Servicenow Asset Management Case Study

Tracking your IT enterprise across all your work spaces is important for your company’s success and for reduction in wastage of assets like manpower, financials, time and infrastructure. Basically all your business functions need to work in harmony ( reduced noise) and coordination to your business goals.

The ServiceNow asset management portfolio tracks the financial, contractual and inventory details of hardware, software and virtual infrastructure – as well as non-IT assets – throughout their lifecycle. Asset requests are handled using workflows to obtain approvals, validate entitlements, issue chargebacks, provision services and more. Once an asset is deployed, Asset Management records all maintenance activity and enables IT to perform regular audits, right up until asset retirement.

ServiceNow’s Asset Management suite covers many aspects of your enterprise that in turn help in your business effectiveness and delivery.

Entitlement-based Software Asset Management- As software costs continue to rise and the risk of getting audited increases, Software Asset Management (SAM) helps organizations track software used in the enterprise. SAM collects data from discovery tools and other sources to capture an accurate inventory of the software the organization is actually consuming as well as what has been purchased. ServiceNow Asset Management breaks the vicious cycle of blindingly purchasing more software every year by exposing unauthorized users of software that lack the entitlements approved by IT. License managers can make decisions around how to allocate expensive suite licenses and upgrade and downgrade rights in order to further optimize software investments.

Business Policy-Driven Configuration Management and Asset Integration- ServiceNow Asset Management is the only asset solution that lets the business decide which assets to integrate into the configuration management database in a seamless manner. By having both ServiceNow Asset Management and ServiceNow Configuration Management on the same platform, the traditional challenges around data integration, normalization and data reconciliation are eliminated. As new assets get added to the system, the business rule engine takes action and creates CI records when necessary.

Easy Catalog Planning With Vendor Data- Asset managers can now support their end-users directly by placing asset offerings straight into the service catalog. Asset management offers an easy way to take in data from vendors and define which asset standards should be offered in the organization. Asset managers can do this directly from the asset system, without the need to build complex web pages or ask another group to do so. As catalog items are published, asset managers can also decide which group of users should be allowed to order the asset. And internal and recurring pricing is supported to account for different chargeback models.

Asset Provisioning– When new requests come in for assets, fulfillment personnel can quickly review available inventory from stockrooms. This means that an organization can provide quicker service for commonly requested goods. It also allows the organization to repurpose assets that have been returned. For requested items that are not in stock, ServiceNow makes it easy to create a purchase order with a single click. Ordered assets are tracked and eventually arrive on the loading docks, where they are received and automatically created in ServiceNow. In this very important step, asset records are created cleanly from the beginning with complete data related to the asset model, user request, order, cost and much more. The benefit is that the received assets go into production much faster since it is clear who requested the asset, where it is needed and for what purpose.

Automated Inventory Management– Asset Management manages stockroom assets including hardware, software, consumables and any other type of asset. IT can define a hierarchy of stockrooms, both physical and logical. For each model of asset to be maintained in stock, simple threshold levels are defined that manage inventory and take action when levels run low. The automated rules will either pull stock from a parent stockroom or process instructions to buy more from a vendor. The advantage of managing inventory with ServiceNow Asset Management is that adequate stock can be kept on hand for commonly requested assets. The organization can more quickly provision employees with the assets they need to stay productive, without over-spending on excessive inventory.

Total Cost of Ownership Expense Tracking– Asset Management serves as a repository of all costs associated with assets throughout their lifecycle. This can include the initial acquisition cost, lease charges, warranty fees, support and maintenance contract payments, labor charges and more. By capturing all costs, asset managers can determine the actual lifecycle costs for the assets. With this type of data, organizations can identify areas of excessive cost and find ways to optimize spending.

Contract Management- Asset Management includes a full contract management system to organize all contract data. This includes the ability to define any number of contract types and create contracts against them. IT managers can assign contracts to team members and leverage the workflow engine in ServiceNow to automate the approval and renewal process. Asset management helps IT track the key terms and conditions of contracts to make them easily searchable, and includes document management for version control and storage of electronic documents. Contract payment information is also tracked, including the ability to generate expense lines on a schedule. Both assets and users can be associated with contracts making it absolutely clear how the contract is utilized and how to allocate costs. Finally, contract management includes many reports, dashboards and notifications so that the organization is fully aware of pending expirations, costs distributions and other important contract information.

Benefits Of ServiceNow Asset Management to Enterprise IT- Inaccurate inventory, wasted resources, compliance issues and service delays are all risks faced by enterprise organizations every day. And they have serious consequences if not addressed. To mitigate risk, organizations should understand the assets they have: where they are, who uses them, how they are used, how they are configured, what they cost, and the value that they deliver. With ServiceNow Asset Management, IT can:

Depend on One Source of Truth

  • Make informed strategic decisions about capacity, asset refresh, vendors and more using complete and accurate asset portfolio data consolidated in a single system of record
  • Access both business and configuration information on assets by linking the asset repository with the ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
  • View a single pane dashboard that shows the organization’s software portfolio, including what is owned and what software is being consumed
  • Monitor Key Performance Indicator (KPI) trends with ServiceNow Performance Analytics

Reduce Costs

    • Lower software spend by identifying which users need more expensive licenses versus those that need licenses for only more basic software versions
    • Manage wasted resources by identifying and removing underutilized assets
    • Automate asset lifecycle processes in order to eliminate repetitive human tasks
    • Lower maintenance contract costs by consolidating vendors and asset models and retiring contracts that no longer provide value to the business
    • Influence demand by displaying asset prices in the ServiceNow Service Catalog and issuing chargebacks using ServiceNow IT Cost Management

Enhance Governance

    • Control asset distribution by centralizing requests through a role-based service catalog
    • Enforce policies, contractual agreements and regulatory requirements when requests are submitted, using workflow to validate eligibility and obtain approvals before fulfillment
    • Confirm all requirements are met by periodically testing controls with ServiceNow IT Governance Risk and Compliance
    • Track which software is entitled to which machines or end-users so that unauthorized software can be flagged for removal

Mitigate Risks

    • Reduce audit preparation effort and accurately track software license compliance and usage
    • Notify contract owners when renewal and expiration dates approach to prevent lapses in coverage
    • Strengthen change management risk calculations by including business information about assets, such as age or lease expiration data.

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Alcor is a preferred ServiceNow partner who believe that a consultative and process based approach to your IT concerns is key to effective enterprise management. Call Us at +1-(818)-835-3454 or write to us at Information@alcortech.com

SITUATION & BUSINESS NEEDS

A telecommunications company providing wireless voice, messaging, and data services had systems for incident and change management, but wanted to improve their awareness in the infrastructure they managed and the health of the business services supported. The company’s services were structured across separate IT and engineering organizations, with no overlap between management and little sharing of information across the teams in the division. Numerous custom tools were built, with as many as six separate platforms being used disparately to better understand the underlying infrastructure and services the IT organization supports.

The broad use of tools hindered visibility into a holistic view of IT infrastructure assets, leading to a massively limited view of the infrastructure and the components of it. Creating accurate reports of upstream and downstream dependencies was extremely difficult and no single source of record provided a clear indication of the risks associated with changes across their environments. In addition, it was not possible to reliably identify the potential impact of any given incident to a business service.

To begin addressing these concerns, management decided upon ServiceNow to consolidate infrastructure and services related configuration information into a single configuration management database (CMDB). Management was eager to adopt best practices and learn the ServiceNow platform to begin achieving the results they were looking for, but they had little knowledge of ServiceNow and how to achieve the change they needed.

The company needed expertise to help it discover and map their infrastructure assets and business services. The goal was to collect the necessary information and store these assets as configuration items (CI’s) in a single repository that can be used across the organization. They found this expertise in AIM Consulting’s IT Service Management practice.

SOLUTION

In just six months, AIM Consulting drove the implementation and provided best practices in delivering a consolidated CMDB on the ServiceNow platform. This has begun elevating configuration management capabilities and bringing greater awareness and visibility into the underlying technology stack in support of the organizations business services.

AIM Consulting began by having discussions around data needs and the capabilities inherent to the platform. Using this context, the team worked together to bring legacy data into a new CMDB, with the intention of making it the most accurate and useful data source at the company. Gradually, workers have transitioned from using their legacy, more familiar sources in favor of ServiceNow as they realized the usefulness of having a single, authoritative source for answers.

As part of the data migration initiative, AIM Consulting configured discovery to locate and track the company’s hardware and software asset CI’s. ServiceNow’s Discovery service provided agentless discovery of these items connected to the organization’s network, updating the CMDB with configuration, provisioning and status updates. Today, all of the company’s CI’s and related information are managed by a few team members on one team using a single system to source the enterprise need for configuration related data.

After the implementation of the CMDB, AIM Consulting worked closely with the organization to automate additional organizational processes and create more efficiency using ServiceNow’s Orchestration tool. The decommissioning steps as part of the server management lifecycle were very manual and took a lot of cycles to complete. AIM Consulting was able to incorporate its expertise in reducing that cycle time by 75%.

Next, AIM Consulting is helping the organization get a better picture of the business services. Using ServiceNow’s ServiceWatch tool, services will be discovered and a complete mapping of the service generated. This will show upstream and downstream dependencies that CI’s have with one another and give an accurate visual representation of the service. In addition, a dashboard will be generated showing the impact that a given incident may have on a business service, based on its level of impact as determined by the interdependencies of the architecture. This all represents a major change management improvement for the operations and applications teams and also reduces the risk of change in production environments.

RESULTS

AIM Consulting’s expertise and configuration of ServiceNow has enabled dramatic efficiency gains at the telecommunications company that will yield benefits far into the future. Consolidating data and IT processes has also served to unite the company’s IT and engineering divisions in ways not possible beforehand. Resource savings for the company from this effort are potentially in the millions of dollars.

Employees have eagerly moved to the platform and now view it as a key ITSM platform and data source at the company. Development of the CMDB has seen huge success, yielding an estimated 90% discovery rate with highly accurate data that can be relied upon.

The use of ServiceNow has provided the company with a single source or record for all the hardware and software CI’s, lifting the organization to a greater level of maturity in how it manages its IT and business service assets. The company can now monitor its CI’s much more closely. Automation allows management to easily take advantage of efficiencies and software licensing compliance questions are now much more easily addressed. The enhancements should make software vendors more accountable as well.

ServiceNow will soon be configured to map out business services. AIM is leading this effort and will continue to deliver support for the company’s ServiceNow initiatives into the future.

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