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Review: Marval Request Fulfilment

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This independent review is part of our 2012 Request Fulfilment Group Test. See all participants and terms of the review here.

Executive Summary

Elevator Pitch Marval bring their “ITIL: Common sense written down” approach to their tool, which takes you to the root of the task to get the job done.
Strengths Simplicity and Flexibility
Weaknesses It would have been good to see what the supplied services and examples were Out of the Box
Primary Market Focus Mid-size across diverse sectors

Commercial Summary

Vendor Marval
Product MSM
Version reviewed V12.5
Date of version release January 2010 for V12
Year founded 1989
Customers 400+
Pricing Full Administration training (for administrators, all process support, 3 days) = £3,6001 day Quick-start Admin training (e.g. for Service Request only) = £ 1,200
1 day consultancy for Service Request Set-up £1,250
For the Expert system used in the review (which covers all 15 processes) base system price starts at £16,156. That includes a system user, 10,000 customer self-service, 10,000 Configuration Items (CIs), hook up with LDAP, and a year’s maintenance fee. Extra system users are available and prices are discounted on a banding basis.
NB Marval cover more than the 15 processes validated by Pink
Marval do have a basic system called “Essential” which will cover Service Requests.
As standard Marval offer very high discounts to NHS, Emergency Services, and Charities.SaaS Options are available both Hosted and On-Premises
Min. 1 year contract.
(On-premise SaaS/rental options are available and are specially quoted based on SaaS above, but with no hosting/admin fee).
Competitive Differentiators
  • Certification against respected schemes and criteria including ISO/IEC20000, Pink Verify (3.1) 15 processes, ITIL Swirl Gold Standard
  • Consultants & customer facing staff qualified from Foundation to Expert level. Support to industry organisations – Sponsors, contributors and supporters of itSMF and SDI events and forums.
  • 100% Web Application – for configuration, administration and use of the product.

Independent Review

Bright and vibrant are the first things that spring to mind when you are faced with the MSM Self Service Portal.

But more than that, behind the colourful icons lies an integrated ITSM solution whose simplicity of approach is the most attractive factor, in my opinion.

Marval have been at the forefront of Service Management, and are proud to use their most current certifications as a differentiator.

There is an interesting debate to be had, in light of the 2011 ITIL updates, as to the value of the latest certification hoops to jump through, but there is no doubt that certification gives prospective customers an early yardstick by which to measure a number of competitors.

But they will not really get a feel for a product, any product, unless they have a chance to see it in action.

The structure of the Marval service catalogue and the Service Request process is supported by a layering of pages that can be set up and tested in advanced before being enabled when required.

If detailed relationships have been set up in Marval’s CMDB, even more granularity can be added to the request, pulling the relationship details.

Marval recognise that end users do not necessarily need to know how the request will be sorted, and will find they are taken to a simple page that triggers off the request without having to click through the service catalogue.

Request Models

There are a number of services and basic workflow functionality that is provided out of the box, but they recognise that clients will want to customise the system to it their own processes.

Marval will typically work with clients as part of a consultative workshop and administrators are invited to attend a three-day course where they are shown how to build up the system.

Marval have found that their clients have a good understanding of the services they want to incorporate in their portfolio, and the system encourages clients to define their new services within the supplied set.

That being said, it is equally easy to define a new service, and any subsequent offerings within it.

Menu-Selection

IT users have an option to work through a more traditional page with all the options you would expect to see, but also have a self-service portal.
Out of the box, Marval provide a preconfigured standard page that can then be extended for specific requirements.

Pages are layered and can be configured and held until they are ready to be enabled, giving the administrators the flexibility of adding services to the portfolio, adding components to services, even adding new activities “on the fly”.

Once everything is layered and set up, a simple enable checkbox will make the service available to entitled users.

The steps to create a new service, the screen layout, the options, mandatory fields can all be added by dragging and dropping components.

Request Fulfilment Lifecycle

Again the drag and drop graphical workflow-design capability allows administrators to route requests to the right groups, and assignees as well as linking the lifecycle to their notification system.

As a nice touch, when a ticket is initially opened, there is a graphic of a muddled-up Rubik cube.

Once the ticket is resolved, the graphic changes to a solved cube!

Conclusion

The ease of set up, and configuration is a very compelling differentiator.

All too often, it is easy to really over-complicate the Request Fulfilment process, and the ability to group numbers of line items into typical services is not new, but it is set up in such a way that (with guidance) this minefield of set up is made much easier to negotiate.

Marval provide a structure that should encourage clients to step back and simplify their requirements.

The ability to just have a page bypassing the Service Catalogue really promotes that simplicity of approach.

Marval try and demystify the process, translating IT speech into User speech, simplying the User Interface for common requests, while recognising that the Service Catalogue (underpinning the process) can be accessed at anytime if required.

It saves an end user valuable time, and takes away the need for them to dig about the options to find the exact same option, although obviously you can get to the same place going through the Service Catalogue if you so wish.

But really, why would you, if the option was there to simplify the experience?

I understand why they use the differentiators they do:

  • Certification
  • 100% Web-based application
  • Long-standing support of the industry

I would go so far as to suggest their true power lies in stripping back the complexity that can sometimes surround this discipline.

Marval Customers

  • European Central Bank
  • BAE Systems, South Africa
  • QBranch
  • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Axstores

Further information on Marval case studies here.

Screenshots

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

From the Marval Brochure

  • Integrated process management support (including: Incident and Request Fulfilment, Problem, Change, Release, Task, Service Asset and Configuration and Service Level Management)
  • User-definable access controls and views
  • Fast, flexible, easy to configure and deploy
  • Minimal administration required
  • Encourages positive workplace behaviours and investment

Further Information

Group Test Index

This independent review is part of our 2012 Request Fulfilment Group Test. See all participants and terms of the review here.

Ros Satar

Ros Satar is a Blogger and Analyst for The ITSM Review. Her journey in ITIL/ITSM began in 2005 when she jumped into the deep end of Configuration Management. When not knee deep in paper and having a love/hate relationship with her many gadgets, she can be found putting in time at various sporting publications.

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