In response to: Service Management: The Linchpin to Cloud ComputingCloud and Service Management: What an excellent topic! :) Does Bruce Otte have a presentation or white paper he can share on this? I'd love to see a future blog entry highlighting some of they key points of his talk at the itSMF eSymposium.
Cloud & Service Management blog
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Kathleen Holm 2700009BHX KHOLM@US.IBM.COM Tags:  ibm service-management service-providers communications_service_pr... customer_care 1,151 Visits
Industry Solutions: Communication Sector Blog
This popular notion was initially supported by stating that the wireless data market experienced 7.3 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in the fourth quarter of 2008, an overall 38.7 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2007. However, according to Chetan Sharma Consulting, this growth cannot be sustained in a continually deteriorating economy.
During these times, both businesses and consumers are scrutinizing costs, which leaves telecom service providers vulnerable to losing customers looking to cut household and business spending. Customers will be quick to drop services that don’t meet their standards, so providers need to go above and beyond to prove their value. Subscribers have many carriers to choose from, and for some customers, the deal-breaker may be differing qualities of service, both at the network layer and call center level. According to Stratecast analyst Karl Whitelock, service providers lose a large percentage of customers because of service issues. For some carriers, the number of lost customers exceeded 10 percent of their customer base.
Proper customer care is positioned to be a game-changer for wireless providers as it builds trust and drives satisfaction. Service providers are aware that maintaining a high quality of customer service is a key factor in customer retention, but reaching this metric is always a challenge. The inhibitors to superior customer care include weak communication between call centers and network operations and poor network intelligence. By being more proactive about identifying service issues, service providers can empower their customer care representatives with the tools to improve customer experience and help grow business.
Providers can employ a number of best practices to improve customer service. These relate to boosting visibility across the network, monitoring communications capabilities and prioritizing problem resolution.
Visualizing service quality
Monitoring the customer experience
Improving internal communications
Prioritizing problem resolution
We are witnessing the telecommunications market migrate from a strictly voice-based industry to one that sells Web access, rich media content and business applications on cell phones. As this evolution continues, service providers will have to deal with the added responsibility of fielding service questions about data issues, which according to Stratecast take three times longer to resolve than regular voice service issues. Faced with this challenge, customer experience management is a valuable tool that providers can use to deliver positive customer satisfaction, high service quality and gain competitive advantage.
Scott Sobers is the program director for the communications sector for
Kathleen Holm 2700009BHX KHOLM@US.IBM.COM Tags:  industry_solutions service_management 1,161 Visits
Businesses around the globe are facing many of the same challenges: rising customer expectations for quality service, pressures to control costs, and requirements to manage the complexity of converging IT and business infrastructures.
While their overall challenges are similar, the types of
services, assets and infrastructures used across industries can vary
tremendously. This is why
Each week, we will feature a closer look at one of the industries highlighted above. Talk to us! What industry-specific challenges are you facing? What kind of industry-specific information and resources would you like to hear more about? Send us your thoughts.
In response to: How IBM Service Management can tame the complexities of SOAContinuing Kathleen's thoughts here, I'd recommend reading the article "IBM Service Management: Fulfilling the SOA Vision" at: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/governance/action/06182009.html
In response to: IBM Tivoli Foundations- A quick overviewMid-sized organizations will benefit from the IBM Tivoli Foundations offerings - service management solutions designed and priced to meet the needs of mid-sized organizations. You can learn more at: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/governance/action/08202009.html
Kathleen Holm 2700009BHX KHOLM@US.IBM.COM Tags:  ibm service-management tivoli 1 Comment 1,634 Visits
I wanted to better understand the new
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager offers turn-key performance and availability monitoring for mid-market companies. It allows them to restore a service that is experiencing performance and/or availability problems with the shortest mean time to recovery possible.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager also delivers real-time information allows an organization to visualize service performance and health across their network, server, middleware and application components enabling them to effectively manage risk and improve service quality.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager helps clients optimize their resource allocation and reduce cost by giving them the ability to identify underutilized resources and reallocate them to support new business operations. At the same time, risk is reduced by anticipating resource over-utilization and generating proactive events and reports against resources that do not have the capacity to address growing business needs.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager comes with out-of-the box best practice monitoring policies that track IT Infrastructure health against pre-defined thresholds. This allows organizations to quickly and proactively identify and respond to problems and issues before critical applications and customers are impacted. Overall service is improved by restoring the service or application that is experiencing performance problems with the shortest mean time to recovery possible using autonomic capabilities to fix problems before human intervention is even needed. Reducing problem determination time decreases cost and allows organizations to spend more resources focusing on business innovation and creating competitive advantage.
Tivoli Foundations Service Manager provides service desk capabilities that allow mid-size companies to handle help desk calls, track problems, and make changes that prevent existing problems without creating new ones. It also provides a self-service, searchable knowledge base that delivers fast answers to common IT problems.
In addition, Tivoli Foundations Service Manager delivers dashboards that provide real-time performance views and out-of-the box content including workflows, templates, key performance indicators (KPIs), queries and reports targeted for mid-size clients.
The Tivoli Foundations Service Manager appliance-based service desk solution helps mid-market clients reduce their costs by optimizing the productivity of operations personnel through its built-in problem solving tools, providing operations a way to increase the efficiency of its service support functions. The robust self-help portal which is populated with best practice resolutions to common problems, gives end-users a way to quickly resolve problems on their own without having to involve any additional personnel.
Managing risk is key to small and mid-market clients that have extremely limited IT skills in-house. The Tivoli Foundations Service Management solution ensures process compliance by integrating standards-based incident and problem management processes resulting in a repeatable and consistent service support process.
Tivoli Foundations Service Manager delivers streamlined standards-based incident and problem management processes that enable rapid service restoration and improved overall service quality. It provides real-time visibility to end users on priority, urgency, and impact of problems, incidents, and service requests. These built-in survey capabilities allow organizations to track and trend overall end-user satisfaction with their operations and creates a closed loop environment where overall service quality can continually be improved.
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Every day, the world is becoming more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. Infrastructures and assets across the globe are rapidly being digitized, turning physical assets into smart assets that allow people, systems, and objects to communicate and interact with each other in entirely new ways.
This “smarter planet” is creating opportunities for new, smarter, differentiated services and products. Organizations that can rapidly adapt and innovate to meet or exceed customer expectations for new services and products will be in a position to accelerate growth and gain competitive edge.
Watch this video to see how smart meters have made a significant impact on Portland General Electrics business.
Watch this video to see how smart meters have made a significant impact on Portland General Electrics business.
Business and operational audiences often lack the visibility they need to more effectively manage their business objectives. They frequently have an obscured view of their business and IT assets and how they come together to support services. In addition, processes and workflow are often disconnected across organizational boundaries.
The result is lost opportunities and an inability to meet or exceed critical business objectives. If you cannot see your assets, and their relationship to the service you are delivering, you cannot respond quickly to new opportunities or to problems when they arise. The lack of adequate governance across asset types (business & IT, People, Information) leads to unnecessary risk and an inability to effectively meet compliance and audit requirements. Further, if you cannot manage assets effectively across organizational boundaries, it’s difficult to lower the return on those assets, information and people and effectively manage operational expense.
Business dashboards display service performance in a business context showing KPIs that include transactions, customer activity, and other key metrics. Dashboards pull information from both business sources and IT sources, then connect and display the information to show not only how IT is performing but how that performance is impacting these key services.
In addition, operational dashboards show the technical status of business services and the supporting infrastructure. These dashboards can be used to visualize emerging technical problems, and business impact—in many cases, prior to customers even becoming aware that a problem exists.
Subsequently, they can isolate service root cause, identify problem owners and guide them through resolution.
See the results of improved visibility. Watch this video to find out how Star Technology used
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Every day, the world is becoming more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. Infrastructures and assets across the globe are rapidly being digitized, turning physical assets into smart assets that allow people, systems, and objects to communicate and interact with each other in entirely new ways. This “smarter planet” is creating opportunities for new, smarter, differentiated services and products. Organizations that can rapidly adapt and innovate to meet or exceed customer expectations for new services and products will be in a position to accelerate growth and gain competitive edge.
Watch this video to see how smart meters have made a significant impact on Portland General Electric’s business.
Kathleen Holm 2700009BHX KHOLM@US.IBM.COM Tags:  smarter-planet ibm service-management 1,258 Visits
Because service-oriented architecture (SOA) has emerged as a strategy many organizations are adopting in order to respond more quickly and cost-effectively to customer needs, I really wanted to understand what it was all about.
After reading many articles and talking with a number
of subject matter experts from
Definition of SOA: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a method for breaking down large applications and business processes into smaller “services” and a system for linking them on demand so they can be reused to create new applications and business processes.
While not elegant or profound, this definition helped me understand how SOA
provides organizations with a dynamic infrastructure that allows them to break down large applications and business processes into smaller, loosely-coupled “services” that can be reused to create new applications and respond quickly to customer needs. The result is a simplified, more powerful infrastructure in which services can dynamically scale to meet changing organizational needs or workloads, while reducing cost and management complexity.
With the tremendous value SOA provides also come new challenges. Some of the challenges include managing the complexity of deploying interdependent services, ensuring compliance with multiple service level agreements for the same service, checking for the proliferation of duplicate or overlapping services, and protecting a SOA application and data from unauthorized access to name just a few. Meeting operational goals in a SOA environment requires a new approach.
I’ve enclosed a link to an excellent webcast--Service Management for SOA: Go the Extra Mile—that explores in more detail how Service Management can help tame the complexities of SOA.
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Introducing our Twitter team for IBM Service Management:
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It's been said that the only difference between a native Texan and an adopted Texan is who complains more about the crazy, long hot summers. For those of you who know neither, believe me when I tell you the natives complain a lot more. The adoptees relish it.
A lifelong Texan and passionate runner, my idea of good weather is not based on how hot and sunny it is outside. I prefer a temperature just shy of 50 degrees with plenty of cloud coverage, and even a little rain is welcome. As my skin sizzled under the 97 degree sky yesterday, I was thinking about IBM CloudBurst and wishing I could order up my own personal cloud . . . maybe someday IBM will invent that!
For now, I remain very impressed with the cloud that IBM does offer today. You will be too, if you attend the June 25 webcast, A Breakthrough in Service Delivery for Data Center Workloads hosted by Doug Brown, Chris O’Connor and Don Thomas.
In the mean time, here are some of the features and benefits you can expect when you introduce IBM CloudBurst in your enterprise with the dynamic infrastructure of IBM Service Management.
Faster time to value: Delivered on site as a prepackaged and self-contained service delivery platform for cloud computing... virtualization included!
Flexibility: Scalable platform allows you to deploy now and easily scale as business needs change. Ease of use: Self service portal for rapid access to cloud delivery
Simplified systems administration: Integrated systems management of both physical and virtual workloads - through a single interface to blade servers, storage and networking
Superior reliability: Keeps your virtualized infrastructure up and running - with multiple layers of redundancy built into the hardware platform resulting in no single point of failure.
Energy efficiency: Designed from the ground up to dramatically improve power utilization and reduce energy costs. Integrated power management to help you plan, predict, monitor and actively manage power consumption of your BladeCenter servers.
Visit IBM CloudBurst to learn more.
The first webcast, Service Management for an Uncertain Economy, took place today, June 16 and featured, Gartner Research Vice President, David Williams;
David Williams discussed CIO strategies to address the shifting focus of IT and changing spending patterns caused by reduced budgets.
Al Zollar talked about how to realize faster ROI by consolidating management software, automating complex tasks and processes, reducing downtime, and extending asset life. You can hear the recorded webcast by clicking the link at the end of this blog.
The second webcast, Effective Asset Management in an Uncertain Economy, will take place on Tuesday, June 23 will feature David Berger, Western Management Consultants and contributing editor to Plant Services, and Ron Wallace,
On July 7, Julie Craig, Research Director of
The fourth and last webcast in the series, Data Center Automation in an Uncertain Economy, will be presented by Jasmine Noel, founding partner of Ptak, Noel & Associates; and Kendall Lock, Director,
This series will take a deep look into the cost challenges service management professionals are facing today along with solutions that can help fight cost and complexity. Click on the link below for more information.
Kathleen Holm 2700009BHX KHOLM@US.IBM.COM Tags:  service-management bladecenter capabilities dynamic-infrastructure green development cloudburst features vmware automation tivoli ibmcloud storage overview cloud-computing private it smarter-planet virtualization cloud data-center 2,318 Visits
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In response to: Will the real Seamus McManus please stand up?FYI, the recent IBM Service Management Jam on Cloud Computing, "Cloud Computing: Innovation that drives IT and operations efficiencies" is the #1 most popular of the 41 Jams aired to date. Cloud Computing Jam link: http://bit.ly/9mt8N Jams page link: http://bit.ly/ultmC
Service Management in an Uncertain Economy
with Gartner VP and ex-IBMer David Williams and Tivoli GM Al Zollar.
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET; 16:00 - 17:00 GMT
Audience: service management and asset management practitioners
Sign up by 11 a.m. ET: http://bit.ly/m5Uot
Upcoming Jams in the Series:
Note: Replays available within 24 hours and for one year.
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In response to: Growing up z - 2nd InstallmentOutside-in-Design teams gotta love you: "Until we learn to manage the applications in the same way they are used, that is from the customer's perspective, we will continue to struggle with the reputation of IT as being a stumbling block to business instead of a driver of business." So, how about Cloud computing? This is top of mind lately as I've been working on the launch of the new Cloud computing community https://www.ibm.com/communities/service/html/communityview?communityUuid=fa3a3fd5-6d7b-48b9-b13b-ba25f3325dda What role does something as historically old school as System z have to play in this big, bright new world?
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In response to: Asset Classes and Smarter PlanetThanks for your follow-up on my earlier question. Your response really helps me understand the areas of importance to the Transportation industry. What differentiates IBM in the marketplace here?
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In response to: What is the Transportation Industry?Thanks, Ken. Your insight on the framing of discussions around Transportation, Travel, and Asset Management is very helpful. What type of "assets" do these groups usually manage? And what are their biggest challenges today?
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Recent IBM news on “Smarter Cities” is invoking fond memories of one of my favorite courses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Politics of design taught by Professor Langdon Winner. Some of my favorite discussions during this course focused on urban theory and planning and environmentally and ethically responsible innovations. A few of my favorite personal readings included:
The concrete connection between
While innovations and technologies always fascinate me, personally I’m most interested in the political, socio-cultural aspects of Palmisano’s statement below:
“All the ways in which the world works come together in our cities. They are the proverbial melting pot -- not only for immigrants, but for systems, blending them together to engender new forms of commerce, of culture, of science, of life and of society. Which is why cities -- more than states, provinces or even nations -- are likely to be the crucible for human progress and evolution in the coming century.”
Smart cities require smart people and deliberate thinking. How will
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Two great IBM
conferences were held in
You can follow much of the online excitement of the conference via RSC2009 on Twitter and a Twitter search on #rsc2009. I'm really looking forward to the great software development reality TV drama series I mentioned on a previous blog.
General Manager sessions
Al Zollar, General Manager of IBM Tivoli Software, will participate in three executive sessions:
Software Lifecycle Track Presentation
“Enhancing The Application Life Cycle with Tivoli Composite Application Manger (ITCAM)”-- Todd Kindsfather
Abstract: Discover how IBM Rational and
“Bridging the chasm between build, deployment and production”--Rich Johnston
Abstract: Today’s IT departments have more systems to manage, more locations to support and more mission-critical applications to build, deploy and maintain than ever before. In many organizations, the processes employed to move applications from build, to deploy, to production phase can be manual, time-consuming and error-prone. The data, tools, and workflows are not well integrated or automated resulting in inefficient processes which inevitably lead to slower time to market, long resolution cycles and even loss of revenue. This session offers a chance for attendees to discuss issues, challenges and solutions for bridging development and IT operations across different aspects of the application and service lifecycle.
Service Management pedestals
Abstract: The inability to quickly identify application performance bottlenecks can lead to system downtime and unnecessary cycles spent firefighting defects. See how ITCAM can provide monitoring data from operations needed to better understand performance characteristics prior to relase and speed correction of defects.
Ped 2: "Integrating the Service Management Lifecycle across Development & Operations: Optimize Application Performance in Production"--Todd Kindsfather
Abstract: Integration across application development and configuration management tools is critical for complete component life-cycle managmenet. With a Tivoli/Rational integrated solution, customers can experience total application management from development to deploymentt to operation.
For those who can’t
attend the conference in
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