Three Projects for Your Five-Year ITSM Plan

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Building ITSM solutions today that can meet the demands of tomorrow

When making plans to improve IT service management (ITSM), most IT leaders adopt one of two approaches. They either improve what they have by integrating with other IT systems, or they adopt forward-looking projects that leverage IT trends and advancements such as cloud, mobility, social media and IoT to help drive efficiencies and plan for the future.

According to a March 2015 report, “The Future of ITSM,” the top three strategic priorities for most ITSM teams include:

  • Improved experience for end users
  • Improved operations-to-ITSM integration for incident and problem management
  • Improved operations-to-ITSM integration for configuration and change management

However, these improvement plans should not exclude projects that address IT trends, as Gartner’s “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” report reinforces:

“IT leaders must understand and prepare for the impacts these disruptive trends will have on people, their businesses and IT departments, and then determine how they can provide competitive advantage.”

With both incremental and future needs in mind, here are three projects to consider for your five-year ITSM plan:

Project 1: Add IT Asset Management

Without ITAM integration, technicians must rely on verbal discovery, a process that can waste valuable time. By mapping IT assets to the person using the asset, support can quickly determine which devices and software the employee is using, including hardware, OS and application versions, recent updates and warranty expirations. Having easy access to these details aids in decision-making and rapid problem resolution. It also allows analysts to more easily determine if certain devices or configurations are the source of recurring or major incidents.

Furthermore, many IT organisations now automate repetitive tasks and processes, including ordering and assigning IT assets. For example, if someone needs specific software for her job, an automated request and software delivery process can eliminate the need for an analyst to get involved. Automations may also result in an improved user experience. However, software asset management is required as part of the process, in order to track software entitlement and protect the organisation from allocating more licenses than it owns.

Despite the obvious benefits, many organisations have failed to properly define and fund asset management projects in the past. With the rapid rise of IoT devices on the network, however, that may no longer be an option.

Gartner estimates that by 2020, a typical family home could have more than 500 smart devices – a significant increase from the approximately ten we see today. Imagine, then, what that means for average-sized organisations; especially when you consider connected devices are expected to explode from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 25 billion in just five years.

This aspect of an ITAM-to-ITSM project has forward-looking considerations. For many organisations, there isn’t an immediate need to integrate IoT into their ITSM solution. However, as the influx of IoT assets continue, it’s hard to imagine controlling hardware inventory, licenses and security without a proper IT asset management system in place.

Any time IT has to investigate issues on the network, there are costs associated. The longer it takes to find the issue, the more it costs. With potentially millions of IoT devices in a large environment, just determining where those assets are located could quickly overwhelm IT resources. Additionally, connected devices could pose a security risk unless properly managed.

Organisations can prepare for the oncoming IoT surge by taking on the right projects now, and integrating IT asset management into an existing ITSM implementation is a good place to start.

Project 2: Automate Processes and Integrate Tools Wherever Possible

In many institutions, automating processes like inventory discovery or software updates serve as go-to tactics for reducing IT cost. Eliminating the need for support to make a single trip to an employee’s desk to troubleshoot or apply updates often justifies the cost of such tools. With such a rapid ROI, many IT leaders have implemented client and mobile device management. However, only a fraction of these groups have taken the next step and integrated their systems management solutions with their ITSM environment.

If you are operating with reduced budgets, one of the best ways to improve service offerings and prepare for emerging trends is to integrate those tools with the ITSM environment. In doing so, you’re making their capabilities more easily accessible to both service analysts and end users.

As you evaluate how to make this project a reality, look for opportunities to automate wherever possible – inside and outside of your ITSM solution – and then integrate the processes.

For example, HR has procedures for new hires that require employees to complete tax and insurance information. Rather than keep information siloed, why not connect these processes to your ITSM solution to coordinate related IT onboarding requests such as hardware procurement or automatically provisioning the system with the software and network access required for the job?

Once this architecture is in place, your ITSM environment will be better prepared to handle evolving technology trends and the increased workloads expected as IT support is required to extend to non-traditional devices.

Project 3: Improve Self-Service

Many organisations provide basic self-service portals to allow employees to request corporate software. As millennials and other tech savvy employees enter the workforce, it makes sense to empower them to handle common IT requests on their own. Done correctly, self-service projects also improve service desk response times and end user satisfaction.

A recent global study shows that more than 81 percent of end users try to solve their own IT problems before asking for help. With that in mind, it’s beneficial to help them be as successful in their attempts as possible. However, that same research also indicates that less than 18 percent of those users leverage their organisation’s service portal, turning to Google or co-workers for help before calling IT directly. Clearly, there is room for improvement.

For instance, when a user has a problem, a good self-service portal should provide access to a knowledge base of common issues and frequently asked questions. Recent knowledge management innovations simplify the process even further. Now, a user can take a picture of an error on the screen and the system will automatically search for an answer. If additional help is needed, the user can open a support request from the page, using a simple form designed to route the incident to the appropriate group.

The automation example above can also extend to self-service. For example, while many organizations provide automated password resets for customer-facing websites, they haven’t made the same capability available to employees. When a user forgets his/her password, a support person with the appropriate rights has to unlock the account using network tools. An automated process would instead allow the analyst to trigger the reset by simply pressing a button on the incident page. Ultimately, the best way to handle this scenario is with a self-service process that eliminates the need for an analyst to be involved at all.

Whether your self-service portal needs an update, or you need to build one from scratch, this project can leverage your asset management and automation efforts. The good news is, like automation, self-service projects can significantly reduce IT support costs – freeing up the resources necessary for other initiatives that enable your organisation to adapt to future technology demands.

IT leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve IT service management, but no matter how they aim to tackle it, keeping the end user experience and operations-to-ITSM integrations in mind is key. When putting together a five-year ITSM plan, leaders should be cognizant of both the immediate needs of the organisation and what’s to come in the future. Taking steps to prepare for the IoT surge and accompanying IT asset management demands, growing need for automated processes and integrated tools and self-service portals will not only assist IT teams now, but for years to come.

Marcel Shaw

 

This article was contributed by Marcel Shaw, ITSM and ITAM specialist at LANDESK.

 

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Mobile: the new frontier for self-service

Artificial Intelligence on the service desk [Holly from RedDwarf]
Artificial Intelligence on the service desk [Holly from RedDwarf]
Google searches performed on a mobile device outstripped desktop searches (in certain territories), according to figures released last week.

That’s an important milestone in the meteoric use of mobile.

Of course, the searches refer to global use of Google, including consumers searching for the nearest pizza joint, and are not necessarily reflective of enterprise IT – but we all know, since the introduction of the blackberry, iPad and then current smart phones, of the increasing business demands for mobile.

Will your service work on mobile devices? Will it provide a frictionless consumer-like experience, Does it matter who owns the device? And so on.

It doesn’t matter that we’re not delivering consumer services and that we might be delivering services in heavily regulated industries with back-breaking governance hoops to jump through – the demand for mobility and flexibility continue unabated.

Mobility promises the ability to avoid speaking to pesky humans, get things done, keep track and unlock me from the constraints of a physical office.

Avoiding speaking to people is an important point: In terms of human interaction it’s a case of quality over quantity. When I do (occasionally) speak with a human – I want a great customer focussed experience. You’ve only got to look at the growth (or is it a return?) of IT concierge desks resourced with IT staff especially selected for their more extrovert nature to witness this.

The premise: automate as much as possible, help the customer help themselves, if they do need to speak to us, make it a great experience (which doesn’t necessarily mean fixing everything).

With this in mind it has been great to see traditional ITSM providers innovating with mobile.

The future is here, just unevenly distributed

The terms artificial intelligence and augmented reality go hand-in-hand with the Jetsons, self driving cars and the fridge that knows to order more beer and lettuce. But look carefully, and it’s slowly permeating everywhere, including the humble service desk.

Smart-phone owners might be familiar with Apple’s SIRI, Google’s Voice Search or Microsoft’s Cortana as a personal navigator (Voice recognition to intelligent search / actions).  Similarly consumers might be familiar with Word Lens (Image to language translation) or Evernote (handwriting to textual search).

SnapIT from LANDESK promises smartphone image capture to knowledge base lookup. Sharing screenshots or remote sharing with end user customers to identify issues is a staple of the service desk toolkit – but what about cutting out the middle-man and connecting customers directly with help by snapping a picture of the issue on a mobile device?

Direct link to Video

LANDESK have offered this new capability with no extra charge to existing customers. It’s available via iOS, Android or simply via a browser.

I look forward to seeing this and other innovation at the ITSM show next month, we’ll be on stand 723 collecting customer reviews for TOOLSADVISOR.net (think trip advisor meets itsm tools). Come and say hi!

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Self Service Review [2015] – The Results

logoThis is a review of software products and vendors with their products in the ‘Self Service’ market area.

Products reviewed:

1 Overview

1.1 Self Service and the ITSM Market

‘Self Service’ is a current buzzword for vendors and practitioners alike in the ITSM world.

For some time this simply referred to the process whereby users/customers could carry out some standard contact/communications activities via a portal or an Intranet page, rather than call a Service Desk. So for example, this would include: raising and tracking tickets, ordering kit and browsing FAQs and other published pieces of information relating to IT.

These are of course key functions – and most product offerings include them – and have done for some years. The context of this has changed somewhat in recent times due to the demands for better user interfaces and customer experience (no one these days wants or expects to use an old IT menu-driven ‘greenscreen’).

The capability of automation and collaboration products has also increased expectation and potential around what these types of interface can deliver and achieve, not only for IT departments and their users, but also for wider enterprise orgnaisations beyond IT.

In short, Self Service is now the entry point towards great efficiency and as a means of transformation and collaboration. It is an opportunity for IT departments to reverse their fortunes and improve their image and effectiveness, by automating repeatable and manual processes, thereby affording more time for strategy and customer engagement.

So what sorts of capabilities are available? Above and beyond the classic areas referred to above: – e.g. Ticket logging, tracking and escalating, request logging tracking and escalating:

  • Automated password resetting
  • Mobile support and facilitation
  • Automated delivery – e.g. software provisioning, product ordering, account creation
  • Non-technical interfaces for Workflow and process creation
  • Simple development of work management tools
  • Real-time collaboration and social interfaces
  • Real-time dashboards and dynamic reporting

All of these functions – particularly around ease of use and automation – are highly valued in the current market, due to the need for IT organisations to use these tools as a means of managing their work more efficiently, whilst at the same time offering a greatly improved user experience of interacting with IT – and other back office departments like HR/Finance – through familiar and easy to use interfaces.

1.2 Market Observations

Recent developments have seen a number of technical innovations that have allowed increased automation, faster delivery and provisioning, which many of the products reviewed can deliver in some form or another.

The areas of differentiation in the market are therefore defined in the following terms:

Target clients – SME, Mid-market and Enterprise, Product and vendor (e.g. Microsoft/VMware) focus.

Some products are clearly only aimed at one specific market niche, or by client size and ITSM maturity. In some areas such as product or vendor focus this is clear, although many of the SME vendors aspire to move into the Enterprise space, which may confuse and squeeze the market.

Flexibility and ease of implementation – including non-technical tailoring, ease of use/skills needed, ability to tailor without coding, vendor implementation support.

A significant focus area for many vendors centres on the ‘codeless’ capability of their products, whereby applications and workflows can be simply modified without technical skills. The level to which this is delivered is a highly useful feature given the need to implement and update portals, workflows and catalogues quickly and efficiently.

This also works well in support of ‘non-IT’ implementation – i.e. for process collaboration across internal service departments.

Complementary products and capabilities – including IT Management, automation, provisioning, security, ITSM capability.

For many buyers, particularly at the enterprise level, simply buying the ‘front end’ or self-service function (and even just ITSM functionality) is not enough.

There is a growing need to procure and implement products that go beyond process and service management, so the need to identify those with the capacity to provide or at least interface with other IT Management tools is becoming a key requirement.

1.3 Market Product Review and Comparison

In summary, LANDESK and Cherwell are seen to be the most complete solutions, with LANDESK having greater capability to deliver to the Enterprise client, whereas Cherwell has the best UI and is more suited to the upper middle market.

EasyVista and Alemba are also seen as excellent products that would fit the enterprise as well as upper mid market.

SMT-X is an excellent option for a front-end solution that can be added to existing ITSM tools for large organisations.

Cased Dimensions is a good option for bespoke solutions – based on a Microsoft System Center platform.

Atlassian and Freshservice are also excellent options for SMEs or discrete teams to get Self Service up and running, with minimum tailoring or bespoking.

 

Pros Cons Overall Review Rating
Alemba
  • Clean and fresh interface – simplified but functional
  • Technical integration and virtualized capability
  • Legacy product well regarded
  • Still being developed to compete at high end of marketSmall
    company, now independent from
  • VMware – still growing
  • Limited social and collaborative interfaces and functionality
8
Atlassian
  • Easy and simple fo use for fast implementation
  • Workload tab – nice quick view of tickets / SLAs per analyst
  • Well set up for non-IT people
  • User access limited functionality
  • Only basic workflow functions can be edited non-techlimited
    innovation or eg social interfaces
7
Cased Dimensions
  • MS focus
  • MS integration – eg with System Center
  • Lots of pre-built processes
  • MS FocusSmall company
  • Bepsoke/consultancy approach won’t work for every organisation /
    small organisations
7
Cherwell
  • Functional capability
  • UX and ease of use
  • Vendor approach and focus
  • Competition from both ends of the market
  • Capability to deliver in tier 1 – though growing in size
  • Multi-tenancy not native
9
EasyVista
  • Good standard self service functionality
  • Open, flexible, using industry tools
  • Global network of data on use and performance
  • Workflows and configurations look complex and not
    intuitive/graphical ITSM tool looks strong although slightly dated
  • May need to focus target market/position
8
Freshservice
  • Low cost
  • Simple, straightforward operability
  • Gamification
  • Limited non-tech configuration
  • Org not set up for Enterprise customers
  • Lacks some key interfaces, social, provisioning
7
BEST IN CLASS:
LANDESK
  • ITSM complete
  • User friendly to develop and manage
  • Focus on automation to improve efficiency
  • May be overkill for some smaller organisations
  • Self service not available standalone
  • Social not embedded in tool – minor
10
SMT-X
  • Clear market niche well defined – good positioning
  • Product is multi-functional/function rich
  • Professional looking – will engage non IT people
  • Company size – small
  • Not an ITSM tool – limited and reducing market as competition
    improves
  • Could improve UI for workflow/design
7

 

Target Clients Flexibility /implementation Complementary Products
Alemba Enterprise and large IT and ITSM organisations –
particularly VMware customers.
Broad level of flexibility, vendor supports
implementation
VMware product integration
Atlassian SMB, SME or teams within large orgs Limited flexibility, client drives implementation Other Atlassian products
Cased Dimensions Large IT organisations, using Microsoft Systems Center –
looking for bespoke build
Highly flexible, vendor drives build and implementation Microsoft
Cherwell Large SMEs and medium enterprise organisations Customer tailorable, vendor/partners offer
implementation support
Numerous industry products. MS Partner
EasyVista Medium to large and some enterprise organisations Good level of flexibility, vendor moving from SME to
enterprise offering
A number of established links to industry products
Freshservice SME/SMB, small enterprises Limited flexibility, client drives implementation APIs in progress – e.g. Azure
LANDESK Large/Medium and enterprise IT organisations Highly and easily flexible, Vendor offers multi-level
implementation services
Numerous LANDESK offerings and industry integrations
SMT-X Enterprise organisations and their IT and back office
functions
Flexible and configurable, Vendor supports
implementation – limited resources
Established links to ITSM tools

 

Disclaimer, Scope and Limitations

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

Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study.  The ITSM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology.

This is a paid review, that is, the vendors included in this review paid to participate in exchange for all results and analysis being published free of charge, without registration.

For further information, please read the ‘Group Tests’ section, on our Disclosure page.

Review: LANDESK Service Desk (Best in Class)

This independent review is part of our Self Service Market Review.

Also participating:

Commercial Summary

Vendor LANDESK
Product LANDESK Service Desk
Version reviewed 7.8
Date of version Release January 2015
Year Founded 1985
Customers 1000 worldwide
Pricing Structure IT-Users, fixed or concurrent license (ability for customers to mix licenses). Premise or SaaS Delivery. Unlimited End Users.

(Also alternatively available as part of LANDESK Total User Management package which is End User licensed only, unlimited IT Users)

Review

Elevator Pitch This is an excellent fully functional ITSM and wider IT Management suite of products, presented with a number of well-embedded links and functional capabilities.
Industry areas It’s aimed at the larger/Medium to Enterprise IT organisation and provides simple to use and user-friendly interfaces and options – e.g. workflow.
Unique points
  • Provides good standard ITSM across the board, plus some innovative features
  • Provides a good deal of automation to remove unnecessary tasks – e.g. adding screen print is simple so that this is not time consuming
  • New USP functions promised
Target market Medium to large enterprise.

Enterprise organisations looking to do integrated ITSM, good for user experience and self service and provisioning.

Solutions/ issues solved Excellent technical integration for auto-provisioning and other IT management functions – SSO, password reset etc.

A number of examples of client built screens and styles, genius bar integration – mobile interface, Chat.

Product/vendor gaps Some social interfaces not in product but these are available via partners – XMatters and Nexthink.
Positives
  • System automaton – run book automation – with service desk
  • Enterprise app store
  • All language codes supported for mobile and end user experience – Self Service set in the language of the user
  • Graphical workflow tool looks easy to use and build without code
  • Workspace – Overlay product that ties together multiple separate area of expertise – single presentation layer rather than having to switch between interfaces. Place you go to do your job
  • Self service embeds in SharePoint – with API
  • Simple button to switch between analyst dashboard and external view
  • Ability to provision software directly – e.g. with adobe, plus costing
  • Single sign on 3rd party authentication
  • Chat – support process with workflow, can create incident problem and change – direct link from self-service to change
  • Simple integration with remote control functions
Negatives
  • Social interfaces not in the product
  • May be overkill for smaller organisations – Self Service not available standalone
Overall view A good fit for high function ITSM and customer experience – particularly for their target market.

They should continue to gain market share because they are continually renewing with industry trends and innovations, whilst still providing strong basic functionality, e.g. moving to collaborative working using ‘workspaces’.

Vendor information

LANDESK-logo-RGBLANDESK’s self service capability empowers workers 24/7 from anywhere with instant access to the services and resources they need, when they need them. The solution offers a consumer-style experience that frees users to help themselves easily. You improve the relationship with your end-user customers and boost their productivity and that of IT staff with minimal effort.

  • Users can log and track issues, search knowledge to help themselves, reset passwords, and collaborate through IT social discussion
  • Users can see and request the services they’re entitled to. Automate software and service deployment for zero-touch provisioning
  • Follow the same IT processes tied to SLAs as if users were calling in. Offer a consistent support experience regardless of the route to the service desk.
  • Easy access from anywhere through an app from the Apple App Store for iOS, through Google Play for Android mobile devices, or through a responsive web app.

Screenshots

 

 

Industry News Roundup Incl The Project Management Rap

13050063965_7a64771344_zNo time to read all the interesting industry news and info floating around social media and appearing in your inbox? Read our round up of what we’ve found interesting this week.

  • When The Hell Are You Going To Patch? – Rex McMillan writes for LANDESK on why sometimes you just need to patch the hole. Read more here
  • Project Management Rap– Making us laugh, learn and, if we’re honest, cringe a little in the office this week is this Project Management Rap from Chris Croft. Watch/Listen here (Via Vladimir Ivanov on LinkedIn)
  • Changing Jobs in Your Twenties Could Lead To A More Fulfilling Career – Thinking those applicants who’ve moved jobs several times are a hiring risk? Think again. Read more here
  • Why You Should Never Swear On Your LinkedIn Profile – With 93% of recruiters using LinkedIn to vet candidates the reasons are obvious. If you ask us the pussycats and fluffy bunnies should also be reserved for Facebook. Read more here
  • Lack Of BYOD Policies Put Mobile Business Data At Risk – BT warns that UK businesses are not taking adequate measures against mobile security breaches. Read more here
  • Culture: The One Thing A Bank Can’t Buy – Matt Pancino of Suncorp explains how culture makes the difference between those that disrupt and those that are disrupted. Read more here
  • Find A Career Wingman To Help Navigate The Career Ladder – No longer just for trying to find a suitable…um…partner, a wingman could help you with your job! Read more here

Vendor News

Got some interesting news to share – say hello via @gobbymidget 

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Orange, green, blue, purple – what colour is ITSM?

photo (2)PINK. The answer is still PINK.

PINK14 seem a long time ago now, and I have to confess that I am already secretly (although I guess it’s not a secret when I publish it in an article right?) planning my trip for PINK15.

There has already been a stream of blogs from people providing their thoughts on the conference:

So I guess I’m a little late to the ‘event review party’ (sheesh my legs are still tired from the theme park that was Vegas) but better late than never. So here goes my review.

My favourite sessions

The calibre of the sessions varied depending on the topic and the speaker, but two sessions in particular stood out for me:

  • Slow IT: Meet in the Middle (MITM) – Rob England
  • How to Create & Manage a Successful Service Catalog – Jack Probst

What I loved most about these two sessions was the audience. No offence to either presenter but there were times when I wasn’t giving them 100% of my attention, because I was too busy watching and listening to the delegates in the room.

Rob England

Rob discussed the need to slow down the pace of business demands on IT to focus better on what matters, and to reduce the risk to what already exists (you can view Rob’s presentation as part of TFT here). His session was laden with common sense, and his message clearly resonated with the audience.

There were lots of nodding heads and signs of agreements. There were ‘oohs and ahh’s’ every 5 minutes (to the point that if any one entered the session late they probably wondered what the heck was going on). There were cries from the audience of ‘how?’ and ‘yes!’ It was very entertaining and enlightening to watch, and I think it’s fair to say that Rob had a few new groupies by the time his presentation was over.

Jack Probst

Then there was Jack’s session on service catalog (let’s not have the argument about the spelling). And before I attended the conference a few people had recommended to me “if you only see one session make sure it’s one of Jack’s”, and I’m pleased to say that this will probably be the same advice I give to any new timers next year.

Jack is a very enthusiastic and passionate presenter. I confess that when I entered the room I thought I understood service catalog and when I left I wasn’t so convinced (it was a tad high level for little ol’ me), but nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was question after question literally every five minutes from the audience (ok so maybe it wasn’t just me who found it high level) and once again the audience was very engaged. By the way if anyone saw my tweet about ITSM Review and service catalog, it was from this session.

What I loved most about this particular presentation though was not the actual session or topic, it was what happened after. I wanted to introduce myself to Jack given that the previous week he had written an article for us, and I had to wait a considerable amount of time to be able to do so. There was a very long line of people with questions.  All too often I see similar scenarios at events, and all too often I see very short responses given as answers, or occasionally no answers at all, but not with Jack. He gave clear answers and took contact details to provide even further information after the conference.

It’s interesting because many people raised the question of whether the PINK conference provided enough value to warrant the hefty conference price tag. My thoughts? If all the delegates did was attend these two sessions, then I would say they certainly got their money’s worth.

All the other sessions

A lot of people raised the suggestion that next year there should be less tracks and that presentations should be shorter, which I think is a fair comment.  There were many occasions when it felt a bit like Sophie’s Choice deciding which presentation to go to, not least when I had to make a decision between James Finister and Karen Ferris. James won solely on the fact that it was less distance for me to walk (the Bellagio is HUGE and I only have little legs … although not as little as Gobby Midget).

The keynotes on day one were incredible, and I think that PINK has quite a challenge on its hands finding anyone to match them next year. The keynotes on day two were sadly not as impressive, and along with many women I found the session by Josh Klein particularly poor. It was stereotypical and offensive. I appreciate that all of said stereotypical/offensive comments that he made were meant in good humour, but this is 2014 and jokes about women knowing nothing about tech and only being interested in shoes are not acceptable. There again I’d question whether there was ever actually a time when they were acceptable (although I wasn’t alive in the 1970s).

Anyway, enough of my thoughts for a second, let’s hear from a practitioner:

Currently our main aim at South African Reserve Bank is to be more service focused as well as looking at managing change and so my aim coming to PINK14 was to go to these types of sessions.

I was especially looking forward to Expanding ITSM Beyond IT: Providing Real Value to the Business by Joshua Smith – IT Service Management Team Lead at Mohawk Industries and I think I have taken away some useful points from the session.

We are currently moving to a new Service Desk tool provider and so I am looking forward to visiting the stand and getting to know the people there.

My favourite keynote has definitely been Caroline Casey, she was fantastic and very inspirational [unlike the keynote of Joshua Klein which I walked out of].

On the whole I would say that I have not had the “WOW that’s amazing I will definitely take this back with me” moment I was hoping for but I still think that the conference has been worthwhile.

– Siphiwe Mkwanazi – Head: Service Management Centre, South African Reserve Bank

Final thoughts

The theme was superheroes and I was suitably impressed with how PINK managed to ensure that the theme was present throughout the conference. The dressing up as superheroes and dancing through the ballroom wasn’t really my cup of tea, but that was simply a mismatch between American and British humour. It certainly drew plenty of laughs from the audience.

I won’t mention too much about the awards as you’ll be able to read articles from the winners here at ITSM Review over the coming weeks. However, what I will say is that at itSMF UK many of us complained that the award ceremony was too long and ‘went on a bit’, and yet at PINK we were complaining that the awards were a bit of a letdown (in terms of presentation not the actual winners) and too short. Safe to say that we (the ITSM critics) always have something to moan about and we’ll probably never be happy.

Finally, before I leave you with some photos of the exhibitors along with their views on the conference, there is one piece of feedback that I personally want to give to PINK for the 2015 conference. What I have to say is this:

 

“MORE GEORGE!!!!”

 

Seriously, the man is an absolute breath of fresh air and there was a never a dull moment when he was on stage. Pretty please work even more George Spalding into the agenda for 2015.

The exhibitors

I really shouldn’t miss out the vendors, given that without them PINK wouldn’t be able to run their conference. I personally felt that there was a nice atmosphere in the exhibition hall at this particular event. I’m not sure whether it was layout, the attendees or the fact that the vendors just generally seemed to be a lot more laid back and friendlier than I’ve seen them at other events – whatever the reason it was nice.

I particularly enjoyed assessing each vendors marketing efforts. From “spot me in a t-shirt” competitions to barbeque giveaways (yes you did read that correctly) there was certainly something for everyone. Anyone who knows me will know I get annoyed by vendors on booths very easily, but bar one minor incident that involved a finger (don’t ask) I never had a reason to complain!

Although talking of annoying, seriously, it’s time to stop tweeting about your PINK booth now people!

Before I finish up, here are some photos of a few* exhibitors looking all ‘dapper’ on their booths:

BMC Software
BMC Software
CA Technologies
CA Technologies
Cherwell
Cherwell Software
EasyVista
EasyVista
LANDESK
LANDESK
ManageEngine
ManageEngine
Navvia
Navvia
ServiceNow
ServiceNow
SysAid
SysAid
TeamQuest
TeamQuest

*Please note that no favouritism was involved in selecting which exhibitors to display here. I simply used all of the the professionals photographs provided to us by PINK.

The final finally

I just want to take this opportunity to thank Pink Elephant on behalf of everyone at ITSM Review for having us involved as media partner this year. We thoroughly enjoyed the conference and all of the amazing networking opportunities that the event presented us with.

So who else is going to PINK15?

2013: A Year in ITSM Review

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As 2013 begins to draw to a close, I thought it would be nice to finish off the year with a final article that’s an overview of what has happened at the ITSM Review over the last 12 months.  That’s right, this will be our last post for 2013 because the entire team is heading off to fill their faces with mince pies and sherry. But don’t worry we’ll be back in 2014 with slightly bigger waistlines and lots of exciting plans for 2014 (insight into which you can find at the end of this article).

Ironically I like neither mince pies nor sherry. 

Visits and Growth

  • We have had nearly 230,000 page views this year, an increase of a whopping 210% from 2012!!! A huge thank you to the circa 120,000 of you for coming to read our content.
  • Visits to our site increased by an astounding 58% between the end of June and end of July alone, and then continued to grow on average by 5.5% every month.
  • Our Twitter followers increased by 193%.

One thing that I think it’s worth pointing out here as well is that the bulk of our readers are not actually situated in the UK (which is what a lot of people presume given that this is where we are based). In 2013, 17% of our readers were from the UK, but an impressive 30% were actually from the USA. Perhaps we should open a US office?! A large proportion of visitors also came from India, Germany, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, France and Sweden, as well as plenty of other countries too.

Owing to us attracting more and more visitors year-on-year from outside of the UK and America, we are increasingly being asked to produce region-specific content. We are therefore looking for practitioners, consultants or analysts based in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe who would be interested in writing about their experiences of ITSM in other countries. If you are interested please get in touch.

What was popular?

The top 3 most-viewed articles of the year were:

  1. 7 Benefits of using a Known Error Database (by Simon Morris)
  2. Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools (Martin Thompson)
  3. AXELOS: Capita and ITIL joint venture lift lid on new brand (Martin Thompson)

Of those articles only number 3 was actually written and published in 2013.

I have to say congratulations specifically to Simon Morris here as well, because his KEDB article was not only the most-read article of the year, but it achieved 37% more hits than the second most popular article of the year! (And that’s not counting the hits it originally got in the year it was published).

Of the articles written and contributed in 2013, the top 3 were:

  1. Future of ITIL workshop – a little insight (Stuart Rance and Stephen Mann)
  2. Four Problem Management SLAs you really can’t live without (Simon Higginson)
  3. 7 golden rules for getting the most from the Service Catalogue (Yemsrach Hallemariam)

Is there a specific topic that you would like us to write about? Are there are practical pieces that you would like to see us cover to help you in your day-to-day job? Please let us know.

Content Contributors

In 2013, we were pleased to welcome 3 new, regular content contributors to the ITSM Review.  These are people who now write for us on a regular basis (roughly once a month), so you can expect to see a lot more great content from them in 2014. They are:

We also published content for the first time from the following companies: Cancer Research UK; EasyVista; Fruition Partners; GamingWorks; LANdesk; Macro4; Oregon Department of Transportation; Service Management Art Inc; and xMatters.

A great big thank-you to all of our regular and ad hoc contributors for helping supply with us with such fantastic content.

If you’re reading this and think you might be interested in contributing content (we welcome content from all, including) please get in touch.

Top Searches

Given that we had over 230,000 pages view this year, I thought that many of you might be interested to see what it was that people were searching for on our site.  The top 20 searches of the year were as follows:

  1. KEDB
  2. AXELOS
  3. Known Error Database
  4. ITSM
  5. Issue Log
  6. Proactive Problem Management
  7. ITSM Software
  8. Gartner ITSM
  9. What is Service Management
  10. Cherwell Software Review
  11. Gartner ITSM Magic Quadrant
  12. ServiceNow Review
  13. ITSM Software Review
  14. ITSM News
  15. Major Incident Management Process
  16. Free ITIL Training
  17. RemedyForce Review
  18. BMC Footprints
  19. KEDB in ITIL
  20. Process Owner

Are there any search terms that you are surprised to see on there?  Or anything that you would have expected to see that isn’t?

Events

In 2013 we branched out and kicked off Media Partnerships at the itSMF UK Conference and Exhibition (Birmingham) and itSMF Estonia Conference (Tallin).

Our aim was not only to spread the word about The ITSM Review, but to spend time with delegates to find out what things they are struggling with and how we might be able to help them.

Next year you can expect to see us the PINK conference in Las Vegas, and we hope to announce some other new, exciting partnerships for 2015 in the New Year!

Launches

In May we launched the ITSM Review App (Search ‘ITSM’ in the Apple App Store). 

Then there is the ITSM Tools Universe, which we launched at the end of November. The Tools Universe hopes to shed light on the emerging ITSM players (as well as the major competitors) and, over time, the changes in the position of the companies involved and moves in market share. Most importantly it is free to participate and unlike any Magic Quadrant or Wave, the ITSM Tools Universe is open to ALL ITSM vendors. 9 vendors are already confirmed.

If you are a Vendor and are interested in learning more the ITSM Tools Universe please contact us.

Additions to the team

As of 1st January 2013 the ITSM Review was still simply just the man you all know and love Martin Thompson (he tried desperately to get me to remove what I just said there… modest and all that jazz).

However, ITSM Review finished 2013 with an additional 3 employees:

  • In January 2013 Glenn Thompson (you’d be right to suspect that they might be related) joined full-time as the company’s Commercial Director. For some reason there was no official announcement (we’ll blame Martin) so for some of you this might be the first you’ve heard of it! Without Glenn we’d struggle to continue to offer all of our content to readers free of charge, so despite the fact that he’s a Chelsea fan, you’ve got to like him.
  • In July, for some reason Martin decided it would be a good move to hire some strange blonde lady who liked penguins (that would be me) as the Marketing and Community Manager.
  • Finally, in October Rebecca Beach joined as a Research Analyst. Famous for being a “gobby midget”, Rebecca will be writing most of our ITSM research and reviews in 2014. Rebecca also spends time (in conjunction with me) making fun of Martin and Glenn on a regular basis (it’s not our fault they make it so easy).

So then there was 4.

If you’re interested in any upcoming job opportunities at the ITSM Review (or ITAM Review), then please let us know.  We certainly plan on increasing that number 4 in 2014.

What’s planned for 2014?

Next year we are hoping to broaden our coverage of the ITSM space even further by securing new content contributors; participating in more industry events; launching new products (such as video product reviews, webinars, and case studies); and more.

We’re also looking very seriously at the possibility of running regular ‘social meet ups’ like we recently did with the Christmas get-together.

In addition to the publication of our ITSM Tools Universe in the Spring we will also be continuing our Group Tests, and a full list of topics for the Group Test series will be published early January.

In addition to the above we also have some planned changes in the works for our website. Nothing too major (it will still look like the ITSM Review that you know and love), just some cosmetic updates to make it easier on the eye and increase your ability to easily find what you are looking for.

Watch this space and we’ll keep you updated of our plans throughout 2014!

Oh and if you’re interested in the 2013 review and plans for 2014 from the ITAM Review, you can read them here.

Is there anything you would like to see us doing in 2014 that we’re not doing currently? Are there any changes that you would like to suggest to the website? Would you be interested in a tooling event or social get-togethers? Are you a Vendor who is interested in our Group Tests? We welcome your feedback, so please get in touch.

And so…

2013 is drawing to a close. Our success and growth throughout the year has made everybody here happy bunnies; but most importantly we hope that our content / site / presence this year has made YOU a bunch of happy bunnies. The whole purpose of the ITSM Review is to help ITSM practitioners, and everything we do has that end goal in mind.  Even if we only gain an additional 5 readers in 2014, so long as our content aids those 5 people and makes their work lives easier then these bunnies will continue to have smiles on their faces.

So with that image of turning the entire ITSM industry into smiley rabbits, I bid you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Thanks for reading throughout 2013; without you… the ITSM Review doesn’t exist.

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Review: LANDesk for Integrations

This independent review is part of our Integrations 2013 Group Test.

Executive Summary

Elevator Pitch A solid product from a vendor with expertise in both ITSM and systems management, which adds a dimension to what they can offer.
Strengths
  • Strong event management background
  • Understand that the deployment phase needs structure and the range of materials and consultancy they offer is comprehensive
  • Encompass BYOD with integration and include some neat new innovations
  • Integration/Automation platform through a graphical process workflow.
Weaknesses
  • LANDesk have put some much needed focus into their service management, and it is at least on a par with almost all the main players.
Primary Market Focus Based on the information provided, LANDesk are typically active in the mid-large market.They are classified for this review as:Specialised Service Management Suite – Offering ITIL processes and proprietary discovery tooling and Data Integration Points

 Commercial Summary

Vendor LANDesk
Product LANDesk Service Desk
Version reviewed 7.6.1
Date of version release July 2013
Year founded 1985
Customers ~1000
Pricing Structure Service Desk Concurrent AnalystService Desk Fixed AnalystService Desk SaaS Concurrent AnalystService Desk SaaS Fixed AnalystAlternatively available as part of LANDesk Total User Management suite : complete portfolio of integrated ITSM, Systems, Security, Mobility, Asset management solutions.

Licensed only by end user (not by number of devices or IT Users).

 

Competitive Differentiators
  1. LANDesk’s offer experience in ITSM and beyond that, systems management and as such they can provide Total User Management – covering systems management, security management, asset and service management, seamlessly integrated together through a process driven workflow platform.
  2. They provide self-service capability accessible to users via desktops and mobile devices
  3. They provide a two-way integration between Microsoft Outlook and the service desk to track task assignments

Independent Review

thumbnail (1)LANDesk combine experience across ITSM and include systems management, which comes to the fore with their approach to integrating one of the harder disciplines into their Service Management capability.

They have a good understanding of the way the market has moved in recent times – offering web services and because of their broader background, they not only lend their product but their in-house expertise to understanding what to integrate.

The focus of the solution is to be directly productive, and it is good to see them almost embrace BYOD capability – their focus is delivery of what IT does into the hands of the user.

What they have done well is to identify some neat little innovations and put some lateral thought about how these can be used. For example the use of RSS feeds to provide assignment updates to technicians and the use of QR codes to perform simple actions on processes (create/close a record). Whilst the take-up may be slow in some cases – they are ready for when the first organisation(s) latch on to the ideas.

LANDesk have developed their product to offer the same service management capability as the majority of vendors in the industry, and they provide integration and automation built in to their graphical process workflow.

They should take the opportunity to shine the light on the other bushels in their pack – not everyone can boast all 15 processes and that gives them an interesting depth in their section of the market.

Integration and specific recognised criteria

LANDesk Service Desk has been Pink Verified against the maximum 15 verifiable processes :-

The product uses ITIL terminology throughout the product, and the comprehensive coverage of all the process means they cover the bases in terms of recommended approaches and supporting practices.

Security Controls

A comprehensive matrix of permissions apply across every action and activity in the Service Desk product, so ability to perform actions will only appear for an analyst when they have this right.

Other integrations use workflow and process definition which ensures that only the right activity can take place in a secure and controlled fashion.

All integration activities are typically audited as standard design.

Pre-Deployment Integration

LANDesk is another vendor that also employs some level of sense checking as well as pure automation methods to bring across data, including:

Customer Profile Document

Introductory phone call and Project Kick-off meeting

Data collection spreadsheet which shows all the different typical default areas of data collected and imported

Workshops

In addition connectors to Active Directory, LANDesk Management Suite, Microsoft SQL, Oracle, Excel, Access, OLEDB all allow connection to other typical sources for import

Asset and Configuration Information

LANDesk Service Desk provides preconfigured integration to populate the CMDB, to import ITAM managed assets and to update any existing items. Their features include:

  • Unlimited field definitions and CI types
  • Asset/CI relationships can be imported into CI structure diagrams
  • Asset/CI relationships can be discovered and defined with a rules-engine.

Assets and CIs are accessible from all ITSM processes, updated under change management, and can be imported back to source tools from Service Desk updates.

They also provide an inventory lookup – in Systems Management focussed discovery, the tool will typically pick up all manner of information that is not required for Configuration Management – the Inventory lookup facility shows you the full detail.

Support Services Integration

  • LANDesk include (but are not limited to) their own IT Management tools supported in context:
    • Remote Control
    • Inventory Lookup
    • Software Deployment
    • Chat
    • Ping
    • Patch/Security Scan
  • As part of Request Fulfilment, Release, Change, and Incident they provide integration as part of process activity in the background. This drives self-service and IT-initiated process automation across the business, providing, for example integrated:
    • Software Deployment
    • AD Data Management
    • Mobile device wipe and other admin functions
    • Security scan, patch, OS deploy, among other functions
  • Major Incidents Communications
    • RSS – any query of data, list or dashboard gadget can be converted into an RSS feed that can be pulled on demand using any commercial standard RSS client.
    • Major Incidents are typically distributed through: Product Dashboards, Email, RSS and Twitter
  • Support Chats/Social Media
    • Core social discussion and chat features are provided as standard as well as integration through APIs and Automation is provided on request for:
      • Enterprise Social Platforms (e.g. BlueKiwi)
      • Twitter
      • Facebook
      • Jive
      • These are the basis of LANDesk’s Social Content Pack, including Discussion Threads and a Chat function within Self-Service.
      • LANDesk make use of RSS feeds which can take any view of the data and publish it as a feed to be incorporated into dashboards

Resource Management Integration

LANDesk provides two-way integration between Microsoft Outlook and the Service Desk. Assignments can be dragged and dropped to individuals or groups taken from live Outlook calendar as Gantt style views.

Assigned work appears as appointments in Outlook calendars or as tasks and once updated in Outlook, the work item in Service Desk is updated too.

Additional Areas of Integration

  • Event Management

LANDesk Event Manager provides a configurable, flexible interface to allow current and future monitoring and alerting systems to interact with the service desk.

The Event Management engine captures significant issues within the infrastructure and automatically logs prioritises and routes Incidents to the appropriate analyst team. This alerts the relevant team of issues, even before end users become aware of them, thereby increasing the chance of early resolution and minimizing impact on the user community.

  • QR

Another neat innovation is the use of QR codes – for example putting integration with simple process actions such as creating or closing records – whilst take up might be few and far between at the moment, it is a way of tapping into an increasingly mobile workforce to speed up tasks.

LANDesk Customers

From the LANDesk Brochure

  • An integrated solution for systems management, endpoint security, mobility and ITSM (premise, cloud or both).
  • Easiest ITIL path for increasing end-user productivity
  • One price per end-user – unlimited devices, including BYOD

In Their Own Words:

LANDesk Service Desk is a process-driven IT Service Management software solution that can be deployed as an on-premise, SaaS or hybrid solution. It delivers all of the core ITSM functionality expected from a market-leading solution. Service Desk is ITIL®-verified in 15 processes, including incident, request, self-service, change, and knowledge management and provides powerful multi-level reporting.

LANDesk Service Desk provides a rich end-to-end service management platform that not only supports core service management, but enables your IT organization’s high-level business goals, from basic resolution management to mature service portfolio management, capacity and availability optimization, and continuous service improvement. It integrates seamlessly with your systems and network management environments, including all LANDesk solutions for systems lifecycle management and endpoint security.

The solution’s out-of-the-box functionality is easily configurable to match specific business needs without coding. It helps enterprise IT organizations move swiftly from a reactive state to a more controlled, proactive, and service-oriented posture.  They improve the availability and continuity of services and the productivity of service desk staff and users, while reducing the time-to-restoration, downtime expense, and service-related business risk.

Screenshots

Further Information

This independent review is part of our Integrations 2013 Group Test.

The 2014 ITSM Tools Universe

Runners, riders, market share and market focus for the ITSM Tools market
2014 ITSM Tools Universe: Runners, riders, market share and market focus for the whole ITSM Tools market

Please note that we are no longer accepting entries to be part of this report.

Today we kick off our 2014 ITSM Tools Universe research in which we will be looking at the multitude of tools out there that claim to help with the management of Information Technology Services; from one function tools through to the ‘all-singing-all-dancing’ suites.

Why invest in ITSM tools?

Organizations typically invest in ITSM technology to help them:

  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Improve service availability and response times
  • Integrate or improve integration between processes
  • Improve root cause analysis
  • Automate or improve business workflows
  • Improve business visibility of IT services

We are looking to talk with ANY supplier who has technology in these areas.

The Assessment Process

There is no cost to participate in our ITSM Universe research.

Steps:

  1. Complete this online questionnaire
  2. Upon completion, schedule an online briefing and arrange customer references

We have tried to automate our assessment process as much as possible given the number of tools we plan to assess, so we have used an online submission form to initiate the process. I have posted a PDF version for participants for reference. If you have any questions please contact me.

ITSM Universe Objectives

Rather than reviewing just the major competitors, this review hopes to shed light on the emerging players and, over time, the changes in the position of the companies involved and moves in market share.

Consideration will also be given to where vendors focus their efforts and to which customer type their products are suitable.

Results will be published in Spring 2014 using our ‘Universe Methodology‘.

The criteria we will be focusing on is as follows:

  • Competitive differentiators
  • ITSM processes included out of the box
  • The level of in-house customization possible and by whom
  • Possible configurations available out of the box
  • Self-Service options
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Process linkage
  • Interaction with business outcomes
  • Alignment with industry frameworks

The last tool showcase I attended offered very little in the way of USP promotion so I am especially interested to see what vendors believe are their competitive differentiators …please don’t let it be ‘The Cloud’!

Participating Vendors

Other Vendors

The following vendors will not be part of this report:

These vendors either declined, were unable to commit to the report schedule or were unable to provide customer references.

SDI Software Showcase: Here Comes the Sun

sun
No more cloud… please!

Wednesday 23rd October was SDI’s Service Desk Software Showcase held at ThinkTank Birmingham.

A crash on the M5 motorway and some technical difficulties meant that things kicked off a little later than scheduled, but it gave me a good chance to mingle and find out what other attendees were hoping to take away from the day even if that was just a nice Danish (which didn’t materialise).

Kick off

Ken Goff, Owner at K GOFF M LIMITED kicked off with his usual exuberance reminding everyone that this is ‘serious stuff’ as “you’re not buying a tin of beans” and to make sure you tackle this with a strategic vision. Your criteria should cover what you will need in the future not just what you need now.

He continued to say that it’s not just about finding a Vendor that’s right for you but about you being the right Client for the Vendor, and that on your hunt for the right tool you should be led by capability not money. Lovely sentiment, but as one of the attendees said, what’s the point of finding what you think is the perfect tool just for the man holding the purse, to say no?

Hornbill Systems

The first of the Vendors to present was Abdi Hamisi, Senior Sector Manager at Hornbill Systems who had apparently been dropped in it at the last minute to give a presentation. He drew the comparison between ITSM Tools and F1 cars. I personally know next to nothing about F1 but the point he seemed to be making was that like F1, ITSM Tools are built to the same set of standards but garner very different results. However this was hotly debated on Twitter by Greg Sanker, Field Services Unit Manager at Oregon Department of Transportation.

Abdi showed possible configuration of the tool and talked us through some of the available integrations, not forgetting of course to mention that it’s available on the cloud.

Sunrise Software

Next up was Neil Penny, Product Director and David Bullivant, Business Consultancy Manager from Sunrise Software showcasing their product Sostenuto ITSM. There was all the usual kind of stuff, but David spent some time going through the Wallboards which you can set up to give real time information to the business rather than having to send millions of reports. He also discussed how their tool incorporates Gamification to help with Reward and Recognition. David was clearly very passionate about the product, which frankly was missing from most of the other presentations.

I was taken with the simplistic buttons down the left hand side of the screen rather than the worded menu the majority of the other tools had. In my opinion these types of menus take up a lot of space and when you’re doing the same thing day in day out won’t a simple button/icon do? Generally I felt it just looked so much fresher than the other products, and left the other Vendor offerings looking dated and tired.

Oh and good news people… it’s available in the cloud.

TOPdesk

Luis Soares, Accounts Director from TOPdesk followed confirming that he is not the famous footballer and promising that he wouldn’t bite. I wish he would have as it would have made the experience at least a little entertaining.

One of the few things I took away from the presentation was the ability to book resources such as equipment and rooms from within the tool which seemed sensible. Oh and you guessed it… it’s available in the cloud.

Bomgar Corporation

William Culbert, Senior Solutions Engineer from Bomgar Corporation was up next with a cheesy video (his words not mine) of how Bomgar can help you remotely support your staff in a safe and secure way. I have used this product before in my previous incarnation but still enjoyed the show.

Frontrange

Chris Powell, Senior Pre-Sales Consultant from Frontrange opened with talk of the cloud but I persevered and tried not to hold it against him. The main area of interest to me was the ability for customers to rate KB articles that they have found useful to help you to keep relevant.

Cherwell Software

I unfortunately missed the name of the chap at Cherwell Software (though it wasn’t Tony Probert who was billed) who in a slightly ‘ranty’ (if this isn’t a word then I’m making it one) way stated that you always have to compromise with ITSM tools and that you will never be able to do everything.

He went on further to quote the University of Wolverhampton in their assessment that the tool is ‘Funky’. Presumably this is because of their colour coded screens and Dashboards, which are more like Powerpoint presentations than the usual graph filled spaces. Oh and guess what? It’s available in the cloud.

LANdesk

Andy Parker, Pre-Sales Consultant from LANdesk lambasted attendees for sending through reams of tender documentation when Vendors that are Pink Verified have already answered it. Perhaps this particular tirade should be directed at Procurement though Andy and not the people that don’t usually have any say in it?!

The interesting takeaway from this presentation was the concept of ‘Software Loading’, using the tool as a library to borrow what you need when you need it, keeping licencing requirements to a minimum. Nice idea.

HP

The penultimate Vendor was Eileen O’Mahony (no LinkedIn profile…) from HP and that’s pretty much all I can tell you as I fell asleep (well… almost).  It could be Eileen’s lilting voice that did it, as there were several people making their excuses and sneaking out. Or perhaps it could have been that people were leaving to avoid being taught how to suck eggs?

Autotask

The final Vendor was Aaron Gayle, Business Development Representative from Autotask who I assume had been given two minutes at the eleventh hour to prepare, as he looked somewhat like a rabbit in the headlights trying to sum up the tool quickly with no visual aids. It did however make me want to go and find out more about the tool, whereas the majority of the other presentations had not.

Finishing up

Ken returned to close with the reminder to take the holistic approach and not just concentrate on the tool and to involve everybody in the process.

Having not attended a software showcase before I was thoroughly expecting to be hit with the razzle dazzle and to have to really concentrate on picking up the differences in the tools from the slick and entertaining presentations. In reality the concentrating was mostly to avoid falling asleep and snoring in a room full of people (although judging by the attendees I have spoken to since I certainly wouldn’t have been the only one).  By the time I looked up at the end of the last presentation (I was just resting my eyes) the right hand side of the room had dwindled dramatically.

SDI do a great job putting on this very useful showcase, I just hope next time the Vendors treat it as the opportunity it is and put more effort into. Well done to Sunrise Software in being the only Vendor to keep me interested through almost the whole of their presentation, not much of a feat admittedly but more than the others managed by quite a way.

Oh and one final note… for the love of God people no more cloud talk, it’s pretty much the same as being able to log an Incident now it’s not a USP!

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