Yes, I love being one of
the ambassadors for IBM’s Client Reference Program, a structured platform that
gives our valued Clients many opportunities to promote their unique
capabilities and stand tall in the, otherwise very competitive, market. IT
revolution, ease of internet, change in consumer behavior etc have all added to
While I write this blog, the
two things that I had studied, during school days in Biology, are shouting
aloud from my mind; one, Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and two,
‘legume-rhizobial symbiosis’. Interestingly, these biological phenomenon do
have real examples in economics too. A symbiotic relationship with clients/peers,
thus, is ‘very’ crucial in surviving the Darwinian marketplace. And, what
better way than registering for IBM’s Client Reference Program? :-)
For me, it’s great being a
Client Reference Specialist for Tivoli. Working in collaboration to create
Reference Profiles for our Clients has brought in a lot of advantages. Networking
opportunities with my fellow IBMers, Business Partners and Clients from across
industries is just a ‘cake’, but the real ‘icing’ is my continuous learning
about IBM’s Tivoli software for 'Integrated Service Management' that “provides
smarter solutions and the expertise you need to design, build and manage a
dynamic infrastructure that enables you to improve service, reduce cost and
manage risk.” Yes, I’m always in an awe of how IBM’s Tivoli solutions have
helped our Clients overcome their challenges.
PS: Rebecca Wissinger in
her blog ‘IBM Client Activities at Pulse 2011’ talks about the ways IBM is
saying THANK YOU to our immensely valued, extraordinary Clients at Pulse
2011. If you are attending Pulse 2011 then you will not give her blog a
The secret's out...there's something coming to Vegas on Sunday, February 27th that you just don't want to miss!
And what could that something be? Hint: It's not the latest incarnation of the Red Piano show. But for those of you interested in how to apply service management concepts in the real world, it's even better....it's the Integrated Service Management Workshop (Cloud Version) at Pulse 2011!
Yes, Las Vegas is know for it's gaming, and the Service Management Simulator Workshop could turn out to be a game changer for you and your company! The Integrated Service Management Simulator Workshop is a hands-on simulation game which focuses on the challenges and business value of implementing Service Management best practices in the context of a realistic and exhilarating scenario. During the session, participants use gaming dynamics to mirror the real-world interaction between IT and the business, from both a strategic and operational perspective. Over the course of a few hours, you'll experience a transformation from chaos to order - in the context of a complex technical infrastructure - and learn what it takes to align key IT infrastructure resources to deliver on mission in measurable terms.
Note that seating is absolutely limited to 20 participants - seats will be filled on a first respond/first serve basis. Don't wait - reserve your spot by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dateline: Boca Raton, Florida - February 28, 2011 - 11:00 am
The MGM Grand Garden Arena darkens, the roar of the crowd softens to a buzz, the orchestra appears on stage, dramatic music accompanying the video montage of customers telling their service management success stories... So far, this Pulse 2011 Day One General Session rivals what I saw from the Academy Awards last night (absent the evening gowns and tuxes, of course).
And I'm seeing this all from the comfort of my home office!
I was not one of the lucky 7000 people to attend Pulse 2011 in Las Vegas in person, but, for the first time, I can tune into Pulse as it is happening. So, I did just that - I tuned into the Pulse Day One General Session via Livestream...and it seems there were about 400 people doing that right along with me.
I won't go into each element of the Day One General Session in detail, but I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts and takeaways:
One of IBM's clients, Bill Broughton, from Amtrak, kicked off the conference today, telling the crowd of clients, business partners (and yes, a few IBMers), this is "OUR conference."
Our event host, Scott Hebner, Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, IBM Software - Tivoli, reiterated that thought, but from the opposite perspective, telling the crowd that "this is YOUR conference." 85% of the sessions at Pulse 2011 feature client speakers, and the ability to network and share best practices is more important than ever. "It's not just about technology any more...it's about the economic value that technology brings."
Next came Madge Meyer, from State Street, who talked about the importance of innovating - and of executing flawlessly. She even quoted Charles Darwin, which I thought was particularly apropos: "It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one who is the most responsive to change."
Madge was followed by Dr. Danny Sabbah, General Manager, IBM Tivoli, who talked about how the world (business, government, society) is facing an unparalleled rate of change. Companies need the velocity and agility to adapt quickly - and the basis of this will be producing honest data that is transformed by predictive analytics to produce smarter outcomes. And he reminded the crowd that IBM needs to move as fast as they do.
Steve Mills, Senior VP and Group Executive Software & Systems, IBM, introduced the crowd - and the rest of the world - to the new era of Smarter Computing. He reminded us that IT operating costs is the core issue faced by clients around the world...and although there's significant increase on IT demands, IT budgets are flat. We need to fundamentally transform the economics of IT...and that is Smarter Computing. A couple of straight talk points: IT consolidation is pretty much a given. Get rid of excess IT Now. And he offered arguably the best quote of the morning: "People say stupid crap every day...you have to decide what to listen to."
And finally, Dean Kamen, Innovator and Entrepreneur, wowed the crowd with his talk about innovation and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Technology). He described innovation as being failure, failure, failure...followed by surprise after surprise (mostly bad)...but every once in a while, you get a good surprise in there, too. I really enjoyed his story about Chuck and the DARPA prosthetic arm (got a little misty eyed, I must admit). And I was especially moved by his FIRST initiative and his absolute passion for turning science/math into a sport - making it something that you have passion for, that is aspirational, and that you want to participate in. Being a female and being a computer science major (and still often being the only female in a room of techies), that hit home with me. I was also proud to see my alma mater, Georgia Tech, was a sponsor of FIRST. Again, as he talked about the success of FIRST through the years, the eyes got a little teary.
Whew! What a great way to start! I encourage you to watch the Day One General Session in its entirety at your convenience - and to tune into the Day Two General Session tomorrow morning. My experience with Livestream is that that the technology was practically flawless (I only had one minor audio glitch when Dean Kamen was showing the Stephen Colbert video). Otherwise, the livestreaming went along perfectly. And it will well be worth your while to watch the whole session. It will get your mind thinking, and it will inspire you at the same time. Plus, it's like having a front-row seat!
We didn't waste too much time with closing the deal on July 20th, 2010 and then cut to January 25th of this year and we announced Tivoli EndPoint Manager, built on BigFix technology (Announcement Letter: 211-048) would be electronically available on February 01.
There's a great press release that gives a high-level view of what this offering is all about (also on PRNewswire) and Angela Reese wrote a great blog about it as well.
Basically, this solution allows customers to manage and secure physical and virtual endpoints.
IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager solution is positioned as the endpoint lifecycle management engine for integrated solutions that enforce efficient configuration compliance, optimize change management processes, and enable a self-request software management service for the end users.
IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager solution monitors and enforces security and compliance at the enterprise endpoints, providing a single management platform for endpoint security and compliance.
Together with other IBM security offerings such as the Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign On, the IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager solution provides comprehensive endpoint management and access control.
If you're coming to Pulse (and if you're reading this blog, you really should be coming to Pulse), you'll hear about this solution in a few of our sessions as well as be able to see it in the expo center.
And if you can't wait, here's a good whitepaper with more information.
Wait!!! you say. What 's this about new product announcements? Well, of course, that's always the big news at a conference, and this installment of RSA was no different. Welcome IBM Network Intrusion Protection System (IPS) GX7800 to the IBM Security Solutions portfolio! Designed to help enterprises meet the challenges of an increasingly sophisticated and rapidly changing threat landscape, this new offering helps organizations protect their data and infrastructure from unauthorized access and attacks, without compromising on the performance and availability of business-critical applications. Read the press release to get the scoop on IBM Network IPS GX7800.
As you can see, RSA 2011 is proving to be a great lead-in to Pulse 2011, coming to Las Vegas February 27-March 2, where IBM Security will be front and center throughout the conference. In other words, the IBM Security Solutions story is to be continued...
Signing off for now, Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
Next week, I'll be attending my first Pulse conference, and I have a full slate of activities planned:
On Sunday afternoon, I will be participating in our ISM Simulator Workshop session. The workshop facilitator will be our own ITIL 'rock star', Ivor MacFarlane, and the audience will be made up of IBM customers and business partners. The workshop participants are in for a terrific one-of-a-kind interactive learning session that will confuse, frustrate and challenge them. Ultimately, they will come away with a better understanding of how to significantly bring IT services into better alignment with their business goals and strategies. And they'll also come to realize that those goals can be much more easily pursued via enhanced visibility, control, and automation—the overarching themes of the modular approach IBM takes with service management.
On Monday and Tuesday from 11am to noon, I will be attending the Integrated Service Management Simulator Overview breakout session. In this session, you can get a preview of how the simulator highlights the challenges and business value of implementing Service Management best practices, and learn how your organization might benefit from your own team-building and thought-provoking simulator session.
Finally, I will be working at the ISM Virtual Simulator ped in the Best Practices Zone. In this cutting edge video game, you can experience issues affecting service management and corporate profitability in a simulated organization. You will be given the opportunity to run your own business, and will gain a better understanding of challenges facing different people in a company, the value of processes and tools, and how various parts of the company positively and negatively affect the hypothetical company’s performance.
We look forward to seeing you at our breakout session!...and be sure to stop by our ped and get your game on! And if you are not one of the lucky ones attending the workshop, fear not - - we can also conduct a private Simulator Workshop session for your employees, at your site. If you are interested in your own session, send an email to email@example.com.
Oh, and if you see me running around the conference (I'll be the one in the IBM Pulse staff shirt, easy to spot!), be sure to say hello and let me know what you think about the blog and how we can work to improve it for ya'.
I recently booked
my travel for a business trip to the US at the end of February. I will
be talking at several itSMF USA Local Interest Groups and – of course – be attending IBM’s big
service management spectacular – Pulse in Las
Vegas from 27th February. I’m looking
forward to the trip, and not just to escape the British winter weather. I am
delivering our simulation ‘game’ on the Sunday at Pulse and Atlanta in March - they are always fun, especially
our new one with added cloud features. But the best part is getting to meet
people, customers and suppliers, both at Pulse and in the itSMF meetings. There
really is no substitute for meetings with grassroots practitioners to keep up
to date. And always fun too, you do still meet such nice people in this
If there is
anyone out there actually reading this stuff, and is in Vegas for Pulse, or at
the LIG is San Francisco, Fort
Lauderdale or Atlanta
– do come and say hello. And if you would like to be part of our
cloud-flavoured SM simulation at Pulse please visit our landing page, and
then RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
But – not
unusually – I have distracted myself a little from where I thought I was going
when I started writing this. So … I booked some flights: from London
to Las Vegas and back to Europe from Atlanta about two weeks
later. As we all know, we live in the information age so immediately I started
to receive information. And I do admit it was information –I had booked a
flight to the US
and I got information about the situation in the country I was going to.
Let me divert
again a little bit and remind you – because you are all experts and know this
stuff – about a basic knowledge management concept; the spectrum that runs
data->information->knowledge->wisdom. At the beginning data is
extensive but not too helpful. If it ever reaches wisdom
it actually helps you survive and thrive.
But back to that
travel information I was getting. Remember I had booked a flight in late
February to the Nevada desert; what I received
by email was warning me about traffic disruption in downtown WashingtonDC
in late January. I have subsequently been advised of snow problems in New York.Now this has good conversational value,
allowing me to sound knowledgeable and sympathetic on calls with New Yorkers,
but I suspect that was not the intention.
I interpret it
–this may be grossly unfair of me, but I am the customer and customer
perception is what matters – like this: travel advice is being planned and
delivered by someone who goes to the same desk in the same office everyday, and
rarely puts foot on an airplane. Of course the real culprit behind this is ease
of programming – data is cheap and plentiful, applying some basic ideas to turn
that into information is quite fun, sounds good and means you can despatch all
sorts of travel notice updates to people who will be travelling sometime in the
future. But it is – sorry but it really is – just using data because you have
it. Maybe they bill on the number of messages? Maybe they really think I want
to know? The real consequence is that I delete these emails unread now – so if
they were by some miracle to send me something useful, I would miss it
last year this system showed the kind of silo thinking that comes from not
knowing the customer’s environment – the kind you often see in service
management reporting. I spoke for itSMF Sweden
in Malmo, getting to Malmo is really easy – you fly to the nearest
airport and take the train direct from airport to town centre. But two factors
combined to deliver me information even less useful then usual. One, the system
thinks only in terms of flights and rental cars – I think it rather looks down
on train travel as a bit common. Those of us who use trains mostly have to buy
the ticket when we get to the station. Second factor is that the nearest
airport to Malmo is Copenhagen
– a lovely and convenient airport with great direct train services – but it
just happens to be in Denmark.
So, yes you guessed it, I got lots of travel advice about visiting Denmark, there could have been civil
insurrection and rioting in the streets in Malmo and they wouldn’t have told me – why
that’s a whole different country!
Now of course Sweden doesn’t
do insurrection, I travelled easily and had a good time at an excellent event
without any issues. But all this useless information I get seems symptomatic to
me of measuring the wrong things – probably something we are all guilty of,
because – as I have said before in these blogs – measuring the right things is
harder, but if we can manage it then it drives us into doing the right things.
Maybe at the real heart of this though is the simple statement, if you don’t
know what you are aiming at, you are unlikely to hit it.
I suppose if
somebody were to ask me what I want notifications about, I would be happy to
work with them, and set up delivering something that goes beyond information,
starts delivering knowledge and gets me the wisdom I need to make the right
But if that is actually
ever to happen then those of us receiving all this useless information need to
realise it is – mostly – our fault. I could have responded offering to help
them improve, I could proactively tell them what I need – I could offer some of
my time as an investment in my own future knowledge and wisdom deliverables. But
It is easier (and more fun?) to carp and whinge – so maybe my New Year’s
resolution should have been around practising what I preach – doing what I
talked about in my itSMF conference presentations last year – and to start
being a good, committed constructive customer because it won’t get better
OK – I’m off to
find the ‘help us improve our service’ button on the web site. See you at Pulse?
 Best explanation of the step from knowledge
to wisdom is one I stole from my daughter, Rosie and it goes ‘Knowledge tells
you a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable; wisdom is knowing that but also
knowing not to put it in a fruit salad’.
In Ivor Macfarlane's most recent article, he (rightfully) points out that we should look beyond cost to improve service management. Cost used to be the major (if not only) factor in making IT decisions, but it isn't any more, especially when it comes to service management. IT services deliver a lot more than economic savings. They create new possibilities, generate new business advantages, empower new services and strategies, connect organizations with new customers and markets, and much more.
Ivor explains it much more eloquently than I, but here are a few things I took away from his article:
The concept of "cost" as a way of assessing IT services should transform to "value," which is fundamental to ITIL at its core. Take these definitions straight from ITIL:
"A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific cost and risks."
"Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services."
Instead of talking about TCO (Total Costs of Ownership), we should talk about CCO (Complete Consequences of Operation). As IT services become more and more pervasive, the consequences of problematic IT service management become more and more significant.
There are other factors that should be considered as well,such as energy management/sustainability, public relations, human resource allocation and more.
In a nutshell, IT service management should address costs, value, consequences and benefits. Definitely food for thought. (Perhaps Curry in a Hurry?)
Dave not only gets to the heart of why this matters, (Buildings are a significant line item on any company’s expense sheet. In fact, for many, they are second-largest expense, after payroll. On average, buildings consume 42% of all electricity worldwide.") but also how to start solving the problem.
Here's a hint: it rhymes with - Intstrumented, Intelligent and Interconnected. (but we call it Smarter Buildings).
At Pulse, Smarter Buildings is a subtrack of Enterprise Asset Management (Stream 2) and there is a ped in the Expo Center (16) specific to Smarter Buildings as well as a ped for IBM Maximo Spatial Asset Management (42) (both in Enterprise Asset Management).
And just what are Proven Practice Workshops? First of all, they're new to Pulse 2011 - reason enough to check them out. Second, in these workshops, you'll hear from leading Tivoli Services experts about their proven implementation best practices and guidance. Tivoli Services will lead 5 of these dynamic workshops:
Business Service Management
Integrated Service Management
Each workshop will provide real-world value, including best practices, reference architectures, solution optimization, cross-domain integration, effective rollout strategies and common myths and pitfalls. For hands-on, practical information on how to get better ROI from the infrastructure, it's hard to beat the Proven Practice Workshops at Pulse 2011. Learn more about these workshops in the article Pulse 2011: Proven Practice Workshops Maximize ROI.
Special Interest Areas
Pulse 2011 will deliver more information, in more ways, on more relevant subjects, than ever before. With such a rich array of information to choose from, some of you may be wondering: "How can I zero in on exactly the right sessions for me?"
Pulse has got this solved through Special Interest Areas, of which there are seven:
Best practices and implementation
Once you've registered for Pulse, you can begin using IBM's Pulse SmartSite to build your personalized agenda. From the Agenda Builder section, you can search for relevant sessions in several different ways—one of which is by Special Interest Area. You can see below the Virtualization Special Interest area:
Heresy, you say? Nooooo...I just wanted to get the word out about two new solutions that are aimed at small and mid-sized companies, so I thought I'd try something different. Hopefully, I got your attention!
Most businesses, regardless of size, are challenged with achieving more business value from less IT infrastructure. Small and mid-sized companies need service management, too! To this end, IBM has two new solutions for organizations that are looking for faster, simpler IT problem resolution:
Both are easy to install, configure, and utilize—true turnkey appliances for quick time-to-value and ROI.
These solutions epitomize what IBM means by "smart business": instead of simply more infrastructure, the goal should be more efficient, cost-efficient, and business-prioritized utilization of the infrastructure. For small and mid-market organizations with limited staffing and funding, that's very smart indeed.
Oh, btw, there are many sessions at Pulse that are relevant for small and mid-market organizations, so if you're going, you'll find lots to keep you busy, informed and entertained - and lots to bring back to your organization when you get back from Vegas. (You know I had to give Pulse a shout-out somehow).
Signing off for now,
Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter