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Accelerate Data Center Transformation - Quick video on how HP DDMA addresses key DCT challenges

Many businesses are considering Data Center Transformation (DCT) project aimed at reducing the operational cost and complexity of their overall IT infrastructure. A DCT project can involve modernizing legacy infrastructure, consolidating workload and/or data center, move from physical to virtual infrastructure or move to private or public cloud in order to save space, energy & operating expenses and defer potential capital expenses needed to build or expand the data center.

 

This new video demonstrates how HP DDMA ( and an accelerator package developed for DCT projects ) addresses some of the major challenges of DCT and accelerates the transformation.

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.


 


 



 

CMS Use Cases On Parade At HP Software Universe

In my last few posts I talked about the need to focus on use cases.  Over many years I have learned that the number one thing people want to hear about is as follows:  "what is my peer down the street (or across the ocean) doing about similar problems".


Being the track manager for the Configuration Management System (CMS) track at HP Software Universe in Washington D.C. (June 2010), I just completed scheduling a number of great presentations that represent real world use cases and implementation outcomes.   The CMS track at Universe this year highlights a number of great case studies of what real customers - facing real challenges - at very  large and complex companies - are doing around CMS related initiatives.  What follows is a quick summary of customer centric use cases that will be on stage for the CMS track at Universe this summer.


Turkcell, one of the largest mobile phone companies in Europe, will be on stage addressing how they are creating an integrated IT environment capable of supporting a broad range of IT processes including Asset Management, Configuration Management, Change Management and Problem Management.  Elements being integrated include IBM Maximo, HP Business Service Management (BSM) solutions, the HP Universal CMDB and HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping.


An HP partner, Linium L.L.C., will be walking through the work they have done for a major retailer in the US.  The focus of this case study is around the implementation of a Change and Release Management solution that brought together HP Server Automation, HP Release Control, HP Service Manager and the HP Universal CMDB.  


Melillo Consulting is working with a large company to integrate several of our BSM solutions with our HP Client Automation Center to implement an Incident, Change, Problem and Request Management solution.


Elegasi, another partner, is working with a large Financial Services company to help them effectively manage the cost of licenses associated with virtualized infrastructure.   The session will highlight how Discovery and Dependency Mapping, the Universal CMDB, and HP Asset Manager can work together to help address license compliance and cost management for virtualized infrastructures.


Finally, our HP Professional Services team is implementing a Service Asset and Configuration Management solution for a major Telecom company.  They'll be addressing the work they have done to integrate UCMDB and Asset Manager and talking about where they are going next in terms of integrating Service Manager. 


When I consider all of the sessions being put together across other tracks as well - I know that there are many more customer or partner delivered sessions that focus on integrated solutions.  In many of these, the UCMDB is a central component of the solution that will be represented on stage.  If you are interested in going to Universe and have not yet registered, I invite  you to get $100 off the entry price by entering the promotion code INSIDER when you register.  Feel free to pass this promotion code on to others.  Hope to see you in Washington this summer.  Cheers!

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. 

Taming (if not slaying) one of IT’s many Medusas

My third grade son and I have been exploring Greek mythology lately.  We’ve been reading about the Gods of Olympus.  This new found interest was triggered by my son having recently listened to the “Lighting Thief” on audio book - the first of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series.   If you aren’t familiar with Medusa, she is monster in female form who has hair that is made of dozens of horrifying snakes.   The hair filled with snakes idea reminded me of a very thorny problem that IT deals with -  that of addressing compliance related issues.  The more I thought about this the more I realized that almost any problem I have ever come across in IT reminds me of Medusa but this area in particular stands out in my mind.  


 


In my last post I talked about the importance of use cases.  In this post I want to focus on a trend I’ve seen that often is the genesis of a Configuration Management System (CMS) initiative – that of addressing compliance related reporting.  Over the years I have dealt off and on with the compliance problem and it stands out in my mind because of the duality that permeates the issue.  Compliance has this quality of being everywhere and being nowhere at the same time.  Let me explain.  When you think about the roles in IT almost every group has some level of responsibility for supporting compliance and yet responsibility for what must be done is highly diffused across the organization.  This is true even if the organization has (and most now do have) a Chief Compliance Officer.  From a product standpoint every product seems to be able to highlight itself as a solution but no one offering by itself really gets you very far.


 


So having acknowledged upfront that no single product can be all things to all issues compliance;  I have been working in the CMS area long enough to see a recurring trend.  That of using Discovery and Dependency Mapping (DDM) as a way of helping to lighten the burden around compliance reporting in highly regulated industries like Financial Services, Health Care and Utilities.  In each of these cases, I know of at least one (sometimes more)  large and complex organizations,  with massive reporting requirements,  that are using DDM to meet requirements around the need to attest and verify that they have strong controls in place to prevent unauthorized changes to their mission critical infrastructures. For many organizations addressing these kinds of compliance requirements is a hugely time consuming and costly endeavor from the standpoint of IT hours invested.


 


I will start with a publicly available story, that of FICO.  Known to most in the US for their credit scoring service, FICO used DDM as key element in a solution which also included HP Service Manager.  FICO talks about their solution from the standpoint of incident, change and problem management but addressing compliance was certainly a big motivator for them as well.  Operating in the highly regulated financial services industry, audits are a way of life for FICO.  Matt Dixon, Director of IT Service Management at FICO, has said that with their solution they were able to go from taking in the neighborhood of a day to address audit requests to being able to do so in a matter of minutes.  Given that something like an audit a day is what FICO deals with, this is no small deal.


 


A health care company that I know provides another good example.  This company had built a compliance reporting database where they had integrated close to 100 data sources.  They had further built on their own reconciliation logic to support data normalization.   The development effort and the ongoing care and feeding associated this system was enormous.  The company launched an initiative to rationalize data sources, implement automated discovery and dependency mapping and replace this home grown reconciliation database and logic with a vendor supported solution (they chose HP). 


 


Turns out that in their data rationalization effort this company found that something like 80% of the data held in their source systems was redundant at some level across the organization.  This understanding helped them move forward and develop a program around retiring systems and moving to a data leverage model using a CMS style approach.  By the way I do not  feel that what this company found in terms of redundant data would be that much different if we ran the same exercise at most large companies I deal with.


 


Another large company I know involved in the highly regulated utility sector went through a very similar process.  Like FICO this company is pursuing a fairly broad agenda around Incident, Change, Configuration and Release management but addressing compliance related reporting requirements was their initial priority.  Like FICO this company has been able to substantially reduce the amount of time invested in compliance while radically shortening the time it takes to produce compliance related reporting.


 


So while discovery and dependency mapping is by no means a panacea when it comes to compliance issues, it can help an organization meet its commitments relative to compliance reporting.  At the heart of many compliance related requirements is the need to attest and prove that you have tight controls in place around how your infrastructure is managed.  Transparency and a continuous visibility to the configurations in your organization is fundamental to addressing this requirement and a CMS can be a key element that helps address this requirement. 


 


 

Keeping it real - Some blogs don't help!

I am an avid reader of blogs that criticize ITSM as an approach to managing IT. They fall into three main categories.


First are the blogs that criticize ITSM based on some theoretical point of contention.  These arguments are based on the blogger’s understanding of a term, and the fact that ITIL uses it differently.  These are the subject of heated online debates, and make for some amusing reading, but rarely have any real practical value.  Further examination often reveals that the original blogger has their own publication or framework and is using ITIL to establish their credentials.


Second are the blogs that see ITSM as a passing phase that will be replaced by some new technology-based approach, like Cloud.  “ITIL is too old-fashioned for these new approaches and they solve all the problems that ITSM was trying to solve – just quicker and better”, the argument goes.  Really?  So which parts of ITSM are no longer going to be relevant in the emerging technologies?  Will incidents no longer occur?  We won’t need to manage changes?  Capacity becomes limitless?  Service Levels are automatically discerned and delivered?  I don’t think so!  Here’s what I believe:  Innovation and new approaches bring a huge amount of value, but they also bring a number of new management challenges.  We shouldn’t throw out everything we’ve learned from the past every time something new comes along.  ITSM will have to evolve to deal with the challenges of every innovation, but that doesn’t mean that ITSM is not a valid approach.


Third are the blogs that focus on actual failures and successes of organizations who have used ITSM / ITIL.  These are the most important and relevant blogs to me, because this is where we can learn about how to make ITSM work.  It is only in the real world that we can make something actually work, and where we can learn from failure.  So what have these experiences taught me?


·         Best practice is not a framework.  It’s not necessary to implement the whole of ITSM in order to get value from it.  A successful project should be measured by whether IT gets better at enabling the business to meet its objectives, not by whether the whole of ITIL has been implemented.  Some of the most successful ITSM projects only focused on one or two key processes or services.  Best practice is a set of guidelines based on previous experience.  The fact that it has been documented in ITIL doesn’t mean that it’s compulsory – it just means that it has been made accessible.  Each organization can choose what applies to them and how to implement it


·         Don’t take everything in ITIL literally.  Many projects have been derailed by arguments about the “correct” interpretation of something in ITIL.  In many cases somebody has taken an example or a guideline as an absolute rule, and then there is no way to deal with variations or exceptions.  In these cases, it is important to keep the overall objective of the project in mind, and figure out what will work for that particular organization.  Often, it can be helpful to ask other organizations how they dealt with the issue – the it Service Management Forum (itSMF) can be very helpful here


·         The world of service and the world of technology are not two worlds.  They’re both part of the same world.  It’s not possible to provide services without infrastructure and applications.  Many ITSM activities are performed by technical groups.  Successful ITSM projects focus on both the business and technology, and involve both groups in every phase of the project – and many of the deliverables of the project should be owned and delivered by the technical groups


·         Governance is key.  A successful ITSM project will change the way the organization works.  Having a good project plan and executive sponsorship are necessary, but not enough.  Good project governance will ensure that changes needed for decision-making, reporting, management behavior and execution are properly communicated and cascaded to the appropriate levels of the organization.  Too many projects have failed because the team went off on their own and built a great solution for one part of the organization, but never integrated or coordinated it with other key players


Watch this space for some practical advice on how to get ITSM to work for you no matter who you are!

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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.
  • 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 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: @MaryR_Colorado
  • 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
  • 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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