ITSM drives global car fleet industry

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“A recent report from MarketsandMarkets found that the increasing number of vehicles globally (which is in some part resulting from a major boom in the emerging economies) is having a positive impact on the fleet management industry.”

Automotive industry and general driving pun writers need not apply, this headline already writes itself; the importance of IT Service Management (ITSM) to the trade has been validated. With the global fleet management industry expected to grow from US$12.06bn in 2014 to $35.35bn by 2019, organisations involved in car leasing are being urged to recognise the importance of a quality, structured ITSM during periods of growth.

Why the increased revs?

A recent report from MarketsandMarkets found that the increasing number of vehicles globally (which is in some part resulting from a major boom in the emerging economies) is having a positive impact on the fleet management industry.

In turn, this upswing has implications for businesses that structure effective ITSM into their operational architectures from the start.

First class (chauffeur-level) service

A new case study from AXELOS Global Best Practice outlines how one of the world’s leading car fleet organisations has benefited from a structured approach to ITSM, helping the IT department deliver a quality service to 6500 staff across 32 countries, enabling them to provide a first class service to customers.

LeasePlan Information Services (LPIS) is based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and employs around 200 people who support IT services for the firm’s global organisation, which manages 1.42m vehicles worldwide. Within LPIS, the Service Support Team provides a central and local service desk function for all LeasePlan countries.

ITIL steering controls at the helm

The AXELOS case study outlines how ITIL as the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world has helped LPIS to deliver a high quality service to customers since it was established in 2003.

“ITIL processes are structured and make sense,” explained case study author Sandra Duigenan, LPIS service delivery manager. “They allow us to have a common language between support groups and to set clear expectations from a service delivery point of view. There are also flexible and robust systems available to support the use of ITIL in an organisation.”

ITIL is playing an integral part in the performance of the firm’s service support function and overall service delivery.

ITIL test, for service driver proficiency

Duigenan continues, “All new hires to LPIS are given ITIL Foundation training and sit their certificate exam within their first year of service. This training ensures that we all speak the same language and know the theory of the framework we have adopted.”

“We now have ten people in the support team in Dublin, providing a central and local service desk function to all LeasePlan countries. In 2014 the team consistently outperformed their service levels in the two main ITIL processes they deliver on – incident and standard request management.”

Peter Hepworth, AXELOS CEO has said that ITIL advocates how IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes. He also emphasised that it provides effective guidance to organisations and individuals on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change transformation and growth.

“The experience of LeasePlan is a prime example of the value ITIL delivers to thousands of global companies going through periods of transformation,” said Hepworth.

Driving home the point

ITSM consultant, mentor and analyst Barclay Rae has commented on this story to underline the importance of services in the context of today’s modern economies.

“Traditional ITSM and ITIL approaches provide consistency, accountability and can manage risk for organisations – so this is an essential element for any company that is going through growth,”

Rae continued, “ITIL training and service improvement projects need to support business goals first – these must be applied with sensitivity and relevance to the culture and goals of the organisation. So an enlightened, flexible and adaptive approach must be taken to ensure success – just taking the exams and following the books by rote will not deliver value.”

The full case study can be found on the AXELOS website at https://www.axelos.com/case-studies-and-white-papers/leaseplan-information-services.

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Podcast Episode 10 – Self Service & Automation

In Episode 10 of the podcast Barclay Rae discusses the Self Service and automation with Simon Kent, Chief Innovation Officer at Sollertis Limited, Doug Tedder, ITSM Consultant at Tedder Consulting LLC  and Eddie Vidal, Manager of the UMIT Service Desk at the University of Miami.

Topics include:

  • What is self service?
  • The disconnect between domestic self service and ITSM self service
  • Self service beyond IT
  • Customer experience
  • Keeping up with demand

View all our podcasts on SoundCloud or iTunes.

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Meet the Reader: Carl Chapman of Capital Support

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Carl Chapman, COO at Capital Support

Meeting in a coffee shop and sharing a cupcake doesn’t sound like the opening to a discussion on ITSM, but then when meeting Carl Chapman from Capital Support the conversation can traverse many topics from Service Desk to Expectation Management and yet remain firmly rooted in delivery of excellent service to every customer every day.

I first met Carl at an SDI Software Showcase. He had a refreshing manner about him, cutting through the sales banter trying to identify the value and practical use of each of the systems on show. I distinctly recall him describing the process of application selection as similar to choosing a prize cow. When I questioned this analogy he quickly responded by saying the nuances in the applications were the value, not the similarities. He’s sparked my interest and given a different perspective on a process we’ve all encountered on numerous occasions.

So, Cappuccino in hand we found a quiet corner to see how Carl has used his near 30 years of IT experience to help deliver the promise of excellent delivery to both large corporates and still translate his skills to grow traditional SMEs.

“It’s all about the bits we don’t write down” starts Carl. “The inherent desire to deliver great service and through that Service Management without the need to read the manual every time a question comes up”. I take from this he’s about to go head long into an expansive story pulled from his past where he’s taken a stuttering IT function and helped it improve by educating, cajoling or just enunciating the benefits of ITSM, but instead his focus is on the contents of our table.

You can teach someone to make a cup of coffee but what separates the best Barista from someone who makes instant coffee served in a soft foam cup at the side of the A1 is their passion to do the best they can and to adapt the instructions to make the magic happen.

I understand the context, but how does that translate into a real world IT situation where calls are flowing in, services are failing and the general consensus of opinion is that IT is just not good enough. I can’t accept the immediate comparison but can see Carl isn’t going to let this go without explaining why he is able to draw this conclusion.

I’m a strong believer in the individual and the role of the individual in delivering success through collective engagement and delivery. Since I started my career as a field service engineer back in the early 1980’s I’ve always felt my role was to fix people; people who just happen to have IT problems. Before ITSM was a set of books or a global community I therefore simply asked my teams to focus on the person and not the problem. You can fix the problem but if the person is not happy then you’ve failed. Equally, fix the person, make them feel valued, give them your time and in parallel fix the problem and you’ve got a 6-0 Cup Final win.

While I couldn’t fault Carl’s logic I wondered how you draw a line from ITSM fixing people to the original comment about great coffee. For me, it sounded like Carl was holding back on how you use ITSM to empower people to deliver peak performance.

Ultimately ITSM is a simple menu. A set of instructions on how you should do things in order to meet the needs and desires of your customers. Following the instructions will ultimately give you delivery, be it coffee or IT. It’ll be functional and adequate. The real magic happens when people use the knowledge from ITSM as a bond to expand their collective desire to be a little bit better than OK. In my experience opening the eyes of your teams to ITSM is the same as giving mountain climbers the best possible equipment they need to reach the peak. It’s a common language, with interlinked objectives that map out how to go from ground zero to the peak. On many occasions opening up a team to ITSM creates a light bulb moment; when delivery teams understand see how they can be impacted by change and how capacity management can support availability. The magic is taking the best people and giving them the understanding of how to make IT easier. Don’t get me wrong, if your people are rubbish then no end of ITSM will help them, but if you start with good people in any business, give them a successful menu, encourage their growth and development and you are significantly more likely to deliver success.

Coffee nearly over I ask Carl for a closing comment on how to breach the gap between adequate and excellent and how ITSM supports this objective.

“Great question, Rebecca. I’d simply say in all organisations you have professional trained people delivering services such as Legal or Finance. In my view a knowledge of ITSM is our equivalent. It’s critical to know how each element works in unison and provides the opportunity for excellence. Ultimately with or without ITSM you’ll still be able to deliver, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could do it a little bit better than everyone else?”

 

If you would like to take part in our interviews with readers series or would like to know more about someone in the industry and their experiences of ITSM then please contact us and we will do our best to make it happen.


 

Carl’s bio:

Having worked in IT since the early 80’s Carl has built an enviable reputation as someone who leads teams in a positive and respectful manner to deliver tangible bottom line improvement by having the best people using the most appropriately aligned processes. The starting point in his career was in field services, fixing IBM PCs, and since then he’s taken every rung on the ladder to his COO status in his stride. Carl has remained grounded, has an acute understanding of service delivery and how it can positively impact not only the customer but also the morale of the team and still has the skills to translate complex technical problems in terms which everyone can relate to. Regardless of whether it’s a global team of hundreds or a local team of a few, those who work for Carl will tell you one of the most powerful things he does is to give them the space and support to do the job they are paid to do, to the best of their ability.

 

ITSM Conferences & Events

3021209322_dd7f06856d_zI find attending conferences and events extremely useful. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge in the shape of industry experts, vendors and people like you and me who have already gone through those pain points we are currently dealing with. All we have to do is listen, take notes and grab handouts.

Useful as conferences are I, like many of you, do not always have the ability to take a day or more out of my working life to attend and as for getting money from the boss to travel to, attend and in some cases stay over at events, well lets just say I’m getting lots of practice at writing business cases with persuasive arguments.

To save you some energy for that impressive and compelling business case here is my list of the events, conferences and experiences for the first half of 2015 that are worth your time and (your bosses) money*.

 

Working 9-5 with ITIL, itSMF Norway – 3rd-5th March

Those Nordmenn know how to entertain! If you think that all ITSM symposiums are stuffy and boring then you have clearly never been to one of the itSMF Norway conferences.

Don’t let the title fool you, you will still find lots of useful content even if you don’t follow the ITIL methodology.

At $1,676 for non-members (just over £1,000 at time of writing) it compares favourably with other ITSM conferences.

 

Knowledge Exchange: Service Management in Action, London, itSMF UK – 24th March

The first of a new series of Knowledge Exchange seminars sees itSMF UK looking at Service Management today and how industry experts and leaders are dealing with the current big challenges we’re facing and promises to help us prepare for the intense changes ITSM is currently undergoing.

At £400 (+VAT) for non-members it’s not as cheap as some of the others but the line up is seriously impressive with the likes of Stuart Rance, Philippa Hale and David Wheable all speaking.

 

SITS15: The IT Service Management Show, London, Diversified Communications UK – 3rd-4th June

Despite being a trade event SITS has a fantastic amount of useful info you can take away with no less than 36 seminars being held over the two days from the likes of the fabulous Andie Kis who should have a conference all to herself and everyone’s favourite Texan Daniel Breston.

What’s more if you book before Tuesday 2nd June entry is free!

 

Public Sector Think Tank, Birmingham, SDI – 17th June

If you are a public sector service desk then this one is for you. SDI events are always well thought out with the mixture of presentations, case studies and interactive activities making for an enjoyable, engaging and worthwhile experience.

At £185 (+VAT) these days are fantastic value for money and are particularly good at focusing on a particular subject or issue.

 

If these all sound great but you just don’t have the time then there is an alternative…

Conference in a Box – 24/7/365

Every 2 months Conference in a Box send out a package covering a different subject with Metrics, Social IT, Best Practice, Gamification and Kanban being covered so far. In your box you’ll find a collection of learning materials, access to the speakers online and some goodies to ensure you don’t miss out on one of the best bits of trawling the exhibition floor.

Conference boxes are between £29.99 and £59.99 and have the added bonus of you being able to attend in your pajamas!

 

*All conferences/events etc above have been attended/test driven by either myself or a team member. If you run or know of a conference that you think would be beneficial to the ITSM community please let us know via this link

 

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Video Review: Cherwell EMEA Customer Conference 2015

Cherwell EMEA Customer Conference 2015
Cherwell EMEA Customer Conference 2015

The ITSM Review was invited to Cherwell Software’s EMEA Region Customer Conference on February 11th 2015, in Windsor, Berkshire, UK hosting in the region of 130 customers and partners.

The 2 day conference consisted of 25 educational sessions, covering ITSM & ITAM best practices from a mixture of Cherwell staff from the US and UK, industry experts and Cherwell customers.

We were keen to attend as customer conferences are always a good way to get a good understanding of what challenges ITSM professional face in their everyday work and how they use technology to find solutions to address these challenges in an informal and relaxed environment.

ITSM as Organisational Focal Point

There was a friendly and upbeat atmosphere at the event led by European MD Tony Probert and his team.

The Cherwell motto is ‘Innovative technology built on timeless values’ which seemed to fit the ethos of the event as the focus and structure of the first day was on simple and old fashioned customer engagement; listening to their customer’s feedback and requirements of the software and as importantly, how it is used to drive innovation of the tool in the future. The feedback loop from their customers accounted for 31% of version 5.0 enhancements came directly from customer requests.

Cherwell President Craig Harper opened the day with explaining that Cherwell were growing rapidly ( 1172% growth last year- Same as Linkedin) but were maintaining the right balance between customers, investors and employees. A refreshing approach in a world of software companies driven by the motivations of venture capitalists.

Engagement and Agility over Firefighting Efficiency

There was a very refreshing and thought provoking presentation from new VP of Product Marketing Jarod Greene, who stated that currently ITSM is reactive ( firefighting) and now needs to move towards a strategic response that is both innovating and engaging. Greene stated that there were the 4 Ps:

  • People: It’s all about the People
  • Place : Be where the business is
  • Platform : Appeal to the business user
  • Performance : Measure success in business outcomes

Thanks to the Cherwell team for inviting us!

2-Speed ITSM

5837174879_ce6a5e647c_z-2IT and ITSM are at a crossroads, where they are being pulled in several directions. On the one hand there is high demand to speed up, be innovative and engaging, yet they must also ‘keep the lights on’ and protect the IT assets of their organisations and customers.

With the spread and complexity of technology and searing the pace of change, most IT organisations need to wake up to the fact that they can’t do both of these things. They really can’t do it all, certainly not with old legacy organisations based around 80s and 90s technologies and structures.

So, how do we manage to solve the ‘2-speed’ dilemma? How can we deliver new innovations and speed up our delivery times, whilst still delivering value through accountable, sustainable and robust systems and processes? We need to respond more quickly and with ‘agility’, yet we also need to do the basics of e.g. ITSM well – and better than they ‘ve been done before.

How can IT departments re-invent themselves? Its difficult for many IT people in large or heavily process driven organisation to appreciate some of the ‘new’ concepts like ‘DevOps’ – since this has been effective and valuable to new thrusting and entrepreneurial companies – particularly in the technology sector. It’s a far cry from a cool Cloud start-up in the Bay area to a local council in Sheffield, or a long established insurance company in Merseyside.  Of course all organisations differ in terms of focus and maturity but at some point all companies and enterprises will face the challenge – that many are already facing – of how to balance safety and security with energy and speed. Those that don’t face the challenge will lose competitiveness, or cost effectiveness, or both. The 2-speed dilemma is here to stay.

Whilst there are many current challenges – there are also several opportunities that can tune 2-speed ITSM into win-win ITSM.

So what do we need to do? Here are some key points:

  • Focus has to be on business outcomes and customer experience, which can then help to define key IT elements and services that are needed to support these. In order to do this properly we need to engage with our customers and define and map our services in terms of supply chain and value chain – ie who does what, where are the costs and real ‘nuggets’ of IT value.
  • The discovery work required in defining these ‘services’ will also identify areas where there is the opportunity for cost reduction, automation and improved speed of service, via removal of administrative tasks – e.g. things like request management, equipment ordering , provisioning and procurement.
  • The key is how to prioritise – if we can’t do everything ourselves (and most IT organisations can’t) then we need to use automation, delegation and multi-sourcing to take care of commodity and time-consuming work in order to be able to focus on strategic and high-value work.
  • There are now many excellent tools that can provide this and which also meet the millennial generation’s requirements for more self-determination and automated interaction – e.g. self logging, self-healing. Many outdated, slow and costly processes and bottlenecks can be replaced with slick, automated ordering, approval and provisioning tools that run quickly and efficiently at a fraction of the current cost.
  • Also, many traditional ITSM tools have been transformed as collaboration tools using ‘social’ type interfaces. As a result there has been a significant increase in the use of these tools in back-office service areas beyond IT – e.g. HR, Finance, Marketing, Legal. There has been a consolidation of portals and catalogues for all of these areas into a single functional interface – which has been made possible by the improvement in User Interface and simple configurability of these tools.
  • Significantly this is enabling IT departments to become positive ‘can-do’ enablers and solution providers, rather than the isolated and non-communicative ‘guys in the basement’ from the past. The challenge to engage and the opportunity of new technology have combined to offer IT the change to re-invent itself…
  • Finally there is also a more mature and ‘joined up approach’ to managing the various lelves of outsourced or multi-sourced services that IT departments (and other teams through shadow IT) have evolved into managing. Multiple Service Integration and SIAM (Service Integration and Management) are emerging as new mantras for IT organisations to use to finally get control and also deliver business value.
  • This requires some re-thinking and refreshing os skills and roles – with more commercial focus and relationship management required.

IT is now effectively a supply chain business and part of its evolution involves growing pains – this is a great time of opportunity for IT and those that grasp this and see the future will definitely cement their place in it.

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Transforming User Experience – 6th March, London

The ITSM Review are holding a free seminar in central London this March entitled Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management and Self Service, which will help to address this subject. For more information click here

Podcast Episode 8: ITSM Outside IT

ITSM Review Podcast Episode 8: ITSM Outside IT – Enterprise Service Management

In this episode Barclay Rae, Shane Carlson from Fruition Partners and Martin Thompson discuss using ITSM principles and technology outside the IT department – known as Enterprise Service Management.

Topics include:

  • Shane reports that 3/10 new Fruition projects are outside the IT department
  • HR is a leading area for ITSM improvement
  • The IT department needs to be credible before embarking on other areas of the business (Why should I get your help with my critical business processes when it takes you 4 hours to reset a password).

Links mentioned in the podcast and further reading:

ITSM Reader Analytics

ITAM Tools Day

Oracle Seminar

Outside IT Review by Barclay Rae

 

The ITSM Review are holding a series of seminars this year headed by ITSM superstar Barclay Rae. We will be starting in March with Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management & Self Service. For more information click here

 

This podcast was recorded at the end of October 2014.

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ITSM Evolution – Practical Steps to Stay Current

Using ITSM Tools can be like rummaging through a garage full of old tools that you rarely use in order to find one or two tools that you do
Using ITSM solutions can be like rummaging through a garage full of old tools that you rarely use in order to find one or two tools that you do

ITSM Evolution – Practical Steps to Stay Current is a guest post contributed by Dirk Anderson, Head of Product at RedPixie

 

With the growth in BYOD and the consumerisation of devices, more and more enterprises are adapting the way that they use technology to service the business effectively.   However, many ITSM tools have been designed to give traditional IT teams a way to manage traditional services and processes at a component level only, whether that’s processing tickets or responding to an individual end-user request.  The challenge, however, is whether or not ITSM evolution is possible and demands of the business can be met using the current tools at our disposal.

Today, firms need to ask themselves if this type of service level approach, using legacy methods, can flourish, or even survive in the future. This article will look at the practical steps that we’d recommend IT Service Managers consider, to deliver services that address the needs of the internal ‘business customers’ in a dynamic business environment, where user expectations are more demanding than ever.

 

Step 1: Know your customers

As a matter of course, you should already be undergoing customer satisfaction surveys or have appropriate forums for regular dialogue with your internal business customers. Use these forums to gain an appreciation of how your customers do business today, what IT services they use and what may change in the future. It is likely that:

  • Your business will be using more personal devices and business customers will expect to access corporate applications and data securely from those devices
  • Your business customers will be embarrassed if their business partners and guests cannot easily use your enterprise guest wireless whilst they’re visiting
  • Your business customers will expect to work effectively from wherever they are
  • They will expect to walk to another desk or meeting room and instantly access the IT services, applications and data at those locations

Expectations are changing. It’s important to explore these areas, and never shy away from hearing frustrations. Canvas their views on new service capabilities that would improve their experience and help them be more productive.

 

Step 2: Pay attention to your IT service portfolio

Look at the IT consumer services that you provide, and break them into categories. There is high chance that you will have one category (and call it what you prefer), has a large percentage helpdesk tickets that are similar. This means that “your consumers” repeatedly need to consume these same critical services. These include: resetting passwords or removing software on end user devices. It is important that you automate these services and allow the business to self-serve. This will free your team up to focus on the emerging services that need to become part of your service portfolio. As you add those new services, some may fall into this same category. Consider how automation and self-service capability is applied to those emerging services.

 

Step 3: Evolve ITSM Toolkit to Meet IT Service Goals

As you evolve your service portfolio, how well does your current ITSM toolset fit your strategic needs? It is important to evolve your ITSM toolkit to meet your longer term IT service objectives. Can you easily add common cloud services and can you automate and allow your consumers to self-serve?

In larger enterprises, you should think like a public cloud provider. You provide the capacity and the technologies and your customers help themselves to the most common services, without the IT team’s involvement. You should focus on managing areas such as, overall service capacity, the software license position and the development of your service portfolio. Commonly used or repeatable IT services should be available to your customers to help themselves, in the way customers consume Microsoft cloud services, for example, without the need to involve Microsoft’s Cloud IT support team. If your ITSM toolkit does not support that strategy, then you need to consider replacing or adding to those tools, to support a more strategic focus. That may mean looking at new ITSM capabilities that augment existing processes and tools to deliver “new world” capability within your service portfolio.

 

Step 4: Review and measure

As your service evolves, make sure that you have a continuous review cycle in place with an internal business customer group.  It’s important to measure not only how the service portfolio fits the changing needs of the business but also whether your ITSM “toolkit” allows you to shape your service around your changing business. The following are critical:

  • Know your service portfolio – To measure the services that you provide as an enterprise IT team, be clear on the portfolio of services provided. It starts with a list of those services, typically on a web portal explaining clearly what the services are (and are not). The portfolio needs an overall owner, typically a senior IT head, and the individual services require service owners, such as IT line managers. This list of the services requires ongoing maintenance.
  • Manage the service portfolio – Work with business representatives and senior IT stakeholder to ensure that the portfolio remains manageable. As new services are used, you need to be able to remove other services, unless the business is willing to fund you to support an ever-growing and unsustainable portfolio.
  • Measure the service portfolio – Develop a way to measure your portfolio. This needs to include which services are used by whom, and the level of consumption. Undertake a Service Review, and work with the business to get feedback on the quality of those services. Understand the cost of providing those services, relative to their business value.
  • Build a Governance Function – Be open and discuss the importance of not creating a technical debt because of a “bloated” portfolio. You only have so much capacity as an IT function. Consider building a senior governance function to support the integration of new technology capabilities whilst removing non-strategic services and technologies.

In summary do everything you can to know your customers, understand your changing service portfolio, be aware of current limitations in your ITSM toolkit and evolve it for emerging demands, and lastly, proactively review and measure.

 

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Review: Samanage for Outside IT 2014

Print

Samanage

This independent review is part of our Outside IT Review.

To download the full report as a PDF please visit : http://download.itassetmanagement.net/outside-it/

 

Executive Summary

Elevator Pitch Vendor pitch is around speed of implementation and lack of need for technical input and ease of use.
Strengths
  • Native Cloud application and all clients on current version – simple for non-IT people to implement without IT infrastructure requirements
  • Implementation is focussed on lack of need for training and consultancy – based around ‘intuitive’ product, using videos and other media
  • Vendor (relatively new to market) reports selling and winning against traditional IT service management (ITSM) products on capability, ease of use and ease of implementation – with experience of non-IT implementation
Weaknesses
  • Workflow tool does not have graphic presentation which may be an issue for non-IT users in particular
  • SMB focus – limited implementation experiences in larger enterprises
Primary Market Focus According to the information provided, Samanage primarily targets the midmarket

Commercial Summary

Vendor Samanage
Product Samanage
Version reviewed n/a – continuous deployment
Date of version Release n/a
Year Founded 2007
Customers 500+
Pricing Structure For service desk, prices start at $1,000 per service desk technician for service desk and $12 for each computer asset for Asset Management
Competitive Differentiators
  • Agile and continuous deployment model – customer always on latest version and updates protected
  • Code free deployment using user-friendly interfaces means fast time to value
  • Integrated and simple to use Service Desk and asset management modules aims to save time for agents

Independent Review

Product

In The ITSM Review’s opinion, the solution has a clean interface, which appears to be straightforward and easy to use. Workflows can be built simply using drag and drop.

The solution offers a useful feature to ask for help across IT on tickets without requiring escalation. Good practical usability for scanning tickets – ‘Eye’ function allows scan of details without need to open ticket.

Marketing

Samanage states that the product can be easily developed to provide work management and admin functions beyond IT – e.g. HR, Finance, Purchasing etc. However, no current off the shelf Outside IT applications are marketed/offered.

Current focus is on existing IT customers with a view to up-selling to internal departments at a later date. This means that there is no focus on Outside IT in external marketing activities, however this may change in the future as the company evolves.

Sales Strategy

Growing business replacing legacy on-premise solutions as well as low-end SaaS competitors. Focus on demo or trial early in new engagements with prospective customers as to allow user experience and ease of use to do the selling.

Current Use

Limited implementation experience in large and enterprise markets, with a limited global reach at present compared to established competitors. Some existing bespoke applications built for HR, payroll, purchasing.

In Summary

Samanage offer a SMB focussed ITSM solution that looks to be easy to implement and develop and, according to the vendor, has been used by several organisations for functionality beyond IT. We believe that Samanage is a good competitively priced option for small-to-medium sized looking for general ITSM capabilities.

In The ITSM Review’s opinion, Samanage needs to focus on developing its presence in the ITSM market and find a suitable niche either directly in IT or as a bridge to other Service Management areas. Samanage is currently competing against whole market and this may not be sustainable. The brand could be developed to be more service-specific.

In their own words

“Samanage provides the only true multitenant, unified service desk and asset management cloud solution on the market today. For our customers, that translates into the fastest time to value, higher ROI, outstanding service, and most importantly happy end users. Samanage customers enjoy an “always new” application without ever having to perform any maintenance functions.

Our revolutionary user interface delivers an unmatched user experience, allowing customers to fully deploy a robust IT Service Management (ITSM) solution in less than 2 weeks, easily expand beyond IT, and maximize adoption. End users are empowered through an easy to use self-service portal, and technicians have a full-featured platform available at their fingertips on any device.

Customers achieve instant value with Samanage because they are operational immediately and able to go live in days…in less time than it takes to evaluate other solutions. They have instant, accurate visibility into all hardware and software assets, no matter where assets are located. And because our service desk and asset management is on a unified platform, customers are able to easily connect their people, services, and assets all through the same UI. Visually stunning in-app analytics also enable rapid trend detection and easy access to actionable information.

Samanage’s goal is to help customers deliver a superior service experience to their end users, and real value throughout their organization by improving asset control, empowering end users, and maximizing resources.“

To download the full report as a PDF please visit : http://download.itassetmanagement.net/outside-it/

Review: Cherwell for Outside IT 2014

logo_cherwell-softwareCherwell Service Management

This independent review is part of our Outside IT Review.

To download the full report as a PDF please visit : http://download.itassetmanagement.net/outside-it/

 

Executive Summary

Elevator Pitch Cherwell is an established vendor within the ITSM market, with a particular focus on Customer Experience. It has a growing emphasis on use of its product and service management beyond the IT/ITSM area, and is seen to market and promote the concepts of IT enablement positively and consistently.Cherwell boasts a number of customer success stories and positive case studies of the use of the product beyond IT. There is a clear connection between their marketing messages and implementation stories in this area.Cherwell provides fully inclusive concurrent user usage for both perpetual and SaaS licensing models. Product is sold as one complete application, i.e. not modular
Strengths
  • Intuitive interface for building and maintaining workflow and extended functionality – attractive object based forms, workflow and reports
  • Product provides secure framework for user-developed configuration that is protected for upgrades
  • Vendor promotes positive and experienced approach to customer experience and tools as enabler for service management and business functions
Weaknesses
  • Vendor will need to maintain focus on where to sell and implement – IT and beyond – as organisation is still growing
  • Product can look extensive and perhaps complicated – turnkey non-IT applications/canned versions would be helpful
  • No turnkey Outside IT applications currently available
Primary Market Focus Based on the information provided, Cherwell Service Management is primarily a mid-market solution with the ability to be scaled-up to enterprise class organisations.

Commercial Summary

Vendor Cherwell Software
Product Cherwell Service Management
Version reviewed 4.6
Date of version Release March 2014
Year Founded 2004
Customers 600+ ITSM customers worldwide.
Pricing Structure Fully inclusive concurrent user usage for both perpetual and SaaS licensing models.
Competitive Differentiators
  • Codeless, flexible and fully configurable
  • Ability to design and build to specific business requirements – or use ‘out-of-the-box’
  • Cherwell Service Management is a useful enabling toolset to support IT and business transformation due to the ease of use and flexible nature of the product

Independent Review

Cherwell is emerging as a leader in the service management and extended shared services markets due to the scope and quality of its product, its focus on business value and its quality approach to implementation.

In The ITSM Review’s opinion, Cherwell is particularly appropriate for medium-to-large sized organisations. Whilst it does have very large (enterprise) clients, its own focus and organisation better fits the medium-large sized demographic. The product has extensive flexibility and capability, and can be developed for large or very large organisations use as required.

Marketing and messaging is focussed on speaking directly to IT and ITSM organisations, providing them with the opportunity to improve their service and provide value to their own customers. We view this as a positive, although we do believe that there is a need to develop more specific and targeted non-IT turnkey solutions in conjunction with associated marketing approaches that may be sold beyond IT.

Cherwell is set on selling to IT people and letting them sell-on the product to other areas of the business, which seems to work well, however we do feel that this may need to become a more proactive channel in order to compete with other Enterprise Service Management (ESM) solutions in the market.

Product

In The ITSM Review’s opinion Cherwell offers a strong mix of product capability, and its ease of use and non-technical capability of the product should be well supported by (IT) customers – thus easy to sell-on within organisations.

The simple and inclusive upgrade path also works well as a positive alternative to legacy and large enterprise solutions where bespoke product development can add risk, cost and delay to upgrading. Cherwell have a model which provides a secure technical framework that clients can work within to build their own solutions and which is then protected as part of the upgrade path.

Marketing

The vendors’ organisation and approach is focussed on promoting and supporting IT as an enabler and driver for business success. Cherwell take a pragmatic approach to this, depending on the maturity and needs of the client as identified during the sales process.

In terms of industry and media messaging, we feel that Cherwell has adopted a positive and engaging set of value propositions around traditional values, people and customer experience. The focus on traditional values is centred around the need for back to basics implementations, focussed on customer needs, simple ITSM concepts and the need to engage with people – i.e. Cherwell push out the message that the product is not the answer to everything.

Sales Strategy

Cherwell has had to work to improve its brand visibility over the last few years and is now well placed and recognised in the ITSM market place. Approach to sales is seen to be positive, professional and consultative, developing dialogue where possible to engage and provide prospects with confidence in the product and company.

In our view, Cherwell will need to maintain focus on where to sell and implement IT, and beyond, as the organisation is still growing.

Current Use

Examples of current customers using Cherwell Service Management outside of IT include implementations in HR, Finance, Legal, and Sales and Marketing.

In Summary

We feel that Cherwell Service Manager is a good option to consider for those medium-to-large organisations looking to develop their service management practices starting from their existing ITSM implementation. The product is simple to develop and configure as a business application so should have a fast time-to-value. Our only reservation would be around the need for turnkey non-IT applications to be provided in order to further provide timesaving solutions for IT and non-IT clients.

In The ITSM Review’s opinion, in the future Cherwell needs to consider where to focus its sales and messaging for implementation – i.e. marketing/selling solely to IT organisations or engaging with other business areas. As the organisation is still growing it needs to ensure that it does not spread its resources too thinly, as otherwise it risks losing focus on key markets. The approach to let IT customers ‘sell-on’ is laudable, although this may need to be strengthened with more turnkey offerings in order to compete and provide clear differentiators.

In Their Own Words

“Cherwell Software is one of the fastest growing IT service management software providers. It began with simple goals: to make service desk software it would want to use and to do business honestly, putting customers first. Cherwell Software is passionate about customer care and is dedicated to creating “innovative technology built upon yesterday values.”

Cherwell Software is one of the fastest growing IT service management software providers with corporate headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.A. and EMEA headquarters in Swindon, U.K. A global team of dedicated employees and expert partners who appreciate the technology – but love customers – serve in North America, South America, Asia and Australia. Cherwell Software recently received the SDI Best Vendor of the Year award.

Cherwell’s flagship product, Cherwell Service ManagementTM, delivers an innovative, award-winning and holistic approach to service management, allowing IT and support departments to align with organisation strategy and to deliver maximum IT business value. Cherwell Service Management is the affordable, easy-to-use, ITSM suite with maximum portability. With Cherwell ChoiceTM concurrent licensing and flexible hosting model, you can choose what works best for your business — SaaS or purchase, and hosted on-premises, hosted by Cherwell or hosted by a third party.”

To download the full report as a PDF please visit : http://download.itassetmanagement.net/outside-it/