Justin Timberlake, Asset Disposition & Rocking IT Security; Knowledge 16 – Day 2

Day 2 of Vegas!

After an amazing breakfast (cake!) it was time for the first keynote of the day.

Drive The Service Revolution – Dan McGee, Chief Operating Officer, ServiceNow

Dan opened the day in style with his take on what customers want: “what matters most to our customers? Ease of use!” Dan went on to explain the challenges faced by most organisations wrangling with complexity whilst trying to deliver value.

Dan talked about how moving to a single platform makes life easier:

Dan continued by talking about how just having a single platform isn’t the answer. To be truly efficient, we need a platform that enables people to collaborate easily; giving customers a connected experience across the platform.

Dan talked about the new ServiceNow Connect model for managing inbound communications “Connect is way more than chat, people can subscribe to information so that the right information can find you”. Dan continued by explaining that the Connect experience is available on every application within the ServiceNow platform using visual task boards to promote ease of use.

Kevin Murray (Senior Director of Product Marketing at ServiceNow) and Farrell Hough (GM & VP ITSM & Product Operations at ServiceNow) joined the stage to demonstrate how easy Connect is to use, raising, assigning and escalating an Incident in mere seconds.

The next part of the session focused on the sparkly new partnership between ServiceNow and Microsoft

It’s always nice when companies play nicely with each other and this collaboration means that companies transitioning to a public cloud environment can better manage their cloud resources with a single system of record;  letting users track all their cloud resources through a self-service portal.

Dan moved the session on to talk about security. According to Dan “security is broken. It takes organisations an average of 206 days just to spot a breach”. Dan continued by running a demo of how ServiceNow can handle security showing how the connected workflow can patch a security threat in seconds going through the Incident – Emergency Change process.

Dan talked about the practical experience that went into ServiceNow’s security ethos, “the last thing you want to do at three o’clock in the morning when you’re dealing with a crisis is to pull out a long procedure, written on a pdf by a consultant” I hear you Dan, as a former Major Incident Manager for a large investment bank, I’ve been there. Dan talked about how important security was to ServiceNow sharing that third party penetration tests are carried out on every single ServiceNow release.

The Penultimate part of Dan’s session focused on customer service management. As Dan explained it, only 8% of customers think they’re experiencing good customer service. Doing nothing is not an option”. The ServiceNow customer service management technology will help customers “get off the ticket treadmill” and customers are reporting an average of 92% less time being spent on recurring Incidents. Campbell Soup and Bector Dickinson both shared their experience of how ServiceNow have helped them to be more efficient. It was then time for more product demonstrations as Deepak Bharadwaj (General Manager, HR Unit at ServiceNow) and Pat Calhoun (SVP Product at ServiceNow) joined Dan on stage to show how ServiceNow can be used to onboard a new hire just from a mobile phone app.

Dan finished on a preview of forthcoming attractions. A full benchmarking analysis tool of how ServiceNow compares against other industry players will be released in the autumn (or the fall if you’re reading this from the US) so watch this space!

The IT Asset Disposition Marketplace at eBay – Richard Donaldson, Director of Business Operations & Strategy, eBay

Richard’s session was about the Asset Management journey at eBay. Richard started by giving the audience some background on eBay. Not only is it the world’s largest online marketplace, it manages over 900 million live listings, has 83,000 physical servers and more than 433,000 network ports. That’s one complex environment.

Richard recounted how he had discovered the need for an Asset Management strategy when he realised that his organisation was paying over the odds for support costs, sometimes paying for support on assets that had already been returned.

Richard talked about the strategy used, meaning that eBay were able to move towards a leaner asset and inventory model. On talking about generating business support for Asset Management, Richard had this to say: “I’d love for Justin Timberlake to make Asset Management sexy because the cost savings are astronomical”. Us too Richard, I’m bringing Asset Management back anyone?

Richard explained about the need for business buy in and the need for service refreshes “we use Amazon, eBay and Google at home, then we head into work and it’s like going back to the stone age” Richard then shared some of the benefits realised from doing Asset Management; on retired hardware alone, his company makes over $20 million dollars a year by selling it on to be refurbished and resold after wiping the data “believe me with what we use to wipe our servers, not even a cockroach could survive”.

Richard concluded by sharing his three top tips:

  1. Asset disposition is a key pillar of lean inventory management
  2. Purchasing, management and disposal of assets is inefficient across all industries
  3. A market place for IT asset disposition can create value for all organisations

Panel Session: The Service Revolution in Risk & Compliance

Next up was an panel of experts talking all things ServiceNow risk and compliance. The panel was made up of:

  • Nathan Dupirack – Product Manager – ServiceNow
  • Carri Thompson – Director of Governance, Risk Management & Compliance – ServiceNow
  • Andrew Wheatley – Head of Internal Audit – ServiceNow
  • Tina Price – AVP IT Security & Governance – Careworks
  • John Johnson – Director of Internal Audit and SOX Compliance – Red Robin

The first topic up for discussion was how ServiceNow can support Governance Risk & Compliance or GRC.  John talked about how ServiceNow had enabled his organisation to move from spreadsheets to a single out of the box SOX solution and Tina shared how using a dedicated tool had given her organisation a more holistic view of risk enabling her department to be more streamlined and efficient.

Andrew gave the audience some background to GRC and ServiceNow explaining “our priority was to step away from the 90s technology and automate the workflow to manage risk;  our main focus is automation, self service and transparency”. Carri gave the audience an idea of the commitment ServiceNow has to GRC, ServiceNow is aligned to 15 different standards and frameworks.

The second topic of discussion was how GRC can evolve over time. Tina talked about how GRC can be applied beyond auditing to support other areas such as IT Service Continuity Management. Tina shared her top tips for GRC transformation “look for quick wins to drive adoption and evolution; it gives your stakeholders and auditors the message that compliance is important to you”. John advised delegates looking to introduce continuous monitoring to ensure that ownership is in place and that a process exists to manage exceptions.

CMDB Optimisation At Johnson & Johnson – Anders Rajka, Senior Business and Information Technology Executive at Johnson & Johnson

My afternoon was rounded off by a session on CMDB optimisation. Anders opened the session by giving the audience some background information on Johnson & Johnson. J&J are a global leader in healthcare (and baby shampoo) with 128,000 employees. The J&J CMDB has over 5 million CIs, over 4,600 service requests for CI reports and over 4,000 ServiceNow users or as Anders put it “a big company with big complexities and lots of technical debt.”

The J&J Configuration Management mission was to reduce the number of applications by 40%.  They did this by moving to a federated CMDB model in order to support IT operations, enable a move to a cloud based environment and increase transparency. This led to cost savings through removing duplicated and legacy assets as well as increased customer satisfaction.

The J&J CMDB optimisation project was implemented over 3 main releases, using Agile to keep the project on track. This included 38 user stories, 1o epics over 3 releases and 8 sprints proving that you can use Agile and Lean in a validated environment. Anders talked about the need for effective organisational Change Management to drive service transformation sharing that he used the CIO newsletter to promote the benefits of the CMDB.

The benefits of the project were impressive; a 47% reduction in CIs, 895 reduction in relationships and 1,000 end users trained. The downtime associated with product upgrades was reduced by 50%, data quality was improved and the improved service visibility lead to a reduction in Incident resolution times.

Anders concluded by sharing his three top tips:

  1. Keep your CMDB simple and federate where you can
  2. Adopt Agile and Lean for a quick return on value
  3. Enable transformation via effective organisational change

 

That’s all for now; come back soon for our recap of Day 3!

 

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ITAM and ITSM Integration Group Test – The Results

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Six tools offering ITAM and ITSM from around the globe

This Group Test explores the relationship between the IT management disciplines of IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Service Management (ITSM).

Our remit was to explore the opportunities for managing assets and interacting with ITAM teams whilst maintaining everyday ITSM processes. In particular we were looking to review ITSM tools that offer ITAM functionality or integrate with tools that do – or ITAM tools that provide value to ITSM lifecycles.

I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by the growing overlap between ITAM and ITSM functionality in the tools reviewed. It was great to see all camps taking advantage of the obvious benefits of ITAM and ITSM integration. It was also refreshing to review technology from all four corners of the globe; including some new vendors that some of our readers might not have heard of yet.

Participants in this “bake-off” were:

Supplier Country of Origin Number of Customers Summary
InvGate Argentina 3,000+ Comprehensive ITAM & ITSM solution with next-generation interface
ManageEngine India 100,000+ A good solid solution for building an integrated ITAM and ITSM foundation.
Matrix42[Best in Class] Germany 900+ Arguably the first vendor to offer comprehensive Enterprise grade SAM within a full ITSM suite
Miradore Finland 500+ A desktop management solution providing ITAM and Configuration Management capabilities and opportunities for automating routine ITSM tasks
SupaTOOLS New Zealand 80 A refreshing alternative to big ITSM tool frameworks at a competitive price.
Virima USA 2 ITAM and ITSM in a competitive package. Detailed inventory for datacenter environments plus key service management functions to be able to turn datacenter insight into action.

Deep Dives:

ITXM – ITAM and ITSM (2+2=5)

What are the benefits of integrating ITAM and ITSM?

The vision for fully integrated ITAM and ITSM is –

  • For ITAM:
    1. Meeting compliance and efficiency goals whilst decisions and changes are being made rather than attempting to clean up mess afterwards, allowing the business to make smart technology choices without booby-traps and with visibility of total cost of ownership.
    2. Allowing users to be productive and have access to the assets they need whilst being compliant.
  • For ITSM:
    1. Offering visibility of asset relationships and costs to facilitate faster incident resolution, proactive problem management and less error prone change management.
    2. Delivering self-service without risks.
    3. Updating asset data on the fly as part of BAU for everyone’s benefit – allowing smarter decision making.

Vendor Summary – Strengths and Weaknesses

Supplier Product Strengths Weaknesses
InvGate Assets and Service Desk Code free configuration / Low consulting requirement No server / service dependency mapping
Strong interface and user experience
Next generation IT Management Tooling
Strong embedded game mechanics
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Fully Integrated ITAM & ITSM Lacks polish
Free Version Shortage of specialist knowledge
Use for outside IT department
Matrix42 ITSM Suite and Workspace Management A modern IT management platform with vast platform coverage. Minimal market penetration outside central Europe
ITAM and ITSM mapping from day one
Workflow driven solution – adapt for every process
BYOD, Mobile and Cloud addressed
Miradore Miradore Good offering for Managed Service Providers A good complement for the service desk – but offers no ticketing or core service desk functions.
Light versatile and automated desktop management
Low cost monthly subscription
Good inventory and asset verification offering
Self service software request platform
SupaTOOLS SupaDESK, SupaCMDB Strong CMDB centric ITSM offering Minimal license management capabilities
Cloud, on-premise or flip between two
Well though out design, easy to use
Great relationship views for viewing ALL attributes
Low consulting requirement
Virima Technologies EcosystemManager Datacentre Visibility New software offering, limited existing customers
Turn datacentre insights into service management actions
Ideal for datacentre migration or consolidation
Strong visualisation of dependencies

ITAM & ITSM Integration Review (10)Best in Class for ITAM & ITSM – MATRIX42

We’ve awarded Matrix42 Best in Class for ITAM and ITMS integration for their comprehensive ITAM and ITSM suite.

ITXM – Full ITAM & ITSM integration at last!

“Matrix42 want to be the management layer that sits on top of the services that run IT and claim their key differentiators are strength of integration, automation and speed to value – eschewing the consulting heavy approach of many IT management tool rivals.”

Matrix42 is the closest toolset manufacturer we’ve seen to be able to realize the full ITAM and ITSM vision from one platform. The solution offers both strong ITSM capabilities (verified for eight ITIL processes via a modern interface) whilst also offering depth of datacentre SAM coverage (identifying options and packs enabled for Oracle database). Matrix42 are arguably the first vendor to offer comprehensive Enterprise grade SAM within a full ITSM suite.

Deep Dives:

Disclaimer, Scope and Limitations

The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate as of the time it was created. Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should therefore use the contents of this review as a general guideline, and not as the ultimate source of truth. Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study. The ITSM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology. This is a paid review, that is, the vendors included in this review paid to participate in exchange for all results and analysis being published free of charge, without registration. For further information, please read our Disclosure page.

InvGate for ITAM and ITSM

invgate logo words verticalI recently reviewed InvGate for the ITAM vs. ITSM Integration group test. Below is a summary, read the full review on Tools Advisor here.

Also Participating:

To read the summary, strengths and weaknesses, and criteria please visit this page.

InvGate Assets & Service Desk

Invgate is an Argentinian software company offering Service Desk and Asset Management applications. InvGate claim to have a strong market share in their home Latin American territory and gaining traction in USA and EMEA. The company has over 3000 customers and is ideally suited to organizations between 1,000 and 5,000 employees. InvGate is well placed to take advantage of both smaller organizations that have outgrown cheap and cheerful solutions and larger organizations that are perhaps weary of the large price tag and consulting heavy approach of large enterprise players.

InvGate offer standalone ITAM or ITSM solutions via an excellent interface. This is a strong solution and we found it difficult to find fault with it. One-third of InvGate customers are said to own the Service Desk only, one-third Asset Management only and the final third own both.

A world-class interface and user experience

The stand out differentiator when reviewing InvGate is the interface and user experience. They have managed to capture very technical IT management capabilities and communication of IT data – in a remarkably well-designed interface.

The balance between ITAM and ITSM features, ease of use and flexibility is beautifully executed. This is the future of IT management tools, tackling IT complexity head-on.

Code free configuration and first-class design means customers won’t need to engage with consultants to customize the software or ask for custom fields, they can simply do it themselves.

Getting beyond ITIL process box checking

InvGate includes a versatile and easy to use process engine to build any process, including core ITIL processes – but it’s refreshing to see this requirement take a back seat in favour of pure usability and experience.

This is technology your teams and stakeholders will want to use. The user experience and simplicity of execution is head and shoulders above anything else we have seen.

A game everyone wants to playInvGate Service Desk Assets Integration

Invgate Service Desk has game mechanics and social network elements woven into its design and day-to-day interactions. Customers or end users provide immediate feedback and ratings to interactions within the workflow itself (as opposed to receiving an email later).

Social network elements are executed well, it not just ‘likes’ and ‘feeds’ but provides a visual and easy to understand ‘RACI’ chart of the key stakeholders underpinning each service desk process. Interactions are natural and collaborative whilst meeting process goals.

See also ‘GAMIFICATION: Collecting coins on the service desk’ from 2012.

 


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Read the full review on Tools Advisor here.

Do you use InvGate?

Please share your opinion for the benefit of others.

Leave a customer review on Tools Advisor here.

 

 


 

Crossover Podcast: Episode 7 – ITSM versus ITAM

Episode 7 is the first in a series of crossover podcasts between The ITSM Review and The ITAM Review. Co-hosted by analysts Rebecca Beach and David Foxen, ITSM versus ITAM includes guests from each side of the divide:

Agenda:

  • Why are ITSM and ITAM so separate?
  • Why Asset Management is so important to ITSM
  • ITSM Solutions…Do they really do Asset Management?

ITAM Review and ITSM Review Feeds

 

Technology Review: EasyVista

Easy VistaThis is a review of the EasyVista ITSM solution. The product (set) reviewed was:

  • EasyVista ServiceManager
  • EasyVista Service-Apps
  • EasyVista Click2Get

These collectively make up ‘EasyVista.com’ – the product set reviewed will be released on July 1st 2014.

At a glance

EasyVista is an established and growing player in the ITSM industry – from an initial start in 1988 through to a floated business in 2005 with a native Cloud platform, to its current position challenging the enterprise market.

The company focuses on EMEA and US markets with Head Offices based in both New York and Paris. Recent growth has been impressive and the company is expanding and developing into new markets and market areas. This review looks at EasyVista’s core capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, plus go-to-market strategy and vendor reach.

Summary of Key Findings

Strengths Weaknesses
Simple yet powerful customer presentation layer Limitations on vendor implementation capacity
Comprehensive ITSM functionality – good Service Catalog capability May need to develop more/new capabilities and project services for larger enterprise clients
Cradle to grave Asset Management – extensive financial capability Recent core focus on US has slightly hindered UK presence to date behind, however we understand that this is being addressed
Intuitive user-friendly workflow – NEO capability for tech-free design and admin Reporting capabilities and templates could be improved
Strong multi-language offerings
Impressive recent financial growth

Analysis

Overall EasyVista has a very strong product-set in the ITSM market.With a long pedigree, since 1988, as a mid-market vendor, with focus in some key geographical markets, EasyVista is now broadening its appeal and reach across wider global markets and is also becoming more tuned to enterprise organizations needs.

This is having some success with a number of recent wins over ServiceNow and Cherwell Software, who they view as main competitors. As is the case with these companies, EasyVista is also winning new business from legacy CA/HP/BMC sites with its modern, agile, user-friendly, and user-configurable approach and (web-based) product set; as well as competitive costing and minimized cost of upgrade path.

The product-set aims to provide a comprehensive, yet simple and intuitive interface for build and maintenance, reducing the time to implement and also the cost and skill level required for ongoing tailoring and configuration. A key concept is the simplified ‘presentation layer’, which effectively provides a simple and business-focused interface to allow user organisations to focus on business objectives and not be side-tracked by infrastructure and technical details and data. This also supports the approach that allows the underlying infrastructure and services details to change without impacting the presentation layer – i.e. the User Interface and outputs. EasyVista’s pitch aims to support the idea that the tool helps to reduce complexity around IT and ITSM delivery – by linking ‘Service Management with Content Management’ – so that all sources are presented/rendered consistently.

As an ITSM tool it has a full set of Service Management capabilities available, delivered in ‘standard’ tabular formats (i.e. process functions as expected for ITSM/ITIL processes and lifecycle) with the ability to make changes easily and without technical skills/support.The core Incident, Problem and Change processes are presented in a clean and simple format with the ability to use multiple layers of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operating Level Agreements (OLAs) as required – e.g. for tracking, OLAs can be easily nested and tracked within a wider SLA. The Service Catalog functionality is extensive and compares well with other product offerings, featuring some straightforward and effective features like graphical displays of linked services, parent/child service ‘bundles’, and simple logical links to all other ITSM functions.

The asset and configuration elements of the toolset are also key features with function-rich capabilities around asset tracking and financial management (e.g. insurance values, residual value, depreciation etc). This includes an end-to-end approach with the ability to create orders and pick from stock as part of the asset lifecycle. Whilst this functionality has been around for many years in large enterprise products, it is encouraging to see this level of detail and control being made available from a mid-size vendor and product – with a modern, simplified and connected (social) interface.

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Discussion threads offer social capabilities that can be used effectively for approvals – e.g. for Change Advisory Boards (CABs) – and are a useful and social way to communicate (like a Facebook wall) and contribute to incidents and other events – i.e. beyond those simply on the escalation path. This can also be used for knowledge sharing and also to present real-time knowledge content within incidents. The ‘NEO’ function provides advanced capabilities without the need for technical skills, and is based on a graphical interface for workflow, forms design, tables, and field and screen creation that is simple to administer – i.e. using drag and drop. Development of the presentation layer for IT or departmental customers is supported by the NEO capability. EasyVista has built a range of widgets, such as charts, navigation, dashboard components, and HTML widgets, as well as provided access to a range of other web widgets from the likes of Google, Twitter etc. These widgets can be used to easily build Service Apps like CIO dashboards or Service Catalogs, enhancing functionality and integration of processes.

Reporting and monitoring are available with user-defined dashboards – i.e. that can include standard widgets as already mentioned. This could be further developed to provide more pre-canned templates and standards offerings to clients. EasyVista has strong language capabilities with 12 core languages available across a single meta-data structure – therefore global implementation can be effective across a single platform. EasyVista also provides a robust network of data centers across EMEA, the US and Singapore to provide continuous business continuity. There is also an extensive and effective global knowledge community sharing product information and guidance.

Languages available:

  • Bosnian
  • Brasilian
  • Catalan
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Dutch
  • English (UK)
  • English (US)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Polish
  • Portugeze
  • Spanish

The vendor is expanding and recruiting to support its current growth and sales success. This is part of a continuing development plan to consolidate and build on an improving market position, and challenging enterprise vendors on price and flexibility, whilst still offering a full set of functionality plus innovation in the product that has been built as a native cloud-based system.

Revenues have grown from $11.5M (2010) to over $20M in 2013, with recurring revenue accounting for over 70% due to its SaaS customer base. The stock price has accordingly quadrupled (from $10.00 to $40.00) over the last year.

The vendor has been operating in the mid-market for several years and is now successfully engaging more with the enterprise market, where there may be more requirements from customers to deliver project and consultancy-based services. At present EasyVista have a global network of (40) implementation partners – with a majority of sales being made direct (95% direct in US, 50% direct in EMEA). Corporate resources are therefore focused on development, and sales and marketing, and less on implementation – this may need to be revised with more demanding enterprise-sized customers.

The challenges for EasyVista are in maintaining its focus on innovation, quality installations and client success, whilst also growing its market share and delivering successful implementations in new vertical and horizontal markets. This is recognized by the company with a recruitment programme and a renewed growth plan in the UK, which was consciously left alone some years ago when the focus was on building market share in the US and continental Europe. At that time the UK ITSM market was seen as stagnant, but there is now renewed interest in this market for replacement solutions following new innovations and the impact of disruptive (Cloud/SAAS) commercial models. EasyVista were left exposed in the UK and are now working to recoup some position in this market – however in future there may be issues in other areas if resources are stretched across multiple geographical markets and levels of the IT/ITSM market.

Delivery of sales message (which is seen to be good) and the ability to deliver to a new market area (enterprise) are also seen as major challenges – along with the ability to consolidate and maintain growth. The product set is comprehensive and possibly complex at first sight, therefore the ITSM Review recommends that EasyVista aligns its message (simplicity and business focus) with its overall presentation of the modules and areas of the product. The three product areas – Service Manager, Service Apps and Click2Get – plus the Neo function, sit over the ITSM modules with different pricing structures and this can initially look at odds with the company’s ‘simplify IT’ message, although we understand the pricing is very competitive. Whilst there are some corporate and delivery challenges, the product provides a comprehensive solution, is well positioned, and the pitch plays well to a market hungry for savings, simplicity and new ways of working.

On a comparative level with the upper mid-market and also at an enterprise level, the product-set has good functionality and offers innovation and a user-friendly operation. Development has been applied to the use and usability of the product and this should reduce the need for extensive consulting and implementation services. However there is always a need for implementation guidance and support for less-mature organisations. This is a gap and opportunity for EasyVista to provide more value-added services to support these clients’ implementations.

Overall, EasyVista is an excellent offering for customers/buyers who are mature, know what they want from ITSM (particularly in some key areas like Service Catalog and Asset Management), and are able to implement this mostly themselves.

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Key Capabilities

EasyVista is an integrated solution that covers IT Service and Asset Management. The modules provided are:

  • Service Operation: Incident, Problem, Service Request and Event Management. This module addresses core service desk functionality.
  • Service Transition: Change, Knowledge and Release Management. This addresses the ability to manage the entire lifecycle of Change records and how they relate to Releases in the CMDB. Additionally the knowledgebase is managed in this module allowing the management and subsequent publication of knowledge articles to technical and non-technical users.
  • Service Strategy: Financial areas such as Budget Planning/Control, Procurement, Charge Back, IT Costing etc. are provided by this module allowing customers to have fiscal control over all aspects of IT delivery.
  • Service Design: The management of SLAs/OLAs, Continuity Plans, Availability Targets, Catalog content etc. is managed in this module, providing the ability to create and manage all of these aspects ‘codelessly’ and quickly.
  • Asset Management: provides full financial lifecycle Asset Management for all assets as part of the core solution. This includes all aspects of Asset Management including request, order, delivery, contract, budget, loan, repair, depreciation etc.
  • Extended CMDB: The extended CMDB module provides a fully graphical interface for viewing and analyzing the relationships between CIs and ultimately assessing impact.
  • Business Relationship Management: This covers the areas of Self-Service Portal, Social IT, and Mobility, allowing customers to interact with all product areas in a variety of different ways.
  • Continual Service Improvement: A built-in, proprietary reporting engine providing Analytics, Dashboards, and Standard Reporting.
  • Business Process Management: Automated Workflow Engine, Business Rules Engine, and pre-defined Business Wizard Accelerators. These areas allow customers to build their own processes, automate workflow, and streamline their day-to-day tasks with no coding required.

These functions are presented in tabular form and generally follow the ITIL v3 lifecycle structure. The building of forms and functions (events, escalations, SLAs, validation approvals etc.) into processes can be done simply using a consistent graphical workflow tool – this can incorporate (e.g. Google) ‘widgets’ as required and can also simply be amended using ‘drag and drop’ functionality. As such, creation of ‘standard’ ITSM processes is simple, intuitive and extensive, based on a turnkey set of processes in the product-set – i.e. capable of delivering to a high level of complexity and detailed functionality for SME and enterprise requirements.

Key functions observed:

Incident Management – extensive, flexible form creation, escalations, tracking and filters, user-defined workflow, and knowledge integration.

Problem Management – as above, plus integrated reporting.

Change Management – includes the ability to use ‘discussion threads’ to manage approvals via social-lie interfaces.

Service Catalog – comprehensive functionality, well-presented multi-view and graphical representation of services and CMDB links. Good use of service ‘bundle’ approach – i.e. grouping of components together to build supply chain of IT services.

Service Level Management – extensive and capable of managing multiple levels of SLA, availability of services etc., plus ability to manage and track nested OLA timeframes within SLAs.

Asset Management – high level of specification and capability, particularly around financial management, depreciation, residual value etc.

Knowledge Management – using ‘widget’ plug-ins can bring a variety of options for presenting and managing associated knowledge articles.

Reporting – dashboards shown with the potential for extended functionality and flexibility. Vendor could develop more ‘templated’ report and dashboard content to enhance presentation.

Go-to-market Strategy

EasyVista’s sweet spot target clients:

Staff 2,000 – 20,000
IT Staff 25 – 600
Nodes 10,000 – 200,000
IT Maturity Medium – High
Market level Mid/upper mid-market and Enterprise, some F500Vertical and horizontal – no sector focus
Challenges Cost, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), global multi-language, need for flexibilty and ease of use

Regional focus:

  • Significant investment in the USA – Past 2 years has seen 100%+ growth per year
  • Continued expansion in EMEA – Past 2 years has seen 20% growth in a tough market
  • Tactical investment in APAC
  • Planned expansion and increased investment in the UK planned for late FY14

Channel Focus:

  • USA – 95% direct sales. 70% direct services and 30% through strategic partners.
  • EMEA – 50% direct and 50% indirect.
  • 40 fully accredited partners with 280 certified engineers worldwide.

Features delivered as part of the standard offering:

Service Manager, Asset Management, Service Apps and Click2Get are licensed independently. SaaS customers can obtain a product called myEasyVista, which is SaaS performance and administration portal – this is included in the SaaS subscription.

Service manager is sold with full functionality (all processes / and capabilities)

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Availability Management
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Service Catalog Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Service Portfolio Management
  • Request Fulfillment
  • Knowledge Management
  • Change Management
  • Asset Management

Licensing and Payments:

  • On premise = Concurrent
  • SaaS = Named or Concurrent

Range of project values for a typical installation:

  • SaaS: $75K/year – $300K/year
  • On Premise:  $100K – $500K

Annual maintenance and support cost:

  • 20% of On Premise software sale price.
  • 6 – 10 weeks average implementation time.

Key Reference Customers

OTD

Innovation, quality performance, integrity and teamwork – One Touch Direct is a premier call center service company and leader in developing customized direct marketing strategies. They specialize in developing integrated direct response marketing programs supported by state of the art call center services. OTD is based in North America, employs over 2000 team members and offers call center support in English, French and Spanish.

Domtar

Domtar-Centralizing IT Worldwide – Domtar was founded in 1848 and has grown from a widely diversified organization to an industry leader focused on paper manufacturing. The 1990s and the early 2000s were years of significant expansion, including the acquisition of Ris Paper Company Inc. and Georgia Pacific paper mills.

Expro

Expro delivers a true global SaaS ITSM solution in weeks with EasyVista – Expro is a world leader in well flow management technologies with core and more specialized services assisting customers to measure, improve, control and process flow from their wells. Expro’s expertise extends across the lifecycle of a well, reinforcing their ability to help customers achieve their goals – from Exploration & Appraisal through to Abandonment. Expro operates in all the major hydrocarbon producing areas of the world, employing more than 5,000 people in 50 countries.

Case studies available from these customers.

Geographical Coverage

Direct Presence Geographical area:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • UK
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Italy

Vendor Profile – In their own words

“We recognize the IT landscape we live in and therefore the ITSM requirement to our customers has radically changed. ITSM is no longer just about looking after the employees IT equipment and services, but also about how IT can build non-IT centric services and applications that improve your employee and business unit’s function, efficiency and service to the ultimate end customer.

Today’s ITSM challenge comes from these two ‘customer needs’ but also, the fundamental shift in the way we build IT. The number of systems we use directly or indirectly to transact business with our customers is x50 higher than it was just 3 years ago. All of this data and all of the new communication channels needs to be harnessed and coordinated to provide Service and SupportYet the current platforms that provide the service and support were built for a different age. They may support social, cloud and business analytics – but the hard way. Hard wired, ridged and very costly to administer, change and integrate.

IT is now at a pivotal moment in its corporate career. One that could transform the organization and make rock-stars out of IT leadership. The days of big, highly integrated, proprietary and complex platforms are dead. We live in the age of the web. The next generation of service and support will harness web architectures and services into a harmonious and dynamic service.

We would like to introduce you to a New Way. The Easy Way.

  • An Agile Web Service and Support Customer User Interface Engine.
  • An Agile Web Service and Support Workflow Engine.
  • An Agile Web Service and Support Asset Management Engine.
  • An Agile Web Service and Support Integration Engine.
  • With ‘Dynamic Orchestration’ – Not manual hard wired integration.

All codeless, and all joined up.”

Screenshots

Further resources

Contact details

www.easyvista.com

Phone: +1 (888) EZV ITSM

 

EASYVISTA

Summary

Strengths Weaknesses
Simple yet powerful customer presentation layer Limitations on vendor implementation capacity
Comprehensive ITSM functionality – good Service Catalog capability May need to develop more/new capabilities and project services for larger enterprise clients
Cradle to grave Asset Management – extensive financial capability Recent core focus on US has slightly hindered UK presence to date behind, however we understand that this is being addressed
Intuitive user-friendly workflow – NEO capability for tech-free design and admin Reporting capabilities and templates could be improved
Strong multi-language offerings
Impressive recent financial growth

Disclaimer, Scope and Limitations

The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate as of the time it was created.  Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed.  Readers should therefore use the contents of this review as a general guideline, and not as the ultimate source of truth.

Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study.  The ITSM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology.

This is a paid review, that is, the vendors included in this review paid to participate in exchange for all results and analysis being published free of charge, without registration.

For further information, please read our Disclosure page.

ITSM thoughts from the world of Software Asset Management

Pondering the worlds of ITSM and SAM
Pondering the worlds of ITSM and SAM

Do you ever stop to think about the higher business goals that ITSM seeks to achieve? Or perhaps the boundaries between ITSM and ITAM? I was recently at the SITS14 event at Earls Court, and it was fascinating to hear so many tool vendors state that they did “asset management”. However, when I asked them where they loaded the contracts and purchase orders into their system(s) the tumbleweed was rampant – aka they couldn’t give me an answer!

Of course, what these vendors are actually referring to when they use the term “asset management” is “inventory management”. This is just as vital in the SAM world, however, in SAM we need to compare inventory data against “Proof of Entitlement” i.e. the evidence to say that a company has the right to use the installed software – typically, contract and procurement data.  The status of a software asset depends upon supporting data other than whether it is installed or not.

Where SAM falls down…

High-end SAM is targeted with providing intelligence around software consumption to aid in any business decisions that could shape future contracts and purchases in relation to software (and more recently) hardware. Software Vendors are also increasingly calling upon hardware specifications to calculate the consumption of software licenses.

However, SAM suffers from something of an image crisis – it is rarely considered a business as usual (BAU) activity, and seems to spring up at the behest of a Software Vendor Audit.  Best practice would have us believe that the creation of a SAM framework ties in seamlessly with the rest of IT, as well as with the rest of the business (many elements of data required to support a SAM framework lie with HR (named user licenses), the Contracts Department (concerning Software Contract metrics) and Procurement/Finance (to account for the installs made under the aforementioned contracts)).

Working from this foundation of low-business self-esteem, forging in-roads into well-established strongholds such as Contracts and Finance, can prove to be more exacting than determining what software is installed and how to calculate license consumption.

Falling between the cracks…

The reason I mention all of this is because I have found in too many organisations Contract and Finance personnel rarely (if ever) consult with IT to understand the nuances of licensing. They might appear to have struck a great deal on a software contract, but will have patently failed to consider the technological roll-out clauses that could add significant costs to a business at the point of a periodic review.

Another aspect that often gets overlooked is that of Support and Maintenance, and this was what got me wanting to reach out to the ITSM community.

Does your SAM function ask for your help?

Do you generate support reports based on the software vendor and the software title demonstrating the number of tickets raised, as well as the complexity of those support calls? And how many of these support calls are ever escalated to a software vendor?

Such data could prove invaluable to anyone negotiating whether or not a company decides to place titles under vendor-based support and maintenance in the future. Why? Well, vendor-based support can add anything in the region of 20-25% to the cost of a software contract.

In summary, I suppose I am reaching out to the ITSM community to say “can you help?” I have not seen a single SAM suite that has a dedicated option for the recording of vendor-based support against devices, software titles (or unique installations thereof) or individuals.  I can only imagine this kind of data would be readily available in a service desk tool worth its salt – or am I being overly optimistic?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is this issue on the ITSM radar? I would welcome feedback/comments on the above. 

Image Credit

"IT needs to stop waiting for the sky to fall in" – Ian Aitchison (Video)


This interview was filmed at the Pink Elephant Conference and features Ian Aitchison, ITSM Product Director at LANDESK discussing the current challenges faced in IT service management, along with the need for IT to stop always focusing on the negatives.

In Summary

In addition, Ian also talks about:

  • Shadow IT
  • IT needing to better engage with the business
  • The ITSM community
  • How LANDESK interacts with its customers

Please note that owing to this interview being filmed live at the Pink Elephant event, there may be some minor volume issues and background noises throughout this video.


About LANDESK

LANDESK Software is an industry-leading provider of solutions that span five key IT management disciplines: systems lifecycle management, endpoint security, IT service management, asset management, and mobility management—all unified in a consistent, user-oriented experience. Visit www.landesk.com for for more information.

About Pink Elephant

A global company with a proud and pioneering 30 year history – the world’s #1 supplier of IT Service Management and ITIL® education, conferences and consulting.Visit www.pinkelephant.com for more information about the company, services and products. This video was filmed at the 2014 Pink Elephant Conference. The 19th Annual Pink Elephant International IT Service Management Conference and Exhibition will take place at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, February 15-18 2015. Registration is now open.