ECOSTRATUS FACT SHEET: MOVING FROM POTENTIAL VALUE TO REALIZED VALUE

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PLANNING 101 – SERVICENOW SERVICE CATALOG

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ecostratus_logo_notaglineEcoStratus  Technologies is a cloud services consulting firm started in 2010 with more than 20 years collective experience as a trusted advisor and valued partner. Located in Oakland, CA “The Town” we are just minutes from San Francisco and a short drive to the “Tech-Hub” of Silicon Valley. ServiceNow is at the heart of what we do, but our clients come to us to architect, frame, innovate, and cultivate their customer and employee experiences.

At EcoStratus  we are focused on helping clients understand their IT service management capabilities by taking the time to listen and then ask the right questions so we can guide them through the increasing layers of complexity in order to deliver transformational solutions. We start with business outcomes, then apply our technology-based (T)ranscribe, (E)volve, (A)ctualize (M)ethodology (TEAM) to ensure our projects are meticulously scoped, thoughtfully executed, and deliver results across the business.
From the beginning our cloud advisors embed themselves within your business for a series of strategic activities that drive organizational alignment, prioritization, solution design, and success criteria.

 

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OVERVIEW OF ECOSTRATUS SERVICENOW AND ITSM CAPABILITIES

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CONTACT ME

Planning, Building, and Testing Your NEW ServiceNow CMS: Part 1

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EcoStratus – CMS Series Part 1 of 5


content-management-systems-101-how-to-pick-a-cms

This is part 1 of a 5 part series focused on the end-to-end processes needed to successfully complete a ServiceNow CMS Project.

Part 1: Pre-Planning & Planning, Designed to equip you with tools to get started with your Planning efforts.

Part 2: Let’s Build!

Part 3: Testing Time

Part 4: Launch It!

Part 5: Support & Training for Ongoing Maintenance

Overview

The ServiceNow Content Management System (CMS) is a powerful application which enables you to create a customized user interface for your instance and extend the look and feel of the (OOB) ServiceNow Employee Self-Service (ESS) Portal.

ServiceNow CMS Design
ServiceNow CMS Design

The ServiceNow CMS application is fully customizable and allows you to meet your corporate branding strategy (colors, fonts, styles) for a truly unique look and feel while delivering an enjoyable user experience. That said, asking the right questions upfront will help you set the stage for a shorter and more enjoyable experience through your project life cycle.

PART 1: PRE-PLANNING / PLANNING

Does this sound familiar? Client” This what we want…” “and we need done by XYZ”. All before they’ve gathered or performed any analysis with user feedback, customer requirements, or scope and level of effort for undergoing a project, let alone one with the magnitude of a custom CMS project.

So PLEASE, before jumping in and building your awesome new ServiceNow CMS site make sure you have a sound understanding of what needs to be built and why your building it the first place. Yes, I understand that you’ve been told it needs to be done by x-Date and needs to include XYZ functionality. But doing so will likely co$t you in the end.

Save yourself and your organization a lot of time and money spent on wasted resources, activities, and lost faith from user community by doing some upfront due diligence. Get to the bottom of it, the core problem or issues your solving by understanding “Why, What, Where” first, before jumping into the “How”, this will be worked out once”Why, What, Where” have been addressed.

In short, don’t overlook the importance of the User Experience (UX/UI) or the people who will be using your new and awesome looking CMS site. Otherwise you’ll be left scratching your head and asking yourself “Why aren’t people using the new CMS/ESS site we just built?” Instead of hearing the sound of happy users for bringing them a great looking and useable CMS they’ve been asking for.

To get you started i’ve listed a few of the questions below, however stop here. Do your Homework. Research and Reach out to users, form small testing groups, understand and fix process gaps, and make sure everyone agrees on a strategy.

  1. Process (Standards & Support Mechanisms)
  2. Overall Architecture (Scope)
  3. What Key Functionality is needed? (Start with Must Have’s and then add Nice to Have’s)
    1. Are there any special features needed?
    2. What browsers are supported?
    3. Should end users see the regular interface?
    4. What devices will be supported?
  4. Look and feel: Are the layouts, colors and style guides already defined and inline with organizational standards. (Corporate Style Guide).
  5. Develop your CMS site on a sub-production instance where you can safely test, find bugs, and fix them.

Example of the ServiceNow Service Management Portal

800px-Sm_cms_example_portal_servicenow_2016

 

I Highly recommend reading these great resources:

The goal of this series is the end-to-end development of a CMS from a development perspective and each organization will have their own set of unique scope of requirements. I will not be expanding on the Planning phase. Especially since the Pre-Planning/Planning “starter kit” is aimed at getting you started on the right path with the above understanding in mind.

However, if you have questions or comments please let me know and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner. Be sure to check back every Tuesday & Friday for updated posts and/or follow me to receive the latest email updates and information.

Please – If you enjoyed this post please “LIKE” and/or “SHARE” below and make sure to Following EcoStratus Technologies   to stay up to date on everything ServiceNow.


ABOUT JAMES

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.25.08 PMJames is the founder of Ecostratus Technologies and Principal ServiceNow Consultant.

James has more than 20 years experience within complex enterprise IT environments, 50+ successful ServiceNow implementations across various industries and has trained more than 400+ ServiceNow System Admin. James is passionate about technology, happy customers, and building lasting customer relationships.

SERVICENOW, ITIL, AND PMI CERTIFICATIONS:
* ServiceNow Knowledge 14 & 15 Trainer
* Certified ServiceNow System Admin, Implementation Specialist, and System Admin Trainer
* Certified ITILv3 Foundations, RCA, and OSA
* Certified PMI CAPM

How to contact me: ——– Send me a LinkedIn message or use Contact sheet below.

 

ServiceNow Admin 101: Observations on Database Views, Part I

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Posted by Steve Bell (Cloud Sherpas) in Developer Community on May 1, 2016 2:13:38 PM

NOTE: ON APRIL 1, 2016 ACCENTURE COMPLETED THE ACQUISITION PROCESS OF CLOUDSHERPAS.  AT THAT TIME THE CLOUDSHERPAS BLOG SITES WERE DOWNED FOREVER.

 

THIS IS THE RE-PUBLICATION OF STEVE BELL’S ARTICLE FROM July 14, 2014 ON THE CLOUDSHERPAS SERVICENOW SCRIPTING 101 BLOG.

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Database Views are useful for filling an important gap in ServiceNow: joining two or more tables together. In a normal report, you can only select a single table, but Database Views allow you to pull together data from two or more tables into a single “table” to report against.

 

Given the importance of Database Views, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some observations I have either read about, stumbled across or just plain hit-and-miss created from scratch.

 

To start off, check out the introduction to Database Views in the wiki

 

 

Some Techno-babble:

 

  • Constrain / Constraint – to limit the View
  • Where Clause – references the Constraint part of a SQL query. For example:

SELECT * FROM cmdb_ci WHERE install_status = 1

 

The “*” means to retrieve all fields. This example returns all records from the cmdb_ci table where the install_status field has a value of one.

 

  • Join – to bring together two related tables into a single View.
  • Union – to bring together two not necessarily related tables into a single View.
  • Alias or Variable Prefix – a short descriptor that identifies a table and is used to designate that table’s fields in a Where Clause.
  • Null – Empty field. Note that this is not the same as an empty string, which has to be checked for separately.
  • Operators – &&, ||, AND, OR, !=, = – Are used to chain constraints together. Note that && and AND mean the same, as do || and OR.

 

Caveats:

 

For all of the examples, I use the CMDB CI table structure. Of course you can use any database available for your views. Rather than showing how to use specific fields in the view output, I will demonstrate techniques for joining or union-ing multiple tables together.

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CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE

 

HOW TO DRIVE A SUCCESSFUL SERVICENOW IMPLEMENTATION – PART 1

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#LearnNOW & EcoStratus

STEP 1: PRE-PLANNING: 

Get to know the tool you’ve just purchased and the resources available to you and your organization.

  • Research IT! For tips on learning ServiceNOW and/or resources available. Review my post “5 Steps To Learning ServiceNOW, NOW!”
  • Use IT! Most customers who’ve purchased ServiceNow will have at least a PROD and DEV instance available for there organization. If you’d like to stay away from using your DEV instance for playtime; then my recommendations would be to either navigate to the ServiceNow DEMO site or ServiceNow Developer site.
  • Populate IT! Get your stakeholders on-board and in the tool.

STEP 2: PLAN

  1. Make Sure Everyone Understands and Agrees on Strategy. 
  2. Identify, Examine, and Correct Process Gaps (Where You Can)
    1. Before you start a “project” to implement ServiceNow take a few steps back and really examine your supporting cast. You wouldn’t build a house without making sure the foundation was solid. Well the same goes for implementing ServiceNow. Yes, ServiceNow is a powerful platform for your business but its not the genie in the lamp and you don’t get three wishes!
    2. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!
  3. Communication is the KEY!
    1. People need to understand “Why”
      1. Send out a community newsletter or set up regular town hall meetings with users so they understand project items and goals.
    2. Schedule internal workshops
    3. Establish internal user groups
      1. These groups should meet at least twice a week for starters and then twice a month post GO-Live for enhancements and improvements.
    4. Groups should be made up of stakeholders from various business areas and titles.
      1. HR, HR Manager
      2. IT Finance, IT Associate
    5. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!
      1. Train users to be internal SME for “X Group” and empower them train this groups users
  4. Assign A Business Analyst and Project Manager 
    1. This may seem like a no brainer but I cant begin to tell you how many projects I’ve been on where the client decided NOT to have a BA or PM assigned and label themselves as BAPM along with Project Sponsor, while you might be able to get away with this for small projects isolated to just your group of 5 people. This is a bad idea when we are typically talking about supporting and coordination efforts for multiple groups all while you do your day to day duties.
    2. Below are a few more reasons I’d recommend assigning a BA and PM to project team
      1. Conduct, Collect Analysis, Assist with training and testing procedures.
      2. Communicate with Stakeholders
      3. Schedule the work
      4. Manage time
      5. Manage Project Risks
      6. Handle Procurement issues
      7. Closure of Project
    3. Interview stakeholders at all levels not just IT team.
      1. After initial interviews have been completed establish a cadence for regular check ins with these stakeholders to ensure project success beyond GO-LIVE.
      2. Ensure interview representation covers all effected business areas.
      3. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!
  5. Start Small; Small wins NOW pay big dividends later
    1. Immature IT Organizations:
      1. Defined as having multiple asset process libraries, where none are the organizational standard.
      2. Start with Incident and Problem, only adding Change Management once you’ve completed and fully understand processes in place and those where you see opportunity for improvement.
    2. Mature IT Organizations:
      1. Defined as having established and defined process standards that are accepted and followed organizational wide.
      2. Start with Incident, Problem, Change, and Configuration (Business Services)
    3. REMEMBEREvery Step is a Training Opportunity! This is your opportunity to enhance or replace ineffective and/or inefficient processes and provide a superior level of service to your customers.
  6. Leverage Templates: There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can simply improve its performance.
    1. Example - Project Plan
      Example – Project Plan

      Understand and leverage best practices – ITSM, ServiceNow, and/or COBIT

    2. The terms “OOB” or “Baseline” should be removed from your Project language, its simply not a reality. Every project has its own requirements and unique situations which require organizations to customize even a little bit.
      1. You can use these to start
        1. BASE LDAP INFORMATION
        2. SETTING UP A LOCAL MID-SERVERSuit_Man_pointing-right
        3. sys_user_group
        4. Incident Management Requirements Dictionary (ServiceNow)
    3. Every Step is a Training Opportunity! Your Implementation is only as good as the processes its supporting and the people supporting them.


EXCERPT FROM PART 2: HOW TO DRIVE A SUCCESSFUL SERVICENOW IMPLEMENTATION

Step 3: Build

  1. Now that we have our Plan taken care of lets starting BUILD!
    1. For Starters; I’d recommend activating the SDLC/SCRUM Plugins within ServiceNow.
    2. Example – Project Plan “Build
    3. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!

Step 4: Test

  1. Establish regression testing tools and processes
  2. UAT – Plan Documentation
  3. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!

Step 5: Deploy

  1. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!

Step 6: Support

  1. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!

Step 7 : Training 

  1. Send System Administrators to ServiceNow System Administrator Training.
  2. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!

Step 8: Post Implementation Review

  1. Every Step is a Training Opportunity!


ABOUT ME

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.25.08 PMI am an Independent ServiceNow Consultant, SME, Engagement Manager, Developer, System Admin, Trainer & documentation expert, and the Principal Consultant for EcoStratus Technologies. We Specialize in ServiceNow utilization beyond IT and across the enterprise.

I have more than 15 years experience within complex enterprise IT environments, 50+ successful ServiceNow implementations across various industries and have trained more than 400+ ServiceNow System Admin.

I am a focused self-starter who is passionate about technology, happy customers, and driving continued customer success by understanding customer requirements, promoting a full view of products/services within ServiceNow portfolio as a trusted advisor and then follow it up with the right mix of tenacity, ingenuity, and integrity resulting in deeper relationships, extension of ServiceNow throughout customer ecosystem, higher retention rates, and increased customer satisfaction scores.

SERVICENOW, ITIL, AND PMI CERTIFICATIONS:
* ServiceNow Knowledge 14 & 15 Trainer
* Certified ServiceNow System Admin, Implementation Specialist, and System Admin Trainer
* Certified ITILv3 Foundations, RCA, and OSA
* Certified PMI CAPM

How to contact me: ——– Send me a LinkedIn message or use Contact sheet below.

5 STEPS FOR LEARNING SERVICENOW

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Do you remember when you first heard about ServiceNow? Or the first time you were asked to use ServiceNow?

How did you learn to use it?

What resources were available to you? And what were your biggest struggles?

If you’ve been working in ServiceNow for a couple of years then you’ve likely been asked on more than one occasion “Where can I find good information on ServiceNow?” from colleagues, connections, or anyone else you meet or know that is interested in gaining deeper insight and experience either learning or using and developing in ServiceNow.

In this post I share a few of the resources I use myself and sometimes on a daily basis and others that I feel are great resources to have at your fingertips as you dive deeper into ServiceNow and the supporting ecosystem on your way to becoming a ServiceNow Jedi!

STEP 1: Build A Solid Foundation.

Review the ServiceNow Training website. For those that have the mean$ and can enroll in formal ServiceNow Training Classes, I highly recommend these as your first step.

Now, having said that my guess is that the majority of those reading this post are in one of three camps.

  1. Your Organization has limited budget and they are not able to send you to formal training classes
  2. You have taken formal ServiceNow training classes and you are now looking to expand your ServiceNow knowledge.
  3. You are taken formal ServiceNow classes at a later time/date and getting a head start on learning ServiceNow.

Whatever your situation is, I wanted to let you know you’re in luck!

STEP 2: Start With The BASICS:

  1. ServiceNow Home Page
  2. ServiceNow WIKI:
    1. Basically the Bible for ServiceNow. Here you will find all the product documentation you can handle.
  3. ServiceNow Books  (ServiceNow Wiki)
    1. Build books from product documentation and save them as pdf’s for easier reading on your iPad, iPhone, or other mobile device.
  4. ServiceNow Community / SNUGS or ServiceNow User Groups
    1. Signup for a SNUG near you & get involved!
  5. ServiceNow Foundations Courses

STEP 3: Expand Your ServiceNow Knowledge:

  1. ServiceNow Blog
  2. ServiceNow DEMO Instance
    1. SNC has public demo instance for anyone to use. It is refreshed every night, so break it if you want to.
  3. ServiceNow Useful Scripts:
  4. ServiceNow Slideshare
  5. ServiceNow Vimeo
  6. ServiceNow Brighttalk
  7. SNC GURU
    1. Former ServiceNow employee who started CrossFuze (ServiceNow Partner)
  8. ServiceNow Youtube 
  9. ServiceNow Community YouTube Videos
  10. EcoStratus: A Collection of ServiceNow Tutorials & Videos (My ServiceNow YouTube Playlist), Explore the #EcoStratus Technologies BLOG, Contact me for further resources.
  11.  Knowledge Base: New HI Improvements
    1. This landing page points to resources will help you become familiar with HI (ServiceNow Support Page). This is also where you will go to file service requests related to your (insert company) service-now.com instances.
  12. Knowledge Base: Solutions Resources Pages
    1. Solutions resource pages list Knowledge Base articles and additional support resources that cover common topics.
  13.  Product Documentation: Getting Started
    1. Review training, term glossaries, introductory books and an overview of the product in the ServiceNow product documentation.
  14. ServiceNow Developers Site

STEP 4: Connect With Other ServiceNow Professionals.

  1. Join various ServiceNow LinkedIn Groups
  2. As mentioned above – Join the ServiceNow Community & local SNUGS or ServiceNow User Groups
    1. Signup for a SNUG near you & get involved
  3. Lastly – Get to KNOWLEDGE 16!
    1. This is ServiceNow’s biggest event of the year and a chance for you to network with other ServiceNow professionals, take certified training classes, and have fun!

STEP 5: Hold On & Enjoy The Ride!

Welcome to YOUR ServiceNow Community!!

ADDED BONUS CONTENT:

So those are my tips for anyone interested in learning ServiceNow. If you have others you’d like to share please let me know and I will add them to the list.

If you liked this post please Like It, Share it!

 


 

ABOUT ME

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.25.08 PMI am an Independent ServiceNow Consultant, SME, Engagement Manager, Developer, System Admin, Trainer & documentation expert, and the Principal Consultant for EcoStratus Technologies. We Specialize in ServiceNow utilization beyond IT and across the enterprise.

I have more than 15 years experience within complex enterprise IT environments, 50+ successful ServiceNow implementations across various industries and have trained more than 400+ ServiceNow System Admin.

I am a focused self-starter who is passionate about technology, happy customers, and driving continued customer success by understanding customer requirements, promoting a full view of products/services within ServiceNow portfolio as a trusted advisor and then follow it up with the right mix of tenacity, ingenuity, and integrity resulting in deeper relationships, extension of ServiceNow throughout customer ecosystem, higher retention rates, and increased customer satisfaction scores.

SERVICENOW, ITIL, AND PMI CERTIFICATIONS:
* ServiceNow Knowledge 14 & 15 Trainer
* Certified ServiceNow System Admin, Implementation Specialist, and System Admin Trainer
* Certified ITILv3 Foundations, RCA, and OSA
* Certified PMI CAPM

How to contact me: ——– Send me a LinkedIn message or use Contact sheet below.