Case Study

Framingham State University

Months to deploy
Reduction in IT calls for printer services
of all IT services can now be requested through the portal

Breaking down silos, building a solid ITSM strategy

Framingham State University logo

The Challenge

Massachusetts’ Framingham State University (FSU) is a comprehensive arts and sciences institution with more than 6,500 students and 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. FSU has provided an excellent and affordable education for the past 175 years.

Technology plays a significant role at the university, touching everything from student and faculty equipment, to a comprehensive online degree program, and a robust learning management system. The FSU IT team was relying on a non-ITSM, non-ITIL based ticketing system to manage the myriad campus technologies. Combined with the fact that the ticketing system wasn’t used throughout the IT department, FSU ended up with a siloed working environment, which hindered its ability to provide the best customer service to its users.

The Framingham IT team realized it was time to take a broader look at where it was situated as a university, where it wanted to go with its IT strategy, and how to best leverage a new tool.

Its goals quickly became clear:

  • Improve the customer experience

  • Enhance overall communication within the IT organization

  • Find a solution that breaks down the silos, can be used by everyone, and scales to meet needs in the future
image of students chatting on steps at Framingham University

The Solution

After evaluating numerous ITSM offerings, Framingham chose a hosted Cherwell solution and was up and running in three months’ time. Cherwell provides the university with all the capabilities it needs today and allows the IT team to expand on the implementation in the future.

Cherwell beat out competing ITSM solutions on several fronts, most importantly ease of administration. Framingham doesn’t have a dedicated ITSM administrator, but rather one staff member who wears many hats in addition to being the Cherwell administrator. The codeless nature of the Cherwell solution also allows for simple set up, administration, and updates. Affordability was the final factor, along with a hosted solution that ensures easy upgrades and maintenance.

"When it comes to Cherwell as an IT solution, it fit our university best. There are very big solutions, there are small software tools. Cherwell fit a niche for us perfectly. It gives us everything that we need. It’s robust, we can build on it as we need to." - Deborah Saks, Director of Service Management and Campus Technology, Framingham State University

The Results

The success of the Cherwell implementation is evidenced in the positive feedback from students, faculty and staff.

Monthly metrics, reports and measurements show that Framingham IT is responding to requests faster and resolving incidences quicker since deploying Cherwell, both of which boost customer satisfaction. The robustness of the Cherwell ITSM solution allows Framingham IT to track the entire life cycle of an incident, improving responsiveness and resolution.

And Cherwell has broken down those troublesome silos. Information is now shared across the entire IT organization, enabling the team to work together more effectively to solve incidences.

Cherwell has also simplified administration. It replaced a cumbersome change process that was prone to failure with one that allows for reliable changes on the go, across the organization. Through the online portal, users can also make requests simply, without even searching a catalog. In fact, 70 percent of all IT services can now be requested through the portal.

For Framingham, the future of ITSM is automation, and the team is confident that Cherwell will help it reach its automation goals. Plans include automating the onboarding of faculty and staff, the distribution of equipment, and visibility into requests for students, staff and faculty.

Moving forward, the team is focusing on measurements, metrics, KPIs, and customer experiences using surveys.

"Having a solution like Cherwell is crucial to the success of anything that involves technology on campus." - Deborah Saks, Director of Service Management and Campus Technology, Framingham State University

Business Impact

  • Comprehensive ITSM strategy that eliminates silos, improves communication

  • Faster request responses and incidence resolution, resulting in happy end users

  • Reduced administration burden thanks to robust ITSM solution
image of Framingham University building

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