process Manager, Dean Simonsen, and his team had to rely on specialists across the organization to help with manual testing. This was problematic for various reasons:

First, the testing efforts would take time away from highly skilled specialists’ primary tasks. In some instances, the company’s Customer Experience team, who were daily users of the system, had to spend an entire week doing manual testing of ServiceNow.

Secondly, this ad hoc manual approach to testing done by people who were not professional testers, was not documented in anyway, so results were never collected and evaluated in a structured way.

Finally, it is simply not possible to catch all significant bugs with manual testing and with such limited resources.

This inefficient approach to verifying whether business flows would work with a new release of ServiceNow would delay the roll-out of the latest system version. As such, the company would not be able to take advantage of new platform features as quickly as they wanted to. This could lead to missed opportunities for doing things smarter in the business. Furthermore, delayed system upgrades posed a challenge to the IT teams, because ServiceNow eventually phases out support for legacy versions of their platform.

To utilize ServiceNow better, to reduce risks of critical system bugs and security breaches, and to improve the quality of how service desk requests were handled, process automation was the obvious solution.

Simonsen and the team were evaluating the different solutions on the market to solve their automation requirements. Specifically, they were looking for an RPA platform that would allow both technical users and non-developers to build and execute automation flows across functions – in and beyond ServiceNow processes.

 

Solution

With the LEAPWORK Automation Platform, Simonsen and his team could automate the testing of business flows going across functions and departments involving multiple applications, including ServiceNow.

Simonsen completed a Proof of Concept of LEAPWORK for the IT Service Management department, but business management could easily see how the platform could be used for optimizing processes in several areas of the organization.

“I quickly demonstrated LEAPWORK to one of my colleagues, and I could just see how his face lightened up,” Simonsen said. “The possibilities for automation are endless.”

With LEAPWORK, the company automated test of the visitation, assignment, and follow-up of service desk requests both from external and internal stakeholders.
The team built approximately 60 automation flows for verifying that ServiceNow-based processes run as intended and are handled properly. In relation to upgrades of ServiceNow, automation flows are run in both development and test environments once a day to ensure continuous testing of the specific modules of ServiceNow that are being changed.

Automation of business processes requires strict documentation of what is automated and how it works. With the LEAPWORK Automation Platform, all executed flows are automatically captured with video recordings, which served as great documentation for Simonsen and the team.

LEAPWORK does not require users to develop an extensive framework to support automation, and once built, the LEAPWORK automation flows require limited effort in terms of maintenance compared to other automation tools applied in the organization.

 

Results

  • System testing no longer takes time away from business-critical tasks, like customer support.
  • System upgrades and enhancements are released more often and with greater confidence.
  • Automation flows ensure that new functionalities can be utilized faster, system bugs are fixed earlier, and risks related to system security have been reduced.

About the customer

A major utility company managing critical infrastructure for energy and gas.

servicenow-logo

Technology automated

ServiceNow - a web-based business process platform. 

Key achievements

Testing of system upgrades no longer takes time away from business-critical tasks, like customer support.

  • More frequent system upgrades
  • Earlier fixing of system bugs
  • Security risks reduced

“With LEAPWORK, robotic process automation becomes very tangible for all stakeholders and this enables shared ownership across the organization.

If you can automate the testing of a process, then LEAPWORK enables you to automate that same process. So, in reality, test automation and RPA are the same thing!”

Dean Simonsen,
IT Process Manager

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