Business Service Management (BAC/BSM/APM/NNM)
More than everything monitoring, BSM provides the means to determine how IT impacts the bottom line. Its purpose and main benefit is to ensure that IT Operations are able to reactively and proactively determine where they should be spending their time to best impact the business. This covers event management to solve immediate issues, resource allocation and through reporting performance based on the data of applications, infrastructure, networks and from third-party platforms. BSM includes powerful analytics that gives IT the means to prepare, predict and pinpoint by learning behavior and analyzing IT data forward and backwards in time using Big Data Analytics applied to IT Operations.

BSM Evolution: Small Enterprise Example

My previous BSM evolution postings focused on mega-corporations and large IT organizations with a myriad of personas.  In this post, I will contrast the experience of a relatively small IT shop of roughly 30 full time IT operations personnel.


Back when the economy was cooking along, an up and coming commercial construction company grew right out of their business model.  Historically, they utilized a decentralized model, setting up and staffing a stand-alone onsite operation for each new project. This model was excellent at delivering customized project support, but lacked scalability and leverage; with remote site spin-up slow and error prone.


From an IT perspective, the CIO realized they needed to, in his words, "Consolidate and professionalize the IT operations", with the following goals:



  • 1. Improve quality of service and experience for worksite users & applications

  • 2. Contain IT costs and efficiently scale current IT personnel to meet growth

  • 3. Improve speed, accuracy, and agility of spinning up new project worksites

Key Personas:


CIO



  • Many years of commercial construction experience

  • Personally drove IT consolidation / professionalization strategy and roadmap

  • Directly engaged in evaluating and selecting the solution vendor/consultant

VP of IT



  • "Co-pilot" for CIO on strategy, drove project deployment and vendor engagement

Subject Matter Experts (SME)



  • One for performance and availability tools / architecture

  • One for service management process workflow and automation (helpdesk)

Two Key Parallel Evolution Paths:


Path A:  Performance, availability, and quality of experience monitoring


Step 1: -Deployed synthetic end-user / application monitors, agentless remote site infrastructure monitoring, and general WAN/LAN management


             -Basic service experience reporting, and per-site performance dashboards


Step 2:  -Enterprise infrastructure fault/performance (agent based system, OS, DB)


             -Central "IT Command Center" event console with trouble ticket integration


Step 3:  -In-depth application management modules (exchange, SAP)


             -Advanced network services (route analytics, performance)


Path B:  Service management process workflow and automation


 Step 1:  -Single call/request center organization established


              -Incident management (utilized pre-packed ITIL module)


 Step 2:  -Knowledge management process, analytics and automation modules


 Step 3:  -Configuration and change management process/automation


              -Service Level Management definition and basic reporting


An Uncommon Sequence of Evolution Steps


Notice the interesting order of the steps.  The CIO dictated that the performance monitoring path start with remote site end-user / application experience monitoring.  The original roadmap proposed by the system integrator recommended starting with basic data center tools, advancing through central event console, then application and database management, and finally end user experience.  This is a traditional evolution path, but the CIO was adamant that, "what happens at the remote work-sites IS the business".  So, he wanted an immediate awareness of remote site experience to drive the design of every step in the roadmap. 


There was a similar "cultural" direction from the CIO on the service management workflow path.  Again, the CIO insisted that Knowledge management be moved up in the evolution before configuration, change, and service level management.  Typically, significant knowledge management execution is viewed as "icing on the cake" by most organizations, and only implemented after all the other core ITIL processes.


This CIO believed that analyzing and formalizing knowledge learned from successes and failures of spinning-up remote sites and dealing with issues was the best early investment. This approach immediately became part of the standard IT culture, and played a significant role in guiding change and configuration management process definition.


The CIO's Project-Based perspective


This CIO is indeed very ITIL savvy, but I think living and breathing the commercial construction business had a significant impact on his choice of system integrators. During the bidding process for the ITSM/BSM contract, it came down to three competitors in a direct "shoot-out". System integrator number one and two brought product and ITIL experts to the shoot-out, concentrated very heavily on features and functions, and gave a fixed-price bid of 200 deployment days. 


System integrator number three brought a project manager to the shoot-out, and changed 75% of the discussion to, "here is how we will navigate the project and be successful". Can you guess who won? It shouldn't be news to anyone that a CIO's background alters the decision criteria, or the roadmap vision.... But it is always interesting to observe it in action.  Maybe I will write a post about that someday


Conclusion


This IT organization is relatively small, so the decision making process and personas are greatly simplified compared with the large corporations previously analyzed. Despite the CIO's unique influence on approach and deployment sequence, in the end, the same fundamental truths of BSM/ITM evolution apply.... Just on a different scale, agility and timeframe.    


Bryan Dean - BSM Research



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BSM customer evolution paths: Samples and observations

When developing and marketing products, we often have questions  which can only be answered by going out there and seeing what people are doing. We have a guy on the BSM team who does this for us. His name is Bryan Dean. I've worked with Bryan for many years and I've always been impressed by his objectivity and the insight he brings to his analysis (i.e. he doesn't just present a set of figures - he gets behind the figures).


 


At the end of last year, we asked Bryan to analyze the top 20-odd BSM deals of 2008. He formed a number of conclusions from this research. One set of conclusions concerned how people "get to BSM" - how they evolve towards an integrated BSM solution. I asked Bryan to help me with a series of posts to share what he learnt about evolutions towards BSM because I think that knowing what our other BSM customers are doing may help you.


 


________


 


Mike: Bryan, can you give a summary of what you learnt?


Bryan: There is no one evolution path. It's fascinating to me that a hundred different IT organizations can have virtually the same high-level goals, fundamentally agree on the key factors for success, and yet end up with a hundred unique execution paths.


 


Before I answer your question, can I create a definition? The term "BSM" is very poorly defined within the IT industry - different vendors have different versions, and so do the industry analysts (in fact, some other research I did last year concluded that very few people had a clear idea of what BSM means).  So, I'd like to introduce the term "Automated Business/IT Service Management"  or AB/ITSM.


 


Back to your question, I think I can group all the different evolution paths into five key types:  




  1. ITSM incident, problem change & configuration:  this evolution is driven out of the need for process-driven IT service management with the service desk as a key component


  2. Consolidated infrastructure event, performance and availability: this is driven by a recognition that having a whole ton of event management and performance monitoring systems is not an efficient way to run IT, and so there is a drive to consolidate them into one console.


  3. Business service visibility & accountability:  this is more of a top-down approach - start with monitoring the customer's quality of experience and then figure out what needs to happen underneath. This is popular in industries where the "web customer experience" is everything - if it's not good, you lose your business


  4. Service discovery & model: this is where evolution towards integration is driven from the need for a central model (the CMDB). Often, the main driver for such a central model is the need to control change


  5. Business transaction management: today, this is the rarest starting point. It's driven by a need to monitor and diagnose complex composite transactions. We see this need most strongly in the financial services sector

Mike: How about the politics of such AB/ITSM projects?  (I don't see the AB/ITSM term taking hold, by the way :-) )


Bryan: Politics (or, most specifically, the motivational side) is important. I think many heavy thinkers in our industry have the mistaken assumption that that there is a single evolution path, controlled from the top on down by the CIO following a master plan. Trying to manage such a serialized, mega project is a huge challenge and too slow, not to mention that 99% of CIO’s are not in the habit of forcing tactical execution edicts on their lieutenants (I know I’ll get some argument on that one :-) ).


 


What I see from my research is that the most successful IT organizations are those who have figured out how to balance between discrete doable projects, and an overall AB/ITSM end-goal context and roadmap.  Typically, the CIO lays down a high-level vision that ties to specific business results, and then allows key lieutenants to assess and drive a prioritized set of federated, manageable projects that independently drive incremental ROI. Some IT organizations may have a well-defined integrated roadmap, but the majority of IT run federated projects in a fairly disjointed fashion.


 


These parallel paths are owned by many independent personas within IT, each trying to solve the specific set of issues at hand. For them, being bogged down in how their federated project aligns and integrates with all the other AB/ITSM projects is daunting… if not fatal.


 


And on reflection this makes sense to me - the human side of things plays a large role in such endeavors.


 


Mike: What do you mean?


Bryan: IT organizations of all shapes and sizes have goals to reduce costs, increase efficiency, improve business/IT service quality, and mitigate risk all while applying technology in an agile way to boost business performance.   What I find interesting is how specific, funded initiatives are created by specific personas to achieve the goals.


 


In future posts, I will share some specific examples of how customers evolved through these paths, the key driver personas, the core motivations and how these paths come together.

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About the Author(s)
  • Doug is a subject matter expert for network and system performance management. With an engineering career spanning 25 years at HP, Doug has worked in R&D, support, and technical marketing positions, and is an ambassador for quality and the customer interest.
  • Dan is a subject matter expert for BSM now working in a Technical Product Marketing role. Dan began his career in R&D as a devloper, and team manger. He most recently came from the team that created and delivered engaging technical training to HP pre-sales and Partners on BSM products/solutions. Dan is the co-inventor of 6 patents.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Over 11 years of experience in design and development of NMS/EMS products and presently with the Device content support covering broad based features of multitude device vendors in NNMi.
  • Manoj Mohanan is a Software Engineer working in the HP OMi Management Packs team. Apart being a developer he also dons the role of an enabler, working with HP Software pre-sales and support teams providing technical assistance with OMi Management Packs. He has experience of more than 8 years in this product line.
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  • Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model. The scope of these solutions spans across server, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery. Shelat has 21 years of experience in IT, 18 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a World-Wide Product Marketing Manager, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst. Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.
  • Architect and User Experience expert with more than 10 years of experience in designing complex applications for all platforms. Currently in Operations Analytics - Big data and Analytics for IT organisations. Follow me on twitter @nuritps
  • 36-year HP employee that writes technical information for HP Software Customers.
  • Pranesh Ramachandran is a Software Engineer working in HP Software’s System Management & Virtualization Monitoring products’ team. He has experience of more than 7 years in this product line.
  • Ramkumar Devanathan (twitter: @rdevanathan) works in the IOM-Customer Assist Team (CAT) providing technical assistance to HP Software pre-sales and support teams with Operations Management products including vPV, SHO, VISPI. He has experience of more than 12 years in this product line, working in various roles ranging from developer to product architect.
  • Ron Koren is a subject matter expert for BSM / APM, currently in the Demo Solutions Group acting as a Senior Architect. Ron has over fourteen years of technology experience, and a proven track record in providing exceptional customer service. Ron began his career in R&D as a software engineer, and later as a team manager. Ron joined HP software in 2007 as an engineer in the Customer-Oriented R&D team. Prior to joining HP, Ron held a leadership development role at Israel’s largest bank. Ron holds a B.S. in Computer Science from The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya Israel.
  • Stefan Bergstein is chief architect for HP’s Operations Management & Systems Monitoring products, which are part HP’s business service management solution. His special research interests include virtualization, cloud and software as a service.
  • With 11 plus years of very broad experience as a deployment expert for all the NMC products, my deliverables includes helping the Sales and Pre-Sales team in sizing and architecting the solution and hardware, assisting the implementers in product deployment and helping the customers directly when the products are deployed in production setup. As part of Customer Assist Team, I participate in a lot of customer facing activities from R&D side and provides best practices of using HP SW NMC products for efficient network management and leverage my rich experience in Network Node Manager and related iSPIs products.
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