IT Services is primarily a service center organization, which means that schools and departments purchase our services. In most cases, they have the option to use either IT Services, another Stanford resource (such as a local support person), or an external vendor. IT Services has a Service Catalog, an easy-to-use site for clients and internal staff. It is designed to be:
- the single and complete source of information for the service.
- organized in a way that enables clients to easily find what they're looking for and order the service.
- a system that manages order processing and order fulfillment via an automated workflow.
In order to be as easy to find as possible, the Service Catalog is located directly on the IT Services home page, and is managed using Drupal and MySQL. Parts of the eventual solution, but not the whole, have been implemented. Many of the tools — and some of the documentation — that clients need in order to obtain and effectively use services are distributed across a variety of systems, with few automated links between them. Most of the service information is in Drupal, along with instructions and links for ordering and service documentation where appropriate. Rate and billing information is in Pinnacle, a telecommunications management and billing system. Ordering takes place primarily at orderit.stanford.edu, the web front-end to Pinnacle, but many services are ordered elsewhere (e.g., software.stanford.edu) or via HelpSU tickets. Clients cannot determine the status of an order in progress Pinnacle itself is a difficult system to maintain, and the web front-end is not easily changeable or configurable.
The effort to complete the Service Catalog, creating a solution that spans searching to order fulfillment, is currently underway. IT Services' research found that there are two current types of catalog/ordering systems currently available: SaaS (Software as a Service) and local implementation. Investigation of both models showed that the SaaS options would be more expensive and also appeared to be slightly less adaptable to Stanford's environment.
IT Services is currently engaged in a project (the Atlas project) that will replace Pinnacle with a combination of customized Oracle modules (beginning with the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)) and homegrown software. Included in this work is the replacement of the orderit.stanford.edu Pinnacle front end for clients. The PMG system purchased last year is the intended ordering portal. In the short term, the iRequest, iDeliver, and iCollaborate modules from PMG will be implemented; together, these modules comprise the ordering and workflow front end. Eventually, we intend to integrate iRequest with the Service Catalog site in Drupal in an automated way, so that service-related information can be updated in Drupal and not have to be re-entered manually.
- Implement PMG suite of products for SHC pager ordering.
- Continue to implement ordering functionality in PMG as appropriate, going live with the majority of services with the Atlas project go-live.
- Continue to automate fulfillment process using PMG or other workflow.
- Create and link a Drupal template for the Service Descriptions that are part of our Service Agreements with clients. This will be linked from the Service Catalog and from the online Service Agreements.
Measures of success
- Reduction in time from order through fulfillment.
- Less need for clients to call the Service Desk for assistance in ordering.
- Reduction in overall costs to support searching and ordering.
- No need for an in-person training class for ordering.
- System is secure.
- Improvement in client satisfaction with the ordering process.
- Ability for clients to log on and determine status of orders.