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This thread has covered a number of topics that I wanted to take a moment to bring together with a bit of structure.
The reality is that there are rarely absolutes and it is always critical to understand where an organization is when making decisions. This is one of the major reasons for the way that BMC has structured our products.
BMC Remedy ITSM Suite -- a full featured, complete process ITSM solution. There are a host of advanced features and integration across applications in the suite that are all targeted to assist customers in transforming their IT environment and processes to a much more efficient and leveraged environment that can help customers shift focus from just the technology to making the business successful.
Many customers are looking for a product to adopt and use to transform their IT operations for more success. The best approach to accomplish this is to use the product and its processes out of the box as much as possible. This approach allows the customer to use the supplied processes and focus their efforts on what helps their business move forward most successfully. Yes, this often entails changes to IT process and practice. And, yes, change is always difficult. But, there are significant gains that are achieved for the business in this transformation.
Now, the reality is that there are always going to be some amount of adjustment to process that are needed. This is allowed for in the configurability of the applications in many cases. However, there are always going to be those situations where you need to tailor the application logic to specific needs. These changes can range from simple additions of fields and logic to changes to existing definitions. BMC has allowed for this and fully supports this requirement using a feature (overlays) that allows clear separation of BMC definitions and Customer changes. This allows for tailoring of the solution while also allowing upgrade of every portion of the solution -- including those areas which you have tailored. This is something that is unique in the industry where you can make changes to the logic supplied by BMC and keep getting updates during upgrade.
Does BMC suggest that customers use the product out of the box as much as possible -- absolutely. However, if there is a need to make adjustments, there is technology that supports the ability to change and it is fully supported.
BMC Remedy AR System -- This is a complete development environment that is widely used for building applications that take people through a process flow. It is the environment behind the ITSM applications, it is the environment used to make adjustments to that solution if/as needed, and it is the environment available to build custom applications.
For customers who want to extend or expand the ITSM suite, this environment is available.
For customers who want to go their own way, this is available to build a solution on your own. And, there are many examples where this has been done. It allows you to build exactly the solution with all the steps and processes and bells and whistles exactly as your organization desires. However, for standard ITSM products, this puts the customer in the position of having to build expertise in these processes and building all enhancements and future capabilities. Many organizations do not want to be in this business. That is not the most effective way for the IT team to help the business move forward. But, it is available for customers who want to go this direction.
RemedyForce and TrackIt -- These are ITSM solutions with a lighter process and with less complexity. They are terrific solutions for customers who want lighter processes again, starting with out of the box and allowing tailoring according to specific customer needs.
For customers looking for less process and for simpler solutions with all the basics but not with all the more advanced features, these are strong solutions to consider.
When looking for a solution, the customer needs to decide what your goals are -- basic processes to allow you to run IT as you have been with some assistance to transforming IT, complete processes and advanced features for help with transforming the way IT to focus more on business success, or an environment to quickly and efficiently build and then maintain custom applications. All are available. Trying to use a solution that is not a fit for where an organization is or wants to be won't work -- regardless of whether the solution is the best solution there could be or not. For example, trying to put a screw into a piece of wood with a hammer is simply a bad idea and is not going to be a good idea. Yes, with enough pounding it may go in, but it is painful and it really isn't a good fit and it doesn't do the job that it is intended as effectively as if you had used a nail (change the solution you are using to fit the existing process -- a hammer) or if you had changed to using a screwdriver (changed the process you are using to better fit the solution and you end up with a stronger and more flexible solution).
One of the responsibilities BMC has when working with customers is helping to determine the goals the customer has today and where they want to head tomorrow. With this, we can recommend the proper approach and products for you. In general, I believe that our account teams do this quite effectively in partnership with our customers. Are there cases where this doesn't happen? Sure, there are going to be. I would suggest that this is definitely the exception rather than the rule. And the addition of the customer care organization demonstrates the commitment that BMC has in this area.
At the end of the day, I would argue that BMC has a range of solutions explicitly to allow customers to have the solution that best meets their needs -- and allows them to mix and match and even move between them if and as their needs change over time.
Hi Doug Mueller:
Very appreciated it , your perspective on this product is great,
butI I must admited that I didn't totaly understand the whole conception
that you try to explain here because I still a baby for this.
However, I think this article is a good materials for all people
who try to figure out a way to handle these kinds of topics in the feature.
Also,sorry for my late response.
I'm a non-English speaking person(means my English is crap),
I need more time to deal with these discussion.
Thank you very much !
Good discussions! I was very fortunate to begin my Remedy experience a year ago and starting with version 8.1. Before diving much into the system, I took a few of the BMC classes including Foundation 1&2 and some more Console-specific stuff. Once my co-workers and I finished those classes, we came back to some hungry business requirements for custom functionality. We got the basics of DevStudio from Foundation 2, but we really had no idea what we were getting into. Customizations took some time to get a grasp of, but luckily we had some on-site BMC Consultants still helping with our implementation. They certainly stressed overlays to us and we made habit of it from the beginning when modifying out-of-the-box (OOTB) objects. At first, we rarely made our own objects and felt more comfortable modifying the OOTB workflow by adding another value in a Set Field action or modifying permissions--easy stuff. One year later, I feel quite the opposite and try to create custom objects (filters, active links, etc) and leave the OOTB stuff alone wherever possible. It's much easier to turn on/off and implement backout plans if something doesn't work as intended! Also lucky for us, we experienced our first Service Pack upgrade about eight months from the original ITSM implementation--this put everything in perspective for us and truly taught us the importance of keeping track of custom field IDs, using overlays on objects, building custom objects wherever possible, and learning the impacts of modifying OOTB workflow. Huge value in going through a situation like that.
If you're running 8.x, you'll be overlaying that Help Desk form to add your custom fields. Keep track of your custom field IDs!--this is crucial, especially when migrating objects between environments. You need your environments to match field IDs, or workflows you bring across may not function as intended. Next, you'll be building workflow for those fields to perform the actions you desire. Again, I'd recommend creating custom objects, but sometimes it's easier to simply modify existing workflow. Document everything you do and always be aware of the relationships of your modified/customized objects with the forms you're working on...this will be very important down the road when you have 100 customizations and a growing complexity of workflow. We actually use Work Order to track everything (we're not using Change, yet) we customize on the system and use a Work Order Template that incorporates Tasks to aid us in the migration between environments. I always post my documentation (I use Word to document screenshots of my changes and descriptions of what I'm doing) to the Work Orders and form Relationships, so everyone is aware of impacts, and so on. It also helps me to later share customizations with BMC Communities like inserting Incident and Work Order Work Detail in Notifications, and I hope to share more in the future! Sharing ideas is what helps this Community (and yourself) grow and learn. Communities is very helpful as you're already experiencing in this thread. If you have a specific question in your workflow, post a question and you'll hopefully get some insight and discussion of best practice, shortcuts, or even folks posting specific code for you.
One last thing I'll say is perhaps even check out some of the BMC classes. Foundation 2 touches briefly on some DevStudio stuff, but I've recently seen that BMC has a Developer 1 and Developer 2 class. Check this thread for upcoming classes in March.
Very appreciated for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Lucky you can take BMC's classes in the very first beginning and
able to discuss problems/issues with your co-workers or BMC Consultants's assistant,
I don't have one of them, that's why I'm struggling here.(Or may be I'm too lazy, LoL )
I do need take some BMC's training course, but my excuse would be lack of "resources" in my company.
I think your personal "documentation system" is good, may be BMC
could invent some kind of mechanism to solve these kinds of custom issuesto help their customers.
Thank you for all these useful suggestions/tips again,
they would be very helpful for people who just begin to involve in this field.