Whats new in System Center Service Manager 2012

Author by Duncan Lindquist

System Center 2012 has now gone RTM! The Service Manager team has made some very exciting changes and additions with System Center Service Manger 2012 let’s take a look.     Service Catalog and the New Self-Service Portal Before we look at the new Self-Service Portal we need to understand the Service Catalog. The Service Catalog is made up of two main parts Service Offerings and Requests Offerings. Service Offerings are user facing catalog items that describe and IT Service that you provide. Service Offerings contain a set of specific services inside the IT service that the users can request known as Request offerings. Request offerings contain a set of questions that the user can answer in order to create a Service Request or Incident. You can find the Service Catalog in the Library section in the Service Manager Console. The Service Catalog is presented to the end user through the New Self Service Portal hosted in SharePoint 2010. On the Main Page of the Self-Service Portal you will see a selection of Service Offerings to choose from. If you click on one of the Service Offerings you will see a list of all the request offerings that are listed inside.   If you click on a Request Offering you will be sent to a screen with help articles related to the request offering and a go to request form button. If you click on the go to request form you will be prompted with a request form that is created during the creation of a request offering. Once the user has submitted a request they can click the my request button on the quick navigation and see all the Incidents and Service Requests they have created. If they click the My Activities button they will see all of the activities they have assigned to them through Incidents and Service Requests.   New Connectors There are two new connectors in System Center Service Manger 2012. The first is the System Center Orchestrator connector. This connector will allow you to import Orchestrator run books into Service Manager. Once you have them imported you can create Runbook Activity Templates. The Paramater Mapping section of the Template will import the paramaters from the Initialize Data activity at the begining of your run book. You can use the Self-Service Portal questions to populate the Parameters in the Runbook Template and have full automation of Request offerings. For example if you created a Request offering for Create a New User the requestor would fill out a form on the Self-Service Portal that would then kick of the Runbook activity. This process would automatically create the Active Directory user, Exchange Mail box and Lync account then e-mail the information to the appropriate people. You can see how Service Manager and Orchestrator working together is a very powerful tool. The second connector is the Virtual Machine Manager Connector. The VMM connector imports the Clouds and VM templates you can also use these when creating service offerings. This will come in handy if you want to do things like automate Virtual Machine Deployment.   Cubes and Reporting Service Manager has added prebuilt OLAP Cubes to service Manager 2012. These will allow you to export the data to excel and create pivot tables. You can also use the Performance Point Service in SharePoint to create reporting dashboards!       Service Requests Service Requests are used by Request Offerings when a user makes a standard request within and IT service. The Service Request form will often be used when users are filling out forms from the Self-Service Portal. Now lets take a look at the Service Request form. On the general tab you have the basic information about the request. You will notice a User Input section this will contain the information submitted by the user from the Self-Service Portal. The next tab is the activities tab here you can put the different activities involved in completing the service request. Service Manager 2012 has also added the ability to have parallel activities so you can have multiple activities happening at the same time.   Service Level Agreement Support Service Manager now has a much more robust Service Level Management feature. The Service Level Objective hours are now controlled by a calendar this allows you to add specific hours, days and holidays that are not counted against your SLO. Service Level Objectives now use Queues this allows you to have them apply based of any of the available properties in the class you chose. You can then set you target time and warning based taking into account your calendar.     Parallel Activities The activities tab in Change and Service Requests now have a tree view. This allows you to have parallel activities so can have multiple actives occur at once.   Release Management SCSM 2012 has also added the Release Management feature. A Release Record will be a related item to a Change request and is used to track a specific release.  


Duncan Lindquist

Service Management & Automation Solution Lead