Unless you've been hiding under a rock the last couple of months, you know that Pulse 2011 is coming to Las Vegas February 27-March 2, 2011. And you know that the Premier Service Management Event will bring together 6000 attendees, focusing on the best practices, solutions and expertise needed to help organizations design, deliver and manage new, innovative business services.
Do you also know that Pulse 2011 promises to be bigger, better and more informative yet?
With two days of general session keynotes and over 350 client sessions, Pulse 2011 will demonstrate how Integrated Service Management can help organizations design, deliver, and manage innovative services across business and IT boundaries. The event's five streams have carefully been designed to reflect the ongoing evolution of service management over the last year: Service Management for the Data Center, Enterprise Asset Management, Service Assurance for Service Providers, Security and Compliance and Service Management Beyond the Data Center. Learn more about the Pulse agenda by reading the article Pulse 2011: A Wealth of Service Management Insights
Pulse 2011 provides unlimited opportunities to hear from industry experts and network with attendees to gain the techniques and insight you need to optimize your service management strategy. Get maximum value from your Pulse 2011 experience by participating in the following additional attractions:
- Birds of a Feather Sessions
- Business Partner Café
- Business Partner Summit
- Certification testing
- Client hospitality lounge in the Solution Expo
- Hands-on labs
- Service Management Simulator
- Meet the Experts
- Pulse Bookstore
- Pulse Expo Theaters
- User Community Networking Area
- Women's Networking Reception
- Post Conference Sessions and Workshops
So, lest I leave you with a bland blog post...If you're a service management sage
, it's thyme
for you to submit your proposal to speak at Pulse. Call for speakers ends November 23rd.
- You must(ard) register before December 1st to take advantage of the early bird registration rate.
- Be sure to pepper your agenda with sessions that not only interest you but benefit your organization.
- And remember, Pulse is held in Las Vegas, where it's sure not to be chili in February.
- You'll curry the favor of your colleagues and bosses when you bring back so much service management knowledge and best practices.
- Your attendance at Pulse 2011 is, therefore, mint to be.
(I know, these spice puns were bad beyond bay leaf. Ba-dum-bum...my brother would be so proud).
Signing off for now,
Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
When IBM first kicked off the Dynamic Infrastructure announcement at Pulse 2009 conference, we heard some rumblings on whether Dynamic Infrastructure was just another executive buzzword or if there was real meat behind "the concept."
Doug McClure summarized the feeling well in his blog: “While this is great for executive level folks, I think we needed to drive this message into consumable and actionable things that lower level technical attendees could take back to their companies. They may be the ones who need to execute and show how previous or planned investments could help their company become smarter and more dynamic.”
After IBM’s announcement yesterday on new Dynamic Infrastructure offerings, critics will be hard-pressed to wonder whether Dynamic Infrastructure is actionable.Not only did IBM announce new products and services in the areas of Information Infrastructure, Virtualization, Service Management, and Energy Efficiency, but they also demonstrated how these solutions are helping three of our clients--the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, Tricon Geophysics and the United States Bowling Congress--build new, more dynamic infrastructures to help reduce costs, improve service and manage risk.
A key piece of the announcement is the IBM Service Management Center for Cloud Computing, which now includes new IBM Tivoli Identity and Access Assurance, IBM Tivoli Data and Application Security, and IBM Tivoli Security Management for z/OS, for Cloud environments. I don’t know about you, but all that’s more meat than this vegetarian can handle. :)
To continue driving home the Dynamic Infrastructure success, IBM is sponsoring a variety of events for the public to learn more. Register for a free, local Pulse Comes to You event to see how Service Management is a key component for enabling a Dyanmic Infrastructure for a Smarter Planet.
As a reminder, all of the general session keynotes (and more!) can be found on the Livestream site.
This morning was kicked off with the band Naturally 7, who were amazing. During one of the speaker changes, they did "In The Air Tonight" and rocked the drum solo.
The opening video (which was pretty awesome) started with the fact that we have 8,000 attendees from 79 countries and then talked about how one of the things that is affecting all of us is that lower cost technologies are literally changing the planet we live on.
This is leading to a Smarter Planet where infrastructure is everywhere.
Our first customer speaker from WellPoint echoed this sentiment and both he and Scott Hebner (VP of Marketing for IBM Tivoli Software) how Visibility. Control. Automation™. (VCA) is critical to turning this "infrastructure is everywhere" reality into a successful future of innovation
Robert LeBlanc (Senior Vice President, IBM Software Middleware Group) continued this conversation about VCA.
He had a great line from one of our customers, "If you can't get excited about the change and challenges of this industry, I don't know what you're doing here."
The three things driving business imperatives are dexterity, reinventing customer relationships and uncovering new profit opportunities. Analytics followed by mobility, virtualization, cloud and then security are keys to driving these technology shifts.
Achieving desired business outcomes is about VCA.
One thing that you'll hear a lot about at Pulse is that cloud is about more than virtualization. You'll hear that message a lot, because it's true.
Technology for technology's sake doesn't work. It has to impact the business. Cloud computing has the potential to add that value. As does mobile.
Mobile + Cloud (which Danny Sabbah talked in detail about) will have the biggest impact on our customers. Two statistics that Robert gave were the fact that data has surpassed voice and that last year more smartphones shipped than PCs.
How do you manage and secure all of those devices? VCA. Specific to security, it's about security and compliance; people, data, applications and infrastructure.
And, of course, assets and facilities (smarter physical infrastructures) will play a critical role as everything becomes interconnected, intelligent and instrumented.
Robert closed out with an interesting comment - data for data's sake isn't important. It's what you do with it. It's ensuring Visibility. Control. Automation.
Applying analytics is one of the ways IBM does this across VCA:
- Visibility - to see and understand your business in real-time business
- Control - to transform and adapt while limiting risk & cost
- Automation - to achieve greater efficiency & agility by standardizing processes
Applying IT analytics to improve business outcomes. Taking an Open/integrated approach to service management and leveraging the cloud to unify the service value chain.
Next up was Dr. Danny Sabbah (General Manager, IBM Tivoli Software) and he put cloud and mobile into context.
Danny hit the ground running, talking about the three dominant transformations happening in technology; Smarter Physical Infrastructure. Mobility. Security.
The intersection of these three has caused a lot of complexity (and confusion) for our clients.
The way to tame that complexity is Visibility. Control. Automation.
The lines of business are doing what they need to so they can compete which means that our clients must simplify, standardize and automate to get this to work efficiently and add value back to the business.
It's about going beyond virtualization. It's about Mobile + Cloud. Together.
Tennis Australia built a smarter physical infrastructure capturing and using the data in real-time. This helped build out the relationship with their customers (in this case, tennis fans).
The video (included in the Livestream) with Tennis Australia is great and the nice thing about them is that what they did is applicable to any industry. In fact, the best comment they made in the video was that, "Providing information on all platforms is table stakes these days."
Danny let that sit for a minute. Table stakes. Meaning that you need to go beyond just offering up the data and provide value at levels that won't happen with just virtualization.
It's about mobile + cloud. The infrastructure must deliver value back to the business.
CIOs are the key to driving this innovation. Technology is about real outcomes and not just playing with the latest toys.
We must simplify, standardize and automate.
Danny mentioned the over 3,000 customers we have helped with this type of transformation and one of the best examples was helping an infrastructure delivery that used to take 40 days reduce to just 20 minutes.
Our customers (you) need to be resilient to velocity of change. Have security intelligence. Be able to have the choice/flexibility (mobile, hybrid) to be workload aware and utlitize analytics.
It's cloud done right. It's IBM SmartCloud Foundation.
Danny took the time to talk about the Worklight acquisition and more specifically the big announcements we made with the integration of Q1 Labs and QRadar into our security portfolio (see the press release from Feb 22).
He concluded with discussion around OSLC as a specifcation to simplify integrations and increase agility. Development and Operations (Dev/Ops) continuing to be an important aspect of how we turn isolation into integration! He also mentioned the IBM SmartCloud Control Desk (mentioned in the announcement letter from Feb 28).
Danny concluded by saying that if you wanted hype and marketing. Go somewhere else. This is about cloud done right.
And with that. We're off to the stream kickoffs and a full say of sessions.
Stay tuned for a wrap-up of tomorrow's general session keynotes, right here on the blog.
In the meantime, use the links below to stay connected to everything happening at Pulse.
Additional Related Links:
Well, we are well into 2012 now and we have just about got though the ‘my predictions for 2012’ phase and in to ordinary routines again. Whatever the predictions, like with most years I predict that 2012 will look a lot like an older version of 2011.
There is still talk of recession, companies that struggled for funding in 2011 are no richer, Cloud is still talked about by a lot more people than understand it.
On a personal level 2012 has already delivered some of the improvements planned in 2011 – and I hope the same will happen workwise. Next major thing on my work horizon is IBM’s big service management show – Pulse. Back again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas we are promised it will be bigger and better than ever. I understand that bigger is important in as Vegas but I am usually even keener on better. Actually though, to be fair I am delighted that ‘my bit’ at Pulse looks like being bigger this year – with not one but two chances to deliver the cloud-readiness simulator on the weekend before the show itself starts. In fact there will be a strong focus on simulator this year with our team being on the exhibition floor to explain what, why and how they can help you.
Of course – like I implied above – this isn’t exactly new, but it is proven. Of course there will be lots of new stuff available – geeks welcomed and catered for. The technologists will – of course – be well catered for with lots of ‘future possibles’ and indeed a vision of some possible futures too. But service management’s primary focus is not on what might happen next year; it has always been about delivering value this year. In fact one of my favourite aspects of service management is how it rests on widely applicable principles, even though how they are applied might alter. For example, while change management processes in a cloud environment might need different considerations to make them most effective –the basics remain. I was working in service management long before I ever touched a computer. I remain constantly delighted to discover that lessons learned 30 years ago in supply and transport are still relevant to the 21stcentury IT based services we manage today.
So, if you are going to be at Pulse come along and tell me whether you agree that old-fashioned service concepts are still valuable – or come and explain why dinosaurs like me should be swept away by the meteor strike that is cloud. Either way – at Pulse or elsewhere – I look forward to good, informed and enjoyable debates. Good to think of the new year building on the successes of the old – at home and at work.
IBM Survey Results:
Financial Services IT Service Management Strong in an Uncertain Economy
Industry Solutions: Financial Services Sector Blog
By Mike Zelle, Market Segment Manager, Financial Services Sector - Tivoli Software, IBM
IBM conducted a global survey of CIOs and other IT investment owners during December 2008 and January 2009. In these ‘uncertain economic times’ the results are very interesting from a Financial Services IT point of view.
Key survey results
The current economic and market conditions these organizations face have had a significant negative impact on enterprise budgets. But IBM’s survey showed the opposite to be the case for IT budgets.
• The vast majority of IT decision makers (85 percent), in financial services and across all industries, reported budgets remaining flat or changing only slightly
• 9 percent of those in financial services reported significant budget reductions
• 21 percent indicated that they were increasing their investment in IT
• 6 percent of financial services organizations indicated they would be significantly increasing their IT budgets in response to current economic and market conditions.
IBM believes that these IT investments are continuing because these companies recognize that IT services can not only help the enterprise as a whole to operate more effectively and efficiently but also provide competitive advantage. These businesses have realized that just cutting costs within IT has limited business benefit and introduces unacceptable levels of risk to the entire organization that depends on the quality and reliability of IT services for efficiency, compliance, security and even competitive differentiation. If IT is 10 percent of the operational expense of a financial services business, cutting IT by 50 percent will yield only a 5 percent reduction in business operational expense, but will most likely unacceptably expose the other 90 percent of the business to significant new problems, risks and competitive disadvantage.
Financial services organizations were also disproportionately more likely than other industries to also expect IT to be an innovator, to research and recommend enterprise strategic objectives, to identify opportunities for innovation and to develop new business areas or services.
Financial Services IT priorities to support business requirements
The most commonly reported financial services priorities impacting IT investment plans were:
• Improving access to and leveraging customer information
• Improving efficiency / reducing costs of business activities
• Increasing customer retention.
Mandatory programs / projects that must take precedence:
• Compliance is a more pressing concern for financial services than it is for any other industry, with 88 percent of projects in this area continuing, expanding or being initiated.
• Systems management ranks as high as compliance, which is understandable given that the business infrastructure that is required to enable market survival for today's financial services company is increasingly an integrated digital platform of IT-enabled business services.
• These activities also explain why technology virtualization and storage consolidation, at 78 percent and 72 percent, are also high on the list, coming only after security. A scalable and manageable IT infrastructure is required to provide the resilient basis for quality services.
IT Service Management is the key priority
Smarter management of IT services is the top business-driven priority for IT. Service management builds on foundational capabilities—security, compliance, managing IT systems, and virtualizing and consolidating the physical infrastructure—that provide the basis for the reliable IT services required by the business.
Service management projects continued, expanded or initiated as a consequence of the economic and business environment was 68 percent—ahead of technology areas such as server deployment, mobility and network convergence.
Conclusion and recommendations
According to the results of the IBM study, IT leaders in the financial services industry are reprioritizing IT projects to focus on optimizing IT-enabled business processes. Accordingly, once they have met urgent requirements in areas such as compliance, systems management, virtualization/consolidation and security, they are investing in smarter management.
This business-driven approach to service management emphasizes the role IT services can play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization as a whole rather than on the type of cost-cutting within IT that can produce negative and unacceptable business risks.
The study results point to the following key recommendations:
• Improve the quality and reliability of IT services that process financial transactions, provide integrated access to and leverage customer information, improve customer loyalty and retention, enable workforce productivity and support compliance.
• Prioritize smarter ways of doing things through service management and technology consolidation.
• Revise measurements and reporting to provide more visibility to process performance, quality of service, outcome metrics, costs, and business value.
• Change the focus from technology and optimized subsystems to optimization of IT-enabled business activities. This includes building out the digital platform of the business and improving the ability to manage it as the new business infrastructure.
• Apply some investments to tactical quick wins—but also work toward eliminating service-quality inhibitors through longer-term strategic initiatives.
For more information:
• Whitepaper: IT service management in an uncertain economy: Resetting IT priorities in the financial services industry- ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/common/ssi/sa/wh/n/tiw14033usen/TIW14033USEN_HR.PDF
• Pulse 2010 The Premier Service Management Event- http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/pulse/
February 21-24, 2010 MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Mike Zelle is the market segment manager for the financial services sector for Tivoli Software at IBM.
This blog post was written by George Mina
Earlier today, IBM shared its point of view on the future of the data center with Smarter Computing V3 (press release). A central focus is IBM Enterprise Systems (zEnterprise EC12 and Power) and their ability to deliver exceptional value through a private Cloud. We've seen how organizations have been able to leverage IBM Enterprise Systems to achieve significant benefits. Take the City of Honolulu for example which was able to lower its licensing costs by 68% while increasing tax revenue by $1.4M USD in just three months.
By adding Tivoli software to their current IT environment, organizations can advance their enterprise-class Cloud environment while protecting their existing IT investment. How? IBM SmartCloud Foundation software is deeply rooted in openess - an open standards approach and common management tools that are platform agnostic. Essentially, you pick the platform(s) that best meets your business goals and we deliver a set of interoperable Cloud management tools across your heterogeneous environment. Of course, there are intrinsic benefits to building a Cloud management stack on top of IBM Enterprise Systems given the tight integration between hardware and software. OMEGAMON for example leverages a deep integration with zEnterprise systems to deliver advanced monitoring that reduces typical time to resolution from 90 minutes to 2 minutes.
Whether your starting to consider virtualizing your IT environment or deep into your Cloud journey, we have open Cloud management tools that help you expand your Cloud footprint without fear of vendor "lock-in". Learn more about the latest announcement and our Cloud solutions by visiting this site and attending the System z webcast on October 17.
One of the coolest things about working at IBM is the global nature of our company.
Which is why the announcement of the new IBM Research - Africa (press release) is so cool. Of note is their focus on Smarter Cities. Specifically:
Smarter Cities – with initial focus on water and transportation: Rates of urbanization in Africa are the highest in the world. The single biggest challenge facing African cities is improving access to and quality of city services such as water and transportation. IBM, in collaboration with government, industry and academia, plans to develop Intelligent Operation Centers for African cities – integrated command centers – that can encompass social and mobile computing, geo-spatial and visual analytics, and information models to enable smarter ways of managing city services. The initial focus will be on smarter water systems and traffic management solutions for the region.
I'm looking forward to seeing the work that our African IBM team is going to do in this space and can't wait to work with them on future projects.
Today we trust computers – literally and
unconsciously with our very lives. I was reflecting on this level of trust when
I got £50 of cash out from my local ATM and declined the offer of a receipt.
Seems I now have total faith the computer systems will ‘get it right’. I’ve
come a long way from keeping all my own cheque books to cross check against
later bank statements.
Now, combining that faith with a little
healthy British cynicism, and triggered by watching the Olympics tennis finals on
TV, a mischievous but irresistible thought came to my mind.
It used to be that when a ball hit the
ground near the line we relied on the human eye to say whether it was ‘in’ or
‘out’. That caused disagreements and discussion – and - in tennis often -
sulking, swearing and the full range of petulant behaviour.
Nowadays that is all replaced by
referencing the technology. When there is doubt – or one of the players
questions a call - then we simply ask the computers. What we get then is a neat
little picture representing the appropriate lines on the court and a blob
showing where the ball had hit. So, problem solved: disappointment still for
one player but, so it seems, total acceptance that the computer is right. After
all it is an expensive system working away inside a very expensive box – must
be right, mustn’t it. Or to put it another way ‘computer says in’, who would
But what occurred to me is this. All we can
actually see is some boxes around the court, and a stylised display with a blob
on it. That could be delivered by one person with a tablet showing the court
lines and them touching the screen where they think it landed. Very cheap and
still solves all the arguments because – naturally – everyone trusts technology
Now – of course, and before anyone calls
their lawyers – I am not suggesting for the merest moment that there is the
slightest possibility of such a thing happening. But it’s fun to think it might
be possible. There is little public awareness of what accuracy the system – and
here I presume it does really exist – works to. If you dig around on the web
you can find out (the answer by the way for tennis is 3.6mm). You also find out
there is some very minor grumbling and questioning going on. But that seem at
geek level – in everyday use the audience stands instantly convinced.
So, thinking it through there are a couple
of interesting consequences to real IT life:
- Once you realise that trust depends on quality of presentation
at least as much as on accuracy, should you focus more on that? Certainly
you have to take presentation seriously, because the corollary is that if you
deliver perfection but don’t make it look good, then no-one will believe
it even though you are right.
- Whose responsibility is it to check – and is it even possible? I
suspect this discussion will take us into the territory of ‘governance’. But
even before we get there it implies that User Acceptance Testing needs to
do more than look at things. Of course yours does, doesn’t it?
I guess my big issue is to wonder how
comfortable we are – as the deliverers of the technological solutions for our
customers – and especially our users - to have such blind faith. Of course,
people being the irrational things they undoubtedly are, that blind faith in
the detail is often accompanied by a cynical disregard for overall competence –
think faith in ATMs and on-line bank account figures with the apparent level of
trust in the banking industry as a whole.
As a little codicil to the story, I registered
with anew doctor yesterday – the nurse asked me questions, took blood pressure
etc and loaded all the data she collected into a computer. The system was
clearly ancient, with a display synthesising what you typically got on a DOS3.0
system. First thought: ‘OMG why are they using such old software, that can’t be
good? Second thought: ‘They’ve obviously been using it for years, so they
really understand it, have ironed out all the bugs and it does what they need. It
ain’t broke so they aren’t fixing it’. But my instinctive reaction of suspicion
of it for not being pretty was there and I had to consciously correct myself.
Would you as a service provider prefer more
questioning of what you package up and present to your customers and users, or
are you happy to have that faith? My own view is that the more blind faith they
have in you, the more the retribution will hurt if things do go wrong. Or
perhaps that’s just me being cynical again?
Over 51 million tourists travel to Orlando, Florida every year, but only the cool ones go to attend IBM Edge and IBM Innovate.
As I type this, so many of our customers, partners and my colleagues are in the "brutal" 88°F* weather learning more about storage and software & system innovation.
Since much of my focus is around product announcements, I wanted to point folks to the IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center V5.1 announcement that happened yesterday (Announcement Letter 212-189).
For content coming from the conference, a number of the marketing team are on the ground at Edge and tweeting. Be sure to follow Maria, Martha and Branavan (and of course, @ibmstorage) as well as the hashtag #ibmedge.
The Rational team have a number of exciting new announcements around Jazz and they will be talking quite a bit about mobile, cloud, industry solutions and a few other things including DevOps.
For us service management folks, DevOps translates into tangible benefits we can bring back to the business; like fewer errors and faster time to resolving errors if they do occur.
Back at Pulse 2012, we announced, among other things, the Beta for IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery (see the blog post and press release).
Of course, at Innovate there's a lot more to talk about with DevOps. Including the announcement from last week of IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Management 7.5 (Announcement Letter 212-143).
Along with IBM SmartCloud Control Desk and IBM SmartCloud Provisioning Manager (among others), it's about developers and testers having access to the same tools, data and information that operations uses and leveraging them to fix problems before they occur. And if problems do occur, the linkages with tools like Rational Application Developer and Rational Performance Tester allow the developers and testers to quickly resolve these issues as everyone and everything is connected.
As stated before, fewer errors and faster time to resolving errors if they do occur. This translates into using time to be productive and being innovative. Innovation is what provides value back to the business.
There's a good press release from yesterday, "IBM Expands Collaborative Software Development Solutions to Cloud, Mobile Technologies" that highlights some of the integrations and new solutions (including Application Performance Management).
The conference is being livestreamed (with video available right on the IBM Innovate home page) and be sure to follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #ibminnovate and be sure to read the Invisible Thread blog for updates on what's happening on the floor.
* 88°F = 31°C.
Just about my very first experience in IT –
brought onto a project as a customer ‘expert’ – was listening to the IT guys
debating how to make use of the data we already had on the old system. In my naivety
at the time I had thought computers used ‘computer language’. Quickly I
realised they were more like people than I had suspected – that there were lots
of computer languages, and each computer spoke only one of them, and could make
no sense of the others.
Now, in the interceding years (some 27 of
them L) great progress has been made – we expect computers to talk to each
other. This almost universal technological communication ability sometimes
blinds IT people to the fact that human communication has not evolved
Until we perfect direct thought
transference, all the communication we do, whether written or spoken, texted,
tweeted or painted on the walls, relies on a two stage process. First you put
your ideas into words (usually words and sometimes also gestures or pictures –
or a combination of all three). Then someone else has to take those words etc
and turn them into thoughts inside their head. There is always an ‘encrypt/decrypt’
section to human communication.
Now that can get messy, confusing and
create all sorts of mistakes in delivering the message. You probably wouldn’t
design it that way. In fact in a pure IT context we would be looking at ways to
deliver direct communication in a standard format from one system to the other.
But people don’t work that way; it is what we have and we need to work with it.
Communication isn’t just about being accurate;
I think it is better measured by whether it is useful. In IT, people still manage
to get the communication spectacularly wrong by not thinking about the whether
the customer (or client or user) is equipped to decrypt the message. As one
example, here is an error message I got on my screen the other day, apparently
intended to inform me why the software couldn’t do what I had asked it to do: “Unable to contact the target back-end forwarding host (proxy target)”. I presume that made perfect sense to the person who set the
software up to deliver that. They were maybe a great programmer, but evidently
not a human communications specialist.
It’s easy enough just to dismiss this as
one more version of ‘Computer says no’, but why is it no surprise? Maybe it’s because
we still seem to think it OK to throw our jargon at others who don’t share it.
Or maybe we forget they don't know what we do. Actually, to be fair this is not
only an IT thing – ask anyone who has been caught on a French train having
failed to quite understand the printed message exhorting them “composter votre
billet”. (And if you don't already know but intend to travel on a French train,
trust me, you need to find out what it means, but it isn’t a French word that
they usually teach you in basic language classes. A classic case of
encrypt/decrypt failure in a service management situation that has nothing to
do with IT.)
The technologists amongst us love the
challenge of integration, communication across platforms etc. but there is
recognition that this is expensive and should be unnecessary – an area where
standards and commonality help everyone. Why do we forget our most common
encrypt/decrypt situation – getting a message from one mind to another.
I hope that the irresistible tide of
universal cloud adoption and pervasive social media communication will solve
all these troubles – and allow us to concentrate on the people issues more. But
so far the social media snowball doesn’t seemed to have reduced jargon – quite
the opposite. Those of at a certain age are now totally incapable of
understanding what are children are saying, even when they give us access to
their on-line worlds.
Actually, this is fresh in my mind now
because it forms a little game we will play during my talk at Monday 5th
March at Pulse – our big SM event in Vegas next month. I plan to have people
encrypting and decrypting during that session. I am interested to see how they
get on, and hopefully to make them realise there are some simple tools we can
use to make things better. Nothing magic, and the same techniques we
demonstrate in the simulator. Mostly they rely on establishing common ground –
establishing communication channels and learning what will work, by finding
shared understandings, and by relying on more than words alone when it makes a
The best part about all that is that from
the outside it might look like gossip and drinking at the bar – but we realise
it is building business critical communicating platforms and channels. The message
that things can be both fun and relevant at the same time is also part of the
So, if you are at Pulse maybe you will be
able to come along at 6pm on Monday. If not I hope to get the chance to
encrypt/decrypt with you at another event this year. And thank you for your
efforts in decrypting this message, I hope it wasn’t too difficult – and I hope
it has some resemblance inside your head to the one that was in mine.
Over the recent Christmas break, I found
myself at lunch with an Enterprise Architect and the
conversation turned – as it does - to the future of the IT industry.
we agreed on the
topic of what IT jobs and attitudes should be over the next 10 years – others at the table disagreed with us – but that’s a topic for another blog
Now I live in a Service Management space, and so clearly I
know that everything – at least everything about creating and delivering IT
services – is wholly contained within a complete picture of service management: because
everything flows from the need for the service – in terms of value conceived,
engineered and then delivered to the customer.
So, imagine my surprise when the enterprise
architect (let’s call him Kevin J) came out
with the phrase – introduced as though it were universally accepted knowledge –
that everything is contained within the concept of enterprise architecture and all other things fit inside that. Well, you would think that one of us has
to be wrong – but maybe not?
Seriously though, I do realise that each
of us has a coloured view of the world. But even when you know you might be, if not actually biased, at least running along familiar tracks rather than striving for
objectivity, it can still be a surprise when you run into what seems a different
Of course – in this instance it isn’t
really a different perspective at all. Human Beings to tend to fit external
matters into handy pigeon holes – and those pigeon holes are inside our own
pigeon house – service for me, EA for Kevin.
Maybe we just need to get all these
different perspectives in one room and get them to agree on which view is
right? I suspect, however, that this has been tried – and failed. Because it
isn’t conflicting theories we are dealing with here. Instead it is that
familiar old chaos machine – people and perceptions. They are all right (and
all wrong too of course, but this early in a new year let’s try and be
Trying to look at the situation
simplistically, it seems to me that we have had lots of good idea over the last
20 years or so that have been helpful – but we live in a complex interrelated world and each
successful approach brings you to an edge or interface where you are dependent
for further success on the neighbours. Human nature makes us jump to the
conclusion that if the neighbours used my approach then they would do better.
Maybe it’s true but maybe it’s not – maybe we have as much to learn from the
neighbours as they have from us?
Let’s analogise that to real neighbourhoods. Is there anyone who doesn’t think things would be better if their neighbours
behaved more like them and adopted their processes,and practices – especially
things like where it is OK to park and when it is OK to be loud? But actually
they have slightly different needs (maybe because of things we don’t have like kids and dogs or a job that requires shift working)
and so they do need to do things differently. But still there is much to learn from
each other; simple stuff like where did you get your fence fixed etc and more
strategic stuff like comparing mortgage plans or discussing the best school
Within our IT/services/architecture kind of
world we have
the same chance to benefit from discussions with our neighbours. And just like
with our domestic neighbours, the best way to get along and help each other is
by accepting others’ perspectives as equally valid. It is good to see
initiatives like devops starting
to encourage this. My major familiarity over the past 20 years has been service
management but I can see both lots to learn from our neighbours like EA and
development and also lots we can help with too.
Have you spoke to your neighbours recently?
And if so was it with a predisposition to teach or to learn?
This week (for any latecomers, I’m writing this on June 8th) is our Innovation event in Orlando. I’m not there but with modern social media it is nonetheless possible to hear much of what is going on. And quite a bit of what is being said there is about “devops”.
So, suitably intrigued, I consulted the modern version of the Delphic oracle (Wikipedia) says about it. And there I found this line “Devops is frequently described as a more collaborative and productive relationship between development teams and operations teams”.
One statement: simultaneously reassuring and terrifying.
Firstly it’s reassuring because anything that works towards the realisation that development and operation are not really separated by any kind of wall has to be a good thing. Of course there are different areas of focus at different times in the life of a service but they all should have the same aim – delivering what is needed in best possible way. We already all knew that, it is so obviously sensible that who would vote against it? The equally obvious fact that we then don’t do it is one for the psychologists and later blogs, but does lead me into my other reaction:-
The horror that we should be 50+ years into IT services before this seems important to enough for people to give a trendy name. How on earth have we survived this long without a “collaborative and productive relationship” between the people who build something and the people who operate it? And bear in mind both those groups are doing it for the same customer (in theory anyway).
To be fair to IT people though, perhaps this is an obligatory engineering practice we have picked up. Who remembers the days when getting your car repaired was unrelated to buying it? You bought it in the clean and shiny showroom at the front of the dealer, took it to the oily shed around the back if it broke. One of the things that has seen a step-change in the car industry – and is also changing ours and most others – is the realisation that we are now all delivering services and not products. So we are finally realising that long term usability and value is what defines success, not a shiny new – but fragile – toy. In fact, thinking of toys we all recall the gap between expectation and delivery of our childhood toys – the fancy and expensively engineered product that broke by Christmas evening compared to the cheap and solid – be it doll or push along car – that lasted until we outgrew it.
The car industry saw that happen – and we now have companies leading their adverts with a promise of lifetime car driving with their latest vehicles – with the mould really having been broken by Asian manufacturers offering 5 year unlimited mileage warranties. That was about selling a self-controlled transport service instead of a car – and really that is what most of us want. Amazing strides taking place on that front, of course, being taken by companies like Zipcar who have thought simply enough to see there is no absolute link between that service (self controlled transport) and car ownership. (Some of us want other things from a car of course – but that just leads us into the key first step of any successful service, know what your customer(s) want.)
Why I get so interested in all this is its basically what I’ve been saying for the last 20 years – my big advantage is that I came into IT from a services environment (I worked in a part of our organisation called ‘services group’) – and I never really understood why IT needed such a large and artificial wall between build and do. ITIL was (in large part) set up to try and break down the walls – initially an attempt to set up serious best practices and methodologies within operations to match what was already alive and well in development (hence the original name of the project – GITIMM, to mirror SSADM).
So … what am I saying? Please take devops seriously if that is what is needed to get better services. The complexity we need to address now means we have to stop maintaining any practices that prevent good ongoing service design and delivery. If giving it a name and a structure helps then let’s go there.
One of the things I am most proud about in the books I have contributed to is that we made up a fancy name for something good people already did (in our case early Life Support) – the intention was to give it profile and then people would add it to job roles and actually start to plan for it and then, finally, do it better.
Of course that brings with it the chance of looking like the emperor in his new clothes once you examine the detail and originality too carefully. But that’s good too – clever and original usually = doesn’t work too well at first. Solid old common sense (eventually) seems to me to offer a much firmer foundation to build on.
We need good foundations because the situation is actually a lot more complicated than we pretend – multiple customers, other stakeholders, users, operations as users – enough for a dozen more blogs, a handful of articles and a book. So … I’d better get on writing – and maybe so should you?
Yes. I used an exclamation point. Because this is that exciting! (there it is again)
The zEnterprise is, as we call it, a “smarter system.” It’s fast. It’s scalable. It’s efficient. It’s reliable. It’s secure. Most important, it’s highly manageable.
With that, IBM Service Management on System z is a single service management engine to give you the visibility, control, and automation needed to deliver quality services, manage risk and compliance, and accelerate business growth.
Together they will assist our customers in innovating their business; and that’s what it’s all about.
The road to a Smarter Planet is going to take systems and software that can be used to create a Smarter Data Center. It's worth your time to read more about it. There’s a ton of press coverage (point your favorite search engine at “zEnterprise” and it’s dealer’s choice on articles). Twitter is already trending with #zEnterprise from analysts, IBMers and customers. And, I’ve also put some ibm.com links below.
That said, in honor of the new announcement I give you a tribute to an old Jeff Foxworthy bit and a little something we like to call “You might be a not so Smarter Data Center.” (and feel free to add yours to the comments section).
- If your data center has its own postal code, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If your LOB signs their SLA with “no backsies,” you might be a not so smart data center.
- If you count the number of forests it takes to print your server inventory, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If your energy usage ever won you a free lunch from your power company, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If your service management is done with a forklift, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If scalability means renting more buildings, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If your problem management is done with a game of pin the tail on the donkey, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If your data center security is a bicycle lock and a hide-a-key, you might be a not so smart data center.
- If your downtime is measured with a calendar, you might be a not so smart data center.
New York reached 100 ºF yesterday and it is currently 91 ºF down here in Austin.
Which is why "inside" inside is the place to be.
And while you're inside, you might want to be sure to watch the newest on-demand webcast "IBM Service Management Jam- Long Term Evolution."
Here's the abstract on the webcast:
In this on-demand webcast, Simon McCormack, Tivoli Netcool Performance Manager and Technology Pack Product Manager, discussess different aspects of LTE and the work of IBM Tivoli in this field.
A rose by any other name...OPAL (the Open Process Automation Library) is now the Integrated Service Management Library
, and you're invited to the grand reopening!
If you've never visited the ISM Library - or you haven't visited in a while - you should. It's a great resource for helping your organization accelerate the move to integrated service management and has recently been renovated. Consider it your "one-stop shop" for IBM and 3rd party accelerators.
So...what's an accelerator, you might ask? Well, to put it simply, an accelerator is a capability - an agent, adapter, connector, reporting, toolkit or perhaps even documentation - that can accelerate the implementation/delivery of service management
. For example, there's the Delivery Agent for Maximo, which uses your Lotus Notes or Exchange email system as the delivery engine to send and manage Maximo approval requests. Or the Change and Configuration Management Database Integration with WebSphere Service Registry and Repository, which provides the ability to manage services across lifecycles. And ImageWare's Card Management System (CMS) is an enterprise solution for the printing, encoding and life-cycle management of secure credentials, including biometrically enabled smart cards. There are over 1800 accelerators in the library across products and industries.
You can save time and money by using accelerators. One cell phone provider has used some 60 Netcool integrations already - that's smart!
Check out (no pun intended) the ISM Library today and see what it has to offer. You can learn more in this article: IBM Unveils the ISM Library: Smart accelerators, high ROI
Signing off for now,
Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
In response to: In the News: Make your Buildings Smarter with IBM Asset Management
Great blog about smarter buildings! The Service Management article
is excellent too. I'm looking forward to your weekly updates.
In April 2010, IBM conducted an online survey of over 6400 adults working full- or part-time in office buildings in 16 major US cities. The survey showed that "US office buildings have failed to keep pace with the revolution in automation that pervades modern life. While cars, transportation systems, electrical grids and other systems are being instrumented and interconnected to be more efficient and user friendly, the majority of office buildings remain rooted in the past. As a result, this intelligence gap is taking a measurable toll in lost productivity and unnecessary spending."
So, how do you bridge this intelligence gap...or, in other words, how do you make buildings smarter?
It starts with a better way of managing those buildings: IBM Maximo Asset Management.
Maximo delivers holistic, end-to-end tracking and monitoring of all assets, at every point in their lifecycles. It helps make building facilities management simpler, faster and less expensive—thus essentially transforming buildings into smart buildings, capable of delivering their full potential to your organization. Specifically, Maximo can:
- Establish contracts for labor and materials across the entire enterprise, allowing for better cost control.
- Detect a shortfall in a cooling asset and automatically notify appropriate team members of the problem and create a prioritized schedule of corrective action.
- Provide vendors direct access to Maximo, allowing them to view assigned work, request direct updates and provide real-time status. Notifications are generated by Maximo and are automatically distributed via e-mail to any device.
- Manage vendor SLAs to monitor their overall performance. Should a vendor not be meeting specified service levels, Maximo can quantify the difference and initiate a suitable response.
Of course, there are many more examples of how Maximo can help you manage your facilities more efficiently and cost effectively, all of which enable a shift from facilities maintenance to facilities management, from a reactive stance to proactive stance, resulting in improved asset performance, longer asset life and ultimately more sustainable - and, dare I say - smarter buildings.
For more information on how Maximo can make your buildings smarter, read this Service Management in Action article.
Signing off for this week,
Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
It almost goes without saying, but, hey, I'll say it anyway...Security is top of mind for everyone these days, no matter your industry, no matter the size of your organization - and even on a personal level, too. You certainly don't have to be a security manager to be concerned about security, particularly internet security.
Case in point: Which of the following internet vulnerabilities is keeping you up at night these days?
5. Remote access
Perhaps a more precise answer would be "All of the above plus a few more."
So, how can you stay ahead of these types of threats - understanding what the most critical and recurrent vulnerabilities are and what you can do to prevent them? One excellent source of emerging information is the IBM X-Force Research and Development team
. For more than a dozen years, these security specialists have tracked well over 40,000 different vulnerabilities, from Trojan horses to malware to Web spoofing, and documented them in the world's largest and most comprehensive threat database.
The IBM X-Force researches and monitors the latest internet threat trends, develops security content for IBM customers, and helps advise customers and the general public on how to respond to emerging and critical threats. Twice a year, the team releases a detailed report
discussing the latest security complexities. These reports are far more than just abstract information. They are actionable intelligence, designed to lead to more comprehensive security and a better business outcome. Take a look at the latest report
For more information about how the IBM X-Force research can help your organization (and perhaps even keep you from losing sleep worrying about security threats), check out this Service Management in Action article
Signing off for this week,
Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
In his keynote address yesterday, Al Zollar talked about how customers are leveraging Integrated Service Management. Capital Region of Denmark in Copenhagen, is in the process of leveraging Integrated Service Management to track missing assets, improve maintenance schedules and get their company back on track.
Capital Region of Denmark is a conglomerate of hospitals with data distributed across three different storage tiers and four sites, with an online disk capacity of 500 Terabytes and backup and archive data exceeding 1.5 Petabytes.
They have solved their storage complexity issues with Integrated Service Management and are managing their entire storage infrastructure with only four people.
He also talked about how the U.S. Air Force is leveraging Integrated Service Management. The U.S. Air Force defense and intelligence network manages the operations of nine major commands, nearly 100 bases, and 700,000 active military personnel around the world. They are leveraging Integrated Service Management solutions to design and deliver a cloud infrastructure with unprecedented levels of security and resiliency.
It's not just a vision for the future--it's happening now. Integrated Service Management can help your company get past the complexity and risk you deal with on a daily basis.
I wanted to better understand the new IBM Tivoli Foundations offerings for mid-sized markets. After going through a few presentations, here are my key takeaways.
IBM Tivoli Foundations solutions are:
- Designed and priced to meet the needs of mid-sized organizations.
- Built on the Lotus Foundations core platform which provides advanced disaster recovery, hands-off protection, and automated disk back-up.
- Made up of fully integrated management software that is easy to install and configure for improved time to value and return on investment.
- Provide an appliance-based entry point into the IBM Service Management portfolio
Tivoli Foundations includes two appliances announced on August 14, 2009: IBM Tivoi Foundations Application Manager and Tivoli Foundations Service Manager. I've included a quick recap of both below:
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager
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.
IBM Tivoli Foundations Service Manager
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.
For more information, check out the datasheets IBM Tivoli Foundations Application Manager, and IBM Tivoli Foundations Service Manager.