Skip to content Briefing: ITIL SaaS

Last week James and I talked with Fred Luddy and Robert McNeill from They offer a hosted help desk, CMDB, SLA management of the help desk functions, and an asset/change management stack. What are those things? In this case, they’re pretty sharply aligned with the ITIL ideas:

  • The help desk tracks incidents and problems, along with the work-flow for IT folks to actually do something with those “trouble tickets.”
  • The CMDB tracks all of the things IT pays attention to at an “asset management” level of detail (see below about monitoring): hardware, software, processes, roles, the relationships between all of those and, in the demo, the janitor and their various cleaning agents and duties ;>
  • The asset/change management stack is a collection of self-service and workflow UIs to do requests, e.g., a requests for new hardware (like a new laptop), respond to those requests (including business rules for automating them), and the maintaining a service catalog.

There’s also a knowledge base. What’s missing is “basic” or “low-level” monitoring and management of IT. This is fine: that’s not what the stack is for. Indeed, that’s a chance for partnering, both ways.


In that respect, partnering with other companies and projects is right up’s alley (in my opinion). Indeed, that chance to partner to create a “suite” is what sent me off on the open platform spree yesterday.

Help desks and asset management can sometimes seem like after thoughts in some of the IT management products I look at. It’s no wonder: most people’s bread-and-butter are monitoring and management. In my mind, looks like a tasty service to partner with if you’re looking for a more robust help desk and CMDB-driven functions.

Even systems that have similar offering might benefit from having an “upgrade path” for users who’ve outgrown that platforms functionality and want a more enterprisey help desk and asset management. That is, it might be a good answer to customers who want “more” than what you have to offer but don’t want to leave you.<

More Notes

Here are some notes on the briefing:

  • As you’d expect with a help desk, much of the human-software interaction is oriented around task and workflow management
  • The documentation for is done in a wiki (I wonder what Anne Gentle would think if it). Even more exciting, they have several screencasts for demos and training (though I couldn’t find a page listing all of them).
  • From the sounds of it, there’s a platform nature to Indeed, as I understand it, there are SOAP interfaces for everything. Also:
  • In the category of “Very Interesting”, the business rules section uses JavaScript as the language.
  • walks the line between “stripped down” and “too much,” but occasionally falls onto the “too much” which is usually unavoidable with standardized process. More importantly, what’s “too much” is a matter of perspective. Comparing it to SpiceWorks‘ asset management and ticketing would be interesting.
  • I like the way has “implemented” ITIL. It does a good job of walking that thin line.
  • While runs as a hosted application, if you really need it, they’ll set you up with an instance behind your firewall.

Here’s my raw mind-map notes:


Disclaimer: SpiceWorks is a client.

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Categories: Systems Management.

Comment Feed

6 Responses

  1. I am working on tailoring ServiceNow to meet my company's processes (and in some cases, tweaking our processes to take advantage of some features in ServiceNow.) I like the product quite a lot, I'm looking forward to what we can do with it.

    Matt FinniganJanuary 18, 2007 @ 5:30 pm
  2. Thanks for the comment, Matt. I'd be interested to hear how to tailoring turn sout 😉

  3. We use Service-Now (6 months now) and are very happy with the product and the people behind it.

    SudhakarMarch 3, 2007 @ 9:57 pm
  4. I am being interviewed for a javascripting role customising for a Service-Now customer – what do you see as the challenges and pitfalls for technical people doing this sort of work.

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