12: Syncing with ServiceNow: 6 steps to better infrastructure visibility

Feb 19, 2023

You retrieve data about the service in question and instantly see exactly which infrastructure components the service depends on, as well as their statuses. You quickly engage IT operators to address the issue and notify the line-of-business lead with an estimated time for its resolution. 

This scenario doesn’t have to be an impossible dream. Infrastructure visibility is a reality for numerous enterprises around the world, including many ServiceNow customers. It can be your reality too, without nearly as much time and effort as you might think. 

Developing an infrastructure visibility strategy that includes automated discovery and service mapping can give you an up-to-date picture of all your business-critical services. When an issue arises, you can quickly drill down to identify the component causing it. Even better, you can anticipate potential disruptions and take action to prevent downtime. 

Let’s explore six steps to help you increase service visibility.

Host: Andy Whiteside
Co-host: Fred Reynolds
Co-host: Kristin McDonald 

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Andy Whiteside: Everyone and welcome to episode 12 0f thinking with service now, and your host, Andy, we said, I’ve got Fred Reynolds at Chris Mcdonald with us. Kristen and Fred. Ladies first. Kristen, how’s it going?

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Great! How are you doing today, Andy?

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Kristin McDonald: I’ll tell the truth. We already talked about it. I am on the till end of Covid. So apologies, if my voice is a little bit off.

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Andy Whiteside: the voice is a great, but it’s fine for this we don’t. We don’t care how the how’s the symptoms that I just I know when I sound like that. I’ve usually got a sort start to go with it, and i’m a big big baby with a score third.

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Andy Whiteside: and outside of the the sound. I’m actually quite quite fine today. But thank you.

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Andy Whiteside: You’ve had a couple of times, and you know that’s good good for you to get get through it and keep going, and you know it’s

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Kristin McDonald: some point you’re going to be immune to the whole thing. Hopefully. So

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Andy Whiteside: it’s. It’s going to be like the common cold. The only problem with that is, i’m a big baby with a common cold tea.

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Kristin McDonald: Okay.

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Fred Reynolds: Fred, how many times you had, Covid? I once that I know of probably 2 0r 3 times that, you know. You just got a cold, and you got to assume it’s one of the other. But at some point i’m like you guys, I mean, what’s the point of? Go get tested. I mean

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Fred Reynolds: the first time I had it made me a little nervous. I had high temperatures like for 2 days turn into a big baby to Andy, but I think that’s just a guy thing we turn into babies. We can’t take it. But you know I I’ve had more probably more of a sinus thing this year that just can’t seem to shake it, I guess, from all the flying. But if it was, I know that we had a little

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Fred Reynolds: lots of people at school that had it as well, and I think when I came back I was still a little under weather, but it’s just one of those things at this point. I think it’s got to come and go, but it is bad that it seems to attack voice and and gotta keep some hot fluids on your throat.

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Andy Whiteside: And to be clear, we’re not. We’re not trivializing it. It’s just you know how this human world we live in works, and

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Kristin McDonald: I hate that. It impacts some people so much more more more ferociously than others. But

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Fred Reynolds: we’ll get through it. No, it’s nothing to downplay. I’ve certainly lost people due to it, but I think it’s just one of those things these days. We’ve kind of learned how to cope with it. Right? You’re not sure what it is. But.

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Fred Reynolds: Kate spend every day going to getting tested. I think what i’m trying to say.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah, for sure.

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Fred Reynolds: Well, guys, thanks for joining. You are gracious enough to earlier today, put in a topic for today, and I want to share my screen. But the the topic, the blog that we’re, viewing today, says, 6 steps to better infrastructure visibility, and this is from february of 2023, February ninth.

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Andy Whiteside: and this is written by what is it. Matt. Gwaltry called Cool Working Gorge, I think, is how you say it, guys? Why did you pick this one? And you know what is

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Andy Whiteside: is the concept that we’re reviewing here today.

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Fred Reynolds: Well, i’ll. I’ll try to keep Kristen’s talking to a minimum to we need her because it can be a good technical conversation. I think we’ll have around this. I think it’s a it’s a great conversation. It’s actually very relevant to a couple of customers we’re helping today, Andy.

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Fred Reynolds: and it was the baseline of what you know brought me to choose service now to start with, and the whole premise around it creating a solid Cmdb. Which is what we’ll talk about today and create that better visibility. I was telling Kristen before you got here anybody would just chit chat, and as we get down into this little bit more. One of the steps, or something

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Fred Reynolds: hindsight 2,020 right. I think that’s a great thing about us now on the partner side from where I was. And now I get to take my experience and talk to a new custom about hey, You’re just starting off when you’re doing this, here’s the real things to focus on, and as we get to some of those in those 6 steps, Andy, i’ll talk more about it, but I think it’s a it’s it’s pertinent to everybody who has service now.

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Fred Reynolds: or looking to try to understand how to better

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Fred Reynolds: get a watchful on their landscape with their infrastructure and services that it impacts us. And I think that’s more. What this is about is understanding the services, the service levels to your infrastructure

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Andy Whiteside: trying to run something in this case, an it department with a whole bunch of different tool sets that maybe overlap and don’t communicate with each other.

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Fred Reynolds: and a lot of these common tool sets want to kind of create the same thing. They want to say, I’ll go get your inventory, and i’ll keep it within this tool. So I can do these certain tasks. But that’s not very helpful to everything else for a grand scheme of things. And if you think about infrastructure which I know you have tons of experience in that play. And now we’ve got hybrid models.

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Fred Reynolds: But any ex hosts holding vms and those Vms may have multiple applications. So what happens with a Vm. Goes on, how does all the applications of the IP. Owners of those business applications get notified right. That’s how it just starts to

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Fred Reynolds: what I mean. Business services kind of how it all comes together. What’s the visibility of that infrastructure?

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Andy Whiteside: Right? Kristen? Why did you? Why did you, you and Fred think? Why did you pick this one?

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Kristin McDonald: The the seem to be is so central to any it. Help desk solution. As your engineers are working their tickets, they have to be able to see what you’ve got in your environment and service now has some amazing powerful tools in terms of seeing across your platform, seeing the relationships between devices.

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Kristin McDonald: seeing that mapping across services and really helping the engineers to pinpoint where you have issues, and just to expand a little bit on what Fred was saying.

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Kristin McDonald: Even if a customer has tool sets in their environment many times, what we’ll see is that the engineers working tickets are managing devices are actually using the tool sets. And you’ve got spreadsheets here and spreadsheets there, and a tool set over here, and maybe another tool set over here. That’s capturing a a handful of devices.

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Fred Reynolds: And there’s nothing consolidated, nothing centralized. It really does make things difficult for the engineers who are just trying to troubleshoot problems.

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Kristin McDonald: You know. I asked one of our guys. He runs our internal it one time. Why are we, you know, smells money in the lining service now. And he said, for security reasons like, what are you talking about? This? I didn’t even know what the Sec. Ops was at the time, but you know his point was we. If you can’t get your hands and your eyes and your head around what you have to manage. Then you can’t secure it, because you didn’t know it exist.

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Andy Whiteside: And as you guys are coming out here, you know, bring all that, maybe from

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around how to manage it. That

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Andy Whiteside: caught me off guard. The lady answered that question, but it makes tons of sense.

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Fred Reynolds: Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: So C. M. dB: I think I’ve ever, if I’ve heard Fred say Cm. Dv. One time I’ve heard him say it a 1,000 times.

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Andy Whiteside: and I came into this talking itill and I. Tsm, not Csm. Customer, Service Management, and Cmdb. Which

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Andy Whiteside: I have to look it up every single time. What the

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Andy Whiteside: All right. So what is this all important. Cmdb: thing about.

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Yeah.

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Fred Reynolds: So.

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Chris, let me go because i’ll let Kristen educate me on the technical side of it, right? But the port is that configuration management database, and it also understand what makes it up right. And I think Chris can help break some of that down. But to me, when we’re building that it was about the configuration items, the configuration items that are in there, and a configuration item

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Fred Reynolds: much like the the old platforms I came from, andy or the spreadsheets. They’re one-dimensional. They just kind of have a device to an IP address or whatever. This is a different concept. This is more like building blocks. They configure a configuration management database to have a bunch of configuration items, and those configuration items all come together to provide a service.

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Fred Reynolds: or is all running on one type of maybe form one IP address. So that’s the difference. Here. It’s a combination of those and that’s Why. the first part of this six-step. I guess. Article that we’re looking at here. The blog is consolidating that Cdb

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Fred Reynolds: and the Consolidated Cbd. Means to take all of these different

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Fred Reynolds: items or elements within your infrastructure. Again, whether that’s a service, whether it’s an application with a physical server, whether it’s something on the cloud, and adding that to configuration management database in such a way. So they all become an individual thing like an a ci with its own identity.

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Fred Reynolds: So we can go further into this mapping process. So, Kristen, how was that? How did I do with that?

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Andy Whiteside: So I hear this, and I think about my early days of well, my second generation of learning to program a little bit about object oriented programming where you had an object, and it had features and properties, and being able to take one object and associate with others, and bring it features and properties to the mix. Is that kind of what this is all about

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Kristin McDonald: in a way, but in regards to devices and with the within the service. Now, Cmdb: you can allocate specific properties to device types. So, for example, when you’re looking at a server. You’re gonna to capture the the CPU, the disk usage things of that nature where, as for software you may have some different attributes there. So it really is customized to the Ci type

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Kristin McDonald: service now has over a 100 c. I. Types out of box. I I forget the latest count, but they continue to add to them.

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Fred Reynolds: That is one of the strengths of the service. Now, platform, as I believe we’ve mentioned before they’re they’re constantly innovating, constantly improving. So yeah, and those device types.

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Fred Reynolds: the versions. And it may not be one version. Maybe you dot releases in certain ones. And so when something attacks

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Fred Reynolds: a company. It looks for a particular version of that. That’s when you could quickly go and put that into your, you know service now, and say, hey, go! Look at my database and look for that version for anything. It come back. That’s how you would instantly know. And this what helps with secure incident, vulnerability, response. Do I have a phone? If I have a vulnerability, what is it? Identify it for me. Show me the list of those assets. If those assets and those things are not party as seem to be.

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Fred Reynolds: They go good luck, and look at the spreadsheets and see if you have it right quickly.

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Service now has these. You know these components that are already in there. Let me ask you a question real quick. You you guys have been around service now the first time you touched service now, or I, Tsm or Customer service.

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Andy Whiteside: Kristen. Back in the day. How many, C I ties did it have versus the 100 that you just referenced.

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Kristin McDonald: Oh, goodness! I’ve been working the platform since. Aspen it’s about it. Been about a decade, so I i’m not even sure I would say definitely in the

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Kristin McDonald: 30 t0 40 range, most likely, but definitely over a 100. Now.

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Kristin McDonald: by far. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: my my point there is. They keep evolving, you know what’s coming out, what what exists, and and getting, you know, you know, taking properties and features that are associated with that and information you want to have, and you know chances are if you’ve got some in your environment, it’s in the service now platform ready to be, you know, pop populated

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Fred Reynolds: and Andy, I would say that my first experience with it, which Chris was a part of that right. That was the the good thing about it. Learning this is, we had over what we considered, you know, close to a 1,000 different device types. But you really bull that in I mean a server as a service. That’s a device type within service now. So you may think you have a 1,000 different things, that when you really look at the gist of what it is what, how you could put it as a type. It starts to shrink that number down. So you don’t have to create a lot of one. So again, if they do a good job of out of the bots, giving you

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Fred Reynolds: the 80 20 rule, and you shouldn’t have to g0 0ut and customize much just to fit the need.

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Fred Reynolds: But if you need to, you can absolutely

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Andy Whiteside: so. I highlighted the second paragraph under Cmdb. And that is well. First of all, let me tell you the topic. I called it the it’s Consolidate your Cm. dB. Which means, you know we’re taking all this. We’re taking this this platform that we have.

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Andy Whiteside: and limiting it down to what makes sense instead of you know somebody just randomly, and you can. You can add your own configuration information. But ideally, what you need is already in there, and if it’s, if it’s not in there, and you’re going to create it, there better be a really good reason why.

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Andy Whiteside: You know you’re making changes that Aren’t going to be just supported in the primary platform. But what I highlighted here in the second paragraph is what you know at this point, what really matters me, and that is the idea that multiple groups of people can now rally around this information and have, you know, content that makes sense across the spectrum of of folks in a department. In this case it

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And I think that that’s what really matters, having people having the ability to collaborate around specific information that is centralized and managed. And you know you, you really trying to find the words here. But you’re you’re not guessing what somebody’s configured something to be. It is in the platform, and we’ve all agreed to it.

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Fred Reynolds: and I think a big part of what you’ve highlighted, too, is what’s above that being service aware. So it’s not so much about building this data model that just says, here’s from a security person. They’re gonna want to know what’s there, and a couple of things from the business. There’s a lot more things to know, and how that service is affected by another service, and

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Fred Reynolds: on applications you may have 30 services running on one box. Right? So how does that affect the others when it goes down, and most services are built off of other products and services. I mean, so

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Fred Reynolds: it can get very complicated. So I think it’s very important, and that’s Why, I think as we get into some of the especially number 2 here, i’m getting a little head. But that’s why it’s important to and why I Love Service now, because it’s not just for it. It’s for it. The business units, and is for the whole company for that aspect. That’s that’s impacted by something.

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Thanks.

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Andy Whiteside: These same concepts go across the entire business these days, and I think that’s been on TV

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Kristin McDonald: and interesting things for me to learn about service now is okay great. It was invented to help. You have standards and run your it department. But guess what those same concepts apply to every other department in the company.

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Kristin McDonald: Right?

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Andy Whiteside: All right. So before we move on from Cm. Dv. Anything that else you guys would want to bring up around that, because, you know this is the foundational piece. I think everything else we do in service. Now, this what this is, what makes it the platform of platforms isn’t it?

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Fred Reynolds: It is, but I my only point would be if you were looking at this looking to get service now, or of invest in the service. Now I think the first episode to look and see? Have I really truly consolidated my Cmdb.

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Fred Reynolds: What do I have out there, if it’s a even if it’s an application a very useful tool you never plan to displace. You need that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consolidate to the same day. So you get more out of

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Fred Reynolds: a central repository for that information. So just want to make that point.

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Andy Whiteside: I can’t believe i’m gonna do this. But this is what came to my mind. It’s like transportation systems, you know, train system or a bus terminal. For example, if I can get everybody int0 0ne place, and I can make intelligent decisions about getting the most people to the right places next.

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Fred Reynolds: Absolutely. But that

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Andy Whiteside: all right. Next next one here of the and i’m not sure. I read the title properly earlier. 6 steps to better infrastructure visibility. The next one is prioritize business. Use cases, Christine. You want to take that one first

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Kristin McDonald: sure prioritization is so important when you’re doing these implementations, but particularly in regards to Cmdb. And building out your Cis and services, just because so many companies have just

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Kristin McDonald: these massive amounts of devices, and several, you know, tens, or in some cases, even hundreds of services, that they’re providing to both their internal teams, and and possibly also external customers as well. So just being able to prioritize that and say, okay, these are our critical services. These are the things that really make a difference

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Kristin McDonald: allows us to focus on that. We can implement that first. Make sure you’re getting some value out of the implementation. As you continue down the path and start implementing some of those lower priority services. So your organization is is incredibly important for a new implementation.

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Andy Whiteside: Right? What else?

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Sorry what you, Sandy?

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Fred Reynolds: What’s your intentions for it. How do you really want t0 0rganize this

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Fred Reynolds: already thinking about

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Fred Reynolds: the services affected by everything that you add into it right? And do you really have a particular application or a physical device virtual device? Do you really have it Well thought out as to every little piece of information you could use from that, and how it affects other services. So I I think it’s a really

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Fred Reynolds: place that people don’t spend a lot of time to think through, but I think it’s the most value when we think about, you know, having it just as a ticketing a system, Andy, which a lot of people think of service now being this is where it changes the game on just being a ticketing system, because this is where you truly get your automation and your roi out of a platform like this. The the more well-defined you make your Cdb and and the business processes around it.

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So

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Andy Whiteside: you know, in the engagements I’ve been on so far, including our own internals.

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It always starts around customer service, and, you know, help desk tools. Is that

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Andy Whiteside: is that a really good place to start. Does that set people up for success? Or are there other areas that should be considered First

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Kristin McDonald: it? It really goes back to the customers needs right. Where are their business priorities? What are their business goals? What are they trying to achieve with their service? Now, implementation?

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Kristin McDonald: Quite a few customers begin with the help desk. That that’s a pretty standard place to start. But if your business goals are not aligned with that, maybe the customer focus is more important at the moment. You’ve got a decent help test tool, You know. We can focus on the Csm side and save the help desk for a little bit later. So it really does depend on the customer’s implementation and their their priorities. And it could be what we’re seeing now, with security, everybody so security, conscious and choosing to make service now more of a central point of that, and that would change the conversation there because it’s not so much of your

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it. Help desk, but it’s your security team understanding and getting awareness of what’s there and how to do. Vulnerability response to that. And that would be a separate team.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah.

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So I guess maybe a good way to say it is, you know. Take your use case for what’s going to have the greatest impact, but also as you’re doing it, make sure you’re not limiting your your path forward in the way you set it up.

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Kristin McDonald: Yep, absolutely

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Fred Reynolds: plus, I think to Andy. Just one last thing of that.

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Fred Reynolds: You may be looking to implement it for a certain area. Maybe this it help desk right, but I think that’s when the initial conversations that we can add value to let’s think about a little bit bigger. Let’s think about the future. Let’s take a 30 min an hour. Talk about all the different use cases you can come up with today if this information was there, just so, you have it from the beginning, because that would help someone like Chris and design

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Fred Reynolds: and understand how to set up your data model. It’s your best benefit and not behind the road. That was kind of the point I was making. I don’t want to miss that point right.

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Fred Reynolds: I learned through this process, and a and Kristen probably was telling me this in the very beginning of what we did in our implementation. But it may just went out one area out, the other right. I was ready to just get bang it in. But I think it’s very important to understand the full spectrum of what you want to do and what you can do with it, and have somebody tell you what you can do with the system before you move into that

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Fred Reynolds: place, because the hardest thing is to go back and continue to work and make changes. Once you’re live, and it could be a little dangerous to do so right? A lot of changes by your life. So again well thought out, seem to be to start with.

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Fred Reynolds: So, Kristen, I think Fred just said he. Didn’t listen. Is that what is that true? Very much so.

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Kristin McDonald: This is recorded right

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Fred Reynolds: for the world to know.

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Andy Whiteside: I’m sure it wasn’t the first time. All right. So number 3 adopt a phase to plan of a task, Fred.

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Fred Reynolds: You know, I think this is probably just saying that once you understand some of your strategy, what you want to do, a lot of this can be very overwhelming. If you’re looking at creating this, you may have multiple spreadsheets, not a different data sources. And for that I think you have to think about. What’s your biggest use case. What are you trying to solve? First.

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Fred Reynolds: Don’t. Try to tackle all at once. Once you have a solid model. You can just keep picking apart the different spreadsheets create

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Fred Reynolds: automated imports in for that. Krist has done that a lot. Right? Do you create the imports? You can actually drive it into your Cmdb and then other tools. You know of those tools. What information do I need? I don’t need everything that’s in there because it’s used for that tool, and that tool is going to exist. So let’s use what’s in that tool, pull out what’s relevant int0 0ur seem to be in and populate that. Now I think again

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Fred Reynolds: making a phase plan. So you don’t get overwhelmed to start with and make quick mistakes because you try to drive everything in there too quick. And again

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Fred Reynolds: that can be to my defense right? I had a timeline, so rather I listen or not. I had a very strict timeline, and I had to get there, so we tried to be a methodical as possible, but sometimes you don’t have the choice of driving everything there. But again I think it’s really phase it out and and pick and choose the things that can give you the biggest.

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Fred Reynolds: a quick of what I say. I I guess the biggest main for you, Buck. Right, the Tom spent.

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Andy Whiteside: and I think we actually went through that this morning right? We were talking about our implementation. Our.

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Andy Whiteside: you know. It’s going to be done in phases, and we got to have a mile phones to measure our success. Kristen. A great example from your past around customers who did it in phases and customers. Who didn’t?

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Kristin McDonald: Well, I I would say, any customer that, and going back to Fred’s point. Any customer that really takes the time to think through what they’re gonna need and plans out a roadmap

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Kristin McDonald: is really gonna be more successful than a customer who drives to just take one priority and then, okay, what? What’s the next urgent thing on the plate? Because then you’re gonna get blown by the winds of who’s screaming loudest.

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Kristin McDonald: But if you take the time up front, really plan it out, map out that roadmap, and that’s actually something we’re working with one of our clients on right now is developing out their roadmap. We actually reviewed that with them last week

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Kristin McDonald: to really phase it out and plan it out so that they know exactly what they’re getting when they’re getting it. And it’s not blown by the W. To change. So yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: and that’s a really good point, too, is

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Andy Whiteside: There’s lots of squirrels that run by, i’m sure. And all of a sudden, you say. Oh, wait a minute. We can you to solve that, and like, oh, boy, wait! And then and and you just kind of got to force folks not to

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Andy Whiteside: not to chase the next thing that might pop up.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah. automate infrastructure discovery. Now, is that something you would typically do? Well, let’s. Let’s talk about the topic. Then I want to ask a few questions. Christine will take the first one.

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Kristin McDonald: Absolutely it. Automation is is such an important thing to look at. It’s not gonna be for every company, You know there there may be certain companies that are smaller. They don’t have many devices that they’re managing. Maybe they’re not in the cloud at the moment. So it doesn’t really make sense for them. But most customers, I would say, would absolutely benefit from automated discovery.

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Kristin McDonald: You look at again these spreadsheets, these manual processes where people are just manually typing in updates to these devices as they complete change, request as

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Kristin McDonald: they patch these servers and and do these things to them as things are shifted in and out of the data center, and it’s it’s all manual. But when you have automation in place your first off taking some of that workload off of your teams, because then the tool sets can actually discover those things.

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Kristin McDonald: Secondly, it’s much more accurate because you’re not prone to human error. You’re not waiting for somebody to update the record. You’ve got these discovery tool sets from service now, or there are other tool sets that can also feed into the service now, data center or sorry the service now database.

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and they’re actually automatically detecting the real time status and nature of your infrastructure it. It’s really quite powerful.

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Yeah.

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Fred Reynolds: yeah, I mean, I would say to me, it’s I know it may not be for every customer based on the size, and I get that. But to me it’s it’s it’s huge, I guess, basically where I came from, because I had so many things that need to be discovered, and so many Cis I need to be created, and the power of the automation did a couple of things one

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Fred Reynolds: it it help with it enable an on boarding right If you think about Hr. And you want to enable on boarding that it basically has a lot of tasks in series of that to drive things into your Cdb.

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Fred Reynolds: Create multiple Ci’s out of a single element that it discovers on the network because it has multiple things that we talked about. The further you break it down, the more you can get down to the services that are behind that I think extremely important, and with the automation around discovery means you could have automation and synchronizing that data and that asset of any change happens

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Fred Reynolds: going forward. Therefore you’re not trying to guess whether you seem to be as accurate all the time because you have a constant checkpoint there, again things you have to create. But if you think, though it know that that’s a to be a pain point for you. Then creating that automation saves you the time of having to constantly do audits and verify that. That’s if it’s working.

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Fred Reynolds: I think it’s extremely important.

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Andy Whiteside: N0 0ne to ask you guys, is it normal to have customers who take multiple discovery tools to see? You know, if one finds things that others don’t, or is it typical to have one? She said, rally around

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Kristin McDonald: So you would typically have one per device type. So, for example, service nails, tool sets are are incredibly powerful in the cloud.

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Kristin McDonald: so usually it would be service nails tool set that we would recommend for a cloud based implementation. But there may be some proprietary software or some specialized software that has its own kind of discovery management tool set.

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and then that compete in for those device types into service now. So it’s not unusual to see multiple discovery sources, but they don’t usually overlap Typically, it’s it’s one per device type.

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Fred Reynolds: Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: All right. Automate service mapping.

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Fred Reynolds: You want to take that one? Well, i’ll tell you i’ll take it. But I was talking to Chris before this right. This is one thing I wish that I understood a little bit more of before in my previous role as well. I think service mapping is a very powerful thing, and that’s kind of understanding where they see as exist. And when issues or anything happens

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Fred Reynolds: to a particular, See how, what’s this effect on other services related to that. So now the automated service map and I will have to ask Chris to speak to that because it ever done automation around service map, and we’ve kind of done it. Long Hand is set around and said, hey, I have this product that I know of all of these

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Fred Reynolds: elements and applications that g0 0n that. So I know the cause and effect of that. And when I say, and you know, being in some

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Fred Reynolds: complicated, a a bridging technology or unified communication application right? Sometimes that’s 13 different applications having to work together to make a single call work right in in that way, and and what I mean is, if some services down as part of that.

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Fred Reynolds: then every service could be a fact that it could be down, and You may have alarms going off everywhere, thinking you got some major problem, but it may just be one thing, and this is where it really is powerful, because it could come and say, hey, you have all of these, and because the system is aware that you have 13 applications down. But it was caused by one.

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Fred Reynolds: Then you get pies ready, and it gets you part of the oven. But you have a 13 applications, maybe show when they’re down, but it’s really the caused by one service that may be down, and therefore you can push the noise away, create one incident based on that one service. And so but the automation of it I’ll let Chris to speak to, because I think that’s really neat. So kristen Once you talk about the AI and the automation for it.

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Kristin McDonald: Sure, absolutely. So. Service now does have a few different mechanisms for automated service mapping. I i’d like to start by talking about the top down, because that is by far the most powerful mechanism that they have. Essentially, you would give service. Now, an entry point to your application. So let’s say it’s it’s a an online

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Kristin McDonald: Web-based application. You give it that, URL, and it starts going into your service and detecting the different servers and and devices that are underneath that application, and builds out what it calls a service map

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Kristin McDonald: within the system. And then, when an engineer is working a ticket, they can put in the device that they’re working on click a button, and they can see the map of the entire service, and they can see where that one device fits in in this overall service map, and and how it ties to this application, and it also ties, maybe to this load balance through over here that you can see exactly what’s in your ecosystem. How everything relates together. You can also see on the service maps where you have

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open incidents where you have open outages. So let’s say, this device over here is airing out, and you get a ticket for the overall application. Well, you can go. Look at that service map and see. Oh, I’ve got an outage for this underlying server. Well, of course, the application is gonna have issues, so let’s relate these 2 tickets together. When this one’s fixed I know mine will be fixed as well. So there! There’s a lot of power in the service maps.

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Fred Reynolds: It sounds to me like it saves a lot of time from creating those child tickets, or just putting other tickets underneath the ones that are active

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Kristin McDonald: absolutely. And you can trigger proactive, alerting right? So if you have a key device on the service maps that’s impacting your overall service, you’ve got an outage for your service.

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Kristin McDonald: and that service is something that’s underpinning. Let’s say, a service you provide to your customers. You can create some notification. You can trigger tasks within the system to kick off to alert people, and and really be more proactive about what’s going on, and and notifying your customers that, hey? We’ve got an outage. We’re working on it. Here’s your Eta, that type of thing.

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Fred Reynolds: absolutely.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, Number 6 says, Keep your Cm. dB: data up to date. I guess you can only make decisions based on good data that’s accurate and relevant and timely.

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Andy Whiteside: I think this makes just common sense. But why are they calling this one off physically? Kristen? You want to take it.

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Kristin McDonald: Sure, Absolutely. So that’s where some of these automated tool sets really come to play. Because when you’re dealing with manual entry for your Cdb. And and service mappings

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Kristin McDonald: again. You’re reliant on individuals to do that, and it takes some time to do that. They don’t always go back and update the record. So, having some of those automated tool sets can really help to keep your your data up to date and and real time, so that you can see this real time changes

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Kristin McDonald: in addition. Service now does have quite a bit of built in reporting and dashboards, so that your configuration manager can go in on a regular basis and see where you might be missing service maps where you’ve

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Fred Reynolds: got some data that that may not be covered currently by your automation tools. So you need to make some updates there. So the dashboard, some reporting can really help on that front as well.

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Fred Reynolds: And Andy, I mean, this is really important, right? I mean, if you build your Cmdb. You start populated and you get a couple of years down the road service. Now, does assessments Kristen? I think we do assessments as well on this, and you can go and look through your assessments and see lots of areas, and you seem to be that may be populated. But yet you have entry point for, and that’s a sure

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Fred Reynolds: sign that you’re gonna have issues one. Your data is not being populated or synced properly, or people Aren’t populating it, as they put it in there, and that’s just going to lead to. You know one. All the map in that Chris is related to won’t work. But if you don’t have things there and and addresses, or a bad information within your seem to be, it’s hard to respond to instances when you have bad information there. So

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Fred Reynolds: it’s really important. I think it’s something that has to be thought about way back in step one. When you start to build out and design the model, you should always be thinking about how i’m going to keep it updated, and i’m going to keep it accurate and as much automation to synchronize it the better.

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Andy Whiteside: So, cause I thought about far. Go. if you are customizing your Cmd. Does that mean that the Cm. dB. No longer can be upgraded at along the way via the service now upgrades? Or does that mean just means that parts of it will. And then the things that aren’t part of those upgrades you’re responsible for making sure

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Kristin McDonald: i’ll continue to roll forward.

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Kristin McDonald: It’s it’s really the latter. Everything that is out of box will be upgraded whenever you do an upgrade with service. Now your admins will receive a report of things that fell out of the upgrade because there were customizations, and then you have the opportunity to take that back t0 0ut of box or keep the customization. So your admins really have control over what’s upgraded there. But with the customizations we typically see with a seem to be or service mapping in in those areas

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Kristin McDonald: it doesn’t typically conflict with upgrades. It’s more often than not a few custom fields, you know, maybe a few notifications or or custom scripts behind the scenes, but nothing major in terms of customization.

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Fred Reynolds: Once you do an upgrade, you can say Yes, I want my fields there. I need those and those things you’re responsible for.

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Andy Whiteside: Is it fair to say that in general you

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Andy Whiteside: you don’t want to add anything you don’t want to do customization, but we like you, Michelle. I g0 80 20 rule for it. You’re probably gonna have to customize 20 0f it. You just gotta be aware of what these upgrades will, how that’ll impact them.

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Kristin McDonald: And I do just want to clarify service now is very careful about configuration versus customization. A lot of what we’re talking about here is more configuration. Adding fields is considered configuration. It. It takes a pretty good bit to get to that customization point, and that customization point is where you know you. You really just want to give some thought to the upgrades. And how well is this gonna upgrade? But I would say, probably 90 0f what we d0 0n a Cmd or service map would be in that configuration category. Not necessarily the customization. Yeah.

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Fred Reynolds: you’re on mute Andy. Sorry.

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Fred Reynolds: No, there you go. Yeah, you’re off.

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Andy Whiteside: So we have a construction guy who just showed up and started working. This is fine.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, guys, we’ve covered this topic now that we’ve gone through it.

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Andy Whiteside: Any additional reasons why you believe this was important that we we covered this the flog today.

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Fred Reynolds: Additional reasons. I I would just

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Fred Reynolds: re-emphasize I think it’s the foundation of what you’re building upon. It’s a building block. Think of it that way. You’re building muscles right? You you know you need to to drink protein right to build those muscles. And for here, if you want to have a solid, healthy service, not implementation, and a practice around it that a healthy seem to be is is is key.

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Kristin McDonald: Yeah.

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Kristin McDonald: absolutely. There. There’s a reason. It’s part of the core platform and not part of a a single application within service. Now it’s important to the whole ecosystem. Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, that’s that’s really good that you said that. So this the Cmdb is going to be the central location or the central configuration for all the workflows you might adopt in a service. Now, in some cases.

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Kristin McDonald: yeah, absolutely

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Fred Reynolds: all that bit, and that’s across all, all the

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Kristin McDonald: across, all departments. Absolutely so. Hr: Csm: I. Tsm: You seem to be as Ci and asset data are considered foundational

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Fred Reynolds: to service now. And Andy. This is Keith, especially the ipsm space when you hear, you know service now making work flow and and workflows itself. I mean, this is where a lot of that come from. Certain C eyes may be part of a workflow that’s needed for a job task. How do you automate? Some People’s work? It may go down to the ci level across multiple Cs.

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Fred Reynolds: So it’s really important.

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Yes.

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Andy Whiteside: alright, guys one. I’m glad you brought this one to us today and we’ll. I look forward to jumping on and doing. What do you guys? What do you have coming up?

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Andy Whiteside: You have coming up that you’d want to share with us.

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Fred Reynolds: I really want to share where I just came from. So I just went over to the West Coast and met with a lot of service now.

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Fred Reynolds: Younger generation, I would say for me, right? I’m a lot older. So it was really neat to see a lot of the the service. Now, I guess digital sales folks right. Their knowledge around service now their excitement around service. I mean it’s such a powerful platform. It’s great to see how much service that was growing, and invest in it in their employees.

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Fred Reynolds: How excited their employees are! So Andy and I had a lot of time spent with them. It was interesting to share some of my what they want to call wisdom. I think they would just call me old. But you know, from my practical experience of using their product, I shared a lot of what I did with the product, and that was really neat, because, you know, they’re talking to first time customers about, you know why they should get the product, so I shared a lot of

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Fred Reynolds: Why, it’s really important what you should tell some of them. So i’m very fired up over it, and it just overall coming off the go coming off of that conversation.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah. So so would you trade the tech that they get to experience early in their career with the music you got the experience earlier in your life. Which one would you take?

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Fred Reynolds: Oh, the music!

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Kristin McDonald: Thank you.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, Christine. What’s going on your role

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Kristin McDonald: in my world. I am planning a big move soon, so I will be out in San Francisco in 4 weeks. So that’s that’s pretty much what’s going on with me. Yeah.

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Fred Reynolds: So, by the way, Andy, I was kind of joking. I was just joking. By the way, i’ll take the text. I think they have so much information. So I was just playing with. I just want to see your face and the

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Andy Whiteside: No, no, I look. I I think a lot of people are, would would say, hey, i’ll take the music we had versus the tech they had, but it is certainly

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Andy Whiteside: I got. I got a kids younger kids are getting ready to grow up in a tech world where you know we were busy installing servers. They’re they’re busy. They’re gonna be busy taking

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Andy Whiteside: some of these platforms and making services out of the change the way the business fraud we you get some cool stuff. They’re going to have some really cool opportunity to make a difference.

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Fred Reynolds: It’s just different. It was kind of funny we had to explain to them what Citrix was and what it did right. They have no concept to some of that which is fine. I was like, you know, kind of mind blame by that, but they they blow my mind by things that they know. I I just think

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Fred Reynolds: I think this spot to the end right now, and I guess this is what, John, for a music you like, but I tell you they they just have so much at their fingertips to make a difference in corporations a day, and I think that’s why i’d be excited to be with. They are like, if you tell me, start off my career where I was, or start off where they are right. Besides my wife and family stuff, I start off right there because they’re just in such a sweet spot of

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Fred Reynolds: of exciting times and and making a difference in this digital transformation. We’re going through

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Andy Whiteside: absolutely.

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Well, Guys, I appreciate you guys jumping on, and well, I look forward to jumping on. Have this conversation or another conversation with you guys in 2 weeks

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Fred Reynolds: perfect. Get better, Kristen.

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Fred Reynolds: Thank you. Bye.