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University of San Francisco case study

At a glance

The IT team at the University of San Francisco, working with limited resources, sought to update its inefficient and outdated IT asset management processes. The staff needed an automated solution that would integrate data from disparate systems and across silos. Two Flexera solutions—Technopedia and Normalize—provided clean, accurate and enriched data to USF’s existing ServiceNow integrations. The solution significantly reduced costs and, in just a few hours, cleaned up bad data accumulated over many years. For the first time, USF had a true picture of all the assets in its IT environment.

The challenge

A manual process and disparate systems created problems for USF

Running with a lean department typical of many educational institutions, the IT staff at the University of San Francisco found success as an early adopter of the ServiceNow platform. But an urgent solution was required for the university’s tangled, inefficient and outdated IT asset management processes.

Over the years, the university had created customized configuration items (CIs)—such as incident, problem, change and project management—to support their initial processes. The IT staff used LANDesk for asset discovery and was spending a great deal of time manually integrating the asset/CI data from two disparate systems. The lack of standards in the way hardware and software products were published and reported resulted in discovered data that was inconsistent, incomplete and inaccurate.

Reliable asset/CI information required for effective ticket assignment and routing was missing. In addition to budget issues, the department was at long-term strategic risk due to inefficiencies from manual creation and mapping of models.

USF needed to consolidate asset/CI data across data silos and reduce costs by replacing manual efforts, all while staying within budget by avoiding expensive services. The university also had to become ready for ServiceNow advanced apps, gain confidence in their asset/CI data and eliminate license and security related risks.

Flexera's integrated
solutions enabled USF to
cut implementation time by 75%

After years of lax control and turnover, our models were a total mess. Technopedia and Normalize saved an enormous amount of time and helped us achieve a clean inventory for the first time, improving confidence in our reports and giving us a true picture of the assets we own.

Service Level Manager University of San Francisco

The Solution

Clean data aided by Flexera products provided “true picture” of assets

The university’s IT team used solutions through the certified ServiceNow integrations to tackle their asset management challenges. Technopedia from Flexera was used to automatically populate the ServiceNow model tables with hardware and software model information. Normalize from Flexera was then used to extract information from LANDesk, filter out noise, and align it around the catalog to make it consistent and accurate.

The data was then enriched with market data from Technopedia content packs to provide key missing pieces of information required by ServiceNow applications, after which the enriched data was automatically populated into the ServiceNow tables.

These solutions enabled the university’s IT staff to consolidate LANDesk and ServiceNow data into ServiceNow’s CMDB table, and normalize raw discovery data and directly populate ServiceNow’s model, asset and CMDB tables—while keeping each always up to date. ServiceNow CIs were automatically mapped to their respective models as defined by Technopedia.

“After years of lax control and turnover, our models were a total mess,” recounted USF’s service level manager. “We had to clean this up to implement ServiceNow asset management and needed help. Technopedia and Normalize saved an enormous amount of time and helped us achieve a clean inventory for the first time, improving confidence in our reports and giving us a true picture of the assets we own.”

The Results

USF cut implementation time by 75 percent, reduced costs with automation

The solutions helped the university implement ServiceNow asset management on time and within budget. They also future-proofed USF’s data, enabling the IT team to easily adopt advanced applications in the future. Through the creation of a data abstraction layer, the LANDesk discovery data could easily be consumed by ServiceNow or any other tool.

In addition, the IT team gained confidence in its cleansed and enriched data, which enabled them to see exactly where their assets were located and how many were deployed. With Flexera’s integrated solutions, the university cut implementation time by 75 percent. In just a few hours, the IT team was able to clean up bad data accumulated over many years.

It also reduced operational costs with a completely automated workflow for aligning models to asset and CI data. Most important, for the first time the university has a true picture of the assets it owns.

In just a few hours, the IT team was able to clean bad data accumulated over many years.

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