Originally published in Computer Weekly on 15 May, 2017

Manchester Airport Group is using cloud-based ITSM software to support its in-house service.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is using cloud-based IT service management software to support its insourced IT support.

Following its takeover of London Stansted Airport in 2013, MAG, which also owns Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports wanted a single IT support service for 4000 staff. This meant consolidating several external suppliers and brining it in-house.

Emma Dickson, head of IT service operations at MAG, said the IT service management was previously supplied to London Stanstead airport by Capgemini, while the other three airports in the group were served by Ricoh UK. “We used two different suppliers and toolsets, so we didn’t have a clear picture of the whole organisation.”

Contracts were coming up for renewal and the business wanted a standardised service. “This meant having a service from one of the suppliers or bringing it in-house,” she said. “The leadership team decided to insource.”

Dickson had previously worked at Ricoh on the MAG contract but was moved over to manage the insourcing. “By bringing the service in-house, we were looking at a massive transformation involving new suppliers, new staff, and the integration of a new airport – against a complex regulatory environment,” she said.

MAG has about 150 IT staff in total.

After the company decided to insource, it ran a procurement process to find a supplier of ITSM software. Due to the group being part-owned by local councils, it has strict procurement rules.

With support contracts coming to an end, there was time pressure on finding a new service, which made a cloud-based service – which is relatively quick to get up and running – attractive. “One of the things we had to consider when deciding on the options was that there was a date set for when we needed the new service.”

With advice from IT supplier Fruition Partners, it selected ServiceNow’s cloud-based software.

Helpdesk tickets reducing emails

Staff have quickly taken to the new system. Since the launch, IT self-service is averaging at 270 per week, and it has automated processes such as setting up helpdesk tickets, which has reduced the number of emails by 40%.

ServiceNow is being considered for other uses in the company, including for HR and asset management. “There has been a lot of business interest in the ServiceNow toolset and we are always looking at what we can integrate with kit.”

Separately, MAG is also increasing its cloud use for group-wide operations and has gone live with SAP in the cloud for HR and finance.