Last week we announced the launch of Cireson’s “notification activity” console app, which simplifies the process of updating stakeholders about Microsoft System Center Service Manager (SCSM) activity. But during our recent Community Open Floor meetup, we demonstrated its various features and discussed use cases for different environments.

What Does Notification Activity Do?

When you put a notification activity in the context of an incident, service request, change request or release record, it generates a notification. So, you don’t have to produce automation to generate a notification or determine who receives it. “Notification activity” eliminates the need to rely on runbooks or PowerShell to update stakeholders about situations like:

  • Manual activity completion
  • Change request implementation status
  • A down business service
  • General FYI messages (can be sent on specific incident templates)

These are just a few examples. We also got to see the features in action, too, including:

  • “Notification activity template” overview and use case (hint: it consolidates steps)
  • “Notification template editor” interface that reveals root work item properties and relationships, previous and next activity
  • The advantage of defining a status or related user
  • How to send notifications to a group—even groups that aren’t mail-enabled
  • Best practice: use the Cireson editor instead of the default editor

Many customers commented on the time savings and workload sparing effect of “notification activity.” There is also room for creativity in how to apply it, including how to reach multiple groups, ensure fields are filled out (preventing activity failure) and manage multiple notifications. There is great opportunity for a mix and match approach, and you can take part in discussion about execution and options in the Community Open Floor Discussion Group.

Best Practices for Activities and Service Requests

You know that there are many ways to approach a goal in Service Manager. But some methods will help you more than others. Case in point: service requests.

There are a few reasons why you’d want to use a service request:

  • When (contained) activities complete, the parent completes. Likewise, if one activity fails, then the entire sequence request fails. This is helpful (and preferable to using incident requests) in distributed work situations, among others.
  • You can add automation in service and/or change requests. Depending on the inputs added to a service request via the portal, various activities can be generated based on the first automation activity (this is dynamic activity generation based on automation activities).

Our advice? Give yourself more options: use service requests for processes.

We cover Cireson Portal and SCSM hacks, along with your insights and questions in biweekly Community Open Floor sessions, and we’d love for you to join us. Register now!