An oasis of academic excellence
Established in 1976 and located in the heart of oasis city Al Ain, 140km east of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is the oldest university in the UAE.
With a commitment to academic excellence and continuous research, and a student body of around 15,000 and nearly 3,000 employees, UAEU consistently ranks as the second-top university in the UAE, and fifth in the Arab region. Courses range from business and economics, IT, science and engineering to law, medicine, agriculture, education, and humanities; notable alumni include numerous high-ranking politicians, as well as business pioneers, artists, and writers.
Moving away from manual processes
Managing the IT commitments of a large-scale university such as UAEU is no easy feat – especially when the IT department has such a broad range of responsibilities and a large IT estate. “We provide infrastructure services, network services, application services, and also end-user technical support for around 6,000 end-point devices,” explains Mariam Al Khili, Head of IT Support at UAEU. “We also allow student, staff, and faculty members to bring their own devices if they need help.”
The IT division comprises around 120 employees, of whom 72 are dedicated to end-user support. Managing workflows and assigning tasks within a unit of this size is a complex task.
Everything was manual,” adds Aysha Al Meqbaali, Head of UAEU’s IT Helpdesk. “If we needed to assign tasks or escalate them to other teams, it was all done by hand and handled by the helpdesk. It was easy to lose track of each ticket. A relatively simple process could sometimes take as long as ten days, but we wouldn’t know why or where it was in the system.”
UAEU needed more visibility and easier control, and a tool that would allow its IT staff to focus on core tasks rather than lose time navigating through unclear workflows. ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) was selected to provide a single platform capable of handling UAEU’s diverse needs.
Elite ServiceNow partner, Quintica, played an instrumental role in the successful implementation and go live of UAEU’s ServiceNow ITSM solution. “We have a very good relationship with the Quintica team,” says Mariam, “who even made proposals that helped our IT division in introducing new tools to address some existing IT challenges.”
ITSM allows UAEU to define and automate workflows, provides necessary granularity within broader processes, and improves visibility into individual tasks and requests. Sitting on top of ITSM is Service Catalog, providing a user-friendly portal that enables users to initiate requests and track their progress to completion. Survey Management tracks the user experience and provides important feedback while a suite of reporting tools also enables the IT department to deliver key information to the university’s senior management.