A Smarter ResponseBy Jo Lee Hayes | Posted 2010-04-08 Print
Sallie Mae achieves a higher quality of service for its 10 million customers at a lower cost.
A Smarter Response
Integration is just one of the key components needed for effective ITSM and a lean IT department. Automation is also fundamental. With CA Service Desk, we benefit from both automated workflows and notifications.
With a help desk that receives more than 50,000 contacts every month, it’s essential to optimize the time of our analysts. The longer it takes to respond to a request, the more likely it is that the customer experience will deteriorate. CA Service Desk provides management, customers and help desk analysts with greater visibility of incidents and enables us to prioritize our responses based on potential customer impact and service-level breaches.
To help provide a faster response to user queries, we are gearing up to provide some self-service support options. Using CA Service Catalog, we will provide our staff with direct and immediate access to core IT services via a portal.
The incident and problem management solution enables us to capture a range of metrics that aid both the IT department and the business. For example, the solution enables us to see the IT services that prompt the most help desk calls, the incidents caused by a major release of software and IT’s compliance with service levels negotiated with the business. This information is supplemented with key metrics captured by our other IT management tools, which enable us to drill down as far as loan application transaction times on our Website.
All this operational data helps Sallie Mae make better-informed business decisions and IT investments. Like most organizations, we have a limited amount of money to invest in new initiatives each year, so we must ensure that we achieve the best ROI.
Before adopting ITSM, the IT department relied on anecdotal information about how services and systems were performing. Now that accurate data is available, IT can provide the information the business side needs to make the right decisions.
Decreased Costs, Better Service
In addition to helping maximize future investments, ITSM has also freed up about $1.6 million a year for investment in business initiatives. By using CA Software Change Manager, there is less chasing after information during compliance reviews and less scrambling during changes.
Because better information is available on our Forward Schedule of Changes, fewer people need to attend our weekly Change Advisory Board meetings. Since only changes with a medium or high implementation risk need to be reviewed, the weekly meetings are also much shorter.
CA Service Desk has helped Sallie Mae save $2.4 million annually by reducing the complexity and cost of break-fixes. Once the
CA Service Catalog goes live near the end of 2010, we expect further savings through call avoidance. For example, by allowing employees to request an IT service via self-service, the need to call the Solution Center and request a service can be eliminated.
As well as helping to keep our IT operation as lean as possible, these solutions have also simplified compliance. We now have an audit trail of activities, which enables us to validate the business owner and driver behind specific system changes and demonstrate that the right authorization and testing processes were followed. Since Sallie Mae’s operations are now subject to the Federal Information Security Management Act and Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, this visibility is increasingly important.
Although simplified compliance and improved cost control have had a considerable impact, the greatest benefit is our ability to deliver a consistent customer experience, which is apparent through our operational reports. With IT linked to the process of granting and servicing loans, any performance improvements we make have a direct impact on our customers.
By taking an integrated approach to ITSM, we can identify where and how the customer experience needs to be improved.
As a result, we can maximize our ability to convert credit approvals into loans, ensuring that Sallie Mae remains competitive and profitable during this time of change and uncertainty.
Jo Lee Hayes is senior vice president, enterprise technology, at Sallie Mae, where she manages strategic technology deployment. She has championed numerous application development and infrastructure/operations initiatives, and has been responsible for several post-merger integrations.
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