AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical business whose innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Operations (based in London and extending into more than 100 countries) account for more than 50,000 people and generate total revenue of $26.6bn (2014), ranking the company as the world’s seventh-largest pharmaceutical entity (#455 on Fortune’s Global 500).
When David Smoley became CIO in 2013, he established the aspirational goal of “Being two times as good for half the cost.” Practical implementation toward this transition included decreased reliance on third-party IT outsourcing and increased availability of SAAS applications.
Enter John Bitzer, Global Service Management Tools, who is responsible for overall event management within AstraZeneca’s IT Operations unit. Primarily focused on the interface between alert detection and incident creation, John led a project to replace a legacy in-house, custom developed solution which couldn’t expand to handle different endpoints. He began searching for an out of the box way to integrate BPPM and VMware with ServiceNow®, while recognizing that AstraZeneca may also need to integrate applications such as SNMP without custom coding.
“Our desired Event Management functionality included pre-packaged integrations, deduplication and event correlation,” he told Evanios. While mapping out the challenge and specifying his solution, John also included incident reduction and improved visibility in his evaluation criteria.
Integration: AstraZeneca needed to seamlessly connect VMware and BPPM to ServiceNow®, and also wanted the ability to add further integrations without custom coding.
Incident reduction: With BPPM producing over 3,000 events per day and other applications adding even more noise, support teams were being overloaded with meaningless tickets. The proposed solution needed to reduce overall volume of events and correlate remaining alerts into meaningful incidents.
Improved visibility: Operators were taking a “swivel chair” approach, manually looking through multiple tools and comparing events that could be related, but weren’t automatically tied to each other. John wanted intuitive, rules-based integration that consolidated events into a single pane of glass.
Cost savings: purchasing and maintaining disparate tools was expensive and inefficient. Consolidating applications and simplifying on a more user-friendly console was expected to reduce both subscription and labor costs
John quickly determined that only a few products had the ability to easily connect to multiple systems through readily- available, preconfigured integration connectors. “As a ServiceNow® integrated application, Evanios was in the lead from day one,” he says. “We did a quick POC and moved from there to production within 30 days. We didn’t need to do an overly extensive analysis because this solution was such a uniquely ideal fit — the other candidates were point products that lacked comprehensive functionality whereas Evanios connected event management, duplication and event correlation to our integration points. Further, the Evanios team made me feel comfortable immediately — early on in the conversation they demonstrated deep event management expertise. Their guidance and recommendations aligned with my needs and became a guiding factor for our purchase and throughout the implementation.”
“Evanios reduced BPPM events by 85% within 90 days, delivering the technical and business service improvements that AstraZeneca had hoped for.” Additionally, 8 new integrations (including Nagios, SCOM, Riverbed, SMARTS and others) improved centralized visibility through ServiceNow®, helping to automatically enrich events and reduce manual “swivel chair” response times.
Having significantly improved on the reactive part of event management, John’s team is now continuing their move toward self-healing systems.
“By enhancing intelligence and analytics, we’ll keep optimizing alerts and prioritizing incidents based on impact to service,” he explains. “It’s really about leveraging automation and involving human operators in ways that maximize cost benefit while delivering the highest degree of positive impact to the business.”