Cloud & Service Management blog
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  integrated services products smarter management service 3,091 Visits
I can remember the day in 4th grade when I got my first calculator. Other than my "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots", that Texas Instruments 1030 was THE coolest, most magical consumer product that I had ever owned up to that point. It featured the standard four math functions, buttons for percentage, square root, and pi, and an 8 digit LCD display.
Now fast forward to 2011 and consider the fact that it takes dozens of microprocessors running 100 million lines of code to get your average car out of the driveway, and a complex ecosystem of developers, engineers, suppliers and partners to bring smarter products to market.
From automobiles to meat cases to artificial hearts, today’s smarter products represent a new generation of capabilities that fuse together sensors, actuators, electronics and mechanical systems.
By all accounts, smarter products and services are transforming the world and the way we interact with it, and IBM is at the forefront of all of the above.
So visit our recently launched Smarter Products and Services web site and learn more about how we help make your everyday products and services smarter!
....AND THEN take a look around your house and office, and let us know what product or service is the "smartest" of them all....or maybe the dumbest? We'd love to get your opinion!
(This blog had additional contributions from Betsy Thaggard...Thanks BT!)
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  tivoli itsmf service-management innovate-2011 ivor itil ibm itsm 1 Comment 5,443 Visits
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  ibm ivor itsm devops itil tivoli service-management 2,571 Visits
After my last blog – asking what devops was – the idea of collaboration across the whole life of service has been in the forefront of my mind. From that wider perspective I was musing around one of my frequent topics – how we fail to get the service right because we don't understand how it is being used, or what the customer really cares about.
Actually the simple picture of supplier and customer doesn’t really describe the world most of us have to live in. If we go with the ITIL concept of a customer (someone who has financial influence or authority) then we also need to worry about what our users think. In other frameworks you might hear a more general concern about taking the whole range of stakeholders into consideration. Doesn’t matter which recipe you follow – does matter that you see the complexity.
Some of the problems come from being so close to how things are done (rather than why they are being done), and by being so close to what you think matters that you don't spot what matters to those receiving the service. Sometime it is the silliest things that make the customers and users unhappy and reject a service. Maybe that is an example of the ‘One Bad Apple’ syndrome – something firmly embedded in the human condition seems to be our ability to allow one bad aspect to overbalance a dozen good things.
I had my own version this week, when I found myself refusing to continue with an online application for a new bank account because the software insisted on spelling my name incorrectly. (For reasons I cannot fathom, it seems to have decided that any name starting with ‘Mac’ must have a capital afterwards – so it turns ‘Macfarlane’ to ‘MacFarlane’ without giving me the chance to turn it back.) I didn’t stay around to see what else the service offered, I just closed the web page and got my new account somewhere else that will let me spell my name properly.
But there is also the positive face of the same coin – the power of ‘cool’. Imagine you have found the perfect shoes for your child – scientifically designed to protect their feet while supporting their bones and they are even waterproof. As a caring parent these are the only pair of shoes you want your child to be running about in (see IKB later in this blog). As it happens your dreams have come true because your child loves them. Is it because they are good for them, and will help their feet develop properly – no, they agree to wear them because the heels light up with each step. They will wear them – and save their feet – but only because they are ‘cool’ – according to rules you will never understand. By the way, don’t think the illogical ‘cool’ factor only applies to children, it is there in just about every service you deliver or use – at work or at home. If you look for it then you will see it. I don’t want to make this posting too long or I could list dozens – but just imagine trying to sell powerful and effective software products against others with less relevant features at higher cost – but with a fancy graphical interface – sound familiar to anyone?
If you think about these two situations – where apparently less important elements disproportionately affect decisions - I am sure you will find many examples of the two extremes; like the fast-food restaurant that you still avoid because of one bad burger or one element of bad service, hundreds of miles away and several years back.
Those issues tend to come from how the service is delivered, yet the same problem can easily come from how it is built (like my name issue). But one of the differences is getting the message back to where it might make a difference, because at best the complaints go to the operations side of the house, and this does not get fed back, maybe because it is dismissed as trivial – because it doesn’t seem important to whoever received the message.
It isn’t just about hiding complaints though, we also have the ability not to pass the cool factors back. Do we always find out why people really like something? It seems to me that we don’t often ask the right people the right questions. And it also seems there are simple reasons why we do that:
Both of these situations are understandable – after all, we are human so of course we see things first and best from our own perspective, and without being forced out into another’s environment then why should we have the ability to understand people we have never met? The second is also inevitable in the complicated amalgams of customers, users, services and suppliers we exist within. Never mind the neat little service chain pictures you get in the books – it doesn’t really look that simple, it looks complicated, and mostly because it is complicated.
We can do something about these difficulties – but they require addressing the way we – and our colleagues – think, and that takes time and effort.
There are other causes and factors – and maybe there is one we could do something about, and it is something that would magnify the beneficial effects when you finally get around to addressing the two points I listed above: when we do find things out we don’t tell the people who could do something about it. And the very best way to get that wrong is to build silos within your supplier organisation and stop people sharing ideas and information.
After that last blog on devops, I was thinking about that particular kind of communication issue. There is something deep rooted in the human psyche that needs to dismantle their immediate environment into teams (or groups, or departments or silos or tribes – call them what you will). IT organisations are perfect examples – with high level internal teams always emerging once they gets past a certain size. And if you separate into teams that feel the need to compete, then helpful messages will not be fed across between them. So what was built wrong and delivers the wrong thing stays there and will be wrong in the next version too. That is the inertial element of behaviour that initiatives like devops and whole service lifecycle approaches have to contend with. We shouldn’t think it can be as easy as just telling people to collaborate and communicate. Like all challenges we need to recognise what we are fighting – and to fight back.
So – what are good ways to start? Perhaps as simply as recognising that while we might bond comfortably into (say) a ‘development’ team or an ‘operations’ team (or any one of a dozen more) – that doesn’t make the other team the opposition – I think that would be a good first step, if we can finally realise that – by and large – what benefits one team also benefits the other.
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  linkedin rational tivoli ojalvo planet media social smarter ism cloud information management 2,474 Visits
Recently, we enhanced and expanded our "IBM Integrated Service Management" group on LinkedIn.
The group is made up of a very diverse audience, including IT professionals, analysts, IBM Business Partners and of course, IBMers.
Members of this group share knowledge, news, training, and events around Service Management solutions, including Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Information Management, Storage, Security, DevOps, Smarter Planet, Green IT and Cloud Computing!
So join our group, and initiate a discussion, or weigh on on an existing discussion!
I'm not a fan of duel posting, but did want to make you aware of an article that I posted to the SWG Blog entitled, "There Will Be DevOps!"
It's about a great video that RedMonk* analyst Michael Coté did with us about DevOps.
Go there. Read the article. Enjoy.
* note that IBM is one of RedMonk's clients.
Noah Kuttler 110000SVNJ email@example.com Tags:  integrated-service-manage... smarter-planet smarter-buildings service-management intelligent-building-mana... 2,223 Visits
Buildings have always been a source of both pride and frustration to many of our customers.
Pride: when you look at something like Nataktomi Plaza and how it is an icon of the city.
Frustration: when you see how much money it takes to run the darn thing (and that's before the whole "McClane incident of '88").
Regardless. Buildings, as I mentioned in a prior post (see "Smarter Than The Average Building"), are one of the largest costs on any company's budget.
To requote Dave Bartlett:
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.
Which is why there's a lot going on with Smarter Buildings at IBM and today in Manhattan, we are conducting a customer event to talk about the new IBM Intelligent Building Management.
It is the same solution that Karl Helbig just wrote about on the Asset Management blog (see "Facilities Friday (a day early): IBM's new solution for Smarter Buildings").
He's got a fantastic write-up of the new solution and there's also some great information about it in the press release as well.
The press release has information about, "... three unique projects in New Orleans, New York and Minnesota that show the potential of applying advanced analytics and automation to buildings."
Read up about it in his post and stay tuned to this blog, where we'll have a wrap-up of the event and even more discussion of IBM Intelligent Building Management in the near future.
In the meantime, feel free to post comments below about your strategy for Smarter Buildings. What are the critical aspects you're looking to change in your current building strategy?
To close, I will say: Welcome to the party, pal. (you thought I was gonna say "Yippee-ki-yay," didn't ya'?)
Hope Ruiz 110000NU71 HRUIZ@US.IBM.COM Tags:  cloud cloud-computing webcasts webcast virtualization tug tivoli-user-community tivoli service-management 2,182 Visits
Are you interested in learning more about Cloud Computing and Virtualization? Be sure to register and attend these two community webcasts happening this week on June 8th and 9th. These promise to be very informative events you don’t want to miss!
WEBCAST on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 11:00AM Eastern USA
Webcast title: Get your image sprawl monster under control – secrets to image management from an expert
Sign up for this webcast here
Description: Companies have embraced virtualization primarily to impro! ve utilization of hardware and save costs. However, virtualization especially on x86, has led to significant growth in management costs. Much of this increased cost stems from growth in images. We will discuss some of the key challenges around managing images and how IBM is taking a holistic approach to solving these pain points and restoring control.
Speaker: Ruth Willenborg, IBM Distinguished Engineer in IBM Software Group, Tivoli
WEBCAST on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 11:00AM Eastern USA
Cloud - Extending your virtualization into the cloud
Sign up for this webcast here
Description: The benefits from cloud computing seem clear: cost reduction, better flexibility, scale to meet business demands, etc. However, getting to cloud involves a lot of decisions Learn how some of your colleagues are leveraging Tivoli solutions to automate virtualized environments and move to private clouds.
Speaker: Mohamed Abdula, IBM Director, Service Automation and Cloud Solutions Product Management and Bowman Hall, IBM Director, Cloud Computing Client Engagements, IBM Software Group
Webcasts are free to Members of the Tivoli User Community. Membership is free -
Once you become a member you can join a local or virtual user group, take advantage of our online education and certification resources as well as our networking and collaboration tools.
include; Pulse Conference Discounts codes; 40% Discount on Tivoli books
from IBM Press, Free certification testing at local user group meetings
and much more!
Bryan Casey 270003BSJV BFCASEY@US.IBM.COM Tags:  security ibm bigfix manager endpoint management tem audit tivoli automation 5 Comments 14,929 Visits
Today's post comes from Sandy Hawke, Manager IBM Security Solutions.
I recently presented to the ISACA community on a live webinar. I focused the discussion on how to leverage automation to improve endpoint security and compliance. The archived webinar is available here. Just as a brief background, ISACA is an international professional association that focuses on all aspects of IT Governance and has over 95,000 members worldwide.
The online event drew a pretty substantial audience which is good, and yet a bit surprising in two key ways. First of all, many of the recommendations I made to the audience were not radically new concepts, but basic foundational controls that all security professionals agree are critical for achieving and maintaining solid security and demonstrable compliance. So haven't they heard this story before?
Maybe not. And that's the second observation. Most of the ISACA membership is in the IT audit/Risk Management line of business. While they're not the folks who are implementing security technologies on a daily basis (i.e. "hands at keyboards")- they are keen to understand how security is implemented, how it works, how automation can be used to facilitate audits, etc. And that's the new trend we've been witnessing. While the audit team knows what the policy controls should be, they may not know if/how these controls get enforced, maintained, monitored and reported on- essentially how security is "operationalized." The more that they know what's possible with respect to security operations and automation, the better they'll be at knowing what questions to ask IT operations during audits, what technologies to recommend, etc.
Years ago, the IT Audit/Risk Manager organization and activities were kept quite separate from the IT Operations/IT Infrastructure teams. And at the time there were pretty good reasons to keep these groups as distinct as possible- you've all heard of "keeping the fox out of the hen house" analogy, right? The IT Audit/Risk Mgmt teams could set and enforce policy and conduct assessments that wouldn't be influenced by the operations staff. Well, with the advent of converging technologies, economic trends, and the increased importance of measuring security investments and compliance program- in real time, these groups are coming together. More so than ever before.
And technologies that can foster that type of trust, cooperation, and collaboration are indispensable.
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  service tivoli integrated rational innovate management 2,176 Visits
This weekend partners, developers, and IBMers will be descending upon Orlando, Florida for Innovate 2011, the Rational Software conference.
Not surprisingly, Rational's "first cousin" Tivoli will have a prominent presence at the conference, including 30 sessions that highlight the Tivoli/Rational integration, six booths in the Solutions Expo, and several executive speaker slots.
Tivoli delivers innovative solutions to address business priorities, with Integrated Service Management providing the Visibility, Control and Automation™ to overcome growing complexities and keep up with global competition. But more specifically, Integrated Service Management is the catalyst that can smooth out the interactions between development and operations for IT and business professionals across all industries.
So be sure to browse all of the Tivoli sessions using the Innovate 'Streams and Tracks' tool, and if you are already registered, start building your agenda .
Once the event begins, you can access all the keynote presentations and videos in real time on the web via the livestream feed, ...and follow social media coverage on the 'Innovate Conversations' page or by using the Twitter hashtag #ibminnovate