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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.
  • 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: @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
  • 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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