There are numerous ITSM options on the market, the most prominent of which are: Freshservice, ServiceNow, BMC Remedy, SolarWinds Service Desk, and so on. They are all outside of the Salesforce system, necessitate additional user training, and have the potential to complicate the business process. As a result, many Salesforce clients seek native ITSM Salesforce solutions to consolidate all processes on a single platform. This was a project for our group.
The objective was to develop the customer's concept into a fully functional, versatile Salesforce® application that was simple to use and had pre-configured ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) workflows. We were forced to create a single effective solution (managed package) from the ground up for numerous end clients in various locations that covers key ITSM procedures, is adaptable, versatile, and linked with common Salesforce capabilities.
The application consist of 3 main blocks:
1. CMDB. A configuration management database is the heart of the ITSM system. It stores all information about your IT environment. Our developed application consists of Configuration Items (components required to deliver an IT service) that are associated with specific CI Classes. We’ve configured default CI Classes with attributes for an easy and quick start. CI Classes hierarchy is fully scalable and can be updated at any time. All the information about CI Classes, CIs, and related objects is represented in the CMDB Lightning app. Custom Lightning components were used for displaying CI Classes tree with related attributes and CIs with complex filtering logic that had to be designed to work with a large amount of data. It took our Dev/QA team some time to find the optimal solution.
We also developed a graphical component for the visual representation of relationships between Configuration Items (CIs). It helps to understand both: the root cause of identified issues in a system and how planned changes in the CI might affect related items. The component is dynamic and includes filtering options and different view modes.
2. Service Record Automation is the 2nd block in the App. It includes Incident, Problem, Service Request, and Change Request management.
The goal is to resolve issues faster. For this purpose, a component has been created that helps easy to find and associate different types of service records. Service Desk users are more efficient when all relationships are shown in one place, in this case, associated records can be resolved in 1 click after approving and closing the Change Request. It was a complex logic that required building hierarchical relationships between different types of records (from different objects) and allowing users to select primary relationships.
3. The third piece is the Service Catalog Component, which may be utilized for Sites and Lighting Pages and is therefore accessible to customers, partners, and internal users. It has also been optimized for mobile devices. Catalog Items can be filtered and configured for specific user groups. The component enables us to quickly locate and request the products we require.
In reality, the app has additional helpful features besides those mentioned in the previous three blocks, such as the Announcement component, which is used to inform users about significant outages or maintenance windows, the Known Errors component, which makes it simple to identify users who are affected, etc. After receiving user comments, the app is improving.
One of the challenging tasks came from clients that use the Salesforce Work.com package. They asked for the integration of some ITSM procedures with Work.com objects that facilitate issue localization (group Incidents by Location). We need the app to function in both cases without causing a package reliance on Work.com because some clients will have Work.com while others won't. So, the implementation includes the condition that if both packages are installed in an org, then the Administrator has the ability to run the process of creating additional metadata that establishes relationships between 2 packages.
Later we implemented similar logic with another customer product (Self-Service Portal) and the 2 packages could work together to improve user experience.
One of the key aspects of project success is the synergy between the team and the customer. We have managed to effectively set up our workflows and the result of this joint work is our developed application, which is currently used by many clients. The main advantage of the app is adapting out-of-the-box ITIL processes and workflows with Salesforce Service Cloud. So, there is no more need for additional complex integrations for managing service delivery operations since everything can be processed on a single platform.
Our work continues and we have plans to implement many more ideas.