ITSM Tools Universe Preview: How aligned are ITSM tool vendors to their customers?

Rebecca Beach has been locked away in ITSM Review labs reviewing technology and crunching numbers for the last few months in preparation for our ITSM Tools Universe research.

I am very pleased to say that we’ll be lifting the lid on the research in the next few weeks.

In this article I’ll provide a quick preview.

How customizable is your ITSM tool?

ITSM Review readers have told us the ability to customize ITSM tools is a key requirement in selecting new technology. For our ITSM Tools Universe research we asked the customers of participating vendors:

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10 (whereby 1 is entirely customizable in-house and 10 is entirely dependent on consulting / training) please provide an estimate of the level of customization you are able to achieve with your ITSM tool?

The radar chart below compares the responses from customers (in red) versus the vendor opinion (in blue) of ability to customize. 1 means I can tweak everything myself, 10 means I’m not autonomous and need to get consultants in to help.

customize-in-house

Most customizable in the ITSM Industry?

The table below shows customer opinion of ability to customize in descending order.

Customers consider Cherwell and EasyVista to be the highest rated in terms of ability to customize in house.

Customers consider ServiceNow and Good Sign the least configurable in-house and dependent on consulting and training to make changes.

inhouse

Note: We only asked three customers per supplier so this is not an exhaustive study but I believe provides a good indicator of overall sentiment.

Disparity in Opinion?

For me, the most compelling metric for this data is not whether a tool is customizable or not (although this is clearly a key differentiator) – but the vendors ALIGNMENT with customer opinion.

How in touch are vendors with customer sentiment?

As a whole across all vendors there is a significant difference in opinion – by a factor of 39 to 69.83. i.e. Vendors think their technology is more customizable than customers believe. That might be a technology issue, a maturity issue, an education issue – whatever – it’s a big mismatch. 

The table below shows the disparity in opinion between customers and vendors in descending order. ITRP and customer sentiment is perfectly aligned. Cherwell believe their technology is mostly customizable in-house and their customers agree. To the other extreme, Axios customers believe their technology is quite customizable, Axios don’t agree. ServiceNow think their technology is customizable in-house – their customers have a completely different view.

comparison

The ITSM Tools Universe by Rebecca Beach will be published soon (free). Subscribe to the ITSM Review newsletter to receive a notification when it is published.

15th September: UPDATE – the results are being published here: www.EnterpriseOpinions.com

Service Management’s 4 Golden C’s: Codeless Configuration & Complete Customisation

Edinburgh Castle from Princes Park.

Cherwell Software has won a new customer for its Service Desk software solutions in the shape of Baillie Gifford, an independent investment management partnership based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Baillie Gifford is one of the largest investment trust managers in the UK. The firm is wholly owned by 36 partners and manages in excess of £75 billion with 700 staff.

Complete Customisation

Having opted for the firm’s own-branded Cherwell Service Management product from Cherwell Software, Baillie Gifford says that it was drawn to its decision via the option to gain “complete customisation and seamless upgrades” with the tool.

Baillie Gifford’s IT service desk manager Rob Whittaker asserts that Cherwell has an intuitive product (with some products reviewed he found it difficult even to see how to log a call at first glance) that works using single step effectiveness i.e. it can be launched manually or automatically — and that this would help his team to save time and automate regular, repeatable tasks.

Codeless configuration

For its part, Cherwell also champions its “codeless configuration” technology and upgrades that could potentially save time and effort.

“When we started the review process, we had not heard of Cherwell Software,” said Gifford. ‘The company came up in an Internet search, and based on the demos and videos on its website and the fact that its sole business focus is ITSM, it became a candidate we wanted to see more from.”

Prior to the itSMF Annual Conference in November 2011, Baillie Gifford narrowed down its prospective list and reviewed four solutions at the show.

“During the two days, we visited the Cherwell stand three times,” said Gifford. “Unlike other stands, when we asked questions we weren’t just given a standard demo we were shown how the product would function. With the other vendors, features were always ‘coming soon’ or ‘could potentially’ do what we were looking for.  The Cherwell product matched what we had learned from their website. It’s built from the ground up and is not just shoe-horned onto another product.”

Before “go live”…

Following what it has described as a “stringent” software testing and evaluation process starting at the end of 2011, Baillie Gifford placed its order with Cherwell in early March 2012 and went ‘live’ with Cherwell Service Management on 21 May 2012. The company then spent a weekend migrating final data, live testing and rolling out.

“Cherwell offered us the product to test and evaluate prior to making a purchasing commitment,” said Gifford. “No one else offered us that. They allowed us to go away and actually use the software to make sure it met our needs. This told me that the company is confident that the product can do what they promise it will do.”

Cherwell Software 
is headquartered in Colorado Springs, USA and with its EMEA offices based in the UK. Cherwell’s wizard driven CBAT application development platform empowers users to create new screens, business processes and to develop additional business applications without the need for developer resources, bespoke coding or scripting services.

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