By Shirley Bittlingmeier. At the UC Office of the President, the IT function is always on the lookout to partner with other campuses and leverage their services. This has proven to be both cost-effective and a great way to develop great cross-location relationships, and ultimately create even more efficient uses of shared services.
Currently, UCOP uses the services of the Production Control Shared Service Center (PCSSC), located at UC Berkeley, for batch scheduling and managed file transfers. The formation of the PCSSC was a joint collaboration between UC San Francisco, UCOP, and UC Berkeley in 2012 to consolidate duplicate functions into a shared service.
As the formal transition of this service occurred, meetings were held to determine how incidents would be handled. At that time UC Berkeley was using Footprints and UCOP was using ServiceNow, so the plan going forward was to use emails and phone calls for raising requests and reporting incidents. As you can imagine, this resulted in a few actions falling through the cracks and did not provide great visibility into the status of the various activities.
When UC Berkeley established its instance of ServiceNow, collaboration between the ServiceNow development teams yielded the creation and implementation of reusable integration code called UCMITI – UC Multi Instance Task Integration. Through the work of Manager and Architect Scott Hall’s team from UC Berkeley and Nithin Reddy, ServiceNow administrator at UCOP, the project moved very quickly to production. “The close collaboration between our two teams, along with a rapid iterative approach to design and development, allowed us to accomplish quite a lot in a short amount of time,” Hall said.
With UCMITI activated within each ServiceNow instance, tasks became integrated. When PCSSC opens a ServiceNow incident in their environment at UC Berkeley, the integration creates and assigns a task to UCOP within UCOP’s ServiceNow instance. At present, task creation and updates are a one-way communication; however, future work is planned to include bi-directional coordination.
The result is that incidents are created, tracked, and managed in the system of record for each organization, giving visibility to the local support organizations for incident resolution. The integration took on greater importance when UCOP moved to UCPath because it provides critical and timely communication and incident resolution to UCPath customers.
So ultimately, our initial collaboration in forming the PCSSC put us on the path to improve that service via more collaborative efforts, and to develop the framework that would enable the service to adapt to future needs!
Shirley Bittlingmeier is client services officer in UCOP Operations at the UC Office of the President. She oversees technical support and telecommunication services, as well as the IT Project Management Office.
This is a wonderful example of shared services and collaboration to integrate them well across campuses. Is UCMITI code that other UC campuses could possibly use to integrate across ServiceNow instances? Is UCMITI ServiceNow specific, or could it be adapted to work with other incident management systems?