The Service Catalog is an engine that allows you to automate your requests, tasks, approvals and business processes. Utilizing the catalog effectively can save your team time spent tracking down details and requesting information in an easy to enter form. The catalog can be used for a wide range of services from typical IT use cases like hardware procurement to onboarding processes for HR.
Despite being extremely powerful, it is incredibly easy to get started and quickly see benefits. When creating a service catalog item there are three areas to set -- Catalog Details, Variables and Process. In this example, we'll take a look at a simplified onboarding catalog request.
The first area to consider when creating your service catalog item is the details. This is the section in which you set the name, category, description, and include any relevant images or costs for the request (usually for product requests).
The variables created becomes the form that an end-user will fill out in order to start the request. The form you create can contain many different data types from text to dates to attachments. Collecting the correct information up front allows your team to work on tickets rather than wait for information. The variables can be marked 'required'. This will force the requester to provide all required information when requesting.
Here are the Variable Types you can choose from:
- Free Text - Free area to add text
- Drop down menu - Menu of options, choose one option
- Multi-picklist: Ability to select all options that apply
- Check box - Menu of options, can choose multiple options
- Date - Add date
- Attachment - Choose this to attach a document
- User - Drop down list of your Samanage Users
The process section allows you to build out a workflow, delegate tasks and automate approvals. This section works by arranging your business process into an organized set of tasks. Each task will generate an email alerting an individual or group of users that their assistance is needed to complete a request. The request will begin with the first task and progresses sequentially until all tasks are completed. Tasks inside of a specific group can run sequentially or concurrently.
Approvals are tasks that allow you to request approvals and build your process out based on that approval. In this example, if the request is approved, then the request proceeds to the group.
Concurrent tasks are tasks that run at the same time.
By default, all tasks are sequential unless you mark them concurrent. You can only make them concurrent if they're in a group.
This simple example begins with an approval. Groups of tasks can be run sequentially, or concurrently. Once all tasks in the group are completed, the process continues to the next task. It may be useful to assign tasks to members outside of IT such as requesting documents from HR or assigning Facilities a job to complete.
Condition Sets can be included in your workflows to run a task or approval only if certain options are selected in the request. Using custom variables to capture information from your requester, you can then only run a task or approval if the conditions are met - If This Then That. In this example, If Salesforce is chosen as a required application for the new hire, only then is a task created for setup of a new Salesforce account. If salesforce isn’t chosen, no task is needed.
Applications Integration will allow you to add an integration with 3rd party applications through automation. For more information on this, check out this tutorial.
When all tasks have been completed then the request will automatically resolve itself. If the manager approval is rejected then the whole ticket could be aborted. Incoming service catalog requests are managed alongside incidents under the main queue in your service desk. They are differentiated in the queue by a booklet, see example below. A separate queue for service requests can also be created by adding a filter for "Originated from Service Catalog".
For more information on Service Catalog, check out this pre-recorded Webinar: