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SCCM Integration fails on 1st attempt, successful on second attempt

Thought I’d share a strange SCCM Connection issue with the Ivanti Service Manager (HEAT ISM) Integration. Cloud, VPN, SCCM 2010

The 1st connection attempt fails with error: 40 – Could not open a connection to SQL Server

The 2nd connection attempt is successful (no changes made to settings)

This is an issue for scheduled SCCM imports that are set to nightly and the import shows as complete but actually fails with zero batches and records processed. 

Manually running the connection experiences similar symptoms and testing the connection sometimes gives an error the first time around but is ok the second time around.

HEAT Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) SCCM Integration Issue with VPN Workaround:

To overcome this SCCM Integration issue, at first I attempted creating a second schedule with the same SCCM Integration but didn’t seem to work and the SCCM Integration ran, showed as completed, but had zero bathes and records.

Then created a second dummy SCCM Integration, with a filter that produced zero records, and scheduled it 15 minutes prior to the actual SCCM Integration.

That seems to have been working so far.

Ivanti finally came back and recommended to look into the “keep alive” setting on the VPN, as it may be getting in the way .

Scope of Work Priorities

When you are gathering Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) and Ivanti Asset Manager (IAM) requirements to build your Solution Design Documentation and Scope of Work (SOW) there is one very important best practice. Set Implementation Priorities!

setting priorities for your ISM project

Scoping is an art of finding the right balance between effort, benefits, and long term gains. Quick Wins should be your 1st Priority (P1) followed by long term gains which are Priority 2 (P2) and have the highest benefits.

For example, on a recent Asset Management implementation the core project team determined that the quickest wins and highest benefits would be asset scanning and a foundation for procurement and assets (hardware and software) that we could built upon on future phases.

ivanti service manager scoping SOW solution design priorities best practices project tracker ISM Change Control P1 P2 Nice-to-have Must-Have Show-Stopper UAT Test Scripts
ITSM Priorities by Benefit and Effort

That lead us to this high level scope:

  • P1 – Asset Scanning / Procurement Foundation
  • P2 – Software Asset Management (SAM)
  • P3 – Hardware Asset Management Enhancements

What this meant was that we would build asset scanning capabilities not only for assets but also packing slips, replace the existing purchase order tracking excel sheets, and vendor inventory tracking sheets from Softchoice and various software vendors, with an Ivanti Service Manager product catalog for hardware and software, utilized the purchase order workspace for sales orders, enabled contracts and entitlements for software inventory, and built a softchoice integration to automatically update invoice and shipping information and functionality to reconcile against packing slips and purchase orders.

These were just our P1’s and P2’s! With further integration to discovery tools, enhancements to assets, and workflow automation for P3. Of course keep in mind that upon project completion some of the other requirements from the parking lot will become P1’s and P2’s and the cycle begings.

Along the way we identified more quick wins that improved overall product usability and project tracking:

  • ISM Administrator Level 2 Role – for limited admin access with dedicated top level tabs to manage assigned validation lists and some configurations without full administration console access
  • a19 Consulting Tracker – a custom built project tracking tool by a19 Consulting with backlog, artifacts, parking lot, status updates, project dashboard, heat release project and package tracking, to-do list, and many more features
  • a19 Consulting Change Control with Announcements, Alerts, Notifications, and approval process for User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  • a19 Consulting UAT Test Scripts Workspace for ISM Administrators and Consultants to develop test scripts, run test scripts, log defect, pass/fail tests, request enhancements and identify show stoppers, must-haves, and nice-to-haves

If you would like more information for the a19 Consulting Best Practice Tool set or need help defining and executing your scope of work please contact me!

Ivanti Service Manager Upgrades

Before you consider upgrading your on premise Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) and/or Ivanti Asset Manager (IAM) you should consider the What’s New Releases, the Ivanti Release Schedule, Steps Involved, and Impact to your Service Desk Implementation.

For example if you are upgrading from the HEAT Classic Ticketing System then the changes and impact to your organization, business processes, and day to day operations, is substantial versus just a minor release upgrade.

Of course if you’re using SaaS (Software as a Service) hosted by Ivanti then you are privy to the most current version and should review the What’s New information and Ivanti Cloud Calendar for regression testing, training, and identifying a communication plan.

Here is a quick summary of the latest Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) and Ivanti Asset Manager (ISM) Releases. This is my personal cheat sheet.


https://www.slideshare.net/IvantiServiceManager/ivanti-service-manager-releases-whats-new-what-you-need-to-know-before-you-upgrade-237947346

Be sure to Contact me for more information!

ivanti service manager release history

Ivanti Asset Manager 101

Asset Manager is a much talked about “new” product that was released with ITxM 2018.3 and actively promoted with ITxM 2019.1.

ITxM 2019 in fact consists of Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) and Ivanti Asset Manager (IAM).

Ivanti Asset Manager has been around for a while and Ivanti Service Manager, formerly known as HEAT, has done Asset Management since its early HEAT for Windows days in the 1990’s.

ITxM is a leap forward combining the best of both the Asset Manager product and HEAT’s Asset Management capabilities with a roadmap to dominate the ITxM space.

Key features

  • Asset Roles
  • Android Based Asset Scanning
  • Improved Asset Interface
  • Improved Integration for Discovery Tools such as EPM and SCCM
  • Improved Asset Reports & Dashboards
  • Improved Asset Life Cycle Statuses
  • Simplified Asset Types, including Consumables
  • Inventory Stock Management
  • Contracts and Purchase Orders
  • Improved Vendor Management
  • Improved Software Library
  • Improved Audit & Compliance Capabilities
  • Improved Costing Reporting Capability (Total Cost of Ownership)
  • Request Offerings (2019.3)
  • Improved Asset Workflows

ITxM in essence becomes your single source of truth with a holistic view of your assigned assets, discovered assets, tracked against purchase orders, contracts with workflow and approval processes.

Lots of great functionality and features that on the surface provide a great demo and glimpse into what your Asset Management Strategy could look like, but overkill in practice.

For this reason I have developed an Asset Manager Best Practice System in working with dozens of clients over the last couple decades.

If you are serious about making your Asset Manager Strategy a success, be sure to contact me I’m here to help!

 

 

 

 

Zapier Integration

Zapier is a web-based service that allows you to integrate web applications.

Ivanti Service Manager HEAT ITSM Zapier Integration
Ivanti Service Manager HEAT ITSM Zapier Integration

With Ivanti Service Manager 2017.3.1 onward you can now trigger the creation of an Incident, Change, Request, Service Request, or Incident note from other supported Zapier integrations such as a Google Sheet, Excel Spreadsheet, Google Calendar, Twitter, Chatbot, etc.
You can also trigger an integration when a new Incident, Change Request, or Service Request is created, for example, trigger the creation of a Google Calendar Entry when a Change Request is created or a Service Request is created (Computer Loaner Service Request for example).
The Zapier Pricing model is by # of Zaps (Integrations)  and Tasks, starting at $25 USD per month.

Ivanti Service Manager HEAT ITSM Zapier Integration Pricing
Ivanti Service Manager HEAT ITSM Zapier Integration Pricing