Service Management’s 4 Golden C’s: Codeless Configuration & Complete Customisation

Edinburgh Castle from Princes Park.

Cherwell Software has won a new customer for its Service Desk software solutions in the shape of Baillie Gifford, an independent investment management partnership based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Baillie Gifford is one of the largest investment trust managers in the UK. The firm is wholly owned by 36 partners and manages in excess of £75 billion with 700 staff.

Complete Customisation

Having opted for the firm’s own-branded Cherwell Service Management product from Cherwell Software, Baillie Gifford says that it was drawn to its decision via the option to gain “complete customisation and seamless upgrades” with the tool.

Baillie Gifford’s IT service desk manager Rob Whittaker asserts that Cherwell has an intuitive product (with some products reviewed he found it difficult even to see how to log a call at first glance) that works using single step effectiveness i.e. it can be launched manually or automatically — and that this would help his team to save time and automate regular, repeatable tasks.

Codeless configuration

For its part, Cherwell also champions its “codeless configuration” technology and upgrades that could potentially save time and effort.

“When we started the review process, we had not heard of Cherwell Software,” said Gifford. ‘The company came up in an Internet search, and based on the demos and videos on its website and the fact that its sole business focus is ITSM, it became a candidate we wanted to see more from.”

Prior to the itSMF Annual Conference in November 2011, Baillie Gifford narrowed down its prospective list and reviewed four solutions at the show.

“During the two days, we visited the Cherwell stand three times,” said Gifford. “Unlike other stands, when we asked questions we weren’t just given a standard demo we were shown how the product would function. With the other vendors, features were always ‘coming soon’ or ‘could potentially’ do what we were looking for.  The Cherwell product matched what we had learned from their website. It’s built from the ground up and is not just shoe-horned onto another product.”

Before “go live”…

Following what it has described as a “stringent” software testing and evaluation process starting at the end of 2011, Baillie Gifford placed its order with Cherwell in early March 2012 and went ‘live’ with Cherwell Service Management on 21 May 2012. The company then spent a weekend migrating final data, live testing and rolling out.

“Cherwell offered us the product to test and evaluate prior to making a purchasing commitment,” said Gifford. “No one else offered us that. They allowed us to go away and actually use the software to make sure it met our needs. This told me that the company is confident that the product can do what they promise it will do.”

Cherwell Software 
is headquartered in Colorado Springs, USA and with its EMEA offices based in the UK. Cherwell’s wizard driven CBAT application development platform empowers users to create new screens, business processes and to develop additional business applications without the need for developer resources, bespoke coding or scripting services.

Photo Credit

itSMF 2012: 21 Years Of Knowledge & Vision

Service Management should always be capitalised in full when it precedes the word Forum — in relation to the itSMF UK’s Conference and Exhibition. With this rule of protocol laid down then, we can now point to the ITSM12 conference, which is this year being staged from November 5th to 6th at the Novotel London West.

NOTE: That’s W6 8DR and Hammersmith Tube for those of you that want to mark your diary now. The 5th is a Monday.

This year’s event is billed as the largest industry gathering yet with an opening keynote from Simon Wardley, one of the UK’s top 50 “most influential people” in IT (as voted by Computer Weekly readers). Wardley will apparently focus on IT strategy and new technologies as he has a background in defining future directions for companies in the FMCG, retail and IT industries.

The itSMF UK Conference and Exhibition itself sets out to try and provide education and networking opportunities along with the “highly popular” Service Management Awards dinner.

So what’s really inside?

  • Over 50 educational workshops are scheduled.
  • Presentations from all the itSMF’s special interest groups — with an entire series of sessions dedicated to problem management.
  • Experience-based talks from user organisations including Tesco Bank, The Co-Operative Bank, Oxford University and Everything Everywhere.
  • An interactive plenary session will also be returning this year, allowing the audience to vote on discussion topics via interactive keypads.

Alongside the conference, the industry exhibition includes all the industry’s leading tool vendors, product suppliers and consultancies.

“This year’s conference is set to be our biggest ever. We’re pulling out all the stops for our 21st birthday and we are planning to make this an event to remember, said Ben Clacy itSMF UK chief executive. “We have a really packed two days and so many excellent speakers, delegates really will be spoilt for choice – the only problem will be fitting it all in!”

The Service Management Awards will follow the conference on the Monday night, recognising the outstanding achievements and significant contributions of Service Management professionals, teams, contributors, trainers and students. Details of all this year’s award categories are available at www.itsmf.co.uk/Awards2012.

Colin Rudd, chairman of itSMF UK, commented, “This year’s conference marks my first anniversary at the helm of the organisation. I’m really looking forward to helping the itSMF UK to celebrate its 21st birthday at the conference, a significant milestone in our history.”

IT Service Management At VMTurbo Speed

Holonomix MD Darren Prince

Management software company VMTurbo has announced HoloSphereVMT, an operations/service desk management offering which has been developed with industry partner Holonomix.

Claiming to be able to provide “out-of-the-box” integration with service desk solutions such as ServiceNow, Zendesk and OTRS, this new offering aims to reflect real-world customer requirements in its core design

TECHNICAL NOTE: VMTurbo describes its Operations Manager as an intelligent workload management product for virtual data centres and cloud environments. Its capabilities include the ability to look at what resources applications in the data centre require, what resources these applications use and any capacity constraints there are that need to be accommodated for. For those that are not virtualisation specialists, this translates into giving applications more horsepower when they need it based on business rules and demand levels. According to VMTurbo, this integration of back-end IT and service desk management of delivery has the potential to improve how services are made available to end-users.

Holonomix MD Darren Prince contends that (in his experience) customers “love” the problem identification and recommended remedial steps that VMTurbo Operations Manager provides. “We have integrated this information directly into enterprise service desk solutions to streamline the process of logging records. This negates the need for human intervention for those incidents & change requests that require escalation in the Service Desk application,” he said.

HoloSphereVMT automates what is currently a manual process, transferring relevant data from VMTurbo Operations Manager into the service desk. Using HoloSphereVMT customers are said to be able to streamline incident & change management processes by freeing up manpower associated with data entry and ensuring consistency in data between the service desk itself and VMTurbo Operations Manager.

As VMTurbo controls how much resources these business-critical applications receive, improving the speed of getting these changes made should therefore add up to better performance overall.

“Holonomix has worked closely with our own engineering team on the development of HoloSphereVMT,” said Yuri Rabover, vice president of product strategy, VMTurbo. “The ability to automate a manual process provides increased efficiencies and cost savings and is an absolute requirement for IT organisations to maintain service level agreements.”

UK IT Conference Season Starts With Service Desk & IT Support Show

Laura Venables "Our 2012 line-up of big name exhibitors and illustrious expert speakers has already generated a lot of positive feedback from pre-registered visitors"

Spring has sprung and the IT conference season engine for 2012 has officially started. Actually, Las Vegas and Orlando got going in January/February, but at least we’re civilised enough to wait until the clocks go forward before we dust off our conference venues.

April is special of course as this is the month that we see the Service Desk & IT Support Show return to London’s Earls Court from the 24-25 April, with over 80 suppliers demonstrating 250+ products and services.

This is the UK’s biggest showcase for the IT Service Management and IT support industry and this year the central exhibition will also benefit from a comprehensive two-day free education programme, which combines eight keynotes, 40 seminars, breakfast briefings and roundtable discussions.

New Faces

A full exhibitor list is available here. Looking over the attendees we can see that there are plenty of the “usual suspects” and that’s always a good thing. Even better is the news that there will also be nearly twenty completely new faces taking part this year.

New names at the show include:

“The support from the industry this year, as always, has been fantastic. Our 2012 line-up of big name exhibitors and illustrious expert speakers has already generated a lot of positive feedback from pre-registered visitors,” commented event manger Laura Venables. “I’ve been working on the show for five years now and it’s a testament to its continuing success that, with less than two weeks to go, we’re still getting significant exhibitor interest from some top ITSM providers.”

Further info: http://www.servicedeskshow.com/