ITSM consulting experiences - part 2 - Stuck in the middle of ITSM systems
It's amazing how complex things can become when you're working at a service desk that is operating between 2 other service desks from other companies. Such is the case when you provide an on-site service to another company as part of a managed service provider.
The basic workflow goes something like this...
- Someone at Company 1 (the business) has an incident and contacts their helpdesk who log a new incident.
- Company 1 helpdesk examines the issues and determines that it relates to equipment that is managed by Company 2 (the Managed Service Provider), so they log an incident with them.
- Company 2 sends a tech on-site and they determine that it's an infrastructure issue, that needs to be referred to Company 3 (the Telecommunications company)
- ...and the ticket-party begins..
Tickets getting logged, emails being sent, updates being processed, tech going everywhere = ITSM chaos!
Still, business goes on and things get fixed.
This week I was working at an organization where there was a need to stitch together 3 separate and different ITSM tools
- CA Unicentre (used by the Business)
- PRD HelpMaster (Used by the client I was working with)
- BMC Remedy (Used by the Telecommunications company)
So I was working in the middle layer of these other 2.
This assignment gave me another good insight into managing loosely-coupled tickets across 3 companies and systems, and gave me some good perspective into how service management operations work at the enterprise-level of some of Australia's largest organizations. What struck me was the level of additional management that is required and/or generated in such transactions. I could see that people felt the need to CC many of their colleagues in email (for better or for worse). This of course was then reflected in the incident tickets which detracted from the readability and clarity of the ticket. I also noticed a lot of information that was not captured in any of the ITSM systems (from what I could tell), which I believe really exposes an area of concern and potential improvement.
If only there was a open protocol for sharing and communicating between ITSM systems, a standard between systems......hmmmn....
I know it's been tried before....and failed.
Still, I had HelpMaster at my disposal, and a bit of creative SQL....
Using HelpMaster's Email Management capabilities, along with some reporting, workflow and potentially some API integrations, we refined the process, automated what we could and improved the communication and notification between each of the parties.
Stay tuned for an update on this one... it's going to get a lot bigger