Enterprise Request Management: The Movie [video]

The Enterprise Request Management (ERM) model optimizes business service request and fulfillment processes across functional departments by combining a unified web-based portal front-end with back-end task workflow automation. The benefits include reliable first-time fulfillment, faster service delivery, lower costs, and happier employees.

Importantly, ERM is an “enhance and extend” approach to existing enterprise systems, not a “rip and replace” project. It’s designed to leverage an organization’s financial and intellectual investments in core management and control platforms as well as departmental software applications.

But what does that look like? In this video, Wally shares his frustration with the tortuous process required to obtain a tablet with fellow members of the Unfulfilled Request Support Group  at Omnicorp. But then a new member of the group suggests the antidote to Wally’s vexation may be ERM.


Following this advice, Wally becomes an internal champion for ERM at his company. The rest of this saga is cinematic history. Watch for yourself!

Want to learn more?

Delight Customers and Slash Costs with Enterprise Request Management

In most large enterprises today, shared services are delivered through functional silos: IT provisions equipment and software access, HR manages PTO requests and new-hire processes, Facilities manages space planning and allocation, etc.

If you need one of those services, you work with that group’s systems. If you need multiple services—for example, to reserve workspace, hire staff, and install phones and computers for a project—you’ll likely have to work with multiple systems, obtain multiple approvals, manually schedule tasks, and juggle all of the pieces to coordinate activities with target dates.

Manual Request Management







It all makes complete sense from the standpoint of each individual department. Internally, they may even have optimized certain standard processes (e.g., ordering and provisioning a laptop). Each department is well-versed in and very efficient at using its own software.

The problem is, these processes often make no sense from the standpoint of the (external or internal) customer. How do you determine which group delivers the service you need? (It’s not always obvious.) Why do you have to learn and use different systems to make simple requests? Manually ask for approvals (and create reminders to follow up if an approval isn’t obtained promptly)? Who decided that the “standard” delivery time for a new laptop was X number of days? And for requests that cross departmental lines—why do you have to enter the same information into multiple applications or online forms?

In actuality, those “optimized” intradepartmental tasks often entail processes that waste time, cost more than necessary, frustrate customers, and lead to error-prone duplicate manual data entry. The customer is forced to consciously and actively manage the process, when all they really want is to place a request and receive a service.

Enterprise request management (ERM) is a better approach to managing service requests and fulfillment. In the ERM model, customers can request any type of enterprise shared service (including, most importantly, services that span different functional groups) from a single, intuitive web-based and mobile-friendly portal interface. One front end to use regardless of the type of request, with little to no training required.

The portal routes the request to an automated task management “backbone” application that can automatically manage approvals, scheduling, and fulfillment by securely communicating with and between existing departmental software systems. No one on the service delivery side has to give up the software they are accustomed to or make major investments in implementing and learning new systems.

Enterprise Request Management Approach

Information is entered once, validated, then shared as needed between federated data sources. This saves time, reduces customer frustration, and virtually eliminates errors, enabling consistent first-time fulfillment. Elapsed time, costing, user satisfaction and other reporting elements are automatically logged throughout the process.

This approach also provides complete visibility into the status of a request at any time (similar to online package tracking), so the customer never has to call or send an email to find out “where things are at.” Instead of asking “how long does it take to get a new laptop?” managers can ask “how long should it take?”

The end result is a delighted customer, who now has a single intuitive interface for requesting services and checking on delivery status, and who gets services delivered promptly and accurately and with less effort. The enterprise saves time, reduces the cost of service delivery, and eliminates data errors and rework through automation. Visibility into processes supports continuous process improvement.

To learn more about the ERM approach, download the whitepaper Enterprise Request Management: An Overview.