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 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?.
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.
As I wrote last week, I am looking forward to delivering more simulations over the next weeks and months, I always enjoy the buzz of working with people rather than sitting in a lonely room hitting keys and listening to the dog snore.
I went through my technologically savvy period some years ago (back in the horse-drawn computer age). For years now I’ve felt that the biggest scope for improvement in service management is through the people part of the famous trilogy of people, process and technology.
It’s important though to be sure that we don't forget it is a trilogy – in a recent presentation I used a picture of a milking stool to make the point: three legs, if you have problems in any one of them you will fall on the floor, spill the milk and fail to do your job.
So the emphasis on people is not because we don't need the technology – it’s because there have always been plenty of people selling the technology hard in our business. And it sometimes seems to me that there are people even keener and more excited to buy it – each one as much a fashion victim as the lady horrified she’ll be spotted in last year’s shoes. But – for sure – we do need good technology. Of course, I work for a software and technology company so I would say that, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
And process is still vital – that is the first level of learning that comes from our simulation games – not knowing what needs to be done usually means you don’t do what needs doing. I remember getting excited by process when I first understood how to see and then improve them. I remember also how much better ITIL V2 was than V1 when we went ‘process focused’ – and how modern and nifty we thought we were.
But again – there is no shortage of process champions, so forgive me if I keep harping on about the people. There are more of us than there used to be pushing the importance of people. Paul Wilksinson, of course, has been – and still is – a trailblazer, although he is still obliged to play the prophet because the vast majority of our industry still needs to be converted to the simple reality; that no matter how cool your IT gadgets and software and no matter how carefully researched your process, if you don't keep the third leg – people – strong and secure then things simply won’t work.
Successful politics is called ‘The art of the possible” and I am aware we – those who believe that people factors are the biggest stumbling block to successful service management – need to play that game too. No point (yet) trying to make everyone totally people focused – our efforts through the simulators and suchlike are to at least get IT managers to realise that the quality of the services they deliver does depend on people aspects. It’s simple stuff really, like people talking to each other, finding out what things matter to them.
Strangely enough, this is the kind of thing we do well and automatically outside work, but somehow it becomes so much harder when it gets all business related – maybe we like to take sides at work, or think the office is too important a place to act human in. What is about being in the office (or Datacentre or shop floor or whatever your work looks like) that strips us of some basic level of humanity? We seem able to talk to our colleagues at work about non-work things – last nights TV or football, fashions, music etc – but not about their work wants and needs.
Of course there are exceptions – we need to capture and promote these to help us get the message across. My favourite is a reversal of the norm I just described. It is from a UKgovernment department where a cricket match between IT and Finance was being played out one evening. Due to Finance’s excellent bowling there was a hiatus since the batsmen were being dismissed faster than the next one could get the equipment on. During this pause the non-striking batsmen (from IT) was chatting about work and they solved a issue that had turned into a long running fight between managers. The managers had stood on principles and formality instead of talking about what was actually wanted. The issue was solved by these real workers getting a mutual understanding through the revolutionary approach of talking and listening to each other.
That’s what we shall be trying to do with the delegates to our simulation sessions – and in other ‘take the people seriously’ initiatives. Do you have some good stories about how much difference it makes when your people are able to understand each other’s perspectives? Be great to hear them. Be even better to catch up at one of the forthcoming simulations, or to see you at Pulse in March and we can talk – and listen - over a beer. J
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!
This weekend partners, developers, and IBMers will be descending upon Orlando, Florida for Innovate 2011, the Rational Software conference.
Not surprisingly, Rational's "first cousin" Tivoli will have a prominent presence
at the conference, including 30 sessions that highlight the Tivoli/Rational integration, six booths in the Solutions Expo, and several executive speaker slots.
Tivoli delivers innovative solutions to address business priorities, with Integrated Service Management
providing the Visibility, Control and Automation™ to overcome growing complexities and keep up with global competition. But more specifically, Integrated Service Management is the catalyst that can smooth out the interactions between development and operations for IT and business professionals across all industries.
Once the event begins, you can access all the keynote presentations and videos in real time on the web via the livestream feed
, ...and follow social media coverage on the 'Innovate Conversations' page
or by using the Twitter hashtag #ibminnovate
Are you interested in learning more about Cloud Computing and Virtualization? Be sure to register and attend these two community webcasts
happening this week on June 8th and 9th. These promise to be very informative events you don’t want to miss!
WEBCAST on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 11:00AM Eastern USA
Webcast title: Get your image sprawl monster under control – secrets to image management from an expert
Sign up for this webcast here
Description: Companies have embraced virtualization primarily to impro! ve utilization of hardware and save costs. However, virtualization especially on x86, has led to significant growth in management costs. Much of this increased cost stems from growth in images. We will discuss some of the key challenges around managing images and how IBM is taking a holistic approach to solving these pain points and restoring control.
Speaker: Ruth Willenborg, IBM Distinguished Engineer in IBM Software Group, TivoliWEBCAST on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 11:00AM Eastern USACloud - Extending your virtualization into the cloud
Sign up for this webcast here
Description: The benefits from cloud computing seem clear: cost reduction, better flexibility, scale to meet business demands, etc. However, getting to cloud involves a lot of decisions Learn how some of your colleagues are leveraging Tivoli solutions to automate virtualized environments and move to private clouds.
Speaker: Mohamed Abdula, IBM Director, Service Automation and Cloud Solutions Product Management and Bowman Hall, IBM Director, Cloud Computing Client Engagements, IBM Software Group
you become a member you can join a local or virtual user group, take
advantage of our online education and certification resources as well as
our networking and collaboration tools.
include; Pulse Conference Discounts codes; 40% Discount on Tivoli books
from IBM Press, Free certification testing at local user group meetings
and much more!
Click here for a REPLAY after the Webcast date.
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
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).
In response to: The "Big" Questions at Pulse: Building a Smarter Planet
Great blog. I share your desire to engage in conversations about
the 'big questions' in order to find common ground and ways we can
work together to improve the quality of life for future
‘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.
PS: You may also like to browse through:
Client Reference Program
So you said you wanna be a star? Now's your chance with the IBM Tivoli Software Products Rock!
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
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.
Integrated platform. Improve the speed of cross-domain tasks, such as closed loop resolution on problem fixes, and resolutions resulting in an average of 80% reduction in downtime and lost revenue. IBM Rational Team Concert™ and IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager unifies the view of incident tracking and defect management, while IBM Rational Performance Tester and IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager together pinpoint root causes.
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.
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 a calculated 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?
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.Social bookmarks tagged with impact09
: This list of bookmarks gives a good sense of what the public was talking about at Impact. Use these instructions
to add your own favorite bookmarks to the list. Just make sure to tag your bookmark with "impact09"
Also, Mary Hall provides a summary of key IBM Business Partner activities
at the event.
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
: "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.Globe with SO@titude at Impact 2009--by Andy Piper
In response to: Will the real Seamus McManus please stand up?
FYI, the recent IBM Service Management Jam on Cloud Computing, "Cloud Computing: Innovation that drives IT and operations efficiencies" is the #1 most popular of the 41 Jams aired to date.
Cloud Computing Jam link: http://bit.ly/9mt8N
Jams page link: http://bit.ly/ultmC
In response to: Travel tips for Pulse 2010
Thanks for the travel tips, Tiffany! I packed my umbrella and am
looking forward to seeing you at Pulse tomorrow.