Service Catalog in a modern organization

Date: 14 April 2020

Service Catalog

The OTRS system acts as an intermediary in the exchange of information between Clients (reporting persons) and agents (servicing persons). Each process associated with it must be logical, transparent and as easy as possible. The key element of handling the notification is its correct qualification, which allows access to advanced statistics, both while the notification is still being processed, as well as after it is closed.


Intalio Service Catalog allows a detailed classification of resources and services offered to customers, while providing a wide range of tools facilitating information processing. The visual and ergonomic aspect is very important here. Our goal is to encourage users to use the Catalog by means of attractive presentation of its elements and an intuitive interface that fits in the most popular UX design trends.

 

Why is it worth having?
The implementation of the Service Catalog into the organization gives managers not only a tool that allows them to look at the business from many new perspectives, but, above all, gives a clear picture of the current state thanks to increased transparency:

  • A clear and customer-oriented list of available services.
  • Increased service efficiency due to comprehensive forms providing all information required.
  • The rules and logic of the processes are clear, which allows them to be improved.

 

Types of services

We mostly distinguish two:


Technical - containing notifications directed to IT departments, including reporting problems (incidents, breakdowns, etc.), help, assistance, installation of hardware or software.

 

Business - including processes related to HR departments (granting or withdrawing entitlements, circulation cards, etc.), commercial (purchasing equipment or applications) or production (handling orders, complaints, document circulation).


How to create it? Assumptions


The final shape of the Catalog made available to users will have a huge impact on each of the interested parties. Therefore, it is necessary to approach its preparation with due diligence, but, above all, with the knowledge that:

  • The content of the service catalog must meet the needs of users. We are talking about both Clients and Agents:
  • A customer can easily submit the application.
  • An agent receiving a customer request has all the data necessary for its service and implementation.

 

  • Users' needs will change as the organization evolves. The service catalog must reflect these changes, so it is important that the offer contained in it is always up to date.

  • The catalog can offer services from any department of the organization. Inviting their representatives to cooperate is not only a good idea, but a necessity for the final product to meet the expectations of customers.
    Customers have their expectations and ideas related to the Service Catalog.
  • The Catalog should be published in stages.

The last three points have the greatest impact on the shape, quality and result of the implementation of the Service Catalog, which is why they are worth a closer look.

 

The project team

Department employees, who on a daily basis are in contact with the full range of rendered services,
should be assigned to work on the content of the Catalog. They can be both Agents and analysts who have support in the form of data on current and historical reports. It is a natural division: components dedicated to particular kinds, types and categories of services.

 

The task of the project subteam is to:

  • Designate an orientor who will ensure that the selected scope of the Catalog is always up to date.
  • Determine the scope of services offered within the department (with optional SLA requirements).
  • Designate customer groups authorized to use the services.
  • Identify processes occurring in selected cases of use (e.g. acceptance of the purchase of equipment / applications, granting / denying permissions, etc.).

 

Processes triggered by a notification generated from the Warranty Service Catalog should be clearly defined. The necessary condition is to prepare a flow visualization for each process separately.

 

This will allow:


  • Finding bottlenecks and a chance for optimization / reorganization.
  • Determination of responsibilities - designation of persons / decision-making roles on whom the efficient processing of customer applications will depend.
  • Automation of some queries: automatic acceptance / rejection of applications at selected stages.

 

Due to their role in business, the analysis together with the description of current processes in the organization are treated and conducted as a separate project, which ends when neither party has reservations about the order of flows and designated responsibilities.

 
Customer expectations and ideas


Choosing and using simple, easy and quick solutions is in a human nature. Especially when the matter concerns the notification of needs and expectations of rapid implementation. At this point, we must realize that the Service Catalog does not necessarily mean an application / form available to the Customer in the browser window or on the phone.

What then? There are many examples of use, but everything depends on the rules existing in the organization:

 

  • Applications are sent to the service system via e-mail.
  • Reports are transmitted by phone to employees of individual departments.
  • Reports are sent to the service system as content generated by a dedicated, simple contact form (available e.g. on the company's intranet or website).
  • Personal visit to the department and conversation with an available Agent.

 

The above examples are the most common cases we encounter, which is why it is important to develop and implement the correct strategy that guarantees the effective use of the Service Catalog. The most desirable solution is to eliminate other contact paths for the benefit of the Service Catalog. This will guarantee the consistency and transparency of the applications processed and, above all, accelerate their processing.


However, such a radical change is not always possible - in most cases the obstacle is the barrier in the form of user habits and resistance to the new tool. Exemplary solutions - with reference to the organization rules described above - may include the following set of procedures:

  • Applications sent by e-mail should be classified by Agents.
  • Agents handling telephone requests or "personal visits" should have a catalog of services at their disposal to create an order on behalf of the client.
  • The existing forms should be replaced with versions based on the
  • Service Catalog, and if this is not possible, the applications created by them should be classified by Agents. 


Implementation

While work on the content of the Catalog should take place simultaneously for all departments, an important point of the implementation project is its pilot launch. It should cover only the selected scope of the catalog (e.g. all services from one department or only one type of services at all) and already at this stage have reporting facilities enabling KPI analysis, e.g.:

  • number of created entries;
  • number of completed requests;
  • meeting SLA deadlines.

 

Needless to say, collecting user feedback on a new solution is a highly desirable action. We do not want to lead to a situation in which the Service Catalog is an art for art’s sake, because the offer contained in it was not customer tailored.


Constant monitoring of indicators and listening intently to user opinions will allow fine tuning of all elements of the Service Catalog:

  • Efficiency and effectiveness of the user interface.
  • The scope of services offered at the required level of detail.

 

The solution thus developed will allow the implementation of selected changes in the content of the Catalog for subsequent departments already waiting in queue for implementation.