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.
IBM Survey Results: Financial Services IT Service Management Strong in an Uncertain Economy
Industry Solutions: Financial Services Sector Blog By Mike Zelle, Market Segment Manager, Financial Services Sector - Tivoli Software, IBM
IBM conducted a global survey of CIOs and other IT investment owners during December 2008 and January 2009. In these ‘uncertain economic times’ the results are very interesting from a Financial Services IT point of view.
Key survey results The current economic and market conditions these organizations face have had a significant negative impact on enterprise budgets. But IBM’s survey showed the opposite to be the case for IT budgets. • The vast majority of IT decision makers (85 percent), in financial services and across all industries, reported budgets remaining flat or changing only slightly • 9 percent of those in financial services reported significant budget reductions • 21 percent indicated that they were increasing their investment in IT • 6 percent of financial services organizations indicated they would be significantly increasing their IT budgets in response to current economic and market conditions.
IBM believes that these IT investments are continuing because these companies recognize that IT services can not only help the enterprise as a whole to operate more effectively and efficiently but also provide competitive advantage. These businesses have realized that just cutting costs within IT has limited business benefit and introduces unacceptable levels of risk to the entire organization that depends on the quality and reliability of IT services for efficiency, compliance, security and even competitive differentiation. If IT is 10 percent of the operational expense of a financial services business, cutting IT by 50 percent will yield only a 5 percent reduction in business operational expense, but will most likely unacceptably expose the other 90 percent of the business to significant new problems, risks and competitive disadvantage.
Financial services organizations were also disproportionately more likely than other industries to also expect IT to be an innovator, to research and recommend enterprise strategic objectives, to identify opportunities for innovation and to develop new business areas or services.
Financial Services IT priorities to support business requirements The most commonly reported financial services priorities impacting IT investment plans were: • Improving access to and leveraging customer information • Improving efficiency / reducing costs of business activities • Increasing customer retention. Mandatory programs / projects that must take precedence: • Compliance is a more pressing concern for financial services than it is for any other industry, with 88 percent of projects in this area continuing, expanding or being initiated. • Systems management ranks as high as compliance, which is understandable given that the business infrastructure that is required to enable market survival for today's financial services company is increasingly an integrated digital platform of IT-enabled business services. • These activities also explain why technology virtualization and storage consolidation, at 78 percent and 72 percent, are also high on the list, coming only after security. A scalable and manageable IT infrastructure is required to provide the resilient basis for quality services.
IT Service Management is the key priority Smarter management of IT services is the top business-driven priority for IT. Service management builds on foundational capabilities—security, compliance, managing IT systems, and virtualizing and consolidating the physical infrastructure—that provide the basis for the reliable IT services required by the business. Service management projects continued, expanded or initiated as a consequence of the economic and business environment was 68 percent—ahead of technology areas such as server deployment, mobility and network convergence.
Conclusion and recommendations According to the results of the IBM study, IT leaders in the financial services industry are reprioritizing IT projects to focus on optimizing IT-enabled business processes. Accordingly, once they have met urgent requirements in areas such as compliance, systems management, virtualization/consolidation and security, they are investing in smarter management.
This business-driven approach to service management emphasizes the role IT services can play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization as a whole rather than on the type of cost-cutting within IT that can produce negative and unacceptable business risks.
The study results point to the following key recommendations: • Improve the quality and reliability of IT services that process financial transactions, provide integrated access to and leverage customer information, improve customer loyalty and retention, enable workforce productivity and support compliance. • Prioritize smarter ways of doing things through service management and technology consolidation. • Revise measurements and reporting to provide more visibility to process performance, quality of service, outcome metrics, costs, and business value. • Change the focus from technology and optimized subsystems to optimization of IT-enabled business activities. This includes building out the digital platform of the business and improving the ability to manage it as the new business infrastructure. • Apply some investments to tactical quick wins—but also work toward eliminating service-quality inhibitors through longer-term strategic initiatives.
Industry Solutions: Communication Sector Blog By Scott Sobers, Program director, Communications sector- Tivoli Software, IBM
Conventional wisdom tells us that the telecom industry is generally safe from fluctuating consumer demand, but with this current recession, we may have to rethink this rule of thumb.
This popular notion was initially supported by stating that the wireless data market experienced 7.3 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in the fourth quarter of 2008, an overall 38.7 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2007. However, according to Chetan Sharma Consulting, this growth cannot be sustained in a continually deteriorating economy.
During these times, both businesses and consumers are scrutinizing costs, which leaves telecom service providers vulnerable to losing customers looking to cut household and business spending. Customers will be quick to drop services that don’t meet their standards, so providers need to go above and beyond to prove their value. Subscribers have many carriers to choose from, and for some customers, the deal-breaker may be differing qualities of service, both at the network layer and call center level. According to Stratecast analyst Karl Whitelock, service providers lose a large percentage of customers because of service issues. For some carriers, the number of lost customers exceeded 10 percent of their customer base.
Proper customer care is positioned to be a game-changer for wireless providers as it builds trust and drives satisfaction. Service providers are aware that maintaining a high quality of customer service is a key factor in customer retention, but reaching this metric is always a challenge. The inhibitors to superior customer care include weak communication between call centers and network operations and poor network intelligence. By being more proactive about identifying service issues, service providers can empower their customer care representatives with the tools to improve customer experience and help grow business.
Providers can employ a number of best practices to improve customer service. These relate to boosting visibility across the network, monitoring communications capabilities and prioritizing problem resolution.
Visualizing service quality Understanding when a service impact occurs, determining who it affects and how it impacts the business enables providers to pinpoint and resolve those issues before a customer has a chance to complain about them. This can be done by collecting key data from different systems and from multiple vendors, which can then be used to simulate relationships across the network, applications and databases in order to determine which factors are most critical to the service. With this information, service providers can more effectively oversee the health, quality and availability of their networks and, when issues do occur, providers can quickly identify the problem, its cause and easily “link” the service to the system running the affected components. By streamlining end-to-end network management, service providers can prioritize their responses and communicate the relevant information to all parties.
Monitoring the customer experience Besides keeping their eyes on the internal network, service providers will benefit from maintaining a real-time view into customers’ experiences. For example, being aware of how many customers are using a particular service lets service providers see how many subscribers are being impacted by service issues, which is valuable during the trouble reporting process.
Improving internal communications Improving communications between customer care and network operations also helps providers solve network issues faster and more strategically. By providing the right intelligence to those who need it – operations, IT and customer care – snags can be resolved faster and with minimal impact to customers. For example, if a network supervisor can recognize an issue’s root cause, customer care can be better prepared by knowing why a customer is calling even before they describe the problem, thereby having a solution ready for the customer when she calls.
Prioritizing problem resolution In the event that glitches occur, service providers have to make strategic decisions – which will they respond to first? What will each issue’s financial impact be? By linking their network and customer intelligence, providers can identify which issues affect the business most and respond to those calls accordingly. As a result, companies can prioritize efforts that offer the greatest value to the business and customer.
Final thoughts Beyond resolving service issues, managing the customer experience provides other assets beyond consistent customer satisfaction. By studying the data collected day-to-day during the experience monitoring process, providers gain knowledge about how customers use different offerings, which will be useful during business planning.
We are witnessing the telecommunications market migrate from a strictly voice-based industry to one that sells Web access, rich media content and business applications on cell phones. As this evolution continues, service providers will have to deal with the added responsibility of fielding service questions about data issues, which according to Stratecast take three times longer to resolve than regular voice service issues. Faced with this challenge, customer experience management is a valuable tool that providers can use to deliver positive customer satisfaction, high service quality and gain competitive advantage.
Scott Sobers is the program director for the communications sector for Tivoli Software at IBM. In this role, he manages the strategy and planning for IBM's solutions for communications service providers.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager offers turn-key performance and availability monitoring for mid-market companies. It allows them to restore a service that is experiencing performance and/or availability problems with the shortest mean time to recovery possible.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager also delivers real-time information allows an organization to visualize service performance and health across their network, server, middleware and application components enabling them to effectively manage risk and improve service quality.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager helps clients optimize their resource allocation and reduce cost by giving them the ability to identify underutilized resources and reallocate them to support new business operations. At the same time, risk is reduced by anticipating resource over-utilization and generating proactive events and reports against resources that do not have the capacity to address growing business needs.
Tivoli Foundations Application Manager comes with out-of-the box best practice monitoring policies that track IT Infrastructure health against pre-defined thresholds. This allows organizations to quickly and proactively identify and respond to problems and issues before critical applications and customers are impacted. Overall service is improved by restoring the service or application that is experiencing performance problems with the shortest mean time to recovery possible using autonomic capabilities to fix problems before human intervention is even needed. Reducing problem determination time decreases cost and allows organizations to spend more resources focusing on business innovation and creating competitive advantage.
IBM Tivoli Foundations Service Manager
Tivoli Foundations Service Manager provides service desk capabilities that allow mid-size companies to handle help desk calls, track problems, and make changes that prevent existing problems without creating new ones. It also provides a self-service, searchable knowledge base that delivers fast answers to common IT problems.
In addition, Tivoli Foundations Service Manager delivers dashboards that provide real-time performance views and out-of-the box content including workflows, templates, key performance indicators (KPIs), queries and reports targeted for mid-size clients.
The Tivoli Foundations Service Manager appliance-based service desk solution helps mid-market clients reduce their costs by optimizing the productivity of operations personnel through its built-in problem solving tools, providing operations a way to increase the efficiency of its service support functions. The robust self-help portal which is populated with best practice resolutions to common problems, gives end-users a way to quickly resolve problems on their own without having to involve any additional personnel.
Managing risk is key to small and mid-market clients that have extremely limited IT skills in-house. The Tivoli Foundations Service Management solution ensures process compliance by integrating standards-based incident and problem management processes resulting in a repeatable and consistent service support process.
Tivoli Foundations Service Manager delivers streamlined standards-based incident and problem management processes that enable rapid service restoration and improved overall service quality. It provides real-time visibility to end users on priority, urgency, and impact of problems, incidents, and service requests. These built-in survey capabilities allow organizations to track and trend overall end-user satisfaction with their operations and creates a closed loop environment where overall service quality can continually be improved.
Every day, the world is becoming more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. Infrastructures and assets across the globe are rapidly being digitized, turning physical assets into smart assets that allow people, systems, and objects to communicate and interact with each other in entirely new ways.
This “smarter planet” is creating opportunities for new, smarter, differentiated services and products. Organizations that can rapidly adapt and innovate to meet or exceed customer expectations for new services and products will be in a position to accelerate growth and gain competitive edge.
Watch this video to see how smart meters have made a significant impact on Portland General Electrics business.
architecture (SOA) has emerged as a strategy many organizations are adopting in
order to respond more quickly and cost-effectively to customer needs, I really
wanted to understand what it was all about.
After reading many articles and talking with a number
of subject matter experts from IBM
Tivoli and WebSphere, here’s the information I pulled together.
Definition of SOA: Service Oriented Architecture
(SOA) is a method for breaking down large applications and business processes
into smaller “services” and a system for linking them on demand so they can be
reused to create new applications and business processes.
While not elegant or profound, this definition helped
me understand how SOA
with a dynamic infrastructure that allows them to break down large applications
and business processes into smaller, loosely-coupled “services” that can be reused
to create new applications and respond quickly to customer needs. The result is
a simplified, more powerful infrastructure in which services can dynamically
scale to meet changing organizational needs or workloads, while reducing cost
and management complexity.
With the tremendous value
SOA provides also come new challenges. Some of the challenges include managing
the complexity of deploying interdependent services, ensuring compliance with
multiple service level agreements for the same service, checking for the
proliferation of duplicate or overlapping services, and protecting a SOA
application and data from unauthorized access to name just a few. Meeting
operational goals in a SOA environment requires a new approach.
That’s where IBM
Service Management comes in. IBM
delivers offerings and services that span the entire service mangement lifecycle,
providing the visibility, control and automation needed to
effectively manage a SOA environment. IBM
Service Management solutions help organizations ensure compliance with multiple
service level agreements for the same service and track the interconnectivity
of loosely-coupled services to manage performance & availability.
Greetings! Today kicks off the series opener, Service Management in an Uncertain Economy with Gartner VP and ex-IBMer David Williams and Tivoli GM Al Zollar. 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET; 16:00 - 17:00 GMT Audience: service management and asset management practitioners Sign up by 11 a.m. ET:http://bit.ly/m5Uot
Welcome to the IBM Service Management blog.A variety of authors who represent different
parts of IBM will discuss a range of Service Management topics such as service
availability and performance, green IT, IT asset and financial management, IT
governance, service delivery and process, storage management, SOA management,
enterprise asset management, and service assurance for service providers.
We'll discuss industry trends and happenings, analyst
perspectives, new product and solution announcements, support and services
offerings, upcoming events, helpful resources, and heroes in the broader IBM
Service Management network. This blog provides multi-directional communication
with the public, and we encourage and look forward to your feedback, thoughts,
and questions. For extended sharing, check out our new IBM Service Management community.
I'm Tiffany Winman, the
IBM Service Management community and social media program manager, and my blog
topics tend to focus on communities, people, companies, heroes, and stories in
the broader Service Management and Tivoli "ecosystem" and the use of innovative social
technologies to facilitate online social networking and collaboration. When I'm
not blogging on group blogs such as Service Management, Tivoli, Pulse, and Web 2.0 Goes to Work,
you can join me in riveting conversation ;) on my individual blog.
us know if you have any questions or we can assist in any way.
The following article was written by Cameron Allen, Pierre Coyne and Beth Sarnie and is the second in our OSLC series.
In fact, if you were at Pulse 2012...you heard how IBM Watson will be used to help doctors diagnose medical conditions and improve patient care at WellPoint.
For those of you, like myself, that don’t have a Watson-like recollection, here’s a quick flashback detailing a millisecond in Watson's brain on a sample patient:
Watson is given specific information on a patient’s symptoms, and makes a preliminary diagnosis of the flu as the most likely illness.
Based on the unique patient's name, Watson looks up records of the patient's history for the past few years, providing new insights that point to the better possible cause of, for example, a Urinary Tract Infection.
Based on the patient's family connections, Watson is able to use the family history to derive that the mostly likely cause is now diabetes.
And finally, Watson is able to access a patient’s latest tests to derive a final diagnosis.
If you're in the business of IT, this may sound a lot like incident management. And as any level 1 support person can attest, diagnosing the root cause of an incident is much like diagnosing a patient's condition. You need information from multiple sources (e.g. service desk, license, CMDB, monitoring, and asset management systems), but more importantly, it has to be in context, up to date, and delivered in a timely basis to make an accurate diagnosis of the root cause.
The problem has always been that an incident manager, like a doctor, has to jump between tools, entering requests in each system for the right information...and that is time consuming. In some cases, information isn't readily available and must be requested from other sources, not under their direct control.
One of the ways Watson is able to be such a great diagnostician (and incident manager) is through "linked data," which allows it to seek out and find related information on the patient from multiple sources in a fraction of a second to facilitate faster, more accurate patient diagnosis.
Until now, an incident manager did not have this same luxury.
That's where Jazz for Service Management comes in. Jazz is IBM's realtime platform for integrating management across multivendor tools, and across service lifecycle processes and functions. Like Watson, Jazz for service management uses principles of linked data, along with community standards (including OSLC) to support Watson-like service management decisions, regardless of what vendor tools you have in place.
A while back I wrote a blog just mentioning
devops, and what a sensible idea it seemed – certainly the word ‘devops’ hit
some bells and I got 3 times my normal hits in the first day. At the beginning
of this year (2012 in case you got here late) I wrote a blog inspired by a
discussion with a TOGAF fan; I felt we in parts of the IT world need to talk to
our neighbours a lot more.
I was reminded of these by seeing several
devops write-ups recently (separate articles in itSMF UK and US
magazines in the same month). Both are encouraging and make the unavoidable
point: what devops suggests as a matter of principle is clearly something to
be supported like the proverbial apple pie. It is just so obvious, it has to be right - why would
you not use the people who built and know a new piece of software (or anything
else for that matter) to get it in place and working, and as first point of
call should anything not work as expected?
Both articles argue that ITSM people should embrace
the ideas rather than rush to defend their empires. Devops is not the only
example, but it seems to me that what we might be faced with is set of
driven from disparate firm foundations in our vast ocean of IT
In fact the commonality between the
approaches is massive, especially once you get past a temptation to overly
rigorous application. It amazes me that the same IT people who would never
dream of reading the instructions before using their new technology toys insist
on applying every word of best practice.
If you want an example of how ITIL®
overlaps the base devops concept look at section 6.7, page 236 of Stuart
Rance’s Service Transition book in ITIL 2011.
The point I really wanted to make is that
we need to get above the point of origin and see identification, creation
delivery and operation of service as the real goal and the subject of some
integrated guidance. Everything we have so far shows its origins.
ITIL comes from operations, for all its gallant attempts to
preach service strategy it is not really getting to the people who
should be doing so because they originate from other parts of IT/business
Devops is coming from the development community and so
reflects their take on life.Things
like OSLC that will help smooth some of the boundaries are also being
pitched – so far – from the development side
All of the stuff that I see is coming out of parts of IT, when
to me IT is only a part (albeit a big and important part most times).
I started my career helping organisations
establish and improve services, I got sidetracked into IT and oft-times I miss
that bigger image. I still find it hard to think only of IT aspects and
solutions, but I find I am often talking with people – suppliers and customers
– who are content to be restricted to IT aspects.
In the short term I think what we need is
more selling of the neighbour’s ideas. I want to see devops being evangelised
by someone from the ITSM community, and we need the converse too. Otherwise it
can feel like the recommendations for apple pie are coming exclusively from the
apple marketing board; doesn’t mean they are wrong but they can less thanconvincing, especially to a cynical audience or to one that has something they feel they must defend. Maybe I have stumbled onto my
subject for next year’s conferences – anyone interested in inviting me?
 You call them methodologies, frameworks, revelations, best
practices or whatever – I was searching for a generic term, if you have a
better one let me know.
 In case you don't like what is there, I should point out the
content of that section comes from the 2007 version, which was not written by
Stuart. There is simple diagram here that makes the point, but it is Crown
Copyright so I dare not use it here, so please o look if you are interested.
As the Western Hemisphere was slumbering, news from Singapore was lighting up Twitter as our senior executives took the stage at the IBM InterConnect conference to talk about some of the latest announcements from the IBM corporation on innovation and a Smarter Planet.
Much of the reporting has been done on Twitter (hashtag #IBMInterConnect) and these keynotes are available on the LiveStream including an amazing speech by Dr. Michio Kaku about the future of computers ("everywhere and nowhere").*
These are supplemented by interviews conducted by Todd "Turbo Todd" Watson, also on the LiveStream.
Since this event was focused on a Smarter Planet (the entire IBM portfolio), we covered a lot of ground. Big Data. Social. Mobility. And, of course, cloud.
For SmartCloud Foundation, the Tivoli organization has a number of exciting solutions that are designed to help you increase the levels of innovation you provide to your clients.
For this blog, I thought it'd be good to focus on three of the new solutions you might not have seen before that are going to help you in building out your private cloud.
IBM SmartCloud Cost Management is one of the key components in transforming IT from a "cost center" to an innovation center by providing levels of visibility, and transparency, to the IT costs associated with your cloud. Measure, analyze, report, and invoice the utilization and costs of physical, virtualized, and cloud computing resources, storage and network resources, applications, and other non-IT cost drivers.
IBM SmartCloud Patch Management combines the benefits of two solutions, IBM Endpoint Manager for Patch Management and IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, to provide an effective entry point that delivers lower costs and improves the visibility and control of physical, virtual, and cloud environments.
Finally, the IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center is a solution that you might have seen us talk about at Pulse 2012 and it's now an exciting addition to the portfolio. This solution helps IT storage managers migrate to an agile cloud-based storage environment and manage it effectively without having to replace existing storage systems. If you're looking to increase your storage efficiency in cloud, but don't have the checkbook to do a "rip and replace" of your entire infrastructure, you need to be looking at this solution.
There's more going on in Singapore over the next two days, and more discussion of SmartCloud Foundation and IBM Smarter Planet. Stay tuned to Twitter and the LiveStream and feel free to post comments below.
* I have to confess that this blog was delayed because I got sucked into watching the keynotes.
Earlier today, IBM shared its point of view on the future of the data center with Smarter Computing V3 (press release). A central focus is IBM Enterprise Systems (zEnterprise EC12 and Power) and their ability to deliver exceptional value through a private Cloud. We've seen how organizations have been able to leverage IBM Enterprise Systems to achieve significant benefits. Take the City of Honolulu for example which was able to lower its licensing costs by 68% while increasing tax revenue by $1.4M USD in just three months.
By adding Tivoli software to their current IT environment, organizations can advance their enterprise-class Cloud environment while protecting their existing IT investment. How? IBM SmartCloud Foundation software is deeply rooted in openess - an open standards approach and common management tools that are platform agnostic. Essentially, you pick the platform(s) that best meets your business goals and we deliver a set of interoperable Cloud management tools across your heterogeneous environment. Of course, there are intrinsic benefits to building a Cloud management stack on top of IBM Enterprise Systems given the tight integration between hardware and software. OMEGAMON for example leverages a deep integration with zEnterprise systems to deliver advanced monitoring that reduces typical time to resolution from 90 minutes to 2 minutes.
Whether your starting to consider virtualizing your IT environment or deep into your Cloud journey, we have open Cloud management tools that help you expand your Cloud footprint without fear of vendor "lock-in". Learn more about the latest announcement and our Cloud solutions by visiting this site and attending the System z webcast on October 17.
The following article was written by Cameron Allen, Pierre Coyne and Beth Sarnie and is the second in our OSLC series.
In non-acronym speak, what I'm saying is that the future of service management has arrived in the form of Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration.
But, what is OSLC and what does it have to do with you?
If you are a user of service management tools of any kind, or rely on information from tools to do your job, then you probably know that finding the right information is half the battle, and getting realtime access to that information when it is not under your direct control can feel next to impossible.
OSLC means you can now leverage the simplicity and ease of web links to both find and share information across your management tools (be they IBM, or any vendor tools).
Just as web pages can be linked on the Internet, data can be linked together from one application to another – creating an application ecosystem where applications don't care what vendor they're from. They look up who has the data in a directory, and jump right to it.
OSLC is not something new, and Tivoli is not the first to adopt it for integration. If you're an IBM Rational user, you may already be a believer. IBM Rational, its users, and an extensive ecosystem of partners have been using OSLC to successfully interconnect the application lifecycle for years.
In fact, Rational Jazz is the realization of OSLC community specifications and shared services in an open platform that anyone can use to interconnect the application lifecycle. Rational just delivered their 4th incarnation of the integrated product offering called Collaborative Lifecycle Management based on Jazz.
Tivoli is now leveraging these same principles to help break down silos of information across the end-to-end service lifecycle. That means expanding the notions behind Jazz from service design and development to now include service delivery and management. We call this Jazz for Service Management.
Take for example, problem management. In order to diagnose and resolve a given trouble ticket, the problem information must be gathered and aggregated from multiple sources. We may need information pertaining to the application topology, the health of a system within that topology, outages or events that may be affecting the application, the CPU utilization, the versions and configurations of the hardware and software that this application is dependent upon. I could go on...
The problem is that all of this information lives in different places. You can either call around to the various owners of that information, or you pay a business partner to learn the API of the tool in order to get to the data, or you can have a highly skilled, in-house resource write the integration. These options require extensive expertise in vendor-specific APIs and lots of maintenance to keep them current.
OSLC utilizes community defined specifications for sharing and linking data applied to specific service management scenarios so that in a critical outage scenario, all relevant information relating to that outage can be accessed in real time from any number of sources, displayed in the context of that problem, in a single integrated view, with related actions that can be taken.
The difference is simplicity. You might be able to do this this now with a lot of experts and time but OSLC delivers simplicity.
And, most importantly, because OSLC uses community specifications for service management scenarios, integrations can be built once and applied across multiple 'related' OSLC-enabled tools. "Write-once, Apply-many."
For more information, listen to this podcast on the Tivoli User Community. This podcast provides a deeper insight into the next generation of service management built using linked data.
Also, at Pulse 2012 (video link), developerWorks' Scott Laningham is joined by Don Cronin, program director, Tivoli Technical Strategy and Architecture; and Mike Kaczmarski, IBM Fellow and Tivoli Chief Integration Architect to discuss the Magic of linked data.
Leave your comments on how you are using OSLC in your organization below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter @servicemgmt and be sure to bookmark our OSLC story on Storify.