Today’s post is brought to you by Veronica Shelley, Product Marketing
Manager, IBM Security Solutions.
A typical user can have multiple log-in and password
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their password? Precious time is wasted finding, remembering, and resetting
passwords, so this can become a major productivity issue for organizations of
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What is IBM Tivoli Software? We know you want the short version. Steven Wright of Tivoli Software breaks it all down for us in less than 7 minutes on a white grease board. Check it out while you have your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or while you get your miles in on the treadmill or trail with your smart phone. Then visit ibm.com/software/tivoli for more details on how IBM Tivoli Software can help you run a smarter business. .
Would be something not called "RFE." Why? Where'd you think I was going with that?"
Seriously. The Request For Enhancements (RFE) is a new thing we're doing with some of our Tivoli products where not only can you create your own RFE, but you can comment on ones submitted by other customers.
You'll notice a trend of all sorts of new stuff we're announcing that are centered around building our community up with you; our customers.
Today's post comes from Sandy Hawke, Manager IBM Security Solutions.
I recently presented to the ISACA community on a live webinar. I focused the discussion on how to leverage automation to improve endpoint security and compliance. The archived webinar is available here. Just as a brief background, ISACA is an international professional association that focuses on all aspects of IT Governance and has over 95,000 members worldwide.
The online event drew a pretty substantial audience which is good, and yet a bit surprising in two key ways. First of all, many of the recommendations I made to the audience were not radically new concepts, but basic foundational controls that all security professionals agree are critical for achieving and maintaining solid security and demonstrable compliance. So haven't they heard this story before?
Maybe not. And that's the second observation. Most of the ISACA membership is in the IT audit/Risk Management line of business. While they're not the folks who are implementing security technologies on a daily basis (i.e. "hands at keyboards")- they are keen to understand how security is implemented, how it works, how automation can be used to facilitate audits, etc. And that's the new trend we've been witnessing. While the audit team knows what the policy controls should be, they may not know if/how these controls get enforced, maintained, monitored and reported on- essentially how security is "operationalized." The more that they know what's possible with respect to security operations and automation, the better they'll be at knowing what questions to ask IT operations during audits, what technologies to recommend, etc.
Years ago, the IT Audit/Risk Manager organization and activities were kept quite separate from the IT Operations/IT Infrastructure teams. And at the time there were pretty good reasons to keep these groups as distinct as possible- you've all heard of "keeping the fox out of the hen house" analogy, right? The IT Audit/Risk Mgmt teams could set and enforce policy and conduct assessments that wouldn't be influenced by the operations staff. Well, with the advent of converging technologies, economic trends, and the increased importance of measuring security investments and compliance program- in real time, these groups are coming together. More so than ever before.
And technologies that can foster that type of trust, cooperation, and collaboration are indispensable.
After my last blog – asking what devops was
– the idea of collaboration across the whole life of service has been in the
forefront of my mind. From that wider perspective I was musing around one of my
frequent topics – how we fail to get the service right because we don't
understand how it is being used, or what the customer really cares about.
Actually the simple picture of supplier and
customer doesn’t really describe the world most of us have to live in. If we go
with the ITIL concept of a customer (someone who has financial influence or
authority) then we also need to worry about what our users think. In other
frameworks you might hear a more general concern about taking the whole range
of stakeholders into consideration. Doesn’t matter which recipe you follow –
does matter that you see the complexity.
Some of the problems come from being so
close to how things are done (rather than why they are being done), and by
being so close to what you think matters that you don't spot what matters to
those receiving the service. Sometime it is the silliest things that make the
customers and users unhappy and reject a service. Maybe that is an example of the
‘One Bad Apple’ syndrome – something firmly embedded in the human condition
seems to be our ability to allow one bad aspect to overbalance a dozen good
I had my own version this week, when I
found myself refusing to continue with an online application for a new bank
account because the software insisted on spelling my name incorrectly. (For
reasons I cannot fathom, it seems to have decided that any name starting with
‘Mac’ must have a capital afterwards – so it turns ‘Macfarlane’ to ‘MacFarlane’
without giving me the chance to turn it back.) I didn’t stay around to see what
else the service offered, I just closed the web page and got my new account
somewhere else that will let me spell my name properly.
But there is also the positive face of the
same coin – the power of ‘cool’. Imagine you have found the perfect shoes for
your child – scientifically designed to protect their feet while supporting
their bones and they are even waterproof. As a caring parent these are the only
pair of shoes you want your child to be running about in (see IKB later in this
blog). As it happens your dreams have come true because your child loves them.
Is it because they are good for them, and will help their feet develop properly
– no, they agree to wear them because the heels light up with each step. They
will wear them – and save their feet – but only because they are ‘cool’ –
according to rules you will never understand. By the way, don’t think the
illogical ‘cool’ factor only applies to children, it is there in just about
every service you deliver or use – at work or at home. If you look for it then
you will see it. I don’t want to make this posting too long or I could list
dozens – but just imagine trying to sell powerful and effective software
products against others with less relevant features at higher cost – but with a
fancy graphical interface – sound familiar to anyone?
If you think about these two situations –
where apparently less important elements disproportionately affect decisions -
I am sure you will find many examples of the two extremes; like the fast-food restaurant
that you still avoid because of one bad burger or one element of bad service,
hundreds of miles away and several years back.
Those issues tend to come from how the
service is delivered, yet the same problem can easily come from how it is built
(like my name issue). But one of the differences is getting the message back to where it might make a difference,
because at best the complaints go to the operations side of the house, and this
does not get fed back, maybe because it is dismissed as trivial – because it
doesn’t seem important to whoever received the message.
It isn’t just about hiding complaints
though, we also have the ability not to pass the cool factors back. Do we
always find out why people really like something? It seems to me that we don’t often
ask the right people the right questions. And it also seems there are simple
reasons why we do that:
We presume that what is important to us is what is important to
our customers, users or others that matter. Is this a common manifestation
of IKB (the ‘I know better’ syndrome)? Most of suffer this from our parents,
then grow up and do it other people.
We don’t know who to ask – and we don't know what to ask them.
Both of these situations are understandable
– after all, we are human so of course we see things first and best from our own perspective, and without being forced out into another’s environment then why
should we have the ability to understand people we have never met? The second
is also inevitable in the complicated amalgams of customers, users, services
and suppliers we exist within. Never mind the neat little service chain
pictures you get in the books – it doesn’t really look that simple, it looks
complicated, and mostly because it is complicated.
We can do something about these
difficulties – but they require addressing the way we – and our colleagues –
think, and that takes time and effort.
There are other causes and factors – and
maybe there is one we could do something about, and it is something that would
magnify the beneficial effects when you finally get around to addressing the two points I
listed above: when we do find things out we don’t tell the people who could do
something about it. And the very best way to get that wrong is to build silos
within your supplier organisation and stop people sharing ideas and
After that last blog on devops, I was
thinking about that particular kind of communication issue. There is something deep
rooted in the human psyche that needs to dismantle their immediate environment
into teams (or
groups, or departments or silos or tribes – call them what you will). IT
organisations are perfect examples – with high level internal teams always
emerging once they gets past a certain size. And if you separate into teams that feel the need to compete, then helpful messages will not be fed across between them. So what was built wrong and delivers the wrong thing stays there and will be wrong in the next version too. That is
the inertial element of behaviour that initiatives like devops and whole
service lifecycle approaches have to contend with. We shouldn’t think it can be
as easy as just telling people to collaborate and communicate. Like all
challenges we need to recognise what we are fighting – and to fight back.
So – what are good ways to start? Perhaps
as simply as recognising that while we might bond comfortably into (say) a
‘development’ team or an ‘operations’ team (or any one of a dozen more) – that
doesn’t make the other team the opposition – I think that would be a good first
step, if we can finally realise that – by and large – what benefits one team
also benefits the other.
 For once this isn’t just me making ideas up. I wrote a psychology
essay on this topic at University – way back towards the middle of the last
 This was discussed in the ITIL books for Small Organisations –
versions 1, 2 and 3.
Yes, I love being one of
the ambassadors for IBM’s Client Reference Program, a structured platform that
gives our valued Clients many opportunities to promote their unique
capabilities and stand tall in the, otherwise very competitive, market. IT
revolution, ease of internet, change in consumer behavior etc have all added to
While I write this blog, the
two things that I had studied, during school days in Biology, are shouting
aloud from my mind; one, Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and two,
‘legume-rhizobial symbiosis’. Interestingly, these biological phenomenon do
have real examples in economics too. A symbiotic relationship with clients/peers,
thus, is ‘very’ crucial in surviving the Darwinian marketplace. And, what
better way than registering for IBM’s Client Reference Program? :-)
For me, it’s great being a
Client Reference Specialist for Tivoli. Working in collaboration to create
Reference Profiles for our Clients has brought in a lot of advantages. Networking
opportunities with my fellow IBMers, Business Partners and Clients from across
industries is just a ‘cake’, but the real ‘icing’ is my continuous learning
about IBM’s Tivoli software for 'Integrated Service Management' that “provides
smarter solutions and the expertise you need to design, build and manage a
dynamic infrastructure that enables you to improve service, reduce cost and
manage risk.” Yes, I’m always in an awe of how IBM’s Tivoli solutions have
helped our Clients overcome their challenges.
PS: Rebecca Wissinger in
her blog ‘IBM Client Activities at Pulse 2011’ talks about the ways IBM is
saying THANK YOU to our immensely valued, extraordinary Clients at Pulse
2011. If you are attending Pulse 2011 then you will not give her blog a
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.
Matt Holitza is managing the Pulse 2010 track--Change Management for Applications and Services. I talked with him about the kinds of proposals he would like to see and have included his comments below.
What are some hot topics in the area of Change Management for Applications and Services? We’re looking for presentations that show how consolidation of change management across development and operations can allow teams in both organizations to collaborate together to rapidly produce high quality products and services.
We’d also like to see stories about solutions that improve automation of application deployment to help support more rapid, less error-prone delivery of new applications.
In addition, we hope to include presentations that provide insights about application and service development. The Pulse audience will be primarily made up of operations professionals. The more we can educate and share information about development best practices, the easier it will be to build bridges with operations. We would like to see Pulse attendees go home and talk about how to improve alignment across development, test and operations to simplify the deployment of high-quality products, applications and services.
What are the benefits of speaking at Pulse? The benefits of speaking at Pulse are many. Sharing information with your peers is invaluable—not only will you enhance your profile with your fellow practitioners; you will also gain insights about changes processes and solutions that will help you more effectively react to customer needs and deliver better quality software. In addition, you will hear first hand how automation can help you improve the efficiency of team and speed time to market. You will also receive a full conference pass ($1,995 value).
Who would make a good candidate? We hope to hear from customers, partners, product managers, IBM Global Business Services, distinguished engineers, and anyone with cross product implementation stories. Presentations with documented benefits resonate well with our attendees.
What kinds of products will be featured? Some of the product pairings that will be highlighted in the Change Management for Applications and Services track include:
Rational Asset Manager and Tivoli Change and Configuration Manager (CCMDB)
Tivoli Service Request Management, Rational Team Concert, and Rational ClearQuest
Rational Test Lab Manager, Tivoli Provisioning Manager, and Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager
Rational Build Forge, Tivoli Provisioning Manager, and Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere
How can I learn more? Visit the Pulse 2010 Call for Papers page to learn more about proposal requirements and how to submit your proposal.
If you weren't at Pulse 2012, I won't sugarcoat it. It was another successful event and the customers I spoke to got a lot of value out of the conference.
If you were not there (and even if you were), don't forget about our regional "Pulse Comes To You" (PCTY) events in your country. It's another way for you to meet with us and get the information you need about our service management solutions.
One of the things that makes IBM...well, IBM is that we have excellent business partners like Cisco.
I was able to get some time with David Flesh (Director of Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group) to talk about the partnership that Cisco has with their Cisco Prime solutions and our IBM Netcool solutions.
This will be the first of several videos we'll be posting on the blog. More to come...
Today we trust computers – literally and
unconsciously with our very lives. I was reflecting on this level of trust when
I got £50 of cash out from my local ATM and declined the offer of a receipt.
Seems I now have total faith the computer systems will ‘get it right’. I’ve
come a long way from keeping all my own cheque books to cross check against
later bank statements.
Now, combining that faith with a little
healthy British cynicism, and triggered by watching the Olympics tennis finals on
TV, a mischievous but irresistible thought came to my mind.
It used to be that when a ball hit the
ground near the line we relied on the human eye to say whether it was ‘in’ or
‘out’. That caused disagreements and discussion – and - in tennis often -
sulking, swearing and the full range of petulant behaviour.
Nowadays that is all replaced by
referencing the technology. When there is doubt – or one of the players
questions a call - then we simply ask the computers. What we get then is a neat
little picture representing the appropriate lines on the court and a blob
showing where the ball had hit. So, problem solved: disappointment still for
one player but, so it seems, total acceptance that the computer is right. After
all it is an expensive system working away inside a very expensive box – must
be right, mustn’t it. Or to put it another way ‘computer says in’, who would
But what occurred to me is this. All we can
actually see is some boxes around the court, and a stylised display with a blob
on it. That could be delivered by one person with a tablet showing the court
lines and them touching the screen where they think it landed. Very cheap and
still solves all the arguments because – naturally – everyone trusts technology
Now – of course, and before anyone calls
their lawyers – I am not suggesting for the merest moment that there is the
slightest possibility of such a thing happening. But it’s fun to think it might
be possible. There is little public awareness of what accuracy the system – and
here I presume it does really exist – works to. If you dig around on the web
you can find out (the answer by the way for tennis is 3.6mm). You also find out
there is some very minor grumbling and questioning going on. But that seem at
geek level – in everyday use the audience stands instantly convinced.
So, thinking it through there are a couple
of interesting consequences to real IT life:
Once you realise that trust depends on quality of presentation
at least as much as on accuracy, should you focus more on that? Certainly
you have to take presentation seriously, because the corollary is that if you
deliver perfection but don’t make it look good, then no-one will believe
it even though you are right.
Whose responsibility is it to check – and is it even possible? I
suspect this discussion will take us into the territory of ‘governance’. But
even before we get there it implies that User Acceptance Testing needs to
do more than look at things. Of course yours does, doesn’t it?
I guess my big issue is to wonder how
comfortable we are – as the deliverers of the technological solutions for our
customers – and especially our users - to have such blind faith. Of course,
people being the irrational things they undoubtedly are, that blind faith in
the detail is often accompanied by a cynical disregard for overall competence –
think faith in ATMs and on-line bank account figures with the apparent level of
trust in the banking industry as a whole.
As a little codicil to the story, I registered
with anew doctor yesterday – the nurse asked me questions, took blood pressure
etc and loaded all the data she collected into a computer. The system was
clearly ancient, with a display synthesising what you typically got on a DOS3.0
system. First thought: ‘OMG why are they using such old software, that can’t be
good? Second thought: ‘They’ve obviously been using it for years, so they
really understand it, have ironed out all the bugs and it does what they need. It
ain’t broke so they aren’t fixing it’. But my instinctive reaction of suspicion
of it for not being pretty was there and I had to consciously correct myself.
Would you as a service provider prefer more
questioning of what you package up and present to your customers and users, or
are you happy to have that faith? My own view is that the more blind faith they
have in you, the more the retribution will hurt if things do go wrong. Or
perhaps that’s just me being cynical again?
When I saw Tom Cross give a talk at Innovate 2010 in June, I was first struck with the nonchalance with which he spoke of the black market business of Internet data. I could not have been more intrigued if I were watching a movie adapted from a John Grisham novel. He seemed to have some emotional distance from what creeps most of us out about our mail. And I’m not even talking about email. I mean the good old-fashioned USPS mail. I KNOW I am not the only one who has worn out a few paper shredders thanks to Citibank, Chase, and the like.
The second thing that hijacked my thought train for more than a few moments was how network vulnerabilities are created for the explicit purpose of learning cyber criminal behavior. Like signing up for as much spam as you can. Sure it makes sense to me now. But I am still vaguely uncomfortable talking publicly about threat and attacks. It seems akin to Batman and the Joker building websites to promote their plans to outsmart the other. What was I not getting? By now I was considering slipping quietly out of the room to silence the voice in my head saying I had been foolish, very, very foolish in my confidence as a clever and vigilant consumer of Internet Things.
Realizing that I had some mental catching up to do, I stayed for the lasting impression that could keep me awake at night: just how easy it is to steal digital data. As I struggled with the impartial irony of how enormous yet simple a cat and mouse game Web App security is, visions of Tom and Jerry danced in my boggled brain.
One statement: simultaneously reassuring and terrifying.
Firstly it’s reassuring because anything that works towards the realisation that development and operation are not really separated by any kind of wall has to be a good thing. Of course there are different areas of focus at different times in the life of a service but they all should have the same aim – delivering what is needed in best possible way. We already all knew that, it is so obviously sensible that who would vote against it? The equally obvious fact that we then don’t do it is one for the psychologists and later blogs, but does lead me into my other reaction:-
The horror that we should be 50+ years into IT services before this seems important to enough for people to give a trendy name. How on earth have we survived this long without a “collaborative and productive relationship” between the people who build something and the people who operate it? And bear in mind both those groups are doing it for the same customer (in theory anyway).
To be fair to IT people though, perhaps this is an obligatory engineering practice we have picked up. Who remembers the days when getting your car repaired was unrelated to buying it? You bought it in the clean and shiny showroom at the front of the dealer, took it to the oily shed around the back if it broke. One of the things that has seen a step-change in the car industry – and is also changing ours and most others – is the realisation that we are now all delivering services and not products. So we are finally realising that long term usability and value is what defines success, not a shiny new – but fragile – toy. In fact, thinking of toys we all recall the gap between expectation and delivery of our childhood toys – the fancy and expensively engineered product that broke by Christmas evening compared to the cheap and solid – be it doll or push along car – that lasted until we outgrew it.
The car industry saw that happen – and we now have companies leading their adverts with a promise of lifetime car driving with their latest vehicles – with the mould really having been broken by Asian manufacturers offering 5 year unlimited mileage warranties. That was about selling a self-controlled transport service instead of a car – and really that is what most of us want. Amazing strides taking place on that front, of course, being taken by companies like Zipcar who have thought simply enough to see there is no absolute link between that service (self controlled transport) and car ownership. (Some of us want other things from a car of course – but that just leads us into the key first step of any successful service, know what your customer(s) want.)
Why I get so interested in all this is its basically what I’ve been saying for the last 20 years – my big advantage is that I came into IT from a services environment (I worked in a part of our organisation called ‘services group’) – and I never really understood why IT needed such a large and artificial wall between build and do. ITIL was (in large part) set up to try and break down the walls – initially an attempt to set up serious best practices and methodologies within operations to match what was already alive and well in development (hence the original name of the project – GITIMM, to mirror SSADM).
So … what am I saying? Please take devops seriously if that is what is needed to get better services. The complexity we need to address now means we have to stop maintaining any practices that prevent good ongoing service design and delivery. If giving it a name and a structure helps then let’s go there.
One of the things I am most proud about in the books I have contributed to is that we made up a fancy name for something good people already did (in our case early Life Support) – the intention was to give it profile and then people would add it to job roles and actually start to plan for it and then, finally, do it better.
Of course that brings with it the chance of looking like the emperor in his new clothes once you examine the detail and originality too carefully. But that’s good too – clever and original usually = doesn’t work too well at first. Solid old common sense (eventually) seems to me to offer a much firmer foundation to build on.
We need good foundations because the situation is actually a lot more complicated than we pretend – multiple customers, other stakeholders, users, operations as users – enough for a dozen more blogs, a handful of articles and a book. So … I’d better get on writing – and maybe so should you?
 Seems so to me anyway – the Delphic oracle was widely believed, responsibility free and most of those who used it didn’t understand where the knowledge came from.
Well, we are well into 2012 now and we have just about got though the ‘my predictions for 2012’ phase and in to ordinary routines again. Whatever the predictions, like with most years I predict that 2012 will look a lot like an older version of 2011.
There is still talk of recession, companies that struggled for funding in 2011 are no richer, Cloud is still talked about by a lot more people than understand it.
On a personal level 2012 has already delivered some of the improvements planned in 2011 – and I hope the same will happen workwise. Next major thing on my work horizon is IBM’s big service management show – Pulse. Back again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas we are promised it will be bigger and better than ever. I understand that bigger is important in as Vegas but I am usually even keener on better. Actually though, to be fair I am delighted that ‘my bit’ at Pulse looks like being bigger this year – with not one but two chances to deliver the cloud-readiness simulator on the weekend before the show itself starts. In fact there will be a strong focus on simulator this year with our team being on the exhibition floor to explain what, why and how they can help you.
Of course – like I implied above – this isn’t exactly new, but it is proven. Of course there will be lots of new stuff available – geeks welcomed and catered for. The technologists will – of course – be well catered for with lots of ‘future possibles’ and indeed a vision of some possible futures too. But service management’s primary focus is not on what might happen next year; it has always been about delivering value this year. In fact one of my favourite aspects of service management is how it rests on widely applicable principles, even though how they are applied might alter. For example, while change management processes in a cloud environment might need different considerations to make them most effective –the basics remain. I was working in service management long before I ever touched a computer. I remain constantly delighted to discover that lessons learned 30 years ago in supply and transport are still relevant to the 21stcentury IT based services we manage today.
So, if you are going to be at Pulse come along and tell me whether you agree that old-fashioned service concepts are still valuable – or come and explain why dinosaurs like me should be swept away by the meteor strike that is cloud. Either way – at Pulse or elsewhere – I look forward to good, informed and enjoyable debates. Good to think of the new year building on the successes of the old – at home and at work.
 If you follow me on twitter - @ivormacf - you will know where and when I will be in terms of events. Useful, whether you want to know how to find or to avoid me – same thing works both ways.
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
It started out a bit frenetic and confusing. Nobody knew what to do or where to go, and panic seemed to set in every time the loud horn blared, indicating another failure had occurred.
No, I wasn't attending a Green Mountain Derby Dames roller derby tournament.
Rather, I was present at an ISM Simulator Workshop session in Washington DC.
My role was to videotape the workshop, with the intent of scaling it down into a 2-3 minute snippet that captures the essence of the session. And as I observed the 16 participants in 'Round 1', it all started to make sense.
The participants were playing the roles of employees at a hypothetical shipping company. They were broken out into four teams, representing four different parts of the company - senior management, line of business owners, service desk personnel
and technical services.
On the screen at the front of the room was a birds-eye projection of the company, including a series of dashboards and schedules, which provided the participants with essential real-time information such as service level data, shipments completed, locations where outages were occurring, and the amount of money that the company was making (or losing!) at any given moment.
The goal of the 'game' was to maximize profits for the company in the face of systems that were continuously breaking down. To do so, each team had to establish its own processes, and effectively collaborate with the other teams so as to create an efficient overall system.
The first round was anything but efficient, as the teams tried desperately to get their own houses in order while they watched all the missed shipments, unresolved outages, and lost revenue on the screen. The sense of frustration was obvious, but the group pressed on.
At the end of the round, the facilitator conducted an assessment of the business by reviewing bottom line data with the group, and discussed best and worst practices that the teams had implemented. Clearly, there was a better way to run this business, and the group was determined to figure it out in short order.
Somewhere in the middle of Round 2, I began to sense that the group was turning the corner. There were a lot more 'aha" moments, a lot less shouting across the room, flip charts were being utilized, and there seemed to be a great deal of relevant information being shared across the different teams.
After three hours and three rounds, the group was both exhausted and exhilarated. They were able to implement an efficient process that yielded a positive bottom line.
But more importantly, they now had a much more tangible understanding of the role that Service Management plays in aligning IT with the business.
I had a chance to interview several of the participants after the session, and they were all effusive in their praise for the workshop. Clearly, the workshop far exceeded their expectations, and they were anxious to share their experience, and apply some of the best practices at their own organizations.
As a new member of the ISM marketing team, the workshop was also a great experience for me. Besides meeting some very interesting IBM customers and partners, I now have a much firmer grasp of the value of Service Management.
Incidentally, we will be running a simulator workshop for customers at Pulse on Sunday, February 27th. If you are interested in attending, please contact David Ojalvo as soon as possible, because seating is limited to the first 20 respondents.
If you are not able to get with us at Pulse, fear not...the ISM Simulator Workshop is portable in nature, and can be hosted at any customer site for a group of your employees. It's a great educational and team building exercise! For more information on this, visit our web page, and contact your local sales rep.
Now that Pulse is in the rear view mirror, we can focus our attention on INNOVATE, Rational's flagship event for 2011.
Innovate 2011 is the event for software innovation. It is the conference totally focused on helping you transform software innovation and accelerate better business outcomes.
Need another reason to attend Innovate 2011?... You can also take part in the 'Service Management Simulator Experience', a hands-on game focusing on the challenges and business value of implementing Service Management best practices in a realistic and exhilarating scenario. Over the course of a few hours, you'll use gaming and role playing dynamics to mirror the real-world interaction between IT and the business, from both a strategic and operational perspective. In the end, you will come away with an actionable understanding of how the effectiveness of IT processes impacts your business! - For more information, visit the Simulator web page - Check out this 3-minute youtube video from a previous workshop - Read the rave reviews
- To register or if you have questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
BTW...Readers of this blog may recall that we also conducted a simulator workshop at Pulse this year.
Join us and the Tivoli community at Innovate 2011 – it’s a great opportunity to network with your peers and take away valuable insight that you can use today. If you haven’t yet registered for the conference, you can register here.
‘Health is Wealth’ so goes an old saying and holds true in its every logical explanation. The healthcare industry, being one of the largest, is also the fastest growing industry in the world. IBM’s significant contribution to healthcare with its wide spectrum of solution offerings through a gamut of capabilities has made IBM earn many valuable clients from the industry. For example: IBM is collaborating with Nuance to Apply IBM’s "Watson" Analytics Technology to Healthcare (press release)
Integrated Service Management for healthcare helps our clients meet their business challenges and achieve smarter healthcare system. Tivoli Case Study: Healthcare is a repository of our clients’ success stories which brings an interesting insight on various kinds of challenges that may arise in a business scenario, the solutions offered and its benefits.
The IBM Impact 2009 conference wrapped up last week and was a huge success. It has set the bar for all future IBM and IT events yet to come! While lots of great events and activities took place at the conference, of notable attention was the use of social media around the conference. See the Impact communities page for a list of social media tools such as blogs, Twitter, Flickr, widgets used.
James Taylor and Andy Piper won the Impact social media game for being the most active in the social media environments.
The Impact team displayed Twitter conversation on the #ibmimpact hashtag in various places throughout the event and the tag made it into the top Twitter trends on Day 1 of the conference.
As a Tivoli-er, I was keen on following the Service Management conversations around IBM Impact.
WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance A big focus was on the WebSphere Cloudburst Appliance, a new IBM SOA appliance for deploying and managing SOA in a private cloud. It integrates with Tivoli data center management software and Rational development tools. It also ensures security of data and environments via an encrypted vault concept.
Al Zollar on Service Management, SOA, and a Smarter Planet I really enjoyed watching the tweets during Day 2 of the conference when the Twitter crowd gave Al Zollar, General Manager of IBM Tivoli Software, a warm welcome during his keynote on Service Management, SOA, and a Smarter Planet. A few of the tweets included:
Fabian Marquez: "Al Zollar from Tivoli did a great job explaining Dynamic Infrastructure and Service Management."
James Governor: "Al Zollar from Tivoli talking about Vertical industry service management ie new IBM Service Management Solution for Healthcare."
Matthew Perrins: "Al Zollar is looking cool !! And got the crowd back already."
Al will be giving an encore of his talk as he keynotes at the Pulse Comes to You Event on May 19 in New York. Pulse Comes to You (PCTY) is a worldwide tour. Check the PCTY Website for a free event near you.
Festive jingles of December are already
here reminding us how quickly the year 2010 has flown off, with 2011 being just
a few days away. As I leave behind 2010, I would like to label it as one of my
most memorable years, mainly, because I became one of the employees of IBM, the
company which I’ve always admired for its rich history, innovative present and
a smart future.
December is also a month to plan
New Year’s resolutions and start executing them from Jan 1st; some
work some fail. I would want my 2011 to be a year of success, happiness and
satisfaction so that when it ends I can proudly say, “Yes, I did it”.
This, however, is on a personal
level but when ‘I’ becomes ‘We’, as in Organizations, how do we work out our
resolutions? I guess the perfect management of
service/asset/resource/information/time in a smartest possible way would top
When I say this, I feel happy
that I’m associated with the Organization which is leading the world in
providing smarter solutions with its varied products.
To be precise, as a Client
Reference Specialist* for Tivoli, I feel
proud to be associated with Tivoli Software-the service management brand of IBM
software group without which IBM Smarter Planet
strategy is incomplete, as Tivoli provides much of the software to facilitate
the management of all the smart processes, networks and grids that will bring
the smart strategy to completion. Tivoli Case Studies for Smarter Planet give an interesting insight on how IBM is successfully
providing smarter solutions to various sectors of economy.
Well, I’m yet to put on my
thinking hat and zero in on some of the smartest possible resolutions for the New
Year. If you’ve already done yours, how smart are your New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s
Think and comment below :-)
I recently discovered ANOTHER great resource for IBM Business Partners. The IBM "Ready To Execute" initiative, which was originally launched internally to improve the quality of our marketing campaigns and drive higher quality leads, has been extended to Business Partners. In a nutshell, Ready to Execute is a web-based model that provides the foundation and all the elements for launching an effective marketing campaign, including multi-touch e-mails, telemarketing scripts, digital strategies, and compelling offers.
As I began researching all the specifics of the program for our Business Partners, I stumbled upon a blog post from one of my colleagues in Software Group, Jacqi Levy, who has done a fabulous job of summarizing the benefits of the program, as well as providing a great overview on how Business Partners can get started on launching a campaign. Nicely done, Jacqi!
IBM customers: Join IBM on April 21 for the exciting SC Magazine awards presentation and dinner! RSVP to Karen Krieger at email@example.com if you would like to attend.
Date: April 21, 2009
Time: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Hilton San Francisco, 333 O’Farrell Street
We are very excited since IBM is a finalist in several categories:
Best Security Company!
Best Enterprise Firewall: IBM Proventia Network Intrusion Prevention as Layer II Firewall
Best Identity Management Solution: IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On
Best Integrated Security Solution: IBM Proventia SiteProtector
Best Vulnerability Management Solution: IBM Proventia Network Enterprise Scanner
Best Web Application Security Solution: IBM Rational AppScan
Best Security Software Development Solution: IBM Rational AppScan Developer Edition
As part of the IT security industry's leading global awards program, the SC Awards U.S. was organized to honor the professionals, companies and products that help fend off the myriad security threats confronted in today's corporate world.
SC Awards hones in on the achievements of the guys and gals in the trenches, the innovations happening in the vendor and service provider communities, and the passionate work of government, commercial and nonprofits working to help the industry.
Only one week to go until IBM are the key Sponsors at the Government Property Event, at the QE11 Conference Centre in London - Only one week to go until IBM are the key Sponsors at the Government Property Event, at the QE11 Conference Centre in London - http://bit.ly/GCPB1a The conference aims to help central and local government decision makers deliver a “more efficient, effective and sustainable public sector estate”, and as such, IBM will be discussing our Smarter Buildings initiative, especially discussing solutions such as IBM Tririga (a recent acquisition) and IBM Intelligent Building Management (IIBM). Attendees will be able to attend workshops (one of which IBM are running – detailed below) and network with their peers. We will be speaking during the opening plenary session - Rachel Caldicott, a Managing Consultant for IBM will take the audience through how organisations can achieve and embrace workplace flexibility - what is current good practice and where are we heading? If you are attending the event, please make sure to come and listen to the IBM Smarter Buildings experts at 13:30. Claire Penny and Joe Potter will deal with the question “ICT – Help or Hindrance?” There session will cover the 2011, UK Public Sector Property, Estates & FM Survey Report which provided great insight into the challenges facing Public Sector property managers – and what they were doing about tackling them. Challenges ranged from balancing operational requirements, with the need to demonstrate value for taxpayers’ money, to the need to manage Public Sector assets efficiently. A key finding was that Public Sector financial cutbacks were forcing 28% of Public Sector respondents to rationalise their estates to stay within budget, with 72% of respondents either reviewing or actively reducing their office accommodation. The survey also showed that, far from being a barrier to success, ICT was increasingly being seen as a means to solve problems, with over half of all respondents agreeing that ICT was not a serious issue inhibiting real estate savings but that ICT is part of the solution – not the problem. Finally, over 40% of Central and Local Government respondents are currently planning to change FM and other property service providers. All have cited that access to critical data held by their service providers is an issue. This work session will illustrate how IBM has tackled some of these issues on its own global portfolio. We will show how it is possible to extract, collect and process data within and about our buildings so that not only can the individual buildings be managed more effectively, but the overall portfolio can be sized and shaped to meet business needs. You can also talk to our experts by coming to stand 11, where we will be happy to take you through a demo of Tririga, or IIBM, and discuss the current road map with you. Please follow us throughout the day on @ibmtivoli or @RSwindell, and join in the conversation using #govprop2012 If you are not attending the event, but keen to speak to IBM about the sessions highlighted above, then please visit – www.ibm.com/smarterbuildings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on IBM on 01475898688.
It's not hardware. It's not software. It's a new category of solution; expert integrated systems.
It's one of the "game changer" solutions that our customers have come to expect from IBM (and that our partners love). It's solving very specific problems that customers have on their road to innovation.
One of those problems is built-in expertise. This is a hardware and software solution that is integrated at levels you've not seen before on a solution; giving customers and partners a simplified user experience for implementation and maangement.
IBM SmartCloud & Tivoli
To that point, you'll notice IBM PureSystems has it's own end-to-end management capabilities specific to the solution.
It does. But, for broader management challenges, IBM SmartCloud and Tivoli software will extend the investment in that IBM PureSystems solution by providing Visibility. Control. Automation(tm) across the entire IT infrastructure.
Together with IBM SmartCloud and Tivoli software, IBM PureSystems will push customers to higher levels of efficiency with their service management practice.
As you talk to your IBM sales rep or your business partner, ask them about IBM SmartCloud & Tivoli software with IBM PureSystems for your entire infrastructure and service management.
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.
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.
All you have to do is create an original video that describes how your Tivoli software products have helped your company solve a problem, improve performance or deliver business value.
No, you won't be eligible for the 2011 Academy Award nominations (not even for documentaries), but you will be eligible to win an Apple iPad, iTouch, iPod Nano, $100 gift check, or $50 gift check.
Get started today - the deadline for contest submissions is August 16th. Winners will be announced on September 21st. (You may want to start thinking about what you're gonna wear). In the meantime, you'll want to read this article with the contest details.
But be forewarned - Hollywood may come a-callin'...you may need to get yourself an agent.
Signing off for now, Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management Reporter
Today's software architects must do so much more than just build, deliver and manage...they must innovate. Increasingly, IT is charged with enabling business and seizing new opportunities to create unique, competitive advantages for the business through a more responsive and cost-effective delivery of IT services.
A tall order, for sure, but have no fear! Your ticket to learning just how you can do this is at Innovate 2010 - the premier software systems and services event; specifically, by attending the Integrated Service Management track. This track will demonstrate how you can effectively utilize information, assets and technology across the service lifecycle by integrating tools, processes and functions across enterprise architecture, development, testing and IT operations teams.
This track will also shine the spotlight on how IBM Rational, the platform for software delivery, is linked with IBM Tivoli, the platform for service management...and how organizations can incorporate Integrated Service Management throughout all phases of the service lifecycle, creating robust processes for producing innovative products and services and making those processes as efficient and cost-efficient as possible.
Hmmm...sounds like a can't miss event to me! Check out this article to learn more about Integrated Service Management at Innovate 2010 - and how linking IT development and IT operations can help drive down costs and drive up efficiency in exactly the ways organizations need most - to innovate best. Register today!
Signing off for this week, Your friendly roving Integrated Service Management reporter
Oh, how happy I am to have that application in my phone to download my favorite tune; and as an end-user I’m happy as long as my phone gets my directions correct. However, to deliver such a rich user experience what goes into the back-end is the design and delivery of an increasingly complex system of systems.
It’s about the ‘sustainable innovation with Integrated Service Management for Design and Delivery;’ where Tivoli and Rational software come together, bridging the gap between design, development, test with operational processes and together service the critical business needs.
This integrated process enables organizations to:
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
People seem to like a thing to be right or
wrong. Yet the older I get the more it seems to me that very few things are
totally right, and that there is rarely only one right answer to real
I was driven to these thoughts by a really good
posting on Back2ITSM from Stephen Mann about Spiderman and the Avengers. He was
concerned with things that change over time and the danger of being out of date
and therefore no longer correct. You
should read that posting – in fact if you are interested in service management
you should get already be looking at this facebook group – very much the place
Anyway, I am not going to repeat Stephen’s
words here – rather I want to follow a tangential aspect of right and wrong
that his posting triggered in my mind.
It’s just that I don’t think that right is
always an appropriate idea, and I think too many people in service management
think there is a right answer to every question. Actually, truth be told, if I
risk making it way too clear that I am a grumpy old man, then I think there is
far too much expectation of there being a right answer in most aspects of
I don’t know if commitment to that concept of
‘one right way’ is something that we are born with or something we teach our
children. I suspect the latter; certainly it is there at an early age. I recall discussions with my girls about
nursery rhymes. Several versions are around – different recordings,
publications etc inevitably with slightly different words in them. All of my
girls wanted to know which one was the ‘right’ version – certain in their own
minds that one of them must be right, and the others therefore wrong.
The more data and information we ‘enjoy access
to’, then the less chance there is of any one set being ‘right’. I have even heard as an explanation that we
now live in a scientific age – that older attitudes to life were less precise.
And yet I was taught – as a science student – that a solution is right for its
context not necessarily in an absolute sense. I recall one electronics lesson
that has always stuck in my mind and served my in very good stead in my working
life, across a whole range of service management – especially in measurement.
It hinged on the lecturer going through the
week’s assignment which involved working out the effective resistance of several
configurations of components. We had all
(and I mean all, from the clever geeks, to the lazy ones like me) worked it out
using the given resistances of each element in a frighteningly complicated
configuration, and come up with a precise effective value for the combination.
The lecturer drew it on the board, then proceeded to wipe out most elements as ‘not significant’
– left about three components and did the calculation in seconds. We all screamed ‘cheat’! He laughed, reminded
us that the stated resistance of the components is given as ±10%, so there was no point in taking
seriously anything that wouldn’t affect the answer by more than a few percent.
I spoke with the lecturer afterwards and he
admitted they did the same exercise every year to get that very point across.
The right answer is one that fits the circumstances, be that imprecise measures,
limited time, lack of profile with management or whatever situation you
establish you are in.
That lesson about being right enough for the
job is one we are losing with modern technology giving us an answer to
ridiculous precision from input that is
often little more than a guess.
That principle of knowing what is needed before
you deliver is – of course – far more universally true than just being about
measurement. But it is easily forgotten in an age that often delivers more
answers than questions.
The group is made up of a very diverse audience, including IT professionals, analysts, IBM Business Partners and of course, IBMers.
Members of this group share knowledge, news, training, and events around Service Management solutions, including Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Information Management, Storage, Security, DevOps, Smarter Planet, Green IT and Cloud Computing!
So join our group, and initiate a discussion, or weigh on on an existing discussion!
For most of last week I was attending and –
I hope – contributing to itSMF’s international publishing meeting. This was
held in Warsaw in beautiful spring weather, while
was being blasted by wind and rain. That was nice but nowhere the most
important or most pleasurable thing that the week had to offer.
Now, first a little background, just in case
there is anyone who does not know what the itSMF is. The letters stand for IT
Service Management Forum – and that sums it up quite well: a place for those
interested in ITSM to talk, learn, teach, compare and discuss. Part of that communication
naturally involves publication – and our group focuses on that – from reviewing
others’ books through translation and dissemination to encouraging authoring
and publishing books. Crucial to its attitudes and success, itSMF is a
non-profit organisation, owned by its members.
OK, as you may imagine it is – as well as serious
working meeting – a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues of the ITSM
global village. And the active ITSM community really is like a village, except
that it spread across some 50 countries – we have all the relationships that
you would expect: friends, enemies and lots in between.
All of us have our day jobs, many of us
working for cut-throat competitors but that all gets set aside and we settle
back into our ‘all in this together’ mode. One of things that I came back from Warsaw thinking about was
that different set of attitudes we have while focused on itSMF business. Some
of that rests upon the different nature of not for profit organisations – at least
compared to the more usual owned by shareholder companies. It is hard sometimes
to make the switch, but a good lesson for anyone in the service management business
to realise the differences that do exist. Probably the best description I know
is this one: ‘Commercial companies need to do things to in order to make money;
not-for-profit organisations need to make money in order to do things’.
That makes the non-profit member owned
organisations a lot like government – and like governments today we are strapped
for cash. These are hard times and no-one has much in the way of spare money.
But we still strive to fight against what would be a sensible approach for an
organisation focused on shareholder value. We still need to deliver what the ‘right
things’. From our publishing perspective it would be tempting to look only at
safe books – rearranging established best practice into easier, shorter or
simpler reads. Instead though, everyone at our meeting sees that we need a
focus on innovation and stretching our industry.
Of course we need to be financially successful
with enough of our projects, and we have work to do on building a firm base to
take ourselves – and our industry – forwards. But I am proud that the books we
have already managed to publish contain real industry innovations and new
perspectives – both on service management as you would expect but also into wider
topics such as organisational change.
So, I came back feeling the need to write
down how much work people put in – for nothing – last week. I’m not claiming I did
that much, but lots of work was put in, and even more commitments made to keep
the momentum going and I felt that it was a few day’s work I was proud to have
been a part of and an effort worth recording
here. In some later blogs I might relate more about other aspects of the trip - like using budget airlines and the change in perspective of value that goes with that.
So – please go read about what we have
already managed (6 books published, quarterly magazine, whitepaper competition
etc.). You can find out about the books are – and read the magazines for free
by going to http://www.itsmfi.org/content/publications.
If that gets you interested in how you can get your ideas written up and out
there then get in touch. My portfolio responsibility is ‘Authoring’, so I would
love to hear from you. We are keen to find new authors, for whitepapers, books
or articles – and happy to offer any level of support you might need – from
final review through mentoring and even to co-authoring or ghost writing.
By my next blog, I will be back in successful
company mode, but it is good to remember that the commercial companies also
live in and benefit from the wider community. It is good to see that being
recognised through sponsorship and support. IBM sponsored the meeting last year - this time we had support from TSO and BTC. massive thanks to those companies. With more support next year we should have more people and achieve even more.
A colleague of mine just introduced me to another great Tivoli resource for Business Partners. The Tivoli Knowledge Center is a great place for partners to get the training and skills to successfully sell, service, and become certified on our most important and strategic IBM Tivoli product lines. It includes marketing tools, as well as technical, training and sales resources.
For those partners who are new to the Tivoli family, there is a very intuitive "Getting started with Tivoli" section. For the 'seasoned veterans' who already have a relationship with Tivoli, there are quick links to sales kits, sales plays, and incentives.
One of this month's top stories will point you to the Business Partner Summit presentations from Pulse 2012. Within that page, you can find a link to the "Small Deals Equals Big Revenue" charts that were presented by Tamara Crawford and Michele Payne to an audience of about 60 partners at Pulse 2012. I was fortunate enough to attend that presentation in Vegas, and got some great insight from the presenters and the partners, who offered up a lot of great questions and comments.
The Tivoli Knowledge Center can be found within the PartnerWorld web site so feel free to share this resource with YOUR colleagues!
I am just back from a week working in Tokyo. For someone who
writes as much as I do about the need to understand customer culture and how
that affects expectations, it is always a good lesson to visit Japan, where the
culture is about as different (from where I normally work) as you get within
the service management world. (Of course culture does get even more different in,
say, certain Amazonian tribes or a primary school playground, but with little
formal ITIL adoption there as yet, Tokyo
is my extreme of difference.)
Although the shadow of the tsunami and very
real loss to the community endures, the human spirit carries on and people
still laugh and enjoy life. One of the pleasant surprises is how universal
humour can be. It is also easy to forget how quickly people’s behaviour adapts
and copies from those around them. You really only notice the extent to which
you adapt when you get back home. For example it took me a while to stop bowing
to people and also to stop smiling at people in the street, restaurants etc –
or certainly to stop expecting them to smile back.
I also got used to things that I would
expect not to cope with easily. Specifically after the first day or so I was no
longer bothered by how much my room on the 16th floor shook when one
of the steady stream of aftershocks wobbled Tokyo. That reminded me of how worryingly
quickly I had got used to seeing young men with machine gums patrolling the
streets while working in Belfast
in 1992. Seems we absorb new technology just as quickly, and it takes very
little time for what seemed new and so different to become everyday life.
People as old as me can remember life without a mobile phone, but already I
find it hard to recall how it felt to be out of contact whenever out of the house or office, let alone that it didn’t bother me to be unreachable.
But coping without things you have got used
to does happen – and it is clear there are some very direct lessons for service
management in Tokyo
today. Obviously in the light of their unfortunate experience and need for disaster
recovery and business continuity they are well placed to be the source of most
of the case studies for the next few years. It may well be a long time before
even the immediate effects stop being so visible – there is an obligation for a
15% reduction in electricity consumption that looks set to last a long while.
That kind of thing has so many knock-on effects you quickly realise how
dependent we are on technology. Not only because it is a shock to go back to
old ways – and waving a fan may be an ancient Japanese tradition but it much less
effective than air conditioning; but because we depend on so much that cannot
function without the technological infrastructure. The power reduction of 15%
has to applied carefully, because so many things – like data centre power –
must be maintained. So the power for things that drive mere comfort is hit very
hard – very little cooling in offices and, for example, my hotel had turned off
That made me think of just how complex our
everyday infrastructures have become, with so much more than electricity on our
critical list. It perhaps should be acompulsory occasional exercise to think through just how many things we
presume will be available – not just the obvious (utilities, access, people etc).
I am sure we would all be surprised at some of the things we tacitly depend on –
and equally sure there are good stories to be told about some of them – any offers?.
I delivered an
SM simulation for a client in the middle of a tropical paradise in Brazil
last week. It is a hard life but I guess someone has to do it. The countryside
around was stunningly beautiful, and the views driving there even more so. I
was reminded of the great Frank Keating’s reporting from an English cricket
tour of the West Indies for readers in a cold
and wet British winter; his opening line to his readers: “Another day
Frank, I was there to work, and work I did –another successful and fun game – I
always enjoy how much the delegates enjoy the experience; we should all have more
work that actually makes people happy.
We had a mix of
nationalities and cultures on the game – a real challenge but one that brings
its own extra flavours. I was thinking about those cultural variations on the drive
back to São Paulo
airport – and I realised there is much more to culture than the obvious things
My driver was a
very nice man – a pleasure to share a space with, just enough English to
converse, comfortable with silence and caring enough to return from a rest stop
with an unsolicited bottle of water for me; plus a cheerful insistence that I
try local specialties that I might not have seen before So, all-in-all, clearly
he is a man who wants me to be comfortable and survive the journey.
So, why did he
frighten the living daylights out of me at irregular intervals on the way?
Simply by behaving normally for his culture: using road verges to pass trucks
at high speed on the wrong side, overtaking in the middle of road works, driving
at high speed within inches of other vehicles. While this seemed reckless to my
culture, it is everyday for Brasil. It made me realise that as well as the
social variations, culture extends to acceptable risk – what would just result
in a late arrival in western Europe is met with acalculated risk to get past the slow moving
obstacles, a culture that values speed over safety perhaps? Or more likely just
the inevitable reaction to the extreme traffic volumes and conditions there. I
didn’t see it as a better nor a worse attitude, just a different one – and
there being differences left in the world is something I, for one, feel is an
unmitigatedly good thing.
many Brasilian taxi drivers before, so I was not surprised, but what did amaze
me was how quickly and unnoticed that culture got into my thinking and
unconscious actions. Back in the UK, driving home from the airport I
found myself changing lanes MUCH more than I usually would. Not too recklessly
I hope, but it took a while before I was back to my normal UK driving
So if we copy
cultural elements so quickly after so short a visit – and that copying spills
over into our next situation, do we do that with our customers too? Do we bring
the needs of the previous customer we worked with to our next, even if it isn’t
the right culture for them? Maybe this is just one more thing for us to watch
out for in our business relationships?
I’m a big fan of IBM’s mission of Smarter Planet. As
an IBMer based out of Bangalore, India, I get inspired by Big Blue’s rich history
and the impact it has been creating on the world’s business systems.
This week, India is celebrating the “Joy of Giving
Week” (JGW), a pan-India initiative started in 2009 to celebrate a “festival of
giving” to the needy and to our society, through various forms of giving: time,
skills, resources, money etc. JGW is held annually for a week, starting on a
Sunday and ending on a Saturday. These dates also contain Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on the 2nd of October.
Donation boxes are kept in IBM offices across all
the locations. Interestingly, as I was making a list of things to be donated to
bring in smiles into a few innocent faces, a thought occurred to me….. and then
my joy knew no bounds. I realized that to be associated with IBM, which works
towards giving back to our Earth with a mission of making it a Smarter Planet
through innovations in products and services, is a joy in itself. A joy of
giving to the world we live in, for our smart and sustainable living.
Further, I love my job which is working on our Tivoli Success Stories for our IBM Client References.Many of
these stories talk about the work that we are doing with our customers and
their implementation of Smarter Planet solutions.Our customers, using these solutions, are
having a significant impact on making our lives better and more fulfilling. And, YES.....I can see the ‘Joy of Giving’ being passed on from IBM to our clients and
to the world :)
Learn all about the latest strategies and smarter software for design and development innovation through next generation service delivery from the Integrated Service Management track at Innovate 2010, June 6-10. The Integrated Service Management track at Innovate is a continuation of the discussion and training of the Software Delivery Lifecycle Management stream at Pulse 2010, which showcased how clients, IBM and IBM Business Partners use software delivery lifecycle management solutions to help realize greater value from software investments and optimize business outcomes at reduced cost and risk.
The Integrated Service Management track kickoff will be hosted by Jamie Thomas, Vice President of Tivoli Strategy and Development, formerly of worldwide development, client support and product management for the Rational software brand. Jamie will be joined by Bala Rajaraman, Distinguished Engineer, IBM Software, Tivoli and John Wiegand, Distinguished Engineer, Rational Analysis, Design and Construction.
At Innovate 2010, IBM clients and partners will learn innovative approaches to optimizing the service lifecycle, driving better efficiencies and lowering their TCO. Attendees of the Integrated Service Management track will also learn how to leverage the existing tight integrations with Rational solutions. Specifically, clients can find out how to:
Speed up the deployment processes and maximize resource utilization with automation solutions
Reduce cost and improve efficiency with Visibility and Automation brought about by the integration of Rational and Tivoli
Fully realize the benefits of newer technologies such as virtualization, cloud etc in the dev and test processes that will improve TCO and efficiency
Create a robust dev and test processes that will have minimal chances of failure and cause an outage
I’ve had a recent burst of situations where things just seem to be difficult for no obvious reason, and maybe that has made me even more cynical than usual - yes, it is, just about, possible. My first assumption – of course – is that these are yet more examples of bad service management. Each is one more case of services not being matched to customer requirements, but then maybe a sneaking suspicion creeps in: are they really deliberately designed to deliver what the real customer wants, rather than the apparent one (or user as ITIL might call them).
Of course we have all experienced this to some extent: the complaints department that is very hard to contact, with a premium rate phone number and an interminable set of IVR choices before you can get anywhere near a real person – all costing you £1.75 a minute to listen to. Typically we give up in disgust just after we have spent more on the phone call than we spent on the product we are trying to complain about. While the first thought is that the supplier hasn’t thought through how they need to be contactable, second thought makes you realise that they don't want people being able to complain easily. And if you have an angry customer who is unlikely to buy more from you, then you might as well make what money you can out of them calling you to complain and tell you they won’t buy any more. So maybe this is actually clever design – to meet the primary customer’s requirement?
Sometimes you just aren’t sure – I was also watching someone applying for a visa – for a well known country in North America. It reminded me very much of the classic customer complaints system I just outlined. Rather confusing instructions, no web-based option to book an appointment – only telephone at £1.23 per minute (plus ‘network extras’ whatever they might be), and then surprise, surprise a computerised voice – talking slowly - offers you some options. Appointments are issued, it seems ‘en block’ and you are warned you must queue outside, whatever the weather. Oh, and no mobile phones or any other electrical items can be taken into the building, and, no, there is no facility to leave them anywhere safe while you go in.
So, is this bad service build, or is it carefully designed to reduce the number of applicants? After all, the people who need visa are – by and large – from less affluent countries, and won’t spend that much when they get there. Could be the whole service was carefully designed to discourage.
Now I suspect the real truth is a perfectly justifiable need for security and a sensible imperative to reduce costs. But it does perhaps make you realise that it is oh so easy to get sidetracked and judge things only by what are actually the second level measures and deliverables, rather than being sure we tie everything back to our organisation’s overall visions and objectives.
It is not always as easy as it sounds – especially in large companies where day-to-day operations can be a long way from corporate targets. For example, focusing on selling widgets that work, continue to work and get fixed quickly should they fail means that you probably just focus on ensuring your direct customers are happy widgetters. Yet if the profit margin on widgets is low, the market difficult and competitive and your widgets do tend to break more often than other manufacturers’…well then the best contribution to your corporate objective of maximising shareholder return is, quite correctly, to get out of supplying widgets altogether. Even if that means abandoning your long time faithful widget customers, well, if you have got your overall prime objective right, then abandoning them is right for the company.
We see the same thing with internal services, is that travel booking service there to make it easier for you to spend the company money on travel, or is it there to make sure you only go through with it if you really need to go? If reducing costs is what the owners of that service want, then ease of use is a bad thing.
Secretly though, I suspect a lot of bad service really is just that. But – it can be a fun game to play next time you get bad service. Is it really bad, or is it targeted to drive you away because that’s what they want? Is it hard to buy something because of incompetence or because the profit margin is too low?
Next time you get awful service, maybe it is worth congratulating the service provider about their commitment to higher objectives, maybe even ask them if they would be so kind as to tell you the corporate objectives they are rigorously pursuing; so you can write to their CEO and congratulate them too on how well their staff strives to reduce unhelpful customer satisfaction. Or then again, they may not be so pleased to hear from you after all, and just leave you with an expensive IVR system to listen to.
As businesses and governments continue to develop and design products and services that are increasingly interconnected, IBM is working with clients to help them build the competencies to manage these products in smarter ways. This week at Innovate, the Tivoli and Rational teams, delivered several sessions to the agenda that demonstrated to the software developers, clients, and business partners how to design develop, deploy an manage smarter products by linking development and operations using Cloud technology. I was thrilled to see the level of interest and enthusiasm from the audience for Integrated Service Management. Many of the sessions were standing room only, including the track kickoff, which had to be moved to a larger room! Sessions that were not SRO were also very popular with nearly full rooms.
We were lucky to capture Bala Rajararaman, Tivoli Distinguished Engineer and Top Gremlin-Buster, along with Moe Abdula from Tivoli Development, who shared their passion for Smarter Products and Services by integrating the tools, processes and data of development and operations.
Recent IBM news on “Smarter Cities” is invoking fond
memories of one of my favorite courses at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute: Politics
of design taught by Professor
Langdon Winner. Some of my favorite discussions during this course focused
on urban theory and planning and environmentally and ethically responsible
innovations. A few of my favorite personal readings included:
While innovations and technologies always fascinate
me, personally I’m most interested in the political, socio-cultural aspects of
Palmisano’s statement below:
“All the ways in which the world
works come together in our cities. They are the proverbial melting pot -- not
only for immigrants, but for systems, blending them together to engender new
forms of commerce, of culture, of science, of life and of society. Which is why
cities -- more than states, provinces or even nations -- are likely to be the
crucible for human progress and evolution in the coming century.”
Smart cities require smart people and deliberate thinking. How will SmarterCity designs and innovations enable and constrain our attempts
to build ethical, sustainable, humane systems and relationships? What are key
philosophical and socio-cultural issues to consider in this endeavor?
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.
Brian Bryson is the lead for Pulse 2010 track, Quality Management for Applications & Services. I talked with him to find out what kind of proposals he is hoping to see and I’ve included his comments below.
Re: Content Any type of content that addresses the federation or unification of development and operations teams would be great. We want to hear about what organizations have done to bridge the gap between these teams.
We believe there are great gains to be had in better aligning development, testing and operations i.e. better quality and faster delivery of new products and services, faster problem resolution and improved business flexibility. We’re interested in presentations that talk about:
Product integrations and how to streamline the workflow between test inventory, discovery, and provisioning
Tools and processes to accelerate testing--Development has depended more on manual processes while operations has been using automated tools and processes. We hope to see presentations that talk about how clients have automated or plan to automate processes in order to get software and services out faster, resolve problems faster and get operations to work better with development—anything that automates, improves, and accelerates the process from build and testing to running and managing applications.
Technologies, strategies, tips and best practices that help development and operations work together to deliver services and resolve problems faster
This is the first time Rational has had significant presence at Pulse, so we’re looking for a broad array of development topics—case studies, tips and tricks, process and strategy, and overview presentations—that will help operations professionals better understand and appreciate the challenges of software and service development. This kind of understanding will help create tighter integration across teams which will result in faster repair and replacement cycles, higher quality services, and faster delivery time.
Re: Who are good candidates for submitting abstracts? We are looking for a good mixture of customer presentations. That’s our number one priority. The customers are living with and addressing the daily challenges of service delivery and upkeep and we would like to hear how they have tackled those challenges.
Business partners also are great candidates. They are out there working with the tools and forming the bridge between IBM and the customer. They have a great depth of experience and a unique perspective. We would like to hear more about the challenges they have addressed.
We would also like to hear from the developers behind the tools. This is a great opportunity to connect the customers with the people building the tools to share information and ideas that will help make the tools better.
Re: What makes a good presentation What I think makes a great proposal is being able to say up front, “At the end of this presentation, the audience will walk away knowing this.”
A gold star presentation tells the before and after--here was our situation, here’s what didn’t work, here’s what we did, here are the measured net results. It wraps the story up with quantifiable proof i.e. it took two weeks less to produce a patch fix, or the cycle time for new applications was reduced by 20%.
A short, well structured presentation with a clearly stated purpose or exit criteria is what we’re looking for.
Re: Benefits of submitting an abstract for Pulse Just being present in community of practitioners-- developers, partners, clients, people using the tools—is a huge benefit. Speaking invites collaboration. When you present, you get a seat at the table. It improves your stature in the community and you get feedback from your peers, industry experts and the developers behind the tools—and, as you all know, it never hurts to have the Email address for the guy who developed the tool you are using!
Outside-in-Design teams gotta love you: "Until we learn to manage the applications in the same way they are used, that is from the customer's perspective, we will continue to struggle with the reputation of IT as being a stumbling block to business instead of a driver of business."
So, how about Cloud computing? This is top of mind lately as I've been working on the launch of the new Cloud computing community
What role does something as historically old school as System z have to play in this big, bright new world?
Mid-sized organizations will benefit from the IBM Tivoli Foundations offerings - service management solutions designed and priced to meet the needs of mid-sized organizations. You can learn more at: