Business process company xMatters has announced a partnership with Tesco’s Technology division to help update its communications platform for managing IT incidents.
The objective here for Tesco was increased visibility of IT incidents across its technology platforms globally. The new upgrades have been credited with improving IT issue acknowledgement within the first critical minutes of an IT issue.
Tesco has 7,600 stores in 12 markets and began this programme in July 2014. The xMatters implementation was rolled out in four weeks.
DevOps? That’s aisle 16 dear
The programme to deliver this collaboration was part of Tesco’s IT organisational re-work, which saw the retail giant adopting a DevOps IT model amongst its 4,000 technologists.
Rob Ainscough, Technology Change Manager at Tesco said, “The visibility that xMatters has enabled, now allows Tesco to react appropriately to high priority IT incidents. Before, there was no way for me to consistently receive information about incidents as they happened. Now, it’s easy as I have all of the information I need to do my job at my fingertips.”
Ainscough thinks that getting customer service right is crucial for future success.
“Customer service is central to what we do, so we needed to change the way we manage IT incidents globally. We needed a standardised and proven method of global communication, and the xMatters platform helped us connect with the right people at the right time in a consistent way, with a 24/7 focus on the customer,” he said.
The solution is used across nine contact centres globally and is used for notifying all high priority incidents 24/7, both within Tesco’s Technology division and across the wider business.
Accountability, now freshly baked
Since implementation, Tesco has not only improved collaboration, but it has driven increased accountability in IT incident management through the partnership.
Teon Rosandic, VP EMEA, xMatters said, “We’re delighted that our advanced SaaS communications platform is playing such an important role in helping Tesco to deliver a world-class experience to its internal and external customers. By giving users the ability to be more agile across the organisation globally, the business is beginning to benefit from less downtime and better visibility and resolution of IT incidents.”
Today’s modern enterprises need effective solutions in place that give them a competitive edge. xMatters technology facilitates efficient two-way communications to the relevant internal teams and external service providers.
Agility and effectiveness, from IT ops to baked goods
It supports those responsible for a rapid resolution, from assigning a service ticket to the on-call resolution team to setting up an instant conference bridge during a crisis situation and escalating communications in alignment with pre-defined processes. This makes distributed teams more social, collaborative and productive and the overall business more effective, agile and competitive.
Essex County Council might not have its own glamorous television series dedicated to the highs and lows experienced on its own personal IT Service Management (ITSM) journey, yet.
But… the organisation has been doing admirable work in this field and helping (to some degree) local government overcome budget challenges
Excellence through ITIL
The council points out that a focus on improving and refining ITSM through the adoption and adaption of ITIL is helping local authorities to meet objectives despite continued financial pressures. A new case study, presented by AXELOS Global Best Practice, outlines how Essex County Council used ITIL to improve services while reducing costs.
As many readers will know, AXELOS is a joint venture set up in 2014 by the UK government and Capita to develop, manage and operate qualifications in best practice.
Local authorities have faced cuts in their budgets in recent years, and this is set to continue.
Councils in England have been warned that they face an average cut of 1.8% in their overall spending power, according to the provisional local government finance settlement for 2015-2016 published in December 2014*.
“Improving ITSM practices is helping councils with budget restrictions to meet service obligations. Councils across the country have seen very strong results – such as England’s second largest local authority, Essex County Council, which provides services to over 1.4m people,” said Kaimar Karu, head of ITSM at AXELOS.
The council’s 200-strong IT function supports around 10,000 staff and is led by Chief Information Officer (CIO) David Wilde, who joined the organization in 2011.
“When I joined the council the customer base had little or no faith in the IT department and there was a service report full of red Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). We had silos of knowledge without adequate tools to enable sharing and out of date documentation,” said Wilde. “As the council was and is under continued financial pressure, with aspirations to become a truly mobile and flexible workforce, we needed to standardize our estate, meet our Service Level Agreement (SLA), gain control of the service, get our underpinning contracts into line and capitalize on sensible outsourcing opportunities, such as our networking.”
Wilde had previously worked for the UK Government and was involved in the early design and creation of ITIL, the most widely accepted approach to ITSM in the world. The use of ITIL over the past four years has helped to improve the council’s ITSM, with the whole IT department now trained to at least ITIL foundation level.
He confirms that ensuring everyone is trained to foundation level has really helped to gain momentum and increase awareness and understanding. ITIL provides the right blend of service management, infrastructure management and customer focus.
AXELOS’s Karu added, “The Essex County Council case study highlights how empowering stakeholders in every level of the organization is one of the main factors in the successful adoption of ITIL. David’s experience shows that ITIL plays an important role in successful delivery of services and can help public sector organizations improve service management, even during times of austerity.”
It has been heralded as the ‘most significant’ evolution in the ITIL best practice framework since the launch of AXELOS, but what is it?
The new ITIL Practitioner Qualification has been announced this week at the ITSM Leadership Congress in Singapore.
ITIL Practitioner is being developed to help organizations and individuals increase the value they obtain from using ITIL by offering additional practical guidance to adopt and adapt the framework to support the business.
An ITIL progression curve
It will be the next step after ITIL Foundation for professionals who have already learned the basics of IT Service Management (ITSM) and the business value of well-designed and delivered services.
The first ITIL Practitioner exam will be available globally by the end of 2015 — it will be pitched at a suitable level for individuals working for organisations of all sizes.
“ITIL is the most widely adopted service management framework used by thousands of organizations worldwide, with over two million ITIL certifications awarded, including 300,000 in 2014,” said Peter Hepworth, CEO of AXELOS. “ITIL offers many benefits to organisations, including supporting business outcomes, managing risks in line with business needs, showing value for money and supporting continual improvement.”
Hepworth contends that AXELOS surveyed ITSM professionals from around the world last year and received significant calls for ITSM to be treated as a profession.
Having this additional, higher qualification level within the ITIL framework is an important step towards that goal thinks Hepworth.
ITIL Practitioner will focus on:
Giving practical guidance on how individuals can leverage Continual Service Improvement (CSI), a fundamental lifecycle stage in ITIL, to maximise the benefits of its adoption and adaption
Aiming to improve the capability of individuals throughout the business, to adopt and adapt ITIL in their day to day roles for maximum business benefits
Making use of further evolved technological capabilities – such as automation, real-time reporting and Cloud computing – to increase the quality of service design and the efficiency of service delivery
Leveraging other philosophies, frameworks, good practices and methodologies – including e.g. Lean, DevOps, Agile and SIAM – to further enhance the value of ITSM.
Kaimar Karu, Head of ITSM at AXELOS said “ITIL is the overarching framework that brings together all the good practice in ITSM, globally. Traditionally, ITIL has focused on the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, leaving it to the practitioners to apply the guidance in their specific organizational context and find the best ways for the ‘how’ of adopt and adapt. As good practices appear, evolve and grow, the need for more practical guidance on the ‘how’ has increased significantly.”
Karu insists that the numerous case studies demonstrating how ITIL’s guidance has helped organizations to succeed. ITIL Practitioner is being developed collaboratively with seasoned professionals worldwide to addresses new workplace challenges.
ITIL Practitioner will sit alongside the existing qualification levels of Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master.
Later this year,AXELOS will launch a new professional development scheme which will enable individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in adopting and adapting AXELOS Global Best Practice.
Automotive industry and general driving pun writers need not apply, this headline already writes itself; the importance of IT Service Management (ITSM) to the trade has been validated. With the global fleet management industry expected to grow from US$12.06bn in 2014 to $35.35bn by 2019, organisations involved in car leasing are being urged to recognise the importance of a quality, structured ITSM during periods of growth.
Why the increased revs?
A recent report from MarketsandMarkets found that the increasing number of vehicles globally (which is in some part resulting from a major boom in the emerging economies) is having a positive impact on the fleet management industry.
In turn, this upswing has implications for businesses that structure effective ITSM into their operational architectures from the start.
First class (chauffeur-level) service
A new case study from AXELOS Global Best Practice outlines how one of the world’s leading car fleet organisations has benefited from a structured approach to ITSM, helping the IT department deliver a quality service to 6500 staff across 32 countries, enabling them to provide a first class service to customers.
LeasePlan Information Services (LPIS) is based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and employs around 200 people who support IT services for the firm’s global organisation, which manages 1.42m vehicles worldwide. Within LPIS, the Service Support Team provides a central and local service desk function for all LeasePlan countries.
ITIL steering controls at the helm
The AXELOS case study outlines how ITIL as the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world has helped LPIS to deliver a high quality service to customers since it was established in 2003.
“ITIL processes are structured and make sense,” explained case study author Sandra Duigenan, LPIS service delivery manager. “They allow us to have a common language between support groups and to set clear expectations from a service delivery point of view. There are also flexible and robust systems available to support the use of ITIL in an organisation.”
ITIL is playing an integral part in the performance of the firm’s service support function and overall service delivery.
ITIL test, for service driver proficiency
Duigenan continues, “All new hires to LPIS are given ITIL Foundation training and sit their certificate exam within their first year of service. This training ensures that we all speak the same language and know the theory of the framework we have adopted.”
“We now have ten people in the support team in Dublin, providing a central and local service desk function to all LeasePlan countries. In 2014 the team consistently outperformed their service levels in the two main ITIL processes they deliver on – incident and standard request management.”
Peter Hepworth, AXELOS CEO has said that ITIL advocates how IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes. He also emphasised that it provides effective guidance to organisations and individuals on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change transformation and growth.
“The experience of LeasePlan is a prime example of the value ITIL delivers to thousands of global companies going through periods of transformation,” said Hepworth.
Driving home the point
ITSM consultant, mentor and analyst Barclay Rae has commented on this story to underline the importance of services in the context of today’s modern economies.
“Traditional ITSM and ITIL approaches provide consistency, accountability and can manage risk for organisations – so this is an essential element for any company that is going through growth,”
Rae continued, “ITIL training and service improvement projects need to support business goals first – these must be applied with sensitivity and relevance to the culture and goals of the organisation. So an enlightened, flexible and adaptive approach must be taken to ensure success – just taking the exams and following the books by rote will not deliver value.”
The ITSM Review was invited to Cherwell Software’s EMEA Region Customer Conference on February 11th 2015, in Windsor, Berkshire, UK hosting in the region of 130 customers and partners.
The 2 day conference consisted of 25 educational sessions, covering ITSM & ITAM best practices from a mixture of Cherwell staff from the US and UK, industry experts and Cherwell customers.
We were keen to attend as customer conferences are always a good way to get a good understanding of what challenges ITSM professional face in their everyday work and how they use technology to find solutions to address these challenges in an informal and relaxed environment.
ITSM as Organisational Focal Point
There was a friendly and upbeat atmosphere at the event led by European MD Tony Probert and his team.
The Cherwell motto is ‘Innovative technology built on timeless values’ which seemed to fit the ethos of the event as the focus and structure of the first day was on simple and old fashioned customer engagement; listening to their customer’s feedback and requirements of the software and as importantly, how it is used to drive innovation of the tool in the future. The feedback loop from their customers accounted for 31% of version 5.0 enhancements came directly from customer requests.
Cherwell President Craig Harper opened the day with explaining that Cherwell were growing rapidly ( 1172% growth last year- Same as Linkedin) but were maintaining the right balance between customers, investors and employees. A refreshing approach in a world of software companies driven by the motivations of venture capitalists.
Engagement and Agility over Firefighting Efficiency
There was a very refreshing and thought provoking presentation from new VP of Product Marketing Jarod Greene, who stated that currently ITSM is reactive ( firefighting) and now needs to move towards a strategic response that is both innovating and engaging. Greene stated that there were the 4 Ps:
People: It’s all about the People
Place : Be where the business is
Platform : Appeal to the business user
Performance : Measure success in business outcomes
We’ve come quite a long way in a fairly short space of time. And there’s a lot more to do.
We’re running two public Google Hangouts On Air in January.
These hangouts will have up to ten active participants (and you can be one of the ten – see below). They’re also broadcast live via YouTube. Viewers on YouTube can ask questions via a comments feature which we’ll collect and answer (if we can!) towards the end of the session. You’re also invited to submit questions ahead of the hangouts and we’ll try to answer as many of these as possible too.
1. What is the ITIL Manifesto? Tuesday 13th Jan 2014 starting 8pm (20:00) GMT
A session to agree the intent, purpose and definition of the ITIL Manifesto.
We gathered many great ideas earlier in the year, and we still want to do something with them. The ITSM14 session asked us questions we didn’t necessarily have answers for, so this is a session to answer one of them – and arguably the most important – what the purpose, intent and definition of the ITIL Manifesto is.
We’ll also talk about the ITIL Manifesto in relation to similar initiatives, who our customers are and how we test the manifesto with them.
2. Structure & Deliverables for the ITIL Manifesto Tuesday 20th Jan 2014 starting 8pm (20:00) GMT
How are we going to present the manifesto? What format will it take?
A number of themes were identified during the early idea gathering phases. This session will review those, agree the themes the manifesto will address and talk about how the themes and grouped ideas will be turned into the finished product.
How do we release the finished product(s)? What mechanisms (such as Creative Commons) can we consider to let it be freely available whilst recognising the people who have input their time and effort to the initiative?
After this session, we’ll ask for individuals and community groups to start working on part or all of the end products – the manifesto statements and principles.
Getting Involved as an active participant
If you’d like to be one of the ten in either (or both*) sessions, please email email@example.com and let me know which session you’d like to be in, a short bio, and why you’d like to be involved. You’ll need to have fairly decent internet access, a webcam and a google account to sign in to the hangout. Full requirements here.
You’ll also need to prepare a short introduction (max 45s) covering who you are, your areas of expertise in the IT or business world and can include who you work for and your current role if you’re comfortable sharing that. It should also cover what interest you have in the ITIL Manifesto – what it means to you personally.
(*if demand is high we may have to restrict people to just one hangout)
Getting Involved as a viewer
If you don’t want to be part of the active discussion but would like to observe and ask questions, either during the session or beforehand, then that’s equally as valuable. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions – we want the final product to stand up to scrutiny and provide real value.
Asking questions before the hangout: Please post them in the comment thread below this article.
Asking questions during the hangout: Stay tuned for instructions on how to view and comment on the public hangout nearer the time.
No time to read all the interesting industry news and info floating around social media and appearing in your inbox? Read our round up of what we’ve found interesting this week.
When The Hell Are You Going To Patch? – Rex McMillan writes for LANDESK on why sometimes you just need to patch the hole. Read more here
Project Management Rap– Making us laugh, learn and, if we’re honest, cringe a little in the office this week is this Project Management Rap from Chris Croft. Watch/Listen here (Via Vladimir Ivanov on LinkedIn)
Changing Jobs in Your Twenties Could Lead To A More Fulfilling Career – Thinking those applicants who’ve moved jobs several times are a hiring risk? Think again. Read more here
Why You Should Never Swear On Your LinkedIn Profile – With 93% of recruiters using LinkedIn to vet candidates the reasons are obvious. If you ask us the pussycats and fluffy bunnies should also be reserved for Facebook. Read more here
Lack Of BYOD Policies Put Mobile Business Data At Risk – BT warns that UK businesses are not taking adequate measures against mobile security breaches. Read more here
Culture: The One Thing A Bank Can’t Buy – Matt Pancino of Suncorp explains how culture makes the difference between those that disrupt and those that are disrupted. Read more here
Find A Career Wingman To Help Navigate The Career Ladder – No longer just for trying to find a suitable…um…partner, a wingman could help you with your job! Read more here
This article is a summary of the ITIL Manifesto session held at ITSM14. It was written by Rob Spencer, who has been coordinating, recording and agitating the discussions around this initiative after it was first discussed on twitter between Stuart Rance, Claire Agutter, Barclay Rae, Suresh GP, James Finister and Kaimar Karu.
Firstly thanks to itSMF for giving us a late-notice slot at ITSM14, to Barclay Rae and David Backham for introducing and facilitating the session, and Richard Horton for helping me communicate the ideas and progress behind the manifesto.
The session was a lively and (from my perspective as the person coordinating the ITIL Manifesto discussions) productive one. It’s important to me that I know what the community (you) want, so that in my role facilitating and coordinating discussions, I know our eventual objectives.
After Barclay’s introduction, I quickly played back the progress to date (using a variation of the Phase 2 Output Summary slides available on itil-manifesto.wikia.com) and Richard talked about some of the data and early analysis we’ve done based on some stats gathered from the time spent on tricider.com.
Then we opened for questions. It quickly became apparent that there were a lot of questions and a lot of people wanted to see this initiative done right. Here are some of the questions from the session or asked offline/afterwards, the responses we gave at the time (from memory and hastily scribbled notes) and some further thoughts.
1. What is the ITIL Manifesto?
We think that it’s the list of first principles that ITIL/we never had (but often came up with our own versions of). We think that it is part sales/promotion (for example if your CEO asks why business managers should bothered about ITIL), part check/balance, part philosophy/core beliefs about what ITIL should be, partly correcting how ITIL has been seen/positioned or even misrepresented to date.
2. What will it look like? Is ‘Manifesto’ even the right term?
We don’t know, but as a straw man I suggest that we come up with a principle for each of the key themes identified during the early stages of the ITIL manifesto initiative and then decide whether there needs to be a wrapper or summary statement on top of these. This is the structure used in similar initiatives. I suggest we keep the term manifesto for now, if this changes then we can decide this as a community before we publish it.
3. What will AXELOS do with ITIL Manifesto?
That depends on the quality of the content as well as the quality (and maybe breadth) of the community engagement. I had the chance to speak to Kaimar before the session and he remains supportive of the initiative and keen to see the products of the discussions.
4. This is about the 5th initiative on this or closely related topics – do we really need another one? Why can’t we just join this with SM Congress? How widely have you engaged?
The fact that this is about the 5th initiative tells me there is an itch that still needs scratching. That said, there’s no point reinventing the wheel. From what I’ve seen of SM Congress, it’s come up with some simple, clear statements of value plus a ton of community support. I always saw the ITIL Manifesto principles as being more descriptive than the simple “we value A over B” format of SM Congress or the Agile Manifesto (which inspired ITIL Manifesto).
The SM congress values were added to the ITIL manifesto tricider.com stream for voting and got some positive feedback (you can see votes and discussions of this on the Phase 1 Output page on the wiki).
The manifesto contributions to date have been focused in the UK, but I/we have been trying to widen the engagement. In the room (and contributing from the start) we had the president of ITSMF India, and we’ve had contributions from around the world via the Back2ITSM Facebook and Google+ groups. I do agree this needs pushing further though.
Since ITSM14, I’ve been introduced (virtually) to Charles Araujo (the head of itSMF USA and leader of the SM Congress initiative (thanks to Patrick Bolger for making the intro)) and we’re starting discussions about how to establish whether or not there’s an overlap and where we can work together. I’d like to do this on a public broadcast google hangout where we can take audience feedback and questions. This will be announced on the Back2ITSM groups and on twitter via the #itilmanifesto tag.
5. How will we test this with the customers?
Good question. I think there are two groups of customers, the most important being the business colleagues who we want to understand why we’re doing this and why we use ITIL. The other customers are of course us – the ITSM professionals who will (hopefully) use it. Coming back the the question, we do need find a way of testing the manifesto with the target audience – if anyone has any ideas on this, we’d be keen to hear.
One thing the entire room agreed on unanimously was that the manifesto must be phrased in business language.
6. Where’s the material?
On itil-manifesto.wikia.com. As wikia is a free (ad-supported) site, you will see adverts on the page – I’m looking now at moving this away to a more neutral platform. All of the material gathered to date is available on the wiki in both raw and interpreted/summarised variants. If you need helping finding anything specific, please let me know (contact details below).
7. What next?
I think we should focus on resolving 2 of the key questions asked in this session, namely:
What is the definition of the ITIL Manifesto (and what exactly is its purpose)?
How do we widen engagement and make use of initiatives which have gone before?
Either via a google hangout, or live twitter chat, or some other method. Again, keep an eye on the Back2ITSM Facebook and Google+ groups, and on twitter via #itilmanifesto. If you think you can help directly, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter via @changerelease.
No time to read all the interesting news and info floating around social media and appearing in your inbox? Read our news roundup of what we’ve found interesting this week.
Why Shell, BP & PwC Teamed Up To Launch Platform-Neutral IT4IT Forum – Archana Venkatraman at Computer Weekly reports that Shell, BP and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), along with IT suppliers Microsoft, IBM and HP, have launched the IT4IT Forum – a supplier-neutral consortium that provides enterprises with a reference architecture to simplify their IT management, cut costs and improve IT efficiency. Read more here
Watch Out for Suspicious Microsoft Office Files…It Could Be Malware – Microsoft recently announced a security advisory warning of specially crafted Microsoft Office files that can give an attacker the same user rights as the user that opens it. Read more here
Ask A Superhero! Q&A With Jenny Jordan, Service Desk Superhero 2013 – As part of IT Service Week 2014 Service Desk Institute (SDI) held a webinar with Jenny Jordan of Edge Hill University who was the winner of last year’s Service Desk Superhero award. Listeners’ questions were put to Jenny and she was probed for tips on being a super-star on the service desk. Read/listen here
A New Kind of Service Catalogue? – Robin Goldsbro proposes an alternative approach to the service catalogue that better represents the business. Read more here
Twitter Wants To Be Your Gatekeeper – Twitter makes a move designed to do just what Facebook does…but with less data sharing. Read more here
Why CFO’s Should Embrace SysAdmins – CFOs often see Devs as creating innovation while sysadmins are there to make sure that innovation runs and runs efficiently with their view of technology coming down to this: Invest in innovation, and cut your infrastructure costs. Bill Koefoed explains why this way of thinking should change. Read more here
In the umpteen years I’ve been attending SITS, Laura has been synonymous with the show and the ITSM industry as a whole. Good luck Laura with your new adventures!
“Laura has been a great curator of the industry through the show and very positive and popular host.” Barclay Rae, Barclay Rae Consulting
“Laura…. Thank-you for reminding me how old I am ;-)….I think we met way back when I was at FrontRange, then Numara who was bought by BMC…..How time flies. I has been a delight working with you. All my very best for the future.” Andy White, EasyVista
“I was continually amazed at the quality of the Service Desk Show, which I know was directly correlated to Laura’s efforts. It is sad to see her go, but appreciate we sometimes need to flip our perspective to experience a completely new adventure. Hope you enjoy every minute of it Laura, and sent us postcard!” Courtney Wheeler, TOPdesk UK