NRL partner with AC3 to implement ServiceNow


The Customer

The National Rugby League (NRL) is comprised of over 800 employees with an additional 500 stakeholders including NSW Rugby League, QLD Rugby League, Country Rugby League, Touch Football Australia, across multiple locations and runs the world’s premier Rugby League competition comprising of 16 teams (15 from Australia and one from New Zealand).

The NRL is also responsible for the Australian Kangaroos (male) and Jillaroos (female) representative teams, the annual three-match Holden State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland, the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, the under 20s Holden Cup competition, and the Harvey Norman NRL Touch Football affiliation.

The Challenge

With over 1300 employees across multiple locations who were using email to raise requests, the process of generating reports and gaining visibility of workloads made for tedious, manual work, not to mention a less than stellar end user experience. 

The challenge didn’t only span IT, but also impacted various other departments with manual or poor on boarding process.  Internally, SharePoint forms were being used to collect data and inefficiencies were experienced when on boarding new team members, mainly when granting business access and requesting IT equipment. The result was ultimately a poor user experience for internal customers. The on boarding experience was clunky and team members were not always receiving the equipment they needed to hit the ground running on their first day.  

NRL saw an opportunity to deliver a delightful internal customer experience through their IT team. The goal was to provide a better end user experience for their 1300 team members by eliminating email requests, which are hard to track and easy to lose. The existing process also made it hard for the IT team to prioritise requests, as well as track and report on workloads. From an end user perspective, there was no transparency, which almost resulted in a feeling that their email requests went into a mysterious black hole of IT. The solution was twofold, firstly to deliver an easy to follow workflow with great technology to make the IT team more efficient, but to also increase end user experience and satisfaction via communication and transparency. 

The Solution

NRL approached AC3 to implement a solution. The complexity of the project did not come from the classic technical complexities, but defining and redefining business processes and workflows. The first step was the decision to implement a ServiceNow Service Catalogue to replace SharePoint Forms and improve both IT and business services. ServiceNow was selected due a number of reasons, mainly the short implementation period, administrative freedom, feature set and its position as a market-leading product. 

To deliver a robust Service catalogue, AC3 and NRL mapped out workflows to ServiceNow tools through multiple workshops, providing agile methodology to deliver the best solution across 15 digital forms. The great thing about this method was that the workshops revealed numerous opportunities for process optimisation and improvement, which had not been previously considered.

As AC3 worked through the implementation of the initial scope and NRL saw the benefit of the early results, further potential business improvements that ServiceNow could unlock became too powerful to ignore. Midway through the project, the project team decided to pivot and also implement Incident Management and CMDB within ServiceNow. AC3 implemented two ServiceNow instances for NRL; development and production. AC3 configured ServiceNow with Microsoft SCCM for CMDB population, ADFS for SSO authentication, and LDAP for user directory sync.

AC3’s experience with ServiceNow, as both a partner and an advanced user ourselves, was of tremendous value in providing recommendations aligned to ServiceNow best-practice, ITIL, and real-world use of the ServiceNow platform. 

The Result

AC3 and ServiceNow have delivered a flexible platform to maintain a source of truth for data across multiple departments and improve the ability to both formalise and automate business processes. 

The ServiceNow catalogue implementation of 15 digital forms delivered fantastic results. The IT team are able to view an audit trail for the process of approving and fulfilling requests, reduce ad-hoc tasks as well as significantly improving their workflow, delivery of services and productivity. The integration of CMDB and Active Directory also allows NRL to apply a uniform security posture to all end user computing devices.

The on boarding process has been transformed and people managers are now confident that their new staff member will find a new laptop with the correct applications that meshes seamlessly into the network sitting on their desk on their first day.

The deployment and integration of ServiceNow has also allowed NRL to retire a number of backend legacy applications, reducing their technical debt. These applications include aspects of SharePoint (Knowledgebase and Service Catalogue), and Manage Engine products, previously used for Incident tracking.

The significance of this project for NRL was highlighted in the increase in productivity through reducing manual processing, audit history and reporting, streamlining the request process and providing end to end visibility of requests. Specifically, NRL was able to take advantage of a very structured and powerful asset management system. Its effectiveness was due to some asset classes being auto-populated and updated via SCCM integration, and regular imports from other device management tools. Currently, multiple departments use ServiceNow for asset management within IT, Facilities and Football Development. The improved Procurement system also allows assets to be tracked throughout its whole lifecycle, from the initial request, to procurement and deployment, and eventually retirement. 

Furthermore, the platform delivered tangible benefits by acting as a system of record for data concerning staff, locations and departments. For example, it records data for staff delegation of authority, as well as business services related contracts, their status and scheduled maintenance.