Another “Less is More” Blog for ITSM and BSM Solutions

I’m jealous and in denial with several of my colleagues at work. It may have the “compare the meerkat” ring tone but my mobile phone was replaced last week with a new model of berry and I have to report I still feel inferior. It’s like I just traded a Porsche Boxster for a Boxster S, sure it’s a nice upgrade but everything is relevant and unfortunately everyone around me is driving a 911 Turbo at the moment in the  form of an iPhone.
Still, I’m not bitter. I think the introduction and innovation of the iPhone was exactly the kick up the ass that the mobile phone market needed. Think different is what Apple did and I think many IT vendors today should be following the same type of attitude for IT service management solutions. If I rewind the clock back just 5 years I owned a Sony Ericsson phone to make calls, a canon 2MegaPixel camera to take photos, an iPod “brick edition” to listen to music and a Dell laptop (also Brick Edition) to surf the web and do email. Today, I can get all that from an iPhone. The good news according to all my smug friends is that this iPhone thing actually works and is also quite sexy or something. The fact the camera, ipod, phone and browser is all integrated into the handset with an intuitive user interface is what is most impressive. If I owned an iPhone I wouldn’t need to buy 4 products from 4 different vendors.
Now try comparing with what I just said against the IT service management landscape today. Customers are buying ten to twenty point products to manage the different functions and components of IT. Most of which were never intended to work with each other from day one and have so many customisations that migrating to new versions is like moving house rather than redecorating the one you already own. Customers buy separate tools to manage end users, networks, servers, JVM’s, CLR’s, databases, storage and that is just a short list. That’s a lot of GUI, in fact that’s a lot of user logins and products to physically deploy, train and support across your IT organisation. And yet so often we hear the words “Less is More” used in conversation and sales pitches despite many vendors being responsible for most of this huge complexity in the first place. The key issue isn’t so much the number of products, it’s the way in which real users can navigate and perform real use cases to exploit the information across multiple products so they can manage IT more effectively. Dashboards in my opinion do not solve this issue, they provide a quick fix and band aid which is often used by a sales  team to try and promote “single pane of glass” views and “OOTB integration” yet in reality dashboards often limit navigation and task orientated use cases where you need to go from high level to low level data using a common context.
We recently announced a new product at OpTier last week which helps customers understand and manage their end user experience. Rather than create a new standalone product we listened to customers right from the start and did what they asked. We built the new product using the same framework we used to build our first product CoreFirst. Customers get all the benefits and features of a new product but they get it without all the drawbacks of buying yet another product to manage their IT services and components. They have a single GUI, a single data repository and a single user login to access both our products. Customers now get visibility of their end user experience with a complete profile of the business transactions that constructed those experiences all in a single click. We hid the technical complexity just like Apple did with the iPhone and on top of the integration we also decided to make the GUI more sexy in the process.
I may not own an iPhone but that doesn’t stop me appreciating what can be learnt from such innovation.

I’m jealous and in denial with several of my colleagues at work. It may have the “compare the meerkat” ring tone but my mobile phone was replaced last week with a new model of berry and I have to report I still feel inferior. It’s like I just traded a Porsche Boxster for a Boxster S, sure it’s a nice upgrade but everything is relative and unfortunately everyone around me is driving a 911 Turbo at the moment in the  form of an iPhone.

Still, I’m not bitter. I think the introduction and innovation of the iPhone was exactly the kick up the ass that the mobile phone market needed. Think different is what Apple did and I think many IT vendors today should be following the same type of attitude for IT service management solutions. If I rewind the clock back just 5 years I owned a Sony Ericsson phone to make calls, a canon 2MegaPixel camera to take photos, an iPod “brick edition” to listen to music and a Dell laptop (also Brick Edition) to surf the web and do email. Today, I can get all that from an iPhone. The good news according to all my smug friends is that this iPhone thing actually works and is also quite sexy or something. The fact the camera, ipod, phone and browser are all integrated into the handset with an intuitive user interface is what is most impressive. If I owned an iPhone I wouldn’t need to buy 4 products from 4 different vendors.

ITSM & BSM - Lots of pieces integrated but not the picture you expected.

ITSM & BSM – Lots of pieces integrated but not the picture you expected.

Now try comparing with what I just said against the IT service management landscape today. Customers are buying ten to twenty point products to manage the different functions and components of IT. Most of which were never intended to work with each other from day one and have so many customisations that migrating to new versions is like moving house rather than redecorating the one you already own. Customers buy separate tools to manage end users, networks, servers, JVM’s, CLR’s, databases, storage and that is just a short list. That’s a lot of GUI, in fact that’s a lot of user logins and products to physically deploy, train and support across your IT organisation. And yet so often we hear the words “Less is More” used in conversation and sales pitches despite many vendors being responsible for most of this huge complexity in the first place. The key issue isn’t so much the number of products, it’s the way in which real users can navigate and perform real use cases to exploit the information across multiple products so they can manage IT more effectively. Dashboards in my opinion do not solve this issue, they provide a quick fix and band aid which is often used by a sales  team to try and promote “single pane of glass” views and “OOTB integration” yet in reality dashboards often limit navigation and task orientated use cases where you need to go from high level to low level data using a common context.

We announced a new product at OpTier last week which helps customers understand and manage their end user experience. Rather than create a new standalone product we listened to customers right from the start and did what they asked. We built the new product using the same framework we used to build our first product CoreFirst. Customers get all the benefits and features of a new product but they get it without all the drawbacks of buying yet another product to manage their IT services and components. They have a single GUI, a single data repository and a single user login to access both our products. Customers now get visibility of their end user experience with a complete profile of the business transactions that constructed those experiences all in a single click. We hid the technical complexity just like Apple did with the iPhone and on top of the integration we also decided to make the GUI more sexy in the process.

I may not own an iPhone but that doesn’t stop me appreciating what can be learnt from such innovation.

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