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Found 15 results

  1. Hi All, I've been working on PowerBI recently and really like the way you are able to pivot on data points. As all our calls/tasks are managed through Hornbill, I was wondering if there was a way to output this data automatically in to PowerBI. I currently have reports generated monthly as a pdf and understand I can change this to CSV, then upload it to PowerBI which would work but I would like to automate it more than this - rather than have to upload it manually. As I understand it, Hornbill backend is an SQL database so if there was a way to point PowerBI at this to pull from (possibly using Ibridge api?) or maybe point it towards the database where reports are kept prior to it being emailed out, that would work. These were just my ideas how it could be achieved, not all to familiar so if there was any suggestions or answers to how I might do this. That would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance! Caleb
  2. We think this issue started after we updated to Service Manager 1667 on 10th September. When we go into our Business Processes to any Hornbill Automation node set up to do Requests > Get Request Information > (any option chosen), the Output Params / Context Reference section is not editable. See attached example on the BPM Data Proection Data Breach v3.0 If another Requests 'type' is chosen (e.g. Update Request) normal update options are available. Please advise what the issue is and how it can be resolved.
  3. Hi, I'm currently trying to create a path way that automatically notifies a different email and path should a request be logged outside of 09:00- 7:00. The time logged variable is available form the global flow codes, however it does not appear to work using a greater than & less than equation. I assumed maybe its due to the format in which the system records time, however i cannot see this anywhere, as there is no time logged variable in the email templates, only date logged - which also provides time. The logic of using 'or' defeats the point, but when using 'and', which was the original intention, this proved to fail despite being logged between those times and would reject to the no match field. I attempted to make the opposite in the no match but this also failed. Is there a way to accomplish this? Thank you, Foley
  4. I thought I would post a quick preview of an upcoming feature of our business process tool. We are expanding its capability to include a new "Web Call" node. This new node will enable you to make calls to other systems or cloud services applications via restful API's which significantly expands your options for automation of business processes that need to interact with other systems. My goal as the architect for our platform technology has always been to keep the BPM 100% code free so that process managers do not have to have a programming background in order to make effective use of our BPM, but thats always a play-off, and this is one example where the absence of code limits absolute flexibility because there are so many different shapes and sizes of API's out there, code is the only "glue" that will give you ultimate flexibility. To solve that problem we are also developing an "API bridge" service that can contain and run glue code required while still keeping the BPM clean and code free for simpler day to day use. Once this feature is rolled out (expected to be in the next 2-3 weeks max) we will be exploring options for achieving the same for on-premise IT infrastructure and operations type orchestration and automation which I hope to be announcing in the coming weeks. This initial implementation is only the first step on our journey for much greater expansion of our BPM integration capability broadening our scope of IT Service Management into IT Operations Management for which there has been a significant demand for. Gerry
  5. Hi Guys, just wondering if it was possible to script an asset scan/upload in hornbill at all ? just trying to find a quicker/simplier way to get our assets uploaded and listed rather than having a manual entry, or having to do a mass upload every X period.. is it possible to do a script to scan an AD OU for anything "new" and interogate the WMI Data to fill in the required fields before upload into Hornbill ?
  6. Why do people struggle to follow processes? Many a great manager has asked themselves the time-honored question; How do you make people follow procedures and not miss things?  Having more or less documented the processes, and having put them into your knowledge base tool, and having created internal training courses to make sure everyone is aware of the procedures and so on.  Despite all this effort, still the most basic things get missed. There is no glaring flaw in the process, and it seems random, sometimes its done, sometimes not, and when you ask why (assuming you or someone else has the time to monitor the process) there is always an excuse, everything from "I did not know" to "Oh, I forgot!" The answer to this is quite simple, you are dealing with people, and people are fundamentally variable in their behaviors, they are not robots, and even the best people will make mistakes from time to time.   Processes are typically designed based on logic and flow, and most often without considering the human factor,  because how do you account for the fact that a particular step in your process might get missed because of an unexpected event in a co-workers life - and that is where even the best most elegantly written procedures can fail.  I wanted to share my thoughts on the things you should be considering to make your processes work better.  You cannot rely on documenting your process Most people do not read documents, that's a fact. If you give someone a documented procedure,  they will read it once and file it away.  What you can be sure of though, is no one will have the process document in hand while they follow the process day-to-day.  Now that is not to say you should not document your processes, you absolutely should, and you should accept that the development of your process document serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it is your design document, its the physical manifestation of your thoughts and your process design, its the basis upon which you get organizational buy-in, its the thing that you "sign-off" before your process goes into operation.   Secondly, it is the "reference" to your process and its intent, its the thing you fall back to when the procedure is not working, and you need to change your process. Improving a process means, changing the document, and re-training people - in that order. Simplify your procedure portfolio We have all seen the case where over time an organization builds a mountain of processes and procedures, where each process makes sense in isolation, has already been approved and has a rational reason for existing.   You must work to reduce and simplify the things people are expected to follow.  If you have an extensive process portfolio, people will struggle with the library of process documents, let alone the procedures themselves. The truth is, processes work in an industrial setting, say manufacturing where you are re-creating the same widget over and over again, but in the case where you are dealing with knowledge workers, then process that aim to make your workers into robots are significantly less effective.  Allow Yourself to be Agile I have heard many times people refer to being agile as a lazy way of managing, or as a way to avoid having to follow a process.  The essence of being Agile is allowing your workers to think for themselves, to break away from what can be restrictive shackles of command and control and to "trust" your people will do the right thing.  It is a cultural thing because it requires your people to exhibit fundamentally different behaviors, and they need to be allowed to behave in that way.  But if you are pragmatic, being Agile can absolutely (and should) co-exist in a process controlled environment. The smart organization will know how to blend the two, in essence, be Agile where its possible, but rely on a smaller and more simplified process portfolio where its necessary to meet organizational efficiencies, regulatory or compliance needs.    Automate The go-to solution for continuous process failure is automation, but even today people, in particular, the people who are tasked with the design and deployment of processes misunderstand how Automation fits in.  In the world of IT, there are so many tools that are touted to automate everything, like software deployment or patches or creating user accounts or whatever, so it is easy to assume that automation is all about these types of things.  Now while automation can easily be applied here, it is worth taking a moment to think about the three words "Business Process Automation" and what they mean.  A great way to start to think about this is to think of your processes as concerning automating "human activity only," in other words, take the robot players like the IT automation tools out of the equation and work only with human activity.   Then you introduce a new idea into your thinking "Human Task Orchestration," and this is the most powerful weapon at your disposal when it comes to ensuring your processes are correctly followed.  A useful business process tool (like Hornbills obviously) will differentiate between human task orchestration and systems automation.  A well-designed process and the right business tool will make it possible for people (actors) to participate in a given process - without the need to understand the bigger process picture, they just need to do the tasks assigned to them, and the process will take care of orchestrating who has to do what, and when.  In summary, people are always going to make mistakes, the thing to do is to recognize and accept that, and design your processes to be tolerant of that fact. Automate the mundane work; when you have that tedious job that has to get done to keep the lights on, remove the thinking required and give people a list (of insular tasks) to work through, most people work a lot better with a simple list of jobs before them.  Life will be a lot better for everyone if you get your process strategy right. 
  7. Hi, Is it possible to add the CC Address in the list of available fields for emails routing rules? That would be quite useful for us. Thanks, Lyonel
  8. Hi, me again, As I mentioned a few times before, I use automation when an email is received to update the request it is related too. When this happens, only the text is copied to the timeline. We lose all formatting, tables and screenshots. This forces our analysts to go back to the original email, which is an issue as not all analysts have access to the mailboxes. Would it be possible to improve this feature and keep the formatting of the email in the timeline post? I do understand how complicated this can be, but you guys are good I am sure you can figure something out. Thanks for any feedback!
  9. Hi again, Is there a setting we can use to decide how the system should behave when dealing with email attachments received? I use the automation to automatically update requests when an email is received (and the request reference is in the title). But at the moment no attachment is added to the request and analysts have to go back to the original email... Having a switch in the settings would be quite handy If it does not exist, could we have one? Thanks!
  10. Would it be possible to format the resolution text? At the moment, only simple plain text can be used, which is not very user friendly, especially when sent by email via BPM. Having the ability to format the text and include screenshots would be a big improvement! Especially when using a FAQ to resolve a request. If the FAQ used contains a screenshot or formatting, all of this is lost in the automation process. Same thing happens when sending an email via BPM after resolution. Any feedback would be appreciated Thanks!
  11. Hi all, Is there a way of automating reports at all? I was hoping to be able to email certain reports at certain times of the day / week / month like we could in Supportworks I was also hoping to be able to lock reports to a role or user name but I don't seem to be able to do that either As it is Friday I may just be having brain issues though. Any help would be appreciated Thanks Dan
  12. Hornbill iBridge for Linode Hornbill's iBridge is a great way to integrate with Linode, a cloud based solution for creating and managing virtual Linux servers. Between Hornbill's Keysafe and Linode's API Key a secure connection can be made between the two. Once done, you are able to use the Hornbill Business Process management for the orchestration of your Linode servers. Easily process requests from users requiring a linux server with a fully automated integration node. From a simple request submitted by a user, the Business Process workflow can automate the creation of a Linode server including the Data Center location, disk size, the image or distribution, root password, and the Linode plan to use. 
  13. Hi guys, Following yesterday's Hornbill Insight 2017 event, I would like to follow up on a topic we discussed: Emails, attachments and automation. Just to give you an idea of the situation, here is the first few records of a query I ran on the system: SELECT h_request_id, count(h_pk_id) as total FROM h_itsm_requests_attachments group by h_request_id order by 2 desc Now if we look at the first request, you can clearly see we have a problem... And that particular incident is still open! Now I do appreciate this is an extreme example BUT the point remains as you will from the stats below: Now the problem comes from our corporate standard e-mail signature (over which we do not have any control!) as it includes a number of images: Every single email we send internally / externally will contain this signature (if the client used to send the email is outlook). I picked an average request raised from an e-mail to show you the impact: Every attachment to this request but 1 is an image from the signature. None of them of relevant to the request except a screenshot... But which one is the relevant one ??? Another example: Actual email (extract): As you can see from this example (one amongst many!), we have a lot of attachments with meaningless names and only 2 of them are relevant to the issue experienced by our customer. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS for our setup: 1. We do not create automatically requests upon email reception. They are created manually by operators 2. Emails with a reference to an existing requests will automatically update the request Let's summarise the issues we are facing: 1. When creating a new request from an email, the "attachments" section of the progressive capture get's "by-passed", meaning the operator does not get prompted to remove some of them The problem is that operators raising calls will not follow instructions and got back to the attachments to remove the signature related images... And even if they did (which I repeat most of them don't! Even if we repeat 10000000000000 times), this is what they get: No exactly very explicit is it? You need to download each image on your machine, open the file and then decide what to do with the attachment... Mega time consuming hence why they don't bother. 2. The link between the email and Progressive Capture: when raising a request from an e-mail, you need to fill in the default "summary" and "description" fields for the request in the PC. Why can't it be imported from the email? That would save a LOT of time and prevent many mistakes! 3. Every time an email is applied to a request manually, we get a nice pop-up where we can choose the attachments to include: This is great BUT only available when applying to the request... And again which one of these attachments is relevant? (Note: I have a screenshot somewhere in the list!) 4. Every time an email is applied to a request automatically (using email automation), attachments this time are NOT included?? Note that no "attachments" section is displayed Actual email: This email also includes my "corporate standard email signature" so I would have expected a minimum of 5/6 images! 5. How can I delete 24 out of the 26 attachments of a request without wasting 30 minutes of my time? I can't right now... I understand this is a lot to take in but as discussed yesterday all these "small issues" to you are actually a big deal when trying to resolve calls on a daily basis. I might have some suggestions on how to improve this: Attachments preview: this would be a game changer !!! - Images preview should be very easy to implement (although you might want to build thumbnails to speed things up which I can understand requires a bit more time to develop) - PDF preview should not be very complicated either to implement - Other types of documents: I can understand this is a more tricky business (and I would personally understand if it was excluded from the scope of any development) Issue 1: - fix the "by-passing" of the attachments - alike the "apply to request", show the modal with the attachments to consider BEFORE going into the PC? - preview attachments (on "hover" or by default in the screen) would considerably help too! Issue 2: - find a way to link email.subject and email.body to request.subject and request.description in a progressive capture (by default) but still overrideable by analysts Issue 3: - Preview attachments would literally solve this issue! In this particular example, having it inline with the name of the attachment would be better than "hover" BUT User Experience (UX) should be considered Issue 4: - Is it a bug? Is it supposed to work like that? Or is it just me being stupid and having a wrong setting somewhere?/ Issue 5: - we need some sort of mass delete button that would display all attachments in a scrollable modal window with preview of the attachments, a "select / unselect all" button, checkboxes for all attachments (unchecked by default) and a "delete all" button (which confirmation just to be on the safe side!) Sorry for the length of this post but I cannot possibly imagine being the only customer having these issues with regards to attachments, emails and automation. We spent a lot of time yesterday discussing it with a few Hornbill developers and I know there are simple solutions available which would not require that much time to code, test and deploy. But they would make a massive difference to us on a daily basis.
  14. INTEGRATION: Business Application and IT Automation At the beginning of 2017 we decided to introduce a development theme to focus on IT and Business Systems automation.  As I was investigating what we needed to do I very quickly realised there was a lot of conflicting terminology so our starting point was to establish clear terminology around which we could anchor our internal conversations. If you are involved in product creation don’t under-estimate just how important this step is to get right, you will be surprised what seems so obvious actually isn’t. It turned out pretty quickly that we could not really consider automation without also considering Integration, while completely independent concepts, neither is practically deliverable without the other.  So, let me start giving you a simple 101 on that terminology and the context within which we interpret it. INTEGRATION: To connect two separate systems together in a meaningful way that allows one system to instruct the other system to perform a task or a function.  For example, if you want your service desk tool to send an e-mail message there needs to be an “integration” between your service desk tool and an email system that can deliver the message. AUTOMATION: Using an integration to initiate a task or function on another system at any given point in time. In the above integration example, a service desk tool that can send an email message might be described as – “The service desk tool will automatically send an email to the customer when the ticket is resolved.” – the ‘automatically’ being the automation of sending the email. ORCHESTRATION: Using a workflow to co-ordinate a sequence of automations in accordance with a pre-defined, and possibly contextually dynamic sequence in order to achieve a predictable and repeatable business outcome.  An example of this might be to create new user accounts on three decoupled and separate systems, but all orchestrated from one central point of control, triggered as part of a new employee business process. I was originally thinking about writing up our journey in great detail, but that all gets rather technical so I will refrain from the for now and tell you about the main business problems we as technologists wanted to solve for our customers. Pretty much every other system we looked at requires some level of “coding” to achieve integration.  Code is what “glues” two disparate systems together in a meaningful way, and while there are some tools that claim to allow you to do this, the truth is they all require you to code in one form or another.  We offer a 100% code-free customisable environment, especially in our graphical business process tool which is designed to be used entirely by non-technical people, so adding a simple WebCall node into our BPM (which is what pretty much every other system we looked at does), while would offer a level of integration capability would require the BPM designer to be exposed to some code in order to glue XML to JSON, or transform results from strings to integers and so on.  This was not acceptable so while we did create a WebCall node, we did not like it, so our solution needed to avoid raw web calls without making the integration capability too limiting.   We wanted to allow our customers to integrate with a wide range of other systems without the need to pay for a lot of expensive consultancy. Not to save on the consultancy bill its self, although that’s a nice side effect, it was more in recognition that when you pay for expensive technical expertise you end up being enslaved to their work, not because its bad work but because they are the only one who knows how it works, so when they are not available you are left holding the unwieldy baby. We don’t think that’s a good idea.   Aside from the programming aspects, the other very difficult thing to handle when integrating systems is “authentication”, while some are as easy as an API key, others require three-phase authentication and message signatures etc. like OAuth1a, not impossible to achieve in code obviously but as a general rule, way beyond the abilities of anyone that is not a proficient programmer and expert in the field.  All too often insecure systems are built because poorly hacked implementations of authentication schemes are implemented, or even worse the tool vendor gives you basic tools (like a scripting language) and leave the customer with the problem to solve.  Our view is, if it is complicated to do, then we should be looking to implement the complicated stuff under the hood and make it insanely simple for our customers to use.   We recognise that customers have integration needs for both cloud based systems (Office365, Salesforce, Amazon, Azure, Google etc.) as well as a need to integrate with, and automate their behind-the-firewall systems and applications, so whatever we came up with had to offer a solution here too.   We recognise that our customers need to integrate with, and automate a wide range of systems and tools, even tools that are competitive to our own solution, so our strategy needed to be open to any other system and not closed or restrictive in any way.   After six months in the works, we launched our strategy and a working set of solutions to our customers in June 2017 and I think we have delivered some really exceptional capability that meets all of the above. We offer, what in my opinion, is the best business process tool in the business. It is comprehensive, insanely powerful, but really simple to use, and in expanding that to include the Orchestration of Automations, I will go as far to say that we think we have done a better job at providing easy to use, code-free integration than pretty much every other comparable system we looked at.  Why? We thought differently about the problems we were trying to solve, coming at it from the BPM users point of view.  That is of course a bold claim, but one that is so for supported by the initial feedback from our customers. I would of course welcome any feedback both positive or negative, I know how everyone claims how amazing their particular tech is, so I invite you to follow this thread and judge for yourself. Now I have a lot to cover and if you got this far you are probably quite bored by now, so I am going to bring this post to an end.  But just before I do, I have listed the follow-up articles that I am going to write to continue telling this story.  As I write each article I will update this document with a link so check back every few days if you are interested in reading more. Not All Integrations Are Made Equal Hornbill iBridge - Integrating in the Cloud Integrating with Microsoft System Center Orchestrator Integrating with HP Operations Orchestration Integrating with Microsoft PowerBI Open Integration Approach
  15. Guest

    Webhooks

    Hi, I've been looking at Webhooks and it seems very simple to set up - i.e. I've been able to call a webhook in requestb.in quite easily whenever an incident is created. What I'd like to know is if I can call a webhook from a specific point in a business process workflow. For example, when a P1 priority is set in our Incident business process, it does a number of things, e.g. email the Major Incident Managers, post to a P1 workspace, update the P1 board. What I'd also like to do is call our SMS sending service, which has a webhook API that can be called. Is this possible? Many thanks, David
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