-by Matthieu Laurenceau, Technical Marketing, ESM R&D
It's the Workflow Engine, initially used by all Remedy Products (ITSM or CSS for example), and now leveraged by more and more Products in various BSM disciplines.
Fundamental Issues fixed
Let's think about the value for a customer.
For each BSM Product you implement (CMDB, SLM, Change, Service Desk, Asset Management, Self-Service, etc.), you have to think about lot's of details (that's what I can read in each RFP).
The first part is quite technical:
- What Operating System is supported? Can it run on virtual machines?
- What are the databases supported? (pls confirm that I only need one database, and I can use my preferred vendor)
- Which vendor/version of Web/JSP Server should I use?
- Is my current browser version supported? (pls confirm that no Java applet will be used)
- Can it work in multi-lingual? does it support Unicode? How can I add another locale that is important for my business?
- How to achieve High Availability? Is it transparent to load-balancing?
- How to achieve scalability across the WAN?
- Can it work in a fully distributed fashion, allowing a real follow-the-sun approach?
Even more important, you need to understand how it will integrate with the rest of the IT:
- Can I use External Authentication? How to integrate with Kerberos and LDAP/AD?
- How can I implement Single Sign On?
- Can screens be displayed in my Enterprise Portal, using JSR-168?
- What APIs are provided? C++, Java, web-services?
- Does it allow both real-time reporting and multi-dimensional reporting?
- How to integrate with my current CMDB, or my Business Repositories?
- How can I maintain People and Group information?
- Do I have to maintain specific User Preferences (like user_locale or permission - including multi-tenancy) for this technology?
Since these questions are just technical questions, the answer should be the same for all products: CMDB, Service Desk, Asset Management, Change, SLM, etc.
That's what AR System delivers, a unified platform to support these applications. It solves these issues once for all.
Here are some pragmatic take-aways that the Business will love:
- Applications share a unified database (and OS, and Web/JSP Server), enabeling low Maintenance & Operation costs (no need to maintain several databases and sync them)
- Applications share the same User Interface, making users far more efficient without costly training (no disruption when using several products)
- Cross-workflow make sure that the processes are integrated between all these Products, allowing cross-team efficiency
Let's finish with the most impressive area, some rule-based Engines are shared between Products, for example
- Approval Engine
- Assignment Engine
Indeed, the process to Approve looks the same between a Change, a Purchase request, or Self-Service Move Request (for example).
Depending on the context, the Manager may be involved, or the Business Process Owner, or the LOB-Manager.
So the Engine is that same, and is used by each Product in their respective context.
The same applies for Assignments: whatever the context (new Service Catalog entry, Infrastructure Change, Incident, Problem, Purchase Request, etc.), we'll have to find groups (or individuals) based on a couple of criteria: time-of-day, location, technical context, operational context, etc.
Why is this important ? Since Engines are shared,
- They are maintained (by you, and us also) once (no duplicate work)
- They are far more robust than an individual feature of a given product
- There is no learning curve for your teams to get familiar with another similar feature of another product, they are ready (and trained) on day 1
Again, this means big money for the business.
Where to go from here?
AR System doesn't require technical knowledge for the platforms it leverages (Operating System, Web/SJP Server, database Server), it solves (once for all) fundamental technical issues (including integrations) for customers.
It allows Businesses to centralize and standardize processes, generating huge savings and efficiency improvements.
You can read more on AR System on David's great blog.
The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.