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ITSM out of the box - a good or a bad starting point?

Is it a good or bad starting point to implement IT Service Management out-of-the-box? This is a good question and was the title of an interactive roundtable hosted by the Vivit HP Service Manager Special Interest Group and a customer at the HP EMEA ITSM Customer Forum in Berlin. Let me share a summary and some observations from this roundtable ...


John Bom and Jan Zonnenberg from Netherlands Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) started the roundtable with a brief presentation. After introducing the company, they talked about main drivers for merging multiple ITSM system into a single system, discussed the related challenges and then shared their thoughts and learnings from using the out-of-the-box approach with HP ITSM.


The bottomline was - no surprise - there is no single good or bad answer. While there are many advantages with the out-of-the-box model like the common basis for ITIL processes, which can be quickly fine tuned, out-of-the-box (ootb) process documentation and easy upgradability,  the out-of-the-box approach may not meet all needs of complex organizations that require more customization. The presentation closed with a summary of the key learnings to kickoff the roundtable discussion.


Martijn Stuiver and Floris Verschoor from the Vivit HP SM SIG led a discussion with other customers, HP partners and HP. Here are a couple of notes from this discussion:

  • What organizational factors should be taken into account and acknowledged?
    Many driving factors came up here, for example the strategic direction of IT, business requirements, but also which data sources to use as the single source of truth for the different kinds of data.
  • HP ITSM out-of-the-box model
    What is the definition of "ootb"? What are the good and bad starting points? Like almost always in life, the answer is somewhere in the middle. A common sense was that incidents and interactions can be managed ootb, providing powerful capabilities. For other processes, like problem and change management the ootb approach provides sound starting points. The new HP SM 9.30 Process Designer was mentioned as a great help in aligning ootb processes. A 100% ootb approach is never sufficient, because it rarely satisfies all needs. The challenge is to find the right balance and to minimize customization.
  • Out-of-the-box for cloud environments?
    This was another interesting brainstorming and discussion around questions like ... How to manage applications in the cloud? How to manage software licenses?
  • Support for the ootb model and cooperation
    Key points here were about how customers can register enhancements for the ootb model via HP Support and how customers can share their experiences, for example via the HP IT Service Management Community.

To conclude, I think that this roundtable format, and specifically this subject, was right on and a great supplement to the other presentations at the customer forum.


So, what is the conclusion? Well ... I think the answer to the initial question is "It depends!". The out-of-the-box approach in general - and specifically with HP ITSM - is a good starting point in many cases, which also was echoed in other customer presentations during the day. It provides an ITSM solution jumpstart  for core ITSM processes that can then be tailored to an organization's needs for customization and integration.


What are your experiences with the out-of-the-box approach for ITSM?  If you attended the roundtable at the HP EMEA ITSM Customer Forum in Berlin, what were your takeaways?


Have a nice day,

Michael Pott

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About the Author
Michael Pott is a Product Marketing Manager for HP ITSM Solutions. Responsibilities include out-bound marketing and sales enablement. Mic...

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