Live from PINK14: AXELOS Announcements

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Today at the Pink Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, AXELOS made a number of announcements from launching new products to introducing new members of the team. In the coming days we will be publishing a video interview with some of the AXELOS team to discuss said announcements in more detail, until then a brief summary can be found below.

Cybersecurity best practice

A key announcement today was the news that AXELOS is to develop a new cybersecurity portfolio designed to help commercial organizations and governments around the world combat the risk of cyber attacks.

The AXELOS cybersecurity portfolio, to be launched in the second half of 2014, will include best practice guidance, training materials and certification, simulations and tools – all designed to assess, benchmark and improve an organization’s cyber resilience capabilities.

AXELOS CEO, Peter Hepworth, said “The cyber risks are clear and there are more policies and standards being published – but organizations are still searching for the right, pragmatic way to make these part of day-to-day business operations.  The new AXELOS cybersecurity portfolio will provide that practical ‘how-to’ management advice.”

Additions to the team

In addition to the new cybersecurity portfolio, AXELOS announced the appointment of Kaimar Karu as the new Director of ITIL. Kaimar will be responsible for a number of things in his new role, but first and foremost his focus will be on looking at the overall ITIL strategy.

 

Kaimar’s experience will be of huge benefit to AXELOS, specifically his knowledge of DevOps. Also, as many of us know, Kaimar is an active member of the online community and has strong connections with the itSMF (he is currently president of itSMF Estonia), which means he has a good sense of what is really important to people when it comes to ITIL.

AXELOS are also welcoming Nick Wilding as Director of Cybersecurity. As Nick was not present at the conference, there was little information shared specific to his role but we hope to hear more in the coming weeks.

Further to these two additions, it was also announced that AXELOS will be working more closely with Stuart Rance and Kenneth Gonzalez moving forward. Stuart will be responsible for authoring the guidance associated with the new best practice portfolio for cybersecurity, whilst Kenneth will be assisting with broadening the AXELOS global footprint. Kenneth will also be looking at how to bridge the gap between the customer and service provider.

In addition to the announcements at PINK14, AXELOS also issued a press release last week on expanding its senior management team with two new appointments. Daryl Flack and Kelvyn Lien-Hicks will join as Chief Information Office (CIO) and Sales and Marketing Director respectively.

Daryl brings to AXELOS 14 years experience in delivering technology solutions and business transformation. Having worked internationally across a variety of business sectors, most recently Daryl was the divisional Chief Technology Officer for a UK-based FTSE 50 organization responsible for the technology strategy across many private and public sector contracts. Kelvyn also brings significant experience to the AXELOS team having worked for 20 years in the international sales and marketing arena, specializing in the education and e-learning sectors.

The appointment of Daryl and Kelvyn completes the senior management team at AXELOS:

Other news

In a presentation this morning led by Frances Scarff, AXELOS also showcased new research. At the end of 2013 they sought to validate their ITIL roadmap and thus arranged an independent assessment of 380 global organizations. The aim of the research was to see how the AXELOS value proposition relates to different organizations of different sizes.

The slides from today’s presentation will be available from AXELOS in due course, but the two key findings that I personally took away from the session were that:

  • The US are very keen on certification, vs APAC who are less worried about certification and more focused on the ‘doing’
  • 81% of CIO’s surveyed said that they find ITIL to be very or exceedingly valuable to their organization

AXELOS also announced it will launch a new partner programme with strategic, academic and sales partners. Little detail has been given on the initiative thus far, but we can expect to hear much more about this as their plans develop.

In summary

All in all, it was an eventful day in the world of ITIL. Initial reactions to all of the news was very positive, especially around the appointment of Kaimar as Director of ITIL.

Whilst many still remain dubious about AXELOS and the future of ITIL, it is clear to see that they are listening to the community and acting on feedback. For example, hiring Kaimar and working with Kenneth is a clear sign that AXELOS does not intend to be a UK-centric operation, something that everyone will be very glad to see.

As Peter himself said, “it’s going to be a great year”.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kaimar, Nick, Daryl and Kelvyn on their new roles at AXELOS on behalf of all of everyone at ITSM Review. Congratulations also to Stuart and Kenneth on their involvements.

All the latest news from AXELOS can be found on the AXELOS websiteGoogle+ and @AXELOS_GBP on Twitter.  If you have specific queries around any of the announcements please contact Ask@AXELOS.com.

Day 1 Review: itSMF UK Conference

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The ITSM Team pre-dinner awards

This was my very first visit to the itSMF UK conference. I arrived Sunday afternoon and got straight into the networking. Whenever I’ve been to an event before I have always attended with someone else and felt comfortable just meeting the occasional person.

It can be very intimidating attending conferences when you’re new to it as everyone seems to already know everyone else. I could have just relied upon my new colleagues to introduce me but I was determined to get out of my comfort zone and do it for myself.

Enter Twitter!

I sent a quick Tweet to say I had arrived and to query whether anyone else was around and within 5 minutes I had organised a meet up with Daniel Breston of Qriosity (someone I had never met before) in the bar.

That one connection led to meeting Stephen Griffiths of priSM and Brenda Peery of Tactare who in turn introduced me to countless others at the drinks reception. My advice to anyone attending an event for the first time is to be brave and get out there and meet people as soon as you can. You know you have at least one thing in common as you’re all at the conference. Mingle…it knocks an already rewarding experience right over the edge when you leave having made new friends and contacts.

The Conference

The Conference kicked off on Monday with Colin Rudd – itSMF UK Chairman, elucidating on why ITSM models of the future will change from Customer, Service Provider, Supplier to Service Broker, Service Integrator and that although the emphasis on service managers will change it will still be as important as ever.

Outgoing Chief Executive Ben Clacy introduced itSMF UK’s exciting new online Self Assessment and Benchmarking tool, MONITOR ITSM and the new Elite Volunteer Card which rewards itSMF UK volunteers with discounts and extra benefits.

The opening keynote speaker, Britain’s first female fast jet pilot – Jo Salter gave a very entertaining talk on the challenges she has met, how she has succeeded in the face of adversity and how peeing on demand is harder than it sounds. Everyone I’m sure will have taken away something from Jo’s insights and experiences but I feel it was especially beneficial for the female contingent in the room to see it recognised that not all inspirational people are men!

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend every session on the agenda for Day 1 (I’m only human), but below is an overview of the sessions that I did attend.

Suck It and See: Ingredients for Great Supplier Relationships – Cath Bartlett, Dyson

This session was full of real world learning and experience of maximising relationships with suppliers. Advice ranged from trying the ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’ routine to ensuring you’re measuring the right things as you want to ensure that your green KPI’s match with the customers experiences of your service.

Quote from Cath Bartlett: ‘What gets measured gets managed’

How Assessment and Benchmarking Techniques were used to Drive CSI and how this was Applied to Capacity Management at the Co-operative Group – Ian MacDonald

Submission of the Year and Service Management Project of the Year 2012 winners, Co-operative Group can probably add longest session title to their list of accolades.

Ian gave an interesting case study on how Co-operative changed their approach to Capacity Management using a the SatNav approach: Where are you going? Where are you starting from? When do you need to be there by?

His secret to success…’Be Ronseal – Do what you say on the tin’

Interactive Plenary

After lunch on day one it was time for the Interactive Plenary with panel members Claire Agutter, Barclay Rae, Peter Hubbard, Robert Stroud and John Windebank as Chair.

The Big 4 agenda was discussed with questions thrown to the panel with a state-of-the-art system of red card/green card voting taking place. Technologically advanced, no…but perfectly adequate for the requirements.

Project of the Year 2013 Finalist Showcase – EE, Land and Property Services and QBE

Chris Williams of EE (where was Kevin Bacon?), Ignatious O’Doherty of Land and Property Services and Jacqueline Simmons and Amanda Rutledge of QBE all gave overviews of their submissions for the Project of the Year award. Each showed the trials and tribulations encountered with some very honest accounts of issues encountered.

It’s a Journey, the Future of Supplier Management..?’ Service Integration at Jaguar Land RoverMark Hipwell, JLR and Martin Goble, Tata Consultancy Services

Mark and Martin walked us through the difficulties of building a single IT function when faced with a complex legacy IT environment with no capacity for innovation, and how they overcame these to create the dynamic service now in place.

Day 1 Closing Keynote – A Forward Thinking Name for a Forward-Thinking Company – Axelos

Peter Hepworth and Frances Scarff of Axelos talked through their plans for the coming year referencing the Axelos ‘Onion’, encouraging everyone to come and visit their stand.

Awards Dinner – Hosted by Edwina Currie

stuartI admit to being surprised that I actually quite liked Edwina’s hosting. I do tend to think of politicians as rather bland individuals with no sense of humour, so I was pleased that she managed to make it both enjoyable and amusing.

The highlight of the evening was when Stuart Rance won the Paul Rappaport Award for Outstanding Contribution to IT Service Management, which was very much deserved and to further his achievements he managed to get Edwina Currie to hold Pengi – The ITSM Penguin for the award picture for which I believe we owe him a prize!

A full list of the worthy winners (and finalists) can be found here. All of us here at the ITSM Review would like to congratulate both winners and finalists on their fantastic achievements. Well done to all.

The evening continued with a casino and disco which were enjoyed immensely by all, but the main attraction was the photo booth where you could look even sillier than normal by donning wigs, hats and glasses like the weird bunch in the picture>>>!

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Later we were scuppered by the hotel in our attempts to have a piano sing-a-long with Barclay Rae, but we were treated instead to a harmonica solo by Kevin Holland.

The talk of the evening centered around Mr Rance’s fantastic achievement, explaining to our very own Glenn Thompson that Swindon is not in the Midlands, and various conspiracy theories on why Patrick Bolger was still sober.  General consensus was that aliens had abducted him and left a decoy…they’re not fooling anyone!

In Summary

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day. It was nice to see the presentations grouped into specific themes (e.g. Real world learning: Stories from Members on their ITSM experiences) so that if you were attending the conference for a particular reason you could easily identify the sessions that you wanted attend. However, if there was one thing I found a struggle it was getting from one session to the next on time if I needed a loo break in between! The venue was rather large.

Feedback on Day 1 of the event from Twitter was also positive:

Now where is Jo Salter and her adult nappy contraption?