Australian Community Media finds the perfect fit to kick-start its service management again

A media company's singular answer to manage all its service processes after using ServiceNow

Australian Community Media (ACM) is the largest publisher of regional news in Australia, serving millions of people in every state and territory across the country. It is responsible for over 140 leading rural and regional news brands consisting of community-based websites, daily and community newspapers, magazines, and events.

ACM's origins trace back to 1911, and the brand as it is now known came into existence under Fairfax Media Group in 2007. In 2018, Fairfax Media Group was acquired by Nine Entertainment, and ACM was later sold as an independent publisher.

As ACM established itself as a separate entity, its service management processes were shifted to serve its employees over multiple locations across Australia.

The need for a powerful but prudent platform

ACM's former ITSM solution, ServiceNow, despite being suitable to handle the organization's needs, was far too resource-intensive. As an independent organization separated from its parent media conglomerate, ACM's IT resource allocation had to be reduced to match the needs of a single large entity rather than a group of companies.

ACM's leadership knew they had highly mature service management processes and required a solution that captured all the value of the organization's previous ServiceNow instance without the exorbitant licensing model.

ACM also required a unified platform for all service efforts, both IT and non-IT. The organization's diverse service catalog offers services from HR; Payroll; Legal; Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE); and IT.

One of the key requirements was from ACM's HSE department. It needed to re-construct its safety workflow that streamlines the investigation process of any workplace hazards or incidents.

After considering other competitors such as Freshservice, ACM's decision-makers chose ServiceDesk Plus as the platform to restart the organization's service management as it satisfied all the requirements of ACM's IT and non-IT departments.

Building an HSE workflow with Request Life Cycle

As one of the prominent publishers in Australia, ACM has standardized processes to manage work hazards or incidents that happen on its press floor, on campus, or to employees on the way to campus.

With ServiceDesk Plus' drag-and-drop graphical life cycle builder, Request Life Cycle, ACM's HSE department was able to devise a workflow to streamline its workplace safety processes. The workflow creates a ticket for a workplace hazard or incident, runs it through approvals with managers, initiates an investigation, and resolves the ticket once an action has been taken.

When an incident occurs or a hazard is detected, an employee can raise a request from the self-service portal with templates that collect comprehensive information about the issue.

The HSE team required a dynamic form that would collect only the appropriate information based on the details given in the previous fields by the informant. The form rules of ServiceDesk Plus allowed the HSE team to define rules in order to automate certain actions such as enabling, disabling, hiding, or mandating form fields based on custom conditions.

Using form rules, the HSE team was able to build a dynamic, criteria-driven request form. The request form applies a risk matrix, where the risk rating field (from Low to Extreme) is recorded automatically based on the severity and the likelihood of the issue occurring again.

By adding different sections right within the template, the HSE team can collect detailed information about the hazard or incident, such as the location, description, and if any action has already been taken.

ServiceDesk Plus can assign SLAs for all incoming tickets based on the ticket parameters. The HSE team configured a target response time, reminders, and escalations to the manager, which vary depending on the risk rating of the request. For instance, a technician with a low-risk ticket has three days to respond and the ticket will be escalated to the manager on the seventh day, whereas a high-risk ticket triggers an escalation within a day.

The new incident or hazard request then moves through the approval phase, during which a manager validates the issue. If the request is rejected, the workflow moves to the Awaiting amendment status, where the informant can add more information regarding the issue or cancel the request.

HSE workflow with Request lifecycle

ACM needed to initiate a parallel workflow for its investigation tickets; for this, it leveraged ServiceDesk Plus' custom scripts. When the request life cycle pushes the hazard or incident ticket to the Awaiting investigation status, ACM's custom function trigger automatically creates an investigation ticket associated with the hazard or incident ticket.

The manager who approved the hazard or incident is made responsible for the new investigation ticket, while the informant is only able to view the investigation details.

If any hazard or incident ticket is associated with an open investigation, technicians are barred from closing the ticket. This status synchronization among parallel ticket workflows was again made possible using
ServiceDesk Plus' custom scripts.

Throughout the safety workflow, multiple ACM divisions, such as Legal, Insurance, and HR, need to stay informed. From within the request life cycle, the HSE team was able to configure automated email notifications unique to each user group for every ticket status.

As a result, ACM's HSE team was able to execute the exact workflows it had built in ServiceNow, this time using a combination of custom templates, field and form rules, Request Life Cycle, and custom scripts
in ServiceDesk Plus.

The continuing journey with ManageEngine

The streamlined IT and non-IT operations enabled by ServiceDesk Plus, and the active assistance from ManageEngine's support teams, fast-tracked ACM's decision to invest further in the ManageEngine ecosystem.

ACM has integrated ServiceDesk Plus with Desktop Central, a unified endpoint management solution from ManageEngine. This integration allows ACM's IT technicians to deploy updates, patches, and software to the organization's endpoints directly from the service desk console.

When setting out as an independent entity, ACM lacked the right platform to restart its service management efforts. With mature service processes refined over decades of experience, ACM needed a solution that offered the same functionality it had when using ServiceNow under its parent organization, without incurring the platform's substantial costs.

With ServiceDesk Plus, ACM found the platform to replicate the workflows it had been using with ServiceNow without exhausting its IT budget. Along the way, ACM opened the door to the ManageEngine ecosystem for a connected IT management experience.

About ServiceDesk Plus

ServiceDesk Plus is the full-stack service management platform from ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. Built on industry-recommended ITSM best practices, ServiceDesk Plus comes packed with contextual IT and business integrations that help service desk teams better align with their organization's business objectives. With native enterprise service management capabilities and unrestricted extensibility offered through low-code scripting, ServiceDesk Plus helps organizations design, deliver and support their business and IT services. According to Forrester's TEI study, organizations can experience 352% return on investment with ServiceDesk Plus. More than 100,000 organizations across 185 countries trust ServiceDesk Plus to optimize service management and achieve high end-user satisfaction. To learn more about ServiceDesk Plus and its features, please visit

About ManageEngine

ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. Established and emerging enterprises—including 9 of every 10 Fortune 100 organisations—rely on ManageEngine's real-time IT management tools to ensure optimal performance of their IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, desktops and more. ManageEngine has offices worldwide, including the UAE, the United States, the Netherlands, India, Mexico, Singapore, Japan, China and Australia, as well as 200+ global partners to help organisations tightly align their business and IT. For more information, please visit; follow the company blog and on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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