My bosses gave me a very simple task, "Solve the confusion surrounding some of the questions our customers have around cloud computing and service management."
I told them I'd have it done before lunch.
And if you believe that, you have way too much faith in my marketing abilities (hi, mom!).
In all seriousness, you have questions about cloud computing. Lots of questions.
Cloud is everywhere and there's a lot of information that our customers are having to sift and sort through.
Which is why back in May, I assembled a group of sales leads, marketing peers, development executives...literaly a "who's who" of cloud computing at IBM and asked them this:
What are the questions our customers have around cloud?
That started a series of conversations that led us to several core questions, and we got to work.
We enlisted some of our top people working on cloud and we asked them to get in front of a video camera and talk directly to you about these questions.
The result is a video series we call, "Cloud Enabling Your Data Center."
Today, we are releasing the first video: "Achieving Greater Efficiencies With Virtualization And Cloud Computing (Service Management Across The Entire Infrastructure)"
This video features two of our top sales executives; Bowman Hall and Barbara Korte. Barbara is a sales executive for Integrated Service Management and you might remember Bowman Hall from the Cloud demo during the Pulse General Session.
As I said, this is the first of the video series. Future videos will be released in the next few weeks.
We also have a short URL that goes to a landing page we've put togther with additional cloud materials and (most importantly) a full list of Pulse Comes To You and Impact Comes To You events that are happening in your area.
Even if you went to Pulse or Impact in Las Vegas this past year, these local events are great opportunities to deep-dive into a topic like cloud computing as well as meet your peers and local subject matter experts.
More to come and please feel free to comment below about your thoughts on Cloud.
PS also this week, we announced a new version of IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager (Announcement Letter 211-256). The new release allows IT service providers to onboard multiple customers, deploy IT services very quickly across multiple platforms and hypervisors, maximize resource utilization and drive cloud operations effectiveness and efficiency by adding storage support and expanding on network integration. Learn more about the new features and the product on the product page.
It started out a bit frenetic and confusing. Nobody knew what to do or where to go, and panic seemed to set in every time the loud horn blared, indicating another failure had occurred.
No, I wasn't attending a Green Mountain Derby Dames roller derby tournament.
Rather, I was present at an ISM Simulator Workshop session in Washington DC.
My role was to videotape the workshop, with the intent of scaling it down into a 2-3 minute snippet that captures the essence of the session. And as I observed the 16 participants in 'Round 1', it all started to make sense.
The participants were playing the roles of employees at a hypothetical shipping company. They were broken out into four teams, representing four different parts of the company - senior management, line of business owners, service desk personnel
and technical services.
On the screen at the front of the room was a birds-eye projection of the company, including a series of dashboards and schedules, which provided the participants with essential real-time information such as service level data, shipments completed, locations where outages were occurring, and the amount of money that the company was making (or losing!) at any given moment.
The goal of the 'game' was to maximize profits for the company in the face of systems that were continuously breaking down. To do so, each team had to establish its own processes, and effectively collaborate with the other teams so as to create an efficient overall system.
The first round was anything but efficient, as the teams tried desperately to get their own houses in order while they watched all the missed shipments, unresolved outages, and lost revenue on the screen. The sense of frustration was obvious, but the group pressed on.
At the end of the round, the facilitator conducted an assessment of the business by reviewing bottom line data with the group, and discussed best and worst practices that the teams had implemented. Clearly, there was a better way to run this business, and the group was determined to figure it out in short order.
Somewhere in the middle of Round 2, I began to sense that the group was turning the corner. There were a lot more 'aha" moments, a lot less shouting across the room, flip charts were being utilized, and there seemed to be a great deal of relevant information being shared across the different teams.
After three hours and three rounds, the group was both exhausted and exhilarated. They were able to implement an efficient process that yielded a positive bottom line.
But more importantly, they now had a much more tangible understanding of the role that Service Management plays in aligning IT with the business.
I had a chance to interview several of the participants after the session, and they were all effusive in their praise for the workshop. Clearly, the workshop far exceeded their expectations, and they were anxious to share their experience, and apply some of the best practices at their own organizations.
As a new member of the ISM marketing team, the workshop was also a great experience for me. Besides meeting some very interesting IBM customers and partners, I now have a much firmer grasp of the value of Service Management.
Incidentally, we will be running a simulator workshop for customers at Pulse on Sunday, February 27th. If you are interested in attending, please contact David Ojalvo as soon as possible, because seating is limited to the first 20 respondents.
If you are not able to get with us at Pulse, fear not...the ISM Simulator Workshop is portable in nature, and can be hosted at any customer site for a group of your employees. It's a great educational and team building exercise! For more information on this, visit our web page, and contact your local sales rep.
Today, IBM has a number of exciting announcements around SmartCloud. It's such a big announcement that we might have to turn it into a national holiday (which wouldn't be cool for the one dude waiting by the mailboxes for his copy of Zookeeper on BluRay).
Why Cloud? Why Now?
When we listen to customers across industries, we hear them tell us about the bold moves they must make to stay ahead of their competition. They tell us about how they need to quickly and efficiently provide new and innovative services to their customers.
Speed to market. Efficiency. Reducing costs.
These are their watch words and they look at cloud computing as a technology that offers these advantages.
That said, there's also a requirement to ensure the same levels of governance they currently have set in place. They also want to ensure that they are reducing (not increasing) their level of risk. And, of course, it has to be done securely.
Can all of this be done with cloud computing?
I would not joke about delaying that dude's copy of Zookeeper if it wasn't.
In all seriousness, yes it can and IBM has been helping customers do this for a while now. We've been successful with a large number of customers already and these new announcements build upon our previous success and really enforce our message: "Rethink IT. Reinvent Business."
IBM offers clients the freedom of choice to find solutions that meet their business requirements ranging from a portfolio of cloud solutions targeted directly at the enterprise to a choice of delivery models (public, private and hybrid) as well as expertise and service management capabilities.
There are a number of announcements in this launch across every brand in IBM (all of which are on the website).
For this blog post, I'm going to focus on IBM SmartCloud Foundation.
IBM SmartCloud Foundation
There's a full press release on this, but basically the SmartCloud Foundation family of private cloud solutions help companies quickly design and deploy private cloud environments with a new level of control over cloud service delivery and management.
As organizations take the next step beyond virtualized data center and begin to expand their cloud environments, they are concerned with managing what has become known as "image sprawl."
The SmartCloud Foundation portfolio contains these offerings:
A new cloud ‘starter kit’ - IBM SmartCloud Entry is prepackaged, private-cloud software that provides simplified cloud administration, standardization of virtual machines and improved operations productivity with an easy-to-use, self-service interface (highly optimized for IBM Power and System x hardware).
A new powerful provisioning engine and image management system – At the heart of cloud computing is the ability to dynamically create or "provision" virtual machines. Called IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, the software can create hundreds of virtual machines in less than a minutes and scale to more than 4,000 virtual machines in less than an hour.
New cloud-based monitoring software – IBM has applied its industry-leading monitoring expertise to create cloud-specific software called IBM SmartCloud Monitoring. It provides greater visibility into the performance of virtual and physical environments: storage, network and server resources.
Ok, so I'm not really a Luddite in the original sense of the word...but I fully admit that I prefer handwritten notes to emails and texts, hardcover books to paperback or eBooks, buying the full CD (AKA the album to us old-timers) rather than downloading a single tune...and just don't get me started on the term "my bad..."
Being a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech, a Computer Science major and working for a technology company, I can assure you that I appreciate innovation and the value that technology brings to the the world as much as anyone, perhaps even more. I had one of the first Sony Discman CD players, my husband and I were very early adopters of satellite TV, I use an insulin pump to manage my diabetes and, of course, I have an iPhone. But sometimes I need to sit back and think about what all this really means...and thinking about it NOT in terms of the technology itself, but in terms of everyday life makes me appreciate it even more.
Which is why I am truly excited about - and looking forward to future installations - of the Service Management in Action feature articles by Ivor Macfarlane, our resident Service Management expert/evangelist/all around good guy. Check out his first article...Real-World Service Management: Ivor Macfarlane on Service Management Dynamics and see what I mean. In this article, Ivor uses a food court in Hong Kong to show how service management is everywhere, not just in the IT department, and it isn't something you do and forget about. It requires ongoing optimization over time—a continuous re-evaluation and improvement of the customer experience.
Hmmm...makes perfect sense to me. I think we all know this instinctively, but hearing it explained in this context, the light bulbs start going off. (Not to mention that I've had a wild craving for curry lately)!
Ivor will be contributing his perspective, insights and experiences from the real world to Service Management in Action on a regular basis...to help you understand what service management truly means and how it can ultimately help you get a better business outcome—and a better experience for your customers. Stay tuned for more!
Signing off for now, Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management Reporter
P.S. I learned what the word "Luddite" meant only this year, after hearing my favorite British singer refer to himself as such during an interview. And when my favorite British IT Service Management expert used the word in conversation recently, I figured I must use it, too! ;-)
Impact is in full effect (and if you don't believe me, than you haven't been watching Impact TV or the Social At IBM Impact Portal), but for those of us not in Las Vegas we're still turning out the hits.
And by hits I mean new solutions for you!
Today sees the release of two products:
IBM Security Key Lifecycle Manager for z/OS® (Announcement Letter 211-104) with enhancements to DB2 and IBM System Storage integration.
IBM® Tivoli® Application Dependency Discovery Manager V7.2.1 (Announcement Letter 211-159) which delivers a number of enhanced discovery capabilities and new storage reporting.
If you want to sit down with someone to discuss these or other solutions, you can contact your IBM sales rep and/or Business Partner (Business Partner Locator Site) and have them sit down with you now to discuss Integrated Service Management and be sure to ask them about conducting a whiteboarding session.
And be sure to keep following the action at Impact all week.
Impact gives us a chance to talk to our customers about how Integrated Service Management aligns with Business Process Management and SOA as well as gives us another opportunity to show some amazing joint Cloud solutions (see the press release from Pulse, "IBM Advances Cloud Computing with New Software").
If you're at Impact (and even if you're not...more on that later in the post), here's how to find us:
Tivoli At Impact? There's a Web Page For That
The "Tivoli At Impact" web page, courtesy of David Ojalvo (@David_Ojalvo), is the offical page for everything that's going on at Impact for Tivoli software.
The Cool Kid's Table In The Solution Expo
There are many things that you'll be able to see in the Solution Expo, but if you want to know where all the cool kids (aka the Integrated Service Management folks) are then take note of the list below:
'Integrated Service Management' ped (Automation, Image Management and Security).
'Private Clouds' ped within the Smarter Computing zone (Ped SC3).
Integrated Service Management for IBM zEnterprise' (Ped Z8).
'IBM Solutions for Smarter Communications' (CSP2) ped.
The Tivoli Security for Healthcare demo will beshown at the 'Healthcare and Life Sciences' ped.
Sessions, We've Got Sessions...
It will be very difficult not to see Integrated Service Management since we'll be hosting a number of sessions and we'll have "shout outs" and material in even more sessions across the agenda.
The Impact Smart Site is the best way to create your schedule and keep an eye out for the following sessions:
Automating SOA Policy Service Level Agreements (1569)
Enabling secure application deployment with centralized security policy management (2778)
Enhancing Cloud Strategy and Architecture with IBM's Integrated Service Management
Hybrid Cloud Integration (1380)
Hybrid Cloud Management: An Integrated Approach (1347)
IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (2307)
ITCAM for Transactions: End-to-end Transaction Tracking across WebSphere Middleware (2678)
Leverage Application Performance Management Capitalize on Complexities* (1343)
Monitoring BPM Solutions with Tivoli: Future Directions (2960)
Running Your Business Application With WebSphere and Tivoli joint session with WebSphere, overlaps with 2296 and 2329 (1374)
Securing Your Agile Business - IBM Data & Application Security Strategy* (3037A)
SOA Policy Reference Architecture What it is & How to use it (1568)
Utilizing ITCAM to monitor WebSphere in complex topology environments (2329)
Do Not Wait To Register For The Tivoli Lunch Reception
On Wednesday, April 13 from 12:00 - 1:30pm we will be hosting a luncheon reception where you will be able to meet some of our subject matter experts and executives.
Space is extremely limited, so if you want to attend then you need to register on the website (only registered attendees will be able to get in).
It's Not Just TV, It's Impact TV
Much like we did at Pulse, Impact keynotes and a ton of interviews will be broadcast live on Livestream. Keep an eye on the Impact TV channel for all sorts of great interviews, including Jamie Thomas (VP of Tivoli Strategy and Development) on Monday, April 11 at 3pm PST (UTC/GMT -8 hours).
Jamie is one of my personal favorite people to hear talk about Integrated Service Management. She gave a killer keynote at Pulse and you'll she also had a great conversation with Scott Laningham at Pulse (along with our VP of Sales, Joao Perez) which puts her on my "must see TV" list for Impact and you should make plans to check it out too.
The Social At IBM Impact Portal is great for both attendees and folks sitting at their desks. Much like what we did for Pulse, this site has the latest Twitter and blog posts as well as a window to the LiveStream.
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!
In my opinion, this was, by far, the most fun and engaging workshop session I’ve attended in a long time. This opinion was confirmed with other attendees after the session and in casual encounters over the next few days at Pulse 2011.
He goes on to say:
I wasn’t ready to quit at the end of the three hours. I was really involved and want to go for more; a feeling shared by others. If you get a chance, take this workshop, but watch out, the scorekeeper has lots of surprises for you.
If you're looking to get a feel for the type of things we do in the Simulator Workshop, you should check out the Service Management Simulator game; an online experience puts you inside the situations to experience how practical process improvements can help operations meet service level agreement (SLA) targets and enhance overall corporate service management and profitability.
And if you're interested in running a Simulator Workshop at your company you can contact David Ojalvo directly for more information (daojalvo [at]us [dot] ibm [dot] com).
Oh, and stay tuned to the blog. In the next post about our ISM Workshop, we will be posting a video of what went down at Pulse.
Impact 2011 joins Pulse* in the rear view mirror as IBM continues to truck through 2011.
The next stop in the convoy is Innovate. June 5-9 in Orlando, FL.
What is Innovate? Well, one of my fellow marketing folks worked very hard on this description of Innovate, so I'm just going to paste it in the section below:
Innovate 2011 is the event that recognizes, celebrates and enables software and systems innovation. It is the conference totally focused on helping you dramatically improve software economics.
Translation: if you work with software, and especially if you work with Rational, this is your show!
The Integrated Service Management team will be there in full force, focusing on design and delivery.
Gina Poole, VP Marketing, IBM Rational is hosting the show and if I haven't convinced you already then maybe this will. Keynote speaker, two words: Felicia Day!
For those unfamiliar, take a moment to listen to her keynote at SXSW and you'll start to understand why she's one of the most innovative and successful creators working in the entertainment industry. (and, on a personal note. I got to meet her briefly at SXSW and she's one of the nicest people on the planet)
Registration is open. Put it in fifth gear and get to the Innovate page to register and we look forward to seeing you there.
And, of course, more news on where to find us at Innovate the closer we get to the conference. In the meantime, you can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ibminnovate.
The excitement and amazing performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics bring to mind the importance of getting a great start "off the blocks." Whether you're Michael Phelps, striving for your record eighth gold medal in a single Olympic games, or Usain Bolt smashing the world records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints, how you start is often the difference between gold and silver, between winning and not.
Similarly, getting a great start with IBM Service Management can help our clients deliver gold medal service quality with surprising speed. We've all talked to our clients about how IBM service management enables them to deliver quality service, operational efficiency and innovation through visibility, control, and automation. Our clients "get it," yet many of them face the same challenge: "How can we get started?"
To help you answer that question and get your clients off to that fast start that they're looking for, we've developed the IBM service management entry points. The entry points are documented "starter projects" based on actual customer usage and previous implementation experiences. IBM Service Management professionals worked extensively with customers and key industry analysts to create this set of five entry points that, upon completion, minimize time to value and achieve practical business benefits.
The five IBM Service Management entry points are:
Discover: Understanding infrastructure and business dependencies Monitor: Tracking infrastructure health and compliance Protect: Ensuring infrastructure security and resilience against threats and disaster Industrialize: Streamlining workflows and processes for repeatable, scalable and consistent results Integrate: Aligning and integrating IT and business operations and objectives for optimal impact
Be sure catch the replay of the August 26 IBM Service Management Jam webcast, "Where to Begin: The Five Entry Points" featuring Zarina Stanford, Director, Tivoli Marketing. Zarina discusses how implementing one or more of the entry point projects can help clients get a great start "off the blocks" and address with urgency the high priorities of cost reduction and operational inefficiencies, improving their service quality and positioning themselves not only in the lead, but with the absolute best chance to win.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week, I attended my first IBM Pulse conference. I really enjoyed the sights and sounds of Vegas, and met many of my Tivoli colleagues for the first time. I also probably walked the equivalent of 15 miles over the five days within the mammoth MGM facility. But what I found most valuable over the five days were my interactions with our customers and business partners.
On Day 1 of the conference, my focus was the ISM Simulator workshop that I helped coordinate. Given that the workshop was: a) taking place prior to any other Pulse activities, b) located in the bowels of the MGM hotel, and
c) three hours in duration...
...I was a bit apprehensive that all the customers and business partners who had RSVP'd would actually show up. But when people started rolling in 30 minutes before the start time, I was confident that this workshop was going to be a success.
When we got started, we had 21 participants sitting around four tables, which is all but ideal for this role playing workshop. Like other simulator workshops that I have attended, it started out a bit chaotic, as participants tried to process the firehose of information that was being thrust upon them. By the end of the three hours, they had come full circle, and were effectively working together to the tune of a $5 million profit for their hypothetical shipping company.
As I chatted with some of them after the session, and listened in on some of their video testimonials, the words I heard most often were "eye-opening", "outstanding" and "insightful".
On Monday and Tuesday, I worked on the expo floor and showed off our cool new ISM Simulator video game. The game allowed users to experience various issues affecting service management and corporate profitability in a simulated organization. At the ped, I got great feedback from customers and partners, who, by virtue of playing the game, were able to get a better grasp of the sometimes abstract concepts of service management.
You can play the IBM Service Management Mission game here.
All in all, it was a great conference, and stay tuned for the video from the workshop!
This new portal will replace the Service Management Resource Center (SMRC), and its main goal is to continue to provide a wide range of resources for IT and Operation Executives in our four different types of roles: -Communications Service Providers -Operations and Storage Management -Production, Delivery and Facilities Management
You can search for resources by role, including the most up to date analyst reports, case studies, demos, tools and white papers. Another great feature of the site is that it will attempt to make a range of content recommendations for you based on how you navigate the site to get you to the highest value resources for your needs.
Check it out, and let us know what you think!...and stay tuned for localized versions of this portal in Germany, Italy, France, UK, Brazil and Mexico.
Good news from the Application Portfolio Monitoring (APM) team.
The 2011 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM) has been released, Gartner has identified IBM as a leader.
I think I speak for everyone at IBM when I say, "W00T!" (which is leet, for "awesome!")
Talking to customers, this is no surprise. The APM portfolio is a "fan favorite" among companies worldwide and IBM is delivering solutions built on innovative technologies that provide superior value for our customers and their business.
For folks familiar with our APM portfolio and for new readers (welcome), I recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Garnter Magic Quadrant for APM and see what they have to say.
Next, there a number of useful pages about IBM Tivoli monitoring solutions on ibm.com.
And, of course, contact your IBM sales rep or one of our Business Partners using the Business Partner Locator website to talk about the Magic Quadrant and how the product portfolio can meet your business needs.
In the comments section below, please feel free to talk about the APM portfolio and how you are using the products in the portfolio.