IT Service Management

3 Posts authored by: gerald_hoagland
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Guest contributor Ron Hill- Rightstar Systems. 



I recently was working with one of our longtime customers. They wanted to use Service Desk Express for their facilities group. They needed a solution that would allow them to track repairs, work requests, and assets. As I was talking to the manager of the group he said, “We want to treat this project as if we were constructing a new building.” I must admit, at first I was a little puzzled, but I quickly grew fond of the analogy. Many times organizations want to buy a Service Management application and tell the vendor all the things they want over the course of a few conference calls. Then they expect the product to be implemented in a week or two according to how they imagine it should work. If a construction company were to take this approach, I think we would all agree this would be pretty scary; what would the structure look like and how functional would it truly be? How would a “Service Management” project turn out if it were handled like the construction of a new building? The next few paragraphs give an idea of what this might look like.

The Design Process

We would not expect any builder to start construction without a good set of plans, right? A functional and efficient structure starts with a good plan. Likewise, shouldn’t we expect to have a good Service Management implementation only if we have well-defined and documented processes? The only way to get those plans is to meet with an architect so that they understand the purpose, style, and size of the structure. Usually this is obtained through a series of meetings with the customer. This approach should also be applied when implementing Service Management. It is not enough to have an internal meeting to determine these needs. Internal meetings are necessary for everyone to agree on what is needed. The requirements still have to be clearly communicated to the consulting firm that is going to help the organization implement the Service Management application. During these meetings, the customer organization can leverage the experience of the consulting firm. After all, firms like RightStar have implemented Remedy and SDE for hundreds of customers. We can share insights into the things that have worked and, probably more importantly, the things that did not work so well. In short, learn from the success and failure of other customers. This is one of the themes of the final ITIL IT Service Management framework phase, Continual Service Improvement.

Have a Good Set of Plans

The next logical step in the building process is to develop the plans and refine the design. The same would apply to the service management implementation. After gathering the requirements, the consulting firm should be able to develop a Scope of Work to define the breakdown of work that will happen during the implementation. This should also outline the customer organization’s responsibilities as well. Remember that involvement in this process is critical. The customer should be sure to review the Scope of Work, ask questions, and request more detail. These documents, like a blueprint, are in place to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Now that everyone knows what the building is going to be used for (also referred to as its utility) and how it is going to look, construction can start. At this point the organization needs to make sure all the key players are in place and that the right data is available. This is where project management is critical, typically for both parties involved. Most customers think that because their project is small, project management is not needed. I would argue that some coordination is needed for any size project. This is also a time when someone within the organization should work side-by-side with the consulting firm. This is really where organizations begin to take ownership of not only the product, but the processes that are employed. The organization should now have a vested interest in the project, and committing a resource to receive maximum transfer of knowledge from the working consultant is key.

Grand Opening

The structure is now built and we are ready to hand over the keys. At this point the organization is ready to use the new Service Management system and now needs to manage and maintain it. Unless processes or needs change dramatically, maintenance is usually minimal. We all know that change does happen and improvements should be continual, so you need to be prepared. There is a saying that many vendors have: “A trained customer is a happy customer.” It may be a cliché, but it’s still true. So the organization should ensure that their system administrators and support staff are trained to properly maintain and use the system. It is recommended to employ the “train-the-trainer” concept for some of this training. This will verify depth of understanding on behalf of the internal trainers and will also utilize consultants’ time most effectively.


One of the most important things organizations can do during this transition is to prepare staff for the cultural change. This really should start early. Staff members need to understand the change was made to drive better service to customers and to drive efficiency within the support organization. Upper management needs to be active in this exercise and committed to the plan.


In closing, some might question the aims of a consulting firm advocating for more time to be spent on planning and assessment activities. However, I believe that, “If it is worth doing, do it right!” When organizations spend a little time up front to create and document a plan, the result is a better solution with a solid foundation.


Ron Hill is an Architect level Software Consultant at Rightstar Systems. Both his knowledge and technical capability are highly regarded by a host of customers.


About Rightstar systems


RightStar Systems is a leading provider of ITIL-based service management solutions for upper-middle market firms and government agencies. Throughout a longtime partnership with BMC Software, RightStar has completed hundreds of projects helping customers design, deploy, and maintain IT service management and support systems.


Support organizations are driven by the need to integrate people, processes, and technologies to deliver services more efficiently. RightStar creates value by helping customers improve the quality of IT services delivered while reducing the overall cost of service provisioning. At many different types of organizations, RightStar has consistently demonstrated an ability to deliver single-source service management solutions that enable customers to thrive.


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Congratulations to Fourth Dimension Systems and Amman Academy on implementing the best "On Premise" mid-tier enterprise solution in the industry.  The powerful self-service capability in the Service Desk Express solution will allow Amman Academy to realize very quick return on their investment.  They will also be very pleased with how quickly this solution can be installed and configured so that they are seeing immediate benefits.




Amman Academy has recently started implementing the BMC Service Desk Express software system provided by the Fourth Dimension Systems Corportation.


The electronic technical support service provides prompt, intuitive browser-based self-service at all times for parents, students, and staff using the school portals and website. The automated help desk provides clear advantages over traditional support including improved efficiency, effectiveness, consistency and precision in responding to queries, around-the-clock service, and cost savings.


Mr. Salah Twalbeh, General Manager of Fourth Dimension Systems stated:"Amman Academy is one of the leading educational institutions in Jordan, and it is always keen on keeping up to date with IT developments and implementing cutting edge systems; it is a great pleasure for us to have them as our customers. "


Ms. Shirine Khudari, Amman Academy Principal added:"We chose Fourth Dimension Systems as our technical support system provider due to many reasons. These include its excellent reputation in the market, its commitment to achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction, strong track record, its application of ITIL specifications, and its distinguished after-sales service."


Fourth Dimension Systems  is a leading IT solutions and services provider in the Middle East. It was first established in Dubai in 1992 and has launched multiple branches in Abu Dhabi, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia since then.  Fourth Dimension Systems enjoys strategic partnerships with major IT solutions companies in the United States and hires more than 100 specialist engineers providing quality service to its customers.


Amman Academy (AA) is a private, co-educational, bilingual day school located in the capital of Jordan. The academic programs offered at AA are the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and the Jordanian national secondary school leaving certificate - the Tawjihi. The IB Student Profile is the focal point of student life for both programs.


ITSM Out of the Box

Posted by gerald_hoagland Feb 10, 2011
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This article is from Martijn Adams at the BMC Partner- Infravision.  Infravision, based in the Netherlands, has established themselves as leaders in implementing and providing consultation for the Alignability Process Model related to Service Desk Express.  For more information, just look at the Alignability website -




ITSM out of the box: 50th Alignability Process Model (APM) implementation in Benelux completed!

InfraVision / BMC Software complete 50th Alignability Process Model (APM) implementation in the Benelux. APM was first developed in 1998 and has since then be improved based on the experience and feedback from over 300 implementations worldwide!
The out of the box service management approach has since then been copied by a number of other vendors but none have yet gained the tremendous amount of experience included in APM. The APM model is providing an integrated set of processes, procedures and work instructions and related material like templates, role descriptions, KPI's, etc. etc. All this material is based on actual real life experiences in implementing ITSM in over 300 organisations worldwide differntiating the product from many others that are based on books or theoretical knowledge of the vendor.




Many organisations have failed in implementing (ITIL) processes in their IT department while having spent considerable amounts of money in achieving this. Integration and alignment between processes is often weak as they are designed separately from one another and sometimes by different groups. Many organisations still try to design their own ITSM (ITIL) processes and are thus reinventing the wheel because they do not have access to proven, real life experiences from other organisations that have successfully implemented ITIL processes.


In reality ITSM processes are largely similar for most organisations and having access to proven processes actually being used by organisations will speed up the implementation and deliver value much faster. In a few months you will have a proven set of ITIL processes implemented, integrated and supported and you will be able to reap the benefits from this and spent your time improving the output of the processes instead of spending time on getting the processes right.


The Alignability Process Model (APM) was created in 1998 by Service Management Partners and has ever since been refined and improved with the feedback and experiences from over 300 organisations worldwide. It describes 11 ITIL processes from process level to procedure and work instruction level including role descriptions, templates, KPI descriptions, etc. It comes with 2 implementation approaches; one where the process model is accepted as it is and one where the processes and procedures are first reviewed by the organisation to check if changes are required to meet specific business requirements.
Implementation of the model as described in the implementation approaches can be done in 6 to 12 weeks.
It is possible to purchase the Alignability Process Model together with pre-configured BMC ITSM tools (existing customers also have HP OpenView and System Center solutions to support the model).


In a short time you will have the ITIL processes you require implemented on a high quality level, without having to spent large amounts of time and money on defining those processes to a detailed (procedure and work instruction) level. At the same time you will benefit from the ongoing experience of hundreds of other organisations and their ITSM staff ensuring the value of the instrument.

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