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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.


 


 



 

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!

The 2010 ITIL Certification Process Awards Gold - but is anybody watching?

In 2010, the world has come to Vancouver, Canada to compete in individual and team athletic pursuits.  And, by most reports I have seen, TV ratings are up for the XXI Olympic Games.  Over the past ten months, several ITSM software vendors, including HP, have come (not physically, but you get the idea) to Buckinghamshire, UK to try their luck and skill in an ITIL certification process for the chance of winning recognition at the Gold, Silver or Bronze level.  But do customers really care?


I recently spent several weeks managing HP’s effort to have HP Service Manager 7.1 evaluated through the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC) ITIL certification process.  After all of the hard work, I can’t help but wonder, where’s the customer benefit if all ITSM vendors don’t agree to be measured by the same yardstick? 


To be sure, this particular yardstick is world-class.  OGC created the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) more than 20 years ago, and has officially endorsed this particular compliance framework to audit vendor products, documentation and processes.  There are some other well-known ITSM vendors (e.g. BMC, CA and IBM) who have also gone through this certification process, but many have not, and have no intention of doing so.


So what did it take for HP to win OGC Gold-level certification in four processes:  Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, and Service Asset & Configuration Management?  Well, Gold status indicates that, above and beyond passing the standard certification requirements, multiple companies provided clear written evidence that they have implemented and are actively using HP Service Manager 7.1 in their production environment, to facilitate and automate the particular ITIL process being assessed.  I am talking about formal correspondence on company letterhead containing screenshots and report examples as proof of usage. In a phrase, no smoke and mirrors allowed.


 While some organizations, such as Pink Elephant and Gartner, have offered informal ITSM verification services for years, the OGC endorsement program gives vendors of IT Service Management products a single official standard to meet (by the developers of ITIL themselves).   PinkVERIFY has always looked at the functionality, process automation and intent in terms of ITIL compatibility, whereas OGC appears to be looking at the ITIL compliance of software functionality (and self-documenting, to boot), process integration and automation “by the (ITIL) book”. 


 The OGC certification process also included comprehensive questionnaires with questions covering terminology, workflow/automation, functionality and integration.  At every turn, the accreditor assessed our compliance with ITIL v3 principles.  My team conducted remote software demonstrations (using HP Virtual Rooms) that highlighted HP Service Manager’s functionality, integrations, and documentation (both on-screen documentation and online Help Server documentation).  This is where the out-of-the-box capability of our ITIL v3 best practices really helped because it generated a wealth of “in-context” help messages and “context-specific” drop-down selections.  Obviously the OGC people are tired of ITSM software demos in which the help documentation is on another part of the installation CD, not really integrated with the tool itself.


 Now the OGC is flashing the four Gold medals HP received (more than any other vendor) on its website, but do customers really notice?  I certainly hope they do.  The official OGC auditing program looks at two areas of compliance – functionality (with a specific focus on how it supports ITIL process integration) and product documentation.  It also looks for accurately represented processes and functions.  It is based on the premise that successful ITSM needs more than a point tool that supports a single ITIL process.  ITSM requires a comprehensive solution that automates the service as a whole by integrating across its important underpinning ITIL processes.  It’s more like a 4-person bobsled team and less like the luge individual event.


 In the end, are certifications considered good grades in school and nothing more?  If a customer makes their software and implementation selections based on a criteria that is not dependent on the use of a standard yardstick, will they have any higher risk of obtaining an incorrect “fit” to their needs?  Is certification the price of admission to reach “world-class status” as an ITSM vendor?  On the other hand, is casual word of mouth from a colleague down the street a stronger influence than rigorous functionality evaluation conducted by an independent accredited third party?


 My perspective is that customers will be able to compare offerings more easily if they have all been vetted against the same IT tools standard.  Having a single standard for ITSM vendors to audit against gives customers a single point of reference and will make their purchase decisions easier and more informed with less subjective debate.







Q: What do you think? Should ITSM vendors keep striving to find a place on the awards podium? 



Click on the following link and to learn more about what Pink Elephant is saying about HP Service Manager software : http://pinkelephant.com/AboutPink/PinkNews/030110.htm


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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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