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Aviation Leader in North America Starts Its Journey to Improved Customer Satisfaction with Marval MSM

Since 2002, Air Canada Jazz, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Canada, is truly Canada's airline; they operate more flights and fly to more Canadian destinations than any other carrier. They are the only airline serving all 10 Canadian provinces and 2 territories. They operate approximately 800 flights weekdays to 84 destinations throughout Canada and the US. Jazz's team of dedicated Jazz professionals is focused on providing safe, on-time, and customer-friendly flight experience.

Start of the ITIL Journey

The adoption of ITlL aligned well with the corporate continual improvement focus. Jazz had adopted Six Sigma in 2002, and in 2007 began incorporating the concept of "lean management," focused on waste reduction.

Prior to making any changes in their processes, Jazz employees (end users) were surveyed to get their views on how IT support services were delivered. That survey showed only 9% of the end users were very satisfied and 36% indicated that they were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. It was clear there was room for improvement.

From the survey results, Jazz overall satisfaction was at 65%; however, customers that reported receiving same day service had satisfaction levels of 77%. Also from the survey, they learned that 93% of end users expect a same day response but only 72% felt that they get same day service.

The big three suggestions end users gave as part of the survey was to work on improving:

  • Response Time
  • Communication
  • Follow Up

The Jazz team also spent time job shadowing and discussing options with service technicians to better understand the end user experience. As a result, they realised that along with the focus on improved follow-up and increased communication with users, they could garner some quick wins by focusing on the immediate challenges:

  • Ensure all IT groups are logging their requests in a tool.
  • Documentation and knowledge management were needed.
  • Revised incident classifications.
  • Changed service model from Dispatch Desk to Help Desk.

Next steps

In December 2007, Jazz engaged a consultant to assess their ITlL process maturity. The outcome of the assessment showed that Jazz processes lacked maturity, as summarised below.

It was found that the IT functional organization needed to be better aligned to ITIL. Change Management had been initiated but lacked structure, and the Service Desk could be better positioned for improvement. Also, service targets had been established but negotiated Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Operational Level Agreements (OLAs), and Underpinning Contracts (UCs) were not present. Release Management was found to be poorly understood, and Problem Management was rolled into lncident Management. The decision to actively work towards ITlL alignment was included in the 2008 strategic plan.

In 2007, Jazz began taking the initial steps toward implementing ITlL process improvements with the goal of improving end user satisfaction levels:

  • ITlL Foundation Training for initial team.
  • lncident Management project.
  • Helpdesk transition from Dispatch to Service Desk model.
  • IS Process Manager responsible for added focus on ITSM.
  • ITlL key focus in 2008 Planning and Strategy.
  • Active involvement in itSMF.

In 2008, ITlL was on the roadmap at Jazz. Change Management was initiated along with a full CAB (Change Advisory Board). Both Incident and Change Management underwent regular reviews, creating an iterative approach to improvement. In addition, Business Analysts were tasked with defining the requirements for Service Level Management (SLM). To undertake and improve on these developments, Jazz decided it was time to go to market looking for a new ITlL tool.

Jazz Air and Marval

After issuing an RFP, Marval's MSM solution was found to be the most compatible not only with Jazz's current requirements; but it also allowed Jazz to expand the number of ITlL processes it wanted to adopt. Jazz chose Marval after an extensive review of the products available in the marketplace. All IS employees were invited to attend vendor demonstrations, and a team of representatives tested and rated the top three tools for ITlL process alignment, ease of implementation, and general usability.

In 2010, Jazz implemented MSM and went live with Change Management, Request Fulfilment, Incident Management, Service Portfolio Management, and SLM. After the 2010 changeover, Jazz re-surveyed the end users and the results had changed significantly. Customer satisfaction was up 19%; now 83% of employees were satisfied with the service they received, and the number of very satisfied users doubled.

In 2011, Jazz went live with the Marval web self-service portal and began using the Forward Schedule of Changes feature within MSM. Significant improvements were also gleaned from enhanced reporting, which brought the team an improved focus on operational metrics.

ITIL on the radar

The ITlL training program that began in 2009 had the goal of gradually training all IS employees, and it neared completion as the entire department was trained to at least a Foundation level. There was also a core team of individuals who received training beyond Foundation. By the end of the year, Problem Management was up and running and in place for take off in 2012.

In 2012, Jazz enhanced their request process with a new automated request form, including a shopping cart for hardware and software purchases, and implemented ITlL Problem Management. The team is currently working on Knowledge Management, and is starting to pilot a project for Service Asset and Configuration Management. In 2011, Jazz had started working on the concept of I20 (idea to operate) that standardized the transition processes to give life to ideas; refining these processes was a key initiative of 2012.

Beyond increasing IS and end user satisfaction, Jazz has also benefited by:

  • Increased stability.
  • Improved availability of key flight systems.
  • Improved station connectivity.
  • Better relationships with customers.
  • More consistent, customer-focused IS department.
  • Transferable skill and a standardized vocabulary.

Along the journey, there were many challenges to overcome, mostly culture related:

  • Working groups with their own ways of doing things.
  • Logging every contact with the Service Desk.
  • Previous tool was "for the Helpdesk".
  • New procedures must become "business-as-usual" routines.
  • Forcing theoretical concepts into practice.
  • Scheduling / Timekeeping for improved resource management.
  • Formal process = more restrictive.
  •  Constantly changing priorities - need to be flexible.

Jazz’s achievements were also recognised by being a finalist in "Project of the Year" category at the 2012 Pink Elephant conference, one of the world’s largest ITSM shows, held in Las Vegas, USA.

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