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Are you ready for the benefits Remedy brings to the table, but aren't ready to maintain another application on premise? Are you hosting Remedy on premise/in house? Does your company have a high ITSM maturity level, a high ITIL adoption level, or are you seeking BSM maturity? Do you want an easy and flexible way to take advantage of the best practices built into Remedy, and be able to onboard and set up the application quickly? Do you need something highly scalable and flexible?

 

In this segment we talk with Randy Hildebrandt, Senior Solution Manager of BMC Remedy Solutions Management, at BMC Software to find out more about IT Service Management on Demand and learn more on;

 

  • What is ITSM on Demand, really?
  • What are the advantages to the customer with the SaaS approach to this?
  • What does it take to get this configured and setup?
  • What's the difference between configuration and customization?
  • Two BMC SaaS offerings here, how does a customer decide which one is best?
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The value of a service is derived from a combination of utility and warranty. The term utility describes the service in terms of improved performance and/or reduced constraints. Warranty refers to the reliability of the service. Think of warranty as the elements that you take for granted until they are absent.

Let’s look at an example of what ITIL V3 means by utility and warranty.focus 6.jpg

 

Before the cable industry was deregulated in 1996, the cable companies could only deliver one type of device- analog cable. The only growth opportunity was to sign up more customers. The deregulation act removed a constraint for the cable companies, allowing them to compete in other areas, such as broadband and voice of IP (VoIP). Because cable companies use a more robust pipe than the phone lines, they can deliver a higher-quality service over competing alternatives (i.e. greater bandwidth). The end result is that they are now successfully competing in, what is for them a completely new market, using utility (bandwidth) and warranty (availability) as distinguishing factors.

 

The cable companies then establish an agreed-to warranty regarding a basic level of availability. Typically, this includes an associated penalty. Customers get credit for time during which the service isn’t available. Warranty can also include other measures such as recoverability, security and capacity.

 

How can a Business Process be a strategic Asset?

A business process is a strategic asset when it enables you to increase your profitability and be better than your competitors. Consider the insurance industry. Customers are an insurance company’s greatest asset- especially low-risk, highly profitable customers. As a result, the company wants to do everything possible to retain these low-risk customers.

 

So what happens if one of these customers calls to cancel a driver’s insurance policy because another company offers a better rate? The customer service representative needs to be able to immediately access the customer’s history to decide how to proceed.  A business process that provides and analyzes this customer’s history is a strategic asset because it enables the representative to make an informed decision about whether the competitors offer should or should not, be matched or bettered.

 

In order to create business value, it’s important to have a solid understanding of how the different service management pieces interconnect. At the same time, it’s essential to understand what we are- and are not- your core competencies, and to evaluate how you focus your resources accordingly on your core.  Think long term.

 

Look at the bigger picture, in terms of overall service management strategy; you can develop a strategy that looks good on paper, but if you don’t work with the transition team to set expectations and learn if it’s doable, then your strategy may not be realistic. Instead, work with the different functions and processes throughout the whole lifecycle to ensure that the requirements you are creating can be supported by the existing processes and functions.

IT can only create value for the business if you think strategically based upon a solid understanding of the desired business outcomes and how IT can influence them. 

 

As you set out on any initiative, think holistically and from the business perspective; for example, you’re not delivering an email application, you are actually facilitating communications for the business.

 

To get started on your ITIL journey visit our ITIL resource center and to get this complete ebook click here; http://bit.ly/hS5HuF  or a pocket version.

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The ITSMguy always loves to hear our own Doug Mueller talk about ITSM and in this segment he sits down with BMC VP of World Wide Marketing, Jason Andrew and discusses Mobility in the Enterprise.Doug Mueller.jpg.png

 

 

 

There is also a great paper by Doug on Mobilizing IT which you can get here.

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The ITSMguy strives to keep his finger on the pulse of what is happening in IT, but we’re not the Amazing Kreskin either( yes he is still alive).

kreskin.jpg

 

So we’re inviting key IT decision makers like you to take part in our annual ITSMtoday Pulse Survey – which will provide insight into what IT leaders are planning in 2011. This short 14-question survey will provide a snapshot of what your peers are thinking about on hot topics such as cloud computing, SaaS, service catalogs and more.

 

As a thank you for participating, we will provide you with the results of the survey and a complimentary copy of our white paper “Evolving Your IT Service Management Strategy to Address Today’s Challenges.”

 

We will share the results in a few weeks once the votes are in.

 

Thanks in advance from The ITSMguy and the ITSMtoday staff

ITSM Guy

What CFOs want from IT

Posted by ITSM Guy Jan 26, 2011
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Excellent article this week on Network World re-emphasizing the changes occurring in the management of IT.

 

It has been said before — IT needs to operate like a business. This means that IT must have an understanding of the costs associated with delivering business services. Most people expect to see itemized costs when they get a bill from a service provider. Your business constituents have the same expectations. They, too, would like itemized costs for the services that your IT organization provides.

 

The ITSMguy has selected a few of the points to comment on;

  • Play With the Toys You Already Have ITSMguy; unless that toy is pong in the age of the Wii.  Take a look at the latest from BMC
  • CFOs Like Cloud Computing….. ITSMguy, we do too as well as SaaS and both provide new options for the CFO to consume IT.
  • “Most CFOs still see IT as a black box -- they have limited visibility into the value that IT creates for their organizations”……..ITSMguy; if you have not seen the power and information that is provided by analytics and dashboards, call us right away!Dashboards.jpg.png

 

We have kept a couple of sections of the article here to quickly link to some additional articles on ComputerWorld on Allocating IT costs and highlighting the business value that technology creates.

 

And BMC just recently released an excellent paper on this subject entitled; “How to Analyze the Cost of  I.T. Services”.   This is a must read for anyone looking to get a better handle on this area.

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By Linda Donovan

 

You know how frustrating it is to get ready to go somewhere in your car only to discover that you can’t remember where you put your car keys? Are they on the table, by the TV, underneath a pile of magazines, or in your jacket? If you could just remember to keep them in the same place all the time – at least when you are at home – you’d eliminate a lot of last-minute searching and aggravation. If you are not someone who loses keys, I’m pretty sure that you know people who do and can relate to this experience.  And even if you know where your car keys are, is it also easy to find the keys to your desk, safe, bike lock, and so on? How many keys do you have that you can’t even remember what they are used for? And what does this have to do with software asset management, anyway?

 

Tracking down software assets follows the same principles. Information about the assets (configuration items) should be stored in a central place – i.e., the configuration management database – so that you know what you have, how they are used, where the software assets are located, and who is using them. This information should be available to you so that you can manage and track each asset through its entire lifecycle — from procurement through asset retirement. Otherwise, you may be paying software licenses for assets you no longer need and should retire. When you track your assets effectively, you can free up licenses from people who aren’t using them and put the costs of those licenses toward a new service. Effective asset management also helps you to stay in compliance with regulations.

 

There are a variety of other reasons why it’s so important to get better control over your software assets. Get the details in this thought leadership article, Four Best Practices for Software Asset Management. It focuses on some important practices and what they require. These practices include:

  • Know what you have
  • Understand how configuration, deployment, monitoring, and measurement are done
  • Get control over compliance
  • Look to the future

When you’re done reading that article you should also be inspired to ask yourself this question: “Where did I put my car keys?” Hmmm….I think the dog must have moved them.

 

Read more from Linda at the “Business and IT; What’s hot and what’s not” blog

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Like the human brain, the configuration management database (CMDB) gathers and stores information, processes information into knowledge, and orchestrates action based on that knowledge. 

 

Consequently the CMDB has become, in essence, the very brain of IT service management and contributes value on its own. Today’s CMDB is enhanced with several advanced technologies: federation, auto discovery, dependency mapping, dynamic service modeling, dashboards, predictive analytics, and process orchestration. These technologies bring several important capabilities to the CMDB. Now with Software as a Service and Cloud Computing become more widely used, IT can leverage the CMDB for these uses as well.

 

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Today we talk with Gerry Roy, Principle IT Strategist in the Business Service Management Group at BMC Software, about how the CMDB has matured, what its role is in current IT offerings, and the role it can play in helping the business stay competitive.

 

 

Some of the things we will cover in this segment;

 

  • Where did CMBD come from? There's some debate as to whether it's new or it's been around a long time.
  • We've been on a continuous path of maturing in the IT infrastructure world. Without that emphasis the move to more complicated cloud infrastructure would have been impossible, is that true?
  • Is a CMDB product that works in a local IT infrastructure environment?  Does that work for cloud infrastructures; does it directly map, or does something need to be added to it?
  • Why is federation so important?
  • How has the CMDB evolved or matured; especially given the new focus on cloud computing and software as a service?
  • What are the ways that IT can put the CMDB to work for the business?
  • What are the top one or two questions you wish people would ask about the CMDB, but rarely ask?
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In this first of several parts (the ITSMguy always wanted to write a  mini-series) we take a look at the first part or “book” of the ITIL v3  process;

Service Strategy

.

 

A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. To be successful, a strategy has to be adaptable based on changing conditions. Strategy comes into play in all aspects of life; you may have your own personal strategy for saving a certain amount of money prior to retirement, getting a promotion at work, or convincing your ten-year-old to eat his vegetables.focus.jpg

 

In every case, successful strategy depends on taking a big-picture view and putting in place a plan to achieve these goals and objectives based on a thorough assessment of the current situation.  And the plan needs to be flexible to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

 

As we note from this book, “ITIL v3 is based on a service lifecycle. Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operation are individual, progressive phases of the lifecycle, representing addition, change or transformation in daily operations.  Service Strategy encompasses the policies and objectives required to implement the lifecycle approach, while Continual Service Improvement focuses on an environment of learning and enhancement.”


The Benefits of a Lifecycle Approach

The lifecycle approach motivates you to focus on the business’s needs, and how IT can provide added value. In this approach, you become proactive, ensuring that your activities will provide value to the business from the outset on an initiative, rather than reacting to occurrences in the IT environment.

Think of this approach in terms of the original meaning of lifecycle: an IT organization gives life to many projects or initiatives. By understanding the roots, or the “beginning of life,” of an initiative, you will truly understand the business’s needs and what your IT team needs to deliver.

 

Your ultimate goal is to move IT from being just an operational aspect of the business to being a strategic contributor to business success. Instead of IT being an entity that saves the business nickels and dimes, IT is elevated to a profit center, working in partnership with the business to create value. For example, every dollar invested in IT can bring three or found dollars back into the business because you are now operating a value-added enterprise.

The lifecycle approach enables you to create business value through business service management (BSM). The cornerstone of BSM is managing IT from the perspective of the business. With a sound strategy in place, and with a focus on the business, rather than technology, you will be much more successful in becoming a strategic part of the overall organization.

 

Using ITIL v3 as a framework can completely change the way you operate as an IT shop. Your ultimate goal is to transform IT so that it is 100 percent focused on the business. Collaborate with the business to determine how you can create value with both your assets and your customers’ assets.  While reducing costs can be an important contribution to the overall company, IT can be much more than that. IT can generate revenue and become a profit center, actually contributing to the bottom line.

 

To get started on your ITIL journey visit our ITIL resource center and to get this complete ebook click here; http://bit.ly/hS5HuF  or a pocket version.

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Usually when The ITSMguy hears about two guys  going on an excellent adventure, the names Hope and Crosby or Bill and  Ted come to mind, not Donald and Mickey.

 

hope and crosby.jpg

But this is a really good article/case study on ITIL, customer service and how business really does run on IT.  And when you start talking about customer service and ITIL, that gets you easily down the road to talking about measurement, and you can’t manage what you can’t measure and setting your SLAs and then turning it into continuous service improvement and there we are again right back to ITIL ( help me I am in do loop and can’t get out).

 

The key statement that jumped out was achieving an experience for their customers of “100% availability, reliability and maintainability.”

 

So the question for the day is; how do you view your customers?  As tickets or guests?

 

Share with us some of your best ITIL and customer service stories.

 

To help you get started on your own ITIL journey, visit some of our ITIL resources here at BMC. 

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Imagine trying to run a manufacturing business without a comprehensive, detailed view of the products provided by your company.

 

It would be difficult to know all the products currently planned, in development, or available to customers. You wouldn’t know the recurring or nonrecurring product costs, the prices, or the sources of products and component assemblies. How could you even determine the support resources required for each product or the product’s warranty options?

 

Manufacturing firms learned long ago about the importance of maintaining comprehensive and accurate documentation on their product lines. Such information provides the foundation for informed decision making. IT executives and their teams face a similar need to have a comprehensive and accurate view of IT services. Without this view, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to run IT as a business. To be successful, take a lesson from manufacturing firms and create comprehensive and accurate documentation of your “products,” including planned and existing services.

 

The result is a service catalog that includes all relevant details about each service, including which service level agreements (SLAs) are associated with it, who is able to request it, how much it costs, and how to fulfill it.

 

You can leverage this information to gain full control of your service portfolio through effective service portfolio management. This approach helps you focus on your priorities to improve the services that support the business. It allows for the most efficient use of IT resources, which reduces costs and helps increase business agility and user satisfaction. Ultimately, service portfolio management sets up a process for the business to generate greater value.

 

This paper describes the IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) Version 3 (V3) approach to service portfolio management. It examines the various components of the service portfolio, such as the service catalog.

In addition, it discusses technologies available to develop and manage the service portfolio and to leverage the information contained in the catalog.

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The choice on how best to consume software — whether on-premises or through a Software as a Service (SaaS) model — is based on your specific requirements at different points in your business and organizational lifecycles.

 

Each model presents benefits that take into consideration  the IT skills within your organization and your budget for capital versus operational expenses. When you look at each model, it’s also important to consider the potential for growth in your IT infrastructure and the level of customization and integration required.

 

Today we talk with Chris Williams, Manager of Solutions Marketing at BMC Software, and explore key considerations for choosing a SaaS-based solution;


 

-- What are some of the key benefits IT organizations can get from choosing a SaaS delivery model for IT service management?

 

-             -- What are some of the key criteria for determining what kind of SaaS-based ITSM solution to get?

 

-             -- When deciding on the kind of SaaS Service, why is it important to understand how the business views the IT organization now and what the      future thinking might be?

 

-             -- Is it important for all IT organizations to consider whether a SaaS-based ITSM will integrate with existing systems?

 

-             -- How does change management play into this decision making?

 

-             -- What about release management and data center automation? Are they important factors?

 

-             -- Is the SaaS Model for everyone?

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By Dan Turchin, CEO of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.

 

There was a time when “enterprise” and “mobile” were rarely seen  together – only in the shadowy recesses of IT drudgery like ashamed  lovers forced to elope or endure the paternal humiliation of CFO  scrutiny. That was 2009.

 

kardashian.jpgNow, they  gallivant openly, Kardashian in the publicness of their affection. In a  reversal of fortune unimaginable two years ago, to avoid CFO scrutiny  today every project *must* include mobility – showcase it, embrace it,  celebrate it. Mobile first: the new mantra of IT. Who would have thought?

 

Since the new year we’ve seen this trend accelerate in ways we didn’t  foresee even three months ago. Case in point: the call we received from  a telecom service provider that purchased Aeroprise more than a year  ago, relegated their mobile self service and change approvals project to  IT purgatory, and all of a sudden “needs to implement it for 10,000  employees in the next three weeks.” Great! But, uh, what happened?

 

Here’s how that conversation went:

 

Me: “Uh, what happened?”

 

TB (“Telecom Behemoth” VP of IT): “Well, we planned to mobilize self service a year back. But then…”

 

[Note: there's always a "...but then..."]

 

TB: “…our timeline for deploying self service got delayed by a Remedy upgrade and, well, mobility was postponed also.”

 

Me: “Why the urgency now?”

 

TB:  “Simple. In the past year everyone got smartphones – we went from zero  to 2,300 Android devices alone in 12 months – and now the business says  nobody is using the new self service portal because it’s not available  on smartphones.

 

We’ve  invested a ton in every aspect of the portal but we literally have  customer outages going unreported for days because nobody’s at a PC  anymore. So we thought mobility was a phase two and it turns out it’s  more like a phase zero. Yeah, we got the tail and the dog mixed up.”

 

Me: “Wow. I see. And who’s behind the sudden urgency?”

 

TB:  “The business owner – the VP of Field Operations who reports to the  COO. We were afraid of the CFO before but now he’s putty in our hands.  Turns out he never opposed the project. It’s just the business wasn’t  vocal enough about mobility because they weren’t mobile.”

 

That’s one of three similar conversations from the past two weeks.  And while they may be unrelated I guarantee they’re symptomatic of a  broader trend. So… Lovers: elope no more. Enterprise IT: prepare for  some serious, unabashed PDA (not the “personal” or “digital” kind) in  2011.

 

 

The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

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by Doug Mueller

 

Business Service Management, BSM, is at its essence a way of planning and structuring how an organization performs its job.  It is about understanding that the reason that the organization exists is to work with the business to accomplish its goals.  Note that there is an important distinction between being a support organization and an organization that supports the business to do better business.

 

So, what does that mean?  This just seems like two different ways to say the same thing.  In a way, it is, but the reality is that the thinking that goes on in the two cases is different.  The distinction is a small but critical shift of thinking.

 

Assume I am on the IT staff for a bank.  If I am a support organization, my thinking would be “I am an IT person and I have to run an efficient IT shop so I can supply good IT capabilities”.  A valuable and laudable goal.  However, wouldn’t it be more compelling for the business if instead I thought of myself as an organization that supports the business to do better business.  In this case, my thinking would be “I am a banker and my goal is to do better banking.  My role in supporting that goal is to be on the IT staff supplying IT capabilities.  But, what I am trying to accomplish in everything I do is how to do better banking”.

 

A subtle but significant difference in attitude.  Is my job IT or am I a banker?  Am I just trying to do better IT with the expectation that it will help my customer or am I trying to do better banking and using my skills in IT to deliver better banking capabilities?  At first, this can be a hard distinction to grasp.  But, once that distinction is clear, it opens the way to really thinking differently about your role and about how work should be done.

 

Once you take a step back from technology issues and stop thinking about individual processes and activities, this is the essence of BSM.  It is a fundamental shift of model.  It is a new way of approaching the problem.  If everyone in the organization is focused on the same goals — doing whatever it is your organization is responsible for — there is no need to discuss alignment or interfacing or any of a dozen other such activities between a team and the business.

 

The alignment or interfacing is inherent because everyone is oriented on the same focus already.  Yes, people still need to talk and share data; but, it is now a discussion of a group with all the same understanding and goals rather than the formal summit between opposing forces (sometimes with different agendas) it often is today.

 

You can notice the change when IT is part of the discussion and decision making of the business rather than just getting requirements and directives.  IT is at the table working with other parts of the business to make decisions about the business and the direction that the business should be taking.

The idea here is not restricted to IT.  Every organization in the company should be thinking this way.  In some cases, that is automatic.  A sales team is focused on what the business does because that is what they are selling so no big shift for their thinking.  But, organizations like HR or facilities or any of the other support teams being focused on what the end business is about adds value to the overall delivery of the business.

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IT and business are becoming increasingly interdependent. Today, many, if not most, business processes involve business services delivered by I T. As a result, close alignment of I T with the business is essential to the success of most organizations. That requires I T managers to run I T as a business, and make decisions based primarily on business impact. 

 

dashboards.jpg

The benefits of close alignment of I T and the business are significant, and include:

  • Greater business agility. I T can adapt the I T infrastructure quickly to meet changes in the business environment.
  • Higher quality IT business service delivery. I T focuses on delivering the business services the organization needs — at the required service levels.
  • Lower costs. I T can prioritize its activities according to business impact to optimize efficiency

 

 

The alignment of I T with the business requires close collaboration and communication — not only among groups within I T, but also between I T and line of business managers.

 

Key to this collaboration and communication is I T’s ability to deliver timely information to managers and executives — both within and outside I T — regarding the alignment between I T resources and the managers’ particular areas of responsibility. This information must be presented in a form that is easy to understand and that provides meaningful metrics to the receiving managers. That means delivering information that is appropriate to the manager’s functional organization, role in that organization, and management level.

 

Learn more about this very important subject in this BMC Best Practices Whitepaper as well as visit our solutions for BMC Dashboards and Analytics to see how adding visibility to your IT operation can help make better decisions.

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“The importance of organization change management (OCM) practices in contributing to the success of ITSM process improvement projects” is a great topic covered recently by Eric Spiegel on ITSM watch, a great source of relevant ITSM information, news and commentary (and one of our favorite sites).

 

The author identified five key stages where OCM has the greatest impact on ITSM process improvement:

  • Gaining executive sponsorship and engaging the workforce
  • Setting the stage for OCM
  • Maturity assessment of existing process
  • Implementation of recommendations
  • The success of on-going improvements, i.e., making all this hard work stick.

 

 

We couldn’t agree more which is why we have developed a specific workshop; ITSM Service Management Process and Organizational Alignment Workshop to assist companies in crossing this chasm.  In this we address the challenge of addressing processes and people — not just technology. 

In it we cover;

  • current and future requirements across your services, processes, and organization
  • Review and assess adherence to industry best practices
  • Develop or refine both process and organizational gap analyses
  • Prioritize gaps and develop your process and organizational transformation roadmap
  • Assess risks, change, and organizational readiness

 

 

We also have a “4P’s of ITSM” when we look at this from a high level; People, Process, Performance and Productivity.

 

By aligning the first three “Ps”, the results equal the 4th. Now while not exactly Einstein’s breakthrough theory of relativity, it can still have a profound impact on a company and an IT support operation.

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How do you know whether you’re striking the right balance between IT operating efficiency and alignment with the business? How do you know whether your IT initiatives are yielding value to the organization?  Identifying and tracking the appropriate metrics can provide insight to help ensure that you are focused on the right areas.

 

 

With the right metrics, you can make better-informed decisions regarding investment in BSM initiatives, gauge progress in implementing the initiatives, and accurately assess the value realized from these projects. Choosing the correct metrics, however, can be a daunting task.metrics.jpg

 

 

Today we talk with Atwell Williams, Solutions Architect for the Office of the CTO at BMC Software and find out how your IT organization can prove its value  to your internal customers.  In this episode we will learn more about;

  • What Do Customers want to hear in regards to proving their worth or value to their customers internally. How do they make sure that they're communicating properly?
  • Why are metrics important?
  • Some examples of the kinds of metrics that people need to establish?
  • Things to remember about setting goal setting?
  • Why is it important to keep value in mind?
  • How do you know whether your IT initiatives are actually yielding value to the organization?
ITSM Guy

Help desk calls on the rise

Posted by ITSM Guy Jan 6, 2011
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By Patrick Thibodeau as seen on Computerworld.com

 

The number of support calls rose in 2010 even as help desk budgets were being cut

 

At a time when IT is supposed to be getting simpler, less complex and easier to manage, more people are calling help desks for assistance than ever before, according to a new study. help desk button.jpg

That's one of the findings that HDI, formerly known as the Help Desk Institute, uncovered in its recently released 2010 study of help desk trends.

What HDI found is that the number of incidents reported to help desks via chat, e-mail, telephone, self-help systems, social media, the Web and walk-ins is rising, with 67% of all help desk operations experiencing increases in 2010. That's roughly the same percentage who reported an increase in 2009.

Read the rest of this article at Computerworld.

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