This month, 80 people attended RightStar’s MagicPortal live webinar. This is an astounding turnout for a topic that’s been around for some time, namely IT self-service, and doesn’t usually garner much excitement. What’s happening is that IT organizations are realizing how mission-critical a self-service portal, often referred to as a service catalog, is to the entire organization. Properly deployed, a service catalog is the new “face of IT” within the organization, providing actionable service offerings that can be delivered quickly and efficiently to the requester.
RightStar offers service catalog consulting and implementation services through BMC’s Remedy and Service Desk Express (SDE) product offerings. With Remedy’s Service Request Management (SRM) add-on, RightStar recommends first designing a service catalog based on the areas that matter most to the organization and go from there. For example, at US Customs and Immigration Service, RightStar worked with GDIT and Arc Aspicio to implement a service catalog for hardware, software, and cell phone requests across the USCIS organization. SRM allows their customers to log in and create service requests from a predetermined menu. The menu was configured so that individual customers see only what they’re entitled to order. A general IT incident service form was also created for customers to directly report an issue. SRM was highly customized to the environment to reflect the USCIS organization and operational structure. Requests can be approved or rejected directly in the system. IT and project management staff use the system to receive assignments, track progress and complete requests. By improving efficiency and transparency, SRM has greatly enhanced the USCIS IT customer service experience.
For SDE users, RightStar provides the service catalog product in BMC’s Client Services application or, when more customization is required, MagicPortal. At SeaChange, RightStar installed MagicPortal as a service request portal for SeaChange’s external customers, allowing support requests to be made efficiently and without the need to talk to a support technician.
IT’s goal should be to make provisioning a laptop or cellphone as easy as ordering a book from Amazon. It is the service catalog that:
- Defines and communicates standardized offerings, to ensure that every request is not a one-off project.
- Explains pricing options for different offerings and different SLAs.
- Provides an easy-to-use interface to enable self-service for business users or developers.
- Facilitates automated provisioning, tracks the lifecycle of the service and captures data for billing or service costing.
Since most IT organizations are under the budget microscope, a service catalog inherently offers the transparency required to more accurately track and manage the cost of an IT organization. Additionally, a service catalog improves efficiency and customer satisfaction, making self-service mission-critical.