There’s a new IT service management (ITSM) feature beginning to make waves both in IT and outside of IT – automation and integration. ITSM software that includes the capabilities to integrate and automate tasks beyond the typical ITSM automation is helping organizations supercharge their service delivery.
From automated ticket resolution to fully automated onboarding and offboarding of employees outside of IT – businesses using iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with their ITSM on a single, easy-to-use, codeless platform are not only having success but saving time and resources in the process.
Here's how three organizations are using iPaaS to build out automations and integrations that are saving them time, resources and so much more.
Western University of Health Sciences
When TeamDynamix first released iPaaS, Western University of Health Sciences was one of the first organizations to purchase and use it.
iPaaS is an integration and automation platform that helps organizations bring together data from disparate systems and drive workflows for both simple and complex processes across multiple systems.
“We definitely jumped at the opportunity to get iPaaS,” David Mitchell, Enterprise Application Administrator, said. One of the key objectives for Mitchell and his team has been finding ways to save technicians time and make them more efficient – iPaaS lends itself nicely to that.
“We are looking at what can save our technicians time, what are we already doing that may be more efficient with iPaaS and what systems do we need to integrate with iPaaS,” he said. WesternU started by automating simple tasks with iPaaS, things like automatic VPN access for approved users, keeping assets up to date and reconciling data between Active Directory and Banner.
“A lot of these tasks aren’t tasks that are necessarily hard for anyone to do manually, it’s more that they are repetitive and time-consuming.” And for Mitchell and WesternU, that’s been one of the biggest draws for iPaaS.
“You know, we don’t have a DeLorean to get time back,” Mitchell said referencing the popular time travel trilogy Back to the Future. “But, we do have iPaaS.”
Tracking Out-of-Compliance Assets
One use case, in particular, has been beneficial for WesternU and that’s the workflow they built to address out-of-compliance Mac computers.
Mitchell said they were having an issue with people taking home devices and then never using them again, so they built a workflow to monitor computer assets. What the workflow does is add Macs that haven’t checked in for 365 days to a group in Jamf. That group gets monitored by a webhook in Jamf that then sends data to iPaaS.
When iPaaS receives the data, it pulls the details from Jamf and the details from TDX Assets. A ticket is then created automatically for the appropriate group with information about the Mac (who the owner is, its location, etc.). A post is also created in a special Microsoft Teams channel with all of the same information as the ticket, with links.
Using iPaaS to Reconcile Asset Management Data
Mitchell has also created a workflow using Jamf Pro, the asset management functionality of TeamDynamix ITSM and iPaaS to make sure the assets were up-to-date and match each other in both systems. If they aren’t iPaaS can reconcile the data.
Synchronizing Ellucian Banner and the Active Directory
In addition to tracking and updating assets, WesternU is using iPaaS to keep records in sync between Ellucian Banner and Active Directory.
Banner is the institution’s record keeper for student and employee records, but the data in the Banner student information system (SIS) doesn’t always match the data in Active Directory. To resolve this, Mitchell and his team built a workflow, using the Oracle SQL connector, to connect to their database and retrieve the information on file and make sure it matches the data in Active Directory. If it doesn’t match, it updates the data appropriately so it does match.
By automating tasks, especially the repetitive ones, Mitchell said their technicians now have time to focus their attention on bigger issues. “We’ve been working in iPaaS since January and I feel like we’ve already come a long way and are saving time,” he said. “But there’s so much more we can do.”
For Mitchell, the codeless drag and drop functionality of iPaaS has really enabled him and his team to move quickly and creatively when it comes to building new workflows. “I’m not a programmer at all,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know the programming languages, I’m kind of illiterate when it comes to that, but I like to call iPaaS Lego programming because you just snap everything together and it works.”
“A lot of these tasks aren’t tasks that are necessarily hard for anyone to do manually, it’s more that they are repetitive and time-consuming.”
Metropolitan State University
Metropolitan State University is one of seven universities within Minnesota state and one of 37 institutions (state colleges and universities) as a whole. As you can imagine, there is an abundance of data being collected and shared among these different groups, whether it be across different campuses or on the same campus.
This structure caused a great need for a common integration platform and workflow engine. Ben Deneen, Director of Enterprise Information and Application Services at the university, explains, “Every time something runs, I want all that information, I want the error logs, I want that all documented so that we can run as efficiently and effectively.”
The University chose TeamDynamix iPaaS to do just that.
For example, Deneen is using iPaaS to link up systems and manage security access to buildings and classrooms. Using the information collected through the use of iPaaS, the security team can verify information and requests when it comes to opening buildings and classrooms using RFID technology for door access.
When someone swipes their ID at a door, a workflow will bounce back to the security system to validate credentials. If the person is cleared, the door opens, and the security camera is prompted to record activity at the site so there is a record of who is going in and out. And that’s just one example of how Metropolitan State is using TeamDynamix iPaaS.
“We were using a different iPaaS tool before and it took a lot of time to spin up and it became really expensive for what we were hoping to do with it,” Deneen said. “It was fine for connecting macro systems, but we couldn’t scale it the way we wanted.”
With TeamDynamix iPaaS, Deneen is not having the same issues. In fact, they’ve been able to move quickly with the new iPaaS tool and use it to integrate all their systems from their old ERP to Workday, Active Directory and more. “We’re able to easily spin up these connections and make it turnkey so anyone can use it,” Deneen said.
BYU-Idaho started exploring TeamDynamix iPaaS when they realized they wanted to automate various processes on their campus, specifically onboarding new employees and sending out financial aid notifications.
Using iPaaS, the team at BYU-Idaho created flows to take an employee through the entire onboarding process.
This is incredibly beneficial and saves the university a lot of time since they regularly hire student employees. These students need a lot of access to different tools and programs and giving access/taking it away is now a seamless, quick task.
“We’re doing a lot (with iPaaS) in HR with onboarding flows, and there are a lot of other groups around campus that want to use the onboarding flows to onboard an employee from the beginning, all the way to getting their equipment sent out and getting them into Active Directory,” Nepal Plummer, Director of Product and Service Management, said. “And we haven’t even opened up the floodgates yet.”
As for tracking student financial aid awards, the university used to have to send the award letters through Outlook with no way of tracking them. Now with iPaaS, there are individual tickets for each award letter so that counselors can see the information they need for each individual student.
They also created a flow that allows the IT team to recall and restore deleted data in tickets. Kevin Cook, Application System Engineer, explains the significance of this workflow, saying “We had 2500 tickets that didn’t have a value because that choice was accidentally deleted. So, we were able to use iPaaS to go out and grab a report with those tickets and update them to put that value back on the tickets.”
After other departments saw how helpful iPaaS has been, they are just waiting for their own chance to try it out.