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Displaying articles for: July 2010

IT Service Management - is this an outdated concept?

Isn't the whole service management thing a story from yesterday and the transformation something that the majority of the market already undertook? This is a question I got recently after a webinar on service management transformation. No, I don't think so! Service management has been ...

Cloud computing: Is ITIL still relevant?

Does ITIL still add value when adopting a cloud computing model for IT service delivery and management? Deloitte Consulting answers with a resounding YES; in fact, it’s even more important than ever. I want to share with you their compelling presentation on that topic delivered on my ITSM track at HP Software Universe in June 2010, by Randy Steinberg (ITIL and IT Service Management Specialist Leader) and Nicholas Clarke (Manager) from Deloitte Consulting.

Proving the strength of HP’s service desk, demo by demo

I recently co-presented in a web event that showcased HP's new Service Manager 9.20 software through a set of three demos illustrating some of its strongest differentiators. It was entitled, “See HP’s enterprise strength service desk in action”. I’d like to quickly review the three differentiators covered and give you the link to catch the replay. Each of these differentiators were demonstrated in detail in the web event by Ed Perez, an ITSM solution architect and Service Manager expert.

ITSM in the Clouds

For this post, I am less interested in ITSM processes delivered (or functions enabled) via the cloud, SaaS or whatever – while acknowledging that this is a very important topic in its own right. I am more interested in what people think about the how the move towards infrastructure, applications, and services delivered remotely will impact classic ITSM processes and functions. Maybe, I just want to write/say cloud :-). Got to be relevant you know! But seriously, I am curious about people’s thoughts and opinion and even facts on this whole topic.
Tags: cloud| ITSM| MSP

Pragmatic ITSM – Take 2

I had written a couple of times on the Pragmatic ITSM topic and wanted to come back to this with some additional ideas. Trying to keep things simple, I’m going to divide ITSM into three buckets. The first is core Service Desk oriented with incident management as the focal point. The second bucket is extending this to integrate in a small number of additional processes. This could be adding on change management, asset management, or fulfilling service requests. The third bucket is more reflective of classical enterprise ITSM where there would be multiple ITSM process, and also integrations with event management or the application development team.

New whitepaper available - Collaborative IT: A Pragmatic Approach for Bringing ...

Let me get back to the automation theme again. In my blog posts "IT Service Management – it’s all about automation, is it?" and "IT Service Management – it’s all about automation, it is!" I talked about how cost-intensive and error-prone manual IT processes can be, and that they slow down collaboration and lack repeatability, especially in these days of ever-growing complexities. As an example, I also discussed a simple change management process. Now, Enterprise Management Associates (TM) have prepared a whitepaper on the subject, ...

The complex world of Software Inventory

In my previous blog, I promoted the concept of ISO 19770-2 tags.  But, I did not get deep into the reasons why I think they are so important.  Let me fill in some of the blanks.

In my many conversations with IT professionals, I noticed that outside of Software Asset Managers, few people understand why Software Asset Management (SAM) is so difficult.  And I am not surprised.  And the reason is rather obvious – we know what software is on our own machines.  By extension, we think that IT should also be able to find out what is installed on all IT managed machines.

Here is why this is not so.

  1. There are no universal standards to enable a reliable and complete discovery of software.  Not all applications report themselves to the OS – even on Windows. The file header information, the registry, WMI and Add/Remove Programs information in Windows is not consistent and reliable, although still miles ahead of Linux and UNIX.  I do have to give some kudos to Microsoft for having the most effective standards.
  2. There is no universally standard way to install applications.  There are many installers, and there no universal way to extract information from the installer – again, the situation is the better on Windows than other OSs.
  3. There is no single approach that can discover all software.  Some applications can be identified using file-based recognition, others require scripts, etc.

I have seen various attempts at solving this challenge.  Just talk to different asset management vendors.  You will hear about thousands of recognition entries (or signatures, footprints, etc).  You will hear about pulling data from OS sources and custom modules for identification of individual applications, but I bet that not one company can say they can discover all applications (unless they mean to provide a list of all files on each file system, but that is not exactly what we are interested in, is it?).

And here is another thing – none of us want to spend any time or money in the trenches.  We want Software Asset Management; we want it now and at a minimal cost. But, how do you manage your assets without proper discovery?  It’s like trying to drive a car with no wheels.  It may feel great to sit in it, but it won’t get you far.  Software discovery or inventory is the foundation – without it, you cannot do SAM.  But if we don’t want to invest in it, means we must find a common way of collecting the information.  This has to be something that is OS independent, it has to be something that is vendor independent.  It also has to be something that is quick and easy to do, because everyone, customer and vendor, is watching their expenses these days.

And that, my friends is why I am so passionate about promoting the ISO 19770-2 standard.  It is vendor and OS independent.  It is quick and easy to adopt (relative terms of courseJ).  There is even an organization that can help create and sign these tags – TagVault.org. It is a standard that can be universally adopted.  And it is time we had an adopted standard.  Trust me, I would much rather think about how to create an innovative user experience, or look for ways to adopt some new wiz-bang technology, than spend my days creating file-based software recognition entries.

I recall a conversation I had with one of my customers about SAM.  This particular gentleman is a manager of a large IT shop that has in-sourced its asset management.  His customers don’t understand how difficult it is to collect software inventory information.  He knows there is no magic bullet to solve the problem.  But, until this standard, he did not see much hope.  He thought that the only way to get software vendors to provide a way to track their software was through courts.  I am not sure if you have noticed, but many software vendors are now investing resources in license compliance audits.  Reason is simple – they are not selling as much as they used to before the recession (everyone is tightening their budgets and software expenditures are finally being scrutinized).  So, how do you make up a revenue shortfall?  One word – Audits.

His wish may yet come true – I think that if ISO 19770-2 gets adopted, it will force all vendors to compliance – the legal system that is fully behind the license agreements today may suddenly wake up to the fact that in some cases software identification is incredibly difficult, almost as if the vendors were purposely making it difficult.  I am not saying that is so by any means, but our legal system may decide that it is unfair that a particular vendor is not adopting a common standard and therefore putting undue pressure on the customer to track their software installations.  And I have yet to meet a customer who is not bewildered by the challenges that software discovery/inventory presents in their daily lives.  Like a real life Sisyphean task (even though they cannot tell you what they are being punished forJ).

But anyway, let me get off my soap box – I am getting long winded (and I know those who know me aren’t surprised).

But, ISO 19770-2 is only a part of the Software Asset Management challenge – it’s a start.  But then, we will need to get behind ISO 19770-3.  But that is another topic, for another time.   Hope you enjoyed this post – I promise/threat to write more.

Can Software Asset Management become easier?

Here is a repost of my earlier blog where I begin discussion about challenges associated with software asset management.

UCMDB and increasing customer ROI

UCMDB 9.0 introduces some new and improved capabilities that allow customers to increase their UCMDB ROI (Return On Investment). CMS Chief functional architect Ahi Gvirtsman shares his thoughts about the motivation behind the "Model once - Consume everywhere" approach which is a pivotal part of recent HP UCMDB releases that is aimed at this goal.

Upcoming web event “See HP’s enterprise strength service desk in action”

Interested to see what HP Service Manager 9 is all about? We have an upcoming web event on July 21 at 1pm ET that you’ll be able get more information as well as see it in action through a demo. At the end of the event, you can get your questions answered in the Q&A session. Have specific questions now? Let us know so we can take some of your feedback and incorporate into what is presented during the web event. Read more and register..

ISO 19770-3 tags

I can't wait to get the ISO 19970-2 tags to become widely adopted, but what Asset Managers around the world really need is ISO 19770-2 and 19770-3 tags. Let me tell you why...
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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.
  • Mary is a member of HP’s ITSM product marketing team and is responsible for HP Service Anywhere. 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. She also has product management experience in the ITSM industry. Mary has a BS in Computer Science and a MBA in Marketing. Follow: @MaryRasmussen_
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Olivier is Product Line Manager for the HP Configuration Management System (CMS) which is comprised of UCMDB, UCMDB Configuration Manager, the UCMDB Browser, and Universal Discovery.
  • 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.
  • A 25+ year veteran of HP, Yvonne is currently a Senior Product Manager of HP ITSM software including HP Service Anywhere and HP Service Manager. Over the years, Yvonne has had factory and field roles in several different HP businesses, including HP Software, HP Enterprise Services, HP Support, and HP Imaging and Printing Group. Yvonne has been masters certified in ITIL for over 10 years and was co-author of the original HP IT Service Management (ITSM) Reference Model and Primers.
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