New central portal connects ServiceNow content across campus

Whether you’re requesting assistance or finding your own answers, getting help is getting a little bit easier.  

With the launch of Workday and improved service delivery in 2019, information technology services (ITS) and specialists in human resources and finance began using the ServiceNow platform for receiving and responding to service requests. In 2020, all three groups (ITS in April, HR in August, finance and planning in October) launched portals on the platform, offering how-to guidance in "knowledge base" articles. The ITS portal also allows ISU students, faculty and staff to order equipment or request services.

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Between those three units and a handful of others on campus, there are about 800 public and private knowledge base articles -- a number that's continuously growing, said Jason Shuck, ITS systems operations manager. A new campuswide portal -- the ISU Service Portal -- allows the ISU community to query all of that information in one search. Before, you could only search in individual portals.

"You don't need to know exactly where to look. You can just go to one location and get everything," Shuck said.

Building a gateway that offers a global search of all of the university's ServiceNow content was the plan from the get-go when ISU adopted the platform, Shuck said. When looking at how other institutions used ServiceNow, ITS staff explored their campuswide portals.

"We were thinking, 'OK, someday we want that,'" he said. "But it would have been awkward to launch a campus portal with only one subject in it. Now that there is more content on there, it is beginning to provide a lot of value."

The importance likely will grow as more units begin to take advantage of ServiceNow. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is using the platform for some of its articles, and Shuck said ITS has spoken with some colleges about how it could be useful for storing and sharing their information internally.

"We see a lot of future here," Shuck said.

Searches on the ISU Service Portal will only show content users are authorized to view, said Michael Lohrbach, ITS director of enterprise services and customer success. Deciding who should have access to a knowledge base article or service request option is part of the process of adding them to the system. Some articles don't require the user to even be logged in, such as the how-to on setting up a Net-ID.

Units already posting articles in ServiceNow may expand their usage in the future. Finance and planning, for instance, will begin offering in-portal service requests starting next month.

"Knowledge base articles are a good place to start, and over time service requests can be added," Lohrbach said.

All of an individual’s service incidents and requests managed in ServiceNow, including those handled by the ITS Solution Center and HR and finance service teams, are visible in any of the platform's portals, including the ISU Service Portal. When signed in, click on your name in the upper right corner of a portal and select "My Dashboard" to see requests and incidents.

To find the ISU Service Portal, go to your Okta login page, which includes a tile linking to the portal.