Cisco IT has always encouraged employees to use the tools that help them work most efficiently from anywhere on any device.
As the range of IT services we offered has increased, we noticed that the process of acquiring the various tools became complex and confusing. We had a number of different internal sites (aka “stores”) within Cisco, each offering different systems for employees to request services. This complexity impacted the user experience and productivity of these employees.
In order to simplify the employee experience with Cisco IT, we made the decision to consolidate all these different systems into a single online service catalog – effectively a unified e-commerce storefront for our IT services – where our employees could find services they needed to do their jobs.
We thus created Cisco IT’s “eStore”.
Our goal was to improve employee satisfaction, decrease support costs, and increase employee productivity. We had to find a way to increase adoption and transparency of our existing IT services.
Cisco IT knew that a platform to consolidate these services into one unified service request system could be built on top of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, our own end-user portal and service catalog solution. This solution provides enterprise IT management capabilities that enable entitlement, approvals, service taxonomy control, and even chargeback.
When was the last time you turned on your new gadget, opened an app, or logged onto a website and found that you needed to attend a training course before you could use it effectively?
At times, we in the IT industry fall into the trap that we need the most advanced technical capabilities. After all, this is the great force that has produced numerous inventions and has made our lives better. However, when we focus too much on technical details rather than meeting our users’ needs, we fail to deliver not only for our customers but also for our business.
The IT team at a major global manufacturer recently told me about their company’s major investment in user experience design, because it is important for their brand image and business success. They are applying user-centered design not only to the products they make, but also to the IT systems they implement in-house. Even the U.S. government has a usability and user-centered design practice under http://www.usability.gov/basics/ucd/.
This year, our software development team embarked on a user experience update for our IT service catalog software by applying the user-centered design principle. We are showcasing this new user interface and introducing a new product name for the software – Cisco Prime Service Catalog – at Cisco Live Orlando this week.
Here is a preview of the next-generation user interface for Cisco Prime Service Catalog:
This new user experience highlights the services that end users may be interested in, with lists like “Most Popular Services”. If a user has a certain model of IP Phone, the service catalog may feature associated items such as a compatible headset. This familiar ecommerce experience is still governed by the service catalog’s entitlement and approval process, so the service owner has full control over service consumption. User experiences like this will help transform employees’ impression of their IT department. Service providers will also find that they can configure this new user interface to portray the brand image and customer experience they want to project.