As may have been noticed from recent blogs I
spent most of the last month travelling. Actually thinking about it, most of my
last 33 years has been travelling for work. So while I might spend much of my
time talking about service with IT professionals; the services that most impact
my life tend to be related to the travel industry. Seems to me that service is
service, and many of the lessons learned in travelling – and watching people
while travelling – are very relevant in all aspects of service delivery, IT
related or not.
What has really impressed itself upon my
mind recently is how receiving services – of whatever kind – can so often make
you feel offended, insulted, slighted or just plain angry. Objective thought
makes it pretty obvious that the intention was actually to deliver good
service, but somehow it can be hard to believe that when you see some of the
symptoms of not thinking things through.
Let’s start with a fairly innocuous and
almost silly example from the Dubai
metro system. This metro is brand new, really impressive, fast, clean
comfortable – and cheap. I can forgive its rather early closing time (11pm) and
late start on the weekend as a necessary acknowledgement of how many taxis and
especially taxi drivers need to continue to make a living – and how much they
may have felt threatened by the new metro.
What I couldn’t help but notice, and that
stuck in my mind more than anything else, were the local information maps displayed
– a good and helpful feature that shows important buildings near enough to walk
to from each station. They show where places are using colour-coded dots, for
example pink dots show hotels. At my local station there were three hotel dots
– so I which hotels were served by that metro stop. But it didn’t tell me which
hotels they were – just that they are
hotels – how much more effort would it have taken to write the names on? And
how much would that final piece of data been worth? I think that’s what bothers
me – when suppliers seem to do 90% of the work right but that missing 10%
destroys 90% of the value.
But OK, I am sure that will be remedied -
eventually. There is, however, a characteristic of physically delivered
services that I see so often – and bothers people so much – that I have tried
to give it a name. Best I have so far is VNS,
Non-Service.I am sure you have
seen it – travellers will see it at airline travel desks and immigration
counters, but all of us see it almost daily at banks, post offices and shops.
Let me set out a typical scenario - one I saw last week (and most times I
travel). There are 5 or 6 customer service desks; two of them have staff
serving the waiting line of customers, one by one. At another desk are two of
the airline or airport staff – every now and then a customer in a hurry goes up
to them, only to be turned away. These people are not attending to customers.
No, it might be that they are doing some critically important task, vital
filing, discussing long term business strategy etc. But why do they do it in
font of the customers? We can see only paid supplier staff NOT helping us, and
apparently not caring. Actually, I think banks are amongst the worse offenders,
frequently seating staff at customer facing positions to do non-customer facing
It seems to me that this is a failure to
think through how customers perceive things. Of course it might make perfect
sense to the planners and HR people – making best use of physical space, having
managers where they can see staff working etc. But – if you feel tempted to do
this, or anything else that customers will see - please think through how it
will look and feel to someone who was NOT there when you planned it.
In fact VNS and other ways to disregard customer
perception – once you think it through – have significant implication and
consequences: whether that is IT applications that decide to archive your
records when at times apparently selected to annoy you the most, scheduled
maintenance that seems to target your busy periods or supervisory staff walking
around apparently doing nothing helpful while customers wait in long lines. The
more complex our world gets, the easier it is to get things wrong. Like the maintenance
slot that is obviously good to the planner in New York but which hits the
obvious usage slot in Dubai (where Sunday is the first working day of the week,
and you want your administration services – like expense reporting – up and
running at the start of the week – which is when business travellers typically
do their expenses.
So if you are planning services that a
customer will see, please do me a favour: try and think how it will be seen and
perceived, putting aside how logical YOU already know it is. As the man said –
perception is reality, try to make your customers’ perception into your
Final story, about how it is possible to
get it right. Many years back, when I worked for the UK Forestry Commission, I
recall talking with our Recreation Planning Officer. He had just designed and
constructed some way-marked walks through a forest he personally knew very well.
Before he allowed them to be opened to the public, he brought his children in,
and walked behind them on the route – noting down everywhere they had trouble
seeing the right way – and then he corrected those faults. I believe that
nowadays this might be called ‘User Acceptance Testing’ – and what it needs is
users, not suppliers pretending they can see it from a user perspective.
I set out do this blog as a pretty
shameless advert for my article in the latest issue of the itSMF International
magazine. So let’s get that bit out of the way first – it is here
– read it soon!
But actually thinking about the itSMF magazine leads naturally
on to talk about the itSMF International publishing and the recent success
stories – and success stories should be talked about, so I’ll do that now. It has been a while since the international
publishing committee of itSMF (IPESC) faded out – but while IPESC may be
dead, I felt its spirit, innovation and enthusiasm resurrected at our recent
chapter publishing meeting. IPESC was always full of good intentions, but the
difference now is the ability to take ideas forward to our itSMF’s own
publications – and to produce good things.
The magazine is one of those things. It may
not be exactly War and Peace – but it is the kind of things that professional
service managers might read, enjoy and then look for the next issue coming out
– exactly the positive reinforcement cycle we need to create a tipping point. Actually,
the meeting itself was another great thing. So far as we can tell this was the most
chapters ever represented at any kind of itSMF meeting – including all previous
IBM – along with TSO – sponsored the
meeting, and we also hosted it at the IBM Amsterdam office. That sponsorship
gave me the right (and from my management’s perspective, the obligation) to a
10 minute agenda item to address the meeting. Now, those of you who know me
will realise I don’t usually need the justification of an agenda item to talk.
But, given the nature of my audience, I wondered what to talk about in that
formal situation. The obligatory ‘IBM has something you might be interested in
seeing’ bit was easy – a quick demo of our new G2G3 developed virtual
simulators – plenty about those in other blogs on this site so go read them I won’t
repeat it here.
My main message – and one I feel strong
enough about that I want to repeat it here – was how important sponsorship like
itSMF is (also rightly) proud of its ‘owned
by the members’ and ‘not for profit’ nature – and so it shapes the community more
than any other organisation – or more accurately it helps its members shape and
develop that community. But being not for profit doesn’t stop there being bills.
We all share in this service management
community, and it seems to me both right and necessary that the key players in the
industry take seriously the need to also be key supporters of that community.
For many sponsorship is seen as a way to
keep conference prices low, or just about advertising leverage. The sponsorship
of meetings like the publications gathering in Amsterdam makes a real difference to itSMF
being able to work on initiatives (in this case publications initiatives) that
push the boundaries and develop our community – things that can take us all
forwards. That kind of innovation – like ITIL itself 22 years ago – cannot be proprietary.
Like ITIL though the proprietary players stand to benefit from the evolution
and development of the non-proprietary guidance.
So what I spoke about in Amsterdam, and what seems important enough
for me to say again, is that the community needs its big players to put enough
back in. IBM sponsored that event, I hope IBM will sponsor again – but I would
like it even more if we have serious competition from some other big names to
get the good sponsorship.
itSMFI is producing important parts of our professional future, and
there is the chance for all players in this community to support - big companies with big sponsorship through
to individuals getting involved and active. So get on board - please.
If I had one take away from Pulse, it would be that the community is the key to IBM's success in all of our endeavors.
Our customers (you: the community) are the ones who help us with ensuring that we're giving you the tools to do your jobs and make it home in time to watch Justified (or whatever it is you do when you get home).
Events like Pulse illustrate that one of the ways a community is at its finest is when the members are interacting with each other and helping one another.
Reading, writing and sharing content is one of the ways that communities create ties and these ties tend to be strongest in the technical community.
Service Management Connect will provide a direct path to IBM service management experts and promote fast effective two-way communications between customers and IBM on a variety of service management topics.
The first sub-community to go live will be Business Service Management and these sub-communities will compliment the Tivoli User Groups and ISM Library.
Start by going to the site today and taking a look. We will be talking about it more in the weeks to come as well as be adding new categories soon.
See below for a video that Denny and I shot on the show floor at Pulse 2011. (YouTube link)
Dateline: Boca Raton, Florida - February 28, 2011 - 11:00 am
The MGM Grand Garden Arena darkens, the roar of the crowd softens to a buzz, the orchestra appears on stage, dramatic music accompanying the video montage of customers telling their service management success stories... So far, this Pulse 2011 Day One General Session rivals what I saw from the Academy Awards last night (absent the evening gowns and tuxes, of course).
And I'm seeing this all from the comfort of my home office!
I was not one of the lucky 7000 people to attend Pulse 2011 in Las Vegas in person, but, for the first time, I can tune into Pulse as it is happening. So, I did just that - I tuned into the Pulse Day One General Session via Livestream...and it seems there were about 400 people doing that right along with me.
I won't go into each element of the Day One General Session in detail, but I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts and takeaways:
One of IBM's clients, Bill Broughton, from Amtrak, kicked off the conference today, telling the crowd of clients, business partners (and yes, a few IBMers), this is "OUR conference."
Our event host, Scott Hebner, Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, IBM Software - Tivoli, reiterated that thought, but from the opposite perspective, telling the crowd that "this is YOUR conference." 85% of the sessions at Pulse 2011 feature client speakers, and the ability to network and share best practices is more important than ever. "It's not just about technology any more...it's about the economic value that technology brings."
Next came Madge Meyer, from State Street, who talked about the importance of innovating - and of executing flawlessly. She even quoted Charles Darwin, which I thought was particularly apropos: "It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one who is the most responsive to change."
Madge was followed by Dr. Danny Sabbah, General Manager, IBM Tivoli, who talked about how the world (business, government, society) is facing an unparalleled rate of change. Companies need the velocity and agility to adapt quickly - and the basis of this will be producing honest data that is transformed by predictive analytics to produce smarter outcomes. And he reminded the crowd that IBM needs to move as fast as they do.
Steve Mills, Senior VP and Group Executive Software & Systems, IBM, introduced the crowd - and the rest of the world - to the new era of Smarter Computing. He reminded us that IT operating costs is the core issue faced by clients around the world...and although there's significant increase on IT demands, IT budgets are flat. We need to fundamentally transform the economics of IT...and that is Smarter Computing. A couple of straight talk points: IT consolidation is pretty much a given. Get rid of excess IT Now. And he offered arguably the best quote of the morning: "People say stupid crap every day...you have to decide what to listen to."
And finally, Dean Kamen, Innovator and Entrepreneur, wowed the crowd with his talk about innovation and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Technology). He described innovation as being failure, failure, failure...followed by surprise after surprise (mostly bad)...but every once in a while, you get a good surprise in there, too. I really enjoyed his story about Chuck and the DARPA prosthetic arm (got a little misty eyed, I must admit). And I was especially moved by his FIRST initiative and his absolute passion for turning science/math into a sport - making it something that you have passion for, that is aspirational, and that you want to participate in. Being a female and being a computer science major (and still often being the only female in a room of techies), that hit home with me. I was also proud to see my alma mater, Georgia Tech, was a sponsor of FIRST. Again, as he talked about the success of FIRST through the years, the eyes got a little teary.
Whew! What a great way to start! I encourage you to watch the Day One General Session in its entirety at your convenience - and to tune into the Day Two General Session tomorrow morning. My experience with Livestream is that that the technology was practically flawless (I only had one minor audio glitch when Dean Kamen was showing the Stephen Colbert video). Otherwise, the livestreaming went along perfectly. And it will well be worth your while to watch the whole session. It will get your mind thinking, and it will inspire you at the same time. Plus, it's like having a front-row seat!
In Ivor Macfarlane's most recent article, he (rightfully) points out that we should look beyond cost to improve service management. Cost used to be the major (if not only) factor in making IT decisions, but it isn't any more, especially when it comes to service management. IT services deliver a lot more than economic savings. They create new possibilities, generate new business advantages, empower new services and strategies, connect organizations with new customers and markets, and much more.
Ivor explains it much more eloquently than I, but here are a few things I took away from his article:
The concept of "cost" as a way of assessing IT services should transform to "value," which is fundamental to ITIL at its core. Take these definitions straight from ITIL:
"A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific cost and risks."
"Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services."
Instead of talking about TCO (Total Costs of Ownership), we should talk about CCO (Complete Consequences of Operation). As IT services become more and more pervasive, the consequences of problematic IT service management become more and more significant.
There are other factors that should be considered as well,such as energy management/sustainability, public relations, human resource allocation and more.
In a nutshell, IT service management should address costs, value, consequences and benefits. Definitely food for thought. (Perhaps Curry in a Hurry?)
And just what are Proven Practice Workshops? First of all, they're new to Pulse 2011 - reason enough to check them out. Second, in these workshops, you'll hear from leading Tivoli Services experts about their proven implementation best practices and guidance. Tivoli Services will lead 5 of these dynamic workshops:
Business Service Management
Integrated Service Management
Each workshop will provide real-world value, including best practices, reference architectures, solution optimization, cross-domain integration, effective rollout strategies and common myths and pitfalls. For hands-on, practical information on how to get better ROI from the infrastructure, it's hard to beat the Proven Practice Workshops at Pulse 2011. Learn more about these workshops in the article Pulse 2011: Proven Practice Workshops Maximize ROI.
Special Interest Areas
Pulse 2011 will deliver more information, in more ways, on more relevant subjects, than ever before. With such a rich array of information to choose from, some of you may be wondering: "How can I zero in on exactly the right sessions for me?"
Pulse has got this solved through Special Interest Areas, of which there are seven:
Best practices and implementation
Once you've registered for Pulse, you can begin using IBM's Pulse SmartSite to build your personalized agenda. From the Agenda Builder section, you can search for relevant sessions in several different ways—one of which is by Special Interest Area. You can see below the Virtualization Special Interest area:
I recently booked
my travel for a business trip to the US at the end of February. I will
be talking at several itSMF USA Local Interest Groups and – of course – be attending IBM’s big
service management spectacular – Pulse in Las
Vegas from 27th February. I’m looking
forward to the trip, and not just to escape the British winter weather. I am
delivering our simulation ‘game’ on the Sunday at Pulse and Atlanta in March - they are always fun, especially
our new one with added cloud features. But the best part is getting to meet
people, customers and suppliers, both at Pulse and in the itSMF meetings. There
really is no substitute for meetings with grassroots practitioners to keep up
to date. And always fun too, you do still meet such nice people in this
If there is
anyone out there actually reading this stuff, and is in Vegas for Pulse, or at
the LIG is San Francisco, Fort
Lauderdale or Atlanta
– do come and say hello. And if you would like to be part of our
cloud-flavoured SM simulation at Pulse please visit our landing page, and
then RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
But – not
unusually – I have distracted myself a little from where I thought I was going
when I started writing this. So … I booked some flights: from London
to Las Vegas and back to Europe from Atlanta about two weeks
later. As we all know, we live in the information age so immediately I started
to receive information. And I do admit it was information –I had booked a
flight to the US
and I got information about the situation in the country I was going to.
Let me divert
again a little bit and remind you – because you are all experts and know this
stuff – about a basic knowledge management concept; the spectrum that runs
data->information->knowledge->wisdom. At the beginning data is
extensive but not too helpful. If it ever reaches wisdom
it actually helps you survive and thrive.
But back to that
travel information I was getting. Remember I had booked a flight in late
February to the Nevada desert; what I received
by email was warning me about traffic disruption in downtown WashingtonDC
in late January. I have subsequently been advised of snow problems in New York.Now this has good conversational value,
allowing me to sound knowledgeable and sympathetic on calls with New Yorkers,
but I suspect that was not the intention.
I interpret it
–this may be grossly unfair of me, but I am the customer and customer
perception is what matters – like this: travel advice is being planned and
delivered by someone who goes to the same desk in the same office everyday, and
rarely puts foot on an airplane. Of course the real culprit behind this is ease
of programming – data is cheap and plentiful, applying some basic ideas to turn
that into information is quite fun, sounds good and means you can despatch all
sorts of travel notice updates to people who will be travelling sometime in the
future. But it is – sorry but it really is – just using data because you have
it. Maybe they bill on the number of messages? Maybe they really think I want
to know? The real consequence is that I delete these emails unread now – so if
they were by some miracle to send me something useful, I would miss it
last year this system showed the kind of silo thinking that comes from not
knowing the customer’s environment – the kind you often see in service
management reporting. I spoke for itSMF Sweden
in Malmo, getting to Malmo is really easy – you fly to the nearest
airport and take the train direct from airport to town centre. But two factors
combined to deliver me information even less useful then usual. One, the system
thinks only in terms of flights and rental cars – I think it rather looks down
on train travel as a bit common. Those of us who use trains mostly have to buy
the ticket when we get to the station. Second factor is that the nearest
airport to Malmo is Copenhagen
– a lovely and convenient airport with great direct train services – but it
just happens to be in Denmark.
So, yes you guessed it, I got lots of travel advice about visiting Denmark, there could have been civil
insurrection and rioting in the streets in Malmo and they wouldn’t have told me – why
that’s a whole different country!
Now of course Sweden doesn’t
do insurrection, I travelled easily and had a good time at an excellent event
without any issues. But all this useless information I get seems symptomatic to
me of measuring the wrong things – probably something we are all guilty of,
because – as I have said before in these blogs – measuring the right things is
harder, but if we can manage it then it drives us into doing the right things.
Maybe at the real heart of this though is the simple statement, if you don’t
know what you are aiming at, you are unlikely to hit it.
I suppose if
somebody were to ask me what I want notifications about, I would be happy to
work with them, and set up delivering something that goes beyond information,
starts delivering knowledge and gets me the wisdom I need to make the right
But if that is actually
ever to happen then those of us receiving all this useless information need to
realise it is – mostly – our fault. I could have responded offering to help
them improve, I could proactively tell them what I need – I could offer some of
my time as an investment in my own future knowledge and wisdom deliverables. But
It is easier (and more fun?) to carp and whinge – so maybe my New Year’s
resolution should have been around practising what I preach – doing what I
talked about in my itSMF conference presentations last year – and to start
being a good, committed constructive customer because it won’t get better
OK – I’m off to
find the ‘help us improve our service’ button on the web site. See you at Pulse?
 Best explanation of the step from knowledge
to wisdom is one I stole from my daughter, Rosie and it goes ‘Knowledge tells
you a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable; wisdom is knowing that but also
knowing not to put it in a fruit salad’.
It probably goes without saying, but service management means different things in different industries: Service management can help banks improve customer service, drive business model efficiency and manage operational risk. Service management can help government agencies reduce complexity and waste and deliver services more effectively to the citizens who rely on them. And communications service providers need innovative service management solutions to address the limits of the backbone, a highly competitive environment and customer loyalty.
The list goes on, but in all cases, rendering better service management in any given industry means weighing and balancing different complexities—as well as the leading solutions and strategies best suited to address them.
Pulse 2011 provides the perfect venue for you to not only learn about service management for your industry - but to actually see it. And seeing is believing, after all. The Pulse Expo Center will offer demos in groups, designed to explore the most pressing needs service management professionals face in six different industries:
Intelligent Site Operations
Communications Service Providers
Smarter Energy & Utilities
Integrated Service Management for Banking/Insurance
In addition to these clusters of industry demos, you'll also have access to industry-centric demos taking place elsewhere in the event. Not to mention tons of industry-specific sessions and activities - Check out the Pulse 2011 Sample Agenda Builder and see for yourself. Choose "Search by Industry" and select your industry.
If you're new to zEnterprise or even if you've had your system for a while, this is a great opportunity to listen to speaker Randy Scott discuss this topic (and there will be a live question-and-answer session as well as a future replay).
Here's a brief description of the webcast and we look forward to you attending:
This in-depth look at Tivoli Application Management for zEnterprise can help you:
Integrate end-to-end active and passive monitoring
View and monitor workloads for composite applications, physical and virtual machines, groups and response times
Use alerting capabilities for early detection of costly performance problems and outages
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! ;-)
I’ve done a few talks to camera recently –
interviews at the itSMF Spain
conference and a mock programme at the UK. The UK thought I was perfect for
‘Antiques Roadshow’ and I have to admit I fit the title’s parameters. I watched
the people using modern video equipment and it did make me feel old. Nearly 40
years ago I was editor of the student TV society at University and I was
recalling how many of us it took to deliver 30 minutes worth of black
& white programme onto 2 inch wide reel-to-reel video tape. It seems all but
unbelievable watching the kids now (the age I was then) record it in perfectly balanced
colour on something the size of a small book – when our kit weighed more than
the library. But the whole situation is another example of getting focused on
the changes and missing what stays the same.
While the television technology has changed
beyond recognition, the basics of interviewing haven’t.So hopefully I helped by trying to follow
those basic rules for an interviewee – ignore the camera, keep talking, try to
say something interesting. You can judge for yourself at http://www.best-management-practice.tv/best-management-practice-at-the-itsmf-uk-conference-2010.
(Actually if you are sad enough to be interested in the earlier ITIL days, I
shall be writing an article on that next year.)
So, this TV stuff is like most services
these days – the technology bit keeps changing, using new ideas – basically
becoming far more complex to understand whilst at the same time becoming ever
easier to use. That means customer expectations keep increasing (you don’t find
many people content with black & white TV any more) but at the real core,
the prime deliverables remain the same. We might talk more and more about
plasma vs LCD, 3D, surround sound, HD and all the rest; but the real
satisfaction comes from watching people be clever, funny, informative etc in a
way that holds our attention and entertains us.
And there is the heart of most of what I
have been talking about at conferences for the past few years. It is easy to
measure things like pixels and screen size and the number of channels and hours
of programming available, but so much harder to measure what we actually want from
a TV service.
Keeping that old television link, last week
was the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder: a sad time for anyone
of my age and background. So I found myself watching old clips of Lennon on a
programme recalling his life. Now the man was clearly an extremist with
impossible dreams – and I may well return to my belief that we need some
extremists to make the majority move at all, but that’s another blog. One of
his lines, though, did trigger the realisation that this need for real
measurement isn’t a new idea. He was ranting about governments (as usual) and
said “If anybody can put on paper what our government, and the American
government etc., and the Russian, Chinese, what they are actually trying to do,
you know, and what they think they're doing, I'd be very pleased to know what
they think they're doing”. Now he followed that with “I think they're all
insane!” which perhaps is more about presumed results than objective
measurement, but nonetheless the basic concept is interesting.
We want to know what is at the heart of
our and others’ behaviour but it is very difficult to express that. It is hard
even to ask sometimes in a way that doesn’t sound as if you have failed to pick
up the social or business norms; because often we just presume there is a
reason and take the usual comfort in things ‘that have always been done like
that’. Maybe it is just easier to hide behind the numbers and the detail of how
you are doing things rather than making it all that clear what it is you are
trying to do, why you are doing it or even who you think you are doing it for.
One last seasonal example maybe, since it
is mid-December as I write this. Many of us will get back to work in January to
be greeted by the question ‘Did you have a good Christmas?’ For those who did,
you will know without recourse to precise measurements – it isn’t based on the
number of presents you received, how many carols you sang or how much turkey
you ate. Unless the biggest fun you have is skiing, it probably won’t have
mattered that much if it snowed. But if you had a good Christmas then you will
know – but my, isn’t it hard to set genuinely accurate measures beforehand?
And what can we learn from that, or at
least set out to do better? Maybe if we are buying or delivering any kind of
service we should at least try to be aware of – if not the ultimate – then at
least a higher level goal. And don’t be surprised or disappointed if your
expensive new TV might not affect the entertainment value, although it will help
you see the ball better in the cricket, and that might be an important factor.
And at work, a new finance package won’t make your profit margins higher – but
it might tell you faster what they are, and perhaps that makes an important
difference. Just be sure that’s important enough for what it is costing you,
and that you know the knock-on effect onto the higher level measure.
In every walk of life we see the components in things:
In football it is - Strikers, defenders, midfield (some of you may need to translate from the English: ‘football’to ‘soccer’ to understand that one)
With vehicles it might be - Engine, transmission, chassis
Service management is held to be - People, process, technology
Wherever we are we, we break thing up into components.
Take the first two and it’s clear – however good the parts are – if they aren’t integrated then it isn’t going to deliver what you need and excellence in just one area is all but useless as far as the required end product is concerned
In real life the secret is delivering value because value is what makes it a service – without value it is just a way to pass the time, not a service.
In soccer the benefits of interaction of the parts is important and very visible – and many years ago the Dutch showed the world it could go to a higher level with what they called ‘total Football’. I think a better name – for the generic concept at least – is ‘Integration’. Seeing the parts and getting each as good as possible is important – seeing the synergies between the parts and making them all fit is the differentiator.
In service management terms, it seems to me, the differentiating piece of integration is the one that marries a customer need (some kind of value that is wanted) with the ability to deliver it. Now writing that down, it seems trivial, obvious and simple. As is often the case it seems to be harder in practice – perhaps because the customer need is something that has to exist when the delivery is possible – and indeed one may create the other. By that I mean that many of the most impressive pieces of service delivery we see in this rapidly changing 21st century are about seeing what value new technological possibilities could deliver. You might even call it creating a requirement that the customers hadn’t dreamed they needed until it became available.
One of the advantages of working for a big company – like IBM – is that you get to find out about some of the really smart stuff our customers are doing – and so it was exciting to read an inside view on GM’s new Volt electric car. You can read elsewhere about the car itself and of course from an IBM perspective the favourite focus is on how they have used IBM products to help it all happen.Now I am sure similar things are happening throughout many industries but this one was in front of me and it illustrates nicely something I have been talking about for so long. Although IT underpins this innovation – the integration is everything.
Of course there is GM’s clever recognition of the ever increasing green agenda and spotting – in time to actually create it – the demand for a kind of car that would have been unwanted in earlier times.
But there is another integration going on too – apparently the Volt carries with it some 10 million lines of code that are all invisible to the driver – it might have more IT than most IT projects but – apparently – it feels like a car. So it is a great example of integration all round. It relies on software – its own software, the software it was developed on (Rational of course J) and because it is also an engineering programme the reality of delivery rests upon asset management and coordination. So – a wonderful instance of what I keep saying – integration is everything – getting the components working together to deliver the whole. That is true within service management – where things like people, process and technology ALL have to work and work with each other.
It is also true about integrated service management as one part of a bigger whole – with integration layer upon integration layer – and all integrated together. Manage it and you get services delivering real value – often a value that the customers didn’t even imagine they would need before it became possible – that they consider worth paying for. Get the integration wrong and you have impressive parts - of interest only to a very few.
I am writing this on a plane back to England from Madrid, at the end of a pretty hectic few weeks that involved speaking at five itSMF events in five different countries – from Finland to Spain. There has to be a good joke somewhere in a run of 5 events that started with the Finnish – but I’ll let you work that that one out for yourselves.
Anyway, I already wrote about how good the Finnish conference had been, and the Spanish one matched it with all the simple things done really well: good venue, lots of people (all friendly). As well as getting the basics dead right there were one or two minor excursions into the unusual, with a plate spinning performer on the opening morning, (who was upstaged as a professional juggler by the itSMF chair) and a conference dinner in a restaurant with opera singing waiters (all of which somehow felt quite normal).
Attending a range of events in a row like this really brings to mind how there is a common thread throughout them all – clearly the main one is our common focus on service management. Also, many of the same people are at each event including several representatives of our little mutual admiration society of regular speakers at such things Perhaps because of that common theme though, there is an appreciation of the differences – still quite noticeable across so small a place as Western Europe.
That hits you immediately on arrival at a new conference when you run until a long term acquaintance of the opposite sex and prepare yourself for the welcoming hug and kiss on the cheek. As the travelers among you likely already know, you have to perform a quick mental calculation based on where your fellow hugger and kisser is from, and then make an assumption as to whether they will follow their national rules or be adapting to the local ones. It can be an embarrassing moment when your Dutch friend goes to offer that third kiss to the cheek of a man who is in Spanish greetings mode and has turned away after two. Many of the experienced Southern Europeans seem to have little concern over simply asking the lady beforehand how many are expected. But the more staid British and American folks can find themselves out of synchrony and not sure why - helping them find out that European Union, Schengen open borders and pervasive English notwithstanding, there are still many cultures packed into a small space and the variation between (and even within) countries is so much more than between US or Australian states.
None of this is serious stuff of course – all part of life’s rich pattern and a source of fun and laughter when accompanied by a glass of wine. But the conversation it generated turned quickly into broader cultural differences – a subject I was interested in since it formed an element of my talk at most of these events. How many times do we say the wrong thing to our customers or fail to understand what they really mean because we fail to establish common understanding and expectations? Some cultures are reluctant to complain about bad service – be that in a restaurant or in the work environment, while others believe they should always comment with an aspect that could be improved, even when the service is very good. Fail to understand what kind of customer you are dealing with and you can be unnecessarily worried or totally surprised when a contract is not renewed.
For many multinational companies this is everyday business and they put significant effort into understanding and training their people to see through cultural variations. But as mobility and the intermingling of cultures accelerates so rapidly, with even small companies using offshored supply and almost everyone receiving service from other cultures it is something perhaps we all need to focus more effort on.
The consequences of not doing might well be more serious than a failed kiss on an unexpectedly absent cheek.
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
Client hospitality lounge in the Solution Expo
Service Management Simulator
Meet the Experts
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
I forget how this project got started, but when I heard about it I was pretty excited.
This trailer is the perfect setup to talk about Integrated Service Management. It drives home our message around Visibility. Control. Automation.™ and uses several real industry examples including Healthcare, Financial Services and Travel.
The real power of the trailer is that it gives the necessary time to explain Integrated Service Management and drive home its value. (it's short, promise)
Innovation happens with Integrated Service Management, and this trailer shows you how IBM can assist you in getting there.
Click on the link below to watch. And I promise, this is 100% safe for work (SFW).
I have been in Helsinki all this week, combining something rare for me - real work at a customer – with the itSMF Finland annual conference.
It’s always nice to be in Helsinki; maybe I’ve just been lucky – and maybe this is the best time of year – but it seems that every time I come here the weather is wonderful with clear skies, crisp clean air that you can feel making you healthier.
And in a world of ever increasing homogeneity, Finland has managed to retain enough of itself to still feel interestingly different – just foreign enough to feel like a little adventure.
Amongst the ongoing doom and gloom of slow and painful recovery from recession around the world, I hadn’t really noticed how much I missed success and optimism within an itSMF conference. itSMF Finland is doing very well – with a healthy bank account and a large and enthusiastic membership.Attendance at the conference is over 300 – and if that doesn’t sound too impressive straight off, let me put it in a little perspective. Finland has a population of around 5 million people; if the UK matched that (0.006% of population by the way) at their itSMF conference they would be hosting around 5000, and the US would need to find a venue that could accommodate nearly 19000. And pretty much all those delegates were domestic Finnish customers – no point in them targeting itSMF members in other countries since they the neighbours are also very successful. (itSMF Norway got similar attendance figures from a slightly smaller population at their conference in March). Plus of course when most of your programme is presented in Finnish you aren’t going to appeal too much to other nationalities.
As I said, Finland is very much its own place – the people are very friendly, and - both at conference and customer – they obviously care about being good hosts and delivering services that meet customer wants. As a nation they are usually very quiet and reserved but they open up considerably with the application of wine or beer – so while the conference sessions do not generate many questions the evening discussion is much more lively.
One of the fun things about most itSMF events is that the exhibition usually generates only limited direct sales opportunities – instead it is more a case of just being there is important because it keeps you in the customers’ minds. So that means you get the chance on the stand to talk to people around service management in general and exchange ideas. That – in turn – gives a good idea of the approach to service management in the country and we had lots of articulate and clearly customer motivated people stopping by and talking with us on the IBM stand – plus one or two competitors wanting to play golf on our Wii.
Actually, talking of our competitors, it was surprising that in such an enthusiastic marketplace – where service management has such a wide take up and is followed with such enthusiasm – so many of our usual co-exhibitors were not represented. Many of the industry big names seem to be less than interested in the Finnish market. I’m glad because it means there is even more chance I will get back to Helsinki soon – and that is always a treat.
Overall, I think the best lesson from Finland is that there is so much to learn locally – and I suspect that applies all over the world. Go get active in your local itSMF event – whether that is a Local Interest Group or regional meeting in a larger country or – like the Finns – the national event in a smaller (but perfectly formed) country
Pulse will return to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas February 27 through March 2, 2011, and over 300 client presentations will demonstrate how Integrated Service Management helped their organizations gain an end-to-end view of business services across boundaries to effectively manage risk and compliance, change the economics of delivering service and achieve common business objectives.
Will you be one of those 300? You should be!
Businesses in every industry can transform business models, increase innovation and exceed client expectations through integrated service management, and what better way to learn than through example? Share your company's story - and leadership - with your peers at Pulse 2011!
"You are never going to get past the complexity and risk you deal with on a daily basis, unless you are driving and enabling change. Someone needs to be the thought leader - and that someone is you!" - Al Zollar, Tivoli General Manager
And here's some of the benefits you'll receive if your proposal is accepted:
One full conference pass - a $1995 value!*
Use of our exclusive Client Speaker VIP Lounge
Networking opportunities with over 6000 industry experts, press, and analysts
A profile of your success story in the Pulse online agenda builder
EAM papers are eligible for the Maximo® Best Practices Award
To top it off, the first 50 clients to submit a proposal will receive a FREE hotel upgrade to a Celebrity Spa Suite at the MGM Grand if their proposal is accepted. (*Qualifying clients must pay the basic room rate)
For each customer, at the head of these efforts is the CIO. She or he is the person leading the way and I can say that the CIOs that I have been fortunate enough to work with are clear thinkers and they get it. They are aware of what they need to do, and when they are not they work to educate themselves and are quick to build a strategy.
When they know what to do, the question then becomes getting there.
The "how," for lack of a better term. And it's this "how" which is where it gets tricky and it's also where IBM has always come in to assist.
We have a unique relationship with the CIOs of the world. One where we work in a close partnership to assist them in...I hate to sound lofty about this, but it's true...changing the world.
Back to the tricky part. With so many new innovations happening at IBM (we continue to lead the industry in patents year-to-year) it's important to continue the dialogue with our customers so that they know about all we have to offer them.
This two-way conversation with our customers is essential to their success and it is why we do things like the IBM CIO Conference.
On October 17th, an invitation-only list of customers will join IBM for a meeting in Dubai to hear about "a decade of smart." and one of the items on the agenda is, "From virtualization to cloud computing with integrated service management."
If your CIO is attending, you might want to ask them to sit in on this session.
If she or he is not attending, you do have some options.
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.
Also, and in addition to that, you can register for Pulse 2011, the premiere service management event.
And, as always, you can leave comments on this blog.
*today's title is a play on the Paul Thomas Anderson film "There Will Be Blood" and yes I do get bonus points for the number of movie references I work into my blogs.
If there is one webcast about service management that you listen to this year...well, I guess the first question I'd ask is why you're limiting yourself to one...but if there was just one, this would be it.
We love our planet, Mother
Earth. Don’t we? As for me, having been born and brought up in a place so close
to nature, away from bustle of city, and having studied ‘Environment and
Resource Economics’ as one of the subjects in my Post Grad, these things have
always been the driving forces behind my love and fascination towards Mother
Earth. And, since Mother Earth is inseparable from the technological revolution
and innovations happening around us, it gives me a proud feeling to be an IBMer
who works towards Big Blue’s mission of a Smarter Planet.
Visibility, Control and Automation™ is how
IBM defines service management which, when obtained for the smarter business infrastructures and end-to-end service
chain, can take any business to its zenith and contribute in making our
Mother Earth a Smarter Planet.
IBM’s Tivoli® Software places
IBM in a unique position to help the clients provide smarter solutions and the
expertise needed to design, build and manage a infrastructure that enables them
to improve service, reduce cost and manage risk.
Not long ago, while surfing
through our case study database, I stumbled upon a Tivoli success story that
caught my attention and I’m happy to share the same with our readers here.“Schweizerische
Bundesbahnen (SBB) Leverages rail system and network transparency to keep
trains on schedule”. Wow, the title looked so fascinating to me and that might
be because I’ve had many not-so-good-train-experiences, delay in arrival or
departure and the likes (which I always dislike).
(SBB), or Swiss Federal Railways, is Switzerland’s leading transportation
company.SBB transports over 800,000
passengers and more than 220,000 tons of cargo each day, maintains 3,011
kilometers of track that connects more than 800 rail stations and also a large
construction organization that engages in roughly 5,000 construction programs
each year. However, due to inefficient monitoring systems, a one day system
problem in 2005 had stranded nearly 200,000 passengers, costing almost US$5
million. Hence, SBB was looking for a more aggressive service management
strategy to prevent future events of this type and operate 9000 trains a day
without any hassles.
customizable user interfaces that increase network transparency, and helps
support staff to be better informed about infrastructure health. 2.Leverages proactive management and automated
alert systems to recognize and repair more than 50 percent of issues before
they can impact operations. 3.Increases the availability of SBB’s train
network by approximately 2,000 minutes per month - therefore saving
approximately US$2.3 million each year.
Martin Schaeren, Head of BU
Service Management, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), is all praise for IBM, “Trying to manage 3,000 kilometers of track
is a particularly daunting task. But, by leveraging our new IBM solution, we’re
able to see our entire infrastructure clearly and respond to problems before
they can affect our operations.”
Well, a commendable success
story indeed. We, the IBMers, sincerely, wish that all the railway systems of
our world become ‘smarter’, sooner than later. What say?
The best part is that if you are selected to speak, you get a full conference pass ($1,995 value) not to mention the recognition of your peers (whom you'll be interacting with at the event) as well as a great resume builder.
What do you think? Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon!
I speak for everyone on the team when I say that we look forward to what you put together.
PS Obviously, you're not just limited to doing this on Friday. Every day is a good day to work on your abstract :-)
For us Americans, 4,000 km of track is about 2,485 miles. Which, as the crow flies*, is roughly the distance from New York city to San Francisco.
The thing that excites me about what KiwiRail is doing is that the management has an analytics portion to it with our Cognos business analytics software.
One of my previous roles at IBM was working on Business Intelligence marketing and I got to know the space pretty well. In talking with so many of our customers, it was the analytics that contributed to their ability to innovate and save time, money and reduce risk.
The combination of GBS services, Maximo software and Cognos for KiwiRail is going to be a huge win for the entire population of New Zealand considering how much of their economy is based on rail transport.
The take away here for our non-rail customers is to look at the Smarter Planet solutions that match your industry.
We cover a lot of ground with KiwiRail and their requirements. If we can do that for them, what can we do for you?
IBM is striving to develop solutions based around your industry and provide things, like Integrated Service Management in this case, to match your business objectives and help you achieve success in your industry.
The average IT infrastructure is a lot like Stonehenge.
Few people can tell you when it was built.
Even fewer people can explain exactly what it's function is.
But everybody agrees that it is immovable.
That sucker is not going anywhere. Comedian Eddie Izzard has a bit about how the Druids flippantly ask the henge builders, "That stone and this stone. Can we swap them around?"
Outside of its original (and intended use), the immovable structure of Stonehenge makes for a great tourist attraction; but that's about it.
The immovable architecture severely limits its functionality.
Fast forward to today. The head Druid (or your CEO...depends on where you work, I suppose) asks you, "This workload and that workload. Can we swap them around?"
Is your infrastructure a Stonehenge? Or is it a Virtualized henge?
Horrible pun aside, I'm serious. Can you move those workloads around? Can you automate business priorities? How agile is your infrastructure?
Take a moment to think about that. Is innovating your business a button punching task, or is it rolling rocks across the highlands?
Virtualization is a key technology enabler for Integrated Service Management and it's something IBM has a long and successful track record implementing with our customers.
I've been working with IBM products that have utilized Virtualization of some sort going all the way back to LPAR with the p630, and this video is one of the best things I've seen on communicating IBM's value with Virtualization.
Take the eight minutes to watch it and post comments below or reach out to your IBM sales rep and/or Business Partner (use the Business Partner Locator) and ask them to sit down and talk about it with you.
Last week, IBM made an historic announcement with the introduction of the highly anticipated zEnterprise - a first of a kind technology representing a new dimension in computing. zEnterprise integrates IBM's leading technologies to dramatically improve the productivity of today's multi-architecture data centers and tomorrow's private clouds. Truly, a smarter system for a smarter data center.
Smarter data centers also require smarter software. With this announcement, IBM delivers both in a way that will revolutionize the industry. And when you consider the potential of zEnterprise to act as a platform for service management, things get really interesting. To that end, IBM unveiled 4 new service management offerings for zEnterprise (draw the curtains and drum roll, please):
IBM Tivoli Application Management for zEnterprise
IBM Tivoli Application Resilience for zEnterprise
IBM Asset and Financial Management for zEnteprise
IBM Security for zEnterprise
These offerings provide a central hub - a single point of control - to oversee and govern IT services that are cross-domain, cross-OS, cross-application, cross-resource and cross-service - across the organization.
That was a cheap ploy for me to work in a comment about how excited I am that Austin is well on it's way to getting a Formula 1 track (Statesman).
Shameless? Or brilliant? You make the call
Anyhow, the title is a pun on the Random Access Compression Engine™ (RACE) architecture that is a part of the Storwize offering that IBM recently acquired.
I want to welcome all the Storwize employees to IBM (hello!) and let our customers know that this is some pretty tight technology and it's worth reaching out to your IBM sales rep or business partner to learn more about it.
Storwize provides real-time data compression technology to help clients reduce physical storage requirements by up to 80%*, which improves efficiency and lowers the cost of making data available for analytics and other applications.
Here are three good links for more details on the aquisition as well as a quick video featuring Doug Balog, Vice President of IBM Storage.
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.
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!
IBM just introduced new software and services to help build security into the design of new applications instead of adding it later as an afterthought.
New technologies like cloud computing and virtualization are making organizations more efficient and competitive. These new technologies are also adding increased complexity and risk forcing businesses to find new ways to deal with compliance, risk management and data protection.
The new security software and services announced by IBM help organizations incorporate security into the initial design of applications, avoiding costly fixes down the road. The new offerings include:
Access Management: Software that can help organizations provide users with secure access to their servers, applications and environments, across new service delivery platforms, including cloud computing;
Security Testing: Software that enables businesses to automatically test source code and identify potential security and compliance risks during the earliest stages of software development;
Source Code Assessment Services: Services that help clients assess their application security, identify vulnerabilities and provide recommendations for resolution;
Secure Engineering Framework: A proven blueprint for building and deploying secure software.
In the Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza," Jimbo is marveling at Peter Frampton’s performance and says, "Man, that guy's guitar is talking."
Aside from having good taste in hats, Jimbo was somewhat prophetic in that these things are "talking" to us.
The reality is, some of the smartest devices are no longer inside the data center. They are the intelligent, instrumented and interconnected devices that are enabling IBM and our customers to build innovative solutions for a smarter planet.
OPAL is now the Integrated Service Management Library and it’s packed with 1,800 software accelerators developed by IBM and third parties to help customers create more intelligent operations in fourteen key industries including automotive, aerospace and finance.
It’s not enough for devices to talk; someone’s gotta be listening. The Integrated Service Management Library connectors help the digital and physical worlds communicate with each other to better manage a company’s equipment, buildings, IT operations and business services.
Here’s an example, to optimize a datacenter, the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems and data center temperature sensors need to supply data to the software management systems. There is an accelerator in the catalog that enables the building automation system to provide cooling and temperature information directly to IBM Tivoli Monitoring which can combine this information with server usage and power consumption data to identify data center hot spots. Once the hot spots are identified workload can be moved from over utilized systems to the under utilized systems to balance energy and cooling needs.
The Integrated Service Management Library is located at ibm.com/software/ismlibrary and sports a new interface with a bunch of new features; redesigned to help you get exactly the information you need, as quickly as possible.
Other new improvements include:
New, faster data engine
Friendly Web 2.0 front-end
More comprehensive and customizable search engine
A wider variety of possible paths to target accelerators
Go to the site, and start searching for accelerators that can help you with your solution development. You’ll see that you can find accelerators faster and more easily with default indexes such as title, company, product, integration type and service management categories. In addition, a rotating feature list that changes every half hour helps keep site users apprised of new developments as they're rolled out.
Oh, and the site is quite collaborative as well. We’re looking for customers, such as yourself, to submit success stories and reviews. Also, feel free to submit new feature requests (or feature improvements) on existing connectors
During the late 90's, I worked for a company that sold Java components and had the opportunity to do a demo in front of a sea of developers at a large Java conference in New York city.
I must have tested my demo about 20 times the night before and everything worked perfectly before I put my head on the pillow.
You can see where this is going, right? The next day, in front of at least 70 people, my demo crashed so hard that I might as well have been wearing a nametag that said "Colt Seavers."
I can't tell you what happened between my brother's apartment and the Javits Center.
Gremlins? Maybe. All I know is, one minute the thing was working. The next, it wasn't.
It's the same thing with many of our customers. They develop products and services and test the heck out of them, then deploy and those darn gremlins seem to just spout up out of nowhere.
With Integrated Service Management, IBM provides customers with a means to address their pain points with regard to the service lifecycle. Specifically, Integrated Service Management for Design & Delivery is about the design, delivery and management of software engineered into intelligent devices and services.
It's the alignment of information, processes and workflow across architecture, development, testing and operations teams.
From brainstorming the service or product, to development, testing, to deployment and maintenance and rolling out future features - it's about breaking down the silos between development and operations. And yes, it includes new technologies like Cloud computing.
Here's a good example: customers developing and testing new applications built on SOA need a way to simplify the process of troublshooting (and resolving) issues once this application is deployed into production.
One way that IBM is able to address these problems is with integration of solutions such as IBM Rational Performance Tester and IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (ITCAM).
ITCAM is a tool that can be used in both the test lab and production environments to isolate the root cause of the problem, right down to the specific code, and feed that information back to Rational Performance Tester.
By doing this, the testing staff can replicate both the test lab scenario and the production problems and if it takes more than just a configuration change they can feed those details back into the development tools and correct the problem at the code-level based on what has been identified.
In a nutshell, we describe it as, "Service lifecycle integration that links data and work flows."
It's good stuff and this is only one example (out of quite a bunch) where we have service lifecyle integrations across Rational, WebSphere and Tivoli software that enable organizations to bust the gremlins that inhibit continual service improvement across the end-to-end service chain.
Speaking of busting gremlins, a guy who saw a gremlin back in the day was William Shatner; star of "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet" (Twilight Zone) and former conference speaker for Rational's big customer event.
So it shouldn't surprise you that I'm gonna bring this back around IBM's (and Rational's) premier software and product delivery event; Innovate 2010.
If you were at Pulse 2010, then you know that we've been talking about Integrated Service Management for much of this year and it's going to continue this weekend at Innovate 2010.
Keep an eye on our next blog post where we'll have all the details of where you can expect to see Integrated Service Management at Innovate 2010.
And if you're not attending, not to worry. The Rational team are putting a ton of the information (including live streaming for Keynote sessions) on the website
Last Tuesday, we debuted new releases to the IBM Tivoli Access Management family with an announcement letter (210-159).
I suggested that we take the products down to the local Sears for a "family picture." We'd go for a tropical theme (to commemorate the ending of Lost) and maybe even let IBM Tivoli Unified Single Sign-On hold the teddy bear.
I was outvoted. I won't say by how much. But I was outvoted.
Instead, we did something a heck of a lot better. It's something that I retweeted last week.
As customers are driving new business initiatives, IBM can provide the secure access they need. Typical access requirements we're hearing from our customers are:
Enabling secure access to new service delivery platforms like cloud and SOA
Protecting access to critical data across the organization
Enabling secure access in complex portal and Web application environments
All of this is provided in detail on the Enhanced Security website, where there is more information on these initiatives. If you like what you read, contact your IBM sales representative or business partner.
And, no. See above, I do not have wallet-sized pictures of the Tivoli Security Policy Manager...maybe next time...
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.
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?
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
Al Zollar, will be collaborating with thought leaders at CIOsynergy on May 6. One of the topics Al will be talking with other CIOs about is how building a dynamic infrastructure can help CIOs free up more of their time to focus on innovation and driving competitive advantage.
CIOs in every industry are all too familiar with the operational and financial challenges that growing infrastructure complexity and rising energy costs are creating for their organizations.
There is increased complexity across the board, and that is a trend that will continue. Creating competitive advantage now means dealing with complexity better than your competitors. And that means the ability to work across your organizations technology siloes to harness technology to support breakthrough innovations.It also means creating a flexible anddynamicinfrastructure to support those innovations.
IBM has been working with many companies and CIOsto helpthem to realize their part in the Smarter Planet, and address the challenges of this environment with such capabilities as Integrated Service Management, Cloud, Security, and Virtualization delivered via our extensive portfolio of hardware, software, and services.Our offerings help our customers create that flexible, dynamic infrastructure that frees up CIOs to innovate, and create the breakthrough services that make them more competitive.
IBM’s vision for a dynamic infrastructure offers an evolutionary new model for efficient IT delivery—giving CIOs the tools to overcome the minutia of daily operations to drive real business innovation.
It’s an approach that allows CIOs to:
Position themselves as agents of change within their organizations
Help break down barriers to global integration
Lead by example on green initiatives and reduce enterprise energy consumption.
That means CIOs will be better able to align IT with business goals and help pave the way for creating the Enterprise of the Future.
Find out more about building a dynamic infrastructure.
Increasingly, physical assets are being transformed into digitally aware, smart assets that can receive and emit data and connect with one another, allowing people, systems and objects to communicate and interact with each other in entirely new ways creating opportunities for smarter, differentiated services and products.
As the world becomes more intelligent, instrumented and interconnected, designing and delivering the systems and application software for innovative new products and services becomes more and more complex.
For example, today’s cars contain a 100 million lines of code that are connected to the dealer, to a smart traffic system, to an insurance provider, and to a smartphone, which alone could run 100,000s of new applications.
The complexity of these systems of systems has exploded overnight as every single service and interaction between the multiple systems needs to be managed, monitored, and maintained across the entire service lifecycle.
Current models of design, development, operations, and deployment do not scale and are not cost effective. In addition, there is a huge gap between design, delivery, and operations, inhibiting the efficient delivery of services.
Both development and operations see a number of challenges in their IT and product delivery organizations:
70% of budget locked in maintenance
50% of applications rolled back
30% of project costs due to rework
85% of computing capacity idling
Integrated Service Management—which includes Rational and Tivoli software--helps bridge the gap between software development and operations teams. It provides integration of data and workflows across architecture, development, testing and operations software. It integrates best practices including ITIL and IBM assets for SOA, Development and IT Operations to accelerate time to value. Integrated Service Management helps organizations:
Identify required changes and resolve customer issues in less time
Reduce system downtime and repair costs
Limit risk exposure by providing better visibility to change impact
Featured products include: Federated asset management.IBM Rational Asset Manager helps architects and operations with fast problem resolution as the single catalog of known software assets, such as patterns, past change requests, and in-production services and products. Federation with IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database simplifies deployment with automated synchronization and reduces data duplication, allowing only secure proven assets and services into production environments.
Lifecycle process automation. Accelerate the development, test, and deployment cycles; reduce operational risk; and improve audit posture. Rational Asset Manager catalogs templates and deployment reference architectures tailored by industry, which invoke the build-test-deploy workflows resulting in greater consistency, predictability, and faster time to market. IBM Rational Build Forge®, IBM Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere®, and IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager provide an automated test and deployment workflow reusable across application and data center provisioning environments significantly reducing the manual effort in test and build set up and tear down.
Attend Innovate2010 and to learn more about Integrated Service Management for Design and Delivery. Register today.
We’ve been talking a lot at IBM about how we’re seeing the coming of age of a whole new generation of intelligent systems and technologies—more powerful and accessible than ever before.Our planet is becoming more intelligent, interconnected, instrumented, and smarter day by day.
Increasingly, physical assets are being transformed into smart, digitally-aware assets that can receive and emit data and connect with one another, allowing people, systems and objects to communicate and interact in entirely new ways. The ability to interconnect smarter products and information technology is making it possible for industries to deliver new, innovative services to customers—smarter services which fundamentally change the economics of delivery services.
For example, smarter energy services leverage new smart meter technology to better manage energy distribution across the grid. Smarter energy service has resulted in a 14% reduction in CO2 power plant emissions and reduced homeowner costs up to 10%. Smarter traffic service leverages smart tolls and communication systems to better manage traffic flow, resulting in 20% less traffic, a 12% drop in emissions.
Underpinning these smart business services is a Service Delivery Chain that must be aligned and integrated across processes, roles, and assets.
Integrated Service Management provides a holistic approach to designing, managing and delivering smart services. It connects processes, roles and assets together making everything occur in a seamless flow- A customer places an order, the system checks inventory, delivery gets scheduled, inventory is replenished; to quickly pulling together and making sense out of any kind of information and data;. to finding and fixing complex problems with little or no human help; to making collaboration a fundamental part of how work is done; to creating an infrastructure that helps reduce costs, improve service and manage risks.
Tiffany Winman interviewed Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz & Associates, at Pulse 2010.
In the interview, Judith talks about how customers are looking at both internal and external clouds as a way to optimize their use of IT technology from a real business perspective.
One of the initial areas customers are looking at implementing Cloud is test and development. Rather than investing in new servers and tools, it makes economic sense to use a Cloud infrastructure for pilots. Plus when you give developers temporary resources, you often don't get them back!
Check out this podcast to hear more of Judith Hurwitz's thoughts on Cloud computing.
At Pulse 2010, my friend Cathy and her team put together an awesome little video demonstration of their new real time asset location solution for the Healthcare industry. The solution uses Maximo software to monitor and manage patients, staff and physical assets in a hospital. Check it out:
Big Blue said on Tuesday that it will license its Tivoli Netcool/Ominibus and Network Manager technology for Junos Space. The pact was announced during IBM's Pulse 2010 conference in Las Vegas and Juniper's Financial Analyst meeting in San Francisco.
Our partners are one of the most valued assets IBM has, both to the company itself and more importantly to our customers. Our partners carry the value of our integrated service management solutions to our customers and I am pleased that Juniper is now a part of our valued partner ecosystem.
If I had a penny for every time the word “Pulse” has been said around the IBM offices over the past month…I’d have a lot of copper!*
Seriously. “Pulse fever” is in full effect. It’s happening right now. As I write this, our customers, our valued business partners and many of my colleagues have converged on Las Vegas and are having a service management jam fest that makes Woodstock look like band practice in some dude’s basement on a Wednesday night.
So, one of the things that I have been working on is compiling the new and exciting announcements that are happening in and around the event.
We can start with the post Tiffany “Lois Lane” Winman's wrote on the Pulse conference community blog about the Keynote featuring Tivoli General Manager Al Zollar and former Vice President Al Gore.
The following are some of our announcement highlights as well as some helpful links. Please feel free to post comments on this blog.
Integrated Service Management This is something that the entire IBM team has been working on for quite some time. Kathleen Holm discussed this yesterday and the only thing that I would add is that it is an exciting time to be working in service management. Companies such as IBM are helping customers expand their capabilities outside of the confines of the data center and assisting them all of their intelligent assets. Integrated Service Management is much like the “web 2.0” of service management (but without the funny t-shirts), and IBM continues to be in a leadership position in this space.
Intelliden As you may have read last week, the IBM Corporation was proud to announce the acquisition of Intelliden, a leading provider of intelligent network automation software. Pulse is a great way to welcome our new IBM brothers and sisters to be a part of our Integrated Service Management solution, and looking at what they have achieved so far with Network Change and Configuration Management (NCCM) I know that they are going to be a valuable contribution to our customers and to the IBM company.
When In Austin Or La Gaude, Visit Our Solution Experience Labs If you are a customer and want to see our Smart Grid solution, there are two labs that you can go to; one here in Austin, TX and the other in La Gaude, France. The Smart Grid solution is an end-to-end Energy and Utilities lab environment with a focus on Advanced Meter Management to help customers address security challenges.
Smarter Buildings With Our Partners, Johnson Controls Above, I discussed the press releases we did around smarter buildings and facilities with some of our customers. In addition to those, Todd Watson has a great post about what IBM is doing with Johnson Controls to create smarter buildings. The long and short of it is that IBM is working with Johnson Controls energy efficiency building technology to provide advanced business analytics to help our customers address inefficiencies (press release).
Ricoh Intelligent Device Management Todd also discussed our announcement with Ricoh. It's “…an advanced device and printing management system which infuses office devices with real-time tracking and monitoring to help firms significantly reduce their print-related costs, improve service and cut back on carbon footprints.” (press release)
OPAL The Open Process Automation Library (OPAL) are some great “ready to deploy” solution integrations and references that extend our software’s “out of the box” deployments. The interface to the website is smooth, easy to search and best of all there are now 1,800 entries. If you are a customer, you gotta check this site out.
Tivoli Security Information & Event Management: Version 2.0 provides customers with a single integrated product for insider threat, audit and compliance management, and reporting. New features can be found in the announcement letter.
Tivoli Role Modeling/Management Open Beta Program Since we’re talking about security, I should also mention that we currently have an open beta program for two exciting products; IBM Tivoli Security Role Modeling Assistant and the IBM Tivoli Security Role Management Assistant. Details on the solution and the beta are on the IBM website.
IBM Remote Managed Infrastructure Services (RMIS) A service from IBM that assists customers with planning, implementing, configuring, testing, and basic skills instruction for selected IBM Server and Storage technology. A highly skilled IBM technical specialist can help customers implement selected server and storage products remotely (which is pretty cool, right?) (announcement letter).
IBM Managed Security Services A new IBM service that addresses security concerns by managing computing policies at the gateway (announcement letter).
That’s all for now (as if that’s not a lot already). For those at Pulse, say hello to my colleagues. End of line.
* Actually, I wouldn’t have much copper at all. The US cent piece (aka “penny”) is composed of 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc (US Mint)
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.
In his keynote today, Al Zollar described the opportunities and challenges presented by a more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent world. The proliferation of smart devices presents new opportunities to deliver new innovative services- services that wouldn’t have been dreamed of just 10 years ago. These new smart devices also add new levels of complexity that is growing due to the number of new devices and connections added each day, and skyrocketing numbers of security threats and compliance regulations.
Al Zollar outlined examples of increased complexity in a number of industries i.e. an electric company dealing with smarter meters, regular old school meters, transmission insulators, servers, and turbine buckets; a conglomerate of hospitals in Copenhagen managing data distributed across three different storage tiers and four sites with online disk capacity of 500 Terabytes and backup and archive data exceeding 1.5 Petabytes; and the U.S. Air Force managing the operations of nine major commands, nearly 100 bases and 700,000 active military personnel around the world.
He then posed the questions, How do you overcome all of this complexity? How can you possibly see everything? How can you manage and secure everything? How can you increase speed while reducing cost?
The answer—Integrated Service Management that provides the software, best practices and expertise needed to manage infrastructure, people and processes—across the service delivery chain—in the data center, across design and delivery, and tailored for specific industry requirements.
He then went on to explain how Integrated Service Management contains service architectures tailored by industry like the smart grid for energy, or electronic medical record systems for healthcare.
It has lifecycle management bridging workflow across line of business, enterprise architecture, development and testing, and IT and business operations to speed delivery of products and services and ensure continual improvement.
Integrated Service Management also includes service dashboards that allow all audiences—from executives and business operations to IT managers—to see the service and gain insight into service health.
He closed by someone needs to be the thought leader in your organization...and that someone is you! Integrated Service Management can help you achieve that goal.
There are many great reasons to attend Pulse 2010- you can see real-world demonstrations of the newest service management solutions, you can hear about strategies and product roadmaps that can help you chart your roadmap for success, and you can get free-certifications and hands-on instruction in on-site labs. These are all great reasons to attend Pulse 2010, but I would like to focus one that often gets overlooked--networking with people not like you.
Pulse gives you the opportunity to attend tracks tailored to your specific area of focus and network with people doing work like you do. While there is a great deal of value in networking and sharing ideas with people whose roles are similar to yours, there may be even more value in talking with people who don’t do what you do.
What would happen if CEOs, service providers, IT professionals, plant managers, facilities managers, VPs of Operations, security administrators, and storage managers talked with each other? What kinds of solutions and ideas would emerge?
For true innovative thinking to occur, reframing challenges and understanding different points of view is key. While it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone and talk with people who speak your language, the opportunity to talk with people from other industries or from your industry but with roles different than yours may be one of the one of the best ways to gain new insights, reframe the challenges you are facing, and think outside the box.
Pulse 2010 gives you the opportunity to do just that. It offers you the chance to network with industry leaders and a broad audience of users and partners who may have different takes on service management—ones that can help you solve existing problems more efficiently, develop new services, or find new ways to accelerate growth and gain competitive edge.
Very good insights, Ivor. Predeterminiation and zealotry are two
human tendencies to constantly keep in check- and that's easier
said than done.
A quote by George Bernard Shaw cam to mind as I read your blog:
“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my
measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on
with their old measurements and expect me to fit them”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Looking forward to your
insights in 2010!