Integrating ServiceNow to Customers and Data Warehouses at Fujitsu
"We had an army of developers building integrations by hand, testing them and rolling them out live. It took an awfully long time.”
- Carey Blunt, Global Architect for Service Management Tools at Fujitsu
As one of the world’s top ten largest IT services providers, Fujitsu operates a number of ServiceNow service management instances to provide managed services for customers. The company endeavors to provide the highest levels of customer care in the most transparent way possible so that their remotely conducted services are experienced in the same way as those from customer’s internal teams. Integrating customers’ ServiceNow instances is key to achieving the transparency and responsiveness they and their customers want.
Like most organizations, Fujitsu started creating their own integrations but found them expensive to develop and maintain as well as time-consuming and fraught with complexity. In addition, the homegrown bespoke integrations tended to hamper the application’s performance and impair usability. Fujitsu turned to Perspectium to provide completely managed integrations that run as a service. This ensures constant availability and operation, despite inevitable changes to the ServiceNow instances or infrastructure.
Fujitsu also uses Perspectium to integrate their own instances of ServiceNow from their various internal divisions and geographical locations. Fujitsu can integrate service and data from separate ServiceNow instances as well as move data into data warehouses for their own custom reporting and analytics – without incurring the typical performance impacts.
The Fujitsu Group
Fujitsu delivers total solutions in the field of information and communication technology. Along with multifaceted services provision, the company’s comprehensive business encompasses the development, manufacture, sales and maintenance of the cutting-edge, high-quality products and electronic devices that make these services possible. Fujitsu's services business holds the leading market share in Japan and the fourth-largest share worldwide. They provide services across a wide range of countries and regions, including Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.
- Over 18,500 in-house researchers and 132,000 employees
- Revenue of over $40B (FY ending March 2019)
- Operates in 154 countries with over 100 data centers
- Fujitsu included in FORTUNE Magazine’s 2019 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies” as part of the IT Services industry with high evaluations in categories including global competitiveness and innovation
Solving DIY Integration Difficulties
“Integration mirrors the complexity of the challenge we get from customers,” explains Carey Blunt, Global Architect for Service Management Tools at Fujitsu. “Customers come to us with all sorts of business and technical challenges, most of which involves mirroring data from one place to another or integrating systems together. With the number of customers we have and the number of countries and locations, that is a significant amount of work.”
Using the web services and APIs provided by ServiceNow, Fujitsu began creating their own custom integrations to link instances. According to Blunt, “We had an army of developers building integrations by hand, testing them and rolling them out live. It took an awfully long time.”
Like other organizations, they found that this approach, while seemingly straightforward, was quite difficult. First, because of complexities, the cost per integration was far more than anticipated. In addition, the cost of maintaining an integration was typically costing about 50% of the initial development cost each year. In addition, integrations took far longer than desired, and impaired their ability to be responsive to customers.
While creating an initial integration can be highly complicated and involved, maintaining one may be prohibitive due to operational costs or logistics. SaaS applications are constantly changing so that integrations continually need adjusting to function properly. Often these changes may occur unexpectedly, causing the integration to break and cease functioning until it can be updated. Broken integrations may mean interruptions in service. In addition, changes to networks and data center infrastructure may also affect integrations and necessitate updates. Perspectium provides integrations as a fully maintained service to ensure that they always work. Perspectium takes full responsibility for the maintenance and operation of each integration and provide them with high availability and on-demand scalability.
Traditional use of web services for transferring or integrating data may cause significant performance issues to ServiceNow, including making it unusable. Notes Blunt, “The extraction process we had been using was slow and costly, and there was a potential for a performance impact when pulling data using web services. Using Perspectium to manage the extraction and synchronization of data allows us to push rather than pull, and reduces the performance overhead.”
Another formidable difficulty is the challenge of ensuring that associated data stays with a particular field and the data being transferred. One data type may have attachments, notes or other fields associated with it. Knowing the relationship of data requires an intimate understanding of the service management application and how it is used. With deep technical roots in the workings of ServiceNow, Perspectium knows the associations between fields and data and can provide fully contextual data in each integration.
Finally, integrations must be done securely and with complete compliance of laws, policies and regulations. Perspectium provides secure integrations with full security, multiple encryption and obfuscation options and operations in keeping with all customer requirements.
Fujitsu selected Perspectium for multiple reasons that formed a strong business case:
- Significant reduction in the development time required for an integration
- Sizable cost reductions in integrations, including considerable savings over initial DIY development costs and ongoing self-maintenance
- Demonstrable time-to-value
- Ability to integrate records along with all associated data for fully contextual understanding
- Real-time integrations without impact to the performance or responsiveness of each ServiceNow instance
- Store and forward technology to deal with any possible failure with any part of the source, destination or infrastructure
- Higher level of security and encryption technology than internally-built integrations
- Deep understanding of ServiceNow processes and data models
- Clear expertise in providing integration as a service, not just generic integration technologies
- Real-time process integration and data replication without impacting application performance
- Maintenance-free integrations—Perspectium ensure that integrations are always current and operating optimally
- On-demand scalability
- Ability to quickly and easily add additional integrations with a variety of tools and repositories
- High levels of functionality and completeness because data relationships (including attachments) are maintained and transferred
- Lower cost than creating and maintaining their own DIY integrations
Using Perspectium, Fujitsu provides industry-leading service to its customers. “We can offer a better service to our clients through closer integration and service management,” says Blunt. “Perspectium took away all of our integration challenges.”
"With Perspectium, we can integrate quickly, at a low cost and not affect the performance of the ServiceNow applications. Now we can transfer data safely and securely - and be confident that it will get there 100 percent of the time."
- Carey Blunt, Fujitsu