Supercharging ITSM Collaboration with Mattermost and ServiceNow

Mattermost’s core mission is to provide secure collaboration for technical teams. To do so, we concentrate on providing a collaboration layer that powers key technical and operational workflows for our customers. A prime example of this focus is the new ServiceNow integration for Mattermost, which weaves together key ServiceNow ITSM features such as Incident, Change and Problem management with Mattermost’s rich collaboration features.

What is ITSM and why is it important?

There is a very high chance that you personally interact with company hardware and IT Services. It’s crucial that an organization make sure these are always available and performing well. IT service management (ITSM) – the process of designing, implementing, managing, and delivering IT services – is what makes this possible.

ServiceNow: Powering ITSM in 80% of the Fortune 500

80% of the Fortune 500 use ServiceNow, so it’s natural that many of Mattermost’s largest customers have asked us to integrate ServiceNow workflows inside our platform. It’s attractive to these organizations to be able to deal with key ITSM records like incidents, change requests and problems without leaving their primary collaboration tool.

Specifically, our customers have asked us to help:

  • Notify their teams about records created in ServiceNow and use these notifications to kick off collaborative processes.
  • Enable rapid-fire discussions around these records involving the whole technical team – not just those that regularly use ServiceNow.
  • Create and update ServiceNow records from Mattermost and eliminate copy/paste between the two systems.
  • Empower users to make comments right in Mattermost that are then visible inside a ServiceNow record.
  • Figure out how to pull everything together so that their teams can track and manage ServiceNow incidents, problems, and change requests in an intuitive, collaborative, and centralized system.

Let’s look at how we’ve improved each of these ITSM processes with the ServiceNow integration for Mattermost.

Capturing and sharing ServiceNow notifications

Teams spend much of their day inside Mattermost already, so it’s a natural place for users to check for notifications. For many of our customers, the most important feature of the ServiceNow integration is the ability to subscribe a Mattermost discussion channel for problem, incident, or change notifications. Because the team already exists as a group in a channel in Mattermost, adding the subscription to that channel means the right people will be alerted immediately, can detect the issue, and can take rapid action together as a team. 

subscribing to ServiceNow notifications

Enabling rapid discussions and resolution of ServiceNow incidents

Once a notification has been received, it’s time for the team to work together and dig into the issue. A Mattermost thread kicked off by a notification from ServiceNow provides a clean, consolidated place for a team to rapidly discuss, debate, and make decisions. In this example, we see a team discussion that shows not only the ServiceNow incident notification that started the discussion, but also questions and answers, data, and media brought in from other applications like ServiceNow Lightstep.

resolving ServiceNow incidents quickly

These threads are great for rapid incident resolution, can be easily shared as a whole, and are easily found at a later date via Mattermost search or a playbook timeline.

Working directly with ServiceNow records without leaving Mattermost

If we look closer at the ServiceNow incident shown above, we can see that not only does the incident card show the most relevant information about the incident itself, it provides the ability to update fields like the incident state. By doing this we enable users to stay in the flow of what they are doing (managing an incident), without requiring them to jump around from app to app in order to keep multiple systems updated.

The incident card also provides a link so that anytime a user does need to open the full record in ServiceNow, they can do so right away.

servicenow incident card

Users can also create ServiceNow records inside Mattermost so that teams don’t have to leave Mattermost in order to add new records.

Over time, we intend to expand the fields that can be shown and edited in a record including custom fields so that even fewer interactions require leaving Mattermost.

Providing bidirectional discussions between the two systems

While our customers appreciate the rapid-fire discussion, sometimes the conversation needs to be saved back to ServiceNow (the system of record), so we included the ability to add a comment to the ServiceNow record directly from within Mattermost.

bidirectional discussions between servicenow and mattermost

Notice that a user can both see the existing comment stream in ServiceNow and add their own comments all without leaving Mattermost.

Putting it all together with Mattermost Playbooks

Many of our customers are completely satisfied with how the ServiceNow integration works with just Mattermost channels. However, Mattermost Playbooks provide the kind of lightweight structured collaboration around ServiceNow that really improves the incident response process.

putting it all together with Mattermost Playbooks

Here we see an example of a Mattermost Playbook for the “Product Category Incident.” It combines: 

  • Collaborative discussions about the incident via Mattermost channels
  • Notifications from ServiceNow about updates to the incident
  • A structured checklist tailored to this kind of ServiceNow incident so that steps aren’t missed by the team and processes are followed correctly
  • The ability to run commands in other apps to coordinate systems like ServiceNow, Gitlab, Jira, and Zoom in one place during the incident
  • Reminders and Retrospective Management after the incident has been resolved

 By providing teams with a single, centralized platform for collaborating and communicating across external tools, Mattermost helps you track and resolve incidents faster and more effectively.  

ServiceNow Integration Video Demo

We’ve put together a demo of how Mattermost can help manage key ServiceNow processes, which you can watch here:

The ServiceNow integration for Mattermost is available now

If you are a ServiceNow customer who needs to supercharge your ITSM collaboration, Mattermost now has the tools to help. Come check us out with a free workspace at mattermost.com/sign-up/

I’m going to be giving a webinar around Incident Response with Mattermost and ServiceNow on February 16, if you’d like to attend, please sign up here.

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Sandy Atkinson is a Senior Product Manager at Mattermost. He’s worked extensively as both a Product Manager and Developer in the collaboration field and built integrations with systems such as FirstClass, Outlook, Slack, Office365 and Google Workspace.