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Bringing you value is a priority for BMC. In order to ensure that our BMC Business Relationship Management Team is concentrating on the right things to bring you the most value from Remedy as a Service, we are distributing a brief survey. The survey asks key questions about your experience today and what you’d like it to be in the future.

 

We would appreciate it if you’d watch your email in the coming days for a survey entitled “SaaS Quarterly BRM Value Survey” from saassuccess@bmc.com and provide us your totally candid feedback. In order to receive the survey and help ensure we bring the greatest value to your organization, it is important that you have opted in to communications. If you are not sure if you have opted-in, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.

 

We are planning a number of improvements to our working model and your input into that is important to us. This survey, as well as other feedback we’ve received during Service Reviews and other regular interactions, will drive our priorities and help reshape the BRM role to bring you the most value. As part of this process, we want you to know how your feedback will be driving our improvements, so after the survey has concluded we will be sharing both the results and our plans.

 

If you have any questions about the survey or the survey process, please feel free to post them here or reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.  Thanks so much in advance for your participation!

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The i.onbmc.com SaaS support portal now allows users to collaborate on requests raised by their peers. Previously only the requester could update the request through i.onbmc.com - now anyone on the team can use the Service Request Report to update any request.

 

There is also the ability to view, upload and download attachments/files. There is a limitation on the file size and file types. Attachments are limited to 10 MB and the restricted file types include .exe, .com, .php, .asp, .html and .htm. For security reasons, .exe files are not accepted, however if you need to attach one of the other restricted file types, you can add them to a .zip file and they should be accepted.

 

Please take a look at this 2 minute video that shows the new, more colorful Service Catalog, and how to update requests through the Service Request Report.

 

 

 

To view the video in full screen format, please start the video and press YouTube at the bottom of the video window.

 

For more details on i.onbmc.com, please login to docs.bmc.com and review the updated User Guide at https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/rondsubscriber/BMC+OnDemand+Service+Desk+overview

 

Best Regards

Karl-Anders Falk

Lead BRM (Business Relationship Manager)

BMC SaaS Operations

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Periodically you may wish to refresh your DEV or QA ITSM databases with Production data. There is no best practice as to how often this should be done, as it is determined by the development life cycle of your organization. A good rule of thumb would be to ensure lower environments are refreshed quarterly to biannually, depending on how active your development is, as this helps make certain they remain in sync with production. Lower environments are also refreshed as part of many upgrade projects. There are some several best practices/things that you should consider when you decide you are ready for a refresh.

 

Best practice considerations include:

  1. Are you in the process of or do you have an upcoming scheduled upgrade? Both the source (typically production) and the target (QA or DEV) must be at the same version and patch level to do a refresh. Additionally, databases are refreshed as part of most upgrades. If you have a question about if the environment will be refreshed as part of a scheduled upgrade, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager or upgrade Project Manager.
  2. Do you have any data jobs that have hard-coded hostname, IP’s, etc? Any hard-coded values need to be updated to reflect valid target system values post-refresh.
  3. Do you have customizations or development that hasn’t been promoted from target (i.e. DEV) to source (Production)? If so, these need to be manually backed up using Developer Studio, the Deployment Management Console, Spoon Client, or other tools. Changes to Approval, Entitlement, Assignment and Application configurations in target system should be promoted to Production or documented by the customer prior to a refresh or they will be overwritten.
  4. Do you have any scheduled jobs or other changes requested during the refresh window? No other activity should be scheduled during the refresh window.

 

During a refresh, the source environment (i.e. Production) is not impacted. The outage for the target environment depends on the size of the system, but typically require a 4-5 hour window where the target system will be unavailable during the week. It is recommended that customers do not attempt to access their target environment, even if it appears available, until they receive a message from the RaaS Change team that it is ready. This is because of additional configuration changes that may still be going on.

 

What is NOT included in a refresh:

  1. Smart Reporting is NOT included in a standard RaaS Refresh. Reports in the target environment will not be impacted by the refresh. A Smart Reporting refresh can be done, though it is not recommended (This is because org name cannot be changed, resulting in source and target having the same name). Smart Reporting refreshes should be handled as a separate Change Request and only after limitations are fully understood.
  2. Integration hard-coded configurations are not included by default. (Any hard-coded IP addresses, host names, and/or URL's in UDM jobs,web services, etc. need to be specifically identified by the customer before the refresh so that changes can be made to the target system. If these are not identified, integrations in the database will be refreshed as is, and values from target will be overwritten with values from source.)
  3. Other server level changes (i.e. config files) are not included
  4. Database backups (if you want your database backed up prior to a refresh, it needs to be specifically requested in the CRQ)

 

When you are ready to move forward with a refresh, here are some items that you will want to ensure:

  1. The CRQ should be raised at least 1 week prior to the requested date of the refresh
  2. A separate CRQ is required for each refresh (if you want both DEV and QA refreshed, it requires 2 CRQ’s)
  3. The CRQ has the source and the target URL. For example, restore from https://xxxxxx.onbmc.com to https://xxxxxx-dev.onbmc.com
  4. Explicitly include any special instructions for before or after the restore in the CRQ, for example:
    1. Turn off email service in source after refresh (if this is not specified, target will match source and can result in inadvertent emails being sent)
    2. Clear AR System Email Messages (if this is not specific, cleared emails in target may be triggered to users after refresh)
    3. Ensure RSSO branding is restored on DEV post upgrade
    4. Update web service y URL to xxx after refresh
  5. If you have questions about something specific to your environment, include those questions in the CRQ.

 

Once the refresh is complete, it is recommended that you test the basic functionality of the refreshed system (i.e. logging a ticket via ITSM, Smart IT, and Digital Workplace). If you have integrations or DMT jobs in the target system, these should also be validated. You may also want to restart any paused jobs. If you have any issues with any of these or anything else believed to be related to the refresh, raise a request via i.onbmc.com. If you have questions about the Refresh process, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.

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Customer Satisfaction Surveys and You! How to make your voice heard!!

 

BMC is a market leader in the Digital Service Management (DSM) space and our Remedy as a Service (RaaS) offering leads the way in the IT Service Management (ITSM) arena. To succeed in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market place, customer experience and satisfaction needs to be at the centre of everything that a company does. BMC drives this customer experience and satisfaction by actively engaging with customers and responding to the feedback received via Customer Surveys. To this end, we at BMC, survey our customers to get feedback on both user experiences of products and services, and ease of interaction with BMC.

 

These surveys take the form of –

 

  • Transactional Support CSAT Surveys.
  • Ease of Doing Business Surveys.

 

Below is an overview of how these surveys work and the differences between them –

 

Transactional Support CSAT Survey

 

Transactional Support CSAT Surveys are sent to customers whose requests have been closed. BMC utilises the expertise of a third-party vendor (Walker Information) to manage this process. Walker Information emails out survey invitations to customers shortly after requests are closed. This email includes some background on the request, plus a link to the survey. Customers will not receive a survey invitation if they have received a previous invitation within the preceding 7 days. Survey questions relate to customer satisfaction with how BMC Support handled their request, self-help-resources, as well as the customer’s opinion of the overall quality of the product associated with the request.

 

The survey itself uses a 10-point rating scale and is offered in 12 languages.

 

The feedback received in this survey is used to drive improvements in support, self-help resources and product satisfaction. A feedback loop has also been established to ensure that we follow up with a customer if we receive negative feedback or if the customer has requested direct follow-up from a manager.

 

 

 

 

Ease of Doing Business Survey

 

The Ease of Doing Business survey allows customers to tailor their feedback depending on where they find themselves in their journey with BMC. Customers can target their responses around the following experiences with BMC –

 

  • Purchasing
  • Onboarding
  • Implementing
  • Using/Adopting
  • Self-help Resources
  • Support
  • Upgrading
  • Renewing.

 

This allows customers to focus their feedback on a specific area that’s relevant to them, at that particular point in time.

 

 

 

 

Ease of Doing Business surveys are conducted during the first month of each quarter. The survey is available in 7 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Simplified Chinese) and typically takes about 5 minutes to complete. An individual customer contact will only be invited to participate in the survey once per year.

 

 

 

 

We at BMC encourage our customers to give entirely honest appraisals based on their experiences. Constructive criticism is always welcomed as it helps us to improve our processes and technology. This process is also manged through BMC’s research partner Walker Information.

 

What does BMC do with these survey results?

 

Once a customer has completed the survey the results are fed back to BMC for review. BMC uses this customer interaction to ensure that the required learnings are taken from the feedback in order to improve our processes, products and technology, thus ensuring customer satisfaction and success.

 

We at BMC, remain responsive to customer needs and continually improve our processes and products. These surveys present customers with an invaluable opportunity to give us feedback and are essential in ensuring the continued successful partnership between BMC, and you, our customers. The “comments” section of these surveys allow you, to give specific feedback and as such we both encourage and welcome all responses.

 

So, next time you receive a survey invitation please take a few minutes to complete it because your feedback is what enables us at BMC to deliver the technology solutions used by you to deliver success to your business on a daily basis.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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When you think about strategy, what strategy comes to mind? Strategies occurs in many forms, though have you thought about your ticket archiving strategy in Remedy?

 

Did you know….? Remedy9 has a feature that you, the customer, can decide on your archiving strategy. If not..read on…if yes, and you have not acted yet…still read on!

 

What are the benefits?

 

  • Customers can define their own archiving strategy
  • Customers with linear growth will see performance gains by enabling archiving in service.
  • Reduces the size of your production data
  • Improves overall system performance (for example, searches run more quickly, because they look only at production data and not at archived data)
  • Enforces organizational data-retention policies

 

What do you need to be aware of?

 

  • When you archive a record, it is removed from the production environment and sent to a set of corresponding archive forms (within your production database).
  • Once archived, data cannot be copied back into the production forms and cannot be accessed or searched from the Remedy application, though can be reported upon.
  • Data Archived is based on – Last Modified Date is > Policy and Status = Closed
  • Archiving is single threaded so the first time this is enabled it may take some time to archive all associated schema's depending on the amount of data.
  • Reporting is possible from Archived data via Smart Reporting
    • System administrators can access archived data by generating reports that can be run against the archiving forms using third party reporting applications.
    • BMC recommends storing no more than 24 months of inactive data in production
    • BMC recommends retaining no more than 5 years of data in archive form

     

    Further resources on the topic of archiving:

    Hear Tony Myers explain archiving

    Other Docs Resources: Data Archiving Strategy, Archiving in 9.1

     

    Next Steps:

    Below is a snapshot of the service recommended baselines, although it is up to you, the customer, ultimately to decide on what to set the baseline. The standards 548 represent 18 months

    retention can be tuned.

     

    archiving.jpg

     

    If you have been running Remedy 9 for a long period, now is the time to think about your strategy for archiving.

     

    What else would you like to know? Comment with questions and feedback

    David Gaunt

    What is a CMDB?

    Posted by David Gaunt Employee Mar 17, 2018
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    Have you ever wanted to know what a CMDB is and the benefits it can provide? This blog will provide a straight forward overview of its meaning a purpose

     

    Firstly, CMDB stands for – Configuration Management Database. This is a simply a repository of data that acts as a data warehouse for Information technology(IT) information. The CMDB holds data relating to a collection of IT assets (commonly referred to as configuration items (CI)), as well as to descriptive relationships between such assets. The repository provides a means of understanding:

    • the composition of critical assets such as information systems
    • the upstream sources or dependencies of assets
    • the downstream targets of assets

     

    Purpose and Benefits

    CMDBs are used to keep track of the state of assets such as products, systems, software, facilities, and people as they exist at specific points in time, as well as the relationships between such assets. The maintenance of such state related information allows for things like the reconstruction of such assets, at any point in their existence, as well as for things such as impact analysis, in the cases of root cause analysis or change management.

    A CMDB helps an organization understand the relationships between the components of a system and track their configurations. The CMDB is a fundamental component of the ITIL framework's Configuration Management process. CMDB implementations often involve federation, the inclusion of data into the CMDB from other sources, such as asset management, in such a way that the source of the data retains control of the data. Federation is usually distinguished from ETL (extract, transform, load) solutions in which data is copied into the CMDB.

    CMDBs can be used for many things, including but not limited to business intelligence, software and hardware builds, and impact analysis for both change management[1] and incident management.

    In the context of ITIL the use of CMDBs as part of infrastructure operations and support. The CMDB represents the authorized configuration of the significant components of the IT environment.

    Contents

    The CMDB contains and records data that are also called configuration items (CI). It also provides details about the important attributes of CIs and the relationships between them.

    CI attributes and data

    Depending on the CI type or category, there are many attributes that might be captured:

    1. 1. CI Unique Identifier or Identification Code
    2. 2. CI Name or Label (often, both, long names and short names)
    3. 3. CI Abbreviations or Acronyms
    4. 4. CI Description
    5. 5. CI Ownership (organizations and people)
    6. 6. CI Importance

    There can be many more, depending on the CI types. In some cases, there may be hundreds of attributes.

    Because attributes are defined by metadata, CMDBs also contain metadata, and thus the concept overlaps with that of a metadata repository, which is also used to more effectively run IT organizations. Configuration management addresses how the data is to be kept up to date, which has historically been a weakness of metadata repositories.

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    Do you ever wonder what are the difference between Service Requests, Incidents, Change Requests, Problem Records and Work Orders. This blog provides the official ITIL definitions.

     

    Service Request: This is a user request for information or advice, or for a standard change. This is a pre-approved change that is low risk, relatively common and follows a procedure, or for access to an IT service. A great example of a standard request is a password reset.

     

    Incident: An unplanned interruption to an IT Service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a configuration item that has not yet affected service is also an incident.

     

    Change: Request for Change (RFC) A formal proposal for a Change to be made. An RFC includes details of the proposed Change, and may be recorded on paper or electronically. The term RFC is often misused to mean a Change Record, or the Change itself.

     

    Problem: A cause of one or more Incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a Problem Record is created, and the Problem Management Process is responsible for further investigation.

     

    Work Order: Used for the installation of an application, system or infrastructure component, typically issued from Release Management

     

    Summary

     

    These definitions form part of the ITIL Service Operation Process which encompasses the day-to-day activities, processes and infrastructure responsible for delivering value to the business through technology

     

    Additional information can be found at - ITIL: The Beginner's Guide to Processes & Best Practices - BMC Software

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    The highly anticipated Smart IT 2.0 is now available for Remedy as a Service (RaaS) customers. Some of the new Smart IT 2.0 capabilities available to administrators include the ability to:

     

    • Change the layout of the Incident and Change forms, placing custom fields wherever they are needed, moving existing fields, and hiding any out-of-box fields which are not required.
    • Dynamically control the key properties of fields (hidden/visible; read-write/read-only; mandatory/optional), and set data to fields, using logical expressions which execute in real-time as the user works on a record (even on mobile!).
    • Add custom fields to the ticket console, and filter records using them.
    • Take advantage of a significantly enhanced "provider action" capability, enabling server-side workflow actions to run in the Smart IT client, and creating icons alongside fields on the form to run them.

     

    A couple capabilities (primarily related to Cognitive Service Management and the Remedy Deployment Application (D2P)) require Remedy AR Platform to be on 9.1.04. Otherwise, Remedy ITSM 9.1.00 is the minimum supported version for Smart IT 2.0.  Smart IT 2.0 is coupled with Digital Workplace (DWP) 18.02 during installation. Digital Workplace 18.02 replaces the previous 3.5 version.

     

     

    For good reason, there is lots of buzz around the enhanced capabilities of Smart IT 2.0 and Digital Workplace’s continued focus on improving the end user experience, as well as its Integration Services. There are many resources available to you on communities.bmc.com and docs.bmc.com  (including the opportunity for you to post your own questions). Please see below for a consolidated list of just a few of the Smart IT 2.0/Digital Workplace 18.02 blogs/resources available to you right now:

     

     

    To get more information on upgrading to Smart IT 2.0/Digital Workplace 18.02 or how to use our BMC Communities and Docs pages, please reach out to your Business Relationship Manager.

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    This simple blog is aimed to provide Remedy as a Service (RaaS) users a quick guide to understanding Service Level Agreements. The below table describes BMC's published Initial Response SLA’s.

     

    Severity

    Schedule

    Initial Response Targets

    S1

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including published holidays)

    15 Minutes

    S2

    Local business hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding published holidays)

    30 minutes

    S3

    Local business hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding published holidays)

    4 business hours

    S4

    Local business hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding published holidays)

    16 business hours

     

    Severity 1: Critical Service Impact

    Case critically affects the primary business service, major application, or mission critical system. Customer resources should be available and willing to work on a 24x7 basis with BMC to resolve the case. Characteristics of a Severity 1 case include:

    • Business Service is not operational
    • Production system crashes
    • Data integrity at risk
    • Production backup and recovery operations fail.

    Severity 2: Significant Service or Implementation Impact

    The Business Service, major Application, or a system is seriously affected or implementation stopped. No acceptable workaround is available.

    Severity 3; Moderate Service Impact

    The Business Service, major Application, or a system is moderately impacted, no data has been lost, and the Business Service, Application, or system is still functioning. The case may be temporarily circumvented using an available workaround.

    Severity 4: No Service Impact

    Non-critical cases, general questions, enhancement requests, or documentation cases

     

      For more information refer to https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/rondsubscriber/Service+levels+and+support+hours

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    As part of the Connect with Remedy Webinar Series, R&D will discuss the available tools for managing data within the ITSM Solution. They will review best practices for working with ITSM, CMDB, and SRM data. Discussing the supported use cases for each scenario. This discussion will include Data Management Tool, UDM, DDM, Atrium Integrator jobs, and SRM Import/Export tools. You can check the following content to get further information on this event (it includes registration instructions): Connect with Remedy - Remedy 9:Best Practices for Loading & Migrating Data in the ITSM Solution Special Webinar

     

    Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
    Time: 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time (GMT-5)

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    With the end of life of Analytics, several customers have inquired about various reporting and data access requirements. Released in 9.0, Smart Reporting is the next generation BMC Remedy IT Service Management Reporting and Analytics solution. It is a web-based, in-app, intuitive solution that provides an easy to use, drag and drop interface for rapid report development. Occasionally, Remedy as a Service (RaaS) customers have additional requirements for reporting/data access which BMC accommodates by offering access to the Remedy ITSM database layer, via Open Database connectivity, or ODBC. ODBC is an open standard Application Programming Interface (API) for accessing a database. It permits applications to use SQL to access the database, without having to know the details of the database system. ODBC handles the SQL request, converting it to a request that each system understands. ODBC allows customers with unique data requirements access to their data. Some examples of where an ODBC connection might be utilized include:

     

    • Extracting data from Remedy as a Service (RaaS) for an in-house data warehouse/data store
    • Executing SQL against Remedy as a Service (RaaS) to generate a .csv file to build a report/chart in Excel, Analytics tool, or other application
    • Utilizing an in-house reporting solution (i.e. Crystal Reports, Business Objects, etc.) against the Remedy as a Service (RaaS) database

     

    The ODBC connection provides read access to the database layer, including the ability to read the schema model (tables, views, fields and data types, constraints, query plans, etc.). The Remedy data model is complex and an understanding of the data model, table joins, and proper data type mapping is important. If SQL reporting writing/data warehousing experience doesn't exist internally in your organization, BMC Professional Services can be utilized to assist with this development.

     

    The only prerequisites for ODBC connectivity are a client gateway and that the appropriate data access driver be installed on the client that will be connecting via ODBC. Once ODBC access to the RaaS environment is requested and appropriate information is collected, credentials (a user name and password) for connectivity will be provided to the requestor.

     

    FAQ:

    • A Client Gateway must be set up to utilize ODBC (can use an existing Client Gateway if it is already set up for other RaaS integrations). For more information client gateway, please see: BMC Client Gateway connectivity - BMC Remedy OnDemand Subscriber Information - BMC Documentation
    • A separate ODBC request is required for each RaaS environment
    • Upgrades and Customizations can impact the database, therefore may impact your queries/reports and will require redesign/development accordingly
    • The current Remedy as a Service database is Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Upgrades to new versions of SQL Server can impact the database, therefore may impact your in-house queries/reports/data warehouse/date stores and will require redesign/development accordingly.

     

    Best Practices:

    • Development of SQL queries, Reports and/or any other data extract processes should not be done against the RaaS Production database. Customers should set up an ODBC connection to each environment (DEV, QA, and Production) and make sure to perform development and testing in lower environments before running anything against Production.
    • Any large SQL statements and/or reports with large datasets should be run during non-peak hours. Basically, there is a balance between performance and reporting. Though we govern the resources that are allowed to be allocated to reporting, large or poorly written SQL can impact application performance.

     

    Limitations:

    • Remedy as a Service (RaaS) does not support stored procedures, functions, or design level database customizations in the RaaS database.
    • Customers are allowed 1 ODBC user/connection per environment. If multiple levels of data access are required, it should be implemented through your own access control methods, via your warehouse/analytics applications or through reporting tool access.

     

    To Request Access:

     

    • Login into i.onbmc.com and "Request Something Else" and use "ODBC connection setup" as the Summary.
    • Attach an ODBC Access Request Form

     

    Note: Client Gateway setup can also be requested by going to i.onbmc.com and "Request Something Else" and use "Client Gateway setup" as the Summary.

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    You can make Digital Workplace and Smart IT available to your users via the Universal Client (desktop web browser) and mobile applications. There are three different methods available to make these mobile applications available to end users:

     

    1. Place the application in your enterprise app store.
    2. Push the application through your mobile device management (MDM) platform, using your preferred tool.
    3. Make the mobile applications available through a download URL.

      BMC Operations provides, after activation, the URLs that can be used to install these apps on Android and iOS devices. Be aware that if you use this method, as the apps are downloaded outside the official stores (Apple App Store and Google Play Store), users must establish trust before being able to use them:
      • iOS.
        When a user first open an app that hasn’t be installed from Apple App Store, it gets a notification that the developer of the app isn’t trust on the device. In our case, the expected message is: “Untrusted Enterprise Developer. iPhone Distribution: BMC Software, Inc. has not been trusted on this iPhone. Until this developer has been trusted, their enterprise apps will not be available for use”. Apple force this prompt to appear because the application that is being installed hasn't gone through the App Store review process so is technically untrusted. After dismissing the message, the user should establish trust for BMC Software, Inc. following the instructions in this Apple Knowledge Article: Install custom enterprise apps on iOS
      • Android
        Out of the box, an Android device only allows you to install apps from Google Play Store. Android protects users from inadvertently installing apps from other sources by blocking the installation process and displaying the following notification “For security, your phone is set to block installation of apps obtained from unknown sources”. In order to install a BMC app distributed through a URL, the user has to opt in to “Unknown Sources” in Settings > Security on their device. Once the app installation is completed, the user can disable this setting again.

    Additional information
    Please, review DWP & SmartIT information on the product documentation

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    Follow this link to read about the new exciting Remedy release. The blog gives an overview of what has been released and have links to more detailed information.

     

     

    Remedy Fall 2017 Release (9.1.04): BMC Continues to Innovate ITSM with New CMDB User Experience, New Cognitive Capabilities in Remedy and New Multi-Cloud Service Management

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