Practicalities of ITIL (aka software to facilitate ITIL processes)

forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
Folks,

ITIL is a wonderful thing, as it feeds on my need for organization and control of my infrastructure(s). It's all well and good to say "we need a service desk, change management and a configuration database", however, without software to facilitate those things, ITIL becomes a serious hassle and no one wants to deal with it.

Thus my current problem.

I need to implement the things I've mentioned above, but I'm running into a roadblock in terms of software to make these things work well. BMC seems to be the leader in this, but we're such a small shop that their products are difficult to justify the cost for. What other companies are providing ITIL-aligned software packages? Are there websites that discuss the practicalities of implementation?
The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.

Comments

  • Shiv2404Shiv2404 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just check for open source web based software like osticketing for the same.

    Regards,
    Shiv

    forkvoid wrote: »
    Folks,

    ITIL is a wonderful thing, as it feeds on my need for organization and control of my infrastructure(s). It's all well and good to say "we need a service desk, change management and a configuration database", however, without software to facilitate those things, ITIL becomes a serious hassle and no one wants to deal with it.

    Thus my current problem.

    I need to implement the things I've mentioned above, but I'm running into a roadblock in terms of software to make these things work well. BMC seems to be the leader in this, but we're such a small shop that their products are difficult to justify the cost for. What other companies are providing ITIL-aligned software packages? Are there websites that discuss the practicalities of implementation?
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    Shiv2404 wrote: »
    Just check for open source web based software like osticketing for the same.

    Can't agree here..."Open Source" I've found doesn't always mean "low cost" or "effective" in terms of total cost of ownership.

    To the OP:

    I'm not a big "go in and recommend a specific tool" guy. Tools IMO are only one aspect of the bigger picture. They're important, but I'd rather see a process that works just as well with pen and paper as it does with some high speed automation. I do agree however that with with volume of activity that most of us are talking about, and effective toolset is required. I also think ITIL for the most parts speaks clearly to this.

    Most vendors are on this bandwagon. I don't agree that BMC is the leader, but they are definitely a big player. IBM, HP and others also have products in this area, and I have a customer at the moment that uses Symantec as their IT Service Management suite.

    One product that is becoming very popular is this realm is Service Now: Service-now.com IT Service Management SaaS - ITIL based ITSM Software as a Service .

    It's a SaaS, subscription-based IT Service Management tool. I do not know the specific cost, but I do have 1 very large (and I mean very large) customer that uses it and is very happy with it. In fact, I'm working with this customer this week on adopting event management. They are very happy with this product, so you might look at it as well.

    To close, all vendors have their different strengths and weaknesses. I generally try to remain as tool-agnostic as possible, so I'm not sure that I would give a specific "buy" recommendation to any one over another.

    MS
  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    eMeS wrote: »
    Can't agree here..."Open Source" I've found doesn't always mean "low cost" or "effective" in terms of total cost of ownership.

    To the OP:

    I'm not a big "go in and recommend a specific tool" guy. Tools IMO are only one aspect of the bigger picture. They're important, but I'd rather see a process that works just as well with pen and paper as it does with some high speed automation. I do agree however that with with volume of activity that most of us are talking about, and effective toolset is required. I also think ITIL for the most parts speaks clearly to this.

    Most vendors are on this bandwagon. I don't agree that BMC is the leader, but they are definitely a big player. IBM, HP and others also have products in this area, and I have a customer at the moment that uses Symantec as their IT Service Management suite.

    One product that is becoming very popular is this realm is Service Now: Service-now.com IT Service Management SaaS - ITIL based ITSM Software as a Service .

    It's a SaaS, subscription-based IT Service Management tool. I do not know the specific cost, but I do have 1 very large (and I mean very large) customer that uses it and is very happy with it. In fact, I'm working with this customer this week on adopting event management. They are very happy with this product, so you might look at it as well.

    To close, all vendors have their different strengths and weaknesses. I generally try to remain as tool-agnostic as possible, so I'm not sure that I would give a specific "buy" recommendation to any one over another.

    MS

    I don't need a specific tool recommended... but something close to a list of software/vendors out there would be fantastic. I have to do my own evaluation no matter what. My most frustrating bit has been finding vendors that supply software. I tend to just find ITIL propaganda, mainly.
    Shiv2404 wrote:
    Just check for open source web based software like osticketing for the same.

    Regards,
    Shiv

    osTicket does not meet my needs. Also, I'm with eMeS on this one too: most open source/free offerings kinda suck. A bit like osTicket.
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    forkvoid wrote: »
    I don't need a specific tool recommended... but something close to a list of software/vendors out there would be fantastic. I have to do my own evaluation no matter what. My most frustrating bit has been finding vendors that supply software. I tend to just find ITIL propaganda, mainly.

    OGC released a compliance scheme for ITIL tools sometime last year. That might be a good place to start your search.

    Religious and holy war discussions aside about "ITIL" and "compliance", here's a list of companies and tools that have achieved some level of compliance through OGC: http://www.itil-officialsite.com/SoftwareScheme/EndorsedSoftwareTools/EndorsedSoftwareTools.asp

    It's pretty much the names you would expect at the moment. Additionally, from what I've seen customer-wise, I'd give Service-Now a look.

    MS
  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    eMeS wrote: »
    OGC released a compliance scheme for ITIL tools sometime last year. That might be a good place to start your search.

    Religious and holy war discussions aside about "ITIL" and "compliance", here's a list of companies and tools that have achieved some level of compliance through OGC: http://www.itil-officialsite.com/SoftwareScheme/EndorsedSoftwareTools/EndorsedSoftwareTools.asp

    It's pretty much the names you would expect at the moment. Additionally, from what I've seen customer-wise, I'd give Service-Now a look.

    MS

    Fantastic, the OGC list looks like a promising place to start. Thanks a bunch.

    On a side note, I was asking a former colleague of mine what they were using for change management(Remedy)... I ended up talking to him about ITIL and was able to totally articulate about processes, functions, etc. I haven't done any ITIL work since getting my Foundations cert, but I take this as a sign that it's pretty much sunk in, which makes me quite happy. :D
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • Fugazi1000Fugazi1000 Posts: 145Member
    Have a look at Service-now.com IT Service Management SaaS - ITIL based ITSM Software as a Service

    ITIL in a SaaS! (Play on the old 'ITIL in a box' appliances that many used to tout).

    In my experience, Service-Now will go places. Cost of entry is low, focus on the processes that your organisation will benefit from (i.e. If a 'small shop' don't try to implement then all at once).
  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    Service-Now looked fantastic, but costs were simply too much for their SaaS offering. They referred me to a partner who deals mainly with SMBs, but we haven't spoken yet.
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    forkvoid wrote: »
    Service-Now looked fantastic, but costs were simply too much for their SaaS offering. They referred me to a partner who deals mainly with SMBs, but we haven't spoken yet.

    Yeah, it's awesome from what I can tell. I have a client that has given me full access to theirs as part of a project that I'm doing for them.

    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    eMeS wrote: »
    Can't agree here..."Open Source" I've found doesn't always mean "low cost" or "effective" in terms of total cost of ownership.
    MS

    Yup. One of the reasons why a large organisation may go for a vendor solution rather than an open source one is so they have someone beholden to beat up when things go wrong and they need a fix quickly with guarantees. A collegue experienced this with linux and I think we will see this with a lot of the open source toolsets we have grown fond of to get the job done in the years ahead.

    The idea that the change control system (amongst others) getting screwed up and going offline isn't a mission critical incident is fast becoming a bad one in the process driven joined up brave new world. Things become interconnected and interdependant. A fault tolerant process that allows the business to continue in the event of problems would be a good idea but evangelists do love their software solutions.
  • rfult001rfult001 Posts: 407Member
    Since you mentioned BMC and others are recommending Service-Now (which is a great product) take a look at BMC's new SaaS: BMC Remedy OnDemand - BMC Software

    Another good, ITIL-focused app collection is available from CA, which has a SaaS line too:IT Management Software as a Service - Online Project Management - CA

    If you are not an ITIL purist ("it has to be ITIL nothing else matters...arrrrghhh!!!") check out what Microsoft has in the pipeline: Microsoft System Center: Service Manager

    <rant>
    Haven't run into any open source stuff that met all my needs yet. But as a Remedy Admin/Developer for a large university I'll tell you why I like the BMC stuff. Remedy is an application development platform. You can design whatever you need and integrate with just about anything. Yes, you can buy an OOTB ITSM Suite that does just about everything you can possibly want, but the big selling point is that you don't need to spend a fortune on their applications...you can build your own. Or if you buy their suite, you can still build and integrate your own applications.
    </rant>

    Getting off of my sales pitch, while all of these tools are great and will make life easier in the long run, you need to develop your processes first (as has been mentioned earlier). Once you have your processes on paper and you are using them in the workplace, then you should begin evaluating what tools you might need.

    Remember, Rules before Tools!

    _Bob the IT Guy
  • pakgeekpakgeek ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    currently, we are testing the below product in our environment and so far its looking promising.

    Help Desk Software by Web Help Desk
  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    pakgeek wrote: »
    currently, we are testing the below product in our environment and so far its looking promising.

    Help Desk Software by Web Help Desk

    That one looked great as well when I tested it a couple weeks ago.

    The biggest problem I'm running into is that most offerings are out of the price range of a SMB like us.
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • pakgeekpakgeek ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Albeit, this might not have all the feature set you're looking, the price is pretty reasonable.

    SupportSuite - Kayako helpdesk software and live support software
  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    rfult001 wrote: »
    Getting off of my sales pitch, while all of these tools are great and will make life easier in the long run, you need to develop your processes first (as has been mentioned earlier). Once you have your processes on paper and you are using them in the workplace, then you should begin evaluating what tools you might need.

    Remember, Rules before Tools!

    _Bob the IT Guy

    I've been pondering this the last few days... I'm beginning to understand the importance of having the process before the tool, but it seems that going through the process would be very troublesome and annoying(and therefore, wouldn't get used) if a proper tool was not there to facilitate it. This would generally mean that the process and tool must be released together.

    Of course, all this leads me to a more fundamental question: As just an ITIL Fundamental certified guy, I lack enough knowledge(and definitely ITIL experience) to properly plan and implement a good process. What resources exist for assisting in this?
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • rfult001rfult001 Posts: 407Member
    I am not ITIL certified myself; I have been learning about this and other frameworks as I go along. My number resource has been Google. ;) I have access to the ITIL guides, and have downloaded the COBITS, ValIT, and MOF material as well. There are kits and guides all over the web to help you "implement" ITIL, but I don't see the value in them. I have found it easier to look up what others have done and see how those processes would fit into or benefit my organization. Of course, I work for a large university, so I generally look at what is being done in other educational institutions. From there I tweak and modify, and propose the process to management. Over time things will need to be modified, or possibly scrapped and re-written, but this is part of the Continual Service Improvement process and is expected.

    I am still in the early stages of doing all this and may find it easier to hire a consultant to help out, but I figure I will get the most experience by trying my hand at it. ;)

    As far as the Rules before Tools statement goes...tools are not one size fits all. You will find that nothing will work perfect out of the box. If you implement you processes around a specific tool, what do you do when you absolutely need to change one or more of your processes? You may find yourself stuck with a contract you can't get out of or no money to spend on a different tool that would better suit your needs. I am sure we can get some better reasons from the more experienced members of TE. That being said, this is why I am sticking with the BMC tools at the moment...because they are highly customizable. If my processes change, I can go in and modify the workflow or the form to facilitate my needs. I also have the ability to design my own applications with this system that will fit my needs if I find that using one of the OOTB apps just isn't doing it for us.

    Ultimately, you need to design the process to best fit your organizational needs not to conform to whatever your tool is capable of.

    _Bob the IT Guy
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    forkvoid wrote: »
    What resources exist for assisting in this?

    Expensive consultants.

    MS
  • TACTPROTACTPRO ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Process is not dependent on tool. Your problem is - how to release the process without proper tool? and the answer is -- Define basic thing first. Dont try to use complete process stuff at one go. Define your requirement and create template for each process's tasks. (i.e Incident Ticket, Problem Ticket, RCA, Service Introduction, Service Catalogue etc.)

    This can be created in Xls/word and use it initially. Once your process would be formalized , streamlined then go for tool. Do not invest in tool so early.

    Tactpro : IT Process Consulting | ITIL Best Practices | Process Consulting | IT Consulting
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    TACTPRO wrote: »
    Process is not dependent on tool...

    I prefer turkey on Thanksgiving, not spam....

    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    forkvoid wrote: »
    I've been pondering this the last few days... I'm beginning to understand the importance of having the process before the tool, but it seems that going through the process would be very troublesome and annoying(and therefore, wouldn't get used) if a proper tool was not there to facilitate it. This would generally mean that the process and tool must be released together.

    Of course, all this leads me to a more fundamental question: As just an ITIL Fundamental certified guy, I lack enough knowledge(and definitely ITIL experience) to properly plan and implement a good process. What resources exist for assisting in this?

    For me you get your process sorted out first with people then look at tools. Tools automate process and provide an engine. Good tools anyway. A lot of tools evangelists just create delay holding everything up while a tool gets hacked to accomplish something, often badly.
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