Monday, March 20, 2017

More API Options

APIThis post is for the people who build and maintain integrations with the ITRP service. Several options have been added to the REST API that may be very useful for certain integrations. All of these options use the credentials of the ITRP user to provide data that could be of specific interest to this user.

For example, an option has been added that allows the user to retrieve all organizations for which he/she is either the manager or the substitute manager.

Below you will find the complete list of new options:
  • Requests
List all requests which requested by person or requested for person is the user:
GET /requests/requested_by_or_for_me

List all requests which requested for person belonged to the same organization as the user at the time the request was created:
GET /requests/requests_of_my_organization

List all requests that are assigned to one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /requests/assigned_to_my_team

List all requests that are assigned to the user:
GET /requests/assigned_to_me

List all requests which requested by person is the user and which status is ‘Waiting for Customer’:
GET /requests/waiting_for_me

List all requests that were completed less than 6 months ago and which are linked to a service instance of a service for which the user is the problem manager:
GET /requests/problem_management_review

  • Knowledge Articles
List all knowledge articles that are linked to a service for which the the user is the knowledge manager:
GET /knowledge_articles/managed_by_me

  • Problems
List all problems which manager is the user:
GET /problems/managed_by_me

List all problems that are assigned to one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /problems/assigned_to_my_team

List all problems that are assigned to the user:
GET /problems/assigned_to_me

  • Releases
List all releases which manager is the user:
GET /releases/managed_by_me

  • Changes
List all changes which manager is the user:
GET /changes/managed_by_me

  • Tasks
List all tasks that are part of a change which manager is the user:
GET /tasks/managed_by_me

List all tasks that are assigned to one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /tasks/assigned_to_my_team

List all tasks that are assigned to the user:
GET /tasks/assigned_to_me

List all approval tasks that are assigned to the user and which status in different from ‘Registered’:
GET /tasks/approval_by_me

  • Projects
List all projects which manager is the user:
GET /projects/managed_by_me

  • Project Tasks
List all project tasks which manager is the user:
GET /project_tasks/managed_by_me

List all project tasks that are assigned to the user:
GET /project_tasks/assigned_to_me

List all project tasks that are assigned to the user and which status is ‘Assigned’, ‘Accepted’, ‘In Progress’ or ‘Waiting for…’:
GET /project_tasks/open_to_me

  • Products
List all products which support team is one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /products/supported_by_my_teams

  • Configuration Items
List all configuration items which support team is one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /cis/supported_by_my_teams

  • Organizations
List all organizations which manager or substitute is the user:
GET /organizations/managed_by_me

Thursday, March 16, 2017

QR Codes for Knowledge Articles

QR Code for Short URL in ITRPYou were already able to use ITRP to generate short URLs and corresponding QR codes for configuration items and request templates. Now you can do this for knowledge articles as well.

Short URL for ITRP Knowledge Article QR Code
QR Code for ITRP Knowledge ArticleThis allows organizations to stick a QR code sticker on everything that their staff may have questions about. When the QR code is scanned, the instructions of the knowledge article open for the employee in ITRP Mobile.

Active CIs per Product

ProductTwo nice features have been added to the Configuration Management functionality. The first is an additional column in the product views that shows the number of active CIs. The active CIs are the configuration items that have a status that is different from ‘Archived’, ‘To Be Removed’, ‘Lost or Stolen’ or ‘Removed’.

Active configuration items per product
The second feature that was added is the summary in the 'Configuration Items' section of the Product form.

CI summary of a product
Both features are intended to assist configuration managers when they need to know how many CIs of a certain product are supported by the organization, how many more have been ordered, how many have already been removed, etc.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Portfolio Management - Waterline Overview

Waterline OverviewThe Bubble Chart Analysis was recently introduced. Now it's time for another important tool for the Portfolio Management process. It is the Waterline Overview. You can find it in the 'Portfolio Management' section of the Analytics console.

This overview includes all projects which 'Budget Allocated' box is not checked. If a proposed project looks attractive, a portfolio manager can drag it above the waterline. Each time a project gets moved above or below the waterline, the totals that are displayed in the waterline are updated.

This makes it easier for organizations to decide which projects can be funded without exceeding the total capacity (in terms of internal effort), or the total budget, that is available for project implementations.



The ability to filter the Waterline Overview by program can help a program manager avoid a budget overrun for his or her program.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Portfolio Management - Bubble Chart Analysis

Bubble ChartTo help organizations decide which projects to fund, a bubble chart has been made available. It can be found in the new 'Portfolio Management' section of the Analytics console. This bubble chart shows all proposed projects for which a budget has not yet been allocated.

The higher the expected value of a project, the farther it moves to the right. And the higher the anticipated risk, the higher up the project is presented in the bubble chart. The size of a bubble represents its estimated return on investment (ROI).



The color of a bubble represents the program that the project is associated with. Clicking on the name of a program below the chart removes all projects that belong to this program.

Once funding has been approved for a project, it can be excluded from further portfolio analysis. This can be done by clicking on the 'Mark as Budget Allocated' option, or by checking the 'Budget allocated' checkbox that is available in the project's 'Assessment' section.

Budget allocated checkbox in Assessment section of ITRP project

Monday, March 6, 2017

Limit Access of Key Contacts

AccountThe Key Contact role can now be limited to specific support domain accounts. This makes it possible, for example, to give someone the Key Contact role for the Facilities Management and IT domains, but not for HR.

Define key contacts per support domain
The result is then that this person can see all requests from his/her colleagues, with the exception of their HR requests, which could potentially contain privacy-sensitive information.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Project Task Assignment

TeamIn many cases, a project manager will start to plan a new project by adding tasks to it. You can see how easy it is to add tasks to a project in the Project Registration video.

After some tasks have been added to a project, the project manager can switch from the Gantt Chart to the Assignees view. There, a card is presented for each member of the project team.

Project team members in Assignee view
A card is displayed for:
  • the project manager,
  • the assignees of the project's tasks,
  • the owner of the service that is linked to the project,
  • the requester of any requests that are linked to the project,
  • the manager of any problems that are linked to the project, and
  • the manager of any changes that are linked to the project.

If you need to add a person to the project team, you can click on the last card, which says: "Add Person..."



As you can see in the above video, a person can be assigned to a project task simply by dragging his/her card onto the task. To remove a person from a task, click on the little Remove button in front of his/her name.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ITRP in Danish

DanishOrganizations with operations in Denmark are now able to benefit from the premium service management features that ITRP offers without having to waste any time on translations.

When Danish end users and support specialists set their language preference to “Dansk”, their ITRP user interface presents itself in Danish. Switching to “Dansk” also ensures that they receive their automatically generated email notifications in Danish.

Requests header in Korean
We have our partner Syscom to thank for this translation. They will also maintain this translation going forward.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Webhook Payloads Improvement

WebhooksWhen a webhook is triggered, the payload that it sends out now includes one extra parameter. The name of this new parameter is payload[audit_line_id]. It contains the ID of the audit entry that ITRP generated for the creation or update of the ITRP record that triggered the event.

This ID can be used to look up the fields which value was set or updated. In case of an update, the audit entry can be used to look up the field’s previous value. This makes it easier to add automation that should execute only when, for example, a request was reopened (i.e. when the status was updated from 'Completed' to a different value).

As a further improvement, the payload of webhooks now always include the following parameters whenever the team and/or member fields have a value in the record that triggered the webhook event:
  • payload[team][account][name]
  • payload[team][account][id]
  • payload[member][account][name]
  • payload[member][account][id]

This will make is easier to determine whether, for example, a request has been assigned to a team of an ITRP account that has been integrated with an external service provider’s ITSM tool.

For details about the payload parameters of webhooks can be found in the ITRP Developer documentation.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Send Inline Images to ITRP by Email

ImageWhen you send an email to ITRP to open a new request, or when you reply to an email notification that your received from ITRP, the text in the body of your email gets added as a new note. When you included images within the body of your email, ITRP used to attach these images below this new note. Not any more...

Inline image received via email
From now on, ITRP uses the HTML of each mail message to figure out where the images need to be positioned within the new note. Seeing these images in the notes should make it a little more efficient for support specialists to go through the information that end users provide via email.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Inspect Inbound Email

Service DeskThe 'Inbound Email' section has been added to the Settings console. If you are an account administrator, you can use this section to review the email that people send to your organization's ITRP account.

Inbound Email section of the ITRP Settings console
When you select an inbound email, you can see the note that it generated as well as a link to the record to which this note was added.

Successfully processed inbound email
The 'Download Original' link is available so that you can review the exact email as it was received by ITRP. When you believe that there is an issue with the way ITRP's Mail API processed the email, you can provide this original to the ITRP support experts for analysis.

When an email could not be processed successfully, you will see a big red dot in front of the inbound email.

Inbound Email with an error
You can find out what went wrong by opening the inbound email. The failure reason should give you an indication of what went wrong.

Failed inbound email
Having the ability to review all mail the came in should also be helpful when you are troubleshooting an email integration that your organization is adding, for example, to pass events from a system monitoring tool to ITRP.

The Auditor role also provides access to the 'Inbound Email' section of the Settings console.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Useful New Feature for Service Desk Analysts

Service DeskA minor, but helpful, usability feature has been added to the Service Desk console. After selecting a user in the left pane of the Service Desk console, the service desk analyst sees the user's services and configuration items in the right pane. One of these services or configuration items can be selected to start the registration of a new request.

Open Records from Service Desk Console
But if the service desk analyst is not entirely sure whether one of these options is the correct one, it would be nice if the record could be reviewed before selecting it.

This is now possible. By doing a Ctrl+click on the service or configuration item, its record will open in a separate browser tab. This allows the service desk analyst to review its details before selecting it in the Service Desk console.

The same feature also allows a request template to be reviewed before it is selected.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Two More Change Calendar Enhancements

Change CalendarITRP's Change Calendar has been improved again. These enhancements were introduced specifically for organizations that implement hundreds of changes each week. When they open their Change Calendar without any filtering, the sheer number of planned implementations can be a little overwhelming. So, we made sure that the Change Calendar automatically tries to limit this to the most relevant information.

Open the ITRP Change Calendar from task.pngNow, when you open a change and subsequently use the Actions menu to open the Change Calendar, the filter of the Change Calendar is automatically set to the service that is related to the change. This reduces the number of tasks that are displayed in the change calendar, making it easier to spot possible conflicts for the change.

The same filter is applied when you open the Change Calendar from a task. But in addition to setting the filter to the service that is related to the task's change, the task also gets highlighted with a blue background. This makes it easier to find the task in the Change Calendar.

ITRP Change Calendar with highlighted task
Keep in mind, however, that the task will only be visible in the Change Calendar when it is related to a service instance.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

New Email Template Variables

The following two variables have been made available for use in the email templates that ITRP uses to generate notifications concerning requests:
  • request_supplier_name
  • request_supplier_requestID

It can be helpful to include these variables in the email templates that are used to generate notifications for managed service providers. They may even make it possible for managed service providers to use the structured information in the emails they receive from ITRP as a basis for simple integrations.

For a complete list of the available variables, visit ITRP's Online Help for email templates.

Monday, February 6, 2017

ITRP in Korean (한국어)

KoreanBecause more and more end users and support specialists in South Korea are using ITRP, the service has been translated into Korean. That means that they can all switch their language preference to Korean (한국어). When they do that, all headers, field labels, field options, etc. will be presented in Korean.

Requests header in Korean
This should allow users in South Korea to get comfortable in ITRP a little more quickly.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Introducing Project Management

PersonSupport for the project management process has been added to the ITRP service. Account administrators can activate this functionality by going to the Settings console and registering at least one project category and one project risk level.

A project category could, for example, be defined as follows:

ITRP Project Category
A project risk level looks something like this:

ITRP Project Risk Level
After the project categories and risk levels have been defined, it is time to give someone the Project Manager role.

Assigning the ITRP Project Manager Role
People who have the Project Manager role are able to register and maintain projects. They can do this by going to the Records console and selecting the option 'Projects'. There, they can press the big + button in the toolbar to add a new project. The registration of a new project is captured in the following video. It shows how the Gantt chart is used to add phases, tasks and milestones.



A project template was used in this video to add part of the workflow for the new project. As a project progresses more templates can be applied to add the necessary phases and tasks to ensure that the project adheres to the preferred methodology (such as PRINCE2) of the organization.

Monday, January 23, 2017

ITRP Institute Appoints Laurens Pit as CTO

PersonAs the ITRP Institute continues to grow, so does its organizational structure. Today it is my great pleasure to announce that Laurens Pit has taken on the role of the ITRP Institute's Chief Technology Officer.

Laurens PitLaurens Pit has over 20 years of experience leading the development of enterprise-class service management and analytics applications. He started in 1993 with the development of the product that in 1999 became HP OpenView Service Desk. At Hewlett-Packard, he continued his career as the lead software architect for this product. Later, at Mirror42 and ServiceNow, he concentrated more on the analytics of service management data.

With his uncanny ability to spot technological trends well before they become mainstream, as well as his background in artificial intelligence, Laurens will ensure that the ITRP service continues to make use of the latest technologies for the benefit of the world's largest enterprises.

We are all very excited that Laurens has chosen to take on this role and we are confident that ITRP's customers will benefit greatly from his expertise in the years to come.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ITRP in Polish

PolishBecause there are more and more ITRP users in Poland, we decided to make the full ITRP interface available in Polish. End users were already able to use ITRP Self Service and ITRP Mobile in Polish, but now Polish support specialist can also set their language preference to 'polski'.

Requests header in Korean

Monday, January 16, 2017

100%

Percentage2016 was another wonderful year for ITRP. A total of 50 releases got transferred to production. These releases included many useful new features, the most popular of which was probably the ability to copy/paste images in notes. The two major additions to the service were advanced Time Tracking and Knowledge Management.

None of these releases caused a service outage, which underscores the quality of the change management process that is in place for ITRP. As always, the availability of the service was measured independently by Pingdom, which determined that the uptime of the service was 100% in 2016. To be fair, though, on December 15 a few users were affected by a DNS issue at one of the three data centers from which the ITRP service is hosted. Fortunately, it took less than 20 minutes for these users to be redirected to the other two data centers.

We also realized close to 100% year-over-year revenue growth. That makes ITRP the fastest-growing enterprise service management solution.

Several more unique capabilities are about to be added to benefit large enterprises and the external service providers that they work with. These new capabilities will ensure that the coming 12 months are going to be very exciting again for ITRP.

We are grateful for the trust that our enterprise customers have placed in us and are looking forward to another year of mutual success.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Switching Off Release Management

SearchThis is a somewhat unusual blog post. Rather than announcing a new feature, this post explains how it is now possible to switch off some existing functionality. Since most organizations have not implemented Release Management, we have made it possible in ITRP to hide this functionality. In fact, it is now hidden by default.

To switch it on, an account administrator only needs give someone the Release Manager role of the account. As long as no one has the Release Manager role, the 'Releases' option of the Records console will not become visible.

Releases option of the ITRP Records console
In addition, change managers will not see the Release field that is part of the Change form.

Release field of the ITRP Change form
As more functionality continues to be added, we felt that this was a small but helpful step to keep ITRP's interface clean and easy to use.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Time Spent Summaries for Specialists

SearchA support specialist may be asked how much time she spent on a specific project during a specific month, week or day. Now she is able to answer that question by going to the Analytics console. There, she can open the 'Timesheets' section. Even though this section was already available for managers and their substitutes, it is new for specialists.

Releases option of the ITRP Records console
After opening the 'Timesheets' sections, a month can be selected to review the specialist's timesheet for that month. The timesheet summary is provided below the calendar view. It presents the specialist's time spent by allocation, service or customer. The scope of the summary can be reduced by selecting a week or a day in the calendar.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Double-Click To Add Time Entry

SearchA small usability feature has been added for people who register all their time in ITRP. A double-click on a date in the calendar overview of a user's timesheet now opens a new time entry.

Timesheet calendar view
This feature was implemented because it turned out that users intuitively want to click on the date for which they need to add a time entry. A single mouse click on a date still causes all time entries for that date to be displayed below the calendar. A double-click on a date has become the same as a click on the big + icon in the upper right corner.

Adding a time entry should feel just a little more natural once people become aware of this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Give Your Teams an Email Address

SearchIn some organizations people have gotten used to sending email directly to specific teams when they need help with something. There can be good reasons why a team may prefer to allow the users who depend on their services to continue using email, rather than requiring them to submit their requests using ITRP Self Service.

It is now easy to set this up. ITRP administrators can simply specify an email address for each team that wants to give its users the ability to send email directly to them.

Inbound email address for a team
When an email is sent to a team's inbound email address, a new request gets generated and assigned to the team. The sender is automatically linked to the request as the requester, the email's subject is used as the subject for the request, and the body of the email is added to the request as a note. Once the new request has been generated, ITRP sends an email notification to the sender to confirm that his/her request has been received. The sender can subsequently use the hyperlink in this email to keep track of the request's progress.

Organizations that do not want to communicate a new email address to their people can simply forward the existing email address of the team to the team's new ITRP email address. That way, the users will not need to do anything different and the requests will still get generated automatically.

This new feature is an extension of ITRP's Mail API. More information about the Mail API can be found in the ITRP Developer Documentation.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Change Calendar Improvements

Change CalendarA few useful features have been added to the ITRP Change Calendar. These improvements were added to ensure that very large support organizations, which manage hundreds of services, are still able to make effective use of the Change Calendar.

The first enhancement is a scrollbar that allows the user to scroll down when there is not enough room to display all implementation tasks.

ITRP Change Calendar with vertical scrollbar
The second improvement is an additional view option. It is called ‘Changes for My Services’. When this option is selected, the user will see the implementation tasks that are going to affect one or more service instances and are linked to a change that is related to a service for which the user is the owner or the change manager.

Changes for My Services option of the ITRP Change Calendar
The next feature that was added is a Search box above the list of services. Entering part of a service's name filters this list down to the services which name includes the characters in the Search box. Since there are already quite a few ITRP customers that support well over a hundred services, this makes it a lot easier to select or deselect a specific service.

Search box to filter services
The fourth new usability feature allows users to save their view options by simply adding a bookmark in their browser. Using this bookmark will then open the Change Calendar showing the implementation tasks of the changes that the user is interested in. That's because the options that a user selects are now included in the URL.

View options included in the ITRP Change Calendar URL
Keep in mind that when a service is selected, the Change Calendar shows all implementation tasks that will affect a service instance and that are part of a change that is related to the selected service. In addition, the calendar shows any other tasks that could potentially conflict with these tasks.