Exide Technologies is an American company with its offices, among others, in Poland—in Poznań, to be exact.
It is a global battery tycoon, in Poland more recognizable after the acquisition of a well-known manufacturer of batteries, Centra. Its contact with SPOC (at that time a company called MWT Solutions) was established in 2013—that year, in relation to the adoption of the Discovery tool by the Poznań IT branch (ServiceNow platform), SPOC specialists were asked to perform an instance audit, and on the basis of its results evaluate the scope of changes concerning an improvement in the organizational structure, the construction of a configuration management database (CMDB), and the adjustment of Discovery to the changes planned.
After the successful completion of the project, other common areas of cooperation with Exide emerged. The cooperation began with the collection of information about the Client’s requirements and with an instance audit concerning the feasibility of those. The conducted audit helped distinguish the following problems that the Client was struggling with:
- information inconsistency in the AD,
- differences in data for the same countries or in locations ascribed to different users,
- organizational structure not reflected in the AD container structure,
- inconsistent naming, errors, and data duplication (resulting from erroneous imports),
- automated report personalization required.
After deeper data analysis taking into account the significance of the data for the planned configuration and reporting (the use of the CMDB and Discovery), a decision was made to build a new organizational structure only selectively utilizing data held by the Client. It helped develop a new concept reflecting the organizational structure. Aside from distinguishing a separate structure, the permission granting system was created as a separate option. The new organizational structure and the associated permissions were used, for instance, in reports prepared for the CMDB.
The second stage of the project was the design and configuration of the CMDB. A decision was made to create a new application beside the existing one. The screen included here allows us to indicate the modules (powered with Discovery data) of the new application. Powering the CMDB with data was a challenge—some types of configuration items (e.g. terminals, IP phones) were not automatically recognized by Discovery.
Another stage was the creation of additional functionalities being part of the tool. The works enabled the emergence of numerous modules within Instance Management providing information for the Client’s IT staff operating in many different areas. A significant element of the project was the creation of a portal dedicated to end user service. The functionalities of the portal include the reporting of demand for access to corporate systems and applications granted for individual users, groups of users, or subcontractors. The solution was based on the use of the Angular JS technology and the functionality of Service Portal, a version of ServiceNow available in the Helsinki version.
The use of this type of structure of the tool allowed for the following:
- the application of a modern front-end, embedding the portal on one page,
- the construction of a dynamic and fast solution (changing the section, animated elements and icons, expandable “shopping” cart, icons informing the user about required fields or tabs),
- easy portal configuration by the administrators,
- the facilitation of the placing of orders for multiple accesses to systems as part of one request by the user (the application of Order Guide),
- the achievement of satisfactory performance and speed (modification of Order Guide allowing for an asynchronous connection with the database).
The measure of the success of SPOC is not only the implementation of another efficient project, but the fact that the Client continues to cooperate with the company on the implementation of other projects.