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Ivanti Cherwell Convergence

The long lost prodigal son has returned. That’s right. Cherwell, the Frontrange (HEAT) spin-off.

For Cherwell Customers, Shift-Left is the focus. No Surprise here. Ivanti is an IT power house. 78 of Fortune 100 are using Ivanti.

The goal is to take the best out of Cherwell and converge it into Ivanti. No surprise here. You could look at Cherwell as a Frontrange HEAT development branch.

The exciting part for Ivanti Customers, from a functional and technical perspective:

  • No-code builder for expressions (already possible now, will be improved)
  • Expanded API capability
  • Enhanced expression capabilities
  • Advanced workflows – interactivity, improved integration scenarios, navigation, branching logic
  • Variables
  • Modifiers, manipulate data without requiring code
  • Delegation of Approvals (already possible now, ask me how, will be improved)
  • Trusted Agent – access to private network resources without requiring a VPN
  • Better incoming email parsing and actions
  • Localization Workbench
  • All LoB (Line of Business) Content and Custom Content Maps available

2022 indeed will be super exciting and expect to see some of these changes in the first half of 2022 with a goal to complete convergence and upgrades by the end of 2022.

Video can be found at videos.a19consulting.com

Ivanti HEAT ISM UAT UserAcceptanceTesting Sample Test Data - Kifinti Solutions Consultant a19 Consulting

What Input Data is best for UAT?

While obvious to the most seasoned Quality Assurance Analysts and HEAT ISM Consultants, the gathering of UAT Sample Data can be confusing to some and is often poorly documented and executed.

Having the right sample data is key to successful User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

The worst thing you can do is test milli-vanilli and only make up input data without using real data. Using made-up sample data can be confusing to UAT Testers, difficult to follow, and lead to false test results.

UAT is all about validating business requirements and confirming that you can perform your day to day job functions. So why would you want to use some made up data? You don’t. You want to use real live actual data to verify that the new system or feature behaves exactly like your old system, whether HEAT Classic, another software system, Excel, manual forms, legacy application, and so on. In my 25+ years of Ivanti HEAT ISM Implementations I have not come across an implementation that didn’t have some sort of tracking tool or method, spreadsheet, or other artifact that can be used as sample data. Even handwritten logs could make up sample data, and I don’t remember the last time I have seen one of those.

Sample input data should be real data, from your existing system, whether it’s a database, excel sheet, paper forms, or another system or artifact. For example tickets from your old HEAT Classic system, Paper Forms from a manual system (Invoices, Logs, etc), if you’re going digital, or sample rows from an Excel sheet if that’s what you’re replacing. These are just some examples.

Tip: Create a “complete workflow” artifacts of examples from start to finish in the process. One of my clients recently added procurement workflows to the Ivanti HEAT System and created a PDF of sample data for the relevant process, from inception of the procurement request, approval, quote, shipment, receipt, asset tagging, stock administration, invoice, and payment. The artifact was through and included sample data from every step. Some digital, others print outs, and even handwritten notes on the invoices. All of which were important sample data for User Acceptance Testing. It was a one time effort by the Subject Matter Expert (SME) and was invaluable throughout UAT, Training, and overall for discussion purposes. Intangibles were positive user morale, adoption, and a clear understanding of UAT Testers as to what data to use and how the new system would benefit them relating back to how they were doing things before and how that was going to change in the new way of doing things. In other words, the sample data artifacts were valuable Training Knowledge and used for review and discussion purposes, and during ongoing UAT Status Calls and meetings.

Bottom line, use real data that represents the typical type of data to expect and the UAT Team members can relate to. Tip: Ask yourself if the data could be used for training purposes. If it can, then include it as an artifact for training documentation. If it can’t, then ask yourself if the sample data is a good representation of a typical day in the life of the end user.

Furthermore, keep in mind that when there are changes, upgrades, or issues, you will want to have sample UAT Test Data to fall back to.


What is a Soft Go-Live?

A soft go-live, also know as soft launch, or soft roll-out, can be a preview release to a limited audience prior to the general user base, or often a cut-over period where the system to be replaced, the legacy system is used either side-by-side with the new system, or the legacy system is used for lookups only and the new system is used for new entries.

Soft go-lives are great for testing functionality with real-live scenarios. UAT “should” have accounted for all the use cases and test scripts for real live day-by-day job functions, but the reality is that nothing tests your new system or upgrade like the real thing. When rubber hits the road so to speak. Lets face it, test driving your new SUV around the parking lot isn’t quite the same as taking it for a weekend camping in the Rockies, with your kids, uncle Bob, and all the family pets. That’s when the real world sets in. Technically the “soft go-live” for a new car are the first 1000km that you need to take it easy on your new purchase and get used to its handling, before you go on a long trip. Same goes for your Ivanti Service Manager implementation, upgrades, and new features.

For example, if you’re rolling out Ivanti Asset Manager, with Asset Scanning, Procurement workflows for Purchase Orders, Product Catalog for Hardware and Software, Storage Locations to manage consumables and Packing Slip scanning, there are bound to be some new procedures that need to be tested in the real world. With real live situations.

Benefits of a Soft Go-Live

  • Valuable feedback from real, live situations
  • Mitigate risk by gradually rolling out new features and processes, and allowing time to ‘fine tune‘, identify any requirement gaps, and quickly resolve technical issues and requirement changes, overnight
  • Time to learn new workflow and become familiar with the new system
  • Time to build knowledge articles, FAQs, and training documentation & videos
  • Gradual roll-out requires less intense planning
  • Time to update reference data
  • Train individual teams or groups gradually
  • Less burden on support infrastructure compared to hard go-live
  • Meet commitments, build confidence, and gain momentum as features are gradually rolled out and users as well as support staff have time to adjust to the new system and workflows

Soft Go-Lives aren’t just recommended. Gradual rollouts are a Best Practice!

Ivanti Asset Manager 101

Ivanti added their Asset Manager product (IAM) into Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) in late 2019 with the 2019.3 release. While a new product to some, and definitely a huge learning curve for many ISM customers, Asset Management is not a new concept to ISM.

Ivanti Asset Manager IAM Asset Scanner Procurement CMDB Configuration Item CI Software Inventory Product Catalog Contracts Invoices Purchase Orders Scan Log Storage Entitlement ITAM Asset Management

Back in the HEAT for Windows (HFW) days under Bendata ownership, that’s right, going back over 20 years now, “Asset Tracking” was accomplished with the HEAT Ticketing System, now called HEAT Classic (by Frontrange Solutions) or HEAT Call Logging, using Profiles, subsets, and detail screens until configs were introduced and then later the HEAT ITSM introduced the CMDB (Configuration Management Database Base) which consists of CI‘s (Configuration Items) such as Services, Software, Enterprise Applications, Servers, Computers, and other hardware, and complimenting Service Request Offerings, Workflows, and Automation, as well as integration with Discovery Tools such as SCCM, EPM, and others.

Fast forward to 2020 and Asset Management takes a front-seat, especially now with Covid-19 and work-from-home projects. The new interface combines IAM into ISM, hence the introduction of new business objects with the ivnt (Ivanti) pre-fix, new roles (Asset Administrator, Asset Manager), new CI type for Software Product, as well as General Assets, Un-managed Assets, Infrastructure, and Peripheral Device that combines some of the previous CI Types for “peripherals” into one.

The new business object structure and ERD takes some time to study and getting used to, especially since the ITxM (ITSM/ITAM) architecture has been combined over time, with some FRS (Frontrange Solutions) prefixes, such as the revamped Product Catalog (FRS_Price_Item), and the standard naming convention (without prefix), and ivnt prefixes. On top of that there are legacy and legacy discovery (DSM) business objects (which are partially used by the EPM and SCCM integrations). Software Asset Management (SAM) becomes even more convoluted as there are new workspaces, legacy workspaces, and depending on which discovery tool you’re using, there may be a subset of workspaces and objects. Plus SAM is closely integrated with Contracts and Purchase Oder now.

Procurement has gone through major improvements as well, and Contracts, Purchase Orders, and their respective line items, plus Invoices added. This can be a project of its own, and can be integrated with your ERP or accounting system.

Asset Scanning with the Asset Scanner Mobile app is another major feature introduced that allows your Storage Manager’s (another new role) to scan assets into inventory, check them out, do floor sweeps of inventory, and track stock levels as well as shipments for orders.

Understanding, implementing IAM, and doing so correctly and efficiently, can be a daunting task.

Before you waste time, energy, and resources, be sure to contact a19 Consulting for Ivanti Professional Services, the testimonial from the latest of many Asset Manager installations speaks for itself.

Question from an ITSM client regarding their Ivanti Service Manager tenant: If needed, are we able to create a separate instance for the AP ticketing?
  1. Q & A. Separate Ivanti Service Manager (ISM) instance for AP?
  2. Do you really need a Project Manager for your Ivanti Neurons for ITSM/ITAM Implementation?
  3. What makes a great Ivanti HEAT Neurons Administrator/Developer/Consultant?
  4. Ivanti Developer or Consultant?
  5. Is Ivanti a Professional Services Provider?

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.


Be sure to Contact me for more information!

ivanti service manager release history