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SUCCESS STORY

NAFTA

NAFTA Unifies IT Services on One Future-Proof Platform

HEADLINE SUCCESS

INCREASED SPEED & PRODUCTIVITY

SEAMLESS CROSS-ENTERPRISE COLLABORATION

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MUCH IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE

One easy-to-use service management solution for the whole group paves the way for the future

NAFTA a.s. is an international company with extensive experience in natural gas storage and underground facility development in Slovakia. It is also Slovakia’s leader in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. In Europe, the company actively operates gas storage facilities, explores and produces hydrocarbons, and participates in renewable energy storage projects. NAFTA provides development, engineering, and advisory services for facilities with an overall storage capacity of approximately 64 TWh. In addition to Slovakia, the company is present in the Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, and Ukraine.

Transforming local IT into a shared service provider to serve different locations and countries

NAFTA recently expanded into Germany, which brought with it the requirement to transform the local Slovak IT team into a shared service provider for subsidiary organizations. Building a completely new IT support group for Germany was impractical, inefficient, and too expensive. Also, it would not support future business plans for further expansion.

The ITSM solution NAFTA used before implementing 4me was Microsoft System Center Service Manager. The main reason for the solution change was to be able to support different business units from one support account, which was not possible with the previous solution. The main objective was to create the capability to support the business with future acquisitions and expansions to different countries.
 
Ivan Mazáň, Head of IT at NAFTA a.s. and responsible for the project, explains: “We were looking for a solution that would make it possible to serve different locations and countries, now and in the future, from our shared service center in Slovakia using one tool and platform for all. Our previous solution was not suitable for this as it was not possible to have different support groups or domains.”
 
As the majority of the IT organization is trained in ITIL methodology, NAFTA was looking for a solution that would be compatible with ITIL best practices. Other challenges were cultural and language differences, costs, and regulations. 
 
The tools looked at during the evaluation included JIRA Service Management, ServiceNow, BMC Helix ITSM, OTRS, and 4me.

Ivan: “4me was chosen as it best met our requirements and had the best value-for-money ratio. It has all the functionality we need out of the box, and its service-centric architecture prepares us for future acquisitions, is user-friendly, and allows a high level of workflow automation.”

The architecture of 4me with the supporting domains is one of the main reasons NAFTA chose 4me, as it allows them to be a shared service provider with true cross-enterprise collaboration. This is ideal for the new organizational setup. They now have a separate domain for NAFTA Speicher in Germany and a separate one for NAFTA in Slovakia. But it is so integrated that the tickets flow naturally from Germany to Slovakia and vice versa. In the future, NAFTA will expand to other locations and countries.
 
Ivan: “We also like the Self Service portal with its user-friendly interface and the Auto Translation feature, as it removes important barriers for our users.”
 
The fact that it is a cloud-based solution means NAFTA doesn’t need to take care of the hardware and software licenses or think about replacement every 4/5 years. Everything is included in 4me. You don’t need extra modules or add-ons, and the platform constantly evolves with free new features and upgrades every week. Ivan: “The total cost of ownership is much lower than with other solutions we looked at, making 4me even more attractive.”
 
Currently, IT Operations, Network Services, Application Services, and Security use 4me. In the near future, HR will join the platform for daily tasks or requests. And other countries will need to be supported in 4me as well. 

Ivan: “With 4me, we can support everyone, wherever they are based, from the same environment with the same tool.”

Industry

  • Energy

Location

  • Slovakia and Germany

Challenges

  • NAFTA was looking for a future-proof service management solution to serve different locations and countries from one shared service center using one tool and platform.

Solution

  • ITSM, ESM

“With 4me, we have implemented a solution that is ready for future acquisitions, is highly valued by the users, and enables a high level of automation. We have great expectations for future development of service workflows and automation.”

Ivan Mazáň
Head of IT at NAFTA

Implementation

The implementation was done in 2 phases and in collaboration with trusted 4me partner OMNICOM. Germany (NAFTA Speicher) started using 4me in May 2022, and NAFTA Slovakia followed in February 2023.

Ivan: “It took just 4 weeks to implement 4me in Germany, which was much quicker than expected. The fact that 4me is a cloud-based solution and ready-to-go certainly helped. Usually, I would expect an implementation like this to take around 9 months with all the necessary steps.”

For NAFTA Speicher, the team introduced a QA environment first to see if it was all working properly. Following the technical implementation, there was a finetuning phase, and the team is still making changes every month, adding new services, etc. To them, it is a sign of good acceptance by the users.
 
“When we rolled it out to the whole company, we expected some issues due to cultural and language differences. German staff generally refuses to communicate in English, and finding German-speaking people in Slovakia is hard and also expensive. But thankfully, 4me has Auto Translation which made it possible for everyone to work in their own language, so no issues there.”
 
We created a new service catalog for Germany, but it was based on standard services from the Slovakian service catalog, which was already there in the old tool. The switch to 4me gave the team the opportunity to clean up the services and redefine some workflows.
 

Training

NAFTA was already mature in ITIL processes; users were moved from one tool to another. Ivan explains: “The transition phase from the old ITSM tool to 4me was one of the biggest challenges, as people were used to working in the old tool, which was very different. Suddenly they needed to distinguish between an incident and a service request, for example. We slightly underestimated this transition phase, but thanks to the superior support of implementation partner OMNICOM and some training, everything was resolved quickly.
 
The initial training was provided by implementation partner OMNICOM, followed by specific training for smaller groups: administrators and managers for approval processes.
Currently, training is provided by the local team.

Scope

  • Request Fulfillment
  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Configuration and Asset Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Change Management
  • Knowledge Management

Before exploring other functions of 4me, the IT team wants everyone to get used to the new way of working.

Integrations

SSO, Active Directory, Lansweeper

Results: One future-proof platform improves customer experience and productivity

The key goal of serving different countries, starting with Germany from the IT shared service center in Slovakia, was successfully met. Tickets now flow very well to the shared service team from users in Slovakia and Germany. Speed has increased, and delays have been significantly reduced.
 
The Self Service portal, backed by a growing knowledge base with articles, saves time and calls and makes people more self-sufficient, which in turn improves satisfaction and productivity. It has helped NAFTA IT free up resources for other important tasks.

Ivan: “The greatest improvement is that we now have one unified environment and Self Service portal for all users across all locations and countries, with Auto Translation to support colleagues in different countries without local language knowledge. This was really important to us.”

Before, employees in Germany received some form of global support, which often took weeks rather than days. And they were not able to communicate in their own language; it had to be English, which was a barrier. The change to 4me was much appreciated by the people in Germany and has reduced the IT team’s visits to the location. Now they only visit Germany once a month whereas before, this was once a week.

Ivan: “The user satisfaction is excellent. We come from an old tool with rigid possibilities for accessing services. Since implementing 4me, we’ve seen a much-improved acceptance and adherence to standard processes and increased speed of approval of service requests.”

In the old tool, it was impossible to request something from home. Now with the 4me, logging in from home and mobile is both possible. The mobile app helps a lot with approvals in workflows which is where NAFTA had most of the delays in the old tool. It has improved the workflows and has sped things up. Now, when people have to approve something, they get a notification immediately and can also approve from home or mobile.
 
Ivan: “The 4me mobile application has helped us to reduce the number of calls about ticket status and reduce time to approval of service requests.”

Fit for the future

“4me is a solid investment for the future. For us, it is very cost-effective to be able to provide services from our headquarters in Slovakia, where specialists are also cheaper than in Western countries. The 4me architecture with support domains, in combination with the language feature, makes us ready and prepared to provide services to any future subsidiary. All on one platform.”
 
“We appreciate the free weekly releases in 4me; the tool is evolving rapidly, which is a real benefit. 4me really listens to what the customers need. All the improvements I’ve seen so far have been great. It’s all there for customers like us to use it when we need it.”
 
“I would recommend the 4me service management platform to any service provider as it is highly scalable. 4me is unique in that it can be set up for different locations and different teams and still have the same platform for smooth collaboration. I do not know any other solution on the market with these features.”
 
“With 4me, we have implemented a solution that is ready for future acquisitions, is highly valued by the users, and enables a high level of automation. We have great expectations for future development of service workflows and automation.”

“The user satisfaction is excellent. We come from an old tool with rigid possibilities for accessing services. Since implementing 4me, we’ve seen a much-improved acceptance and adherence to standard processes and increased speed of approval of service requests.”

Ivan Mazáň
Head of IT at NAFTA