Enterprise Service Management – Enabling Value Delivery Outside IT

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The lines between departments are often blurred and requests can be passed around or come to a complete standstill

Enterprise Service Management – Enabling Value Delivery Outside IT is a guest post by Darroll Buytenhuys, Chief Operating Officer at Samanage

 

In IT we often forget this, but we aren’t the only department that provides internal services within an organization.

HR, facilities, legal, finance, purchasing, sales, marketing, administration and other departments all deliver services to other areas of the business outside IT. Business processes flow across these services, so anything that can be done to make the flow smoother can benefit business productivity. Anything that hinders these processes hinders business.

So what prevents people in the business from getting the help they need from other departments? It’s often quite simple. It’s in not knowing where to find the help they need.

Is it always clear who does what in the business? The lines between departments are often blurred and requests can be passed around for a while before they land on the right desk. The process stalls.

The second common problem is the “black hole”. You call Tony in facilities to request assistance with an office move. He says he’ll get back to you in the next hour. Nothing happens. The process stops dead.

We’ve all been there and it’s very frustrating. Having more clarity on which departments perform which specific functions (e.g. internal enterprise services) helps to optimize productivity.

Most departments are aware that they need to operate more efficiently, but few are aware that they also need to interact more efficiently (mainly because their internal metrics don’t tell the full story of their performance in the broader context of the business). No matter how well a department operates internally, there is usually plenty of room to improve the way it handles demand from other business units. Most departments don’t think of themselves as an enterprise service domain.

 

The Enterprise Service Challenge

The IT end user community is not exclusive to IT. They’re also the end users of other departments’ services. It’s one big enterprise community, so from the end user’s perspective, it doesn’t make sense for each service department to have a different web portal. When you have a number of departments providing internal services to the same end user community, it makes more sense to create a centralized digital portal that exposes the services of all of these business units. A one-stop-shop for all of your enterprise service domains will reduce time spent looking for help and increase business productivity across the board.  

Think about the end user’s perspective. In a day, a member of your enterprise community might:

  • Request a password reset from IT.
  • Ask HR how many vacation days they have left, and book a day off for the following week.
  • Report an issue with the office air conditioning to Facilities.
  • Request the company’s annual accounts from Finance.
  • Ask Administration for help with booking a flight and hotel for a customer visit.

In most organizations, these requests will happen via phone or email, and the responses are probably dealt with on an ad-hoc basis, with no defined process, supporting automation or approval workflow. Even if the request doesn’t get lost, it certainly won’t happen efficiently and within a predictable timescale. Successful outcomes in these situations are underpinned by the work of a few individuals. By contrast, IT has a web-based request system, well defined execution processes and software tools to automate them. Everything is logged. Nothing gets lost. Responses are of a consistently high quality and happen within a predictable timeframe. Successful outcomes are underpinned by the quality of the system (a combination of people, processes and technology).

 

An Opportunity to Enable Value Outside IT

The IT department has an opportunity to show other service domains the way to a higher level of maturity – from ad-hoc manual processes that deliver “minimum viable service” to a streamlined service management system that communicates and operates in a more efficient manner.  In organizations where IT has got service provision right (implementing processes that actually get results for IT customers and creating a digital interface to streamline response to day-to-day demand), employees may be wondering why they can’t interact so easily with enterprise service domains outside IT. As a department that has been there and done that, there’s an opportunity for IT to help other departments by implementing the same principles that have worked for IT.  Unfortunately and all too often, IT is handicapped in its ability to assist in the enablement of improved service management by their legacy service desk technology.

The vast majority of service desk software products in use today date back 2-3 decades and require a heavy dose of professional services and IT support to build and maintain the required processes.  IT is reluctant to take on these additional responsibilities, knowing that all other departments will require substantial support to deliver benefits to their constituents.  IT also knows that if the support is not excellent, they will hurt rather than help these departments — and IT will be left with egg on their face.

The recent entry into the market of fleet-footed, agile SaaS companies, delivering service management solutions that are implemented in days, if not hours, by non-IT people, is allowing IT to become true champions of the service management cause.  This frees IT up to support these departments by sharing service best practices:

  • Thinking in a more customer-oriented and service-oriented manner.
  • Managing what the department does as a portfolio of services.
  • Monitoring changes in demand from the business – and responding accordingly with new solutions.
  • Focusing on the service user experience and how services generate optimized value with minimal friction for end users.
  • Defining and automating good processes which deliver the right outcomes efficiently and consistently.
  • Making it transparent: articulating what they do and how they do it. Keeping service consumers informed about progress.
  • Setting service-level agreements and providing feedback on performance.

IT has both the know-how and potentially the technology to support the implementation of service management best practices in other enterprise service domains within the business. By applying what they know about managing service portfolios, process automation and support outside IT they can help streamline the way other business units operate and interact. By improving operation internally, the business unit becomes more efficient. By improving interaction with other departments, business operations become more efficient.  And, with today’s SaaS applications, all of this can be built and maintained by the business units without costly professional services.

 

Darroll Buytenhuys is Chief Operating Officer of Samanage.  Darroll has over 30 years experience in sales, marketing and general management in the software industry. Most recently Darroll was a Senior Vice President and Officer of BMC Software (NYSE BMC). Darroll joined BMC as a result of the acquisition of New Dimension Software where he was the president of the North American operation and was also the company’s worldwide COO. New Dimension Software was an Israeli company (listed on NASDAQ) and its $800M acquisition by BMC was at the time the largest ever acquisition of an Israeli software company.


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

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Review: Samanage for Outside IT 2014

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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: Outside IT 2014

OutsideITTo download the full report as a PDF please visit : Outside IT 5th August 2014

This is a competitive review of software vendors who offer Outside IT capabilities as part of their IT service management (ITSM) solution.
Products reviewed:

 

Outside IT 2014 – Best in Class

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In The ITSM Review’s opinion, ServiceNow is an excellent option for large-and-very large sized businesses looking to achieve synergy and efficiency of cross-departmental operations, as well as flexibility in their IT and wider non-IT shared service operations. Furthermore, we believe it is an excellent option for large and very large organisations implementing service management and work automation across and beyond IT.

We feel that ESM is a strong and forward-thinking message and an excellent opportunity for real success through ITSM and wider service management and automation. In our opinion, this is a stronger and more sustainable message than ServiceNow’s earlier focus on Cloud/commercial models, community and flexibility (although useful and helpful) as the ESM message transcends IT and straddles business areas and can finally take ITSM to a C-Level audience for sales and delivered value.

In our view, continued expansion via the ESM message and product capability for Global Enterprises should be the ServiceNow goal, possibly with some options on how to take this message to the mid-market market in future.

Overview

This report has been unusual in terms of a normal industry product/vendor review – for two reasons:

  1. The initial review criteria were quite generic (by necessity) and to some extent vague (i.e. “what have you done with your product outside of IT?”) and
  2. The results and outcomes are not particularly (or only) related to functionality or product capability – and this relates strongly to marketing, positioning and implementation approach.

As a review of what vendors can or are doing with their (ITSM) products outside of the IT and ITSM operational area, this review had to be somewhat open-ended, giving the participating vendors specific requirements to follow, but also opening up the options for them to show us what else they can do and are doing outside of IT. This includes not just options on software functionality but also how the vendors are positioning themselves in the market.

Each vendor in this report provides ITSM tools that can be used to build forms and workflow based automation for administration of ‘back-office’ work, this includes: managing workloads; requests; automating approvals and escalations; automating spreadsheets and other databases centrally to remove risk; provide customer service and call centre tools; manage work schedules; provide knowledge repositories, calendars, reports dashboards and customer portals etc. In addition, they each provide this functionality in a modern, social, mobile and intuitive ‘connected’ environment that can be quickly implemented and maintained with minimum technical resources.

So what are the differences between the vendors in this report? How can we distinguish and identify differentiators, pros and cons between them? If all products can be used to develop work automation, logging and escalation/ownership and tracking of tasks etc., does this mean that the differences between vendors go beyond simple software functionality? This review looks at how to differentiate the vendors’ approach for beyond IT across the ITSM market.

Industry Context

There has been a move in recent times to develop more applications and tools that can cross the boundaries of internal service departments. The ITSM toolsets available have helped to drive practice in this area, in particular service catalogues, service portals, automated fulfilment processing, approvals etc. and for many organisations this is a huge opportunity for IT to be the department of solutions and success rather than simply the folks who say ‘no’ all the time.

Most manufacturers of ITSM tools report that their sales engagement process usually now involve the inclusion of non-IT people as the norm which has happened historically although not consistently with many vendors also reporting the fact that, once their ITSM tool has been successfully implemented, their clients in IT then help to ‘sell on’ the wider use of the toolsets within and across their own organisations.

Much of this has been driven by the opportunities offered via Cloud solutions and also via assorted sourcing options. However, the barriers between IT and its internal customers/departments are now also breaking down such that, finally, there is the appreciation that the overall needs of the organisation they support can be met via a ‘supply chain’ approach rather than a siloed one. Commoditisation of IT has led to greater awareness of, and demand for, proper end-to-end solutions and collaborative working. Toolsets are the final piece in this jigsaw, as they offer simple and effective solutions for this.

Opportunities for IT organisations

This is therefore a time of huge opportunity for IT organisations to re-invent themselves and to show their true value to the organisations that they serve. This moves away from just being inward-looking and self preserving around their own (IT) processes but to also being the facilitator, catalyst and ‘solution superheroes’ for the whole organisation. This can help to develop efficiency and remove risk by automating manual and single point of failure processes and systems, e.g. spreadsheets that still provide key business functions.

IT can show leadership in their own businesses if they grasp the nettle and use the skills they have developed via ITSM and the associated toolsets, relationship management, value-demonstration, service monitoring, and cost management. It’s the time and opportunity to take ITSM to the next level and IT organisations and their people are best placed to deliver this.

Client maturity

Whilst this sounds exciting, there is also the question of maturity and awareness, and this brave new world cannot apply across all organisations evenly. There are those IT organisations that have the maturity and drive to take their knowledge and skills forward to capitalise on these opportunities. These organisations will respond well to vendor positioning and messaging around business-led IT and the value of service management beyond IT.

However, there are also many (probably most) IT organisations that don’t yet have the vision, awareness, bandwidth and ITSM maturity to do this.

This is where intelligent use of new sourcing models can help to ensure that IT is moving with the times and delivering in response to needs and not just “treading water” and “sweating assets”.

These organisations will also be at risk of being by-passed in the sales process of forward thinking vendors who can then sell direct to other service areas (not IT) with their products and solutions. Vendors with mature implementations and good client relationships can also develop these accounts to “sell inwardly” as mentioned, and get the message across about collaborative working – with variable success depending on their ability to reach and get the right messages to the C-Levels working in their clients.

The new world of corporate collaboration

The message here for the vendor market – and in the context of this review – is therefore that ITSM vendors wishing to retain and increase their market share into new areas need to consider the positioning of their products in a wider context than just IT.

Products and vendors that only focus on internal IT – sold to internally focussed IT departments who don’t see the opportunities for collaboration – will be at risk, or at least will risk falling behind in the long run. There may be continuing opportunities for relatively straightforward ITSM-only sales in the short-term, but ultimately this will not be a sustainable strategy.

Vendors also need to be clear on how to reach non-IT people where necessary, as well as having clear strategies for up-selling their products beyond IT in existing and new accounts. Overall they will need to be clear as to the extent to which they take and promote these messages – from presenting either a business-focussed/business-enabled solution, to an IT-internally-focused only approach.

So whilst there is still a lively traditional ITSM ‘core market’ that vendors can focus on – where the prospects may not be interested in Outside IT (i.e. applications and their focus is solely on ITSM) – there is also a longer-term and potentially larger opportunity around selling to the wider organisation.

Clearly for vendors this requires some strategic decision making around positioning and marketing, with some implications around sales approach and targeting. This in turn may have significant cost and structural implications for vendors, and some may not have the resources to meet these requirements.

So the traditional sale to mid-management IT Operations may be simpler and easier in the short-term, but longer-term vendors may need to rethink their sales and marketing approach, collateral, and even the language used in the sales process.

So how do we evaluate the current Market?

The four vendors who participated in this review all have the capabilities to provide additional functionality outside of the ITSM/IT area and they also all have varying levels of customer adoption of this. These vendors cover a broad spectrum in terms of size, capability, and corporate coverage and their focus reflects this. All vendors also have different sales and marketing approaches to the concept of Outside IT. Details and examples of their individual offerings are shown below.

All four vendors can deliver non-IT applications with varying levels of toolkits, engagement approaches, and turnkey offerings.

 

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

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.


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