Will Scaled Agile (SAFe) help Businesses adapt to compete?

These are unprecedented times and in the Covid-19 economy customers have significantly increased their consumption of products and services via Digital channels which presents Businesses with new competitive threats.

It is widely accepted that every Business is now a Software Business enabled by technology.

In addition, Technology Consultants and Software Vendors have been championing all things Digital – “Digital Transformation / Digital Disruption / Digital First / Digital by Default etc.”

So, will applying Scaled Agile practices enable a Business to adapt to the “new” environment they are operating in and rapidly deliver new digital products and services?

It is important to understand that Business Agility will be required to aggressively compete in the Market. Business Agility makes it possible to adapt by managing changing Business priorities, improving project visibility and enabling changes to be made mid-stream.

This SAFe 5.0 Overview sets out an explanation of the 7 scaled agile core competencies that make true Business Agility possible through a shared portfolio vision, agile delivery of value streams and organisational agility.

Business Agility with SAFe 5.0: PepsiCo, British Airways, Discover Financial

Businesses that master Business Agility are the ones that will be better placed to compete—not just survive—in the Market.

Business Agility happens when the entire organisation uses Lean and Agile practices to deliver compelling Customer facing solutions faster than their competition.

The Product Owner is the key Business Representative responsible for setting priorities, defining and building viable adaptive products that both meet Customer needs and add Business value (MVP). The 6 key skills required to become a good Product Owner are:

  • A flawless representative
  • Immensely Knowledgeable about the Product
  • An Awesome Storyteller
  • Extremely Communicative
  • A great Issue Solver
  • An Agile Individual

The Business Value of Program Increment Planning

The Program Increment Planning event is typically 1 to 2 days of focused planning attended by Product Owners, all the teams within the same Agile Release Train (ART) to understand business priorities, the features that will be delivered in the next 12 week increment and highlight cross-team dependencies.

Scaled Agile practices and Agile Transformation are already being applied by many Businesses, however the immediate challenge is to deliver Business Agility by increasing the velocity of Product delivery, the productivity of the Cross Functional teams and increased use of Automation.

In order to shorten Lead times and time to market Businesses should consider delivering little and often by managing the number and size of features so that they can be deployed independently which makes it easier to detect any failures faster “fail fast” and notify the responsible software engineer.

Here are a few example questions that you should consider:

Do the Cross Functional Teams have everyone needed to deliver the product features? 

Are the most skilled Software Engineers working in the Business Critical teams?

How effectively are your agile distributed teams collaborating across regions in the stand ups and retrospectives?

How successful is your Hybrid staffing model which is comprised of onshore remote workers and ‘landed’ resources (offshore resources who are based onshore)?

Are Solutions rapidly released to Customers and deployed to the Production environment on Demand?

To what extent are you using machine learning to analyse current Product Delivery data and make predictions about future program Increments?

Is Automation used to drive Flow through the Continuous Integration / Delivery Pipelines?

I see a gap in the SAFe 5.0 guidance regarding security requirements. Scaled Agile Product Owners, Security Solution Architect and the Security team should consider security requirements as part of the Program Increment event and not in the later stages of delivery. This approach will enable early identification of any risks with the Solution and define security specific user stories. This is essential to maintain the Trust of the Customer.

Finally what is a practical approach to Remote Program Increment planning?

  • Design for Remote Interactions
  • Preparation – Program, Team and Individual
  • Calendars / Diaries synchronised
  • Collaborative Tools
  • Budgets agreed upfront



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Will the new ITIL Practitioner qualification create trained Specialists or Generalists?

ITIL Practitioner level 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. 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.

Addressing the demand from ITSM practitioners and organizations of all sizes worldwide, the first ITIL Practitioner exam will be available globally by the end of 2015 and will equip ITSM professionals with added practical guidance to enhance leveraging ITIL in line with their organizations’ business goals.

Key points of ITIL Practitioner

  • Providing practical guidance on how individuals can leverage Continual Service Improvement (CSI) to maximize the benefits of adoption and adaption of ITIL.
  • Aiming to improve the capability of individuals throughout the business, to adopt and adapt ITIL in their day-to-day roles to generate maximum business benefits.
  • Making use of 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 frameworks and good practices and methodologies – such as Lean, DevOps, Agile and SIAM – to further enhance the value of ITSM.

specialist v generalist

There is a well known saying that describes the difference between a specialist and a generalist?

A specialist knows more and more about less and less until eventually he or she knows everything about nothing.

A generalist knows less and less about more and more until eventually he or she knows nothing about everything.

So let’s compare the Specialist with the Generalist?

  • Specialists typically make more money because they are seen as IT Service Management Subject Matter Experts who are sought after for the value they can deliver.
  • Specialists get famous faster for the contribution they make to the IT Service Management community and body of knowledge.
  • Clients trust Specialists more as they have proven experience and credentials that back up previous projects that have been successfully delivered.
  • Specialists develop deeper skills because they correctly identify which skills will be in demand 2-3 years ahead of need and get involved in the early adopter phase of new initiatives e.g. ServiceNow “Outside the Walls”

Generalists are seen as individuals who are adept at understanding the wider context and what the Business aims to achieve. It is perceived that generalists are better at putting the pieces together to make sense of how it all works so that they are better able to navigate uncertainty.

One way to think of a world of specialists, according to Vikram Mansharamani all the specialist content in the world is meaningless without putting it in the proper context — and that context tends to be provided by generalists. A great generalist’s breadth of knowledge helps link new breakthroughs and technologies to existing ideas.

how google works

“Fundamentally, we’re focused on learning animals or generalists as opposed to specialists. And the main reason is that when you’re in a dynamic industry where the conditions are changing so fast, then things like experience and the way you’ve done a role before isn’t nearly as important as your ability to think.

So generalists, not specialists, is a mantra that we have internally that we try to stick pretty closely to. Specialists tend to bring an inherent bias to a problem, and they often feel threatened by new solutions.” LINK

It is generally accepted that new ideas and innovation are the result of connectedness and collaboration across a wide body of knowledge that is not limited to a particular area of specialisation.

Looking ahead a combination of knowledgeable specialists and generalists is required to help shape the future direction of the practice for the benefit of all practitioners for example the itSMFBig4 Agenda item Service Management of the Future for the benefit of practitioners at all levels.


What is driving the introduction of the new ITIL Practitioner qualification given that it introduces a new exam in an already congested certification scheme such that a new Training Navigator is required?

Screen shot 2015-03-22 at 14.46.02

The 2014 ITIL exam results LINK to PDF to view table above indicate that we may have reached saturation point for ITIL examinations.

I have been at several events where I am consistently told that we were told to complete ITIL Foundation training.

I will never forget the animated CIO who told me that “We do ITIL” because he had sent 500 individuals across the globe on ITIL Foundation training.

What do I think is the ITIL Practitioner qualification Revenue Opportunity?

Axelos is working on an Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme which will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications.

Global delivery will continue to be overseen by global strategic partners and Axelos recently announced that the big six Examination Institutes (EIs) APMG, BCS, CSME, EXIN, LOYALIST, PEOPLECERT have extended their contracts for a further three years from January 2015.

This video clip describes the all in $250 price for the ITIL Foundation Course & ITIL Exam Bundle linked to LOYALIST Certification Services.

The new ITIL Practitioner qualification must be immersive so that virtual study groups can be formed to discuss and agree Continual Service Improvement plans that deliver quick wins and chart the 60, 90, 180 day view.

These virtual study teams will connect via Mobile App, e-Learning, Simulation, Gamification and SocMedia.

My rough order of magnitude estimate for 2016, when the new ITIL Practitioner qualification is introduced, is a conservative 200,000 individuals will take the exam so if the ATOs have designed a low cost offering yet charge a £600 combined course and exam bundle that equates to a £120M training market just for one new course.

So metrics drive behaviours and maximizing training revenues is the key driver for Axelos growth plans which is OK as long as the IT Service Management community profit for contributing their ideas, know how to ITIL Practitioner training content and share in the rewards.

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What did I learn from 2014 Service Management Practices and it is all about Connectedness in 2015

In 2014 the need to attend the premier annual conferences [ITSM14, SITS12, FUSION14, LEADIT14, NowForum…] to hear from the “opinion formers” has been less of a priority given the increasing power of individual practitioners to openly share their proven solutions to business issues with whoever is interested across any channel of digital interaction (e.g. webinar, slideshare, blog, video clip etc.)

It was perceived that the format of the UK ITSMF conference was a little tired because the focus was more on Theory (Shoulds and Oughts) with some degree of proven implementation guidance from the practitioners who have delivered outcomes that address real business challenges.

ITSM14 has become a meeting place to connect with colleagues either on the exhibition floor or dance floor with the dinner and industry awards ceremony the main event.

The highlight of the conference was the announcement of the ITSMBig4 Agenda for 2015.

ITSMBig4 Agenda

“The Big4 Agenda refers to the set of key professional issues members have indicated they are facing, and the programme of information and activities being delivered by ITSMF UK to help deal with those issues.

In 2014 the Agenda items were Back to Basics (reliability), Skills, Managing Complexity, and Agile ITSM.

At the 2014 Conference four new items were agreed for the 2015 Agenda:

COLLABORATION – how do we work with others?

SERVICE MANAGEMENT OF THE FUTURE – what do we need to look like?

CAPABILITY FRAMEWORK – how do we build it?

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – how do we ensure it is relevant?

we need to have a clear agenda, so as soon as one thing is done, we’re starting the next.”

John Windebank & Rosemary Gurney (Chair & Vice-Chair ITSMF UK) led the discussions on the recently announced ITSMF UK Big4 Agenda topics for 2015

LINK to Twitterchat compiled by Jane Suter @Jane_RTC



Started, Stalled or not Sustained

It was deeply disappointing that community initiatives launched in 2013 were not further developed or sustained in 2014. I did not envisage the level of change resistance and negative knock-back for the inaugural SM Congress core values and declaration.

Charles Araujo, the driving force behind SM Congress, provided an update in March LINK however there has been radio silence since.

The ITIL Manifesto is a SM Congress look-a-like and states the following:

“A community driven effort (with the knowledge and support of the Intellectual Property holder Axelos Ltd) to add structure to existing or new ideas on how ITIL is viewed/used/adopted and to create a manifesto which formalises these principles”.

Here is what the AXELOS declaration has to say:

“The Manifesto, which began life as a Google document before moving to Tricider, has been created to capture the thoughts of the ITSM community and is designed to gather ideas about ITIL – what it should be and what it shouldn’t be – as well as understand the core values of the proposition”. LINK


So as we enter 2015 the community is still fragmented playing into the hands of For Profit (AXELOS ITIL Manifesto) vs Non-Profit (ITSMF and the ITSMBig4 Agenda) with these initiatives covering the same ground and some industry experts Claire Agutter @ClaireAgutter involved in both initiatives.

TFT14Tomorrows Future Today – TFT14

Thanks to BrightTALK for hosting these events and for enabling the community to hear directly from Subject Matter Experts.   You can peruse an extensive set of TFT Summer webinars here LINK

TFT14 saw a marked increase in submissions but did not have the same impact as TFT13 because viewer expectations had already been set very high and the wow factor had lessened second time around.

Having said that this slide presentation by Jon Hall (BMC) titled “The end of ITs monopoly on trust vital lessons from the consumer space” is worth a look LINK


In addition the Taking Service Forward – Adaptive Service Model has not been sustained.

It was lauded as “Future best practice for governing, managing, providing and consuming services will be dynamic, emerging, empirical and holistic. Bodies of knowledge will continually emerge based on input from real people consuming, brokering or providing real services”.

In May I tweeted the following question:

@TSF_ASM It has been over a month since the last tweet. Are you guys still part of the #Axelos roadmap? http://t.co/iviUIuRVAq #stalled


With respect to the Supplier / Product provider agenda ServiceNow continue to lead the Market.

One example is the NowForum London event which transferred to the Excel centre to accommodate the huge numbers of attendees. Registration at this event is complimentary with KPMG and Accenture as “big time consulting’ premium sponsors recognising the opportunity to generate leads.

The ServiceNow Community is vibrant. LINK

ServiceNow Community

How to Navigate the ServiceNow Smartphone Interface

The Service-Oriented Enterprise with ServiceNow LINK

“Every department in the enterprise is a service provider. While service relationships are well defined and automated within IT, they are often inefficient, unstructured or non-existent in other enterprise service domains. Georg Maureder, Solution Architect EMEA at ServiceNow will tell you how savvy IT leaders view this as an opportunity to help their business peers replace inefficient email-based service request and fulfilment processes with a proven IT service model”.

BMC Smart it my it

BMC – Smart IT + MyIT

“Make your customers the center of attention, and your service desk the life-blood of the organization. Whether accessing personal applications on a mobile device or requesting a business application at work, people expect it to be easy. BMC helps you deliver a better user experience on both sides of the service desk. Delight IT teams and business users with a personalized IT experience, and intelligent, mobile access to IT services”.

Video: Better together: Smart IT + MyIT (1:13) LINK


HP Service Anywhere

HP Service Anywhere

December Update offers an Enhanced Trial Experience

“Trial users can take our new guided tours through the Self-Service Portal, Hot Topics Analytics and Live Support. These tours highlight the differentiated value of these key Service Anywhere features.

The Self-Service Portal uses an engaging user experience and big data driven knowledge to drive self-sufficiency and the move to ticketless IT”

HP Mobile User Experience – Mobile Application Pulse



Axelos GBP

Missing a Vital Component

It was a refreshing surprise to see the marketing campaign and kudos to the AXELOS team.

“Global Marketing Campaign ‘Missing a vital component’ has been really well received and we have had a phenomenal response. As an example, we have run full page adverts in the Economist worldwide and the Financial Times to further raise the awareness of Global Best Practice”.

It would be very helpful if AXELOS provided more detail to support the “phenomenal response” statement and the CEO value proposition. Did any CEOs / CIOs sign-up for ITIL or Prince training.

As to be expected AXELOS placed the needs of the Pupil over Practitioners and imposed stringent controls for training organisations to become accredited by AXELOS.

It will be interesting to gauge community response when the full year training exam numbers and results of the AXELOS Profit Share are released.
After a bumpy start Kaimar Karu made a big difference as Head of ITSM in June he tweeted

@kaimarkaru: A little something I wrote on the future of #ITIL – LINK

There were new and refreshed ITIL White papers from “practitioners for practitioners”.

Maximize the Synergies Between ITIL and DevOps by Anthony Orr @AnthonyOrrAtBMC is a very good read and very much on topic. LINK

For all the good work that AXELOS delivered in 2014 I did not understand why there was such a low key celebration of the 25th Year Anniversary of the ITIL Service Management practices. Here is a blog post from AXELOS LINK


“The CPD programme will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications”.

Moreover the role based focus on Continuous Professional Development is marketing spin to infer that a clear career path has been defined and agreed by the Service Management Community.

SFIA Framework

It would be very helpful to align the CPD with the Skills Framework for the Information Age

“SFIA is an industry framework (free to use, subject to licence) which contains the descriptions of 96 professional skills, each of which is defined in terms of up to seven skill levels. It also identifies generic levels of responsibility in the areas of autonomy, business skills, complexity and influence.

SFIA offers an invaluable tool to help individuals understand their own strengths and areas of weakness, and to assist employers and HR departments to understand training requirements, potential skills gaps, and specific skills requirements for particular roles”.

Matthew Burrows @MatthewKBurrows has been an evangelist for development and adoption of the SFIA framework over several years and his voice should be heard by AXELOS.


Capita group, which has a 51% stake in AXELOS, acquired G2G3 I guess for their Gamification capabilities. It was a surprise that Ken Gonzalez @ken_gonzalez became G2G3 Americas VP for Delivery given that he had a successful consulting practice.

G2G3 promote the Service Management Office – “We are happy to offer a one-hour complementary Service Management Office (SMO) consultation to help you get started”.

Here is a LINK to the SMO Start-Up Kit and 8 Steps for implementing a SMO


Apple watch

In 2015 it is all about Connectedness

Smarter connected Customers will increase use of Mobile Self-Service Apps for swift and easy information access to obtain immediate resolution that puts the Customer firmly in control.

Smarter Customers are increasingly choosing digital interactions rather than use Voice / IVR calls. They demand consistency across channels so that their Customer record and a full history / notes are always accessible. Digital interactions include voice, text, email, web chat, posting on social media and/or using a connected app.

Smarter Self-Service Portals will identify and know the Customer guiding them along the Customer Journey thereby removing the need to join lengthy call centre queues. Virtual Agents will also become part of an improved Customer Experience.

Smarter peer-to-peer support from always connected practitioners will help to identify solutions for common Service Management and DevOps challenges.

In 2015 creativity will continue to come from random connections, cross-pollination and easy sharing of ideas.

So it is up to you to choose how you connect to the world of DevOps and Service Management industry relevant content that will provide you with the most engaging experience and value.

Listed below is a selection of my tweets from the last twelve months:


@wdgll: @GoNavvia: Maximize your investment in #ITSM
#Collaboration brings ITSM process management to the #Social era

@wdgll: #AXELOS CEO Peter Hepworth on progress this year & 2015 plans
Better interview than last year

@wdgll: Next generation mobile support tools
Smart IT with support for smartphones
#Remedy #ITSM

Kaimer Karu
@wdgll: Leveraging #ITIL we can create conditions for success; but we still need people to achieve that success and autonomy


@wdgll: @RobertEStroud: #ISACA BELGIUM video from my recent visit to the chapter
Run on a membership model to share knowledge

@wdgll: Improve appreciation of what other group is doing by having Dev and Ops participate in each other’s daily activities

@wdgll: @AXELOS_GBP: new corporate video
“Always ahead of the curve”
Prince 2 Agile published early next year
@KaimarKaru Leveraging #ITIL we can create conditions for success; but we still need people to achieve that success and autonomy


@wdgll: To Help DevOpsify The World @scriptrock Raises $8.7M

How to @DevOpsify Release & Deployment http://t.co/aLCev7ROMY

@wdgll: Bring IT to Life with #BMC
Introducing Living IT the @BMC_ITSM Vision for who we are and how we work today
Video – http://t.co/O7OQlpJKzN

@wdgll: Customer Care as a Service is a white-branded service offered to anybody that thinks it important enough to provide

@wdgll: @servicenow Changing the way IT and Business gets done
IT must be a Business accelerator not just an IT caretaker


@wdgll: Real-Time #DevOps = Dev is looking to compress delivery cycles and adopt experiment and learn mentalities.

@wdgll: Real-Time #DevOps = Ops is looking to institute controls and more tightly govern change.

@wdgll: So we have #ITILManifesto, Taking Service Fwd @TSF_ASM, #SMCongress, #ITSM, #ITSMBig4, #itSMF and #ITILRoadmap & @StuartRance ubiquitous

@wdgll: #ITILManifesto Phase 1-106 ideas half of which have 0 votes
Familiar ideas in top 10 #ITIL = I Think It’s irreLevant

@wdgll: #ITSM14 agenda http://t.co/4lTahbKPzM
Service management next generation operating model
Nathan McDonald & Zoe Benedict Deloitte Consulting

@wdgll: @RobertEStroud: My discussion of the benefit of #COBIT Online

@wdgll: @PhilipHearsum Article on Cultural differences in ITSM
ITIL is the universal language of IT Service Management #ITSM


@wdgll: DevOps vs the Enterprise video clip
“Think of #DevOps as process improvement for #ITIL”
@scriptrock http://t.co/vJwFAuAMJz

@wdgll: #DevOps is successful when ways of working flow quickly and unimpeded to allow for rapid decision making and to spur on continuous delivery

@wdgll: Global-Mobile-Social (Glo-Mo-So) intg via Global comms, universal delivery via Mobile devices & Social collaboration http://t.co/FgIYqoRHe5

@wdgll: http://t.co/wpL3Cddur5 take Service Management beyond IT into other areas of business so they are integrated and not separate entities.

@wdgll: The IT world is re-inventing itself. For CIOs imperative is to lead IT to become backbone of the modern enterprise

@AnthonyOrrAtBMC: Enjoy new whitepaper – ITIL and DevOps

@wdgll: #Agile and #ITIL – http://t.co/fxAcXeEBFz SLA targets are met month on month but the customer is still not happy with the service provided


@DortchOnIT: What #ServiceNow does & why it matters, to organizations from Coca-Cola to CERN & the NBA — in <2.5 minutes!

@wdgll: @AXELOS_GBP @PhilipHearsum Adopt&Adapt #ITIL Please shift left in the service lifecycle away from Ops-Service Desk/CAB to Strategy & Design

@wdgll: ITIL vs Kanban
Emphasis is on individuals and interactions over processes and tools

@wdgll: COBIT Focus Volume 3: July 2014
#COBIT5 Helps Find Value in the Cloud
Plus Mapping COBIT5 with IT Governance http://t.co/dYyg5NKODZ

#Devops Pushes Agile to IT’s Limits
Software engineering is changing and DevOps is at the heart of it. http://t.co/7UB5IiERRW

@wdgll: #DevOps Stats for Doubters
DevOps spends 60% less time handling support cases
63% release new s/w more frequently http://t.co/MWiSqhiySP

@wdgll: VIDEO : #ServiceNow Expands IT Operations Management Portfolio with ServiceWatch


@wdgll: #DevOps philosophy and movement that sits at the intersection of (software) Development, (service) Operations and QA http://t.co/CawgLXlgHz

@wdgll: #ISACA is a great org and I am proud of the passion, experience and energy that we bring to all our stakeholders

@wdgll: combined benefits of ITIL® & Knowledge-Centered Support
Good job HDI although Summary real value para is > exec summ

@wdgll: Now the scope has gone beyond devices, Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is probably a better more future-proof term


NEW YES NEW #Axelos White Paper – Using ITIL to seize the opportunities of the Cloud and rise to the challenges http://t.co/LRXrAplM6l

@wdgll: David Paine, CIO of ITSM at Toyota Financial Services (TFS) urged fellow CIOs not to live on an ‘ITIL island’

#Know14 was bigger and better than ever! @jason_wojahn shares his take on the event and its key message: http://t.co/9z2HjAHXEk

@ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman “Genius hits a target that no one else can see” http://t.co/jbL1Ki0xlK another fine performance #Know14

IT Service Management Must Evolve http://t.co/41TbOxlKtn
As Business Units sidestep IT, will #CIOs become glorified Service Managers

In the new end-to-end services model, the handover to the end-customer is just the start of the process http://t.co/A6MOO3I0VO #CBR #ITSM

#ITIL value proposition http://t.co/BVWxlb5PjB
Thought it was meant to target the C Suite as per the global survey responses 72% relevance

@wdgll: Benefits of #ITIL Allow the Business to focus on the service and value received, not on the technology utilized to deliver tangible outcomes

@wdgll: benefits of #ITIL-Optimize Customer Experience
#Forrester says perpetually connected customers demand Service @ Speed

@wdgll: #Know14 the best keynote speaker slides can be accessed here “Get to know Now” http://t.co/M8LzWSx2wt “the New Age of Service is NOW” @ITSM

@wdgll: #ITSM professionals need to adopt a combination of Customer centric & Service centric. The “Don” Page


@AXELOS_GBP It is deeply disappointing that your Head of #ITSM @kaimarkaru fails to act with integrity causing harm to your company #ITIL

#itsmcommunityportal full ownership of a common purpose increases motivation and information-sharing.

@AXELOS_GBP: See the latest #AXELOS eBulletin
Looking forward to the launch of the #ITIL Value Proposition for CIOs

@DavidM2 practitioners know that change is driven by #transformation getting people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. #ITIL irrelevant

@DavidM2 @kaimarkaru the challenge for #Axelos profits is do they favour PUPILS and gamification revenue or PRACTITIONERS and collaboration

#COBIT5 online will offer an enhanced user experience when launched in Q3/14 http://t.co/3dnlPySJ2V

In the new business landscape there’s no room for slow-slowness is death. Slow processes are like heavy chains around an org @outsourcemag

Tanya Rose introducing #cobit online beta
link describes the Features of COBIT 5 Online

#servicenow CEO Rock Star Slootman @SiliconANGLE http://t.co/mSpaAkBWJs
IT as a Value Producer
Capture Lightning in a Bottle


@charlesaraujo: A future for #SMCongress? http://t.co/4EBu9XLrVi
intl. consortium under SMCongress “brand”. Light Governance is required

@wdgll: #SMCongress consortium must set standards of Service Excellence that will be validated by the core community of (global) practitioners

@SophieDanby http://t.co/N7EsAcyVGk
What is the community trying to achieve?
Reap & Sow “good”practice which is endorsed by your peer group

@wdgll: #SMCommunity pooling of proven practices and individuals sharing their insight with whoever is interested across any channel of interaction

Good practises that you create where you work instead of Best Practises learned in a book.

Wow, celebrate 25 yrs of content gifted to #Axelos for profit.

@wdgll: #gamingpaul Excellent Proposal-Make the current ITIL expert certificate an ’ITIL expert in THEORY’, make a new one ‘ITIL expert in PRACTICE’

@wdgll: #AXELOS Head of ITSM talks about value propositions for different size organisations

#Forrester : Top trends for customer service in 2014 http://t.co/09t9wcfQEK Trend 2: Customer Service Will Adopt a Mobile-First Mindset

@AnthonyOrrAtBMC The perfect combo: #ITIL, I.T. servIce management and socIaL medIa #ITSM
Experience & Expectations

What’s The Future Of ITSM? By @stephenmann http://t.co/spOxdP716q also read http://t.co/E3Ubl34Hso who will lead Service Management in 2014

@ITILExpert Pink Interviews Peter Hepworth CEO, Axelos http://t.co/9DiALzzDUo Investment in the exam cash cow and making ITIL relevant #itsm


@servicenow: Frank Slootman blog – Lightning in a bottle http://t.co/9EB4WntmmW one CEO with a distinctive point of view #BeginningofNow

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Overcoming challenges facing adoption of a DevOps mindset

DevOps Circles

DevOps is a philosophy and movement that sits at the intersection of (software) Development, (service) Operations and quality assurance (QA).

DevOps is considered “Beyond Agile” and institutionalises the idea of what Agile was supposed to deliver.

It is also important to understand that DevOps requires a cultural and mindset shift.

05:10 A culture change is needed in the mindset of the two groups who need to work close together.

Traditionally DevOps is described as a change journey toward the target state of continuous delivery involving continuous integration and continuous deployment

  • Continuous Delivery is the practice of building software and automated deployment into the target environment for the purpose of testing
  • Continuous Integration is about integrating software as early as possible and performing testing early in the development lifecycle
  • Continuous Deployment promotes software into production through an automated build and deployment pipeline of QA/Pre-Prod environments

DevOps – Common Hurdles Faced

Wall of Confusion

  • It is perceived that IT focuses on what was needed yesterday whilst the Business focuses on what is needed tomorrow,
  • The business drives demand for increased software release frequency / speed which creates friction between Development and Operations,
  • Large enterprises have spent years building separate Development and on-going Service Operations capabilities in siloed teams, dividing tasks and organisational accountabilities,
  • The conflict of interest between the goals of those who create the software product and those who maintain it leads to poor relations,
  • Development teams focus on building software that meets functional and quality requirements to create effective change whilst Operations teams focus on operability (e.g. availability, stability), service improvement and cost efficiency,
  • Breaking barriers across the extended Development and Operations organisation will require changes including reshuffle and relocation of several team members,
  • With such changes one can expect resistance from the functional silos when trying to adopt a DevOps mindset for development and operations teams,
  • Strong resistance can be expected especially from people who do not see the benefits that might be gained from it who are unwilling to change their attitude or shift their behaviour,
  • People who are not used to working in cohesive, cross functional teams will find it difficult to adjust to the new normal,
  • Teams that are culturally not disciplined, which is very essential for Agile methodologies and DevOps, may not realise desired benefits,
  • Development and Operations teams blame each other when something goes wrong,
  • Communication challenges could arise between team members due to a lack of common terminology.


Overcoming Challenges

  • Adoption of DevOps practices support the business need to quickly deliver software products / services without sacrificing operational quality,
  • Enterprise IT has started migrating to Agile methodologies and by performing requirements creation, development, and testing in parallel, development teams focus completely on business value and time-to-market,
  • Organisations must assess their current state and create a roadmap for the desired future state by applying the values of Agile collaboration to Development and Operations staff,
  • Formal plan should be put in place to introduce DevOps practices incrementally in order to involve more teams in modern Agile and DevOps practices,
  • Improve communications to raise awareness of the plan to be shared with the teams about how they will be involved in adopting these new modern practices,
  • Cross-functional teams should be created to repair the schism that exists between Development and Operations using collaboration tools, job rotation, knowledge sharing, mentoring, etc.
  • Prescribe the incorporation of operational staff into self-empowered cross-functional development teams. This change will enable teams to identify issues in the development cycle faster when they are easier to fix, thereby increasing the team’s end-to-end velocity rate,
  • Remove barriers between teams by creating incentive programs which are targeted towards recognising the team’s performance and rewarding “One Team”,
  • Encourage collaboration across disciplines by introducing revised roles, co-locating team members and established continuous feedback loops,
  • Focus on the partnership between Developers and Operations staff coupled with automation tools, for an end to end streamlined, rapid, and repeatable release cycle,
  • Ensure that business, development, testing, deployment and operations staff use a common language while interacting with each other,
  • Foster an end-to-end service mindset to improve service quality by treating “DevOps-as-a-Service”

The Emergence and Benefits of DevOps

Is your organization dealing with a “digital disconnect” between the Business and Technology?

DIRECTV uses DevOps to speed time-to-market


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Get to Know NOW

ServiceNow Leadership Trio @ KNOW14

C Level

Here is the image that attendees instantly connected with.

Life Career Work

Automate and manage service relationships

for service domains inside and outside the enterprise.

Inside : Outside

It’s a platform and we’re going to go places with it.


Evolution of the Service Model with new capabilities.

Service Model

Business Management layer enables Business Transformation.

Business Management

ServiceNow Share Debuts at KNOW14

New Online Exchange Facilitates Content Sharing Among ServiceNow Customers and Partners

ServiceNow Share , an online exchange where customers and partners can upload and download applications and development content. Share users can leverage ideas from others in the community and do not have to rebuild similar functionality from scratch. Application creation and service delivery can be accelerated to meet the needs of the business.

Axelos Global Best Practice is developing an ITSM Community Portal and should take a leaf out of this ServiceNow SHARE book.

Financial Statements For Servicenow Inc (Now)

“Year over year, ServiceNow, Inc. has seen their bottom line shrink from a loss of $37.3M USD to an even larger loss of $73.7M USD despite an increase in revenues from $243.7M USD to $424.7M USD.

An increase in the percentage of sales devoted to SGA costs from 55.58% to 60.52% was a key component in the falling bottom line in the face of rising revenues”. Source – Bloomberg Business Week

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 13.42.26

Three month Stock Chart

NOW Stock Chart

Industry watchers envisage that profitability and stock price will improve fairly quickly. Let’s see how events unfold.

In the last 12 months:

34% growth in Customers from 1,640 to 2,195


Employee numbers increased 66% from 1,269 to 2,103

“PartnerNow™, the ServiceNow Global Partner Program, is designed to meet the needs of the ServiceNow partner ecosystem.  Maximizing profitability, go-to-market strategies and customer satisfaction, ServiceNow provides its partners with everything they need to build a ServiceNow practice”.

It is important that the “Face of ServiceNow” that customers see must live up to their inflated expectations. Worldwide Partners have much to do to deliver on the promises made by Fred Luddy as do the software companies who strive to achieve certified integration.

Frank Slootman is betting the company on the “Cloudification of IT” and “Managing the Service Enterprise”. The Business Process-as-a-Service solutions for Back Office HR, Finance and Facilities functions is a crowded market. Companies only do these types of Transformations once every 3-5 years so keen to understand the product roadmap and how existing customers will use the platform for disruptive innovation.

The future is about “All Things Digital” and connectedness at “Lightspeed” not hiding in the basement of the enterprise or with your head up in the clouds.

“What Workday does is Modernizational but what ServiceNow does is Transformational”

 and a final quote from Frank

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 18.11.36


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Who will take the Service Management “Moral High Ground” in 2014?


Here are my nominations for this year’s Service Management Champs:

Charles the Champion of Change Communities 


From RevNet to the SM inaugural Congress

Sound quality improves in this short clip

“We are uncovering ways of meeting business needs through Service Management. Our achievements, experiences and insights compel us to adopt these values:


While there is value to the items on the right, we value the items on the left more:”.

Dancy the Disruptor


TFT13, Tomorrow’s Future Today, is the world’s first 24-hour, global, follow-the-sun virtual conference. It has a size and level of innovation that has never been seen before”.

Mark Kawasaki – The Practitioner’s Road

Long video clip so worth coming back to.

“What I finally see clearly is this: I belong on the practitioner’s road. And my purpose here is different than most. I don’t want to help design a better automobile. I want public transportation”. http://www.windupbird.org/

Stuart the Strategic Service Management Steward

itSMFUK – Outstanding contribution to ITSM

Stuart Rance

I am not sure that Axelos would have moved forward or maintained momentum without his contribution to the Taking Service Forward Initiative.


The vision of Taking Service Forward is to provide the service community with an Adaptive Service Model.  Link to Google+ community LINK


Barclay Broadcasts everywhere.

Barclay has popped up at forums and events across the globe and as a result his personal brand has grown significantly this year across the industry.

He readily shares his insights e.g. ITSMTV etc. however I have selected this clip to shine the Rae from ITSM Goodness to SIaM

Frank and Fred Forge Ahead to the Beginning of Now

Service Now is the world’s second largest SaaS product (Salesforce is #1)

ServiceNow is built on a proprietary platform that aims to automate and standardise business processes, becoming the enterprise-wide platform across IT and business operations.

SN Capabilities

In addition to capabilities for service management, additional capabilities have been built for HR Service Automation, customer relationship management and facilities management.

Tools alone will not deliver the solution to Business Issues. Whilst I recognise how easy it is to create apps I am not sure whether clients would purchase ServiceNow HR Service Automation over Workday, Peoplesoft HCM or SAP HR solutions.

Stroud the Smoothie

Robert has the ability to travel seamlessly across the islands of COBIT5, ITIL and Vendor (CA) communities.

Here is his provocative 5 min presentation at Leadit 13

If 90% of everything is crap then 90% of the way that you are doing Service Management is crap so you must find the 10% of process that really works.

How are you going to unlock value for the future?

Rob Remains Relentless

Rob England is Relentless in his specific / point challenges to others in the SM ecosystem, in particular Axelos.  In 2013 he has come out of the shadows and written a well received book and presented at various forums.


“Rob England’s latest book Plus! The Standard+Case Approach, does in one short reading what many books attempt to accomplish in several years. S+C redefines the relationship for technology professionals by creating a route to customer experience, an improved skillset for ICT and redefines everything we thought we understood about “routine”. Chris Dancy, Founder, ServiceSphere Amazon LINK

BrightTALK – Grow Your Audience in 2014

BrightTALK is the “Best of the Best” platform in the eyes of practitioners and has organised many Summits where individuals readily share their insights.


It is important to understand that we can learn as much from the CHUMPS as we can from the Champs:

Axelos a Forward-Thinking Name for a Forward-Thinking Company

Not sure which design agency was chosen but good luck if you ever need to re-brand ITIL. Moreover, the change in logo from the Best Practice Management Swirl to the Axelos GBP (Global Best Practice) is the only visible change I have seen.

Perhaps there will be more forward thinking with the launch of the Axelos website.

Peter Hepworth the Axelos CEO portrays the image of either Tim Nice but Dim or a Gifted Amateur. He has been leading the global Axelos “Dog & Pony (Road) Show” and his lack of Industry, Product or content Knowledge is evident. This is in stark contrast to industry leaders such as Frank Slootman the ServiceNow CEO.

Here is one of his better performances which reflects a steady improvement in his canned speech notes. I suspect that he is more comfortable banging on about Gamification.

ITIL – Product Development Roadmap Priorities – LINK

“We are seeking to capture the most imperative propositions that will help identify the real value of our portfolio of products. We will be asking our ecosystem to support this process with case studies and real life examples as to the quantifiable benefits. We will share a series of propositions, in the form of short briefs for CEOs, at the end of the year and ask for your support with their continual development”.

“Research shows that gaming and simulation can improve the learning process. We will therefore explore this opportunity and work with specific strategic partners to ensure that our products are at the forefront of the digital age in terms of development and delivery”.

Axelos receive royalties from Examination Institutes for each ITIL exam taken. This recurring training revenue stream is the “Gift that keeps on Giving” and will guarantee Axelos employees a share of profits at end of 2014. Metrics drive behaviours so Axelos will shine the lens on Gamification and e-Learning to drive increased revenues.

An early example of generating additional training revenue  is the “Official AXELOS ITIL Foundation Exam App” which was available on iTunes for download at £9.99 / $16

Chris Barrett the Axelos Transitions Director

Chris is much more credible however given that we are two weeks from launch date it is very disappointing that the Roadmap is still very high-level and mapped out by quarter. I suspect that if Chris were still a “Big-Time” consultant he would have been walked off the engagement because the high level view and workstream descriptions are not detailed enough to provide transparency of initiative priorities, deployment plans etc for the Programme Sponsor. One of the key deliverables is the Axelos Community Portal which will be available at the end of Q3 2014.

The Axelos Service Management Architecture workstream is 10 years behind most big-time and independent consultants who have helped their Local / Global clients with the design and implementation of proven IT Operating Models and End-to-End Service Models.

In 2014 there will be increased focus on how Cloud Services Brokerages will Challenge Traditional IT Service Providers for Cloud Services Delivery.


Another trend this year is where Industry stalwarts have been less opinionated. Stephen Mann transferred, after many years, from Forrester to ServiceNow. He has been consistently involved in the key community forums but for me is recording and observing rather than when he was at Forrester providing a thought provoking Point of View.

More worryingly Ken Gonzalez and Ian Clayton have changed their tone and been less vocal since they joined the G2G3 Americas team. G2G3 is part of the C(r)apita Group.


The Service Management ecosystem will continue to fence with more frequent and aggressive “Thrust and Parry response” moves, fighting with either foil or sabre. The natural tension between Profit (Axelos), Non-Profit (ISACA), Vendors and Customers will increase in 2014 with the lines blurring between who sits Inside the tent or Outside the tent.

WDGLL specs

Why do we need to be more relevant to our Consumer/Enterprise Customers?

The proportion of the global workforce dedicated to agriculture, products and services has changed dramatically and at a faster pace over the last 20 years:

table 1

In 2014 the principles of Service Management will be applied beyond Enterprise IT to predictably deliver outcomes for Consumer and Enterprise Customers. Lessons will be applied from Business Process Outsourcing and Operational Excellence. There will be a huge focus on moving from the Service Experience to Customer Experience with clear definition and measurement or outcome based Key Performance Indicators.

In 2014 we will officially be planning for the post ITIL environment. ITIL = Irrelevant Today Industry Leading Not

Axelos has consistently mentioned investment in products and the value proposition for CEOs.  Whilst new idea generation is part of the equation in 2014 execution is just as important. I envisage that Axelos will pander to the needs of the Pupil over Practitioners and will reap what they sow.

Moreover, Axelos has not defined the criteria by which any artefact will be categorised as “Global” Best Practice.

In 2014 Standards of Service Excellence will be set and validated by the global self-organizing community.

So in 2014 we will see the pooling of collective wisdom and increasing power of individual practitioners to share their insight with whoever is interested across any channel of interaction.

In 2014 it is important that we encourage any new or different thinking. TFT13 was a huge success. The submissions for TFT14 in February will require careful review in order to maintain the standards of excellence and meet the viewers expectations.

So who will take the

Service Management “Moral High Ground” in 2014?

The 2014 champions will be the individual practitioners who have delivered outcomes that address real business challenges. They will readily share proven solutions to business issues via platforms such as Google Helpouts. Those seeking help may opt to pay a sum they think the practical advice is worth.

In 2014 creativity will come from spontaneity, from random connections, from cross-pollination and easy sharing of ideas. A new cadre of “Opinion Formers” will take the global stage. There are no lines to be learned and the members of the cast will extend beyond the “same old same old” set of champions. As we Shift Right new voices from India, Singapore, Philippines etc. will join the dialogue. To this end keep an eye on the folk at HCL.

My related posts:

Is TFT13, not the ITIL joint venture, the way forward for IT Service Management Practices?  LINK

ServiceNow NowForum with presentations from CEO Frank Slootman and CTO Fred Luddy. LINK

Gartner Says Get Gamification working for you LINK

Gartner research note sets out how the Cloud Services Brokerage market will grow LINK

Are you invited to join the Google Helpouts marketplace?  LINK

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Is North Plains the best Canadian small company to be a Global Leader?


“North Plains is recognized as the world leader in helping companies effectively leverage their visual media content including images, photos, videos, 3D designs, and others to maximize market success. Providing a complete array of products, services and solutions, North Plains is uniquely positioned to help corporate marketers, advertisers, content creators, and publishers to be more agile in the creative development process, and in the management and distribution of marketing and brand communications. Since 1994, North Plains has helped its customers stay ahead of their rapidly changing marketing needs by expanding and evolving its suite of offerings to include Digital Asset Management (DAM), Marketing Resources Management (MRM), Creative Workflow and more”.  Source – company website

North Plains Ngage 2013 Global Conference in Niagra Falls

How Digital Asset Management Systems Work

North Plains’ Makeover

“Over the past year, North Plains has been on an aggressive schedule of acquisition and rebranding, casting itself as a more complete solution for creative lifecycle management. In December, it announced the purchase of VYRE, a provider of marketing resource management and brand asset management software. VYRE’s solutions included its software-as-a-service On Brand management of brand guidelines, asset and creative workflows, and Unify, a web-based marketing application platform.

In November, the Toronto-based company had launched a complete corporate rebranding, following the arrival of a new President and CEO, James Christopher. In April of last year, the company had acquired Xinet, a provider of file-based management of work-in-progress visual content, as a complement to its visual content management product, Telescope.

This resulting lineup family of solutions provided Xinet for the creation and production of assets, Telescope for management of those assets, On Brand for brand-related workflow and Unify for distribution”. Source CMSWire

Xinet – production asset management system

On Brand – Marketing Resource Management

Telescope – is an advanced enterprise Digital Asset Management (eDam) solution used to manage the millions of images, videos and other rich media files across the end-to-end lifecycle from “Concept to Consumer”

ConnectR – connects Xinet and Telescope modules together and in the future external products

“The new releases of Xinet and Telescope include the advent of the new ConnectR interoperability, which streamlines the transfer of assets between North Plains’ products and facilitates repurposing of assets across the enterprise”.

Unify – Rich Media Content Management System – award-winning platform for developing web applications and rich customer experiences

WDGLL specs

North Plains is suffering from growing pains as the company shifts right from it’s North American heartland to Europe (London & Germany) and further east. This means that staff with single product expertise must quickly build knowledge across all four products and embed professional services capabilities.

Moreover, aggressive acquisition has resulted in a degree of functional product overlap and Customers eagerly await the North Plains product roadmap to be released.

Digital Asset Management solutions provide easy asset storage and retrieval, as well as sophisticated workflows. For me, the critical success factor is that digital content owners must be able to easily search, share, publish and repurpose and control their digital assets.

Customers will derive the most benefit by making sure that they classify Metadata for their digital assets accurately

“Metadata provides enough information for any user, tool, or program to find and use any piece of content. Metadata is also used to drive business processes. A simple example –publication and expiration dates

Use specific terms

  • Apply the most specific terms when tagging content. Specific terms can always be generalized, but generic terms cannot be specialized.

Use multiple terms

  • Use as many terms as necessary to describe What the content is about & Why it is important.

Use appropriate terms

  • Only fill-in the facets & values that make sense. Not all facets apply to all content.

Consider how content will be used

  • Anticipate how the content will be searched for in the future, & how to make it easy to find it. Remember that search engines can only operate on explicit information”.

Source – Metadata Deep Dive – Joseph A. Busch, Taxonomy Strategies

It should also be noted that corporates are introducing the Chief Digital Officer role and at an operational level I envisage that some form of “Librarian” will come about.

My prediction is in 2020 Digital Assets (creative content) will be more valued than Financial Assets Under Management by Hedge Funds, Investment Banks etc.and that the Data Steward of Digital Assets role will be key to success in any enterprise.

Here is an innovative marketing campaign for MicroLoans

North Plains: LOWE and Partners Customer Success Video

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Can HyTrust build a chain of trust for virtualized and cloud computing environments?


HyTrust provides virtualization security, compliance, and access control solutions for VMware-based virtual infrastructure. It helps organizations to streamline security and compliance reporting for virtualized and cloud computing environments.

Software-defined data centers is the hot topic

“Starting with HyTrust, the security and compliance solutions provider is upgrading its virtualization appliance with the purpose of enabling enterprises to more easily virtualize mission-critical applications and deploy multi-tenant private clouds without taking on “unacceptable risks.”

These potential risks include potential damage caused by both employees and outsiders misusing VMware vSphere administrator privileges. A more specific example provided by HyTrust is an employee copying a virtual machine with confidential data, deleting the entire virtual data center, or misconfiguring tenant environments in shared infrastructure.

To prevent such mishaps, the update for the HyTrust Appliance 3.5 includes customizable behavior-based and threat-detection algorithms as well as support for the VMware Security Hardening Guide to conduct more than three times as many server configuration checks and remediation operations than before”. Source ZDNet – Rachel King


“HyTrust Appliance enables enterprises to virtualize mission critical applications and deploy multi-tenant private clouds without taking on large, unacceptable risks. It establishes visibility and accountability, defeats sophisticated attacks, and limits the impact of administrative mistakes by providing:

  • Real time monitoring, threat detection, and alerting of suspicious vCenter account activity Fine-grained role-based and resource-based authorization, enforcing separation of duties and least privilege, need-to-know access
  • Audit-quality logs that enable complete audit trails tied to individual users’ activity Strong, multi-factor authentication to protect access to the virtualization platform
  • Hypervisor configuration hardening to ensure platform integrity”


Virtualization Review selects HyTrust as Security Virtualization

best of breed:

“The Edward Snowden incident is just one in a long line of security breaches that has many enterprises wondering how secure data can be in the cloud. HyTrust aims to give enterprises some peace of mind by stopping up the gaps in enterprise security, especially the most important one: the system administrator. No longer will sysadmins be able to roam with the utmost privilege. This isn’t meant as a knock, but really it’s to protect sysadmins from themselves”.

Two Man Rule

The insider threat has come into greater focus in the wake of Edward Snowden’s admission that he leaked government secrets. The director of the NSA, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, said his agency would institute “a two-person rule” that would limit the ability of each of its 1,000 system administrators to gain unfettered access to the entire system, write the New York Times’ Christopher Drew and Somini Sengupta.

“The scariest threat is the systems administrator,” said Eric Chiu, president of our own HyTrust quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and numerous other media outlets. “The system administrator has god-like access to systems they manage.”


HyTrust announced this week a further $18.5 million of funding from new investors Intel Capital and Fortinet who join an impressive list of existing investors namely:  VMware, Cisco, In-Q-Tel, Granite Ventures, Trident Capital and Epic Ventures.

“The new funding will support the company’s rapid growth and operations, particularly in the areas of sales and marketing, and enable continued development on the cloud security platform as well as innovations in important technological areas such as Role-Based Monitoring (RBM)”. Source – HyTrust Press Release

WDGLL specs

HyTrust is in start-up mode and has c.100 customers which are typically large corporations and there is talk that the company is likely to be bought out by one of it’s own investors, for example Cisco or VMware.

HyTrust products provide high insurance around authentication and authorisation for VMware environments.

This capability is coined by Eric Chiu as a “Route of Trust”

Trust Management within the cloud environment

Use Intel TXT, VMWare Hypervisor and HyTrust to enforce a trusted compute pool


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Gartner criteria for selecting external Multisourcing Services Integrators

GartnerDifferentiate Between MSI Offerings for Better End-To-End Service

Analyst(s): Jim Longwood, Gilbert van der Heiden

Gartner, Inc. | G00249250 – July 2013

As multisourcing services integrator offerings evolve, IT services sourcing managers are challenged to gauge their ability to deliver end-to-end services.

To assist in the process of evaluating and selecting external MSIs, Gartner has published details of three groups of criteria that clients need to evaluate potential offerings against

Track Record in Multisourced Environment Ability to Integrate Operations at First-Level Help Desk Ability to Deliver and Manage an End-to-End Service
1. Experienced in managing multiple vendors 5. Industrial-strength help desk 7. End-to-end service delivery quality
2. Service management framework 6. Supports multivendor service portfolio/catalog 8. Collaborative service management of multiple providers
3. Quality management framework 9. Understanding of business objectives
4. Value-added governance frameworks and OLA templates 10. Workable governance frameworks

One evaluation criteria has been selected from each category as an example of the report detail:

Evaluation Criteria 2. Service management framework

The MSI needs a sound multivendor service management framework based on a tripod of tools including the “communication” (ITIL V3 or ISO20000), IT service management (ITSM) and quality management (for example, Six Sigma or Lean) to manage providers effectively on your behalf.

Global providers such as Capgemini, HP and CSC, and regional providers such as Atos and Fujitsu, have particularly strong enterprise services frameworks and good integration with a configuration management database (CMDB).

Evaluation Criteria 5 – Industrial-strength help desk

Most providers use service desk tools such as CA Service Desk and BMC-Remedy, Tivoli or OpenView and have messaging links to the most commonly used service desk tools. So you need not insist that the MSI and providers in the ecosystem utilize your preferred service desk tool. It’s not just the ability to pass problem tickets, service requests and resolution responses easily between help desk systems, but also the ability of making sure problem tickets don’t bounce from provider to provider. We see that some specialist help desk providers, for example, CompuCom, are integrating their first-level service desk in with multiple second-level service desk toolsets and products, such as SolveDirect, to support a broader ecosystem of traditional and cloud service providers.

We note that most providers are at an early stage of integrating help desk services for addressing problems experienced in dynamically engaging with cloud service providers. In addition, consider how well the handoffs between providers are defined in their OLAs as this is key to ensure an E2E operational integration — the Unisys offering has a joint roles and responsibilities matrix to ensure key touchpoints don’t “fall through the cracks.”

Evaluation Criteria 8 – Collaborative service management of multiple providers

Most offerings have good ability to coordinate the efforts of both product suppliers and other service providers, but not all MSI providers are as strong on collaborative behaviors. Historically, Accenture, Capgemini, Fujitsu (in Europe), HP and IBM have been stronger in “command and control” types of approach whereas providers like Atos, HCL or Unisys are generally seen as more collaborative. Providers like CSC and CGI that are used to working as prime contractor or as a subcontractor to a prime, often have more collaborative working cultures. We are seeing all providers become more collaborative as the service ecosystem becomes more prevalent particularly with the growth of cloud ecosystems. Many are integrating the basic cloud services brokerage (CSB), integration and customization functions into their offerings.

The authors set out a simple approach [matrix] to conduct the evaluation and selection of shortlisted MSI offerings:

The published 10 Evaluation Criteria sit on the X Axis and MSI Offerings providers as the Y Axis

Mainstream Offerings – Accenture, Capgemini, CSC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Infosys, TCS & Unisys

Emerging Offerings – ATOS, HCL & CGI

This simple table is then populated with “Harvey Balls” denoting Adequate, Good or Very Good

The authors also review the different types of MSI offerings in much more detail than is presented below:

MSI Offerings With Consulting Origins

These offerings originated out of consulting firms, such as Accenture and KPMG, assisting clients in implementing an MSI approach, often on a build-operate-transfer scenario. TCS and HP also have some consulting elements related to their offering.

MSI Offerings With Sole Source Origins

These offerings originate from the needs to manage a broad array of IT suppliers in a typically sole- sourced contract arrangement, and thus these MSI’s are stronger in coordinating the delivery of each supplier and subcontractor, often managing via a command and control approach. These include the likes of Capgemini, HP, IBM and Fujitsu’s European offering

MSI Offerings With Prime or Subcontractor Origins

Providers such as CSC (globally, along with Atos in Europe, and Fujitsu and Unisys in Australia and New Zealand) are used to working in either prime contractor or subcontractor arrangements and tend to have more collaborative working relationships with other providers. Cognizant and Wipro are prime contractors in deals where they do MSI-like roles, but neither have formal MSI offerings.

MSI Offerings With Infrastructure Services Origins

Providers like Fujitsu, Unisys and HCL have a strong technology background and much of their approach is built on that capability, which tends to translate in a more control-driven approach. However, Unisys and HCL expanded it more from a workplace services perspective which commonly translates in a more collaborative style.

MSI Offerings with Program Management or Application Services Origins

A number of the Indian offshore providers’ offerings, such as Infosys and TCS, have offerings emanating out of their application development and related program management offerings, which evolved to cover infrastructure services. IBM’s offerings also include a thin-lead system-integrator- type approach for when the MSI role is used to manage a range of more project oriented activities.


IT services sourcing managers should:

  • Ensure the MSI has a good track record in managing a multisourced environment of similar towers, scale and complexity to yours.
  • Establish that the MSI can integrate operations with other tower and cloud providers in your ecosystem at the first-level help desk.
  • Assess how effectively the MSI can manage and deliver E2E service and business outcomes across multiple providers in a collaborative manner.
  • Assess how well the MSI’s IT services origins, culture and offering availability matches your specific requirements

Creating Successful Sourcing Stories

Thomas Young, partner at outsourcing consultancy and research firm Information Services Group (ISG)

How to Close Your Next IT Outsourcing Deal: Handshake vs. Contract – LINK

Should you trade your clear-cut written outsourcing contract for a simpler agreement and a handshake with your IT services provider? Thomas Young from Information Services Group (ISG) says you should consider what he calls ‘evolutionary contracting.’

“Our current approach to outsourcing contracts is completely out of touch with the needs of a business world,” says Young. “We need a new approach where the ‘contract’ for services is an understanding and a framework rather than a formal document.”

Young has been evangelizing what he calls “evolutionary contracting,” whereby outsourcing customers start with a bare bones contract and adjust the scope and commercial terms of the relationship on an ongoing basis. Young hasn’t found any converts yet, but says some clients are considering the approach.

WDGLL specs

Gartner research reports are of a consistent high quality apart from the most important section, namely Recommendations. The four recommended actions for sourcing managers to take are more common sense than leading edge practice.

The Gartner evaluation criteria and selection method will help shortlist MSI offerings however there is still significant value in hiring 3rd party advisory services like ISG (who purchased TPI) to set the relationship up on the right footing.

Thomas Young, ISG says that the market is moving from prescriptive “know what I want” RFPs to more flexible Request for Solutions where the client is able to articulate the business issue and requires a partner to help develop the solution and deliver the desired business outcome.

Request for Solutions will only be successful if the Procurement organisation, Legal, Advisory partner and Multisourcing Services Integrator maintain an open dialogue.

ISG state that a total of 886 active contracts valued collectively at $21.2 billion are set to expire in 2013.

Incumbent service providers will have to fight vigorously to keep clients. 

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