Get the full picture with SquaredUp’s ServiceNow Tile (Part 1)

By Ashley ThompsonSquaredUp, Lead Solutions Engineer

ServiceNow is one of the most widely deployed ITSM tools within enterprise IT environments, and for good reason – they provide a highly customisable platform that allows organisations build the tools they need to their exact requirements. But you’ve got more than ServiceNow to manage and monitor – there’s SCOM, Splunk, and Solarwinds monitoring your infrastructure, also your APM and CI/CD tools too. I think we can all agree that the amount of portal jumping just to get a few key pieces of information really sucks, especially when the information is needed to troubleshoot and fix issues.

With SquaredUp, you can not only surface your ServiceNow ITSM data alongside data from your other techstacks to achieve that elusive single-pane-of-glass, you can even put the right data in front of the right users, at the right time. How?

The difference SquaredUp makes

Without SquaredUp

Let’s start by taking a look at an example. Your service desk supports an application that’s monitored in SCOM, and populated in ServiceNow as a business service alongside the CMDB. The application is monitored by two teams – an infrastructure and an application team.

Your application is having performance problems and users are reporting it to your service desk. Your service desk is relaying the information to the infrastructure and application teams, working as a go between. Each team has their own tool to monitor the components of the application, and each their own portal, but nothing stands out. Your service desk is none the wiser also, having only access to the ticket information send by users.

Too many clicks to count; Three tools; Three portals; A lot of back and forth between teams; No clear answer.

With SquaredUp

Let’s try this with everything integrated with SquaredUp:

Your service desk receives a flurry of incidents from users that relate to a business service you have mapped in ServiceNow. They want to start troubleshooting the issue, so they jump into SquaredUp and start looking at the application, where they can also view the CMDB data for the related CI’s. From one view, they have access to all the data from SCOM (Performance, Alerts, Health) and tickets from ServiceNow. They can see a change was implemented earlier in the day and since then the application has been alerting and performance has taken a hit – easily correlating this information with time the change was implemented. They can even jump over to the APM view to see information from this tool, again the timings match for when the change was implemented.

Three clicks; Three tools; One easily identifiable cause from one portal: SquaredUp.

How does it work?

So, SquaredUp allows you to view relevant ITSM data from ServiceNow, like Open Incidents, Change Requests, Business Service Owner and lots more, seamlessly alongside all of your SCOM data for any server or application, including hyperlinking directly back to the relevant item in ServiceNow. “But how?” You ask.

The core of this integration is SquaredUp’s Web API tile, slightly modified with some pre-populated queries, that allow you to easily request information from ServiceNow without having to build your own API request.

There are three ways to display the data – Donut, Scalar, and Grid. Each has their use cases, with Donut and Scalar being great ways to summarise information, and Grid giving us the ability to list out our data with a drilldown to the individual item in ServiceNow. Drilling into the segment on the Donut will also take us to the ServiceNow list of items within that segment of the donut.

ServiceNow data can be surfaced in either a dashboard or a perspective:

1. Dashboard - either displaying high level insights into ticketing data or scoped down to a more refined view using a scope from SCOM.

With Dashboards we typically see customers using for high impact donut tiles to showcase ticketing for a broad audience, though it can be used for application dashboards also. As an example, the above dashboard is on a wall screen in the office, used to help the Service Desk understand what is happening currently in the org.

2. On a perspective, where we already have an idea of scope, due to perspectives being displayed only when drilling down to an object

Perspectives tend to be scoped down to refine the number of objects being queried, allowing a team to easily see just the items that relate to them, though these can also be pinned to the navigation bar to appear as a dashboard (a little confusing, some more about the power of perspectives here).

As an example, this perspective shows open incidents and changes against our Sales Application, and can be viewed by the team who owns this app.

Summary

So from what we've seen so far, integrating ServiceNow with SquaredUp gets you these main benefits: 

  • troubleshooting becomes much easier
  • easily correlate unstable performance, alerts, and health, back to open incidents and changes, alongside CMDB data
  • one place to view all the data

Dashboards are easy to create, easy to refine/scope, easy to understand: Beautiful to look at.

If you like what you see, stay tuned for the second part of this blog where we take a deeper dive into the capabilities of the feature and go over some top tips and tricks.