Asset Data and HelpDesk Integration (should be simple)

I heard last week that we have recently had several customers comment on the importance of being able to view asset configuration and software inventory information directly from inside the HelpDesk support analyst UI. Although this has been a standard feature of the Service Manager Pro solution for two years or more, it led me to wonder what impact the new CMDB database standard coming from the CMDBf group will have for Vector and other suppliers with similar capabilities.

The aim of this blog is to keep in touch with daily realities, so I have to note that over the years we have seen that multi-vendor interoperability can usually be achieved by either of two basic routes: a) error-free adoption of ‘standards’, and b) a mix of pragmatism, openness and cooperation – which can be very potent and efficient and to the customer’s benefit.

The only technical requirements for a help desk from Vendor A to be able to import configuration data from Vendor B’s asset database are –

1) A common back-end database standard; it isn’t vital but it can help if both products run off SQL-compatible databases.

2) A published schema for the configuration data, and some sample SQL queries that illustrate the simplest expressions for extracting popular items of data.

We have seen this work both ways, with inventory data being pulled in from someone else’s database into our HelpDesk UI, and with configuration information being pulled from our AM Database into another vendor’s help desk, such as Remedy.

Meanwhile we wait to see what practical benefits can be derived from the standard emerging from CMDBf. Somehow I don’t think it will do away with the need for pragmatism, openness and cooperation in ensuring effective multi-vendor interoperability.