The User Group met last Wednesday (March 6, 2019) at the I2 Global Summit in Washington, DC. It was great seeing everyone while we were out there. During our meeting, GlobalNOC provided a few updates focusing on our Service Desk, ServiceNow transition, this website, and provided our latest update for the GlobalNOC Renewal Program. Thank you to everyone who could attend. For those that couldn’t make it, below is a summary of what we discussed. The presentation slides are also attached so that you can review them as you have time. If you have any questions, please reach out to the GlobalNOC Business Operations team and we’ll be glad to help out.
Service Desk Updates
Below are the 2018 metrics for the service desk. Overall, there was an increase in the number of tickets worked (about 27,000 more than 2017) and a decrease in the number of phone calls. The decrease in phone calls is likely related to an increase in the use of web forms. The transition to ServiceNow enabled the use of more webforms for requests requiring specific customer input.
- Worked 68,000 Tasks
- Answered 17,000 Calls
- Processed 370,000 Emails
- Responded to 400,000 Alarms w/ an average acknowledgement time of 12 minutes
Internet2 Frontline Updates
Over the course of 2018, several improvements were made to our frontline support of I2. The first improvement is improved support for Zenedge, DDOS, and access requirements for sites. This includes a workflow that’s been built out to inbound requests and route them effectively into the hands of engineering to perform additional support. In addition, the Service Desk expanded targeted notifications to include AL2S VLANs and interconnects, combined MAN LAN and WIX support into a single domain, and assisted in the frontline turn-up of support for ARS SCINet.
The Service Desk also completed a year long review of existing documentation that ended with a new structure of the documentation itself. This increases the chance of success when searching to find the right support document quickly and lends a hand to quicker response time during triage. It’s also decreased the stress on the newer technicians when learning. New Canvas modules have assisted in the training and turn up of newer technicians. We are able to get new technicians up to speed faster in support of Internet2, which we hope lends itself to fewer mistakes on the frontline.
Research Focus Team Updates
Support for N-Wave expanded throughout 2018 including onboarding 14 new customers and expanding enterprise wireless support at 7+ sites. ServiceNow has allowed for account management service requests to be added to the Service Desk portfolio. All of the web forms deployed in 2018 allow issues to route more accurately to gather them in the appropriate support ‘bucket’. In addition, customers are now notified in a targeted manner for their services that traverse a particular aggregation path. This increased accuracy of notification where in the past it was more of a blast notification based on aggregation site.
Regional and State Focus Teams Updates
Initial frontline DDOS support is now being provided in some cases for RONs on a case by case basis. More support for DDOS is being rolled out as service offerings grow. Service Desk has taken on a more active role in the development of vendor engagement and has been a go-between for improving the NOC and vendor relations for many RONs. Much like the two previous teams, notification tool updates have allowed for more targeted impact to be extrapolated for maintenance and outage notifications
OmniSOC Support at GlobalNOC
Support for the OmniSOC has been completed for all founding members including a proactive data feed monitoring. Service Desk staff are actively monitoring all data feeds for the founding members and escalating to Security engineers if feeds go into alarm. Our goal is to provide real-time review of a SIEM-type solution, where we have Tier I eyes on glass via Kibana going into Fall 2019. This will open some new doors in the Service Desk for support.
Our automated call distribution (ACD) was re-programmed to hunt for a trained technician quicker and with better accuracy in finding the appropriate technician to handle the call. This update will allow the Service Desk to pull additional statistics we could not previously. Additionally, as a by-product of the move to ServiceNow, we have been able to create workflows for specific support items that can now follow defined workflows from start to end. This should allow for quicker triage and closure of tickets across the board for all supported networks. All original tools that interfaced with Footprints were transitioned and improved for ServiceNow. We’re looking forward to Phase II, where we will look to gain efficiency and begin to build new workflows that allow us to focus on our primary mission of proactive network monitoring and high-touch customer interaction.
We began our transition from Footprints (FP) to ServiceNow in November 2017. It’s been a long journey from that point to today. We have struggled with many topics including implementing a domain separated instance, building out new process and workflows, and building compatibility with the GlobalNOC toolset. We are proud to say that as of December 2018, the last GlobalNOC customer was transitioned into the new system. In addition, our last internal group transitioned in February 2019.
Looking back out our transition, the following stats highlight the effort put forth in the transition:
- We completed 22,461 updates to ServiceNow, including…
- 931 Form Updates
- 4,836 Field Updates
- 693 Workflow Updates
- We moved 927 updates sets, which are groups of updates supporting a project
- We completed this work in 91 maintenance windows
What’s next for our ServiceNow transition? We are going to begin our phase 2 development soon. With our initial rollout, we focused on building out the same toolset we had with FP. Now we are able to focus on improvements with our transition completed. Improved metrics and reporting are also being expanded with the use of Performance Analytics and the addition of outside data. Our final next step is to evaluate our processes and look for improvements. ServiceNow can alleviate pain points through the use of workflows such as the ones implemented by the Service Desk in phase 1.
Look out for chances to provide input on improvements you are hoping to make. We will be reaching out as we progress through various areas and make improvements in phase 2.
User Group Website
Since you’ve made it here, chances are that you are at least aware of the existence of the GlobalNOC User Group Website. We are working through the design so bear with us as we make changes and improve our look. The important pages to review are listed below.
Events Page: https://usergroup.globalnoc.iu.edu/events/
For the most up to date information on GlobalNOC Days, check out the event page here: https://usergroup.globalnoc.iu.edu/events/globalnoc-days/
GlobalNOC Renewal Program (GRP)
For the most up to date information on GlobalNOC Renewal Program (GRP), check out the renewal site here: https://renewal.globalnoc.iu.edu/