What is a service catalog?
Think of the service catalog as a restaurant menu for requesters. Submitting a service request should be easy for employees, just like customers at a restaurant.
When you dine out, you sit down, check the menu, and find what you’re looking for. Sometimes, the waiter has follow-up questions for more information, so once you order, the kitchen has everything it needs from you, and your meal will be out as quickly as possible.
A service catalog is the same idea. Employees order from the menu of service catalog items that you provide. Then, your service management solution acts as the menu and the waiter. Depending on the item they choose, you will have custom fields set up to collect any additional information pertaining to that specific request. This way, you’ll collect all the data that your technicians need upon the creation of the request, with no need for back-and-forth.
There are a few key differences between the service catalog and a restaurant menu. First of all, you can customize roles and permissions within your service management strategy so that not all service catalog items are available to all users. Maybe you don’t want to grant the “hardware request” item to all users; you don’t have to. It would be as if a restaurant menu were customized to remove all meat dishes for vegetarians.
Users can also request items that aren’t on your service catalog menu. If they’re unable to find their particular request in the service catalog they can submit a ticket through the service portal. If employees are frequently requesting an item that isn’t offered, anyone with a license can create that item and build it into the catalog, so it’s an agile way to offer services.
Here are three service catalog items any organization can use for three different departments, with video instructions:
IT: Password Resets
Employees forget their passwords often. Sometimes too often. Instead of fulfilling requests for every employee that forgets every password they have, create a service catalog item for it.
HR: New Hire Onboarding
Make sure your new team member has everything they need when they arrive. By creating a step-by-step workflow for multiple departments with required approvals built in to ease the onboarding process on everyone.
Facilities: New Key
Regardless of how an employee needs to access the premises, they need a way to get in. Whether an employee wants to use their key fob or change their access to their phone, the service catalog makes that process easy.
The more items in your service catalog, the more quickly and efficiently you can serve your employees. As you can see, the service catalog can effectively handle a number of processes beyond traditional IT workflows. This will become especially useful as you build out automated processes for workflows that touch multiple departments. Keep in mind that you can continue to add to your service catalog as you recognize new opportunities.
For more ideas on business processes you can automate, check out our eBook: 150 Ways to Automate Service Management Throughout Your Organization.
About Jay Johnson
Jay is content specialist on the Samanage marketing team intern. She recently earned her bachelor's degree in marketing from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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