Event Listing: IT in the Park 2016


Event Listing: IT in the Park 2016

It’s Edinburgh baby! IT500 and Scot-Tech will be hosting Scotland’s biggest ITSM and IT Operations Management conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh this October. This conference will follow previous IT500 & Scot-Tech events such as IT in the park 2015 and the IT500 Learning Conference; both of which gained great acclaim from speakers, sponsors and attendees alike. The 2015 conference had over 200 IT professionals gathered in one place to share ideas, hear case studies and learn about new products and services.

Delegates were a good mix from both public and private sectors. Speakers included the CTO of Arnold Clark, CIO of St Andrews University and senior representatives from Standard Life, the Scottish Government and Fife Council. Over 95% of delegates surveyed post event stated that they intend to return with many indicating that they would also be bringing additional colleagues. The event facilitated great networking opportunities with high levels of engagement and a real buzz. New faces, sparkly new products, case studies and workshops – what’s not to love?


Event Highlights

On October 25th 2016 the crack team of IT500 & Scot-Tech will take IT in the Park a step further, adding industry hot topics such as SIAM, DevOps and ITAM to complement their existing core messages around best practice and value driven IT services.  The agenda promises to be exciting and action packed; here is a list of some of the presenters and experts who will be speaking on the day:

Event Break Down


WHAT: IT in the Park

WHERE: Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

WHEN: October 25th 2016

WHO: IT500 & Scot-Tech

HOW TO BOOK: Click Here

SIAM Group Test – The Results

This group test is a review of software products and vendors in the service integration and management (SIAM) market area. Our remit was to explore how toolsets can support and optimise SIAM.

SIAM Overview

SIAM is a framework for managing multiple suppliers of information technology services and integrating them to provide a single business-facing IT organisation.

The starting point for SIAM is the creation of a SIAM team. This team acts as the single point of accountability and is an effective way of minimizing or mitigating potential multisourcing issues, and optimising the composite IT organisation.

A SIAM function, department or team will typically:

  • Manage multiple suppliers to give the optimal mix of flexibility, innovation, standard and consistent service.
  • Be accountable for the integrated services that are being delivered back to the business.
  • Specify IT service management processes and procedures to be deployed across the enterprise and ensure they are followed.
  • Act as the central point of control between IT demand and IT supply.
  • Play a pivotal coordinating role in all service management processes.

Market Overview

For most organisations, just following ITIL best practice isn’t good enough any more. ITIL focuses on delivering end-to-end service via the life cycle approach but provides limited guidance on how to manage a multi-sourced environment. SIAM complements ITIL by focusing on the effective, efficient and safe management of services in a multi sourced environment. The challenge is, while ITIL is well established and has a set of books to guide practitioners and process managers, SIAM is a much newer concept and different people will have different interpretations of what integration truly means.

As more and more organisations are moving towards outsourced, cosourced or multisourced operating models, best practice is evolving and the tools universe is expanding to support SIAM. Tools that don’t currently offer integration functionality will struggle to keep up in an already crowded market, as the need for SIAM isn’t going away. As more and more organisations move towards the flexibility afforded by working with multiple vendors and partners, the need for SIAM will only increase.

For our money; the market for SIAM tools is going in two directions:

  1. Current ITSM tool providers are adding SIAM capabilities to existing solutions
  2. Stand-alone tools are being developed to act as a complimentary add-on to traditional ITSM products.

Ultimately; this is good news for anyone considering the need for a SIAM tool as it means that the buyer can select the best possible fit for the customer organisation.

The Group Test Process

It was really important to me that the group test was fair. Each vendor was asked to fill in a questionnaire and then I had an individual session with each supplier; for them to demo their tool and for me to ask lots of geeky questions. All the vendor presentations were slick and professional; it really helped me when vendors went out of their way to tailor the session to differentiators and functionality that was value driven. 

SIAM Group Test – The Players

  • Service-Flow
  • Cherwell
  • Vivantio

Key Benefits of SIAM

  • A single point of contact, ownership & control for IT Services.
  • Clearly defined roles & responsibilities (preferably nailed down in RACI charts)
  • Optimised cost of services
  • Streamlined management of IT services
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Consistently applied processes
  • A more transparent IT landscape

Product Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Market leading technology
  • User friendly interface
  • Fast set up – can connect, run and configure in a day
  • Built in support for all ITIL processes & SIAM
  • Collaborative approach

  • Positioning needs to be clear to avoid confusion; this is an integration product to work alongside existing ITSM tools
  • Role based security isn’t currently available, something that might be challenging for organisations in more heavily regulated sectors such as the financial services industry

  • Impressive list of integration options
  • Enterprise level reporting capabilities
  • Colour based widgets to view SLA clocks making it easy to track tickets across entire lifecycle via multiple suppliers
  • Cordless functionality means that changes can be made easily via drag & drop or wizards without a single line of code needing to be deployed

  • Sheer size may mean that it may be too big a solution for smaller organisations
  • Sticker shock; the price may seem higher than some of the competition but the price is all-inclusive

  • Built in support for ITSM
  • Technical excellence via WebHooks & WebMethods
  • Scheduled tasks to make life as easy as possible for Supplier Managers
  • Flexible; interfaces include Microsoft Azure, Gmail & Bomgar

  • New player in EMEA market
  • No chat function at the moment but work is under way to create one


Product Reviews


  • Market leading technology
  • User friendly interface
  • Fast set up – can connect, run and configure in a day
  • Built in support for all ITIL processes & SIAM
  • Collaborative approach

Service-Flow was founded in 2011 when CEO and co-founder Juha Berghall identified the need for integration. As organisations moved to multi sourcing models, integration was becoming complex, expensive and slow, a real pain point in the market. The idea behind Service-Flow was that there must be another way; one that was driven by the customer and service provider rather than being held to ransom by technology.

Fast forward to 2016 and Service-Flow has offices in Helsinki and London with over 130,000 end users and over half a million messages being transferred across the tool each month.

Integration Service-Flow can be connected to any tool with an interface. The product can provide ready-to-use adapters that can be taken into use without any coding or development work on the linked system. All adapters are part of the Service-Flow SaaS meaning that they’re automatically and continuously maintained and developed.

Out of the box integrations include:

ServiceNow, BMC, HPE, CA, LANDESK, Efecte, Jira, Microsoft.

Security Each integration is supported by a defined read or edit access for the management of all configurations related to a single end point.
Supplier & Contract Management Service-Flow clients can easily on-board new suppliers. In practise this means that we have technology that adapts to any interface, meaning supplier and the end-user clients can keep their interface and related ITSM tool “as is”. Typically these supplier tools are connected via an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) or similar integration platform which mirrors ITSM tools interface. More importantly, Service-Flow SaaS also enable all parties to keep their processes “as is” since mapping, data translations and business rules are defined and configured “in the middle” via Service-Flow UI. This makes on-boarding of new suppliers so much easier since processes and data models don’t have to be equally defined in ITSM tools.

When new supplier connection is set-up (takes a couple of days) it will automatically become part of the SaaS solution and has SLA of 99.9% / 24/7 and is monitored by Service-Flow Ops.

Industry Best Practice Service-Flow SaaS supports all ITIL processes, but is not limited to ITIL/ITSM related data and process integration.
End To End Ticket Management Even though most tools use industry standards in their API’s, the way they use them and the data models are always unique. Service-Flow’s technology adapts to these different ways of communication and displays the result in a common way. The product can manage master ticket data by either including this info into the synchronized ticket data, or by setting up a separate integration to sync needed master data. The future tool will provide tools for doing lookups to validate the data used in process integrations.
Reporting & Analytics Service-Flow provides clear and understandable dashboards to integrated related variables. The views are for message relaying, integration configuration and integration related variables such as pass-through times, error counts etc.
System Access Options Web & Mobile.

Service-Flow aims to enable the digitisation of IT processes in a typical use case, an Incident is logged and passes via multiple suppliers. Multiple reference numbers are created, one for the customer and one for the vendor so that the ticket can be tracked across the entire lifecycle. One of my favourite things about the tool is that when you log an Incident, you get a picture of a motivational whale that says, “everything’s going to be ok”. Can we have this feature in all IT tools please? The user interface is clear and easy to follow; all information is available in a predefined format with a conversation view that most users will recognise from Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

Established as the world’s first SaaS product for service integration, Service-Flow provides a ready-to-use, online integration service for connecting disparate ITSM tools used by companies and their IT service providers, as well as subcontractors, partners and other suppliers. As a result of this, Service-Flow are becoming more visible in the ITSM market as the need for service integration increases year on year. What really impressed me about ServiceFlow was their commitment to the user experience (motivation whale anyone?) as well as the extensive list ITSM tools it can integrate with. The speed of deployment coupled with the ease of integration with other ITSM tools makes Service-Flow an ideal choice to supercharge an existing ITSM tool into one that can handle SIAM quickly, effectively and securely with market leading subject matter expertise.


  • Impressive list of integration options
  • Enterprise level reporting capabilities
  • Codeless functionality
  • Integrated ITSM & SIAM functionality
  • Role based security

Lets face it, Cherwell need no introduction. A regular presence at industry events such as the itSMF UK conference and SITS, along with their “80% of the functionality at 20% of the cost” ethos, Cherwell are talked about in industry as one of the few ITSM tools that could compete with the juggernaut that is ServiceNow.

Cherwell was founded in 2004. Its first product launch was in 2007 and they now have over 1,000 customers worldwide. They acquired Express Metrix in 2014 and now have a host of partners including T Systems and Pink Elephant.

Integration Cherwell can integrate via:

  • Web Service / API
    •  both REST and SOAP supported.
  • Database
    • link and import (SQL, MySQL, Oracle, OLE DB, ODBC).
  •  Email
    • inbound, actionable email monitor; and
    • ad-hoc & automated outbound notifications.
  • Data import
    • Scheduled & ad-hoc data import via CSV.
  • Data export
    • Ad-hoc data export from e.g. lists.
    • Reports can be run on a scheduled & ad-hoc basis (multiple formats including PDF, PNG, CSV).
    • Pre-formatted Excel reports can be run on a scheduled & ad-hoc basis (e.g. for finance departments).
  • Other / bespoke applications via command line
    • Any application that can be controlled via the command line, launched from Cherwell’s automation engine.
  • Specific integrations:
    • OOTB integration plugins to Bomgar, AD, Exchange, Skype for Business, Twitter, etc.
Security All security and permissions are role based and all access to the application is audited in a system audit log
Supplier & Contract Management New suppliers will have a new record created, to reflect the on-boarding process phase of the supplier. Then the supplier is mapped to the appropriate catalogue items (and the individual tasks that are covered by the new supplier). The end users normally are not aware of the new supplier, as all automation happens behind the scenes. Where a new supplier is a preferred supplier; any new requests that include the supplier work unit/ task will be assigned to the new supplier. Existing tickets are not impacted.

Cherwell only charges for licences for [IT] users, there is no concurrent licence consumed for portal usage or integrations.

Industry Best Practice Cherwell aligns with the ITIL framework (PinkVerified for 11 processes). Whilst not certified for COBIT and ISO 20000, there are elements from these frameworks.
End To End Ticket Management Cherwell collects the information from internal and external supplier sources. This information can then then be utilised across the Cherwell solution, such as in the integration supplier service catalogue, incident management, or change management, for example. Many integrations have been performed previously; others can be integrated using common integration methods such as API, database links, or email.

Cherwell manages master data via an integrated CMDB. Each CI can be integrated with others and/or external sources. An example is a computer [CI] which has a dependency on software licenses, installed software, and location and ownership data.

Cherwell manages the multiple SLAs, OLAs and Contracts via a colour coded widget for Supplier Managers to use.

Reporting & Analytics All data in Cherwell can be reported on for historical and real-time data analysis. Cherwell provides over 150 reports based on ITIL best practices. Additional reports can be created using Cherwell Report Writer and Dashboard Manager. Data can also be exported as a CSV file or exported to a formatted Excel document.

There are 4 main ways to use Cherwell’s powerful, critically acclaimed reporting and dashboard capabilities:

  1. Dashboards & Widgets
  2. Report
  3. Search
  4. Excel
System Access Options ·       Browser User-Interface – for access anywhere/anytime.

·       Smart Client User-Interface – Cherwell’s smart-client auto-deploys to the desktop in a matter of seconds for a far superior experience than working in a web browser all day.

·       Mobile User-Interface – Cherwell Mobile provides on-the-go access to common service desk functions for your technicians with iOS and Android apps or browser access for other devices.

·       Outlook User-Interface – Anything that can be done on the desktop can be done from within the Outlook UI including the functions within custom Business Objects that you may develop.

·  Cherwell has a mergeable applications (mApp) exchange; where users can download, and share new applications to the Cherwell platform.

Cherwell has existing integrations with a number other vendors; such as JIRA, BMC, Bomgar, CA, Dell, ServiceNow, FireScope, Infor, Lansweeper, Microsoft, etc. The initial view or landing page displays a process view showing different contracts and a Service Catalogue to underpin Request Fulfilment. There is a preferred suppliers section that maps contract’s scope cost and performance to catalogue items; a really nice feature that will make the Service Catalogue Manager’s job easier and more efficient.

On-boarding new suppliers is an easy, wizard driven process, which prompts the user to select tasks from a predefined checklist. The product can flex to different security models and has role based permissions.

The MAP xchange has been redesigned to be more dynamic and the search function has been improved.

End to end ticket management is seamless with colour based widgets to track Incident SLAs across multiple suppliers and Changes can be labelled as impacting via Task Management so that only service impacting Changes will be visible to partner organisations.

Cherwell are major players in both the ITSM and SIAM markets and from reviewing the product, it’s not hard to see why. The tool combines enterprise level ITSM capabilities with a SIAM component that lets an organisation use a multisourced environment seamlessly. If you are looking for an all encompassing tool that supports both ITSM and SIAM then Cherwell is a great choice.


  • Impressive list of OOTB alignment with other ITSM tools
  • Excellent integration options via Webhooks & Webmethods
  • Scheduled tasks to make life as easy as possible for Supplier Managers
  • Flexible; interfaces include Microsoft Azure, Gmail & Bomgar

Vivantio have been making SaaS based software since 2003 and have offices in the US and the UK.

Integration Vivantio has an open API to integrate with other systems, but by far a better way to do this is via HTTP Webhooks and Web Methods. Out of the box integrations include: JIRA, CentraStage (AutoTask) and Microsoft TFS. The company also have working examples of CopperEgg monitoring, New Relic, Twilio communications platform, Bomgar and ServiceNow ITSM. New connections can be easily established, especially if the other vendors also allow integration via Webhooks and Web Methods or an Open API.
Security There is a full Roles and Permissions module built into the main Vivantio application. Different Partner Portals can be built to give access to the information and functionality needed by each potential partner. Roles and permissions can be set on a per user basis.
Supplier & Contract Management It depends on the level of integration and requirements for each partner. It could be as simple as setting up a supplier portal for the assignment of work to the supplier enabling them to work within the portal, thus measuring work sent to supplier and any SLAs around the contracts with the supplier.

If there is a need for integration with a Supplier’s own toolset, this is achieved by setting up Webhooks and Web Methods within the admin area. This is all configurable within the Vivantio toolset and would not require any additional development work.

The tool supports the effective management of commercial tasks such as managing contracts, procurement, service level penalties and invoicing via the use of Custom Forms and Fields.

Industry Best Practice Vivantio is aligned to ITIL.
End To End Ticket Management The tool acts as an integration engine; taking multiple data streams in disparate formats from multiple partners transforming them into one standardised pre agreed format by utilising either Open API or WebHooks and WebMethods. Vivantio supports all the standard formats within Webhooks; JSON, XML, SOAP.

The product manages the exchange of master ticket data by using the built-in functionality of the ITSM toolset. Vivantio at its core is an ITSM toolset that covers the full ITIL spectrum. Vivantio supports tickets of different types with the possibility that tickets of different type can be linked; Incident > Problem > Change. Tickets can link to different object types as well, Assets Client Callers and equally Assets can link to other Assets, etc. Built-in functionality of the ITSM toolset around ticket and task management and Escalation Rules and Full Business Rules engines. The tool applies multiple SLAs (running in parallel) to Incidents by use of tasks within a single ticket or multiple SLAs running on the same ticket.

Master data management is all controlled within the Admin area of the toolset and the use of bulk uploads and the Vivantio Integration Service Component.

Reporting & Analytics There are built-in reports and dashboards that can be configured or new reports can be written with an easy-to-use Report Builder tool. Once the reports are written, they can be published to the Vivantio application so a library of reports can be built up. These reports can be scheduled or published to the Self-Service or Partner portals. The report builder itself can be used as a wizard type of tool guiding the user to writing their reports or the full SQL can be exposed for more complex and advanced uses.
System Access Options All applications are web-based, but this can be split into the main application, mobile application and the Self-Service Portal application.

The Vivantio ethos is to deliver flexible, reliable, trusted ITSM software to empower the delivery of service excellence to the customer organisation. From the product demonstration, this ethos was clear to see as the flexibility of the product spans interfaces from everything; from Microsoft to Google.

Automation is used to great effect, the Vivantio product has an expression builder based on business rules that automates the criteria for a ticket being sent to the hub vision centre for processing, removing the risk of duplication. The integration options are clearly built with practicality in mind, one available workflow is an integration with Active Directory that automatically identifies a person’s line manager when a Service Request has been raised and automatically prompts them to review and action the request, linking them to their local Request Fulfilment portal.

What really impressed me about Vivantio was their dedication to making life easier for beleaguered Ops and Supplier Managers. The use of technology to not only support integration but also automate pre-defined responses to ticket event, really makes this a strong contender in the tools universe. Vivantio would be a great option for small to medium organisations looking for an ITSM tool that can also support a SIAM environment. 

SIAM Group Test – Winners

Overall Winner: Cherwell

Fantastic tool for organisations that need an integrated ITSM and SIAM solution. The sheer breadth of the Cherwell experience means that the tool is easy to use with seamless integrations. Some of my favourite things about the Cherwell tool are:

  • Impressive list of integration options
  • Enterprise level reporting capabilities
  • Colour based widgets to view SLA clocks making it easy to track tickets across entire lifecycle via multiple suppliers
  • Ease of use; codeless functionality means that changes can be made easily via drag & drop or wizards without a single line of code needing to be deployed.

Disclaimer Scope & Limitations

The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate as of the time it was created. Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should therefore use the contents of this review as a general guideline and not as the ultimate source of truth.

Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study. The ITSM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology. For further information please read the ‘Group Tests’ section on our Disclosure page.


Image credit

Integration, Bow Ties & Service Catalogues; Cherwell SIAM Survey Results

Andy White, Cherwell
Andy White, Cherwell



Our friends over at Cherwell recently conducted a survey on all things SIAM and I was lucky enough to catch up with Andy White, Vice president & General Manager for EMEA to talk through some of the findings.



Andy’s take on SIAM:

“SIAM provides a performance regime to govern and control so organisations only pay for things they can use and access. It delivers explicit service integration parameters that govern performance, availability, quality but more from a user’s perspective rather than a commercial or vendor perspective. It supports the skills and capabilities required to manage third-party suppliers in a commodity-based environment. SIAM’s really delivering an open view, an open standards view, to delivering workflow, reporting, financial metrics in the entire service delivery to the ultimate end customer.”

In other words, SIAM is a way of delivering value to customers via multiple suppliers in a seamless way that ensures performance, availability and quality requirements are taking care of.  As Andy put it, the bow tie is getting bigger. On one side you have customer perception and on the other side you have the technology available with IT in the middle. Drones, the Internet Of Things, AI, as technology becomes more and more accessible, customer expectations will increase meaning IT departments have to deliver in order to stay relevant.

Here are some of the highlights of the Cherwell study:

  • SIAM isn’t going anywhere. 45% of the survey respondents managed between 21 and 100+ suppliers and nearly a third of all respondents had already implemented SIAM.
  • Those at the sharp end of IT operational issues better understand the benefits of SIAM. The research found that more senior IT professionals (38%) have implemented SIAM processes compared with director level respondents (21%).
  • Whilst obtaining reports and metrics is deemed easy, managing risk is harder. An enormous 93% of those surveyed reported being able to access management information easily. Managing risk effectively in a SIAM environment is a tougher prospect  with over 24% of respondents admitting to finding it hard or very hard to assign tangible risks in a multi vendor environment.
  • Service Management is maturing; 76% of respondents had an integrated Service Catalogue in place to enable end users to select business services.

The top 3 takeaway findings from this survey:

  1. Everyone knows SIAM.
  2. We need to be having the right conversations with C level and above so that SIAM gets on the business agenda.
  3. We need the right tools to be able to visualise performance. Dashboards and reports will supply C level intelligence and help to drive performance.


You can check out the survey in full here. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Supercharging Your Service Delivery Using SIAM

The lovely people at Cherwell invited me to join one of their webinars to talk about SIAM so here is the link to the recording!

My session was all about how ITIL and SIAM can be used to take your service provision from good to “let’s rock this!” The world and its mum knows that ITIL is the globally recognised framework for ITSM best practice but in a world where outsourcing, co sourcing and multi sourcing models are being more and more common, ITIL alone can’t cope. Enter SIAM; the framework that enables an organisation to manage their service providers in a consistent and efficient way, making sure that performance across a portfolio of multi-sourced goods and services meets user needs. In other words, SIAM is a flavour of ITIL that supports organisations in managing multiple suppliers whilst keeping the user experience seamless for the rest of the business.

We all know that ITIL is inherently all about continual service improvement and a SIAM environment is no different. That said, here are some of the things to look at when looking at SIAM:

Span Of Control

How many vendors can you manage without things being missed, balls being dropped or angry mobs turning up at your door? Look at your span of control and if your numbers of suppliers, partners and vendors is increasing faster than you know what to do with, look at introducing the lead vendor concept to regain some control. Lead vendors.

Understand Vendor Dependencies

However many suppliers or partners you use, the buck will always stop with you from the perspective of the business if something goes wrong. Map out your IT services, how they support business outcomes and which supplier delivers each IT service. The CMDB or a technical view of the Service Catalogue will help you to do this and will enable you to spot any areas of vulnerability so you can plan accordingly.

Organising For SIAM

When preparing for a SIAM environment; having a strategy is key to ensure that you have a holistic view of your end to end service, making sure nothing is lost or missed. This strategy should be used as the basis for policies, procedures and work instructions to ensure that there are consistent ways of working across the board. Each vendor should have a catalogue of service offerings to ensure dependencies are identified and documented.

Relationship Management

An effective SIAM environment is all about the relationships between the customer organisation and its partners. Moving to a SIAM model will require a culture change so building a collaborative culture is vital. One way of nixing a blame culture is to use the practice of unconditional positive regard (UPR). UPR is a term credited to humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers and means accepting and respecting others as they are without judgment or evaluation i.e treating everyone with the best of intentions. If all else fails, there might be another term that works – TCB or tea coffee and biscuits!! The overall aim? There’s no more “them” and “us”, there’s simply one team.

Managing Performance

As with the span of control, the more SLA, OLA and Contract documentation you introduce into your process, the more admin is required and the more difficult it is to keep things under control. One solution is to have a shared service level agreement across all vendors to cover the end to end service which will encourage collaboration and reduce any potential blame culture. Measurements should be based off this single SLA to communicate how processes are performing, identify any improvement areas and to demonstrate that improvement is happening.


The ITSM tool industry is moving to support SIAM environments. Out of the box integrations, codeless functionality and add ons are all available in the market giving customers options.


  • A single point of contact, ownership & control for IT Services
  • Clearly defined roles & responsibilities
  • Optimised cost of services
  • Streamlined management of IT services
  • Consistently applied processes
  • A more transparent IT landscape
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction!

Did you listen to the webinar? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Image Credit

IT500 Conference: Effective CSI in a SIAM Eco System

I caught up with Stuart Rance and Andrew Vermes this week to talk about their IT500 workshop in June;  Effective CSI in a SIAM Eco System

Stuart RanceAndrew Vermes

The session will provide a practical guide to managing CSI well in SIAM environments and will look at what you should have in place to work effectively among multiple partners. The workshop will cover everything from shared methods, goals, measurements to reporting and governance. Stuart and Andrew will look at ways to get started, identifying improvement opportunities and managing ideas for both technical and process impressions. To quote Stuart “improvements are good for all of us but only if we collaborate effectively; we need to work holistically and avoid pockets of local optimisation” The workshop will bring CSI to life, looking at CSI and risk management, how to set up a CSI register and referencing the new ITIL practitioner content to support a culture of CSI.

You should attend this session if:

You’’re interested in CSI, and you’d like some practical ideas and guidance on how to do it in real life!

The official bit:

People in every department and outsource provider want to make improvements. Given the huge range of opportunity in every organisation where do we start? How do we create a meaningful rewards system and move away from avoidance of blame? What will help us to deliver an effective partnership?

Learn more or register here.

Are you looking to bring in CSI to your SIAM environment? Let us know in the comments!


Featured Image Credit

Event Listing: IT500 Event; The IT Learning Conference – Everything IT Service Management & Operations

The ITSM Review are excited to be confirmed as official media partners for the latest IT500 event; The IT Learning Conference – Everything IT Service Management & Operations being held on 1st June 2016 in Edinburgh


Following on from the IT in the park event in November, IT500 surveyed their delegates to ask what else they would like to see in Scotland. The event will bring together 20 IT thought leaders and practitioners from across Europe to deliver a series of master classes and workshops designed to highlight obstacles, provoke creative thinking and provide answers to some of today’s IT challenges. How exciting is that?


Highlights include

  • IT4IT – how and where do you start?
  • 11 actions for SIAM success
  • DevOps – bring IT out of the shadows
  • Behave yourself – building IT relationships
  • Reignite your customer experience
  • Agile and DevOps in an ITSM world
  • Using ITIL practitioner skills to impress the CEO
  • ITSM in action – lessons from the real world
  • Introducing a CSI sat nav
  • Effective CSI in a SIAM eco system


Event Breakdown

WHAT: IT500 – The IT Learning Conference

WHERE: Edinburgh

WHEN: 1st June

WHO: IT500

HOW TO BOOK: Click Here.

We’re looking forward to attending and covering this event and hope to see you there!

Coming Soon: SIAM Group Test

Our next Group Test will explore how toolsets can aid you on your SIAM journey:


Service Integration & Management (SIAM) is the term given to a multi-vendor service model, where the traditional service towers (storage, network, infrastructure, desktop, service desk, etc) are sourced to a supplier eco-system.

This is supported by an internal or external SIAM function which delivers IT Service Management, end-to-end governance and business focus, as well as undertaking the integration of the various service provider capabilities, into a business facing service

Tool Criteria & Scope:

Our remit is to explore how dedicated toolsets can aid SIAM and deliver value to the client organisation.

The group test will focus on specific SIAM challenges, rather than duplicating the test criteria typically associated with the procurement of a Service Management tool. The tool review will focus upon the following areas:

  • Integration of the tool with other tools for exchange of master data, ticket data and CMDB / Asset data (including relationships between CIs)

  • Ability to onboard / offboard service providers

  • Ability to manage master data (priorities, locations, users, etc), including maintenance, bulk upload, and reconciliation

  • Ability to support configuration changes to workflow

  • Ability to support serial and parallel assignment of tasks to different service providers, potentially across toolsets

  • Ability to track progress of assigned tickets and tasks in real-time, generating automated alerts in accordance with user defined near-breach/breach parameters

  • Ability to apply multiple SLA/OLA/UC clocks to a single ticket and run these in parallel

  • Ability to produce comprehensive reports on Service Provider SLA performance service tower performance and end user SLA performance, both in real-time and on-demand

  • Ability to act as the point of control between IT supply and IT demand

  • Ability to manage Change & Release Management across multiple suppliers – how to carry out a solid risk assessment across multiple vendors and multiple roles

  • Effective management of commercial component; for managing contracts, procurement, service level penalties, invoicing, etc.

  • Effective management of integration component for all activities that focus on the actual coordination of the services provided by the multiple suppliers, and can be split up in three sub-layers: managerial (e.g., vendor analytics, project management), operational (e.g., cross-supplier change management), and infrastructural (e.g., data dictionary management) aspects.

  • Ability to support common use of data to eliminate duplication and make it easy to update individual data elements

  • Appropriate, role based security so that only authorised personnel can access information

  • Workflow engine to support multiple service towers

  • Defined forms to support multiple activities and roles

The research will highlight competitive differentiators; feature key strengths and showcase innovation within each product. Once reviewed, we will crown one Vendor “Best in Class” in Service Integration and Management.

For more information of if you’d like to take part in the assessment please contact us!

Subscribe to The ITSM Review newsletter or follow us on Twitter to receive a notification when the research is published.

Image credit

Transition, collaboration & cute penguin videos – it’s the itSMF UK 2015 Conference! Part 2

Day 2

Following our coverage of Day 1 of the itSMF UK conference, we’re back as promised with Day 2!

Selling Problem Management – the views of the ITSMF UK Special Interest Group Barry Corless, Global Knowledge

First up on day 2 was Barry’s session on the itSMF UK Problem Management SIG whitepaper on selling Problem Management.

Barry’s session was focused on the output of the white paper, essentially, Problem Management needs a bit of a rebrand. It’s not a dumping ground for anything and everything, it’s a service driven follow up to reduce recurring Incidents.

Barry continued by asking the audience how they managed their Problem Management effectiveness stating “your measurements must have credibility”.

One really useful piece of advice I took away from the session was this: “go out and actually talk to your customers because not everyone fills out the customer satisfaction survey.” I loved Barry’s advice on promoting Problem Management: “selling PM is a balancing act. Crow about it too much and something is guaranteed to fall over the next day.” I’ve been there Barry *remembers own bitter experience*.

Barry finished up on a magical note: “our magic wand is to reduce risk and empower people with the skills to solve things themselves.” Brilliant point plus it made me think of this:


Incident & Problem – Do we Really Need Both? Peter Hubbard, Pink Elephant EMEA

Next up was Peter Hubbard from Pink Elephant. His first act? Naming and shaming me as a partner in crime at previous itSMF conferences – thanks for that Pete!

Pete’s session was on Incident and Problem Management, how to get it right and what works in the real world. Pete opened by sharing what one customer said to him when he asked if they did Problem Management: “no, because we’re much too busy fixing Incidents.”


It was an absolutely brilliant session and if you’re interested in Problem Management then I’d highly recommend having a look at Pete’s slides when they are published on the itSMF UK website. The highlight for me was when he talked about the ITIL books:

“ITIL says we should be on our Problems like a cheetah on a trampoline”

Just think about that for a minute (plus send me any funny pics you have of cheetahs on trampolines, I couldn’t find any).

Pete talked about how important proactive Problem Management is but how hard it is to get the buy in for it. When he asked how many people in the room did proactive Problem Management, only one hand went up.

Pete went on to reference Rob England’s standard case approach, giving real life examples of how it can reduce pain. He also gets bonus points for the cute cat picture:

The final part of Pete’s presentation focused on how to get support from our higher ups  stating “if you want to get some management fire power behind you, find out what business risks your exec is personally accountable for and see how fixing your Problem records could help.”

Collaboration for Successful Service Acceptance Sue Cater, Atos IT Services (UK) Ltd

After a quick coffee break, Sue Cater was up with her session on driving successful service acceptance. Sue’s session focused on 3 key areas:

  1. Operational Acceptance Criteria
  2. OLAs
  3. Service Acceptance Boards

Sue explained Operational Acceptance Criteria or OAC “lubricate the interface between techies and the business”. Sue went on to give some practical guidance on OACs reminding us that “they’re not build tasks. They’re at a much higher level”. Sue explained the benefits of OACs, “having OACs improved customer satisfaction levels. The cricket bat in my handbag had nothing to do with it!” We believe you Sue!

Sue continued on how using OLAs at an account level rather than a service level was much more efficient in her environment. By having one OLA per account, you can have all the individual (quirks) features of each service documented without the duplication. One of my favourite things about Sue’s presentation (apart from the cricket bat) was her guidance on putting together sensible OLAs. As the lady herself put it “make sure you have the right information at the right level. No one wants to be faffing about on SharePoint at 3 am trying to find the number for the support team”.

Next up was the Service Acceptance Board or SAB. As Sue said on the day “the golden rule is that there should be no surprises at go live.” Sue set out the rules for the SAB. It meets between 2 – 4 weeks before project go live and is attended by the project manager, the service manager and representatives from the business. The idea is to look at the service, ensure it’s hitting its previously agreed OACs and OLAs so that the people in attendance can make an informed decision at the Go / No Go point, just before go live.

Awesome session Sue and well done for styling it out despite loosing your voice on the morning. If I’d lost my voice the morning I was due to present I would have been simultaneously having kittens and tipping vodka into my coffee so kudos!

The Future of Work & Importance of Collaboration Technologies Patrick Bolger, Hornbill

The final session of the morning was Pat Bolger from Hornbill. 

Pat opened with this: “more functionality will not solve all your problems”. I really agree – how many times have we seen someone trying to fix business problems by chucking an expensive tool at it? It never ends well, believe me.

Pat went on to explain why social media had changed the game “one bad customer experience, and it’s out there”.

Pat talked about the benefits of collaboration “it gives people a voice. A study carried out by McKinsey found that collaboration can raise a person’s skills by 25%”

Pat outlined some top strategies for making it stick in the workplace. “Define the purpose of collaboration and make it sticky by using it to track productivity. One example of this is to link in with the timesheet system.” Pat continued by saying, “collaboration needs to be a destination application, people will go to it to get their stuff done.”

Pat finished on a really strong point – it’s better when we work together. You can view the video here (NB, no cute baby penguins were harmed during the filming of the video.)

After a long lunch, there was a quick interactive plenary and I do mean quick. Quite a few of the delegates were saying that they would have prefered a shorter lunch break and a longer Q&A session – maybe that’s something to take away for next year? People were definitely beginning to get a bit tired at this point:

For me, the highlights of the discussion were Jame’s take on DevOps “DevOps is a philosophy on delivering value to the business. ITSM and DevOps will compliment each other”and Caroline’s stance on Shadow IT “cockroach IT more like, only one licence but load of users on it”. Former itSMF UK Chair John Windebank reminded us to think of our customers “remember every Incident is a failure of our IT Services.”

Conference Closing Keynote Manchester – Devolution and Impact on ICT Bob Brown, CIO, Manchester City Council

The closing keynote, Bob Brown from Manchester City Council on how they’re making it work.

Bob gets bonus points for being the first speaker to mention the C word. Minds out of the gutter people! I’m talking about Christmas as apparently Father Christmas (or Santy for our Irish readers) is currently sat on top of their city hall:


Bob’s mantra is “Manchester City Council services are life and death so we live and breathe our support for those services.” One memorable example was the crematorium as a member of Bob’s team said, “lose the IT services behind that and the bodies will literally build up”.

The theme of Bob’s speech was the customer experience. Bob’s team are careful to spend time with their customers with Bob personally manning their version of the genius bar once a month.

Before we knew it, it was 4 o’clock and it was time for Barclay to wrap things up. Thank you to the itSMF UK for inviting us, great conference and we’ll be back next year. Roll on #ITSM16!

Image credit 1

Image credit 2

Image credit 3

ITSM, SIAM & winning elephants – it's the itSMF UK 2015 Conference! Part 1

It’s London baby! The itSMF UK held their annual conference in London this week. The theme of the conference was “new problems, new solutions” and was held at a sparkly new location, the Sofitel at Heathrow.

Day 1

Rosemary Gurney kicked off the proceedings in style with a rousing speech; telling the audience “ITSM must stand up and be counted in the business world.”  Rosemary introduced the keynote speaker, Simon Wheatcroft.


Simon Wheatcroft Session

Simon opened the conference with an inspirational account of how he taught himself to run marathons despite going blind at the age of 17. Here he is in action!

SIAM: Lessons from the Frontline – Martin Goble & James Finister Tata Consultancy Services

The first session of the day was on SIAM and all eyes were on Martin & James.

Martin and James opened their session by taking some of the mystery out of SIAM stating that it’s “a framework that enables you to hit the targets in your vision.” So far so good right? Not too scary, even for a SIAM newbie like me. They went on to explain that SIAM isn’t an org chart or a model, it’s a framework that goes beyond ITIL.

SIAM isn’t however, a magical solution that will fix everything:

Martin and James’ session focused on practical advice on using SIAM. They explained how vital organisation Change Management was explaining “SIAM might be sexy to the CIO but if the Service Desk don’t get it then it wont work”. They went on to outline how to motivate suppliers in working together explaining that organisations need “a fair risk – reward model in order to drive collaborative behaviour.” When asked what a fair incentive would be, James gave a fantastic  example where he saw the CEO of the supplier company that had breached their SLA give £1 in person to the CEO of the company that was buying their services stating “it happens once, then everyone reporting to that CEO will make sure it never happens again because of the fall out”. Brilliant example and wise words indeed James.

Martin finished the session with one of my favourite quotes from the conference: “SIAM is a Major Incident bridge at 3 o’clock in the morning where the supplier does something above and beyond, that isn’t even in their contract, just because they like you.”


Cyber Resilience for IT Service Managers – Stuart Rance, Optimal Service Management

Next up was the total legend that is Mr Stuart Rance on Cyber Resilience and the new framework, RESILIA. Stuart opened the session by talking about why cyber resilience was critical to the business and that if you get it wrong “both your customers and your money will fly out the door.”
He referenced how commonplace security breaches occur citing Target, Talk Talk and the UK Child Benefit breaches as examples stating “if you think you’ve never been breached then your monitoring simply isn’t good enough.”

Stuart then introduced RESILIA, the new framework for cyber resilience. Luckily for all us ITSM geeks, it’s lifecycle based and sits nicely with ITIL. This is what the framework looks like – look familiar to anyone?


Stuart walked us through the framework, giving practical examples of how to get involved suggesting “find out who the Infosec people are in your organisation and ask them how you can get involved. Look, we’re all lazy, we all circumvent controls because it’s easy and we all look sheepish when we’re caught.”

Stuart continued by stating that “ITSM and Infosec absolutely have to collaborate. Every single ITSM process has a part to play in information security so get involved in cyber breach scenarios and testing.”

Stuart concluded  by explaining the important role that CSI plays in RESILIA stating “ in Infosec, you wouldn’t even get away with not doing CSI for a month.” You can check out RESILIA here for free until the end of November.


Beyond Base Camp; taking a new route to improve service levels – Stuart Higgins, SUMERIAN

The first session after lunch was from Sumerian. It was tagged as being a session that explained how Capacity Management could support the other ITSM processes something I was really excited about because I don’t think that Capacity Management gets the love it deserves. It opened on a promising note with Stuart explaining “Capacity Management is key to improving service levels.” Stuart continued by talking about using three steps to delivering effective Capacity Management, “run, plan and optimise.”

Stuart talked about the need for automation in Capacity Management stating “most capacity related  Incidents could be prevented by using predictive analytics.”

The next part of Stuart’s presentation was a demonstration of how the Sumerian toolset could carry out Capacity Management tasks. For me, this part of the presentation didn’t work, as one delegate put it “it wasn’t bordering on a sales pitch, it went well over the line.” To be fair, Stuart switched back to explaining how Capacity Management could be aligned with other ITIL processes, using Configuration Management as an example. For my money, this session would have worked better as either an interactive demonstration of the software at the Sumerian stand or by getting the delegates involved in some sort of game to demonstrate Capacity Management.

Stuart finished with a great piece of common sense advice stating “we have to be more responsive in IT. Patch Tuesday happens every week, the clue is in the name people!”


SFIA V6: Using Skills to Leverage your Biggest Asset, People – Matthew Burrows, BSM Impact

Next up was Matthew Burrows talking about the latest version of skills framework SFIA. For those of you not familiar with SFIA, Matthew explained that “ it’s a common language to define skills, abilities and expertise in a consistent way.”

Matthew took the audience on a whistlestop tour of SFIA, explaining how it can benefit the business by having the right people, with the right skills in the right roles.

Matthew explained that both ITIL and COBIT reference SFIA:

What I loved about Matthew’s session was how accessible he made his subject matter saying “you don’t have to pay a fortune to use it, just download it and have a play with it.”


Two-Speed Transition: Tradition & Innovation – Starring Release, Service Catalogue & Early Life Support (Service Transition SIG)

The final session of the day was a workshop run by the Service Transition SIG. I’m not going to review it as I was part of the session as an enthusiastic SIG member! The theme of the workshop was two track IT, covering traditional versus agile ways of doing Release Management, Service Transition and Service Catalogue. The boss, @itammartin, was on bell duty, making sure that each speaker had their allotted five minutes. The output of the workshop will be pulled together by the SIG and shared with our members, so watch this space!
I missed the awards dinner because I was on child wrangling duty but congratulations to the winners and the nominees. You can see the full list here: and here is a picture of said children:


To be fair, the hug I got when I walked through the door on Monday night more than made up for missing out on the gala dinner! In all seriousness though, a huge congratulations to all the winners and everyone that was nominated and a special shout out to Pink Elephant who won the training company of the year category. Awesome work guys #gopinkorgohome

That’s it for now – come back soon to see our coverage of Day 2!

Image credit

SIAM for beginners

6196173097_a18978e6bc_zAhead of our joint workshop with the BCS on the 17th of November we speak with 2 experts to discuss all things SIAM, people & culture.

Podcast Guests:

Dave Kelsey, BCS 

Steve Morgan, Syniad Solutions Ltd

Podcast Topics:

  • SIAM Skills Workshop
  • What is SIAM?
  • The interest in SIAM
  • When is SIAM right for me?
  • Culture change
  • What skills do I need for SIAM?
  • What’s available in the market?
  • Are service providers adapting to the demand for SIAM?

Find out more about the workshop here or via the BCS event page.

ITAM Review and ITSM Review Feeds


Image credit
Image credit