The Space Telescope Science Institute reaches the STARS

A wonder of the modern age
Every year, thousands of scientists and astronomers, educators, and learners around the world witness and participate in the Hubble Space Telescope’s unique research programs. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland has been Hubble’s science operations center for 30 years. Soon it will fulfill the same role for the Nancy Grace Roman Telescope and operate as the flight operations and science operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope as well.

As well as organizing and servicing the many interactions between Hubble’s observation programs and the world’s scientific and education communities, the Institute delivers a busy program of family nights, educational events, colloquiums, and symposiums. To service these requirements, fast, reliable communication and administration is essential. But manual, paper-based processes, email, and disconnected legacy systems meant that basic administrative tasks were time-consuming, costly, and inefficient.

Fast and responsive services
With the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope launching in 2021, the Institute knew that a digital transformation was essential to provide the robust and agile IT infrastructure and functionality required to deliver fast and responsive services on a rapidly expanding scale. After an exhaustive review of options, a working group of scientists, astronomers, engineers, and administrators all agreed that ServiceNow was the game-changer they needed.

With ServiceNow, the Institute is transforming into a modern, automated, customer service-focused organization. Today STARS (Space Telescope Action Request System) is the Institute’s internal engine room, an integrated support platform and comprehensive self-service resource for internal users, and a single source of data, analytics, and trends. For internal users, manual paperwork for tasks such as equipment removal or annual leave requests has been automated. External users can request support if they encounter problems translating data, and search for answers to their questions in the Knowledge Base.

Where IT asset management was once a storeroom full of new or decommissioned equipment, the Institute now has the history, status, and location of every asset fully recorded in ServiceNow IT Asset Management, with dashboards available to divisional and Institute managers.

And working with InSource (ServiceNow Elite Partner) to implement the ServiceNow application was a game-changer for Space Telescope.  They have helped our internal team become more agile, implemented creative solutions to some very complicated business challenges, and become an integral part of our development team.  The InSource team has been extremely easy to work with and very flexible in meeting our needs as a customer.

ServiceNow offers endless possibilities to improve the way you work because it’s so easy to use – and if you’re only using it for IT, you’re missing out on so much more.

          ~ Susan Reed
             Deputy Division Head of IT

Bringing the universe to the people
Susan Reed, the Institute’s Deputy Division Head of IT, says: “I love the technology, but it’s the difference that it makes to people’s lives that really excites me. For example, our archives contain 30 years’ worth of records of the most important astronomical research in human history. These records are being used by brilliant scientists and astronomers to inform today’s projects that are expanding our understanding of the universe even further. ServiceNow is enabling the Space Telescope Science Institute to streamline and automate our processes, freeing staff to continue their important work.”

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