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Review: ServiceNow for Integrations

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This independent review is part of our Integrations 2013 Group Test.

Executive Summary

Elevator Pitch With a solid base of ITSM processes and an extensive range of partnerships – ServiceNow covers all the bases as to drive organisations towards a single source of truth
Strengths
  •  They recognise that pre-deployment is a project and provide a comprehensive workbook to focus on the data to bring across
  • Very extensive range of integration points through an ever growing partner base
Weaknesses
  • A reliance on information imparted through their admittedly extensive wiki – although it has been tidied up and the Books function is a lot more comprehensive, it does create a “hands-off” impression when it comes to actually helping people find out more information.
Primary Market Focus Based on the information provided, ServiceNow are typically active in the Mid-Large market.They are classified for this review as:Specialised Service Management Suite – Offering ITIL processes and proprietary discovery tooling and Data Integration Points

Commercial Summary

Vendor ServiceNow
Product ServiceNow IT Service Automation Suite
Version reviewed Calgary
Date of version release Calgary release was: May 2013
Year founded 2004
Customers 1778 customers at the end of June 2013. (Importantly these are enterprise or upper mid-market level customers with a minimum of 35 process user subscriptions.)
Pricing Structure Pricing is user based. There are additional costs for certain enhanced capabilities such as discovery, orchestration and the ServiceNow Service Application Platform.
Competitive Differentiators
  1. ServiceNow offers not just an extensive range of ITSM capabilities but also some non-ITSM and complementary areas (Project & Portfolio Management, IT Governance Risk Compliance).
  2. They are able to call upon a wide range of customers as reference customers, and they have a wide partner base for implementations and integrations
  3. They have scored highly in the Gartner ITSSM MQ (20th August 2013) for the previous Berlin Release.

Independent Review

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ServiceNow take the approach of supplying a large base of integration points to keep up with an ever-growing partner-base, but what impressed was their pre-deployment approach as a project in its own right. They take a comprehensive approach and cover all bases, recognising that many tools make up part of an overall solution.

Integration and specific recognised criteria

ServiceNow integrates with a wide range of third party applications and data sources. As you would expect the most common integrations are with CMDB, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, User Administration, and Single Sign-on.

They adhere to a number of best practice techniques and standards including Web Services, JDBC, LDAP, CSV, RSS Feeds and email and use industry standard technologies (SOAP, REST and WSDL).

Security Controls

  • A ServiceNow implementation connects from a single machine using a fixed IP address and through a specific port on your firewall. This allows firewalls to limit all traffic to a particular IP address and communications port.
  • Many integrations communicate over the HTTPS protocol. This ensures that all communications are encrypted, providing a reasonable guarantee that one is communicating with precisely the web site that one intended to communicate with (as opposed to an imposter), as well as ensuring that the content between the user and site cannot be read or forged by any third party.
  • Mutual Authentication (Single sign-on (SSO)) and other login techniques provide user verification and role assignment.
  • Access Control Lists (ACLs) provide protection of assets that do not need to be exposed in integration processing.
  • The High Security Plugin provides additional security controls.

Pre-Deployment Integration

ServiceNow recognise that deployment in itself is a project and have a plan to collect and load specific information – and provide a workbook for the information to be collected.

Core Data – Users, groups, categories, priorities, locations and other organisational data – a data collection workbook allows organisations to gather the information, and ensure it is clean before bringing it across.

CMDB/Asset Data – this can also be imported in through the spreadsheet or via integration with third party discovery or inventory tools (see section below)

Knowledge – data from existing systems may be imported if it is useful and current

Ticket Information – generally not “live” tickets but sometimes it is necessary to import historical records across – again mostly for knowledge, audit or compliance purposes.

AD/LDAP – Access through LDAP and advice of setting it up is available on their wiki.

Asset and Configuration Information

The spreadsheet can be used, and integration points include:

  • Microsoft SCCM
  • Altiris
  • LANDesk

CMDB Integration exists with BMC, HP and IBM CMDBs.

Support Services Integration

  • Remote Control

ServiceNow partner with Bomgar, who incorporate a specific button either within the End-User view to get support, or for the Service Desk to initiate a session that is recorded and all details are captured within the record.

  • Support Chats/Social Media

The Bomgar integration also includes a chat function which can be recorded into a record, even if a remote control session is not initiated.

Resource Management Integration

ServiceNow provide a visual timeline and project function within the tool, which handles tasks, documentation attachments and lends itself to Change Management and projects around large transitions.

It can use Outlook and any actions are managed as part of the ServiceNow Task Engine.

Additional Areas of Integration

  • Monitoring/Event Management

This area is one of the most common integration requirements and ServiceNow have a large range of integration points for areas including:

  • Incident Ticketing Integration
  • Event Management Integration
  • Integration with other Service Management Tools (e.g. Remedy, HP Openview, Microsoft SCOM, CA, NetCool

This is just a small selection of the integration points, with links to any number of their integrations within their Wiki.

ServiceNow Customers

From the ServiceNow Brochure

  • Create a single system of record that replaces redundant systems and eliminates the dependency on regional installations of client server software – Enable globalisation through standardisation.
  • Give employees an online storefront experience when interacting with IT. Benefit from a structured support process to drive higher levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction
  • Replace manual and time-consuming tasks with automation. Capture expertise in a repeatable and consistent automation workflow.

In Their Own Words:

“ServiceNow is the enterprise IT cloud company.  We transform IT by automating and managing IT service relationships across the global enterprise.  Organizations deploy our service to create a single system of record for IT and automate manual tasks, standardize processes and consolidate legacy systems.  Using our extensible platform, our customers create custom applications and evolve the IT service model to service domains inside and outside the enterprise.  ServiceNow transforms IT from the department of no to the department of now.”

Screenshots

Further Information

This independent review is part of our Integrations 2013 Group Test.




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