Tag Archives: Axios

Service Catalogue – some practical advice

Service Catalog – Are you the Master or Slave?

Challenges of setting up a Service Catalog

For many IT organizations, setting up a Service Catalog requires them to think in a different way. Services become more about the business need than about the underpinning technology components. IT must talk to customers, and see services from a non-technical standpoint. This can be a challenge but one that must be overcome to get a meaningful Service Catalog in place. The first way this manifests is in defining services themselves. This must be understood, agreed and represent a business-defined view.

5 Tips for implementing a Service Catalog

1. Carry out a Service Catalog workshop.

a. Ask the right questions.
b. Involve your business customers.
c. Agree on the definition of a service.
d. Organize the information you already have.

2. List the dependencies each service has.
3. Decide usage parameters.
4. Start with a reasonable number of services first.
5. Make sure you know your requirements before investing in automation tools.

Sharon Taylor Webcast

Service Catalog the Business Case & ROI

Once business needs are clear and documented, begin defining the service value chain. This helps uncover the resource and capabilities [Service Assets] you have and those you may need to acquire. It is usually at this point that hidden benefits for shared services and service packages begin to emerge. Before engaging the business, spend some time visualizing the service value chain to build a basis to instill a communal perception.

Sharon Taylor White Paper

Brian Kerr talks about the Service Catalog as the shop window to the Businesslink

Barclay RaeWhy bother with a Service Catalog? – link 

Rod Bridgman gave a thought provoking presentation on Plan, Change & Run your Portfolio of Services from the Cloud.  Skip to 24 minutes in – Link 

There is an “interactive”  session on the itSMF conference agenda, Tuesday 08th November entitled – All we need now is a Service Catalogue presented by Karen Brusch who  is the chair of itSMF Service Level Management Special Interest Group.  Can someone who is attending please ask Karen what the Service Catalogue and Portal component of the Cloud Architecture will look like. (Service Strategy Appendix C.4 Page 389) 


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Service Catalogue Options

A Service Catalogue can be a structured (Word / Excel) document located in a Sharepoint folder accessible from any location.  This option provides a way of documenting specific requirements.

Alternatively Webpages and Web-Forms can be created which are available via the Intranet.  However most organisations will jump to the COTS solution.  Here are a few vendors:

ServiceNow has doubled their annual contract values Year on Year for the last five years.   Their service portfolio management solution transforms IT-speak into a language the business understands and cares about. They call it the language of IT 3.0. 

CA Service Catalog helps you increase value by communicating service offerings in rich, descriptive business language

CA Oblicore Guarantee (TM) accelerates the monitoring, reporting, and management of the service portfolio

Axios – to assist with the rapid deployment of the service catalog Axios provides a complete set of service structure and content templates.  Axios also offer a service catalog strategy workshop to jump start the process.  Axios are the worlds leading “independent” software provider.  Martin advised that the key word is independent and that Axios stick to their knitting which is to invest in their Assyst product suite.  

HP Cloud Service Catalog (Beta) ” Project Coral” –  effectively manage the service portfolio based on cost, quality of service and user feedback 

IBM CloudBurst – Automate service delivery and help save operating costs through a self-service portal and service catalog

BMC – Enable all areas of your business with a consistent, accurate view of IT services with BMC Software’s Service Catalog

Newscale acquired by Cisco – Publish a menu of standardized service offerings in an online catalog.  Newscale technology will serve as the storefront for [Cisco] Cloud services with its Amazon-like interface

A key point to remember is that the Service Catalogue solution of service offerings to the Business  should not include Service Request Fulfillment.  For example you cannot request a new service via a tool rather it is an informed discussion with the Business Relationship Manager.  If a user wants to order something in particular, then they will typically use a different best of breed solution e.g. Ariba.  So don’t dilute the value of the Service Catalog. 

The Vendors will respond that in a world of Cloud Based Services a user should be able to self-provision.  That is fine as an argument if you are talking about technical components in a virtualised “On Demand” world.  How many organisations are there yet?  The school answer is that Service Requests are part of the Service Desk solution, they are not required functionality of the Service Catalog.

Business Services Catalog – the Evolution


Samantha Reed has produced this presentation on the evolution of the Business Services catalog.  On slide 5 and 7 the Technical Services Catalog is shown.  As we move more of these capabilities and resources to 3rd Party Service Providers we will only need to capture information at the level of Service Assets not drill down into the detail of configuration items because the CMDB will be managed externally.   


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Fusion 11 – 105 “Creating an actionable Service Catalog”

At the FUSION 11 service management conference on Monday, Andrew Kramer, PMG’s vice president of Customer Solutions, presented the “Creating an Actionable Service Catalog,” session.  It was claimed that this interactive session would clear up the confusion surrounding the service catalog and portfolio management.  Did the presenter clear things up?  

The Service Catalogue is mentioned in section of the Service Strategy core volume Page 173.  This section describes the role of service catalogue in service portfolio management and the relationship between the service portfolio, service pipeline and service catalogue. 

This approach is being overtaken by Cloud Based Services and the need for a Self-Service Catalog as described by Rodrigo Flores from Cisco

Here is what Barclay Rae has to say about designing and defining services for a service catalog.

My opinion is that most Service Providers are stuck in the back office where it is still about defining a set of IT Services (email, print etc.).  What the customer really values is the ATM full of cash on Friday and Saturday nights especially at month end.  A Service Catalog should link customers with the outcomes they desire.

I had a chat with the Axios guys in Scotland (BK,MS,JB) this week.  They kindly sent me a slide deck that shows that they “get it”.  Here is an example of a Business Template it refers to HR processes.

 ..and their thinking around the portal as a self service online service [shopping] catalogue.

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