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Displaying articles for: May 2010

Watch HP Service Manager Flex its Enterprise Muscles

HP Service Manager is an enterprise strength service desk that helps you run IT like a business. This application pumps iron. When you are evaluating a service desk software offering, make sure you look past its pretty face and have it flex its muscles. It’s the only way to know what you’re really getting.

Modeling data in a Configuration Management System

For all the talks about ITIL v3 and the Service Lifecycle these past 2 or 3 years, any large organization today that puts in place the proper processes and tools to manage its business services still faces the daunting task – well it’s never trivial for sure – to model existing IT resources. One can only assume that the new stuff will be modeled at design time when IT has all the clues about what they are doing for whom; but the old stuff that is already out there is a different story. Some of it can be discovered automatically; some of it can be obtained from various Management Data Repositories. Yet any attempt on a large scale to build (and maintain) a topological representation of an IT environment takes some work.


Let’s put here that we are in the shoes of a big corporation that has taken the step of deploying a Configuration Management System (CMS) to assemble a single version of truth about their IT. A CMS is indeed ITIL’s conceptual approach to create a common and dynamic representation of business services – one that can reconcile discovered data, replicated data and increasingly federated data. Quickly enough you can get all these data flows “bringing in” Configuration Items – call them objects if CI rings dull – and all their relationships. So we have a topology or more accurately a large amount of disjoint graphs – some highly interconnected with hundreds, possibly thousands of objects, others much smaller. Even if the IT Department is conservative in how they run discovery, those “IT molecules” that become available through the CMS can represent all together tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or (but then the IT guy would have pushed all the buttons of discovery) millions of objects.


As much as customers would want the CMS to present them automatically with all the constructs and all the views that they need at that point, this is not the reality. First, only a few DDM tools on the market have the technology and the content to fully map an enterprise environment. Second, very few CMDB products can do effective and granular data federation against a wide range of MDRs. Even if you get that far, the last leg of modeling which is about making all that data consumable or actionable is the part that is the most demanding for products. Said simply, users must be able to find the right data, scope it, combine it and visualize it in various ways. The only trouble is that we are dealing with complex graphs of objects using a rich data model, vast quantities of data typically stretching across repositories, a landscape that is all but static and plenty of similar situations requiring a similar handling. Being able to define and execute advanced topological queries and computations is a science. Putting that science in motion effectively against that kind of constraints confines to art.


If you asked me which products are flirting with art and which ones are not quite there, I would tell you but then you might not take my word for it; so instead I will explain myself a bit… in my next post :-).

Tags: CMDB| CMS| Model| Topology

Audits got you down? Here’s how FICO is meeting the challenge

FICO, provider of a leading credit risk scoring service and decision management solutions, had been struggling to meet a heavy burden of audit requirements—an average of one audit per business day (including internal audits, audits by clients, and audits for regulatory agencies).


FICO implemented HP Service Manager, HP UCMDB, and HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping to gain auditing capabilities that dramatically reduced the time needed to generate reports. In the past, an audit took 15-20 hours. Today, FICO runs required reports in just minutes. Not only does this represent major time savings and an improvement in regulatory compliance, it also means a boost in competitiveness. Impressive!


Take a look at FICO’s case study (hyperlink to for more information on their ITSM implementation and the results they’ve achieved.


CMS and the Cloud

What role will the Configuration Management System play in the new cloud computing world?
Labels: Cloud| CMS| Federation

IT Service Management - it's all about automation, it is!

In my last blog post, "IT Service Management – it’s all about automation, is it?", I discussed the importance of and the general approach to automation in IT Service Management. Now, let me look at an example -

New ITSM Blog Site is Up!

We've moved! Everyone who blogged or read the HP ITSM blog on the Telligent Platform, here is our new place, on a platform based on the Lithium technology. Learn about the new platform and blog away. The world is waiting! For now I will be yoru moderator and helper for anything you need. Thanks JR

Growing interest in IT Financial Management

HP is seeing a growing interest in IT Financial Management. Financial management in relation to assets has been important to businesses for a long time but now there is a need for more. We are seeing interest in the need for convergence in financial management from both IT operational management as well as project and resource management.

HP offers an excellent ITFM solution, combining PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) with Asset Management. PPM manages multiple projects particularly in relation to financial management and resource management of those projects. Asset Manager offers ongoing total cost of ownership of assets as well as operational cost management. Added to this HP offers Financial Planning Analytics which provides powerful reporting and anlytics to the solution.

Customer feedback has proved very positive - the ability to provide key information around the cost of projects and IT operations and enable decisions to be taken based upon best available information.


Pedal to the metal - HP widens its leadership gap in ITIL v3 certification

HP Service Manager has taken a big leap forward in its ITIL v3 leadership position.  HP Service Manager 7.1x is now certified by OGC (the creators of ITIL) at the Gold Level in nine ITIL v3 processes, three times the lead of the next closest vendor’s product.   


The Gold Level certification is hard to achieve (see my previous blog entry to get more detail on that).  It means that multiple customers provided documented proof to the auditors that they are using HP Service Manager to automate their ITIL v3 processes. 


Here is a list of the ITIL processes implemented within HP Service Manager that have been certified at the Gold Level:


1. Incident Management

2. Problem Management

3. Change Management

4. Service Asset & Configuration Management

5. Service Catalog Management

6. Request Fulfillment

7. Service Level Management

8. Knowledge Management

9. Service Portfolio Management


Customers who understand the value of fully embedded ITIL v3 best practices have it easier than ever before.  Now that HP Service Manager is the clear leader on OGC's certification scorecard it will certainly help many of these customers determine, without a doubt, that HP Service Manager is their best choice to help run IT like a business.




Change is on its way

Change management continues to be one of the compelling drivers we see for improving IT Service Management. I wanted to remind people of a couple of web events that we have next week (Wednesday May 19) where customers are speaking on their experiences and improvements seen. Here is a registration link.

Tulio Quinones, Manager of Enterprise Service Management and Core Media Technologies and Thomas Dosedel, System Administrator at BlueCross BlueShield of Florida will both be speaking. BTW, Heather Moore wrote a couple of short posts on these events in April.

Reflecting this, improving or extending change management frequently provides superior returns as opposed to other process improvement areas. If you are interested in what HP offers for change and configuration management, you can also click here.

Chuck Darst

Labels: ITSM

Turkish ITSM Observations

Last month, HP hosted an ITSM customer event in Istanbul. A couple of initial observations, Istanbul is a long ways from Colorado (where I reside), Istanbul is a really big city, and Turkish coffee isn’t exactly what you might expect. More on that later.

Customers and partners from Europe and the Middle East participated, and a number of case studies were presented. From these and hallway conversations, I have a few more observations. First, there are lots of organizations and companies that are now acting as managed service providers – which you would never expect through their names. One example, a company specifically formed to provide IT services to a group of commonly owned banks. Another company that was formed as a joint venture of a government agency and a more traditional managed service provider (MSP) to provide IT services back to that government. On my last trip to Europe last fall, I was also struck by the number and amount of multi-sourcing. An example could be an organization where a help desk has been outsourced to provider X, network services to provider Y, and servers to provider Z. IT had then been consolidated and took care of the rest. I don’t know if there is more of this going on “across the pond” than here in the US, but my limited experience would say yes.

Another observation came from a handful of Middle East HP and partner experiences. This involves a generalized best practice for implementing an enterprise grade service desk (HP Service Manager) in smaller environments (say 20-40 seats). The general concept is pretty straight forward and reflects a recent post from Yvonne Bentley on “Mass Customization”. The idea is to leverage the built-in best practices of Service Manager as much as possible – recognizing that all organizations will need some amount of customization, but sticking as close to the out-of-the-box processes as much as possible. This whole idea is as much about the processes being implemented as the tools that support them, and it is right in line with the pragmatic ITSM topics that I’ve previously written about.

The last observation is the worldwide acceptance of ITIL as a process best practice foundation. You would expect this from an English or Dutch company, but it was arguably the unifying theme of the event (not that surprising I guess). This was further reinforced by a recent customer discussion I recently had - where the customer was a utility company from Central America and was very steeped in and committed to ITIL. And I sense more pragmatism than dogma as there are different flavors from number of processes adopted to the amount of process consolidation.

Speaking of flavor let me go back to the Turkish coffee. First, I think that more people drank tea than coffee in Istanbul. More to the point, I brought back a couple of packages of Turkish coffee. When I opened the first one up, my first reaction was “now what do I do with this”. It is actually a powder. It didn’t work in our espresso machine and I didn’t really care for the results of a French Press. It kind of sounds complicated – sort of like ITSM or ITIL. Ah, the power of the internet and searching. Turns out that making Turkish coffee isn’t that hard after all. Sort of like ...

Chuck Darst

Tired of an ever increasing deficit? Come to Washington DC and see how Asset Management can help you be more fiscally responsible!


HP Software Universe is in Washington DC this June!  Could there be a better venue to hear how you can reduce the cost of your IT assets and provide better services to your customer?  Maybe members of congress can join us and learn something too!  


This years Asset Management presentations are going to be impressive.  I can attest to that because I am the track manager for Asset Management and I just finished reviewing all the presentations. Four of the six discussions will be presented by a customer or partner, and two will be presented by HP software experts.   There’s a variety of topics including Software Asset Manager (SAM), Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM), managing assets in a virtualized IT environment and discovery teaching, just to mention a few.


I’ll give you a little more insight.  One of the presentations is about software asset management and will feature a large healthcare company that saved lots of money by implementing asset management to control software licenses   They had been audited by a large software vendor (you can guess who, I’m sure) and were surprised when they found out they needed to pay millions of dollars due to under licensing!!  Unfortunately many companies are experiencing the same dynamic because software vendors are now taking the opportunity to collect additional revenue from accounts especially when they see flags such as mergers and divestitures or any other business change.


Another customer, a large insurance company, will present their software integration strategy around Service Asset and Configuration Management.  They go into detail about the challenges they had and how they overcame them to create an ‘On Demand’ IT organization.   They are still evolving but they’ve done some remarkable things…


Check out the web site at .  If you’re thinking about implementing asset management and want some helpful information, register for SWU and come to Washington in June!

Gartner MarketScope called HP 'Strong Positive' for Asset Management


On April 29th, 2010 Gartner published “MarketScope for the IT Asset Management Repository”.  The report contains market trends as well as vendor product reviews based on a defined set of criteria.  The first criteria are vendors must have an ITAM solution for enterprise customers (greater than 5000 employees).  Vendors that have an enterprise solution must also have the following eight criteria: software entitlement controls, asset catalog, software license and hardware asset management, integration capability, financial management, workflow automation, decision modeling, and relationship mapping.  Based on their criteria, Gartner ranked the vendors as strong positive, positive, promising, caution or strong negative, although none of the vendors were ranked strong negative. HP was one of two vendors that were ranked a strong positive.


The report is interesting to read.  Gartner states a 40% increase in the number of companies deploying ITAM solutions.  They also said that if customers were satisfied with their SD and PC life-cycle solutions they prefer to purchase their ITAM solution from the same vendor.  They said that ITAM has crossed a threshold and that after being available in the market for more than 15 years, it is now “located at the bottom of Trough of Disillusionment and is moving up to the Plateau of Productivity.”  And you can probably guess that two of the biggest drivers that are helping move to the Plateau of Productivity are virtualization and increased software audits!


A couple points of interest to me were Gartner’s analysis of how vendors are changing their ITAM solutions.  Vendors are focusing more on the analysis of data rather than just reporting the data better.  This will make ITAM even more important to customers because IT will be able to use the data to improve decision making.  They also see much tighter integration with ITSM products.  If vendors don’t provide tight integration, customers will have to develop and maintain the integrations themselves.  Providing more analysis and tighter integration will help IT understand and drive down their costs.


I recommend reading the whole report, especially if you are looking to purchase and implement IT Asset Management!  You can reach Gartner at



Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida shares their solution to managing IT assets in a complex virtualized environment

Victor Miller, an IT Senior Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Florida provided a great presentation April 27th about managing IT assets in a complex virtualized environment from the context of Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM).  Many customers attended, representing various business segments such as retail, global delivery services, entertainment, financial, food services, and software solution consulting.  Their job descriptions ranged from C-level executives, Vice Presidents, Directors, and Lines of Business Managers.


Victor described his main business challenges as tracking IT assets and related configuration components from multiple sources of record, and managing software assets deployed in both physical and virtual environments. He talked about each challenge in detail and described the evolution from where they were to where they are today, and how they addressed those opportunities.  He focused much of the presentation on the challenges virtualization brings through server sprawl, identification, software licensing and compliance. Next he talked about how they integrated ITAM and CM processes through SACM and the challenges of adding virtualization into the SACM solution.   His evolutionary goal:  provide on-demand provisioning.


Most of the customers attending still use manual processes, such as spreadsheets, to manage hardware and software assets.  Over 50% don’t track virtual IT at all.  That was an eye opener to me especially with all the major software vendors threatening audits every year!  What do you think?


The webinar was recorded and is definitely worth listening to.  You can access it at

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About the Author(s)
  • HP IT Service Management Product Marketing team manager. I am also responsible for our end-to-end Change, Configuration, and Release Management (CCRM) solution. My background is engineering and computer science in the networking and telecom worlds. As they used to say in Telcom, "the network is the business" (hence huge focus on service management). I always enjoyed working with customers and on the business side of things, so here I am in ITSM marketing.
  • David has led a career in Enterprise Software for over 20 years and has brought to market numerous successful IT management products and innovations.
  • I am the PM of UCMDB and CM. I have a lot of background in configuration management, discovery, integrations, and delivery. I have been involved with the products for 12 years in R&D and product management.
  • Gil Tzadikevitch HP Software R&D Service Anywhere
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Jacques Conand is the Director of ITSM Product Line, having responsibility for the product roadmap of several products such as HP Service Manager, HP Asset Manager, HP Universal CMDB, HP Universal Discovery and the new HP Service Anywhere product. Jacques is also chairman of the ITSM Customer Advisory Board, ensuring the close linkage with HP's largest customers.
  • Jody Roberts is a researcher, author, and customer advocate in the Product Foundation Services (PFS) group in HP Software. Jody has worked with the UCMDB product line since 2004, and currently takes care of the top 100 HP Software customers, the CMS Best Practices library, and has hosted a weekly CMDB Practitioner's Forum since 2006.
  • Software technical product manager for HP Strategic Analytics--Executive Scorecard (XS) and Financial Planning & Analysis (FPA). Generate technologically sophisticated IT Performance Analytics use cases in collaboration with fellow HP product managers and design partners. Liaison for XS & FPA product managers, customers, and development team. Draw upon experience and industry pulse to influence the definition of product strategy and roadmap. Primary implementer of POCs for key elements of the company's offering including executive scorecard, financial planning and analysis, and process analytics..
  • Mary (@maryrasmussen_) is the worldwide product marketing manager for HP Software Education. She has 20+ years of product marketing, product management, and channel/alliances experience. Mary joined HP in 2010 from an early-stage SaaS company providing hosted messaging and mobility services. Mary has a BS in Computer Science and a MBA in Marketing.
  • Michael Pott is a Product Marketing Manager for HP ITSM Solutions. Responsibilities include out-bound marketing and sales enablement. Michael joined HP in 1989 and has held various positions in HP Software since 1996. In product marketing and product management Michael worked on different areas of the IT management software market, such as market analysis, sales content development and business planning for a broad range of products such as HP Operations Manager and HP Universal CMDB.
  • Ming is Product Manager for HP ITSM Solutions
  • Having about 15 years of experience, practical and academic, throughout these years, I’ve been always focusing on both strategic directions side by side with achieving critical business goals Mainly focused on IT operations management, strategy and control, my preferred vendor is usually HP, as I believe HP has one of the best Enterprise portfolios among the current trending technologies
  • 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.
  • Oded is the Chief Functional Architect for the HP Service and Portfolio Management products, which include Service Manager, Service Anywhere, Universal CMDB & Discovery, Asset Manager, Project and Portfolio Manager.
  • I am Senior Product Manager for Service Manager. I have been manning the post for 10 years and working in various technical roles with the product since 1996. I love SM, our ecosystem, and our customers and I am committed to do my best to keep you appraised of what is going on. I will even try to keep you entertained as I do so. Oh and BTW... I not only express my creativity in writing but I am a fairly accomplished oil painter.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
  • Vesna is the senior product marketing manager at HP Software. She has been with HP for 13 years in R&D, product management and product marketing. At HP she is responsible for go to market and enablement of the HP IT Performance Suite products.
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