Cakes, Dilbert & ServiceNow!

We were lucky enough to be invited to a ServiceNow seminar in London just before Christmas. The theme of the event was “is your ITSM keeping up with the business?” Naturally we pounced on this like a cheetah on a trampoline so here’s our take on the big day.

ServiceNow

2015 Update – Tom Warren, Sales Director of New Business – ServiceNow

First up was Tom Warren, Sales Director of New Business for ServiceNow. Tom kicked off the afternoon by giving us a whistle stop tour of how 2015 has treated ServiceNow. It’s been an impressive year in terms of growth; two thirds of the world’s biggest banks are now ServiceNow customers.

Tom talked about the passion ServiceNow has for embracing technology: “self-service empowers our users and synergises what they’re using at home. No one wants to use tech that’s 20 years out of date” so far so standard for ITSM toolsets but Tom went on to explain that there is now a ServiceNow app for Apple Watch. Can you imagine being able to log Incidents or approve Service Requests on your watch? How awesome is that?!! (Disclaimer: I’m a huge geek).

Tom continued by talking about how ServiceNow can drive efficiencies at an enterprise level by automating manual tasks. He shared how the product has evolved over time by working with partner ecosystems to drive the transformation process.

Tom ended his session by re-affirming the ServiceNow commitment to its customers encouraging everyone to look at the ServiceNow user community for news, support and FAQs. He reminded the audience “24 by 7 by 365 support and upgrades are included in the licence because we want you to have the best product” – something I totally agree with as there’s nothing worse than spending thousands of pounds on a tool only to spend yet more money every time you have an issue, question or need to upgrade.

 

Value & Efficiency – Neil MacGowan, Enterprise Strategist – ServiceNow

Next up was Neil MacGowan, enterprise strategist for ServiceNow. Neil’s opened his session with a Dilbert cartoon so naturally I was totally on board from the off. Neil gave us the shocking statistic from a recent study that found people are spending 15 hours a week on admin tasks. I loathe anything admin related with a fiery burning passion so completely agree that we need to sort this out. Neil continued by saying that the reason we do so much admin is “multiple departments, outdated tech & inefficient processes”.

Neil gave us a practical example of how ServiceNow can help “before we used ServiceNow for purchase orders, it took an average of 20 emails just to sort one purchase order”. Ouch.  Neil outlined a user experience we can all empathise with: “users go from using Facebook, Amazon, Google etc. at home, then they go into work and are forced to use Soviet era tech. No wonder they’re frustrated”.

Neil demonstrated how ServiceNow can be used to support HR, Marketing and Facilities as well as IT and explained how CreateNow module can create a new support application in minutes. Neil talked about CSI and next steps stating “today’s innovation is tomorrow’s commodity. We need CSI to keep going”.

Neil ended his session by talking about value reminding us: “the true value of  ServiceNow is (1) what you can save (2) what you gain in operations & (3) innovation”

 

Bans Sagoo – Functionality Expert – ServiceNow

The final session we attended was run by Bans Sagoo. His session was called “a look under the hood” Bans used his session to outline how ServiceNow can be used to manage multiple Service Desks, Major Incidents and management analytics.

Bans took us through the ServiceNow Major Incident experience which was slick, efficient and optimised with fab reporting dashboards enabling beleaguered Incident Managers everywhere to be able to report back to management with sensible updates. Bans finished by explaining that having a solid common workflow means you can build structured processes; something I completely agree with especially if you use modelling and templates.

 

A Fun, Informative Event

For my money, this was a really useful and fun event. It’s always nice to see the big software companies give something back and the day was an exciting mix of brand, functionality and process design presentations. The customers I spoke to were all really engaged and a great day was had by all. Thank you to ServiceNow for inviting us along and we hope to be back next time.

 

 

Event Listing: Cased Dimensions ITSM Event for HealthCare and Public Sector businesses

Hear from Independent Market leaders what HealthCare and Public Sector businesses are adopting for IT Service Management and Business Process efficiency. On 20th January at the Weetwood Hall Conference Centre in Leeds, the IT Service Management Review, Microsoft and Cased Dimensions will deliver a presentation to outline how Health Care and Public Sector businesses are aligning Business Process with IT Service Management Process to enable Business Agility, Increased Operational Efficiencies, Automation and Business Productivity. People are businesses most expensive asset. Attend this presentation to find out how you can empower your team to be more productive. Business productivity benefits are enabled by applying industry best practice process frameworks through Microsoft Collaborative technologies. Additional financial and agility benefits can be driven through virtualisation of your IT Platform.

 

REGISTER TO ATTEND: http://www.caseddimensions.com/ITSM-event/

 

AGENDA FOR EVENT at Weetwood Hall Conference Centre

This short two hour presentation and demonstration is an introduction to Industry Best Practice for enabling Business Service Management. Clients interested can arrange follow up meetings for further information.

09:30-10:15

Independent Speaker from IT Service Management Review will outline how the industry is changing to align HR, Finance, Facility Management and other business processes through Self-Service where IT deliverables are streamlined or automated.

10:15 – 10:45

Cased Dimensions will present how Microsoft’s framework supports the collaborative integration of People, Process and Technology where agility and business productivity benefits are enabled.

10:45 – 11:15

Cased Dimensions customer to share best practice and success criteria who have achieved business aligned service management.

11:15 – 11:30

Open time for Q&A.

 

Who should attend:  IT Decision Maker, Service Desk Managers, IT

 

WHY MICROSOFT?

Today’s business platforms need integrated, collaborative and automated frameworks that enables IT to manage all datacentre resources across multiple clouds, supports apps that scale dynamically, unlocks insights on data anywhere and enables you to securely deliver a personalised experience to any device anywhere. Microsoft also empowers the alignment of front office business process with IT Service Management Process for efficiency and automation. Microsoft’s IT Service Management technologies delivers a consistent and comprehensive set of capabilities that will help you take advantage of process efficiencies on your terms.

 

WHY Cased Dimensions?

Cased Dimensions are a Microsoft Alliance Partner with a deep specialisation in Microsoft Technologies. Cased Dimensions helps customers achieve Business Process efficiencies by integration People, Process and Technology in a collaborative automated Best Practice framework. Cased Dimensions can help you with your planning, ROI model, transition, training and on-going support with skills built on years of experience of large and small scale IT Service Management modernisation projects.

www.caseddimensions.com

For more information, please contact stewart.wapshare@caseddimensions.com or vawns.murphy@itassetmanagement.net

 

 

Video Review: Cherwell EMEA Customer Conference 2015

Cherwell EMEA Customer Conference 2015
Cherwell EMEA Customer Conference 2015

The ITSM Review was invited to Cherwell Software’s EMEA Region Customer Conference on February 11th 2015, in Windsor, Berkshire, UK hosting in the region of 130 customers and partners.

The 2 day conference consisted of 25 educational sessions, covering ITSM & ITAM best practices from a mixture of Cherwell staff from the US and UK, industry experts and Cherwell customers.

We were keen to attend as customer conferences are always a good way to get a good understanding of what challenges ITSM professional face in their everyday work and how they use technology to find solutions to address these challenges in an informal and relaxed environment.

ITSM as Organisational Focal Point

There was a friendly and upbeat atmosphere at the event led by European MD Tony Probert and his team.

The Cherwell motto is ‘Innovative technology built on timeless values’ which seemed to fit the ethos of the event as the focus and structure of the first day was on simple and old fashioned customer engagement; listening to their customer’s feedback and requirements of the software and as importantly, how it is used to drive innovation of the tool in the future. The feedback loop from their customers accounted for 31% of version 5.0 enhancements came directly from customer requests.

Cherwell President Craig Harper opened the day with explaining that Cherwell were growing rapidly ( 1172% growth last year- Same as Linkedin) but were maintaining the right balance between customers, investors and employees. A refreshing approach in a world of software companies driven by the motivations of venture capitalists.

Engagement and Agility over Firefighting Efficiency

There was a very refreshing and thought provoking presentation from new VP of Product Marketing Jarod Greene, who stated that currently ITSM is reactive ( firefighting) and now needs to move towards a strategic response that is both innovating and engaging. Greene stated that there were the 4 Ps:

  • People: It’s all about the People
  • Place : Be where the business is
  • Platform : Appeal to the business user
  • Performance : Measure success in business outcomes

Thanks to the Cherwell team for inviting us!

Industry News Roundup Incl The Project Management Rap

13050063965_7a64771344_zNo time to read all the interesting industry news and info floating around social media and appearing in your inbox? Read our round up of what we’ve found interesting this week.

  • When The Hell Are You Going To Patch? – Rex McMillan writes for LANDESK on why sometimes you just need to patch the hole. Read more here
  • Project Management Rap– Making us laugh, learn and, if we’re honest, cringe a little in the office this week is this Project Management Rap from Chris Croft. Watch/Listen here (Via Vladimir Ivanov on LinkedIn)
  • Changing Jobs in Your Twenties Could Lead To A More Fulfilling Career – Thinking those applicants who’ve moved jobs several times are a hiring risk? Think again. Read more here
  • Why You Should Never Swear On Your LinkedIn Profile – With 93% of recruiters using LinkedIn to vet candidates the reasons are obvious. If you ask us the pussycats and fluffy bunnies should also be reserved for Facebook. Read more here
  • Lack Of BYOD Policies Put Mobile Business Data At Risk – BT warns that UK businesses are not taking adequate measures against mobile security breaches. Read more here
  • Culture: The One Thing A Bank Can’t Buy – Matt Pancino of Suncorp explains how culture makes the difference between those that disrupt and those that are disrupted. Read more here
  • Find A Career Wingman To Help Navigate The Career Ladder – No longer just for trying to find a suitable…um…partner, a wingman could help you with your job! Read more here

Vendor News

Got some interesting news to share – say hello via @gobbymidget 

Image Credit

Live from Knowledge14 – ServiceNow preview Kanban visual task boards

Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, home of Knowledge14

I’m in sunny San Francisco, California for ServiceNow’s annual user conference; Knowledge14.

ServiceNow are expecting a mind boggling 6,000 attendees over the next few days – making it arguably the largest worldwide event in the ITSM field. Knowledge14 also includes 300 specialist breakout seminars and lab sessions and includes an expo hall of 108 ServiceNow ecosystem partners.

The gorilla in the market continues to demonstrate impressive growth with c. $650m+ goal for this year.

5 year growth trajectory
5 year growth trajectory

Eureka Preview

ServiceNow customers can expect a truckload of new products and features in Eureka, the next major release of the platform.

High Level Summary

  • Service Creator
  • Catalog Item Designer
  • Multiple Catalogs
  • Form Designer
  • Demand Management
  • Visualizations
  • Performance Analytics
  • Facilities Service Automation
  • Visual Task Boards
  • On-Call Scheduling
  • Event Management
  • Business Service Map
  • Configuration Automation

My Highlights:

Clearly lots here for customers to dig into for the next release, from my brief preview my two key highlights were:

  • Kanban tasks boards: Visual Task Boards (Think Trello or LeanKitKanban for Enterprise) Anyone benefiting from the kanban style visualisation and scrum team boards will just love this. See a screenshot and brief demo on an iPad below.
  • Germ of an idea to delivered projects: Demand Management Scorecards – Looks very cool at first glance. Good ideas can be captured, services discussed and built by non-IT users, then the business case and resources to build it can be visualized and scheduled.

Visual-Task-Boards

Knowledge14 continues until May 1st, stay tuned for further updates.

Free, the new normal

Arvind Parthiban Sr.Marketing Manager - ITSM, ManageEngine "Why pay for helpdesk?"
Arvind Parthiban
Sr.Marketing Manager – ITSM, ManageEngine “Why pay for helpdesk?”

A new inflection point was reached in the service desk technology market space this week.

A free service desk.

Whilst free and open source ITSM technology has been available for quite a while – this is the first supplier I’ve seen to offer a free service desk without limitation on number of analysts (please let me know if otherwise).

What is perhaps most significant is that the vendor, ManageEngine, already has a huge number of customers, is recognized on the Gartner ITSSM quadrant and has the resources to make a dent.

Techcrunch report today that Zoho/ManageEngine revenue is ‘9 figures USD’, growing at 30% per annum.

The entry level Service Desk offering from ManageEngine is now free. The previous ‘standard’ edition offered a Service Desk for up to five analysts for free – now it’s completely free for any size organization. Customers just pay for premium optional upgrades.

The new normal?

This sort of ‘Freemium’ business model is becoming increasingly popular in a world of very low cost or free apps and cloud-based delivery. Freemium is whereby the vast majority of users of a service can take advantage for free and the business can turn a profit from a small proportion that adopt premium upgrades.

For example Spotify the music streaming service has 6 million paying customers versus 20 million active monthly users and it is estimated that only around 10% of LinkedIn’s 200M users pay to use the service.

Will this kill the market?

No, I don’t think so.

Whilst it is disruptive and gutsy move at market share I don’t think it is necessarily going to kill the market. It will certainly mean existing competitors will have to seriously re-evaluate their value-add but it’s not the end of the world. Spiceworks (ad supported) is free and versions of OTRS (Open source) are free. Vendors have been competing against these for years and should know how to articulate their value. Great software supported by, rather aptly, great support.


However I would say that more fragile competitors should be worried. We’re yet to dig into the finer details of the detailed differences between the free standard edition and professional but at first glance there seems to be a lot under the hood considering the price.

Barclay Rae, commenting on the news said:

“It is certainly a brave and audacious move. I think there is no doubt that some core aspects of ITSM tool functionality is pretty much a commodity, so I guess ME are using this as a level to expand their client base and brand awareness, particularly into new markets and market areas.

ITSM still requires some levels of implementation and integration intelligence, along with organisational change etc., so there will need to be some recognition of the need to develop support mechanisms around the free product that safeguard the brand via successful implementation.

I’d expect ME will need to look at developing their support and professional service capability to support this, particularly for the enterprise market.

However this is still a brave and market shifting move – I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this in due course.”

ManageEngine can presumably offer this for free because:

  • a) The marginal costs of additional customers on a cloud based infrastructure is negligible – assuming the product works ok without hitch
  • b) ManageEngine are betting that a sufficient number of free customers explore paid upgrades and other products in the ManageEngine range.
  • c) The cost of acquiring new customers into the marketing pipeline just got a lot cheaper – albeit at the cost of forgone revenue. Customers can now be convinced with delivery, rather than a short trial or promises, before parting with their cash. Theoretically they might be free customers for years before parting with any paid upgrades. Meanwhile ManageEngine has the all-important resource in the Internet economy – the customer’s attention.

As ManageEngine state in their press release – if it wasn’t already, the basic service desk has just become commoditized.

More info here:

http://www.manageengine.com/products/service-desk/free-it-help-desk-software.html?banner

Case Study: Domtar decimate ITSM tool configuration costs with codeless

CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK TO ENLARGE

One of the first articles we published on the ITSM Review back in 2011 described the market shift from consulting-heavy customized ITSM projects to the simplicity of ‘configure it yourself’ SaaS based offerings, and in particular the significant change in cost structure (‘The ITSM Pricing Ouch-o-meter).

Agile ITSM

Once upon a time the ability of suppliers to ‘darken the skies’ with consultants was a competitive feature. Nowadays organizations want sufficient autonomy to do things themselves, if not the mentoring pathway to get them there.

This independence provides agility. Ultimately the goal is to empower IT teams to stop on a sixpence and duck and weave as the business sees fit. To dramatically shorten the protracted cycle of budgeting and planning long term consulting engagements to turn the tanker.

The IT department shouldn’t disappear into the basement for two years to build the next big thing, but should trickle out increments to ensure they are relevant, timely and valuable.

So far, so groovy. But what does all this newfound ITSM agility do to the bottom line?

Opening the corporate kimono

The case study below, commissioned by EasyVista, digs into the financial impact of moving to a more agile ITSM system. Thank you to Benoit and Bob at Domtar for being so candid and sharing their financial data.

Kudos also to EasyVista for the confidence in allowing us to publish this case study verbatim. The responses below, which I hope you will find to be balanced and honest, have not been edited by EasyVista or exposed to the usual PR polish.

The transition to EasyVista

BEFORE

  • Previous Software: 10% of development in-house, 90% developed by external consultants
  • Development inhibited by costs and by the lack of flexibility in the tool.
  • Upgrades were made difficult by any customization.

After reviewing eleven different ITSM tools Domtar chose EasyVista.

AFTER

  • Implementation began in Summer 2012
  • Now 5% – 10% is developed externally and over 90% – 95% is configured in house
  • Significantly lowered / eliminated development costs

Codeless Economics

Hard savings:

  • Annual saving on ITSM Tool configuration costs: 89% (i.e. They are investing one tenth of their previous spend on changing their ITSM tool)
  • Reduction in ITSM tool annual maintenance: 75% (i.e. They are only paying 25% of their previous annual ITSM software maintenance bill)

Return on Investment:

  • The total first year EasyVista investment (software and implementation) was an estimated 113% of the previous annual maintenance and consulting bill. So in other words, Domtar were able to rip out the previous solution and replace it with a better system for just over the maintenance cost of the previous system.
  • In subsequent years maintenance is 25% of the previous contract
  • Consulting costs have been decimated.

Interview with Domtar

Q. Would you recommend this technology?

Yes. This technology has given us the flexibility to do everything we ever wanted. It is not perfect and like most things probably never will be. However, it has allowed us to reshape the way we deliver some of our IT services. It has allow us to integrate new way of doing things (SLA, Service Catalogue) that we thought would be impossible with our old tool. For the first time we are able to shape the tool to our process and not the other way around.

Robert (Bob) Stambaugh, Manager, IT Service and Asset Management at Domtar, South Carolina, USA
Robert (Bob) Stambaugh, Manager, IT Service and Asset Management at Domtar, South Carolina, USA

This tool has helped us transform they way we see service delivery, to better understand what we do and allowed us to push a vision for the future.

We want this tool to become the ERP of IT, to be the central repository for all the information, to be the source to answer questions about IT and to be more than just a ticket repository.

Q. Which feature(s) would you add to this product if you had the choice?

It is not so much an addition but some improvements. A more flexible self-service portal would be a great improvement. The portal is not configurable enough and a bit static. By giving it more flexibility we could have a better design and make it more user friendly. The way you order service is a bit confusing for end-user at first.

There is what they call wizards, which act as macros function and provide intelligence (Ex: complete a ticker, move an asset, assign a ticket etc.) Wizards do almost anything. They can be adapted but up to a certain point. It would be incredible if we could modify the existing wizard even more but most importantly create our own.

Q. Can you provide any examples of where the increased agility and responsiveness you mentioned have led to tangible improvements in service?

1. Rapid deployment cycle

We have a very rapid deployment cycle on any changes in the tool. We can implement any new configuration changes in an average on 1 week.

Some configuration can be done in a few hours while other requires more tests and will take 1-2 weeks. All this with minimal downtime (1-2 min for most changes).

We have a scheduled change every Thursday where we introduce fixes and improvement. On the other hand, some incidents are fixed live while people are in the system. In our old system, any changes would take several days to code and test (1-2 week total) and several hours downtime (4 in general) to implement.

2. Self-Service Portal

Our end users can now go online not only to enter service requests and incidents but also to track their tickets, something they could not do in the past.

This provides our end user with more flexibility on how they can communicate with us. Those who track their tickets by themselves also save a call at the service desk.

3. Workflows

Benoit
Benoit Tessier, Team Lead, IT Service and Asset Management at Domtar, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Every service (or tickets) is backed by a workflows to guide IT personnel through the process. It is no longer necessary for every IT member to know complex process by heart. The tool makes sure we go through every step.

Workflows make sure we engage the right people at the right time. The process knows when certain team are needed and are notified accordingly. Fewer mistakes are made and fewer things are forgotten.

4. SLO (Service Level Objective)

They were technically possible in the past but we felt they were easier to do in EasyVista. So for the first time we have SLO with our end-users. We do not call them SLAs because we did not sit down with our customer to agree on them. These are the objectives we have set for ourselves in the resolution of incidents.

We are proud to say that less than 10% of our incidents do not meet our SLOs. Something we could not do before. I would dare to say that pride was not even part of our vocabulary. The result is increased satisfaction and efficiency.

5. Reports, Dashboard and KPI

It was almost impossible to get the data out of Remedy easily or without Crystal reporting skills. This is no longer the case. The reporting tool in EasyVista gives us lot of information on operations very easily. We build hundreds of reports.

For the first time, we have numbers and information that let us understand what is going on in the fields. This has launched several initiatives for service quality improvement.

6. Service Catalogue

All tickets, configuration items and assets are linked to a service. This service chart is the basis of our IT management. It is also used for budgeting, resource planning, and project management. Everything IT does is linked to this service catalogue or service chart.

This allow us to understand what is in every service (CI, Asset, Applications etc.), what tickets are generated for every service, what requests are made for every service and of course how much every service costs. By reversing the process we can figure out how much each ticket costs.

This service centric approach has transformed the way IT delivers it services and allows us to answer the eternal question: What does IT do?


Domtar rate EasyVista

Q. Please provide a general rating of EasyVista:

8/10

Q. Please rate the ease of use and intuitiveness of EasyVista:

8/10

The back-end for IT people is very easy and good. Everything is easy to find and presented in one screen which make it simple. However, there is so much functionality available that it is sometimes hard to remember all the possibilities.

Q. What are the key strengths?

  1. The flexibility. We can do literally anything if we put our mind to it. Even stuff they thought would be impossible a first.
  2. It does not require any knowledge of programming language other than SQL query.

Q. What are they key weaknesses?

(None provided)


About Domtar

200px-Domtar_LogoDomtar Corporation

  • ‘The sustainable paper company’
  • Industry: Fiber-Base technology company
  • Headquarters: Montreal, QC, Canada, Operations Center: Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
  • Revenue $5.5BN (TSX: UFS, NYSE: UFS)
  • Founded 1848, 10,000+ employees
  • IT Team 250 staff, Service Desk 11 staff
  • www.domtar.com

The Domtar IT Team at a Glance

  • 250 IT employees spread across North America
  • ITSM team is responsible for ITSM processes, tools and Asset Management
  • New ITSM tool implemented in 2012
  • Processes in place include: Incident, Service Request, Change, Knowledge, Procurement, Asset, CMDB

easyvista-infographic3

The $6BN Gorilla

One of my personal indicators gauging the success of an enterprise software vendor in a market is the ‘grumble factor’.

This is an anecdotal measure that says – you can usually tell who is doing well in a market by the volume of other vendors grumbling about them. Successful vendors in the ascendancy are often accused of being ‘aggressive’, ‘discounting all over the place’ and ‘killing the market’ etc.

This is certainly the case for ServiceNow. One close competitor named them ‘The Gorilla in the market’.

On a recent analyst call with Frank Slootman, President and CEO of ServiceNow, we learned that the Gorilla is now weighing in at healthy $6BN market cap on the NYSE scales. Mummy Gorilla is very proud.

Summary

  • Last quarter revenue $102.2 million, 80% increase compared to the second quarter of 2012, and an increase of 19% from the first quarter of 2013.
  • Added 138 new customers in the second quarter, 1,778 total, customer renewal rate of 94.2%
  • ServiceNow were not in the black for the quarter. All resources are said to be feeding the machine.

(Source)

ServiceNow have slowly doubled their original entry price of $18 [See image below].

ServiceNow Stock price since IPO, June 29th 2012 (NYSE: NOW) Dowsing Rods say go long.
ServiceNow Stock price since IPO, June 29th 2012 (NYSE: NOW) Dowsing Rods say go long.

Realistic Cap?

$6BN? Really? The scope of the market says $6BN, but do ServiceNow have sufficient competitive differentiation to warrant $6BN? It’s not like their offering is totally unique, despite what Frank might be telling investors:

“Our customers are actually frustrated because it’s tough to negotiate with a vendor who doesn’t have much competition, you know,”

Hmm.

Slootman has been keen to dress down any ‘dotcom’ hysteria over their market capitalization in recent interviews. ServiceNow are clearly not shooting for any ‘best place to work’ gongs anytime soon:

“We don’t do all the lattes and back rubs and all that. My favorite perk is high-equity value,”

The ServiceNow public listing was said to restore credibility to the technology IPO process after Facebook’s listing [See image below]. Note the recent Facebook jolt in price when it was revealed mobile ads were working.

Facebook [NASDAQ:FB] IPO MAY '12 vs. ServiceNow [NYSE:NOW] IPO JUNE '12
Facebook [NASDAQ:FB] IPO MAY ’12 vs. ServiceNow [NYSE:NOW] IPO JUNE ’12
My final hobbyist chart tracks ServiceNow versus older enterprise software industry stalwarts. Most striking is the flat green line. Medic?

ServiceNow vs Industry Stalwarts (HP, IBM, CA, BMC)
ServiceNow vs Industry Stalwarts (HP, IBM, CA, BMC)

ONNAMA (Oh no not another marketing acronym)

Frank made it clear, via their “SRM” vision that the Gorilla is done shaking the ITSM tree for now and is going to beat it’s chest in other verticals such as HR, Finance and Facilities etc. Let’s apply what we’ve learnt and use our ITSM logic in these other disciplines. I like the sentiment but I’m not convinced by the market definition. I’m not sure ServiceNow are either. Thank goodness.

“So is Service Relationship Management a new software “category” No. Or at least we think not. It’s just a term that ServiceNow is using to help customers think beyond ITSM”

Maybe we could just call it… err, IT? Have we not always done that? Let the good stuff permeate the enterprise based on solid reputation and successful execution against business outcomes, not silly definitions.

The Next Salesforce.com?

Business Insider touted ServiceNow as the next Salesforce.com. If Salesforce.com is aiming to own the mindshare of the CMO, ServiceNow has the opportunity to own the IT service delivery plumbing and mindshare of the CIO (or perhaps even COO if Bill gets his promotion). But they have plenty of competitors on their heels vying for this space.

For this journey ServiceNow will need to be a lot more ‘App’ and a lot less ‘Toolkit’. Market trends say Mr HR director wants to build and deploy his own solutions. Not get bored waiting for IT to deliver it. IT can own the plumbing, governance and can help automate but ultimately departments will want the freedom to do their own thing, building and fiddling themselves. Salesforce.com got there through the use of ‘Editions’ and converting their platform to a marketplace for niche apps to plug into.

Missing ITAM Savvy

As an ITAM specialist I was disappointed to see little mention in the roadmap around ITAM features, building on the first elements in Berlin. I look forward to looking at this in more depth. This is a significant hole in the ServiceNow portfolio.

The strategic partnership with BDNA can only be considered a short term band-aid unless it is truly embedded in the platform. BDNA have good content to offer but it’s not exactly aligned to the ‘Cloud IT Company’ rhetoric. The last time I looked at BDNA it required the install of an Oracle database and whole rack of kit to run it.

Salesforce.com swallowed up a small army of tech firms to bolster their current $26BN valuation and market dominance, I expect ServiceNow to do the same. Watch this space.

Images from Google Finance

From Tel Aviv to Beverley Hills on an ITSM mission

Tel Aviv based SysAid Technologies has announced that residential real estate brokerage Realty ONE Group has selected SysAid 9.0 integrated ITSM software.

This deal is said to give Realty ONE Group the chance to use SysAid to manage its internal IT department and to assist with providing both in-office and mobile technical support for its nearly 4,000 agents across the western United States.

“We chose SysAid because it is solid functioning service desk software that assists our agents from the office and the field, allows for more efficient processes,” said Kuba Jewgieniew, CEO and owner of Realty ONE Group. “We are excited about the SysAid roll-out and look forward to taking advantage of the many IT tools and capabilities that the platform offers.”

SysAid’s ITSM solution, available in both in-house and cloud editions, is designed to provide IT administrators a variety of best-practice tools to oversee and manage company help desks and asset inventories from the office or on the go, from any Internet-connected device. SysAid’s mobile platform also allows company employees to submit IT requests from their own mobile devices.

Additionally, the solution includes Mobile Device Management (MDM) capabilities intended to allow administrators to extend their IT management policies across all mobile devices on the network — corporate and employee owned devices (the BYOD trend).

“We are pleased to have been selected by a well-known and reputable company such as Realty ONE Group,” said Israel Lifshitz, founder of SysAid. “This decision highlights the important value that a flexible IT management solution brings to Realty ONE’s entire business, and we are pleased to provide the company with a solution that meets its requirements.”

NOTE: SysAid Technologies also has offices in Australia and Brazil.

Majority Of Service Desks Not Supporting BYOD

Dell KACE claim the majority of service desks can't or don't want to support BYOD

Dell KACE has released a survey this month which claims that “a majority” of IT support team help service desks are unwilling to support employees who want to bring their own device (BYOD) to work.

This UK-based survey suggests that as many as 56 per cent of IT professionals believe their IT service desk is ill-equipped to deal with user-owned tablets entering the network.

Why the #FAIL here?

Dell KACE says that this is either because they:

  • can’t or
  • don’t want to support them

But is there much value in analysis of this kind with “loaded” questions to a mere 149 survey respondents?

Some 27  per cent of the survey respondents said that while their service desk can support traditional devices, they cannot support tablets. Furthermore, 18 per cent said their helpdesk can’t easily support any user-owned devices and 11 per cent said they don’t want to support any new devices.

“I find it worrying that organisations have a ‘can’t or won’t’ approach to BYOD, this growing trend across organisations places additional pressure on IT to provide support,” said Seann Gardiner, sales director, at EMEA Dell KACE.

“It is critical that IT is able to easily manage the practice of more devices coming inside the enterprise from outside the organisation. An effective BYOD strategy supports employees. It can increase individual employee’s productivity, which can have a positive effect on an organisation’s performance. Companies should be looking closely at how they manage employees’ BYOD attempts, in order to boost their organisation’s overall productivity.”

On the subject of whether their service desk is integrated with the rest of their systems management tools, 20 per cent of IT professionals said their companies have still not integrated their systems and a lot of other tasks are carried out manually. The research also reveals that more than a third (36 per cent) of IT professionals say IT problems are tracked using spreadsheets and emails, or a ‘home-grown’ system.

  • Some 52 per cent believe the service desk is seen as ‘the face of IT to the business – so our service levels matter’.
  • A further 20 per cent said it was not seen as a strategic part of IT and 17 per cent said ‘users only see us when they have an IT problem’.

Gardiner said, “Service desks need to be more integrated with other system management tools in order to have a strong overview of all their IT. Manual tracking of IT issues using spreadsheets and emails introduces a big cost overhead as well as taking a lot of time. If you can’t see all IT problems, you can’t fix them. To help organisations perform well, IT must automate systems management tasks which will save time and money. Integration is absolutely key in an environment where the application and device landscape is diversifying”.

Our survey said…

The firm confirms that participants here included front-line IT professionals, IT managers, IT executives and others – all taken from what is claimed to be a “wide range” of company sizes and industry verticals in the UK.

Does Dell KACE have an agenda to push here? Perhaps so, but not to the degree that the firm is trying to also plug a product as its system-management solutions and family of appliances are designed to work at a higher level in most senses. That being the case, we may well have more BYOD dangers on the road ahead than we even realise as of now.