Cloud & Service Management blog
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  ibm ivor tivoli service-management itil 2,199 Visits
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  ibm itsm measurement itil ivor itsmf tivoli 2,187 Visits
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 situations.
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  ibm ivor itsm devops itil tivoli service-management 2,186 Visits
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 things.
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:
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 information.
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.
Tiffany Winman 12000065XB firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  test rsc rational zollar dynamic-infrastructure twitter itcam ccmdb rpt deployments tsrm ram application-development service-management cloud-computing florida rsdc tivoli it rsc2009 cloud 2,105 Visits
Two great IBM
conferences were held in
You can follow much of the online excitement of the conference via RSC2009 on Twitter and a Twitter search on #rsc2009. I'm really looking forward to the great software development reality TV drama series I mentioned on a previous blog.
General Manager sessions
Al Zollar, General Manager of IBM Tivoli Software, will participate in three executive sessions:
Software Lifecycle Track Presentation
“Enhancing The Application Life Cycle with Tivoli Composite Application Manger (ITCAM)”-- Todd Kindsfather
Abstract: Discover how IBM Rational and
“Bridging the chasm between build, deployment and production”--Rich Johnston
Abstract: Today’s IT departments have more systems to manage, more locations to support and more mission-critical applications to build, deploy and maintain than ever before. In many organizations, the processes employed to move applications from build, to deploy, to production phase can be manual, time-consuming and error-prone. The data, tools, and workflows are not well integrated or automated resulting in inefficient processes which inevitably lead to slower time to market, long resolution cycles and even loss of revenue. This session offers a chance for attendees to discuss issues, challenges and solutions for bridging development and IT operations across different aspects of the application and service lifecycle.
Service Management pedestals
Abstract: The inability to quickly identify application performance bottlenecks can lead to system downtime and unnecessary cycles spent firefighting defects. See how ITCAM can provide monitoring data from operations needed to better understand performance characteristics prior to relase and speed correction of defects.
Ped 2: "Integrating the Service Management Lifecycle across Development & Operations: Optimize Application Performance in Production"--Todd Kindsfather
Abstract: Integration across application development and configuration management tools is critical for complete component life-cycle managmenet. With a Tivoli/Rational integrated solution, customers can experience total application management from development to deploymentt to operation.
For those who can’t
attend the conference in
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  linkedin rational tivoli ojalvo planet media social smarter ism cloud information management 2,103 Visits
Recently, we enhanced and expanded our "IBM Integrated Service Management" group on LinkedIn.
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!
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  service ivor empowerment ibm service-management itsm tivoli itil 2,083 Visits
I recently had some first hand experience – from the receiving end – how much of an effect genuinely good customer service can have. The experience started in dismay but was recovered well beyond expectation.
Anyway, to start at the beginning ….
I had to go and ‘swear an affidavit’ –
which for those of you not into the jargon of jurisprudence means to formally
promise what you are saying on a form is true. In
Now, it started, I admit, with me failing in my responsibility to be a proactive customer. I did not think
through what I knew. County Courts in
So, I had a perfect example of a ‘Moment of Truth’; putting me instantly, and very extremely, ‘anti’ the staff and the processes. It seemed obviously the staff are required to leave common-sense at home and not bring it to work with them.
And thus, in a bad mood I reached the court officer with whom I was to sign and swear that my forms told the truth. She spots my mood, finds out why and explains that the rules are for protection and cannot be altered – causing no improvement in my mood. She then looks at my forms and points out that I have not brought all the right documents – and then throws in for good measure that my solicitor has supplied my with the wrong set of forms.
So … it is now clear to me that I have driven into town, paid for my car parking, lost my knife for the duration and all for nothing because my paperwork is wrong. But fear not – after this it gets better. I had been expecting a businesslike word or two of sympathy and if I allowed myself a glimmer of optimism then maybe even an explanation of what I needed to go back and fetch, so that it would work when I came back.
Instead the lady reacted very differently. She pointed out that the forms I have forgotten are copies of documents they already have lodged with them, and that they have blank forms of the right kind. She fetches the missing forms, lends me a pen and helps me understand what is needed on the right form, checks it through, makes corrections and then duly witnesses it and formally logs it in the system as sworn and correct. As she put it “Well the purpose is to get your stuff recorded, if I can make that happen then why wouldn’t I help?”
Of course she was perfectly right, her job is to help get these things done, and so thinking for herself and helping people get there is an obviously correct attitude. Isn’t that exactly how everyone in service delivery sees it?
Well, of course we all know that it isn’t – not yet! The sad aspect of this kind of story is how surprised we all are by them – that they are worthy or repeating because this quality of service is still unusual.’
The key aspect of this story – with its two different approaches to dealing with the customers - is how much good service experience depends on customer facing staff that are knowledgeable of the customer’s context and goals. But more than that even, the management trusted and empowered (at least some of) their staff to use common sense and do what was right – maybe even if it didn’t follow exact procedures.
Are the customer-facing staff in your organisation trusted and empowered? If not, is it because they can’t be trusted, or because they have been given the knowledge? Or is it just that no-one has ever thought it would be a good idea to trust and empower them? What happens in your organisation – do you get good service or do you a strict process delivered, whether or not it is appropriate?
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.
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  innovate tivoli management integrated simulator rational service 2,042 Visits
Are you looking for a reason to head down to Florida next month?
Tivoli will have a large presence at next month's Innovate2011 conference in Orlando, with over 30 sessions which highlight the Tivoli/Rational integration, and six booths in the solution expo. In addition, you can check out the Tivoli executive speaking engagements including Danny Sabbah (GM, Tivoli Software) at the executive summit presenting on 'Collaborative Development and Operations', Jamie Thomas (VP, Tivoli Strategy and Development) on organizational agility and efficiency, and Steve Robinson (GM, IBM Security Solutions) on 'Security in Industries'.
Also, be sure to check out the 'Service Management Simulator Experience' at Innovate, a hands-on role playing game focusing on the challenges and business value of implementing Service Management best practices in a real life scenario!
ivor macfarlane 2700022KPS IVORMACF@uk.ibm.com Tags:  itsmf japan itil ibm business-continuity ivor service-management tivoli 2,022 Visits
I am just back from a week working in
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
But coping without things you have got used
to does happen – and it is clear there are some very direct lessons for service
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 a compulsory 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?.
Kathleen Holm 2700009BHX KHOLM@US.IBM.COM Tags:  service-management bladecenter capabilities dynamic-infrastructure cloudburst development green features vmware automation ibmcloud tivoli storage overview cloud-computing private it smarter-planet virtualization cloud data-center 2,004 Visits
I'm not a fan of duel posting, but did want to make you aware of an article that I posted to the SWG Blog entitled, "There Will Be DevOps!"
It's about a great video that RedMonk* analyst Michael Coté did with us about DevOps.
Go there. Read the article. Enjoy.
* note that IBM is one of RedMonk's clients.
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  tivoli management rational service simulator integrated 1,990 Visits
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 email@example.com
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.
We look forward to seeing you at Innovate 2011!
Noah Kuttler 110000SVNJ firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  netcool service-management tivoli 1 Comment 1,930 Visits
New York reached 100 ºF yesterday and it is currently 91 ºF down here in Austin.
Which is why "inside" inside is the place to be.
And while you're inside, you might want to be sure to watch the newest on-demand webcast "IBM Service Management Jam- Long Term Evolution."
Here's the abstract on the webcast:
Shradha Pradhan 270003G608 email@example.com Tags:  integrated-service-manage... innovate-2011 tivoli rational 1,882 Visits
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:
Read more to know about the available integrations and capabilities and you may also be interested in attending 'Service Management Simulator Experience' at Innovate 2011 (see David’s blog for more information).
David Ojalvo 060001CNQC DAOJALVO@US.IBM.COM Tags:  center partners knowledge tivoli 1,881 Visits
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!