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3 Keys to Improving your Change and Configuration Management Webinar

Change and configuration continues to be challenging for many organizations. The risk of self-inflicted service outages is ever present and captures the attention of the ever watchful IT auditors.

 

Brighttalk 12June.jpg

Brian Miller and I will present some reasonable suggestions for improving you change and configuration management processes Wednesday, June 12 at 8am Eastern. Replays are typically available almost immediately afterwards.

 

To register or attend, simply visit http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/534/74205

HP Service Anywhere – Getting the most out of your SaaS Service Desk

Incident.pngWe just announced HP Service Anywhere - a native SaaS service desk that simplifies IT Service Management (ITSM).

 

“Like the consistency from the user’s perspective, such as how things are named in the navigator.  And, like the development tools – it will be easier for users and admins to make system modifications” - beta customer

 

www.hpserviceanywhere.com

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.


 


 



 

Are You Dancing or Wrestling With Your ITSM Applications?

Did you ever notice how working with some software is like dancing, and other software is like wrestling?

 

How do you engage your CMDB, your Service Management applications? Do you dance or wrestle with them?

 

Do they anticipate your every need? Do they try to lead you to the next step, even if you're not sure? Or, must you force it onto the ground and win or lose based on strength vs. mass?

 

Must you use your CMDB in anger or is it inexpensive and easy to go query or integrate something? Does your CMDB keep your data "in jail"? Is everything always customization, or in the "next" release? These things add up!

 

It almost seems intentional sometimes. You can imagine a sumo developer, sitting up in his ivory tower, pondering his product's next feature. He's very good at building traps for unsuspecting or insufficiently expert users that don't measure up to his expectations of a user. He knows enough about the real world to be dangerous.

 

Smiling, he envisions the user face-down on the mat, begging for mercy. Yes, a newbie trap would be very good here, he reasons. Reaching for his keyboard, mentally he begins to wrestle with the user. The poor guy trying to implement it doesn't stand a chance:

  

 sumo_mismatch.jpg          sumo.jpg                        

 

Now of course we have to assume that our developer is very busy, that he can't overcome all the obstacles, that he's limited in his choices, that his budget is already set and he can't really listen to the users just now. And that bothersome product manager is a noob himself, so they're no help. Everything would just be ok if everybody did what I said, he thinks. That's it. My software will impose my will over the users. Make 'em do what I think they need to be doing.   Phooey on their use cases. Mine are better.

 

Now this is admittedly a cynical view. But tell me every one of you haven't used software that made you wonder if something like this wasn't just a tiiiiny bit true.  Tell me I'm wrong.

 

What if we were able to look at our Sumo developer's bag of tricks?    How would he make his product wrestle with his users? What would he do on the odd day he feels merciful and lets the user get something done easily and efficiently?  Even a developer has to give his people and his community a little respect.

 

Let's do some speculation.  C'mon, conjecture is fun! Besides, it's just the pejorative of "guessing". Which is, in reality, why a lot of software seems to be made to wrestle. The developer isn't evil, they just don't know. But let's not let that spoil our little developmental circus. On to the mind of our jovial but evil Sumo programmer:

 

Dancing

Wrestling

Having UIs for all configuration and deployment

Use text configuration a lot. Throw in some XML editing too. Make it all in different formats. For fun, change it every version.  Make configuration UI a low priority.  Make 'em wait for IDEs at least two or three releases.

Low TCO, easy to manage

Cost of integration is greater than the cost of the products

Positive OOBE (out-of-box experience)

Requires a consultant to take it out of the box

Users feel like the interface designer understood and faced the same needs and efficiencies and structures as they

Users wonder if the interface designer has talked to a customer

You have to do so few clicks to do something that the designer must have known this would be a frequently-used path and planned it that way

You have to do so many clicks to do something that you realize the designer never imagined this function would actually be used that way

User doesn't have to remember something between screens

User is required to remember complex names or strings between screens

Path(s) to do things are well-lit and clearly-defined

Path is not intuitive or is overly circuitous. Sometimes there just is no path

Any data entry error erases properly-entered data and forces you to re-enter or start over

Data entry error handling preserves all preservable user work

UI performs well all around

The more important the function, the worse it performs

Server and UI are stable, do not crash except under extraordinary circumstances

You have to do a lot of work and do things exactly right to minimize the number of crashes

Does not make you change your processes or organization to fit technology specifics

Requires obtrusive engineering or processes all it's own to be implemented in the organization

Natively understands ITSM processes and terms

Product feels like a generic platform fitted with ITSM restraints

Security is ubiquitous and transparent, mostly

Secure usage is painful because the Sumo developer wants to develop features, not security.  Security takes next-to-last place in priority ahead only of documentation.

Documentation was a priority. The developers wrote the documentation as part of their responsibility. It's not painful to read the doc.

Documentation was an afterthought. The developers were forced to "write" documentation or face consequences, so they jotted down a few bullets and handed it to the writers. The resulting lack of quality is painful and obvious.

UI is consistent. Menus, dialogue boxes, presentation, lists, right-clicks, etc. all seem to be the same thing

The evil developer bakes UI components based on his mood. Things are situated every which way to keep the users on their toes. For fun, switch around the "yes/no" choices and use double-negative choices ("Yes, I don't want to undo my 'yes' answer" - Huh?)

Diagnostics are easy. Logs and monitoring are easy to plug in and use

You better hope nothing goes wrong

If you do something bad, the product gracefully tries to tell you and help you.

It's easy for the user to crash the product or corrupt data.

The product doesn't allow a basic user to do any damage.

Even a basic user can create big problems for other users

Users smile when using the product

Users blood pressure increases when using the product

Product has expertise scalability - it's easy for both beginner and advanced users to use

New users cannot use the product. Only experienced users can use it. There are no new users of the product.

UI was designed under standard standards

UI was developed according to the developer's whimsy

Can install and manage it's own database, but allows external configuration as well

Either has full control or no control over database installation and configuration

 

I'm sure all of you have encountered at least of few these wrestling matches. But when you find a product you can dance with, it's beautiful. My question to you is, have any of you found a dancing CMDB? A dancing Service Management tool? The Grace Kelly of Asset Managers?

 

Our developers aren't evil. But I'm sure they occasionally entertain naughty thoughts. They're quite talented and for the most part, they're great dancers. If you're tired of wrestling with your ITSM solutions, drop in or give us a call. We'll dance with you.

 

Thanks!

Mass Customization in ITSM (and Movies) for predictable success

What a season for Oscar!  Golden statues are adorning fireplace mantles in houses owned by Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges and the screenwriter of the movie “Up” (well maybe he still rents).  Watching the Academy Awards Show just a few weeks ago got me all excited about seeing movies again.  Not just DVDs or downloads, but real honest-to-goodness fresh movies.  It’s a way of supporting the industry that produces big time entertainment.  I’m not discounting the independent films that are scraped together with a meager budget and limited distribution (some are indeed great).  Sometimes I’m willing to gamble $10 and a few hours of my life on the chance of having an artistic epiphany.  But most of the time I spend my money and time on a “sure thing” – Hollywood’s guarantee of a fantastic entertainment experience – provided by leveraging proven elements and then re-mixing with some new elements (and pixie dust) to generate a brand new hit.  At least something about either the actors or directors or approach or plotlines will already be familiar to me.  I figure that’s the way it is for most people.


Do you ever wonder how a movie can be so creative but still be a project that comes in on time and on budget?  Sure, there are always some crazy movie projects out there that get green-lighted (usually run by James Cameron or, in his day, Francis Ford Coppola) but, by in large, the movie industry has learned that mass customization works.  I just went to see the feature film “Alice in Wonderland” largely due to the fact that the combination of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp doesn’t usually disappoint me.  I will probably go to the next Disney Pixar animation movie and I don’t even know the name of it yet.  What does it take to create a production franchise (and not just a series of formulaic sequels, which I hate)?  It is a result of experience and trust in the results one will get with talent and a process that works.


So, following this analogy, how can an IT organization get projects done on time and on budget, yet with a predictable level of quality and a successful outcome?  Well, we know that the adoption of ITIL-based processes can help, because they are proven -- they have been collaborated on, used, tested, and refined over time by countless IT organizations.  The ability to codify experience can help.  And how does service management software codify experience? HP believes it is through not only the documentation of ITIL-based best practices, but through the actual out-of-the-box implementation of ITIL-based best practices.  Mass customization in the ITIL world is not achieved using a clean sheet of paper with infinite flexibility to invent all your own mistakes.  It is achieved by building from a foundation of best practices infused into the guts of the HP Service Manager product itself – in the workflow, forms, and pre-configured data such as pre-defined roles, sample service level agreements, service level objectives, and key performance indicators that work time and time again, just like a good production franchise in the movie industry.


 


Does the implementation of best practices limit creativity or force an IT organization to bend to its prescriptions? I don’t think so.  Using ITIL best practices, every instance of HP Service Manager can be tailored to a unique set of customer requirements while still avoiding the excessive re-work that results whenever a fully customized configuration needs to be migrated or upgraded.  This is an approach that makes sense in the real world and a lesson that less mature vendors haven’t yet learned.  Even some of the more established names in service management software take their “best practices” only so far (by providing best practices documentation without providing support for the best practices in the inner workings of the actual product itself).  HP Service Manager is the only offering out there that holds true to the concept of a production franchise by actually implementing ITIL best practices out-of-the-box. Not by prescribing, but by guiding.  Just like the best Hollywood producers.


So the next time you select a movie to see based on your expectations, recognize that it is the mass customization by Hollywood that allows a creative story to be told to an appreciative audience.  Mainstream movies may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but, as a business approach, this method can’t be beat.  Now you know the “magic” behind the success of HP Service Manager as well. 

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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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