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Photo of Tokyo Skytree.

The move to Tokyo

ServiceNow enables us to streamline internal operations, automate workflows, optimize processes and facilitate cross-department collaboration to meet our commitment to student success.

Jennifer Domnick

ServiceNow Service Manager,

A straight airline flight between Rome and Tokyo is just over 6,000 miles. But in the ServiceNow arena, the distance between Rome and Tokyo is measured in continuous improvement — lots of improvement.

NC State is required to upgrade the platform on an annual basis. According to Jennifer Domnick, ServiceNow Service Manager, OIT began the version upgrade from Rome to Tokyo in January 2023 and completed it in March. 

“We had phenomenal engagement from our campus partners, from impact assessments and requirements definition to user acceptance testing and training,” said Domnick. “We communicated early and often, and received positive feedback.”

Once implemented, Tokyo delivered — providing an improved user interface and integrated workspaces. “People experiencing change are those who use ServiceNow to deliver their services,” Domnick said.

Tokyo’s Next Experience User Interface enables service providers to personalize their experience so they can more efficiently access work items and dashboards from a single pane.  

 As part of the upgrade, OIT implemented the IT Services Operations Workspace and helped improve the  HR Workspace.

“Many people perceive ServiceNow as an IT ticketing tool,” said Domnick. “ServiceNow offers capabilities far beyond that; it is a centralized platform for managing customer inquiries and issues and providing services beyond IT. ServiceNow enables us to streamline internal operations, automate workflows, optimize processes and facilitate cross-department collaboration to meet our commitment to student success.”

Domnick said ServiceNow currently supports: 

  • Custom-scoped applications, including:
    • CALS Business Office Financial Submissions
    • IT Software Purchase Compliance
    • Office of IT Billing Management
    • Support services for classroom monitors, lighting, cameras, microphones, and room controls 
    • Get2Factor Account Verification
    • Repair Center Student IT Support Services
    • ComTech Integrated Project Workspace
    • OIT Data Center Intake
  • NC State Core applications, including:
    • HR Case Management
    • IT Service Management
    • IT Operations Management
    • Facility Modification Request Fulfillment

OIT Communication Technologies (ComTech) is one of the heaviest users of ServiceNow. 

According to Kristina Kelly, Associate Director of Network Operations, ComTech was an early adopter of the ServiceNow platform in 2015 and currently uses it primarily for incident management to address unplanned events that impact services.   

“We use it daily to manage any troubles with our service offerings,” she said. “Using the change management module, we can communicate to campus when we have planned maintenance. We are also able to quickly update campus when there are unexpected outages.”

ComTech also uses ServiceNow’s Knowledge management capabilities to publish technical articles for IT personnel and help articles for customers to find answers on their own. Their ServiceNow workgroups handle customer requests including onboarding new employees and providing access to the various services, such as full-tunnel Virtual Private Network.

Kelly said Tokyo’s new user interface is intuitive and much easier to navigate. “It’s a very user-friendly interface, which is important when you are working on a problem,” she said. “Our Network Operating Center (NOC) can access the necessary information quickly, which results in a faster resolution.” 

According to Kelly, the interface also provides more insight into the amount of work and the type of work that is done. “We’re able to create dashboards so others can view this information at a higher level.”

“It makes us more aware of how quickly we can resolve an incident or highlight it if something needs more attention,” she added. “More importantly, it helps us determine where there might be trending issues related to a particular service, and get those resolved.”

Domnick said the next ServiceNow upgrade will take the university from Tokyo to Vancouver, a shorter straight flight at 4,692 miles. Vancouver is scheduled to be released to the public in the third or early fourth quarter of 2023. NC State’s upgrade to Vancouver is slated for April 2024.