NetHope’s Shared Services team collaborated in the Help Desk arena using a Software as a Service software tool called ServiceNow. The tool worked well; its cloud-based model allowed for questions and problems to be addressed from any corner of the world. Users needed only an Internet connection to login. In addition, ServiceNow offered many more features beyond the functionality that was being used for the Help Desk. Barry Sanders, global program director of Shared Services, knew this powerful tool could be used in other ways.
Asset management appeared to be a good fit for future investigation. Asset management is a common practice that allows an organization to keep track of their finances, contracts and inventory in a standardized way. Four NetHope member organizations expressed interest in developing an asset management tool, and ServiceNow already harbored functionality for such a focus. The organizations — Save the Children, World Vision, PATH and the International Rescue Committee — pooled their individual requirements and reviewed them to see how they differed or aligned. Their goal was to come to up with a consensus on how to expand the tool, as well as explore how the tool could satisfy the organizations’ collective needs. They would deploy customizations and configuration down the road, as needed.
It was Save the Children’s Rodrigo Alegria who decided to get the ball moving. He took what he had learned in the planning group, test drove the tool and planned for implementation.
At its bare bones, ServiceNow offers the creation of basic forms and reports for general use. Rodrigo and his team wanted to add additional fields that fell in line with the particulars discussed in the subcommittee. The next change was the process of taking a scenario and moving it into production, plus the additional task of training test users.
It was in the implementation phase that ServiceNow for asset management really came to life. Rodrigo and his team saw how useful the reports generated by the tool could be in decision-making and day-to-day operation.
The tool’s most valuable element is its ability to track three different areas: hardware management, software management and contract management. Overall, it is a single tool to manage assets, but its ability to also integrate with configuration management databases, incidents and problem and change management makes it a true all-in-one solution.
The success of this tool traces back to the initial collaboration between the four NetHope member organizations. Although not all four organizations started using the tool in a production environment, their willingness to collaborate helped shape its functionality. It is the shared information — of what works or what needs improvement — that makes the collaborations within NetHope invaluable.
Because of Rodrigo’s leadership in the development and trial of ServiceNow as an asset management tool, other members of NetHope are using this shared capability.