ServiceNow Integrations: How employees get a user friendly access to Dell Global Catalog

Service Transformation is the hot topic these days. People expect and deserve Service Excellence, and companies not only have to offer good but excellent services in order to stay successful. Using the ServiceNow Service Portal improves the user experience and brings users one step closer towards Service Excellence.

The Service Portal allows users to be more independent, more efficient and makes their work life easier as it allows them e.g. to order working materials (such as software, hardware, and many more). With the Helsinki release, ServiceNow has developed a complete new portal builder feature that makes the service portal creation easier (and more beautiful) than ever. Many companies have already discovered the advantages of the Service Portal  and use ServiceNow for their employees to order working materials directly from the provider at negotiated conditions. To make this possible an integration with ServiceNow is needed.

Depending on the company’s provider there are various options of integrations. In this blogpost we will focus on the integration with “Dell Global Catalog” based on our experience with a customer.  The  employees willing to order a new IT item in ServiceNow are redirected to the Dell Global Catalog  page especially created by Dell for our customer with agreed items and prices.  They can choose there the IT products they need. Users are also automatically redirected to the right catalog in the US or Europe in function of their location. They can put the chosen items in the cart (you can imagine this as similar to a purchasing process at Amazon) but instead of paying on the Dell site, the Purchase Order Request is sent back to ServiceNow where it creates the Purchase Order which goes through an usual approval process proper to the customer. It is basically a validation workflow where the requests for chosen items have to be approved by managers and technicians. Once the Purchase Order is approved in ServiceNow, the electronic Purchase Order is sent out to Dell for provisioning. Items are send directly to the employee who requested them.
During the provisioning process three emails are sent by Dell to ServiceNow to indicate the status of the order: “Your order has been accepted”, “You order is being prepared” and “Your order is being shipped”.

Now – for those of you interested in how this was technically implemented, here is the answer: Dell Global Catalog is based on an e-procurement software application called “PunchOut” from Ariba. It allows a buyer to access a supplier’s Web site from within the buyer’s own procurement application. The message exchange is based the cXML standard but as the cXML messages are not the standard ones for ServiceNow, we have created in ServiceNow the dedicated cXML Processor which handles the inbound cXML messages routing them after the parsing toward the ServiceNow ETL layer. For outbound messages we are using the HTTP Post calls with the attached cXML file.

If you are interested in more detailed information or other possible integrations with ServiceNow you can contact us.

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Dariusz Szybowski is Managing Director Technical Solutions at Fruition Partners, Europe and a Co-founder of Aspediens (acquired by Fruition Partners in 2016). With over 20 years of experience in multiple System Information related domains - such as Software and Hardware Architecture, Development, Testing, Implementation and Infrastructure Management - he is a recognized expert in the technical field. He is as well a CipherCloud Certified Program Manager and Certified Solution Architect.
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