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This summer, UNC will have a new customer support tool. ITS is currently preparing to move customer support tool providers from ServiceNow to TeamDynamix. The customer support tool powers the UNC Help Portal and helps campus users report tech issues, browse IT and other services and chat with the ITS Service Desk. Behind the scenes, UNC’s customer support tool manages workflows and automations, tracks assets and connects Tar Heels with information and services.

Calvin Groves, Director of Customer Support & Outreach, leads the project team members who are working to implement TeamDynamix and decommission ServiceNow in parallel. He answered a few questions about the project.

Why is the University moving to a different customer support tool and why now?

Our contract with ServiceNow (our current tool) ends this September. At the end of 2022, we did a listening session to better understand how ServiceNow was working for our campus and if we should renew or not. The resounding and consistent feedback was that we should explore other options.

We solicited an RFP in 2023 for a new tool. Our main goals were to improve the customer and agent experiences and to save the University money. When we awarded TeamDynamix the contract, we were confident in hitting the mark on the first part, but we absolutely realized significant cost savings by making this move.

What is this new customer support tool and what does it do?

The new tool is called TeamDynamix, often abbreviated as TDX. It has many features, but to boil it down to the simplest terms, it is a ticketing system. It allows customers to ask for help (i.e. submit a ticket) and agents to help them in a structured way (i.e. work a ticket).

About Calvin Groves

Calvin Groves

Calvin Groves is the Director of Customer Support & Outreach for Information Technology Services at UNC-Chapel Hill. In this role, Groves leads the Service Desk, customer support tool, Engagement team, and Communications team.

His focus on people enables his teams to excel in their support of a campus community of 45,000 students, faculty and staff. He brings 15 years higher education IT experience in multiple roles across UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Kentucky.

Does this impact all of campus?

Potentially, but the largest impact will be for those who work tickets in the system. Those folks will have to learn a new tool, but it should have minimal impact for people who needs to submit a ticket for help. The URL will not change, and if anything, we hope the new tool (TeamDynamix) is more user friendly.

When will this change occur?

July 10 is the go-live date when new requests will start using TeamDynamix and stop using ServiceNow.

How is the new tool different? Will the experience be different for campus members who submit help tickets or look for help documentation? How will the experience change for people who work tickets?

The two biggest differences are the streamlined functionality and rigidness around the ITIL service management framework. ITIL, or the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a framework and set of best practices to align IT services and customer needs.

In terms of streamlined functionality, TeamDynamix is a simpler tool than ServiceNow. While we may be losing bells and whistles, those are bells and whistles that we were not using or don’t need. TeamDynamix structures things in a straightforward way that makes logical sense. It is also truly software as a service, which frees our teams up to configure the tool rather than focus on keeping it running.

The rigidness around the ITIL service management framework is also a big deal, even if most people don’t know or care what ITIL is. ServiceNow was very rigid in the way it adhered to ITIL processes and terms, which are often processes and terms that don’t work well for our campus. While TeamDynamix is influenced by ITIL, it does not force us into that framework, which allows us to configure things in a way that makes logical sense for UNC.

What does campus need to do to prepare for this change?

If you do not work tickets, you don’t have to do anything to prepare — just know that things will look differently starting July 10. If you are an agent who will work tickets, hopefully you’ve been hearing from us quite a bit. Training will be the biggest need, and everything agents need to know can be found on the project website.

How big of a lift is it to change platforms for your project team and the University? What does the move entail?

It is a significant effort. The project team is working almost exclusively on this project to make it happen in a relatively short timeframe. Many of the details are covered in our project calendar, but it basically boils down to configurations and integrations for TeamDynamix to replicate current ServiceNow functionality, communications and training, archiving ServiceNow data, and building out new TDX functionality once we’ve moved.

How do you feel preparations are going?

We’re very much in the phase of the project where we are in the weeds and days are filled up with meetings, but it’s going well! The bits and pieces we’ve shared so far have been very well received, and those who care about the ticketing tool seem to be excited about the change. The configuration work is a lot, but it is much more straightforward than ServiceNow, and that will leave us in a better place.

What feature or functionality are you most looking forward to?

I’ll share a few — a couple for people using the portal and a couple for agents. For the portal, the first one I’d say is that base functionality of the tool allows our help articles to be public and searchable by Google. This was not the case in ServiceNow and was a major pain point. The second is a design decision we made to have an “easy button” for folks to easily submit a help request. Just submitting a ticket was confusing in ServiceNow.

The two backend features I’m excited about are both in the weeds, but entertain me for a moment. First, that all tickets function the same regardless of classification. In ServiceNow, incidents worked one way and service requests another. In TDX, they work the same — there is no more of the complicated REQ > RITM > SCTASK hierarchy for service requests for agents. The second is a reporting win — in ServiceNow you could only report on which group closed a ticket, but in TeamDynamix you can report on “tickets touched.” This allows you to see/count tickets that were ever assigned to a specific group, even if they are not the ones who closed them.

Where can campus members learn more about this switch to TeamDynamix?

The best place to learn more is at our customer support tool project website.

What are the three key points you hope people will take away from this Q&A?

  1. While will look differently, this is not a big change for most of campus.
  2. For people who work tickets, this is a big change, but we are providing the training and support for them to be successful.
  3. We listened to the feedback about ServiceNow, and we are making it a priority to address the pain points we heard about as part of the move to TeamDynamix.


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