BDO operates with a global IT setup, where Global IT & Services B.V. supports the tier 1 applications and services consumed by the BDO firms worldwide. Manager of Support Services, Alessandro Eterni, and his team are responsible for keeping core business applications up and running 24/7 globally, including global support services.
“We run an extensive multi-tenant Azure environment with hundreds of runbooks active in that environment. In 2019, we moved to Service Now, and we were discussing internally how to bring more value to our end users and how to off load our infrastructure team from basic day to day tasks,” Alessandro Eterni says.
“One day, one of the infrastructure experts came to me and said: I found this automation app on ServiceNow Store, it looks like it will fit perfectly with our environment and our plans for the future.”
Automize’s Azure Automation app is a ServiceNow-certified app that integrates Microsoft Azure Automation into the ServiceNow platform.
“The Automation App turned out to be a perfect match for our internal use,” states Alessandro Eterni.
“You have to invest 15 minutes or an hour to set up a simple flow, create a catalog item, and test everything. But you also know that after you’ve spent that hour you have immediate improvement both from the end users’ perspective and supporter standpoint.”
“From a technical standpoint it is very interesting the fact that the automation app sits between Azure and Service Now,” says Alessandro Eterni.
“Potentially, the colleagues that are developing the runbooks don’t need to know anything about ServiceNow, they just need to develop their runbooks. And the colleagues that pick up the automation piece in ServiceNow they don’t necessarily need to know anything about the runbook – they just need to know what kind of variables they need to share, and that’s it,” explains Alessandro Eterni and concludes:
“The work of one team doesn’t impact the work of the other team, and the work can be moved in parallel. At a certain point the two teams meet for 15 minutes just to share what runbooks are published and what are the input and output variables.”
Alessandro Eterni aims at leveraging Automize’s Automation App heavily into his support service teams – but he doesn’t work according to a clearly defined road map.
“My teams face hundreds of requests coming in weekly that they handle manually. We’re planning to automate 10 different kinds of actions that keep coming back on different types of requests. I rely very much on my team to define the next step in our roadmap – my team are the boots on the ground, and I always push them to come back to me: We see this coming in regularly – can this be automated? My team have more visibility and know by heart what comes in and what to automate to make life easier.”
“In my case it was easy to start automation. We already had the runbook skills and ServiceNow development skills – we had the runbooks ready and rewrote them,” says Alessandro Eterni.
“My piece of advice is: don’t be scared because you need to develop the runbooks. If you are working with Azure, by definition, you may have experience in developing runbooks. When that piece is done, the benefits come almost immediately.”
“We had one call with Automize, the only reason for that was to make sure we understood the application, how the connections worked and the linking points. Getting started with Automize’s Automation App was super easy,” Alessandro Eterni concludes.
About BDO and the BDO Global Office Headquartered in Brussels in Belgium, BDO is an international network of public accounting, tax and advisory firms. BDO extends across 164 countries and territories, with more than 95,000 people working out of 1,713 offices.
“The Automation App turned out to be a perfect match for our internal use.” |
“From a technical standpoint it is very interesting the fact that the automation app sits between Azure and Service Now. Azure and ServiceNow teams can work independently of one another.” |
“My piece of advice is: don’t be scared because you need to develop the runbooks. If you are working with Azure, by definition, you may have experience in developing runbooks. When that piece is done, the benefits come almost immediately.” |
“Getting started with Automize’s Automation App was super easy.” |
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