Remedyforce Consulting: Extending your Remedyforce implementation using Salesforce APIs to create enterprise-class solutions

By Bruce Morgan, Senior Consultant, Cloudaction

Through continued technical advances driven in part by the BMC-Salesforce partnership, the cloud development community now has a platform for creating true enterprise solutions that can serve and support multiple purposes via seamless integration of mission-critical business systems. Today, the advent of APIs, in particular Salesforce APIs, has made Remedyforce integrations with other key enterprise solutions much easier to accomplish, providing many downstream advantages and higher value to the business.

For discussion’s sake, let’s say we are an organization with three enterprise applications, each created to do one job very well in delivering a web-accessible product to our enterprise customers.

First, there’s our network management solution, which is great for event detection and correlation. In near real-time, we can see where weaknesses or even “red alerts” are appearing in our network, or where a server has failed. With proper tuning and reporting, we can even predict failures. We can maximize the value of our investment in equipment while minimizing downtime. Our network team sees the world clearly: if our customers can’t use our online services, then there is a huge downside impact on the business.

Second, there’s our BMC Remedyforce IT service management solution, which controls and monitors the business processes used to request changes to the network, to fulfill requests for new equipment, and to respond appropriately to changing network conditions. All the while, it helps maintain the quality of service end users expect to keep them informed. Our ITSM team sees themselves as the glue that keeps end users connected to our products. Without ITSM, the system of input from end users and response from the network would not be sufficiently managed and coordinated.

Third, our Salesforce customer relationship management solution is great at managing the process of bringing customers on board with us. From before the initial sales contact through the entire time a customer engages us, we can monitor the health of our accounts, validate and predict the results of marketing strategies, and quickly respond to changing marketing conditions as we see trends emerge from our accumulated data. Our sales leadership is certain that without customers, our business would be just an unprofitable hobby. The business owes its very existence to CRM.

All three applications have their own unique critical objective to achieve in order to run the business optimally. They are all essential to the business’s existence and its ability to thrive, and because of that, they must work together. Their interactions must be fluid and natural. At the same time each must provide its specific service in the way that is most beneficial to the business. Each system must be allowed to do what it does best and still be able to talk with the others. What is needed is a platform that permits each system and team to do what it does best and also enable them to communicate effectively. With today’s web and cloud-based platforms like Salesforce and integration APIs, this can be a reality and bodes well for future innovations.

It is good to remember that our idea of an enterprise integration platform has evolved over time. For example, there once was a time when all of this interaction was powered by people. People were needed to manually enter data read from printout. Later, the “sneaker net” was a common way to transport data between systems; data was copied to physical media and walked from one system to another. Later still, copying and pasting between desktop apps relieved the wear and tear on the sneakers and increased speed a bit, but it’s prone to errors.

Then we started using batch jobs to copy data over networks between applications. It was similar to the sneaker net, only people were removed from the process. Robots began performing their intended function. Efficiency and accuracy advanced, but the problem of redundant data remained. Data being maintained in two places either required manual synchronization, or it stands the risk of becoming stale between scheduled runs. Maintaining duplicate data requires occasional synchronization, while the data becomes stale between scheduled runs, whether through manual or automated updates. It might be a risk for the HR system to record a termination, which the security team finds out about 12 hours later.

Today, the rise of web and cloud-based applications has brought us a solution in the form of integration APIs, including the stable of Salesforce integration APIs, and the methods for leveraging them with applications such as Remedyforce.

While APIs have existed for years, they have come into their own with modern web applications, and Salesforce APIs in particular have opened a large door for enterprise-class integrations. While some of the API functions are internal, Salesforce components can communicate directly with Remedyforce and vice versa, and we also have at our disposal an open set of web services. And we can even develop web services of our own. With web services, Salesforce can trade data with any other application as long as it is accessible over the Internet.  Now the entire world has opened up.

Salesforce has done the difficult work for us. We just have to leverage what is available. The web services we can design are compliant with the global standards so they are interoperable with any other client application that adheres to the same standards. We have the ability to create client applications within Salesforce that can talk to other web services, even with other Salesforce organizations. Actions on Remedyforce service requests and incidents, or any other Remedyforce object, can be escalated in near real-time to other management systems.

With just a little effort and creativity, our Remedyforce, Salesforce, and network management solutions can all be working together as a single, seamless, and effective solution to keep our business not just alive but thriving.

In the next post, we will explore how to solve an integration problem using a little Remedyforce consulting to determine a need, and then some custom development to meet that need.

At Cloudaction, our goal is to help you get maximum value from your Remedyforce experience. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-844-2CLOUDA (1-844-225-6832) or via Ask Us NOW!, a complimentary service from Cloudaction to provide expert answers to your product capability, functionality, and implementation questions. We promise to respond to your inquiry or question within 24 hours.