In the fourth part of this six part overview of System Center 2012 Service Manager we looked at how Service Manager can help automate IT service provisioning and how user’s self-service experience can be customized using SharePoint. In this part we’ll look at how Service Manager can be customized using Management Packs from Operations Manager as well as two free downloads for SM, the Cloud Services Process Pack along with the IT GRC Pack.

Management Packs and Customization in SCSM 2012

There are three ways to customize SCSM itself (not the self-service portal that end users interact with); you can use the inbuilt tools in the Administration and Authoring pane for ad-hoc customization or you can use the separately downloadable Service Manager Authoring Tool or you can directly modify or author management pack files.

SCSM is built on exactly the same data model as Operations Manager 2012; the benefit of this is that Management Packs  work in both programs. Adding and upgrading Management Packs  in SCSM needs to be planned as any opened consoles need to be closed and reopened, and if there’s a class change to service requests, all their “last touched date” will be reset. Keep all your custom lists in one unsealed Management Pack and all custom templates in another Management Pack and backup these at regular intervals.

You can also use the Visio Management Pack Designer (VMPD) to create management packs for OM and SCSM simply by designing in Visio and then creating an Management Pack automatically from the output.

System Center Service Manager - Management Packs

A number of Management Packs come preinstalled in Service Manager.

Cloud Services Process Pack for SCSM 2012

The Cloud Services Process Pack (CSPP) is a free add on to System Center 2012 (that integrates with Service Manager, Orchestrator, Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager) to let IT departments provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to the business. It’s the bits required to really leverage a System Center 2012 deployment into a private cloud platform by enabling self-service. Built on best practices it lets you define tenants, cloud resources and VMs and enable these to be requested and managed by business units.

IT Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Process Pack

There are various regulatory requirements and frameworks that affect how business run their IT infrastructure (SOX,HIPAA,PCI-SEC) and so forth. This free process pack for SCSM helps business with their efforts in this area through compliance libraries.

This pack adds a pane for managing control and risk programs to the SCSM console called Compliance and Risk Items as well as new reports and two new cubes to the DW; Compliance Results and Compliance Program Details.

Be aware that installing the pack isn’t going to make your business compliant with any regulation, it’s simply a way to track processes and risk, and will have to be assisted by real people working on building the actual processes to the required standards.

System Center Service Manager - IT GRC Pack

The IT GRC pack is certainly handy help if your business is struggling to prove compliance with one or more regulations.


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