5 ITRP add-ons you can’t miss

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Driven by practicability

The automator is one very important component of our add-on portfolio. Many, many things can be done with the automator. Adding additional capabilities to ITRP, automation of advanced workflows, integration of a wide range of applications are just some features of the automator.

However, we always use the most practical technology to develop add-ons. For our Active Directory integrations for example we use PowerShell. For our, in the meanwhile, quite unique ITRP_Reporting solution we developed extensive PowerShell and SQL scripts so that you can use the “normalized” database instantly for your PowerBI and Excel reports.

Over the years we refined our add-ons and customers appreciate especially the quality and reliability of our solutions.

The must have ITRP add-ons offer a set of unique solutions.

  • Active Directory integration – not just a bunch of PowerShell Scripts but carefully integrated features to reduce administration and maintenance to a minimum
  • Automator – not just a development server that stays in a datacenter with the hope for reliability
  • Webshop – Requesting items can’t get easier for End-Users
  • ITRP_Reporting – use the “normalized” database in PowerBI and update data several times a day
  • ITRP Test 2 Production (ITRP_T2P) – In development, but released soon. This is what you need if you are tired reconfiguring the same workflows that you already configured in the Sandbox environment.

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Interested? Register for a free “bundle demo”. BTW the registration is of course a service the automator provides. Data gets stored in ITRP…

k.konwalin@techwork.at

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Structured surveys in ITRP

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Some ITRP customers start engaging with Business Intelligence and need to get structured feedback from users to cover the customer’s perspective.

Input

The service forms provide a simple way to collect structured data. The automator sends out a mail with a survey link on completion of every 10th request. The questions are defined in ITRP.

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Transformation

The answered questions are saved in the ITRP request’s custom data. This means that the feedback a requester sends is not anonymous (A blog post about anonymous  feedback by using SurveyMonkey will follow).

Output

The techwork ITRP_reporting solution automatically provides normalized ready to use SQL fields and tables. You can instantly use the data in PowerBI, Excel or other Reporting and Business Intelligence solutions.

k.konwalin@techwork.at

 

 

 

automator at a glance

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Purpose

The automator is a cloud based service with the purpose of simplifying and accelerating the development and deployment of automations. In terms of time customers report that the creation of automations is 50 to 70 % faster compared to a traditional approach.

Automations increase the efficiency and effectiveness of workflows because they get rid of manual interventions whenever no human decision making is required. Examples are automatic data lookups in other applications, the transfer of data from one application to another, automated updates and automated record creation.

Overview of interconnected systems by the automator

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Visit techwork automator for more information.

k.konwalin@techwork.at

 

Service Forms

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Purpose

Service forms enable humans to add information to be processed by their automations. Not knowing what I am talking about?

Example

Let’s take our favourite ITSM tool – ITRP. Assume you want to get information (register a request) from an unknown customer. This makes sense for organizations/teams operating in the Business-to-Consumer space. Via the automator it is possible to create a record of the customer and register what he/she needs.

Ok. We need to provide the possibility to enter that information. Service forms enable the automator to provide forms and process the inputs.

automator-wizard

 

The screenshot shows the minimal information required to register a person in ITRP.

Tired of reading?

I created quickly a wizard where you can register automation ideas as a working example. The purpose is twofold:

  • You can experience Service forms and the automator right now and completely risk free
  • We get more ideas what we can/could automate

So, just try it

k.konwalin@techwork.at

automator goes mobile

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Business case

Even automator package configurators are sometimes on vacation. Now, they can modify a package on their mobile phone or tablet.

The animation below shows how the automator looks like on a cell phone. You can switch between packages and modify values.

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Graphical components

The graphical components of the automator make configuration on mobile devices possible. Writing code would be a bit impractical.

k.konwalin@techwork.at

automator integrates JIRA and adds value for development teams

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Business case

Software development teams often use JIRA to make their Software development activities efficient and effective. End Users on the other hand log requests in Self Service of their Service management tool. This is the correct place because the ITSM application is the tool where requests are being evaluated. After an end-user request for a software change has been logged different stakeholders usually evaluate from different perspectives wether the requested change is being developed or not.

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The automator simply synchronises what you need between ITRP and JIRA

The automator package that handles the bidirectional synchronisation between ITRP and JIRA, allows to transfer exactly what is needed and useful. For instance the first note in ITRP ends as the Description in JIRA. Other note entries in ITRP end up as comments in JIRA. In ITRP there is a direct link to the JIRA ticket. The JIRA ticket provides a link to the ITRP request (or change). This adds value for the development team because the development team had probably no access to the end user request in the past.

Choices can be made like wether an update of the title in  JIRA updates the corresponding record(s) in ITRP or not, and so on…

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Reducing manual tasks

The automator again reduces tasks that have been performed manually in the past. The integration between ITRP and JIRA reduces a couple of coordination and duplication activities.

k.konwalin@techwork.at

 

 

 

Advanced workflows – link changes together

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Business case

Workflows for new employees are often time consuming processes. To make it more efficient many organizations trigger a staff inflow change so that every stakeholder is on the same page. Sub changes are executed to get new hardware. This requires the capability to link changes together. In ITRP the automator adds this capability.

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ITRP specifics

A staff inflow change is created. That specific change fires sub changes whenever necessary.

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The subchanges  run independently and report back to the main change when completed. For instance the “New computer” purchasing request runs its own workflow. When completed it tells the main change that the computer arrived and fires the computer installation task. The computer installation task also reports back to the change. The “Computer installed” checkbox is automatically ticked whenever the task is completed.

That way the “main change request” provides a useful summary what has been done.

A word from an actual customer

This automated workflow has the potential to save up to 30 % of time per “staff inflow request”.

k.konwalin@techwork.at

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automator mail attachments

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Business case:

If you integrate a small service provider via an email interface it is important to send attachments too. Thinking the other way around, attachments from the Service provider have to appear in the ITRP note of the request.

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Email out attachments:

Adding a couple of lines of code to your existing mail out package makes it possible to send inline images and non-inline attachments.

// attach all inline images
$mailAttachments = [];
//Exec Engine v1: foreach($note in $request.notes) {
for($note of $request.notes) {
for($noteAtt of $note.attachments) {
        if ($noteAtt.inline) {
            $mailAttachments.push({
                filename: $noteAtt.name,
                path: $noteAtt.uri,
                cid: "link-inline" // looks better on apple mail
                //cid: uuid()      // instantly loaded on outlook
            });
        }
    }
}

//and non-inline attachment of last note
$lastNote = $request.notes.last();
for($noteAtt of $lastNote.attachments) {
    if ($noteAtt.inline == false) {
        $mailAttachments.push({
            filename: $noteAtt.name,
            path: $noteAtt.uri
        });
    }
}
$mailData.attachments = $mailAttachments;

Email in – add attachments to the note:

Adding attachments from an incoming email to the note is even simpler. In that case you just need to add one line to the update statement.

update("requests",$request.id,{
    note:$mail.body,
    attachments:$mail.attachments
  });

 

Note:

These couple of lines of code help significantly to reduce coordination problems because of missing information.

Yours, k.konwalin@techwork.at

Staff outflow: Provide necessary information at a glance

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Prerequisites if you like to try it:

  • You already have an ITPR demo account. If not, you can easily request one with demo data.
  • You already signed up for a techwork automator demo account. If not, goto the registration blog post.

Business case:

Within a staff outflow workflow one of the tasks is often that the person who leaves has to return Configuration Items like the notebook and the phone. This saves a couple of clicks and provides instantly what needs to be done.

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In my example task 21504 is the version without the automator package. The subject of Task 21505 is different. It states the name of the person who needs to return the items. Furthermore the task reflects the CIs assigned to the person.

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Configuration time:

10 minutes – with 1 iteration.

The automator package:

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Conclusion:

These simple packages do not take long to implement but provide significant value for the IT Staff.

k.konwalin@techwork.at