The 2014 ITSM Tools Universe

Runners, riders, market share and market focus for the ITSM Tools market
2014 ITSM Tools Universe: Runners, riders, market share and market focus for the whole ITSM Tools market

Please note that we are no longer accepting entries to be part of this report.

Today we kick off our 2014 ITSM Tools Universe research in which we will be looking at the multitude of tools out there that claim to help with the management of Information Technology Services; from one function tools through to the ‘all-singing-all-dancing’ suites.

Why invest in ITSM tools?

Organizations typically invest in ITSM technology to help them:

  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Improve service availability and response times
  • Integrate or improve integration between processes
  • Improve root cause analysis
  • Automate or improve business workflows
  • Improve business visibility of IT services

We are looking to talk with ANY supplier who has technology in these areas.

The Assessment Process

There is no cost to participate in our ITSM Universe research.

Steps:

  1. Complete this online questionnaire
  2. Upon completion, schedule an online briefing and arrange customer references

We have tried to automate our assessment process as much as possible given the number of tools we plan to assess, so we have used an online submission form to initiate the process. I have posted a PDF version for participants for reference. If you have any questions please contact me.

ITSM Universe Objectives

Rather than reviewing just the major competitors, this review hopes to shed light on the emerging players and, over time, the changes in the position of the companies involved and moves in market share.

Consideration will also be given to where vendors focus their efforts and to which customer type their products are suitable.

Results will be published in Spring 2014 using our ‘Universe Methodology‘.

The criteria we will be focusing on is as follows:

  • Competitive differentiators
  • ITSM processes included out of the box
  • The level of in-house customization possible and by whom
  • Possible configurations available out of the box
  • Self-Service options
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Process linkage
  • Interaction with business outcomes
  • Alignment with industry frameworks

The last tool showcase I attended offered very little in the way of USP promotion so I am especially interested to see what vendors believe are their competitive differentiators …please don’t let it be ‘The Cloud’!

Participating Vendors

Other Vendors

The following vendors will not be part of this report:

These vendors either declined, were unable to commit to the report schedule or were unable to provide customer references.

Anybody for some festive networking?

christmasIt’s happening. Our first post about Christmas is here. To be fair, the Christmas cards have been in the shops (in the UK) since September and it is (believe it or not) only 34 days until Christmas Day, so hopefully that means I can get away with posting festive cheer in November?!

To avoid hearing too many “bah humbugs” I’ll try to keep this post short and sweet. We are arranging an informal ITSM and ITAM Christmas meal in London on Monday 9th December (yes it’s on a school night) and we would love for as many of our readers to join us as possible.

Whether you’re a practitioner, vendor, or consultant we would love to have you come along for some informal networking, Christmas crackers, putting the ITAM and ITSM world to rights, a few tipples, and generally just a fabulous time.

Full details on location, costs and how to RSVP can be found below. Apologies to all of our readers outside of the UK, as our sites continue to grow and prosper we hope to be able to arrange similar networking events like this on a more global basis.


WHAT

Informal ITSM and ITAM Christmas meal

WHERE

7pm – 8pm drinks at The Phoenix Artist Club

8pm onwards meal at Punjab (because Indian is very Christmassy, ok?)

WHEN

Monday 9th December from 7pm GMT

COSTS

Cost of your individual meal and drinks will be payable on the night. We recommend budgeting between £30-50 for the evening. Please note that we will not be responsible for the final bill. There is a £10 deposit required per person.

RSVP

Please contact me directly to confirm your attendance. Deposit instructions will then be provided.

CONFIRMED ATTENDEES

If your name is not on this list and you were expecting it to be, or if your name is on the list and you can now no longer attend please let me know!

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Introducing Rebecca

Rebecca-Beach
Rebecca Beach, ITSM Research Analyst (bringing balloons to Analyst briefings is strictly prohibited)

I am very pleased to welcome Rebecca Beach to the team!

Rebecca is joining as ITSM Research Analyst.

SDI IT Service Excellence Professional of the Year 2012, Rebecca is a self-confessed geek and ITSM fangirl.

“Rebecca is very passionate about providing the best possible service to her customers. She is the model service professional, striving to improve herself as an individual while selflessly supporting and helping to develop the team. She cares greatly about people and gives above and beyond in all aspects of her role. There is no better deserving winner.” ‘Hanover Service Desk Analyst wins national service excellence award

ITSM Universe

The first project Rebecca will be sinking her teeth into is a global view of the entire ITSM market with particular focus on:

  • ITSM Tool Vendor market share
  • The key market focus areas / average customer size
  • Competitive strengths and weaknesses

More news on this soon – In the meantime you can read more about our ‘Universe’ research methodology here.

Who is Rebecca?

Rebecca joins us following roles as ITSM Tools Engineer at Capita and Service Desk Analyst at Hanover Housing Association.

With fear of setting off political correctness fire alarms; I’ll inform you that Rebecca is affectionately known as the ‘Gobby Midget’!

In her own words:

One thing you might not know about Rebecca:  

“I’m scared of balloons. Makes being the owner/operator of a small child rather troublesome because apparently these are their favourite things in the whole world and they’re not very careful with them.  I have tried to overcome this debilitating illness by ‘facing the fear’ and letting the small one have them but it usually ends with me in the foetal position in the corner with my hands over my ears. An ex-colleague found out about this once and chased me around the car park with a bunch.  He’s dead now.”

When not working Rebecca is most likely to be found:

“When i’m not working, reading or sewing I love to cuddle up on the sofa under a blanket with the family and watch Disney films.  The Toy Story series and Monsters Inc are favourites at the moment…Disney Princesses have been knocked from the top spot. My daughter has decided that she can do it all right on her own without a Prince and kissing is yucky!”

The first record Rebecca bought was:

“Kylie Minogue – Kylie.  I believe I was about 11 at the time and my Dad took me into town to buy it from the record shop and I got my first ever cassette tape.  This is making me feel old, shall we move on?”

Rebecca has a soft spot for:

“I have been racking my brains and can think of nothing.  I’m not even that keen on kittens and can take or leave puppies. I’m assuming this means I am a horrible, terrible person but i’m actually okay with that 😉 “

Connect with Rebecca on Twitter or LinkedIn. Come and see Rebecca at #ITSM13

Please join me in welcoming Rebecca to the team ~ Martin

2nd Birthday

2nd Birthday
The terrible two’s? (Categorized by temper tantrums, saying “No” to everything, or refusing to do as they are told)

We’ve been so busy here at The ITSM Review we missed our own 2nd Birthday, Whoops!

Our very first article hit the interwebs on 3rd August 2011. Some 200 articles later, we have 24,000 visits a month (August 2013) from all over the globe.

A sincere thank you to all the readers, contributors, clients and supporters who have helped us grow.

Thank you for supporting us and sharing the stuff you like. We’ve grown organically through sharing and word of mouth thanks to your support.

Our first article was an interview with Ben Clacy, CEO of itSMF UK. Two years on and we’re very pleased to be supporting itSMF as their headline media partner for the UK itSMF conference in November. In a moment of madness we’ve decided to give away a free ticket to the conference! (Click here for details).

Country-Hotspots
ITSM Review readers by major cities (August 2013)

We’re proud to provide a platform for anyone in the ITSM industry to share their expertise, connect with peers and voice their opinions. We’re also excited by the new ways to collaborate we’re building for the near future.

If you would like to share your expertise with the industry or get on your soapbox and discuss an issue close to your heart please get in touch. Similarly if there is something you’d like to see us provide please let us know.

Contact form here or connect with us on Twitter.

And the winner is…

kindleWe recently gave all you lovely people the opportunity to win a Kindle Fire in return for writing a review on

Rob England’s (a.k.a ‘The IT Skeptic’) latest book “Plus! The Standard+Case Approach: See service response in a new light”, and today is the exciting day when we announce the winner!

With all of the reviews in, Martin Thompson took his place at the judging table and began reading through the submissions. I had to tell him twice to remove his grey wig and remind him he was judging book reviews not auditioning to replace Judge Judy, but we got there eventually…

A massive congratulations to…

The winner of our competition and proud new owner of a Kindle Fire – Karen Ferris!

Karen’s review was chosen because it gave the most succinct description of the Standard+Case concept, a summary of the book and a reason for reading it.

The Review

I must admit to being sceptical (no pun intended @theITSkeptic) when Rob started to talk about the Standard + Case approach, and the use of ‘Case’ when faced with incidents, requests, changes etc. that we do not have a ‘standard’ model for dealing with.

I couldn’t see that handling these situations, as a ’case’ was different to how most of us manage this today. However, having read Rob’s book, the penny certainly dropped! This book is an eye-opener and a must-read.

Rob is not proposing that Standard + Case (or S+C) is a new practice but is an approach for formalizing what happens today when there is no formalized approach available.

This book describes the rigour required when dealing with response situations so that all instances of service response are managed, reported and improved – not just the standard ones. We often have models or procedures to deal with the things we have seen before and know how to deal with. We have categories, workflows, checklists and templates etc. We have the guidance provided by ITIL. But what happens when we are faced with a situation that is unfamiliar? As Rob says, what happens when we fall into that fuzzy cloud that says ‘resolve it’? ITIL gives some guidance for these situations within Problem Management but goes little past root-cause analysis. This book fills the gap.

What is also exciting about this concept is the use of gamification to offer challenges to service desk personnel and the ability of S+C to provide a career path for service desk personnel within the service desk. This has been a challenge for most, if not all, service desk managers who see staff come and go as the service desk is just seen as the doorway into the rest of IT.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone involved in situation response. It is an easy read and Rob provides a step-by-step approach for adoption of S+C as well as a S+C Tale, which we can all relate to, and brings S+C to life.

As Rob states in his first chapter, “The Standard+Case approach will improve your service response without a great deal of impact or investment in your current ITSM practices and systems”. This is why everyone should consider S+C.

This is a game-changer and I think Rob’s best work yet.

Thank-you Karen for your review both from us at ITSM Review and from Rob, we hope that you are your new Kindle Fire will be very happy together.

And to all the others…

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone else who participated and got into the community spirit with this competition (ok so maybe you was all doing it for the Kindle Fire but we’ll pretend otherwise…).

A thank-you also from Rob, not just for writing the reviews, but but for taking the time out to read his book in the first place and for recommending it to colleagues and peers. By helping to share his ideas hopefully more will implement them within their businesses and ultimately improve their approach to IT Service Management.

And finally…

If you haven’t read Rob’s book yet then not only did you miss out on the opportunity to win a new, shiny technology gadget but you’re also missing out on some great insight and advice.

Don’t just take it from me either, I’ll leave you with some other quotes:

“If you are quite new to ITSM or have not yet been fully converted into an ITIL ideologue this book can be nice introduction to an alternative, the author may say complementary, method to ‘process’ management.” – Stephen Alexander

“While not specific to IT, if you are an IT manager, CIO, Service Desk manager etc. etc. read this book and look to embed a Standard + Case approach into your IT organization.” – Mark O’Loughlin

“After you have read this book you will have a good ground and recommendations for how to manage Standard+Case covering pointers for how to think considering tools, policies, classifications, strategies etc. it’s a must for anybody that wants to take the next step in support evolution.” – Mika Salo

Plus! The Standard + Case Approach: see service response in a new light is a fast, complete and clean read introducing Standard + Case approach by Rob England.” – Rui Soares

“The important thing that Rob teaches us in this book is not about the existence of Standard and Case… we knew this since a long time ago in ITSM. The important concept is that we need structure, policies and resources properly balanced to manage both kind of responses, instead of keep trying to use a single set of policies, procedures and tools for everything.” – Antonio Valle

“It’s a good read and recommended to anyone involved in IT support and perhaps those involved in non-IT support. Are you prepared to become more effective?” – Stephen Mann 

“I would encourage strongly giving Rob’s model a try if you are struggling to get organized in the service response area.” – David Lowe

“I will be using many of Rob’s ideas as I work with my customers, and I recommend that you do the same.” – Stuart Rance

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Integrations Group Test line up announced

Winning team: Which tool set will lead our Integration Group Test by Ros Satar (…and gratuitous shot of Chris Froome in his yellow jersey enroute to win the 100th edition of the race with Team Sky)
Winning team: Which tool set will lead our Integration Group Test by Ros Satar (…and gratuitous shot of Chris Froome in his yellow jersey enroute to win the 100th edition of the Tour de France with Team Sky)

Absolute Software, BDNA, Bomgar, Cherwell, EasyVista, LANDesk, ManageEngine, Matrix42, Nexthink and ServiceNow are confirmed participants for our upcoming ‘Integrations’ review.

The review will delve into integration tools which compliment ITSM processes.

“Whether it be speeding up implementations by cleaning up the original data needed to set up the system in the first place, to incorporporating Systems Management data, we want to take a look at the supporting products that help us manage IT and business services end to end.”

The assessment criteria at a glance:

  • Pre-Deployment Set-up
  • Integrations to Asset and Configuration information
  • Event Management
  • Support Services
  • Resource Management
  • Any other useful data that supports ITSM

Full details of the assessment criteria can be found here.

Reviewer: Ros Satar

Confirmed Participants:

  1. Absolute
  2. BDNA
  3. Bomgar
  4. Cherwell
  5. EasyVista
  6. LANDesk
  7. ManageEngine
  8. Matrix42
  9. Nexthink
  10. ServiceNow

Publication

All results will be published free of charge without registration on the ITSM Review. You may wish to subscribe to the ITSM Review newsletter (top right of this this page) or follow us on Twitter to receive a notification when it is published.

Image Credit (Sky Wallpapers)

Product Reviews Roadmap

Ros_Satar
Swit Swoo! Ros Satar looking glam at Edgasbaston Cricket Stadium in Birmingham for the SDI awards dinner.

We have the following technology reviews scheduled for publication before the end of 2013 on The ITSM Review:

Service Catalogue

Knowledge Management

Integrations

  • Tools and technology that facilitate ITSM processes – By Ros Satar
  • Invites being sent now, contact us to participate

Managed Service Providers

  • By Barclay Rae
  • Scheduled for later in 2013

Change, Config and Release

  • by Ros Satar, pencilled in for early 2014
  • If you have any questions or suggestions about who should participate in these reviews please give us a shout.

Futures

We’re currently planning our review calendar for 2014 and very open to your suggestions. Current ideas include Game mechanics on the service desk, Pure play SaaS ITSM, use of ITSM tech for non-IT, Social IT & codeless ITSM.

Don’t be shy, let us know what you want to see! 🙂

Thanks, Martin

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Reader Census – The results so far…

We began a reader census a couple of weeks back. See the original article here: ‘Reader Census – Your opinion counts‘.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete the census. It will remain open so please take a few minutes to share your opinion

  • So far the average completion time is less than 90 seconds
  • It only has 6 simple questions on one page
  • As you can see we are acting on the data you provide us

Click here to complete the Reader Census.

I thought I would share some of the results so far.

General Outlook – Hungry for Knowledge

Readers like to read a balance of opinions from different people, from different geographies in different circumstances. You like the fact we’re not ITIL zealots and try to provide a balance of opinions. You like the fact we’re vendor neutral and not stuffing sales messages in your face.

Overall, I would say respondents in the census are hungry for knowledge – you want to know what others are doing, how they are doing it, the challenges they are facing and how they are addressing them. You want to keep an eye on the market and stay current with practices.

Keep it Real

In terms of future direction and content you would like to see – the message we have received is to keep it real. You want pragmatic examples and use cases.

“Show me examples and experiences of people that are doing it well in real life, rather than theorists who can tell us how it should be done but are yet to do it.”

There is also a desire to hear from organisations of different sizes:

“If possible it would be nice to have content which feel less america centric. I would been keen to get insights on how itsm is done in “second world” places, this may be a more accessable option for small shops.”

Content Types

In terms of content types or content vehicles, your preferences in order of priority are:

  1. Industry news
  2. Product Reviews
  3. How to / Instructional guides
  4. Opinion

All options are shown in the graphic below (‘Aggregate score’ is a weighted score based on strength of opinion).

"Q. Please rate each site feature according to importance:"
“Q. Please rate each site feature according to importance:”

Thanks again to all those that participated – please keep sending us your feedback.

Click here to complete the Reader Census.

Competition: Review “Standard+Case” – Win a Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire
Write a review, chance to win a Kindle Fire

Regular ITSM Review columnist Rob England (a.k.a. ‘The IT Skeptic’) has just published his latest contribution to the ITSM industry:

“Plus! The Standard+Case Approach: See service response in a new light”

Book blurb:

“If your customers see your group as bureaucratic and inflexible…

If your staff feel process bound…

If your process doesn’t adapt to a changing world…

See service response in a new light.
Standard+Case is an exciting new approach to categorising and resolving any sort of response activity, such as service desk, tech support, public safety, social welfare, or health. If you have anything to do with responding to situations when providing a service, read this. It will change your view of how responses are handled.

Standard+Case applies to anything that requires a human response: there’s either a standard response or there isn’t.”

What they said…

“By tying together the mature practices of ITSM and Case Management Rob has strengthened and filled in gaps of both frameworks. A must read for ITSM professionals!” Troy DuMoulin, Pink Elephant.

“Great reading and concept. Now I want to build it.” Matt Beran, ITSM Consultant.

More info on the book:

Competition

To help Skep get the word out on his new book we’re running a competition!

In a nutshell: Write a review of Rob’s book, post it on this article, the best one wins a Kindle Fire.

Competition rules:

  1. Deadline to receive reviews: Sunday 28th July
  2. How to enter: Post your review as a comment on this blog entry or by email
  3. The ITSM Review will choose the winning review (i.e. Not Rob)
  4. Rob doesn’t mince his words on book reviews, neither should you. We welcome all reviews, good or bad. We aspire to useful and perceptive content on The ITSM Review – this should be no different.
  5. The ITSM Review’s decision is final, yada-yada
  6. We reserve the right to change the rules retrospectively to cover our backsides with the guiding principles that we are a) Good eggs and b) not evil 🙂

GOOD LUCK!

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Integrating IT management data to support ITSM

Integrating IT management plumbing to support ITSM processes
Integrating IT management plumbing to support ITSM processes

With my Incident and Problem Management focussed review completed, I am now turning my attention to my next review project: Integration tools that compliment ITSM.

Integration Tools complementing ITSM

One of the key elements of delivering quality service to an organisation is to ensure that teams have relevant information to hand, to assist in having a clear understanding of the situation.

But even the most inclusive IT Service Management Tools offer integration to complementary tools to make end-to-end management achievable.

Whether it be speeding up implementations by cleaning up the original data needed to set up the system in the first place, to incorporporating Systems Management data, we want to take a look at the supporting products that help us manage IT and business services end to end.

What are we looking for?

  • Pre-Deployment Set-up – User data, location data, HR information (managers, budget centres)
  • Integrations to Asset and Configuration information – A lot of the main ITSM vendors offer integration connectors to pull in the “meat” of the ITSM sandwich
  • Event Management – Alerts are generated for anything and everything in a managed estate, but how is the wheat sorted from the chaff so that only the vital, service-affecting information gets through?
  • Support Services – Remote Control, Communications Platforms during Major Incidents and Support Chats etc.
  • Resource Management – Integration with Email/Schedules of support staff workload scheduling and management of projects within the ITSM tool
  • Any other useful data that supports ITSM

Why do we care?

Whilst it would be lovely to think that there could be “one ring to rule them all”, the reality is that as comprehensive as ITSM suites are becoming, they are likely to be deployed into environments that will require an element however small of integration.

This may be something as simple as connecting to Active Directory to pull user data and related location and organisational information in, to taking an asset baseline, to start the journey into Change and Configuration Management.

All of these require some form of data integration – the easier the better.

But companies on the periphery of the suites are recognising that there is an area for innovation and providing enhancement to that service, for example reducing time to initially deploy, or being able to take over a machine as part of the problem determination actions in an incident record, and logging all that information in the record.

Think of it as the backing singers to the main act, or the instrumental solo – the supporting tools that help drive the overall efficiency of an IT Service Management solution for a business.

If you offer technology in this area and would like to participate in our next review please contact us.

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