adam_cutler
Frequent contributor

License Reclamation Alerts

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Could I get some help with understanding how alerts work with License Reclamation in an App Broker environment that uses ServiceNow? A customer would like to have alerts/questions go out to users when an application hasn't been used for 180 days. Because the users don't directly connect to App Broker (due to ServiceNow integration) would these questions only go out via email? Can users interact with these questions via email? Example question would be "If you believe you need to keep this application, please provide reasoning for doing so".

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jdempsey
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Generally, when using ServiceNow as the front-end for App Broker, I recommend only using silent reclamation policies without first notifying the user that the software will be removed.  After all, if you have provided a sufficient period of time (in your example, 6 months), they likely won't even miss it.  If you'd like, you can still have App Broker notify the user via email after the software has been removed.  You can customize this email notification to say something like "In order to make efficient use of our IT investments, we have removed software from your device that has not been used in over 6 months.  This allows us to reallocate this license to another user who has a current need for the software.  If you find that you need the software again in the future, please visit ServiceNow to request the software again."  Of course, in the situation where the user wouldn't have missed the software, this may just raise concerns and perhaps prompt the user to go request the software again even if they don't need it.

Another option might be to use the interactive alert policies, but modify the email notification template to remove any links to App Broker and instead instruct the user that the software will be automatically removed in XX days unless they contact the Help Desk with a justification for keeping the software.  Then if they do contact the Help Desk in that period of time with a legitimate business justification, the Help Desk can submit a "Keep" response on their behalf.

Yet another option is to develop your own UI within ServiceNow that displays the relevant alerts for the current user and allows them to respond to those alerts within ServiceNow.  Since My Apps functionality is exposed via REST API's (as documented in the App Broker documentation on HelpNet), it's possible to do this, and in fact Flexera Services has worked with one of our partners to do exactly that for one of our App Broker customers.  This option isn't for the faint of heart, but if you have the development skills, it could be a good option.  Of course I'm hopeful that one day we will add this into our standard App Broker update set for ServiceNow so it becomes available to all customers.  But for now, it would have to be custom development.

I guess I just thought of one other possible option which would be to enable My Apps in the App Broker UI, but set Catalog Permissions so the My Apps tab is the only thing that shows up when a user logs in.  That way, you could use the standard policies and notifications that direct users to the My Apps page in App Broker, and they could use that functionality, but only that functionality.  Any software requests would still have to be placed within ServiceNow.  That may not be the most desirable solution, but it could work for some customers.

Sorry for the long rambling response, but if you decide to use one of these approaches (or even come up with another option), please post back here to share your experiences.

 

Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera. If my reply answers a question you have raised, please click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION".

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Most notification emails sent out by App Portal/Broker that contain links will direct the user to the App Portal/Broker website in order to complete the actions. In the case of a notification asking the user if they wish to keep unused software the hyperlink for the 'keep' option would direct the user to the My Apps page so that they can provide the reasons for still needing the software. The 'uninstall' option would typically bring the user to the catalog checkout page for the uninstall catalog item associated with the software.

The ootb App Portal/Broker integration with ServiceNow does not provide much in the way of My Apps functionality and integration with FNMS aside from License checks. If a customer is integrating both FNMS and App Portal/Broker with ServiceNow then it may be better to try and define a process within ServiceNow to handle the entire scenario. At a high level this could be something like:

  • Configuring both install and uninstall catalog items in App Portal/Broker
  • Syncing the catalog items with ServiceNow
  • Syncing FNMS Inventory and Application data with ServiceNow
  • Creating a process in ServiceNow which checks LastUsedDate of software, which allows the user to respond in ServiceNow with a reason for keeping the option, or will trigger the checkout of the synced App Portal/Broker uninstall catalog item for that software

Basically you will be using FNMS as a way to get machines and inventory into ServiceNow, and App Portal/Broker as a way to hook in the catalog items and deployment system. You can then define processes in ServiceNow to notify users and perform the needful actions based on your business and use case scenarios.

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jdempsey
Moderator Moderator
Moderator

Generally, when using ServiceNow as the front-end for App Broker, I recommend only using silent reclamation policies without first notifying the user that the software will be removed.  After all, if you have provided a sufficient period of time (in your example, 6 months), they likely won't even miss it.  If you'd like, you can still have App Broker notify the user via email after the software has been removed.  You can customize this email notification to say something like "In order to make efficient use of our IT investments, we have removed software from your device that has not been used in over 6 months.  This allows us to reallocate this license to another user who has a current need for the software.  If you find that you need the software again in the future, please visit ServiceNow to request the software again."  Of course, in the situation where the user wouldn't have missed the software, this may just raise concerns and perhaps prompt the user to go request the software again even if they don't need it.

Another option might be to use the interactive alert policies, but modify the email notification template to remove any links to App Broker and instead instruct the user that the software will be automatically removed in XX days unless they contact the Help Desk with a justification for keeping the software.  Then if they do contact the Help Desk in that period of time with a legitimate business justification, the Help Desk can submit a "Keep" response on their behalf.

Yet another option is to develop your own UI within ServiceNow that displays the relevant alerts for the current user and allows them to respond to those alerts within ServiceNow.  Since My Apps functionality is exposed via REST API's (as documented in the App Broker documentation on HelpNet), it's possible to do this, and in fact Flexera Services has worked with one of our partners to do exactly that for one of our App Broker customers.  This option isn't for the faint of heart, but if you have the development skills, it could be a good option.  Of course I'm hopeful that one day we will add this into our standard App Broker update set for ServiceNow so it becomes available to all customers.  But for now, it would have to be custom development.

I guess I just thought of one other possible option which would be to enable My Apps in the App Broker UI, but set Catalog Permissions so the My Apps tab is the only thing that shows up when a user logs in.  That way, you could use the standard policies and notifications that direct users to the My Apps page in App Broker, and they could use that functionality, but only that functionality.  Any software requests would still have to be placed within ServiceNow.  That may not be the most desirable solution, but it could work for some customers.

Sorry for the long rambling response, but if you decide to use one of these approaches (or even come up with another option), please post back here to share your experiences.

 

Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera. If my reply answers a question you have raised, please click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION".

View solution in original post