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vital Inspiration for the modern business Volume 4 : Issue 4 : March / April 2011

Moving to the cloud The rise of Google Apps

Social networks A communications revolution in the workplace

ITIL: What’s missing? Filling in the service management gaps FEATURE FOCUS: TACKLING CHALLENGES OF THE MODERN IT WORLD: P32-35


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Innovative Technology Built on Yesterday’s Values


leader

A social revolution Leader W

elcome to a bumper 80-page issue of VitAL magazine. In this issue, along with all the usual fact-packed content you will find a 16-page preview of the Service Desk & IT Support Show and Conference which takes place at Earls Court in London on the 19th and 20th of April, the preview starts on page 57. The show looks likely to be a must-attend event, with hot topics ranging from cloud computing and virtualisation, to the effect of social media and the impact an increasingly mobile IT estate is having on service provision. All these, I’m very glad to say are topics that have been high up the agenda in VitAL for some time and indeed many of them are addressed in the issue. Perhaps the most talked about of these subjects is cloud computing. While it has admittedly been the subject of much hype over the past few years, it now seems to be reaching a critical mass out in the IT world. In this issue I speak to Karl de Bruijn, European IT director at Specsavers about his company’s adoption of the cloud-based Google Apps – see page 12 for details. The social networks are barely ever out of the news these days too for entirely different reasons. Across North Africa and the Middle East and increasingly beyond, ordinary people have been using the power of the social networks, Facebook and Twitter in particular, to help them organise demonstrations, rally support for their causes and as an important medium for updating their fellow demonstrators with the real impartial news of what is going on in the streets, untroubled by state interference, bias and censorship. There is also of course the reassurance that the wider world is watching and supporting their struggle which must give them a tremendous boost. More on this and the wider issues around social networks on page 36. On a completely different subject, Google has announced that it is reordering its index in an effort to deal with spam, or to be more specific to downgrade sites that are re-using information from others. I’m not sure I understand how an algorithm can judge the worth of a particular website, or even compare and re-order existing sites with the original publisher of information given precedence. Perhaps that’s why I’m not a software developer though and just a humble hack. In many respects, I would have thought, this brings us into the realm of the subjective – one area of the world where perhaps a human intellect is still necessary and even then, tastes and judgement varies so widely as to make it a minefield. And on that philosophical note… Until next time...

Matt Bailey, Editor If you have any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions on how we can improve VitAL Magazine, please feel free to email me matthew.bailey@31media.co.uk

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March / April 2011 : VitAL 1


contents

vital Inspiration for the modern business

it e & su sk is de ow e ic sh rv rt se Po p su

vital Inspiration for the modern business Volume 4 : Issue 4 : March / April 2011

Contents 6 News The VitAL Cover Story

8 ITIL – What’s missing? Steve White Are there still some overlooked areas that ITIL has failed to address? VitAL columnist and Kepner-Tregoe global application manager Steve White gets out his magnifying glass and goes looking for holes.

Moving to the cloud The rise of Google Apps

Social networks A communications revolution in the workplace

ITIL: What’s missing? Filling in the service management gaps FEATURE FOCUS: TACKLING CHALLENGES OF THE MODERN IT WORLD: P32-35

Editor Matthew Bailey matthew.bailey@31media.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)203 056 4599 To advertise contact: Grant Farrell grant.farrell@31media.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)203 056 4598 Production & Design Toni Barrington toni.barrington@31media.co.uk Dean Cook dean.cook@31media.co.uk Editorial & Advertising Enquiries Tel: Fax: Email: Web:

+44 (0) 870 863 6930 +44 (0) 870 085 8837 info@31media.co.uk www.vital-mag.net

Printed by Pensord, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood. NP12 2YA © 2010 31 Media Limited. All rights reserved. VitAL Magazine is edited, designed, and published by 31 Media Limited. No part of VitAL Magazine may be reproduced, transmitted, stored electronically, distributed, or copied, in whole or part without the prior written consent of the publisher. A reprint service is available. Opinions expressed in this journal do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or VitAL Magazine or its publisher, 31 Media Limited. ISSN 1755-6465 Published by:

VitAL Signs – Life in a world with IT

11 The thin, long streak Steve White Are you still waiting for the tow rope to go taught? Steve White compares change management to waterskiing and wonders how many of us are attached to the ‘boat’.

VitAL management

12 Going Google Matt Bailey With the news that Specsavers has migrated to Google Apps, Matt Bailey spoke to Karl de Bruijn of the company, Robert Whiteside from Google Enterprise and David McLeman, managing director of Ancoris the company that managed the implementation.

VitAL interview

18 The 90:10 promise Promising 90 percent of the features at ten percent of the price of your rivals is certainly a bold move. VitAL spoke to David C Howell, European director of Zoho Corp about Manage Engine and its 90:10 promise.

22 Where are the cloud police? wendy yale With the rise of cloud computing it’s high time we found out if data governance in the cloud is still a mirage or is there a vision we can actually trust? Wendy Yale reports.

VitAL eyes on

25 To log or not to log? VitAL Magazine, Proud to be the UKCMG’s Official Publication ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark, and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Jonathan Westlake This issue Jonathan Westlake assesses and tackles the security implications of key-logging.

Subscribing to VitAL Magazine VitAL Magazine is published six times per year for directors, department heads, and managers who are looking to improve the impact that IT implementation has on their customers and business. For a FREE annual subscription to VitAL Magazine please visit: www.vital-mag.net/subscribe March / April 2011 : VitAL 3


What tool do you use to turn traditional customer support into dynamic customer service? Kepner-Tregoe’s Problem and Incident Management programme. Think dynamically. Kepner-Tregoe’s Problem and Incident Management programme offers unrivalled insight into how to align your organisation’s most powerful assets. We can reduce time-to-close, increase first time fix-rate, reduce no fault found, increase customer satisfaction and lower the operating costs of your customer support centre. The result? Service can now be a direct driver of revenue and profit. Find out how Kepner-Tregoe’s knowledge could help power your business by contacting our European Head Office on 01628 778776.


COntents

Contents VitAL suppport

44 Is the cloud ready for high-powered performance?

24 Between the lines Noel Bruton While checking out the range of vernacular definitions for the three lines of support, Noel Bruton considers some of the implications of them, what they are and what they do.

28 The dark side of outsourcing Jane Grafton Many chief information security officers are caught in a logical paradox when, encouraged by the greed of their CEOs to cut costs, the increase in IT outsourcing starts to reveal its dark side. Jane Grafton says resist the power of the dark side!

32 Tackling the challenges of the modern IT world There are many challenges a modern support organisation can face in an increasingly complex and dynamic IT world. Cherwell Software has recently completed two distinct projects that address current issues: improving the service desk for an IT services provider; and supporting the change management at a company applying for ISO certification.

ken hertsler Now part of the mainstream IT vocabulary, cloud computing has become a legitimate infrastructure resource choice for many applications in the high powered computing (HPC) community. When demand outstrips capacity, Ken Hertsler says it’s time to look to the cloud.

48 Is your management style premier league? Melanie Wombwell Do the titans of the football management world have anything to teach the humble IT manager? Melanie Wombwell thinks comparisons can and should be.made.

VitAL drive – IT hits the fairway

51 Watching the golf Google-eyed Geraint Lewis Vindicated after last issue’s golfing technology predictions, PGA IT manager Geraint Lewis now sets his sights on the cloud.

VitAL processes

VitAL planet

36 The rise and rise of social networking

52 The lasting benefits of green IT

matt bailey It’s easy to forget that just a few short years ago the concept of social networking over the Internet was in its infancy. Now with a Hollywood blockbuster dramatising the birth of Facebook, and Twitter playing a key role in the recent spate of revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East, have the social networks come of age both as a social and a business tool? Matt Bailey reports.

alan calder Alan Calder, chief executive of IT Governance, examines the case for green IT and finds that the concept is more relevant than ever even in the midst of global economic turmoil.

40 Plan BC Paul evans In many ways the cloud is the perfect place for business continuity and disaster recovery, but, how do you incorporate it into your cloud computing plans? Paul Evans has some helpful advice.

57 Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview 64 Secret of my success Andrew Scott, group manager of IS Systems at Allocate Software Plc shares his secrets.

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news

Lack of talent threatens IT business growth S

ixty one percent of organisations are struggling to meet new business demands in 2011 due to a lack of skilled IT staff, sparking the need for a massive recruitment drive. A new survey from UPMentors, which questioned over 100 IT managers on their main focus of change for 2011, also exposed the enormity of this skills gap, with a further 15 percent admitting that they need to address the lack of talent and skills by ensuring existing staff were educated on new IT developments. However, improving staff retention and boosting morale came further down the list of priorities for IT managers at only two per cent, together with improving collaboration between business and IT to work as one team.

Furthermore, despite this proposed investment in recruitment, eight per cent of IT managers are still looking for ways to cut costs by identifying and removing waste in IT processes and projects. With plugging skills gaps a priority,

Open source software giving a competitive edge

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ecent research by independent analyst firm, Gartner, has found that of the enterprises they questioned over a half of respondents are planning to adopt open source software, as they believe it to give them a competitive advantage. Details of the research include that 46 percent of businesses are using open source in specific departments and for particular projects, whilst 22 percent said that they have adopted open source consistently across all departments and another 21 percent claiming to be evaluating its advantages. Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner said: “Although a search for reducing costs by adopting open source continues to be a major driver, this survey highlights more respondents looking at open source as having much greater value than simply getting something for free.” Bertrand Diard, CEO and co-founder of Talend, an open source integration software vendor, welcomed the findings of the survey but argued that there is still work to do to use the gospel of open source. He said “We have been tracking open source adoption by the enterprise for several years, and I am not surprised to see these data points. I have long argued that the benefits of open source go beyond the cost of using such software. The open nature of open source also favours quick adoption and hurdle-less deployment. This speeds up the process of implementation and increases dramatically the over return on investment of projects. We are continually hearing from CIOs and IT leaders that they are seeing a huge improvement in efficiency as the use of open source software is increasing the efficiency of their deployments. “Clearly, we are seeing less and less prejudice against open source software as more and more organisations adopt open source software and choose to do so in order to gain a competitive advantage in their industries. The question is more, when will laggards start to adopt open source also?” concluded Bertrand.

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only two per cent of managers will focus on investment in new technologies this year. “Maintaining a high skills level, particularly with competition for new business at its highest since the recession, is clearly a priority this year, but organisations need to make sure they end up investing in the right person for the job. Finding such good quality people may prove challenging and force employers to look to the contract market to bolster their in-house capability. Companies who are investing in training to raise the skills of their people will receive a double benefit of increased capability, loyalty and motivation from their existing employees that will no doubt make a difference to the business.” comments Julian Holmes, cofounder, UPMentors.

High performance computing users experimenting with private and public clouds

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ixty-two percent of high performance computing (HPC) users have experimented with private or public cloud, according to a survey of delegates performed by Platform Computing at the Supercomputing Conference (SC’10) in November 2010. HPC users cited a number of ways they are evaluating private cloud infrastructures, including building shared infrastructures (36 percent) and bursting existing workloads (15 percent). Users are also experimenting with offloading applications or workloads to run on public cloud infrastructures (23 percent).

“Until recently, HPC users have been sceptical of implementing HPC cloud environments due to potential performance issues stemming from virtualisation and the need for proper load balancing and fast compute times. The data we collected from delegates at this year’s Supercomputing Conference show that the tide is turning for private cloud within the HPC community. Our customers are also reflecting this trend with more beginning to explore capabilities that help them better manage workloads while keeping an eye on their costs,” said Randy Clark, CMO, Platform Computing.

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news

Governance should have a central role in IT security

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major survey from has confirmed the central role that governance plays in information security within large organisations and stresses the fact that 95 percent of IT professionals within major organisations consider governance to be important. The study conducted by the IT Governance Institute (ITGI), not-for-profit IT governance and security association ISACA’s research affiliate is titled the ‘Global Status Report on the Governance of Enterprise IT (GEIT) 2011’. It states that two thirds of respondent enterprises have some GEIT activities in place, with the most common being the use of IT policies and standards, followed by the employment of defined and managed IT processes. According to Rolf von Roessing, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, international vice president of ISACA, the report highlights that the main driver for activities related to GEIT is ensuring that IT functionality aligns with

business needs, “It also shows that the most commonly experienced outcomes are improvements in the management of IT-related risk, as well as communications and relationships between business and IT. Obviously, these issues are important to ISACA’s global membership, which now tops the 95,000 mark, as governance and regulatory compliance are at the heart of the modern information security curriculum.” Von Roessing explained that, with regulatory compliance now high on the agenda of most corporate boardrooms especially in Europe, where best practice compliance is now a statutory requirement in many areas of business, the report makes some interesting, valid points. It’s clear, he says, that the right governance enablers can help ensure that the implementation of IT plans within major organisations is as smooth as possible. “As the report says, it is now a fact of business life that specific events, activities

or even crises will arise that require some GEIT objectives to take precedence over others. It is equally important that managers should take a balanced and holistic view of the five GEIT focus areas – strategic alignment, risk management, value delivery, resource management and performance,” said von Roessing. And, when you dip further into the report, he added, you begin to realise the importance of IT in the management process, as 70 percent of respondents to the ISACA survey indicated that the head of IT in their organisation is also a member of the senior management team. “More than anything, the results of our survey confirm the significance of IT in many enterprises. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, as researchers have found that it is still common in smaller enterprises for the head of IT not to be on the senior management team,” concluded von Roessing.

IT managers remain The tablet market wary of the cloud comes alive as I iPad 2 is launched T managers are still wary of entrusting their most sensitive data to cloud service providers according to the latest research. Panelists at the RSA security conference in San Francisco reported that IT managers often opt for a hybrid model, where critical data is stored on dedicated servers and only the least sensitive information is stored in multitenanted environments. The finding echoes a recent poll of IT managers, undertaken at the Insider Threat Conference in London, which found that none of the attending companies had outsourced any production systems to the cloud. Security experts also debated the issue of being able to remain compliant if sensitive data was stored in the cloud, with RSA panelists calling for greater visibility of the infrastructure and security controls of cloud service providers. Commenting, Ed Macnair, CEO of Overtis, said: “We’ve always

www.vital-mag.net

believed that user-centric security is vital for information assurance in the cloud. The best way to govern your data and demonstrate compliance is to focus on user activity. By gaining visibility of activity and controlling how people access and process your company data, then you can ensure that best practices are being followed, regardless of whether information is accessed on-premise, or from the cloud and without getting in the way of legitimate workflows. “Gartner advises that companies apply risk-based authentication before permitting access to data stored in the cloud, while Microsoft believes that proof of identity is the key to securing activity on the Web and combating cyber crime. We agree with this user-centric view and would add that the ability to see, manage and audit what people can do with company data that is accessed through browsers is the missing element in cloud security.”

W

ith over 15 million iPads sold worldwide since its launch, Apple is set to update its flagship tablet computer this month (March 2011), amid rumours suggesting that the upgraded iPad will be lighter, thinner and feature a higher resolution screen and camera. Commentators have suggested that the combination of technology maturing at the right moment and Apple’s emphasis on user interface design has meant that, in little over a year, the iPad has spawned more than a hundred tablet rivals on a range of operating systems and tablets are fast becoming an integral part of the IT estate allowing ever-more flexible working. Other offerings from Google’s Android stable, led by the Motorola Xoom and the new Samsung Galaxy Tab, as well as HP’s TouchPad, with its wireless charging and a host of clever accessories, have shown that other tablets may soon challenge Apple for a greater share of the tablet market.

March / April 2011 : VitAL 7


cover story

ITIL - What’s missing? Are there still some overlooked areas that ITIL has failed to address? VitAL columnist and Kepner-Tregoe global application manager Steve White gets out his magnifying glass and goes looking for holes.

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here is a set of urban legends surrounding ‘Grandma’s Cooking Secret’ which has circulated on the interweb for many years. One version tells of a newlywed couple cooking a feast for their first family celebration together and as the wife was preparing a joint of meat for cooking, she trimmed the ends off the joint of meat before she put it in the oven. When the husband asked her why she did that she said that her mother always cut the ends off her meat to make it more tasty. Nothing more was said, the joint was cooked and the meal tasted good. Some time later at a family reunion the husband asked his motherin-law why she cut the ends off the meat joint, and she explained that it was because her mother had always done so. Eventually the husband and wife had the opportunity to ask the comestible cleaving grandmother for the reason, and she explained that at the time she

8 VitAL : March / April 2011

started taking both ends off the joint of meat they only had a very small oven, and it was the only way to make a joint of meat fit in the cooking space. ITIL (information technology infrastructure library), the most widely adopted approach for IT Service Management in the world has provided a practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services to business and has been about for more than 20 years. In its time the IT world has moved on, new technology has driven support changes and ITIL has given birth to newer updates. Clearly the authors of ITIL now shoulder a very great responsibility. If a leader is defined by the number of followers, then the authors of the ITIL body of work are giants in thought leadership. However, it is not possible to cover every eventuality and a gap is beginning to grow between what IT support organisations need www.vital-mag.net


cover story

and what the ITIL framework is defining. This matters to those who abide by the dogma of ITIL and shun all outside of it. It does not matter that much to those who follow a more measured approach and take it as best practice – adapt, adopt and augment. However, since any casual observer at a meeting of ITIL practitioners will overhear exasperation from the adaptors and adopters about the rigidness of the dogmatic, while the dogmatic are lamenting the non-believers of the ‘One True Way’, there is certainly value in getting the ITIL authors to write down best practices as they evolve.

Problem management At a recent ITSMF conference on problem management, Chris Loane and Simon Edison from HP and Kevin Holland from the NHS observed separately that in the problem management space there is a vital but missing process. Not another process! Oh yes, and it’s a good one. Before I get to that, is the name of the ‘Problem Management’ department fundamentally incorrect? The naming of a thing is very important, and I’m beginning to hear more of my clients focus their problem management teams on ‘IT stability’ as their number one goal. No care about the ‘ratio of incoming problems to root cause found problems’, no longer a reduction in ‘Mean time to fix’. Businesses need IT stability, and the end results from an effective problem management team should be IT stability. If that’s their ultimate result, in what ways should the problem management department be measured? Enlightened IT VPs are beginning to measure them on IT infrastructure stability; count of incidents over time, severity of incidents over time and so on. Perhaps the name could reflect the fundamental purpose of the problem management team by being renamed ‘Stability Delivery Management’ with personnel being ‘Stability Delivery Managers’. Since a quoted Google search returns no hits, this might be a novel name. www.vital-mag.net

Few organisations have time to do much problem management, and fewer have time to do good quality problem management because once the affected service is restored, there is nervousness in the business – ‘it might happen again’. Problem management staff are under time pressure from the business to find the root cause or causes and stop it from happening again. From this squeeze certain patterns emerge. A large number of problems,which will never be solved, sit in a backlog and weigh the problem management team down. From the days when humour was distributed by fax, a phrase comes to mind: “If you’re up to your ears in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your main purpose was to drain the swamp”. If you are under pressure to solve today’s crisis, yesterday’s crisis can wait… Indefinitely. What value to the stability of an IT system is a problem ticket with little or no content, not having been touched for months? Get over yourself, the moment has gone, the world has moved on, close the ticket and concentrate on the present.

Slash and burn I know of a worldwide support organisation which recently closed 60,000 problem tickets which were simply never going to be closed on their own – the problem tickets were old, there was little or no content in them and they were providing an unnecessary drain on morale and administration for no practical purpose. Certainly, a small number of those cases may have been harbouring bad things, but closing them was a balanced choice. There may be merit in considering criteria whereby problem tickets can fall out of the support queues on their own (timeout and close), although this may drive delinquent behaviour in some problem managers who are smart at gaming the system. By refocusing the problem management team on IT stability, there are all sorts of different actions that they would take, different ways of organising the staff and different interim measures that could be taken to

It is not possible to cover every eventuality and a gap is beginning to grow between what IT support organisations need and what the ITIL framework is defining. This matters to those who abide by the dogma of ITIL and shun all outside of it. It does not matter that much to those who follow a more measured approach and take it as best practice – adapt, adopt and augment.

March / April 2011 : VitAL 9


cover story

maximise stability. When they are focused on stability, then the management of workarounds becomes important. A large number of workarounds get deployed without a rigorous process to manage them, and the large numbers of workarounds become a burden themselves. This is where the missing process comes in. Like the meat that is being cut off for no good reason any more, IT departments have put in place workarounds which no longer provide any value and yet are slavishly performed. No Change Advisory Board would approve a change request to stop doing a workaround just to see whether anything would break. Workarounds, for perfectly good reasons to do with business pressure on one side and technical complexity on the other, are the natural product of people doing their best in difficult circumstances – and ITIL has a line about workarounds somewhere in the documentation, so for the dogma inclined they are allowed.

Loneliness There is a computer sitting today in a computer room in the UK that was meant to have been decommissioned many years ago. The business that owns it cannot switch it off; cannot even reboot it. All the other pieces of infrastructure have been removed from this computer room, but this one piece of hardware has not been switched off in four years and is a single point of failure of the business. The last time it was switched off, the business pretty much stopped working for a week until someone figured out what had changed and then it was brought back online. The outage had nearly catastrophic implications to business operations. It is such a complex web of interconnectedness, with such significant implications to that business that no-one has the authority or appetite to switch it off, and since moving it would involve taking it down, it sits in that room, on its own, surrounded by silence and space, providing decades of undocumented workarounds to countless systems. What is missing from the ITIL definition is the management of the workaround process – as vigorous and important a process as any existing change management process, but tailored specifically for the tracking and monitoring of workarounds. The users or technical/operations teams who are part of the workaround management 10 VitAL : March / April 2011

process would understand who is affected by the workaround, as well as the processes that the workaround affects and, the problem tickets which should deliver the corrective action. When the corrective action is put in place and tested the workaround can be removed. By knowing which processes were affected and who to contact, the workarounds can be professionally managed out of the business. The efficient management of workarounds has an implication for the problem management team beyond the administration of the workaround management process itself. IT departments do not have time to find the root cause because of the current business pressure – but what if the business pressure was off? www.vital-mag.net


VitAL signs: Life in the world with IT

The thin, long streak Once there is a workaround in place the problem can be properly prioritised, the appropriate resource tasked with finding the root cause and the proposal of a correction. In good time the corrective fix can be applied and the adaptive fix removed. This buys incremental stability – the build up of undocumented workarounds is a risk to stability and over time (as old systems are retired and new ones brought online) the stability of the entire ecosystem is improved. This is not to say that problem managers have all the time in the world – speed is still important as the workaround may cost efficiency every time it is taken, but they have time to properly investigate the causes and get proposals for corrective fixes. Attention to the management of Workarounds ushers in a new period of more effective and efficient problem solving, using structured troubleshooting approaches in a way that tactically stabilises the IT infrastructure. Problem management (if it’s still called that) can properly persecute the root causes of issues that generate instability – not just the hot ones, but the many pervasive issues which destabilise an IT infrastructure.

Policy prevents problem prevention A problem management team in EMEA is currently prevented by policy from looking at P3-P5 Incidents. An analysis of this space indicated that ten percent of all the tickets P3-P5 were recurring problems which would stop recurring if an adaptive or corrective action were put in place. Ask any incident manager and they would say that they see and work on these incidents again and again, and yet ‘policy’ prevents the support organisation from taking action on them. Each incident drains resources from the system, and yet no one is prepared to drive the stability of the system by fixing these minor irritations. Workaround management is currently an unrecognised element in ITIL which some support organisations are deploying. It adds to the body of knowledge about the current state of the IT infrastructure (along with Service Catalogues and so on). It puts command and control in an area where there currently may be none defined, and could be an exciting and growing area to pay attention to for both business management and IT management.VitAL www.kepner-tregoe.com www.vital-mag.net

Are you still waiting for the tow rope to go taught? This issue Steve White is the changing man.

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wenty years ago, as a fresh faced field engineer, I was sitting on a wooden porch in the humid air of a hot summer evening, enjoying a cool beer with an old man who had decades of management experience, and we were discussing how hard it was to get organisations to change. A metaphor he gave me that evening has remained with me – of senior management driving a water ski boat, with the management and employees on individual ropes willingly following the strategy set by the executives. He turned to me that evening, as the sun crested the distant purple mountains, and explained that occasionally that’s not what really happens in organisations – that sometimes the senior management can take off in the boat and the employees are on the shore waiting for their lines to go taught and be propelled in the same direction as the tow. They wait, and wait, and maybe some of the lines do get tight and some also follow the management, but for many the tow rope does not get taught – the executives speed off in their boat, leaving bewildered employees on the shore If the organisers of a marathon are asked an hour and 45 minutes after the start “how is the race going?” they are likely to report that the front runners are near the finish, everyone has started and the race is spread out over many miles. When I’m asked to sum up my opinion of the current service and support industry, this metaphor comes to mind. I see some of the most sophisticated incident management and problem management implementations, fully tooled up, capable teams providing an excellent service to their business and customers. I had the pleasure of speaking recently with a support manager who is close to the marathon finish line, his CSAT scores (however he is being measured) are over

97 percent, his NPS is over 98 percent and one could easily declare that he’s done – no further continuous improvement would be worthwhile. Far from being contented, because customer expectation rises year on year, he’s now reversing the viewpoint: “what is my support organisation doing which causes customer discomfort,” and this is where the recent research into what really makes customer satisfaction comes in – it is (and I’ve mentioned it before) ease of doing business, and the degree to which the customer has to get personally involved in the problem solving and service restoration. Barely passing the start line are others who are struggling with the most basic of tasks in underfunded, legacy, historic environments for whom the problem and incident management framework from ITIL v2 would be a stretch. Some of these non-ITIL support organisations are, ironically, supporting UK Government Departments and are far from contemplating the adoption of any part of ITIL – they are simply doing their best. One size does not fit all within the service and support industry, and the service delivery departments in individual organisations are spread along an ever increasing continuum of capability and investment and provide their host business with a given level of IT stability or risk. Those who are refreshing ITIL have a n increasingly difficult task to satisfy the spread of maturity in their target audience, and I urge them to remember the people who have not yet started. VitAL March / April 2011 : VitAL 11


vital management

Going Google

Karl de Bruijn

Robert Whiteside

David McLeman

With the news that Specsavers, the world’s largest privately owned chain of opticians has migrated more than 2,500 staff worldwide to Google Apps, VitAL editor Matt Bailey spoke to Karl de Bruijn, European IT director for Specsavers, Robert Whiteside, regional director for northern Europe at Google Enterprise and David McLeman, managing director of Ancoris the company that managed the implementation.

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pecsavers has recently become one of the first global businesses to ‘go Google’ and switch from traditional Microsoft Office-type applications hosted on company servers and individual machines to Google Apps, a suite of cloud-based office applications paid for on a per-user, per-year basis. In addition to the enterprise version of Gmail (with 25GB mailbox per user, and service level agreement) and Google Calendar, Google Apps for Business also offers a suite of collaboration products including Google Docs (allowing users to create and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets in real-time), Google Sites (an application that makes creating a website as easy as editing a document) and Google Video for Business (which makes company content and communication more personal, visual and engaging). 12 VitAL : March / April 2011

This comes as part of Specsavers’ new IT strategy to improve communication and collaboration throughout the organisation and support its continued global expansion.

Mobility and flexibility Clearly in the current climate saving money is important, but Karl de Bruijn, European IT director for Specsavers is eager to stress other benefits: “Cost is certainly an issue,” he says, “but Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has other aspects which are at least as important. Mobility is one; we have access to our data and applications wherever we have access to the Internet. Plus it is good to get away from areliance on Windows and a great way to free up your IT people to do more business-oriented things which add more value to the business.” Specsavers engaged Ancoris, a specialist provider of cloud computing and enterprise www.vital-mag.net


vital management

security solutions, to deploy Google Apps to its 2,500 staff worldwide. Ancoris provided consultancy and deployment services to assist with its evaluation of Google Apps against Microsoft Exchange solutions. According to Ancoris, Specsavers is now able to quickly deploy email and collaboration tools to new sites without the need for a large on-site presence. It can centrally manage email systems, utilise existing infrastructures, such as Active Directory for access and user accounts, link to its corporate intranet and support mobile working by enabling staff to access mail, calendaring and sites from any Internet enabled device. “We engaged Ancoris to move the project forward,” confirms de Bruijn. “They demonstrated the longer term benefits of moving into the cloud. A key one being a very flexible and fast to market enterprise level email solution which gave us a cost effective inroad into cloud computing allowing us to innovate and learn about the cloud.” Part of this innovation is the use of mobile technology. “We encourage the use of iPads,” says de Bruijn. “A combination of iPads and Google Apps enables staff to work anywhere without installing any software. It simplifies everything. There is a movement in IT from laptops to more flexible model and we see cloud-based technologies supporting this flexibility. Both outside and in and around the office, this offers plug and play true hot-desking and use of shared areas without any set up. It also benefits teams working in the retail environment with the user having the flexibility to choose the technology they need.”

UK including, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rentokill Initial and Ocado have made the change. With a big company, the migration has to be managed – data has to be moved over to the cloud. We have migration tools to help larger groups achieve this.” “In large organisations change management is very important,” confirms de Bruijn. “At Specsavers we knew change management would be a big deal and Ancoris highlighted this early on. It was managed through initial engagement with ‘super-users’ to see how they assessed and understood the system. They created a training programme to aid the process. We have had very positive feedback that Google Apps is easy to use and intuitive. They like the ability to upload docs to shared areas. The response to the project has all been extremely positive thanks to the assistance with change management offered by Ancoris.” “Moving to the cloud is not that different to any other technology change, if anything it is much easier,” adds de Bruijn. “And in the long term, we won’t have to update software – always a cause of major upheaval. The incremental changes to the cloud-based apps are much smaller and happen behind the scenes with higher frequency. “What’s best with the cloud is you get a flexible, completely robust plug-and-play solution with a hands-off infrastructure and millions of users worldwide. Other solutions, including the private cloud options we assessed, had extensive set up and maintenance costs but didn’t come close to what we get from Google. It is truly transformational.”

Change management

Security matters

According to Google, approximately a million businesses have moved or are currently in the process of moving to Google Apps, at a rate of about 3,000 per day. “The fact that any company of any size can adopt with the same results is very appealing,” comments Robert Whiteside, Head of Enterprise at Google. “It is easy to switch, and large companies in the

The key issue that comes up time and time again in every survey of attitudes to cloud computing is security. It seems that when people know their data is hosted elsewhere in a ‘cloud’ they are likely to be somewhat insecure about it. “With careful planning, security can be enhanced significantly using cloud computing,” says Whiteside. “The

14 VitAL : March / April 2011

“What’s best with the cloud is you get a flexible, completely robust plug-and-play solution with a handsoff infrastructure and millions of users worldwide. Other solutions, including the private cloud options we assessed, had extensive set up and maintenance costs but didn’t come close to what we get from Google. It is truly transformational.”

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vital management

key is awareness. With the full SaaS model, security is built in from the start for delivery in the cloud. Security awareness programmes are important, but it’s also true that security is enhanced because companies using the cloud no longer need to transport their data on portable – and highly losable – CDs and USB sticks. And even if a mobile device like an iPad or laptop is lost, there is no data stored on it.” Beyond the security benefits, Whiteside sees the opportunities that the cloud unlocks. “A good example,” he says, “is real-time translation – we could not offer this in anything other than the cloud. This is where cloud computing differentiates itself. These things are only really possible in the cloud.”

Rolling out the cloud Specsavers is currently rolling out Google Apps to head office staff in Australia and New Zealand. Deployment to the remaining head office, laboratory and manufacturing operations in the UK, Nordics and Netherlands is planned to be complete in the first half of this year. Commenting on how Google Apps have supported the organisation’s IT strategy to enable further growth, John Lister, CIO at Specsavers said: “Google Apps is an excellent set of tools for our email and collaboration requirements because of its capability, technology and ease of management. It allows us to scale easily and quickly, without having to invest heavily in buying software and licenses we may not use. Ancoris is not only our delivery partner but also our subject matter expert and architectural advisor, bringing knowledge of best practice in rolling out Google Apps and an understanding of the risks, cost implications and benefits of each of the choices we need to make.” Robert Whiteside added, “Modern businesses need to be able to grow or evolve quickly to remain competitive. Cloud-based solutions such as Google Apps offer this flexibility and deliver constant innovation, with new products and updates introduced instantly and easily to all users. We are thrilled to see Specsavers moving to Google Apps. As cloud computing has become mainstream and the demand for our products grows, working with professional and skilled partners continues to be key to our business expansion.” VitAL www.ancoris.com www.Google.com/Apps 16 VitAL : March / April 2011

Should have gone to... l

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 pecsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the S largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director. Specsavers has more than 1,500 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.36 billion for 2009/10 and is forecast to reach £1.55 billion in 2010/11. Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff. More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers – 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009 Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers has raised over £370,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £245,000 going towards its work in Zambia.

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VISIT US ON STAND 714


vital interview

18 VitAL : March / April 2011

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vital interview

The 90:10 promise Promising 90 percent of the features at ten percent of the price of your rivals is certainly a bold move. VitAL spoke to David C Howell, European director of Zoho Corp about Manage Engine and its 90:10 promise.

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anage engine set out to build low cost, easy to use, efficient enterprise IT management solutions for all types and sizes of customer. It claims that its 90:10 promise gives you 90 percent of the features of software from the big four (that is: IBM, HP, BMC, CA) at ten percent of the price. But Manage Engine’s journey into the IT management solutions space has been far from conventional. About 20 years ago, two guys, Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas, while working at Bell labs became disillusioned by the lack of standards existing in the computing industry at the time. Everything was proprietary. Their vision was to form a company built on standards and improve software development efficiency. This vision took several years to become reality as they looked for the best way of achieving their aim. By the mid ’90s a new programming language, JAVA, appeared that introduced standards and portability. This was the enabling technology they’d been waiting for and they worked in their free time writing an SNMP API which was their first product in 1996. At this point AdventNet was born. Over the next few years AdventNet developed a number of products – various APIs, utilities, agent toolkits, simulation software and a network management framework all offering standard building blocks and protocols for telecom equipment vendors to improve their development efficiency. The telecom market was booming and in the years that followed the company revolutionised

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the EMS/NMS space with its technology, acquiring many world famous names as customers, most of them are still customers today. The company set the standard and became the number one in this domain – a position it still holds today.

End of an era Nothing lasts forever and sure enough post 9/11 the dotcom bubble burst and the telecom market changed forever. In order to survive the company also had to change. The telecom space was small and shrinking, 300+ equipment vendors serving 250+ operators. The enterprise space was huge by comparison. It was a time to question everything. One very pertinent question at the time was “Can we build efficient, affordable and easy to use IT management products that have all the features of those offered by the big four? Can we make it work without consultants or experts?” Even though the enterprise market was large, at the start of the last decade, the options were limited to either open-source solutions – heavily dependent on in-house expertise or the big name expensive solutions. Neither was suitable for the majority of businesses and this was an opportunity! So Manage Engine was born and began to develop a range of enterprise products for the IT services market. By the end of 2003, a small team began to build a network management product – which was to become Op Manager (currently Manage Engine’s second best seller). In 2005

“Can we build efficient, affordable and easy to use IT management products that have all the features of those offered by the big four? Can we make it work without consultants or experts?”

March / April 2011 : VitAL 19


vital interview

the company started to build Service Desk Plus and actually released the product in that year. SDP is now Manage Engine’s best selling product. Today the company has 40 products and over 100 versions for all types of customer – from the very small to the largest corporate. The company believes in providing customers with the best software at affordable prices and that traditional enterprise IT management software vendors have business models that cannot provide software at the right price. VitAL: What are the origins of the company; how did it start and develop; how has it grown and how is it structured? David C Howell: Founded in 1996 and known until 2009 as AdventNet Inc, ZOHO Corp is headquartered in Pleasanton, California with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. It is privately held and started out by building SNMP APIs and network management platforms for network and element management systems for the telecom domain way back in 1996. The WebNMS Framework was rated number one EMS/NMS Platform for telecoms and is a carrier-grade platform with over 1,000 man years of development. During the dotcom bubble burst and telecom slowdown, early 2000s, ZOHO diversified in to the enterprise IT management space. Manage Engine is the enterprise IT management software division of ZOHO Corp. The corporation serves a diverse range of enterprise IT, networking and telecom customers. It has achieved impressive growth over the years and has been a rock-solid supplier and partner, with sound financials, never taken external capital and grown organically rather than by acquisition. It is a very interesting company in many ways having 20 VitAL : March / April 2011

reinvented itself twice in the last seven years. Today we have three business units: WebNMS: provides 15 different types of developer tools (API’s, utilities, agent toolkits, simulation software and a network/element management framework ) for the telecom industry, with around 500 customers. Manage Engine: with 40 products in more than 100 editions, we now reached 45,000 customers from 120 countries in 23 different languages. We sell to three out of five of the Fortune 500 companies and we sell a Manage Engine product every 23 minutes. The product range is extensive and growing covering areas such as network performance management, data centre and server management, Service Desk and desktop management and log analysis and security management, ZOHO believes in providing customers with the best software at affordable prices. We believe traditional enterprise IT management software vendors have business models that cannot provide software at the right price. Manage Engine is the answer. Zoho.com: is a tightly integrated suite of online business, productivity and collaboration applications. Zoho is a comprehensive suite of award-winning online productivity, collaboration and business applications for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as consumers. Over three million direct users rely on Zoho for their business, productivity and collaboration needs and actively connect via forums and blogs. To date, Zoho has launched 22 different applications which include several online office applications such as Writer, Sheet, Show and Mail along with a host of business applications ranging from CRM to Projects, Invoice and Meeting. These applications are offered directly via Zoho.com or through hundreds of partners in the Zoho Alliance

The specialist skills within the company allowed us to capitalise and develop new innovative products. Post 9/11 the telecom market changed forever and in order to survive we also had to change. With zoho.com we are now at the next level competing head on with Google and Microsoft in the online office market.

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vital interview

Partner Program, which brings in millions of additional Zoho users. Zoho has received numerous awards, including a 2009 Webware 100 Award and an InfoWorld 2009 Technology of the Year Award. For more information about Zoho, please visit www.zoho.com. VitAL: Is that specialisation to make the best use of skills in the company or because it fits the company’s world view or has it simply evolved? DCH: Both – the specialist skills within the company allowed us to capitalise and develop new innovative products. Post 9/11 the telecom market changed forever and in order to survive we also had to change. With zoho. com we are now at the next level competing head on with Google and Microsoft in the online office market. VitAL: How has any specialisation influenced the company’s general stance? DCH: We don’t specialise – we have a very broad offering allowing us to fight on all fronts. The ability to change and evolve has ensured we survive. Many of our competitors have either gone out of business or been acquired. VitAL: Who are the company’s main customers today and in the future? DCH: We have all the major telecom equipment vendors (500) in the WebNMS business unit. With Manage Engine and Zoho. com, we have large corporate customers from all types of verticals (see our website for specific names – too many to mention). It’s exciting times in Zoho, with the Manage Engine business unit we’ve acquired over 45,000 customer in a little over 5 years and with Zoho. com we now have over 25,000 customers in 3 years. Fantastic growth! www.vital-mag.net

VitAL: What is the company’s business model, ie, does it select a market and then design solutions to meet the needs of that market or does it specialise in particular solutions and seek markets where those solutions are needed? DCH: We identified the enterprise space. At the beginning of the last decade even though the Enterprise market was large, the options were limited to either open-source solutions - heavily dependent on in-house expertise or the big name expensive solutions. Neither was suitable for the majority of businesses. This was the opportunity we addressed, building low cost, easy to use, efficient enterprise IT management solutions for all types of customer. The Manage Engine 90:10 promise gives you 90 percent of the features of the big four (IBM, HP, BMC, CA) at ten percent of the price. VitAL: What is the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, ie, ‘green’ issues and how does the company encourage social responsibility? DCH: This policy is under development VitAL: Has the company grown organically or by acquisition and how much is growth expected in the future? DCH: Organic only. We are very confident in the value proposition we offer. Whilst we see many of our competitors struggle we go from strength to strength achieving double digit growth year on year. We expect this to continue.

It’s exciting times in Zoho, with the Manage Engine business unit we’ve acquired over 45,000 customer in a little over 5 years and with Zoho.com we now have over 25,000 customers in 3 years. Fantastic growth!

VitAL: David C Howell, thank you very much. VitAL

www.manageengine.com March / April 2011 : VitAL 21


vital management

Where are the cloud police? Is data governance in cloud computing still a mirage or do we have a vision we can trust? Wendy Yale, senior director of worldwide marketing at Varonis reports.

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vital management

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here seems to be a steady stream of news stories extolling the benefits of cloud computing and the positive impact it can have on an organisation. However, just as many organisations are in the process of implementing effective internal data governance processes, and are now faced with the question of whether their businesses’ sensitive data can be effectively managed in the cloud. The data governance and compliance issues faced by organisations are the same whether operating in a cloud environment or not. When organisations are considering moving business data into the cloud a sound data governance approach must be in place to enable them to avoid costly data protection mistakes .

Cutting budgets The concept of cloud computing is not a new one. Software as a Service (SaaS) has been around as a concept for many years. Ross Perot’s Electronic Data Systems (EDS) was using the term ‘outsourcing’ in 1962. The idea that a company could divest itself of all of its costly Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, and all of the headaches associated with running a complex in-house IT operation and outsource it to a third party has always been popular when organisations are looking at optimising their IT expenditures. One of Gartner’s analysts defined cloud computing as: “A style of computing in which massively scalable IT-enabled capabilities are delivered ‘as a service’ to multiple customers using internet technologies.” Reading Gartner’s definition you begin to see the attraction of the cloud for many organisations in a period of economic uncertainty, increased competition and dwindling UK Government contracts in the wake of the spending review. Sarah Burnett, senior analyst at Ovum said recently: “The Budget could well turn out to be among the best things to happen to cloud computing in the UK public sector. It is likely to bring it to the top of the list of how to cut IT budgets.” Gartner certainly thinks cloud is going to be big: They recently predicted that it would generate $68bn in revenues in 2010, a 16 www.vital-mag.net

percent increase from 2009. And by 2014 it predicts cloud services will generate $148.8bn – more than double this year’s total.

After the hype Now that the period of hype cooling down, it is time to examine how Cloud computing can perform when real-world data management and protection requirements are considered. While the economic advantages of cloud infrastructure are increasingly well understood – the ability to expand infrastructure to meet demand, the value of usage-based payment and the sheer power of scale, etc – many organisations have yet to master data governance of their existing, in-house infrastructure. When not properly addressed, cloud services can exacerbate existing data management and protection issues, adding a list of new concerns: • How do I enforce existing security policies and procedures? • If lawyers sue my cloud provider, can they get access to my data? • The cloud provider is only prepared to give me one all-powerful user identity; • I need access and full reporting for my IT governance and compliance responsibilities; • How do we know what’s in our cloud? • How do we know if it is secure? • How do we automate access rights management in the cloud? There is currently an urgent need for customers of cloud computing and third party IT services to be able to make an objective comparison between providers on the basis of their security features. Security is the number one concern for many businesses and governments. Existing mechanisms to measure security are often subjective and in many cases vague. This makes quantifiable measurement of security profiles difficult.

The data governance and compliance issues faced by organisations are the same whether operating in a cloud environment or not. When organisations are considering moving business data into the cloud a sound data governance approach must be in place to enable them to avoid costly data protection mistakes .

Protecting your data Organisations have more digital data than ever that must be continuously managed and protected in order for it to remain safe and retain its value. While data governance is often thought of more as a discipline than a technology there is software available to enable companies to implement data governance March / April 2011 : VitAL 23


vital management

policies with automation and without disrupting existing business processes. This technology has developed because, over the past two decades, the widespread interconnectivity and availability of computing resources precipitated rapid growth in digital collaboration and an exponential increase in the amount of data that is created, shared, streamed and stored. Whether an organisation is housing their information within a cloud environment or not, the demand for comprehensive data governance to manage and protect critical data remains. Organisations now store more and more information about their customers and partners, and have a responsibility to safeguard it. Failure to protect this data can be damaging to organisations and individuals beyond the organisation storing the data. Partners and customers now expect assurance that their information is being consistently protected in order to conduct business with you. IT has worked at capacity to manage and protect data manually as best it could – responding to authorisation requests, migrating data, and cleaning up excessive access. Despite this effort, they have been falling further and further behind for the past 15 years. There is simply too much data being created too quickly to manage, protect, and realise its full value without continuous, up-todate information about the data: metadata.

Metadata – data about data Put simply metadata is data about the data you hold in your organisation. Use and analysis of metadata is already more common than we realise; automated collection, storage, analysis, and presentation of metadata will become a necessity not only for in-house data stores but for cloud infrastructure as well. Metadata framework technology for data governance non-intrusively collects this critical metadata, generates metadata where 24 VitAL : March / April 2011

existing metadata is lacking (eg its file system filters and content inspection technologies), pre-processes it, normalises it, analyses it, stores it, and presents it to IT administrators in an interactive, dynamic interface. Once data owners are identified, they are empowered to make informed authorisation and permissions maintenance decisions through a web-based interface that are then executed with no IT overhead or manual backend processes. Those organisations that have learned to harness metadata to underpin their data governance practices will have a far greater chance of a extending those management and protection capabilities to the cloud, assuming that the cloud providers are equally metadata-capable. One other major hurdle for organisations is that there is currently no certification or accreditation system designed specifically for cloud computing-based security. That changes this April with the implementation of the Common Assurance Metric Model (CAMM) for cloud computing. CAMM, launched in February 2010, it is a global initiative that aims to produce objective quantifiable metrics, to assure information security maturity in the cloud for third party service providers, as well as internally hosted systems. This collaborative initiative has received strong support from public and private sectors, industry associations, and global key industry stakeholders.

Ensuring governance of data in the cloud As John Walker, professor of science & technology at the School Of Computing & Informatics and member of ISACA Security Advisory Group, said: “You are not merely buying a cloud, you are choosing a partner and that choice has to be based on thorough due diligence. This process is essential. The most important barrier to the adoption of cloud computing is assurance – how do I know if it’s

Those organisations that have learned to harness metadata to underpin their data governance practices will have a far greater chance of a extending those management and protection capabilities to the cloud, assuming that the cloud providers are equally metadata-capable.

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VitAL eyes on

To log or not to log?

This issue Jonathan Westlake assesses the security implications of key-logging. safe to trust the cloud provider? With today’s complex IT architectures and heavy reliance upon third party providers, there has never been a greater demand for transparency and objective metrics for attestation.” The migration to the cloud should be seen as an extension of the operational perimeter of the business, and viewed as a partnership that joins on-campus business objects, and those located in the extended perimeter of the Cloud as in the same logical space, subject to access controls, policies etc, as a range of business entities. Any approach to utilise the cloud must be achieved as an evolution of the expected in organisation controls which are evolved into a robust, contractually-obligated partnership between client and provider – nothing short of this should be considered secure. There is an urgent need to address security and compliance challenges associated with an organisation’s cloud initiatives. IDC research has found that security and compliance are among the top three challenges to cloud computing. Without adequate information on the security and compliance profile of the data, including its ownership, access controls, audits and classification, cloud initiatives can fall short of expectations and put sensitive data at risk. Understanding the data owners and the authorised users and user activity is critical to garnering organisational input, which in turn, is critical to defining the security and compliance profile of the data for internal datacentre and for The cloud. CFOs and CIOs are hesitant, IDC says, to move critical data and processes into the cloud when there is very little visibility on access and ownership, traceability and data segregation. It is vital that organisations have data governance in order to provide secure collaboration and data protection for their customers, partners and employees. Without it, it will be virtually impossible to manage and protect digital information in the cloud or anywhere else. VitAL www.varonis.com www.vital-mag.net

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n the Internet age we need to keep computer information private from prying eyes. Typically key (stroke) logging is seen as a security threat and essentially is the recording of a user’s key strokes on a keyboard. Well publicised cases of fraudulent keylogging exist such as recording passwords by ‘phishing’ for them. A recent case at a Cheshire library has highlighted the practice. In this particular case a USB stick had been deliberately left in at the back of a library PC. Software on board the USB enabled the stick to record keystrokes of users of the PC. The pest perspective of key-logging is clear and an emotive subject. Further below I provide advice on how to combat key-logging using freely available software. However, the opposite perspective so often overlooked suggests using key-logging in a positive way to discourage employees from inappropriate activity. The employer can use the monitoring information for prevention of illegal activity or highlight the potential leaking of information. There is currently no law which prevents employers monitoring their staff in this way and it is worth reflecting on the balance between the rights of employees against how company assets are being used. Other practical uses for key-logging include using the technique as part of a testing plan to record the navigation path taken by a user. I have found it useful to record keystrokes while testing a web application to validate the predicted information/key stroke against the reality of what the user/tester did. Free

keylogging software links are provided below in the references. Finally, my advice on anti-keylogging for the home; internet cafes and at business without spending any money! 1. Make sure you have the latest internet browser update which will include security updates. 2. Regularly change your password and use combination of letters and numbers. There are various password checkers to test the strength of your password. 3. Download anti-spyware software for free. See the Google pack at http://pack. google .com and load Spyware Doctor which includes anti key-logger software. If the PC is outside your control then check that anti-logging software has been installed before use. 4. Make sure the PC you are using does not have an unknown USB stick in one of the USB ports particularly at the back! VitAL Useful references: Free key-logging software: Refog – http://www.refog.com/freekeylogger/key-logger.html Revealer – http://www.logixoft.com/ revealer-keylogger-free-edition.html Actual Keylogger – http://www. actualkeylogger.com/ And keep up to date with news in this area with: Spyware news http://www.spywarenews.org/ March / April 2011 : VitAL 25


vital support

Between the lines While checking out the range of vernacular definitions for the three lines of support, Noel Bruton considers some of the implications of them, what they are and what they do.

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s a consultant specialising in IT user support management, I found myself being asked by a client to provide a definition of first, second and third line support. This got me thinking. There are many vernacular definitions around – but the subject is virtually ignored by the ‘ITIL’ framework. However, it is a vital issue, because it describes the support workflow, and affects such things as management, structure and staff remuneration The easiest to define is the first line, usually the Helpdesk or Service Desk, held to be the first point for reporting an apparent computer problem. There are other first lines, however; in some companies, users first report problems to local support staff, whose job it is to separate the business problem from the technical one. The business problem (why or

26 VitAL : March / April 2011

how should I do this?) can be solved locally, while the technical one (I’ve tried to do this and it doesn’t work) is passed immediately to IT support. However, from a purely IT point of view, the Helpdesk or Service Desk most accurately fits the bill as “first line”. From now on, I’ll use the generic ‘Helpdesk’, as a ‘Service Desk’ usually has multiple responsibilities beyond user technical support.

User productivity The strength of first line support is that it supports the users as opposed to the technology. In other words, its role is not merely to solve technical problems, but to restore a user to productivity, where that productivity has been impeded by a failure in IT or its use. Therefore, the first line is one of the easiest to justify on commercial grounds. It is this www.vital-mag.net


vital support

feature that makes the Helpdesk strategically important. Indeed, some Helpdesks have found to their cost that if they do not support the users, and fall back to the simpler and less commercially-aware option of treating problems as though they were simply technical aberrations, then they may come to be seen as a technical resource, like any other. As the outsourcing companies have shown, pure technical knowledge is a relatively easily obtained commodity. The opportunity for the Helpdesk is to be a true first line support, dedicated to keeping the users, rather than just the computers, working and producing. First line support is not exclusively without competitors, however. I would wager that more often than not, the first place a user goes when he has a problem is to another user. There can be many reasons for this, and often I find that this is something to do with the reputation of the Helpdesk itself. That said, this tendency of users to get their support from each other is rarely in the interest of the host company; instead of a problem causing one user to stop working, it stops two or more, which hits the company’s bottom line as users who should be producing are instead spending time being surrogate computer technicians.

Second line Once we get to second and third line support, the edges start to get a little greyer. My preferred view of second line support is that of the problem solver, the technician or repair engineer who visits your desk to fix a problem that could not have been solved over the telephone. The second line is probably the most vulnerable to competition from outside, because it is seen as purely technical. The ubiquitous argument proposed by the outsourcing companies is that as they are a purpose-built, specialised user technical support provider, so they can provide better technical support more effectively and so more cheaply than can the internal support of a given client company. The argument also has the attraction for the host company that it may www.vital-mag.net

divest itself of computer support, because it is not part of their core business. It is seeing IT support as a mere commodity, like the catering in the corporate restaurant or the people who come in and clean your phone or water the plants. It is safe to say that in the final argument, second line support is unlike the first line It has less claim to being a strategic resource, as it supports only technologies. Despite this, its staff tend to be paid more and have more developed skill sets.

Third line It gets even greyer when you get to third line support. Almost universally, that is where the problems go that the second line could not fix. But it then depends on the nature of the problem. If third line support is invoked because the problem was too difficult for the second line, that says something about the efficacy of support in that organisation. A second line support that cannot handle some technical problems is in danger of letting the user down; and an impeded user is one running up costs rather than profits. It is in all companies’ interests to be able to solve problems with the least fuss. Furthermore, the more changes of problem ownership, or ‘resolution escalations’ as I prefer to call them, brings in the risk of Chinese whispers, with inaccurate or confused information changing hands inside the support machine. And the urban myth persists that problem resolvers hold that there is nothing more annoying than having to ring up the user to get information that should have been collected by the first line, or was in fact collected but not appropriately conveyed.

Parameters In a consultancy engagement I recently completed, we broke up first, second and third line this way. First line is the Helpdesk, sufficiently staffed to offer the user a good response time to encourage them to use the Helpdesk instead of a colleague. The Helpdesk was targeted on a strong first-time

fix rate, healthily over 65 percent. The mission of second line support was to solve problems which simply could not be fixed remotely, even with the Helpdesk’s increasing use of remote control software to dynamically access the user’s workstation. Second line support would also conduct at-desk, just-in-time training. Between them, first and second line would be expected to solve anything that was a usage problem. The decision criterion is that the resolution of the enquiry must come from within parameters already existing within the product that was the subject of the enquiry. Where third line came in was only if the nature of the problem dictated a call for a change to the system architecture or infrastructure – in other words, a resolution can only be reached by inventing new parameters nod presently in the system in question. That decision had a number of effects. It left the developers free to develop, and broke the networks team up into two parts, Support and Infrastructure, with Support joining the Helpdesk in a new Desktop Support Centre. Until then, this company’s IT had organised user support along technocratic lines – first line for the simple enquiries, second line for the slightly more difficult, third line or vendor for the really difficult. All that does is salute a technical hierarchy, rather than actually focus on getting the issue resolved for the sake of the user and his impeded productivity. So at this client at least, the support lines are no longer as blurred. The missions and responsibilities of first, second and third line are now clarified, so there are fewer problems with demarcation. It also means that if that company ever wants to look at outsourcing or tasksourcing, the analysis of their options will be that much easier. VitAL Noel Bruton is a long established, UK based consultant and trainer specialising in IT support management and delivery. He is the bestselling author of ‘How to Manage the IT Helpdesk’ and ‘Managing the IT Services Process’. More about his work at www.noelbruton.com. March / April 2011 : VitAL 27


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The dark side of outsourcing Many chief information security officers are caught in a logical paradox when, encouraged by the greed of their CEOs to cut costs, the increase in IT outsourcing starts to reveal its dark side. Jane Grafton, director of Lieberman Software resists the power of the dark side.

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ot every outsourcing firm is bad news. It depends on who brought them up. It depends to a large extent on their parenting. Like the Dog Whisperer says: “There are no bad dogs – just bad owners.” This is a cautionary tale of a poor chief information security officers (CISO) driven witless by a ruthless, cost-cutting boss who falls foul of the worst traits of the mongrel outsourcing firm offshore, The Salvage IT Support Company. Before I tell this sorry tale I want to say that not everyone is the same and there are exceptions to the rule. However, when you hear a story as many times as I have, you do start to generalise. There are thousands of CISOs being held ransom by the very people who promised to 28 VitAL : March / April 2011

take away their pain. Lured by the promise of specialised consultants managing the IT infrastructure for a fraction of the cost of doing so in-house, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to outsource? Many CEOs who think they can please the shareholders with a nice fat dividend make decisions in haste – and they and their CISOs repent in leisure. This is the tale of some who, a few years down the line, are discovering everything isn’t quite as cost effective as it seems. The first warning sign tends to follow a failed audit. Let’s take a look at the discussions – both said and what is actually meant, that typically follow. Our CISO – let’s call him Dave, calls his account manager at The Salvage IT Support Company – Tarquin. www.vital-mag.net


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vital management

You’re talking about privileged identities, so you can’t just leave things to chance because the risk is too great. You’ve got a hole that needs plugging and I’m just the man for the job – but I don’t come cheap. The real question is, how much can I fleece you for?).

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Dave: Hi, is that Tarquin? Listen mate, I think there’s a problem. Tarquin: What’s up? Dave: We’ve just failed our audit. Apparently there’s an emerging threat as hackers have found a new way in by exposing our privileged identities. The auditors pointed out that we’re not controlling our privileged accounts. Can you take a look at this for me? Tarquin: Right, leave it with me. I’ll get back to you. Tarquin hangs up and slightly adjusts his cravat. Turning to his colleague with a glint in his eye, he says, “We’ve got another one. That was Dave over at UK PLC. They’ve just failed their audit and he wants us to solve it. Looks like my bonus for thrashing my target’s well and truly in the bag. I know this won’t be covered by the contract because it never is and, while the negotiations are carrying on, we’ll revert to an hourly rate. He’s so short staffed he won’t have time to do anything himself so he’ll have to trust me.” Tarquin eventually stops laughing as he becomes totally absorbed watching his download of Money Never Sleeps for the eighth time that day. Tarquin has Dave in a head-lock and both parties know it. Let’s look at what Dave needs to ask, what Tarquin will say, and what Tarquin really means. Dave: I’ve failed the audit – why? Tarquin: Passing an audit isn’t part of the contract. (which means: Here we go again! This is the call I’ve been waiting for – Operation Contract Negotiation in T minus 20 seconds). Dave: Well, we have to fix this. What are we going to do? Tarquin: We’ll have to renegotiate the contract. Tell me what you want us to do. (Which means: Get in!!!!!) Dave: I want you to make sure we pass the next IT audit. Tarquin: Any good auditor will tell you it’s not about pass or fail, it’s about the amount of risk you’re exposed to. From that, you’ll need to make an informed decision. So, what do you want to do? (Which means: You haven’t got a clue have you? You’re talking about privileged identities, so you can’t just leave things to chance because the risk is too great. You’ve got a

hole that needs plugging and I’m just the man for the job – but I don’t come cheap. The real question is, how much can I fleece you for?) Dave: I can’t tell you how to mitigate this risk – isn’t that your job? Tarquin: We’ll have to set up a temporary contract, at an hourly rate, to evaluate how to fix the problem. (Which means: working out all the various permissions and how they’re being used and with the size of UK PLC that’s no small feat – if we’re even able to do it. We’re talking megabucks. It’s about time the shareholders spread the wealth and sent a little my way.) Dave: Surely this is covered by the contract? Tarquin: Unfortunately not. When we originally scoped everything out and agreed to take on the tools you were using, privileged identity management wasn’t part of the scope of work. So, if you change our remit, or add new tools, then that changes our relationship and the contract. (Which means: Of course it’s not – only an idiot would make solving problems part of the contract. You really should have put more thought into SLAs. Instead, I was able to reel you in with an irresistible monthly fee. I knew the day would come that I’d be able to renegotiate and screw you for every penny.) Dave: Okay, the auditors have pinpointed our problem with privileged identities. Apparently we have no controls, so unauthorised people could gain access to sensitive company information. What can be done about that? Tarquin: We can create some technology in-house. I can put a team together to start mapping all the necessary relationships. (Which means: We can write ourselves a blank cheque.) Dave: Will that work? Tarquin: Yes. As far as the auditor is concerned, he just needs to see that you are doing something about it. (Which means: As far as the auditor goes, yes. As far as solving the problem goes, hell no. But it will be a while before you realise that, and by then I’ll have bled you dry. You’ll have invested so much money trying to solve the problem you won’t be able to admit defeat. You’ll roll over every time I say you need to put more bodies on it.) www.vital-mag.net


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Dave: Don’t you already have an accurate list of our privileged identities? Tarquin: No, we’ve been following your processes and this isn’t one of them. (Which means: We did think that Sue was managing these but when she left, we discovered she hadn’t been. You just can’t get competent staff these days.) Dave: Isn’t there existing technology to automate privileged identity management? Tarquin: I’m pretty certain there isn’t, but if you want to have a look feel free. (Which means: Yes, but do I look stupid? Why would I automate manual tasks I can bill you for?) Dave: I don’t have the resources to do product evaluations. Can you do that for me? Tarquin: Yes. (Which means: Of course not – why would I slit my own throat?) If Dave had just picked up the phone and given me a call I’d have been able to tell him that manually trying to manage his privileged accounts was just a money trap and wouldn’t work. By automating the process, within a week his privileged identities could be under control and managed going forward – without a contract negotiation in sight. There are many reasons why organisations, like Dave’s, choose to outsource their IT security operations. The number one reason is to save money and reduce head count. There are some who do it to tap into specialised skills and services. However, equally as many are now discovering that the cost savings are quickly being eroded as the professional services aren’t up to the challenge or come at a costly additional price.

Epilogue Sometimes short-term cost cutting also cuts out the rich seams of experience and knowledge you have in your full time staff. Getting rid of them can sometimes cost you dearly in the long run and leave you at the mercy of an outside organisation which has as its main goal maximising its profits – the very reason you outsourced in the first place – to maximise your own profits! Welcome to the 21st Century’s version of Catch 22. Milo Minderbinder would be proud. VitAL www.liebsoft.com www.vital-mag.net

Sometimes short-term cost cutting also cuts out the rich seams of experience and knowledge you have in your full time staff. Getting rid of them can sometimes cost you dearly in the long run and leave you at the mercy of an outside organisation which has as its main goal maximising its profits – the very reason you outsourced in the first place – to maximise your own profits! Welcome to the 21st Century’s version of Catch 22. Milo Minderbinder would be proud.

March / April 2011 : VitAL 31


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Feature sponsored by:

Tackling the challenges of the modern IT world

Mark Smith, operation director, Bloxx

Ken O’Neill, Network Operations Centre Manager, ControlCircle

32 VitAL : March / April 2011

There are many challenges a modern support organisation can face in an increasingly complex and dynamic IT world. Cherwell Software has recently completed two distinct projects that address current issues: improving the service desk for a cutting edge IT services provider; and supporting the change management at a company applying for ISO certification.

www.vital-mag.net


vital management

Feature sponsored by:

of tackling challenges that are becoming more and more prevalent in the IT world. For example, many businesses are concerned with the amount of time staff spend online, with lunchtime surfing alone recently estimated to cost business more than £23 million per annum. Web and email filtering technology specialist Bloxx, who develop monitoring solutions installed Cherwell software to upgrade its legacy service desk solution. ControlCircle, on the other hand needed help as it was applying for two international standards, ISO/IEC 20000 and ISO 27001 which put it on a time-critical path and they needed help to provide an infrastructure to support all the revised processes that would be necessary.

Enforcing Internet usage policies

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privately-owned and privatelyfunded company, Cherwell Software was formed by a group of help desk software industry pioneers – the original developers of the HEAT product line. It was founded in the USA in 2003, as a result of a meeting between the CEO, Vance Brown and CTO Arlen Feldman, their aim was to find a new solution and business model for the service desk industry. The company has grown consistently year on year and has gaining significant recognition from leading industry analyst groups, with Forrester recently citing Cherwell as an ‘emerging leader of ITSM solutions’ able to compete with the ‘megavendors’ of BMC, CA, HP and IBM. Cherwell has recently completed a number of installations that serve to highlight ways www.vital-mag.net

Internet surfing for personal reasons during working hours carries a multi-billion dollar price tag in today’s business. Bloxx is the premier independent provider of Web and Email filtering technology across Europe. Its web filtering technology is a collection of tools that enable the individuals who are responsible for managing Internet access to effectively enforce their Internet usage policies. Bloxx is an enterprise Web and Email filtering company. Established in 1999, it is a privately held company with offices in the US, UK, The Netherlands and Australia. It has grown to be the premier independent provider of Web filtering across Europe, and, it has been recognised by Deloitte as one of the UK’s Top 50 Fastest Growing Technology Companies in its prestigious ‘Fast 50’ in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It’s patent-pending TruView Technology analyses, categorises and filters web pages in real time with multi-tiered filtering algorithms. The company had planned to upgrade its legacy service desk solution by adding a web portal service and additional analyst licences. However, the extra module and licenses would be an additional charge, plus annual maintenance for a system that still had limitations. For a similar price to the upgrade they could make the entire transition to Cherwell, confident that all of their future modules they would require were included in the start up solution they purchased.

“Self-service is an important milestone in our plans for future offerings to our customers. There is nothing we have thought of that we want to do with Cherwell, that the software has not been able to do. It has many of the same functions as similar products, except the bonus is that it’s removed all of the limitations.”

March / April 2011 : VitAL 33


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The constraints of their legacy helpdesk system were stopping Bloxx offering additional support services to their customers. This meant that Bloxx, already providing external support to several thousand end user customer organisations in the UK, Europe, Australia and America, was driven to look for an improved ITSM solution. Impressed by the ways in which Cherwell could be easily adapted to suit its specific requirements for Incident, Change, Service Level and Configuration management workflow, Bloxx also quickly realised the potential to customise and create new business applications themselves without the need for costly development resources. During a three-day systems administration workshop, operations director Mark Smith and his team discovered more than they could have hoped for. “We went into the workshop with a preconceived design of the system we wanted to build, by the end of the three days we had developed a working prototype of the system we are now using today.” “the ‘Eureka!’ moment came when we looked at each other and realised that if it could be configured to do the prototype in the training, it could be configured to create a new licensing system,” adds Smith. “We had seen the possibility for a new service offering which would be a real advantage to our customers, as well as the business. This is just another example of the flexibility of the product.”

Download control Bloxx supplies physical servers to its customers for email and web filtering. These appliances download anti-virus, anti-phishing, and other updates several times an hour and also check to see if there are any software updates available. Cherwell is now used to control what updates an appliance is allowed to download. This means that, for example, in Cherwell a support engineer can enable a new software version for a specific customer, and the customer’s appliance will automatically download and install it. Each time an appliance checks for an update, it also sends data back to Cherwell. For example, an email filter will tell Cherwell how many e mails it has processed, how many were categorised as Spam, how many that were not classed as Spam the end user reported as being Spam and how many 34 VitAL : March / April 2011

emails that were categorised as Spam the user reported as not being Spam. Not only does this mean that all this data is readily available to the Support Engineer during any support calls, it also allows the Support team to be pro-active in identifying if there may be a sudden issue with Spam at a specific customer. “We had no idea at the time of the workshop that an entirely new service would come out of using Cherwell,” says Smith. “We are over the moon with our ‘Eureka!’ moment which has enabled us to develop a new service, providing a value-add to our customers and in turn increase our business proposition.” The ability of the Cherwell software to provide a self-service module is another key reason Smith chose it: “Self-service is an important milestone in our plans for future offerings to our customers. There is nothing we have thought of that we want to do with Cherwell, that the software has not been able to do. It has many of the same functions as similar products, except the bonus is that it’s removed all of the limitations.”

Improving data centre services ControlCircle is a privately owned company, founded in 2001 to provide solutions ranging from secure hosting and global connectivity to managing all security, networking, server and database technologies covering a full range of market sectors. Customers include many of the world’s largest online businesses and blue chip companies in the banking, legal, accounting and commercial sectors. They rely on ControlCircle’s industry knowledge, technical expertise, innovation, accuracy and skilful team management. As a global 24/7 data centre services company, ControlCircle supports around 100 customer organisations some with thousands of end users. In 2010 the company began the process of applying for two international standards, ISO/IEC 20000 and ISO 27001 which put it on a time-critical path and they needed help to provide an infrastructure to support all the revised processes that would be required. The ten-month plan involved moving from a legacy helpdesk system to Cherwell Service Management and deploying the software in five areas of their business; customer support, projects, assets, sales and CRM.

At the end of the tenmonth project the outcome is to have an end-to-end process. Going back to ITIL, this is the last piece linking the various components across the business, in essence, completing the circle.

www.vital-mag.net


vital management

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There were two key goals for the project to succeed. “The primary one was to find a mechanism to manage the core ITIL processes,” said Ken O’Neill, network operations centre manager. “The second was that I had previously worked with other service management systems which had taken up a significant amount of time and resource to develop and deploy. We only have a small team and I needed them to focus on our own customer applications and not develop an internal system. I needed software that brought an ease of use and flexibility, so that any of our IT team could use it. So essentially, a nondevelopment resource could set-up and configure the software.” The project milestones meant ControlCircle had to specify the standard processes and deploy Incident, Problem, Change and Asset management all within the first five months of the project. Quickly followed by the SMS module integrating notifications to customers and recording that an engineer has sent an alert to a customer. ControlCircle planned to strip out all the previous systems so that the backbone of the sales operation would go through Cherwell CRM. At the end of the ten-month project the outcome is to have an end-to-end process. Going back to ITIL, this is the last piece linking the various components across the business, in essence, completing the circle.

Tracking progress Six months into the project ControlCircle is able to track the progress internally, as well as the sales support processes which replaced a time-consuming manual service. It had been using a legacy software system for asset and renewals management which had to be constantly maintained and developed. “The Cherwell solution brought us a powerful tool. We no longer had to build the forms and processes; we just put a Cherwell form into the system and rolled it out to our teams. We liked that approach, as it saved us having to set up a dedicated team to manage the platform.” Adds O’Neill, “The cost benefits of the Cherwell licensing model also suited us, as it ensures full access to a process suite for all individual users within the business.” Typically ControlCircle’s customers are IT managers, chief operating officers and chief technology officers, using Blackberry for email www.vital-mag.net

and SMS. “We like the fact that we can offer an alert solution via other media, enabling us to provide information effectively and quickly with all the detail contained within the text. This method is vital should the entire customer network be offline. Providing customer support internationally by voice alone means that language can sometimes be an issue. Providing details in the text as well, has proven more effective.” Cherwell is able to record, track, report back to the customer and manage all the different communications methods. Another way the new system has improved the business process is separating the ticket system for Incident and Change management. These are now separate line items and ControlCircle has a clearer focus on the priorities and the work that needs to be done. Among the list of features that have impressed O’Neill are, “the ‘Heads-up display’. Other products have similar approaches, but nothing that can create a snapshot of what you want to see so quickly and easily. If you press F4 you see a display of graphs, modules and reports just like a dashboard, it is so easy to use. Compared to other products we reviewed Cherwell is very feature rich.”

Raising the standards Ken O’Neill explains the reason that ControlCircle is putting the infrastructure in place, “As a company we need to have a reliable automated back end system to assist us with ISO 20000. We are planning to use Cherwell’s self service solution in two ways; the first for a service catalogue, and second to process orders online. For example, we have customers using 50 terabytes of data and they might want another 15 or 20 terabytes, we are developing a customer portal whereby they can simply go online to order it. As ControlCircle expands around the globe, we could potentially roll out Cherwell as thin client or virtual desktop worldwide. “To enable the company to remain on track and grow from £25m up to £100m over the next three years it is essential to be aware of the potential problems a company can face with rapid growth and we believe that Cherwell will provide us with the platform to help make that rapid leap,” concludes O’Neill. VitAL www.cherwellsoftware.com

“The Cherwell solution brought us a powerful tool. We no longer had to build the forms and processes; we just put a Cherwell form into the system and rolled it out to our teams. We liked that approach, as it saved us having to set up a dedicated team to manage the platform.”

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The rise and rise of social networking It’s easy to forget that just a few short years ago the concept of social networking over the Internet was in its infancy. Now with a Hollywood blockbuster dramatising the birth of Facebook, and Twitter playing a key role in the recent spate of revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East, have the social networks come of age both as a social and a business tool? Matt Bailey reports.

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ho could have predicted just how all pervasive social networks have become in both our private and professional lives? Time spent in social networks reportedly now accounts for one in every eleven minutes online. As a means of staying in touch with friends and family, sites like the original Friends Reunited and more recently MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have proven their usefulness, while in the professional sphere, for many, LinkedIn has become a crucial business networking tool. And this has all happened in such a relatively short time that we have only just really started to assess the impact these technologies are having on our lives and on the IT estate as a whole. To give some idea of just how important social media are becoming, Gartner predicts that spending on social software to support sales, marketing and customer service processes alone will exceed a billion dollars worldwide by 2013 36 VitAL : March / April 2011

And they haven’t just triggered a revolution in our business and personal relationships either. Demonstrators in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Tunisia utilised the social networks, Twitter in particular, to rally support for their causes and as a convenient and, if necessary, anonymous means of instant communication to share ideas and ‘tweet’ the latest triumphs and setbacks. So successful were they that Egypt’s erstwhile president Hosni Mubarak felt it necessary to shut down the Internet in the country. This proved to be too little too late for his regime and the social networks claimed their first popular revolutionary victory.

The productivity drain Lest we forget it wasn’t much more than a decade ago that email became universal. At that time – the mid ’90s – fears were rife that staff would spend all day sending and receiving personal emails, and while I’m sure that this did happen and still does to a certain extent, the impact of the introduction of www.vital-mag.net


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widespread email usage on productivity was an overwhelmingly positive one. The same fears have been voiced about social networks, but the clever money seems to be on an approach that stresses acceptance. It may come as a surprise to some, but a number of studies have suggested that using social networking web sites may actually increase staff productivity by up to nine percent compared to those that don’t. While it may seem counterintuitive, some researchers claim that social networking sites give workers short breaks away from work which are beneficial overall. Most businesses maintain a cautious approach though, and who could blame them? They don’t pay their staff to sit around tweeting about the weather and what they had for lunch all day, clearly. But the more progressive organisations combine a permissive attitude with close monitoring of social network usage while some opt for an outright block. In these days of mobile computing, smartphones and tablets though, this in itself is no guarantee of a social networkfree office.

and proximity marketing increasingly important. His warning about missing the social networks bus came in response to a Ph-commissioned survey of businesses that revealed a staggering 92 percent are not using best practice techniques for their online activity and 83 percent of firms are ignoring key activities, such as Facebook, which could significantly increase revenue potential. “Nowadays it is all about how current and trusted your brand is,” said Adams, “but because a lot of social media activity is still in its infancy, businesses which embrace it properly can make giant strides quickly. Unlike more traditional search marketing, a social media strategy is about an ongoing conversation. It isn’t something you can plan or turn on and turn off. Control is dead; in today’s business world it is all about influence. Those businesses which understand this are winning serious amounts of new business every day. “I would go so far as to predict that the term social media will change in the next couple of years as the word ‘social’ can send out the wrong signals to business leaders.”

A valuable marketing tool

The evolving customer relationship

Marketeers have long been awake to the potential of social networks to plug their products. And many voices in the industry are saying that businesses need to take social media seriously if they are to avoid being left behind in 2011. Bryan Adams, MD of Liverpool-base Ph Creative says companies which treat social media as a key plank of their online strategy are “winning serious amounts of new business every day”. He predicts there will continue to be a significant shift away from traditional search engine marketing to social media with the likes of user reviews, peer to peer influence

Addressing the rise of the social networks, Gartner predicts that the customer relations management (CRM) software market will enter a three year shake up this year, as a number of key trends take hold. Sales, marketing and customer service technologies, projects and implementations will all see rapid changes over the next few years it states. “Over the next three years, social CRM will continue its exponential rise, software as a service (SaaS) will become routine, salesforce.com will reshuffle the market order, and consultants and system integrators will sell their own CRM software,”

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To give some idea of just how important social media are becoming, Gartner predicts that spending on social software to support sales, marketing and customer service processes alone will exceed a billion dollars worldwide by 2013.

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commented Ed Thompson, vice president and analyst at Gartner. As mentioned above, Gartner predicts that by 2013, spending on social software to support sales, marketing and customer service processes will exceed $1 billion worldwide. This, compared with Gartner’s forecast of more than $12 billion for overall spending on CRM software in 2012, means that social CRM will encompass approximately eight percent of all CRM spending in 2012, up from approximate four percent in 2010. It adds that by 2015, one-third of spending on new CRM software will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). (Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Predicts 2011: CRM Enters a Three-Year Shake-Up “. The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www. gartner.com/resId=1475017).

Social security It seems that all new technologies bring with them fears about security these days and there are numerous examples of hapless tweeters or Facebook updaters inadvertently being indiscreet and ultimately paying the price when they are reminded that their boss is one of their ‘friends’. Maybe examples like this aren’t a huge problem for businesses, but they do serve as an example that there are plenty of opportunities for business sensitive information to be posted out into the big wide world without any controls. A nightmare scenario could develop if a user has linked all their social networking accounts together – so they don’t have to post individual updates on each one – anything posted on any one of the services will immediately be forwarded to and posted on the others making it extremely difficult if not impossible to un-post the offending tweet or status update. There are more pressing risks than social embarrassment though. As always the main threat is from hackers. Having an account hacked could cause the user problems, but the risk that a hacker will gain information 38 VitAL : March / April 2011

through the social networking site that will allow them to attack the user’s organisation is perhaps greater. The social network could also be a potential route for malware to enter a company network. Amichai Shulman, co-founder of data security specialist Imperva says the social network companies are alert to the risks: “We are starting to feel the winds of change,” he explained. “Recently, Facebook made changes to account security to reduce account hijacking incidents. Just a few weeks ago a new authorisation scheme was put in place that requires one to identify their friends in case of an alleged account take-over.” The social networks themselves have to take on some responsibility themselves too according to Shulman: “As social networks attempt to increase their user base, penetrate the business environment, and roll out new services (such as Facebook’s new webmail) we should expect social platforms to invest more resources in improving the security posture of the platform. These measures will provide improved protection against application layer attacks, stronger authentication and account control features, and better malware detection systems.”

Education is the answer While blocking all social network URLs might put an instant brake on social network activity across an organisation, it does seem more than a little like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and no matter how draconian the approach it will not have any effect on the mobile devices increasingly used in this ever more online age. Perhaps a better and more long-term remedy for most of the issues, challenges and problems posed by social networks is to educate staff about the risks and provide them with the tools and techniques to prevent security lapses and hacking. Effective data security training has to be the way forward. VitAL

As always the main threat is from hackers. Having an account hacked could cause the user problems, but the risk that a hacker will gain information through the social networking site that will allow them to attack the user’s organisation is perhaps greater. The social network could also be a potential route for malware to enter a company network.

www.vital-mag.net


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vital processes

Plan BC In many ways the cloud is the perfect place for business continuity, but, how do you incorporate it into your cloud computing plans? Paul Evans, managing director of Redstor has some helpful advice.

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he term cloud computing has been widely adopted by the technology industry to describe any on-demand services provided via the internet; it has already had a drastic impact on businesses and the technology channel. As we begin to emerge from the hype many businesses are seeing it with more clarity and are focusing on how the cloud will fit into their existing infrastructure, services and solutions. It can be used as a way of accessing a wide variety of services from security, data backup and storage to IT infrastructure, enterprise applications and business continuity. Many organisations are still nervous about offering cloud services but in these new lean times, the allure of being able to pay as you go is gaining traction. Cloud solutions should be no different to standard solutions.

The pros of cloud business continuity The cloud makes it easier for service providers to offer on demand, off site, flexible and scalable solutions, which from a business continuity (BC) point of view, is imperative to end users. Hosted services, such as storage and backup take the worry out of the customer’s hands. Typically offsite locations are highly secure and outages are unlikely. The user has the ability to replicate their data to a second server offsite, which is an integral part of a BC policy. End users also don’t need to invest in hardware and software upfront and there are no peaks in spending as cloud services 40 VitAL : March / April 2011

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The simplest way to migrate an existing BC plan to the cloud is to migrate across in small steps rather than all at once. It must be a well considered process and is perhaps easier to start from scratch with certain aspects of BC and DR solutions such as failover and data replication.

are paid for on a pay as you go basis, which allows businesses to budget more accurately with predictable pricing models. End users can also use cloud capabilities on a daily basis such as remote working. This allows businesses to utilise their staff resources more efficiently, accessing data anytime anywhere, particularly if a building has suffered physical damage, the company can continue to operate without a drop in productivity as staff will be accustomed to the remote working environment.

The cons of cloud business continuity The benefits of cloud solutions are well documented and very compelling to businesses; however there are a number of issues to address when considering a cloud BC solution. If an organisation already has extensive BC solutions, processes and procedures in place then it can be difficult and complex to replicate to the cloud. Re-evaluating all solutions may not be necessary. If testing proves the solution is reliable then the added risk in migrating to the cloud might not be justified. There has to be a clear service level agreement stipulating how long data will be kept and where it will reside. This is very important for customers to have a clearly defined SLA before signing up to a cloud BC service provider. Cloud partners must stipulate the maximum tolerable downtime (MTD) and both parties must know exactly where they stand if they have to invoke disaster recovery (DR).

How to do it In order to create a cloud BC plan, there are a number of policies to take into consideration: a solid BC plan can take months of planning and each aspect of the business should be involved in this process. Both business managers and the IT function must work

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together to determine what type of plan is necessary and which systems and business units are most crucial to the company. Customers must ensure they know their service provider well and can call upon customer testimonials and case studies to help them understand who the service provider has worked with in the past. They should also ask to see reports on penetration testing and risk assessments of the services to evidence the claims the company may make about its services. There are also accreditations such as FIPS 42 and ISO 9001 that give customers an idea of how secure their data is. If an organisation stores data and information for financial customers then it is reasonable to assume the data is safe as the FSA can levy substantial fines on the companies responsible for customer data if it is lost or stolen. The simplest way to migrate an existing BC plan to the cloud is to migrate across in small steps rather than all at once. It must be a well considered process and is perhaps easier to start from scratch with certain aspects of BC and DR solutions such as failover and data replication.

Always have a backup The majority of cloud service providers are offering some form of business continuity and backup service purely through the nature of their service needing to be highly available. It provides customers with all of the benefits required for a business continuity strategy without significant investment. End users must ensure they choose a service appropriate to their business, not just the most popular or most recognised brand name. We believe cloud BC will emerge gradually. IT should be seen as a productivity enabler and essentially it’s not the cloud organisations should worry about; it’s the service behind the cloud that counts. VitAL www.redstor.com www.vital-mag.net


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Is the cloud ready for highpowered performance? Now part of the mainstream IT vocabulary, cloud computing has become a legitimate infrastructure resource choice for many applications in the high powered computing (HPC) community. When demand outstrips capacity, Ken Hertsler, vice president product management at Platform Computing says it’s time to look to the cloud.

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igh powered computing (HPC) application workloads are often spiky and, depending on project deadlines and needed application runs, the demand for additional compute resources can surge well above the running average demand. When IT departments buy, build, and maintain clusters to handle peak loads it can be expensive (eg hardware acquisition), time consuming (eg additional

44 VitAL : March / April 2011

management time), and wasteful (eg expensive resources sitting idle). Many organisations that are running enterprise applications are leveraging cloudbased resources to handle higher than normal workload demands. However, there’s a common misconception among the HPC community that a cloud infrastructure can’t be applied in a similar manner for many types of workloads in high performance www.vital-mag.net


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computing. The primary reason for this is performance. Performance is impacted by computing and infrastructure efficiencies, such as network bandwidth, network latency, memory bandwidth, and I/O. Each of these in turn can be affected by the various virtualisation technologies utilised by cloud service providers. In the past, single-threaded application performance improvements were achieved through hardware refreshes. Clock speed increases have stalled, however, making this a less effective option. Meanwhile the number of cores in one compute node are growing and applications are increasingly parallel, making alternative options more viable – including cloud computing. With the recent advances in virtualisation technology, cloud implementations are now becoming both a technically and economically feasible option for many organisations.

Why cloud? The nature of many HPC workloads means that large, high priority projects may require many compute resources for a short period of time. During that time, local compute resources are often oversubscribed. In order to avoid this, organisations attempt to predict resource demand and provide www.vital-mag.net

sufficient infrastructure resources to support peak workload utilisation. As a result, assets often sit idle during periods of average activity. Such a strategy is effective, but wasteful. IT budgets drive the resource plan and data centre spending, however budgets have significantly decreased in the past couple of years as organisations tighten their belts and control spending. Lowering costs include those for power and cooling as organisations are not only trying to go greener, but are being forced by the government to reduce power consumption. As a result, they are looking for new ways to control costs but remain competitive. Cloud computing enables organisations to create a pool of compute resources across most or even all of their organisation which can potentially remove the need to build for peak workloads and lower infrastructure costs. As a result organisations can lower capital costs and ensure that users have access to the assets they need to do their work. From an expense standpoint, cloud is therefore becoming an interesting option for many companies.

Virtualised benefits Most IaaS (infrastructure as a service) vendors such as Rackspace, Amason, Savvis and others use various virtualisation technologies to manage the hardware hosting their offerings. Unfortunately the virtualisation technologies used vary from vendor to vendor and are sometimes kept secret (AWS). Therefore the question about virtual machines vs. physical machines for HPC applications is germane to the discussion of HPC in the cloud. However, HPC architects have been slow to adopt virtualised cloud implementations. This is for two reasons: 1. The common assumption is that virtualisation severely impacts application performance so much that any gains in flexibility are far outweighed by the loss of application throughput.

In the past, singlethreaded application performance improvements were achieved through hardware refreshes. Clock speed increases have stalled, however, making this a less effective option. Meanwhile the number of cores in one compute node are growing and applications are increasingly parallel, making alternative options more viable – including cloud computing.

March / April 2011 : VitAL 45


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Today many companies in life sciences, education, government and media/digital content creation are deploying cloud implementations. Other industries such as financial services and oil and gas are starting the testing and verification process. This transition is happening now and so 2011 will be the year that HPC in the cloud really takes off.

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2. Utilisation on traditional HPC infrastructures are typically very high (between 80-95 percent) and therefore the business case for virtualisation (utilisation of hardware, server consolidation, or license utilisation) simply had no merit to justify the added complexity and expense of running workload in virtualised resources. Virtualisation was once touted as the saviour of IT. It enabled multiple applications to run on the same server independently in isolated virtual OS instances and move those OSs around the data centre from physical server to physical server without stopping the application. However there was a price to pay, which primarily included performance penalties. This penalty was often acceptable for enterprise transactional applications, but it was deemed unacceptable for high performance computing. Because cloud computing uses virtualisation to enable better flexibility and higher utilisation, the low application performance in virtualised environments created a huge barrier for cloud adoption in HPC. However, virtualisation technology has advanced in recent years and performance is becoming less of an issue. Processor support for virtualisation as well as paravirtualised operating system device drivers have improved, removing the performance penalty once felt by the virtualised device driver layer. Many applications now have no more than a three to six percent performance penalty on a virtual machine as compared to directly running on the native hardware. Additionally, programming environments, compilers, libraries, etc, are able to take advantage of the virtualised hardware architecture. As a result, some users have successfully run HPC applications in a virtualised environment with very little performance overhead. There is also a case to be made that it is worthwhile to lose some application performance to achieve the flexibility and resilience that virtual machine-based computing would allow. This is because virtualisation also addresses some of the key concerns of HPC architects, the most common of which is security. To solve this issue VMs (virtual machines) and VLANs (virtual local area networks) can be used in consort to isolate users from each other and isolate data to the

users who should have access to it. They also provide the capability to move lower priority jobs around or to lower their access to resources when a high priority job comes in. This includes the ability to suspend and resume job without having to re-write their applications. Virtualised cloud environments also address HPC architects’ concerns regarding control of their application portfolio. This is because many applications require certain versions or updates of OS, libraries, configuration of the OS, etc. In a mixed application environment where multiple applications share the same physical hardware, such specific requirements can be difficult to satisfy for all required applications. Using virtualisation makes that task easier since the whole stack can be deployed as part of the application.

High performance in the cloud There is some truth to the notion that the public clouds are inappropriate for HPC applications. However, because of recent advances in virtualisation technology, and by carefully choosing the right HPC applications, some implementations perform admirably in cloud environments. Additionally, the greatest success is occurring by utilising private cloud infrastructure that can handle both physical and virtual machine management, thus allowing for HPC code sets that absolutely require the performance of a set of physical nodes to get what they need, when they need it. Then, in conjunction, some work such as TST/DEV, low priority jobs, etc. can use the private cloud’s ability to burst workload out to a public cloud provider. Thus, the organisations that are leveraging cloud implementations are also benefitting from reduced capital expenditure, increased security and improved management of their application portfolio. Today many companies in life sciences, education, government and media/digital content creation are deploying cloud implementations. Other industries such as financial services and oil and gas are starting the testing and verification process. This transition is happening now and so 2011 will be the year that HPC in the cloud really takes off. VitAL www.platform.com www.vital-mag.net


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Is your management style premier league? Do the titans of the football management world have anything to teach the humble IT manager? Melanie Wombwell, managing director at Results International thinks that they might.

48 VitAL : March / April 2011

www.vital-mag.net


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ncelotti and Ferguson are among the world’s leading and most respected football managers – each having twice won its pre-eminent club competition, the UEFA Champions League. But football as a business is still pretty hard to grasp, often bearing little relation to most other businesses, or indeed most people’s day-to-day lives. Contracts appear to count for nothing, most clubs make a loss and a player such as Rooney decides to go for a whacking pay rise – reportedly up to £160,000 a week – at a time when the British Government is announcing huge public spending cuts. However, people have probably got more to say about Alex Ferguson or Ancelotti’s management styles than they have about their own, or even about their own boss’s. So while using football as a model for analysing modern-day management appears frivolous, it’s arguably the most public and widely discussed form of management around.

Comparing management styles Now that we’re half way through the Premiership season and into a new year where many UK businesses, particularly IT companies, are looking to 2011 to bring them growth and success, after what has been a tough few years. I have analysed the management styles of ten starting managers from the 2010/2011 season. We have also surveyed over 100 business professionals, asking them which premiership football manager they would most like to work for, who they think would be the best manager to run a UK business, what their own management style is like and their views on a few other insightful aspects of managing people, such as what they think of their bosses. Below is a list of the most recognised business management styles of today, and the names of the football managers that we believe best suit those styles: – Autocratic (Alex Ferguson) – prefers a high level of power over their team; www.vital-mag.net

– Relationship (Ian Holloway) – leads people through encouragement and enthusiasm; – Cognitive (Arsene Wenger) – leads by a purely logical methodical approach; – Collaborative (Roy Hodgson) – deliberates with their team members and uses their contributions to make decisions; – Shadow (Carlo Ancelotti) – provides adequate authority to the team members to decide on their own; – Co-achievement (Harry Redknapp) – works with all team members to inspire them to reach decisions and do the right things; – Results-focused (Sam Allardyce) – only interested in making sure that the result happens, whatever it takes; – Transactional (Roberto Mancini) – rewards are measured and offered by performance; – High-flex (David Moyes) – will change their style to suit the circumstances or needs at the appropriate time; – Delegator (Mick McCarthy) – like the shadow leader, but also keen to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on. Allows free thinking yet always wants to make the final decision themselves. After our own initial analysis (a more in-depth look can be found in our full report downloadable for free at www. resultsinternational.com) we then conducted a detailed online survey with 108 business professionals from some of the most dynamic UK businesses of today. Out of all those questioned, over a third (34 percent) stated that their management style is a ‘relationship’ management style, similar to that of Ian Holloway. This makes for positive reading, as the ‘relationship’ method is one that would prove successful in leading a team of business professionals out of recession and into high growth, a statement which 15 percent also agreed with, when they suggested Ian Holloway would be the best football

People have probably got more to say about Alex Ferguson or Ancelotti’s management styles than they have about their own, or even about their own boss’s. So while using football as a model for analysing modern-day management appears frivolous, it’s arguably the most public and widely discussed form of management around.

March / April 2011 : VitAL 49


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People who manage well and who are well managed help unlock ideas, motivate others and therefore drive businesses forward. Like the football world, the business world is fraught with turmoil and change. It takes good leadership and a strong managerial style to overcome these challenges.

50 VitAL : March / April 2011

manager to run a UK business in today’s current economic climate. However it does all depend on the character of the manager. Interestingly, 25 percent said that their management style was ‘collaborative,’ a similar style adopted by Roy Hodgson. Yet only five percent thought Hodgson would be the best manager of a UK business. For Hodgson, his management style hasn’t worked for him at Liverpool, after being dismissed with just half a season in charge. And in the business sense, this style could also prove unsuccessful; it relies on having a good team of people around you. If you haven’t got this, or if your team aren’t contributing, then it can fall apart. Nineteen percent of those surveyed, said that their management style is a ‘delegator’ style, similar to that of Mick McCarthy. However just two percent thought that Mick McCarthy would do the best job out of the premiership managers listed of running a UK business. At present (correct at the time of writing) Wolverhampton are sitting in the relegation zone, and their chances of survival aren’t looking good. Although the ‘delegator’ management style can work well at times, again like the ‘collaborative’ management style, it depends on a good team of people. If you aren’t delegating to strong people, or you’re delegating to people who don’t react favourably to that method, then you are not going to get the results you want. It seems that this management style isn’t Premier League.

Why does this all matter? Delivering results: People who manage well and who are well managed help unlock ideas, motivate others and therefore drive businesses forward. Like the football world, the business world is fraught with turmoil and change. It takes good leadership and

a strong managerial style to overcome these challenges. Creating harmony: Good management works at its best when there’s a fit between the management style of the MDs/CEOs and the teams they lead. However of those surveyed, most (23 percent) said that their MD or CEO’s management style was like that of Mick McCarthy, a ‘delegator.’ Yet this style is not working for the Wolverhampton players and is a style that just one percent of those surveyed like to work under. Most of the business professionals surveyed wanted to work with the Harry Redknapp and Ian Holloway types, and most likened their own management styles to Ian Holloway’s, yet their own current managers are ‘delegators’, a style they don’t favour and perhaps something that is ultimately hindering their own career growth, and the growth of the businesses they work for? Saving money: During tough times companies have to motivate their teams, while keeping salaries in check. Good management is a way to do this. When asked what motivates employees in their organisation, surprisingly money or bonuses were not top of the list. Instead it was inspirational leadership (36 percent) and reputation of the company (34 percent). So, good management can save companies a fortune in salaries and bonuses. People make the world go round. Business is about people; be it running a football club, an accountancy firm, or an IT departmet. Motivation and getting the best out of people is key to running a successful business and to do that, you need not only a good management style, but the right management style. That’s why it matters. So, is your management style premier league? VitAL www.resultsinternational.com www.vital-mag.net


VitAL Drive: IT hits the fairway

Watching the golf Google-eyed Vindicated after last issue’s golfing technology predictions, PGA IT manager Geraint Lewis sets his sights on the cloud

People make the world go round. Business is about people; be it running a football club, an accountancy firm, or an IT departmet. Motivation and getting the best out of people is key to running a successful business and to do that, you need not only a good management style, but the right management style.

www.vital-mag.net

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hile I cannot claim to see into the future, having not been born the seventh son of a seventh son or under a blood red moon, I have to say that my previous article was well timed. Padraig Harrington’s disqualification from a tournament following TV replays showing that his ball had moved forward three dimples and then back two dimples (really!) and the micro movement not having been spotted by Padraig but by several armchair referees who emailed into the tournament referee reporting Padraig’s the onedimple error was vindication of what I had previously written. A final word from me on the subject, for a game that prides itself on fair play, it doesn’t seem fair that a player doesn’t get the chance to change his score having been presented with evidence that he has, without his knowledge committed a breach of the rules. The other big talking point was the suspension of a golfer on the European Tour following accusations that he repeatedly replaced his ball incorrectly on the green while playing in an event in Russia in September 2010. Elliot Saltman, the golfer in question, received a three month ban from playing on the European Tour. Cheating is the most serious offence a golfer can be accused of committing. Any suggestion of its existence undermines golf’s unique selling point of being the most

honourable of sports, where the players are responsible for refereeing themselves and ‘calling’ any penalty on themselves. Anyway, as Saltman is only the third golfer to be banned by the European Tour since 1985, it would appear to indicate that the game does not have a problem with cheating. Back to business. Other parts of the computing press currently appear unable to pass up the chance of a good punladen headline following SpecSavers’ announcement that it is moving away from open source email systems to Google Apps (see page 12 of this edition for details, if not puns – ed) to deliver email as the system does not require local support – a key issue for SpecSavers as it moves into new regions across the world. There seems to be a lot to be said for companies both big and small looking at these cloud-based solutions to allow them to deliver their requirements for a robust email solution that allows integration with programs and the essential link up to handhelds and smart phones. I am sure that over the next 12 months we will see many of the ‘big players’ in the market come out aggressively looking for more new business within the cloud. Me, I’m going to have a quiet sit down to see if I can use my new found powers of seeing into the near future to predict the lottery numbers and before I go googleeyed. Oh no, I’ve started punning now, time to sign off! VitAL March / April 2011 : VitAL 51


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The lasting benefits of green IT Alan Calder, chief executive of IT Governance, examines the case for green IT and finds that the concept is more relevant than ever even in the midst of global economic turmoil.

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he continuing effects of the economic downturn are forcing public and private sector organisations to look closely at their costs. Moving to green IT should be high on the agenda. Even if the business environment were to normalise overnight, green IT – or sustainable computing – offers lasting financial benefit from greater energy efficiency, plus the moral advantage of a reduced carbon footprint. Green IT covers sustainable, ecofriendly products, services, practices and management systems across the information and communications technology sector. It encompasses the 52 VitAL : March / April 2011

design, manufacture, use and disposal of computers and related equipment with minimal environmental impact. It starts with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and ends with individual computer users in offices, other workplaces, schools and homes. It may also include efficient use of IT to drive other processes toward superior environmental performance.

Who to blame? Commentators such as Tony Roberts, chief executive officer of charity Computer Aid International, blame OEMs for much of IT’s existing carbon footprint, claiming up to 80 percent of a PC’s lifetime energy usage www.vital-mag.net


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occurs before initial switch-on. They cite manufacturing – including raw materials mining – and worldwide networks for sourcing and distribution as the root of the problem. Nonetheless, the other 20 percent of the energy requirement is clearly not insignificant. All organisations face growing pressure to demonstrate greater environmental responsibility – to meet moral and legal obligations and also to support brand and corporate image. Future market leaders will always have excellent green credentials. Efficient use of energy presents a real test to many organisations. More and more, organisations are being challenged and selected by new business partners not only on the basis of the products and services they provide but also on how they produce and deliver those products and services in an environmentally friendly manner. Efficient management of energy usage is one means of demonstrating good environmental stewardship.

Energy policy Green IT should be part of an organisation’s overall energy policy, and one of several tactics to increase energy efficiency and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The process can be as simple as encouraging staff to turn off their PCs – and monitors – when they are not in use, or as bold as abandoning the in-house data centre and moving to cloud computing, arguably the most powerful driver for IT energy efficiency. Organisations with huge networks and massive data loads depend on extensive server installations that run continuously – consuming significant quantities of power – although those installations may in fact be idling for as much as 90 percent of the 24-hour cycle. Data centres also generate considerable amounts of heat, and so invariably require special air conditioning which adds to the overall power demand – and cost. The cloud enables organisations to abandon their data centres – and save on energy costs – by transferring their data handling to highefficiency server farms where they share processing time and storage facilities time with perhaps thousands of other users, all accessing their own data via the Internet. Cloud computing has clear advantages for 54 VitAL : March / April 2011

companies and organisations, including the opportunity to avoid capital expenditure on data centre hardware, software and peripheral services. Shared infrastructure in the cloud means reduced costs and management overheads. Consumption is billed as a utility or subscription and users gain immediate access to a broad range of applications that might otherwise be out of reach financially. For the user, there is greater flexibility and availability of shared information, facilitating collaboration from anywhere in the world. For IT staff, a switch to cloud computing frees them from the routines of data centre management and maintenance, enabling them to focus on more challenging issues such as businessrelated software development.

Data security On the other hand, how safe is your data in the cloud? Users no longer physically possess their data, which leaves the cloud service providers responsible for data storage and control. If your data is compromised in any way, how does this compromise affect your position with customers, suppliers and other parties such as tax authorities? How well is your cloud supplier set up to deal with business continuity issues? Is there sufficient resilience? What happens to your data if the cloud supplier goes out of business? And what is the risk if malware is stored in cloud-based services? On balance, though, the case for cloud computing is compelling and enjoying growing support. Cloud computing can actually help defend organisations against IT threats such as denial-of-service attacks, viruses and worms by distancing the organisation from the attack. Concerns about data security should always be addressed during negotiations with the supplier.

All organisations face growing pressure to demonstrate greater environmental responsibility – to meet moral and legal obligations and also to support brand and corporate image. Future market leaders will always have excellent green credentials.

Growing investment Investment in green IT – and other sustainable technologies – is growing as companies report more energy and cost savings as a result. For maximum effectiveness, most companies need a coordinated approach to sustainability because isolated, token moves will have little benefit. Since the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, there has been a strong focus globally www.vital-mag.net


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on reducing carbon emissions, and IT will play a key part in helping business and other organisations achieve the desired results. Cloud computing and simple ‘switch off and save’ practices in the office will certainly make an impact, but there are more ways to ensure that IT becomes green IT and reduces the carbon footprint: • Virtualisation software to increase efficiency in a data centre (if you are not heading for the cloud) facilitates consolidation of hardware resources, so you will require fewer machines to store and process data. This process immediately translates to a reduction of energy inputs and heat outputs. Any surplus hardware should naturally be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way, while redundant storage disks should additionally be purged of confidential information before disposal. • Avoid unnecessary replacement of IT kit and other office equipment, and when an upgrade is required, ensure that procurement and disposal of IT equipment adheres to Green IT principles. • Encourage home working (telecommuting) where practicable. IT makes it easy to work remotely and with the right management there can be significant cost savings and improved productivity, as well as the reduction of the carbon footprint by cutting employees’ commuting miles. • Use web-based videoconferencing instead of face-to-face meetings to save the time and cost of travel, and avoid unnecessary carbon emissions. • Stop needless paper consumption – use the power of electronic documentation and archiving to achieve a ‘paperless’ office, saving money, cutting CO2 emissions and preserving trees by reducing demand for wood pulp. • Employ time management software to plan mobile staff appointment schedules and delivery routes more efficiently to minimise the miles travelled. • Employ building management systems to control lighting, heating and cooling for 56 VitAL : March / April 2011

maximum efficiency and lowest possible energy usage. • Develop and implement an energy policy and objectives that meet legal and other requirements. Ideally, the policy should have EN16001 certification which clearly demonstrates to all stakeholders that an organisation is committed to improved energy performance. The EN16001 best practice standard helps organisations understand the complex variables of energy management, facilitating the definition of action plans for energy reduction.

Hitting targets Any plan for green IT and increased energy efficiency should include a measure for success, so it is essential to establish a baseline of present performance and then to set targets for improvement over specified periods. Track the rate of improvement and use this data to encourage your staff towards even better results. When you have achieved worthwhile results, spread the good news among your customers and suppliers. Solid progress towards corporate greenness will undoubtedly enhance your organisation’s image, but remember that outsiders may well be sceptical in the face of claims they perceive to be exaggerated. Green IT has been part of the IT vocabulary for nearly 20 years, flowing from the US government-backed ‘Energy Star’ programme to maximise energy efficiency in computer equipment, but the term did not gain widespread use before the surge in general environmental awareness. There are now numerous companies in the UK specialising in green IT news and solutions, and there is a substantial body of knowledge available on the shelves of green IT bookstores. While UK organisations still have a long way to go in the quest for perfect environmentalism, the IT sector already offers many of the necessary green solutions. The public and private sectors need to rise to the challenge.

When you have achieved worthwhile results, spread the good news among your customers and suppliers. Solid progress towards corporate greenness will undoubtedly enhance your organisation’s image, but remember that outsiders may well be sceptical in the face of claims they perceive to be exaggerated.

VitAL

www.itgovernance.co.uk www.vital-mag.net


the

vital Guide

to The Service Desk and IT Support Show 2011

19th-20th April 2011 Earls Court, London

www.servicedeskshow.com


Why challenges, new and old, require fresh thinking C

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Massive increases in the number of devices requiring IT support mean that service desks are about to face their biggest challenge. But how will they cope given that additional funding is scarce and all options for improving efficiency are seemingly exhausted? The upcoming Service Desk & IT Support Show which takes place from 19 to 20th April 2011 at Earls Court, London promises to offer new ideas to old problems that are not diminishing, but growing in scale every day. CM

MY

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CMY

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T

he diversification of the traditional IT helpdesk to handle more than just supporting PCs is clearly a sensible practice for any business, a fact made more acute by the continued economic malaise. Few businesses can afford the luxury of maintaining a dedicated department providing on-call support to staff members struggling to install software or find the correct print drivers. Therefore, the idea of running other essential, process-driven business services – facilities, HR, procurement – through the service desk is a good way to preserve an internal IT support function by removing cost from other parts of the business. However, this dynamic means that IT support is now often overlooked or considered a commodity function. This is a problem because it assumes that IT support is just about password resets, ignoring the huge value of what skilled computing professionals can bring to the business.

The PC is dead? Thankfully, all signs point to an increased need for computing support. Much was made of the recent announcement by IDC that sales of smartphones are now outstripping PCs, with some commentators pushing the ‘the PC is dead, hail to the smartphone’ angle. However, while this view may be compatible with the hype and excitement generated by mobile computing, it is not strictly accurate. Sales of PCs, according to IDC, grew by 11 percent in recession-ravaged 2010, amounting to an outlay of $661 billion – clearly not an industry on its knees. Lenovo saw its profits grow by 25 percent through the same period, an impressive result which is nevertheless dwarfed by Dell, which enjoyed a trebling of its profits. If we ignore the temptation to needlessly segment the market for computing sales into mobile and traditional PCs, the logical conclusion is that there are more IT devices than ever which need supporting. www.vital-mag.net

The problem therefore faced by IT support is not justifying its importance, but rather scaling up to meet the challenge. With cost control an ever-present spectre looming over IT support, much effort has been given to making the function as efficient as possible. For example, the majority of helpdesks have experience with ITIL and have embedded some of its teachings into their operation, or they use a service management system that creates many of the processes and workflows championed by ITIL, or a combination of both. Most helpdesks have automated password resets, auto-incident logging and a web selfservice facility. As a result of these efficiency gains, very few helpdesks have as many staff as they did ten years ago.

Ubiquitous IT But here we are, moving into an era where computing is not only ubiquitous socially and in business, but where many people have a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop and a desktop, all deemed business critical and all requiring support. Helpdesks will be asked to keep this working effectively, with no additional funding and having already wrung-out many of the avenues that could free-up staff resource. Clearly, the need for new ideas and inspiration is imperative to meet these challenges and that is the thinking behind this year’s Service Desk & IT Support Show. More than 250 products, services and experts will be available over the two day event, providing hands-on demonstrations and access to the people who have helped businesses make their service desks a vital element in IT delivery. One of the biggest draws of the Service Desk & IT Support Show is its strong education programme, and the organisers have excelled this year by putting together 70 sessions covering all aspects of IT service management. The stand-out new addition to the free programme is the Ovum Knowledge Center, which will showcase the latest thinking and research from the highly respected analyst group. Highlights include a panel debate which will investigate how service desks can harness the growing influence of social media, and

Clearly, the need for new ideas and inspiration is imperative to meet these challenges and that is the thinking behind this year’s Service Desk & IT Support Show. More than 250 products, services and experts will be available over the two day event, providing hands-on demonstrations and access to the people who have helped businesses make their service desks a vital element in IT delivery.

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presentations from leading Ovum analysts looking at hot topics including making the transition to ITIL Version 3, the role of service management in IT security and delivering business value as budgets are cut. Spaces in the Ovum Knowledge Center will be allocated on a first come, first served basis at the seminar registration desk each day, so be sure to make that your first port of call to avoid missing out.

Breakfast at SDITS For early risers, the event offers two opportunities to learn about technologies that will very much define the IT experience over the coming years. The breakfast briefing on day one will reveal findings of an extensive survey carried out by the Service Desk Institute (SDI) and Cherwell Software about the use of selfservice technologies. The proposition at the heart of self-service – giving users instant access to support information around the clock, while potentially reducing headcount – makes it extremely appealing to any business balancing budgets. The research will show why some deployments are successful and offer advice on how self-service best practice can be applied in other environments. For the second breakfast briefing on day two, the focus shifts to the service desk software

60 VitAL : March / April 2011

used to underpin the entire support operation. Hosted by FrontRange Solutions, this session looks at the future of the service desk – what it will look like in five years – considering the impact of moving it away from its core focus of IT support towards becoming a central hub for dealing with all internal business problems. Those keen to stay ahead of the market and learn how to capitalise on the emerging trends in IT are advised to take advantage of this session. Register for your place at www.servicedeskshow.com/briefings.

Hot-topic roundtables Those visitors keen to absorb rapid-fire advice from some of the leading thinkers in the industry should look for Hot Topic Roundtables, which will host 50-minute sessions covering areas such as improving the first time fix rate, finding metrics that matter to the business and making use of a service catalogue. Another big draw for visitors is hearing from peers and the Service Desk & IT Support Show again delivers. Speakers from organisations including Roehampton University, Solihull NHS Trust, Kent and Medway Health Informatics Service and Northumbria University will be sharing their experiences, offering blow-byblow accounts of the problems they have successfully overcome.

The Service Desk & IT Support Show takes place on the 19th & 20th April 2011 at Earls Court, London. For more information on the exhibitors and seminar programme, and to secure your free ticket, visit: www.servicedeskshow.com

www.vital-mag.net


Educational Programme The following panel discussions and keynote presentations will take place at Service Desk & IT Support Show. They address the key issues and challenges facing the service desk in second decade of the 21st Century. Tickets for sessions are available on a first come, first served basis from the Seminar Registration Desk.

Market Sector – Panel Discussions & Keynotes, Tuesday 19th April 2011

08:30am Breakfast Briefing – Making self-service work

11:40 - 12:30pm – Panel discussion: The Service Desk as a strategic asset

Take away valuable guidance from this year’s research white paper

Speakers: Michelle Major-Goldsmith, Sysop; Bethan Davies, Solihull NHS Trust; Carl Shallcross, ServiceTec

A white paper commissioned by SDI and Cherwell Software is being released at the 2011 show. Based on the results of end-user research, ‘Users Doing IT for Themselves – How to Make Self-Service Work’ will take an in-depth look at the adoption of self-service tools, usage levels and what return on investment is being achieved. The report also aims to identify why, more than a decade on from the emergence of these tools and applications, many organisations are still struggling to reap the full benefits.

Adding real value to the organisation through the Service Desk. We’ve been talking about the all important ’shop front’, ‘single point of contact’, ‘the front door of IT’, or the factory floor’, (whatever you like to call it) for many years. How then do we really get a Service Desk that adds value to our organisation, something that can truly be purported as a strategic asset?

The paper will be discussed and debated in this breakfast briefing – making it an essential session for anyone currently using self-service tools or considering implementing them.

10:30 - 11:30am – IT Service Management futures Speaker: Roy Illsley, Ovum It’s not just the IT landscape that’s changing, so are our customers and their expectations. While many see the IT service management tool market as somewhat stagnant, it isn’t. Nor is the role that IT operations plays within the enterprise. It’s true that most ITSM software vendors have created solutions with ITIL v2, and then v3, as a blueprint but there are many drivers for ITSM change driven by the technology landscape, the business’ way of working, and IT’s relationship with the business. This presentation will address how IT needs to improve business perceptions, the impact of cloud computing, SaaS-delivered ITSM capabilities, mobility and ITSM, social media and ITSM, and managing non-corporate assets amongst others.

Join a panel of respected service management professionals who will share hints tips and war stories as they discuss practical ways to improve the Service Desk.

12:00 - 13:00pm – Keynote Presentation. TBA

13:30 - 14:30pm – Panel Discussion: Social media for the IT Service Desk Speakers: Richard Edwards, Ovum; Howard Kendall, Service Desk Institute; Patrick Bolger, Hornbill Service Management. How should IT and the IT Service Desk be responding to the business impact of social media?

14:45 - 15:45pm – Increasing IT financial management maturity Speaker: Martin Gandar, Ovum. How do IT functions move from a state of perpetual costcutting to one of delivered business value? The financial crisis not only affected what IT has to spend on projects and business-as-usual activities, it also started to increase the focus on what IT costs and the value that IT ultimately delivers to the organisation. This corporate focus on IT costs and value was inevitable, given the growing total cost of IT provision. However, many IT organisations are too financially immature to ably respond to this increased business scrutiny and the need for demonstrable business value. This presentation will provide enterprises with advice on increasing IT financial management maturity in the context of Ovum’s IT financial management maturity model.

www.vital-mag.net

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Market Sector – Panel Discussions & Keynotes Wednesday 20th April 2011 08:30am Breakfast Briefing – The future of the Service Desk

12:00 - 13:00pm – Keynote Presentation

An expert panel consider what the Service Desk will look like in five years time.

13:30 - 14:30pm – Panel Discussion: End point security and IT service management

10:30 - 11:30am – Transitioning from ITIL v2 to v3 (and v3 best practice) Speaker: Martin Gandar, Ovum

TBA

Speakers: Graham Titterington, Ovum; Andy Kellett, Ovum.

Adopting ITIL v3 is more than attending a training course or Why is security an oft-overlooked element of ITIL v3 and what should we do about it? buying service catalogue technology. In June 2007 the UK’s Office of Government Commerce 14:45 - 15:45pm – officially launched the refreshed version of ITIL. While the Killer apps for the Service Desk speed of v3 uptake has been slower than expected, ITIL adoption-levels continue to grow worldwide. In transitioning Speaker: Richard Edwards, Ovum. to ITIL v3 IT organisations must fully understand that v3 Undervalue the impact the Service Desk has on the adoption requires considerable organisational, process, business’ perceptions of IT at your peril. and technology change – even more so than ITIL v2. This presentation offers advice on how to move to ITIL v3 and best practice for service catalogue management, service portfolio management, and continual service improvement processes.

11:40 - 12:30pm – Panel Discussion: The future for IT Asset Management Speakers: Mark Boggia, Numara Software; Daniel Wood, Service Desk Institute; Howard Kendall, Service Desk Institute. Discussing the latest research on Asset Management. A panel of experts will consider the results of a survey recently undertaken by the Service Desk Institute into the state of Asset Management (ITAM) in the ITSM arena. They will examine the emerging strength of ITAM, the industry’s perception of its role, adoption levels, the benefits organisations are seeing, current barriers to adoption and ITAM’s place within service delivery and strategy.

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Service desks have come a long way since the introduction of ITIL; it’s easy to forget how a call to IT might never even garner a response let alone a fix. While many see the service desk as a stable part of the IT ecosystem, nothing could be further from the truth with many opportunities to improve performance, business alignment, and delivered business value available. This presentation will cover social media and the service desk, service desk-on-the-move, leveraging automation, enhanced knowledge management, exploiting selfservice and service catalogue, business analytics and proactive problem management, managing non-corporate assets, and business-focused service desk metrics amongst others.

www.vital-mag.net


UKCMG 26th Annual Conference 2011 Education, Innovation & Excellence

16th & 17th May

at the Oxford Belfry Hotel, Thame, Oxfordshire

Capacity, Performance, Z/OS & Service Management Tracks

Four-track agenda each day – technical presentations, end-user stories, tutorials and workshops. Network and learn through the table-top exhibition running alongside the conference. With a record number of end-user presentations this promises to be our best year yet!

K ! O ! ! O ! B W NO

More event details are available at www.ukcmg.org.uk


vital events

Best of both worlds According to Ian McEwan, 2011 is an incredibly exciting year for FrontRange Solutions, With the launch of its SaaS ITSM solution, the company can now offer either a cloud-based or on-premise solution to customers. Here he tells VitAL what is driving the company and where it is going.

VitAL: What is the history of your company? Ian McEwan: FrontRange Solutions was incorporated in 2000 when the companies behind the HEAT helpdesk and GoldMine customer relationship management (CRM) solutions merged. The company capitalised on its dominance of the SME helpdesk market to launch its fully-fledged IT Service Management solution in 2005. More recently it created an IT Asset Management solutions division with the acquisition of Enteo in 2007 and Centennial Software in 2008. 2011 is an incredibly exciting year for FrontRange Solutions, with the launch of our SaaS2 portfolio of IT Service Management and IT Asset Management solutions. VitAL: What is the specialist product area of your company? IM: The specialist nature of FrontRange Solutions is actually the breadth of our solution portfolio. We believe there are close synergies between ITSM and both IT Asset Management and CSM. As such, our portfolio spans these three core areas of operations – giving organisations the option to select just one vendor to cover their critical customerfacing IT needs. Within each of the core areas we aim to develop solutions which are both best-inclass in their own right as well as being a valuable component in a larger solution. 64 VitAL : March / April 2011

VitAL: What specific products set your offering apart from the competition and why? IM: While there are some parts of the portfolio that competitors simply can’t match (and we’ll get onto those in just a moment), it’s worth re-iterating that the main differentiator for FrontRange is the sheer breadth of the portfolio – from software asset management and inventory through to fully-mature ITILcompatible service management and more. To cite two specific examples of key differentiators, let’s look at the FrontRange Voice solution and the Discovery inventory and audit solution. When it comes to Service Management, one feature that is often overlooked during the early stages of requirements planning and deployment is voice self-service. Yet there is a lot of evidence to show that enabling customers to submit their own tickets or get access to pre-prepared information without talking directly to a human service desk employee can be a major productivity enhancer and cost-saver for an organisation. As such, the out-of-the-box integration between FrontRange Voice and ITSM is a real winner for customers who prize high customer satisfaction as well as wanting their service desks to be both lean and highly productive. A second differentiator may sound like a basic commodity but can actually make www.vital-mag.net


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a real difference to the effectiveness of IT operations in general. Many in IT don’t really give a second thought to audit and inventory, yet it should be the foundation upon which all other IT operations are built on. From service management to desktop management, software asset management to IT governance – all rely in part on having an accurate view of exactly what IT assets are deployed on the corporate network. Having possibly the most powerful solution available as part of the FrontRange portfolio gives us a significant advantage. Few, if any, vendors can match the breadth of supported platforms or the auditing power of FrontRange Discovery. Once customers see it for themselves, they stop thinking about inventory as a commodity item. Finally, as mentioned above, FrontRange recently launched the first of its SaaS offerings and we’re already creating quite a storm by offering not just named user licenses but also concurrent licensing options. The new SaaS solution features all of the advanced functionalities of our onpremise solution (eg, advanced workflow and business rules automation) but in a package that offers true multi-tenancy and was designed from the ground up as a SaaS solution (rather than being re-purposed from an existing on-premise tool). VitAL: Who is a typical user of your products? IM: The common ethos behind all FrontRange products is that they are designed to bring enterprise-class functionality to a price point that makes the solutions attractive and affordable for mid-market organisations. In general terms, this means our IT Service Management solutions are bought by organisations with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees. These customers are typically fast-growing organisations with a dispersed operational base. VitAL: What overall are the benefits of your product compared to the competition? IM: We believe one the major advantages of FrontRange Solutions’ portfolio for www.vital-mag.net

customers is the speed of implementation and short time to full Return on Investment (ROI). As much as is reasonably possible with a mature IT Service Management solution, most of the core functionalities are designed to work out of the box, with little configuration or set-up. Of course, for those organisations that require a highly-individualised approach to IT Service Management, there is the possibility to customise and configure the solution to work in any number of ways, but in terms of initial set up, customers can be up and running extremely quickly. Further advantages can be found in the broad nature of the portfolio, as referred to above. In our experience, many customers like the idea of being able to buy complementary solutions (ITSM, Desktop Management, Discovery, Software Asset Management, Customer Service Management etc) from a single vendor, safe in the knowledge that integration will not be an issue and that timeto-benefit will be radically reduced. VitAL: Do you have any plans to develop the product in future, if so, how? IM: As an indicator of how seriously FrontRange takes the future development of our solutions, consider that around 20 percent of our total revenue each year is re-invested directly in research and development. That’s far in excess of the industry average and shows how committed FrontRange is to delivering an aggressive solution roadmap. With the recent launch of our SaaS ITSM solution, FrontRange Solutions is in the unique position to be able to offer customers either a cloud-based or on-premise solution to best meet their needs. Over the coming months and years we expect to dramatically increase the scope of the solutions available through the SaaS model as well as offerings customers a highly cost-effective migration path either way between SaaS and on-premise. Within their own divisions, each of our solution areas have their own exciting roadmaps for new features that will bring significant additional benefits to our customers around the world. VitAL www.frontrange.com

Of course, for those organisations that require a highlyindividualised approach to IT Service Management, there is the possibility to customise and configure the solution to work in any number of ways, but in terms of initial set up, customers can be up and running extremely quickly.

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Communicating the value of cloud to the board When stepping into the boardroom to make the case for cloud computing CIOs now have an objective says Neil Thomas of Cable&Wireless Worldwide, by assessing the existing infrastructure and aligning it with the needs of the business they can dramatically reduce the need for high capital investments into new IT infrastructure and instead include a cloud model that gives impressive, but achievable, time, cost and efficiency savings.

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n today’s business environment those that still have IT capacity able to cope with their organisation’s busiest day are over investing in infrastructure that the business is unlikely to fully use the majority of the time. In some cases we estimate organisations are only using an average of between ten to fifteen percent of their computing resources for much of the time. This is not cost-effective and in no other part of the business would a ten per cent usage be acceptable. When stepping into the boardroom to make the case for cloud computing CIOs now have an objective. By assessing the existing infrastructure and aligning it with the needs of the business they can dramatically reduce the need for high capital investments into new IT infrastructure of their own and instead include a cloud model into the infrastructure mix that can give impressive, but achievable, time, cost and efficiency savings.

Assessing the need for the cloud Organisations run and operate a variety of applications with each having the potential for a different set of technical, security, availability and performance requirements, not all of which will be immediately ready for cloud computing environments. We therefore envisage enterprises embracing cloud computing will adopt a hybrid approach, making use of a set of technologies across traditional dedicated infrastructure, dedicated virtual servers, and cloud platforms with applications residing in the environment that best suits their individual requirements. Before migration to the cloud organisations must also be familiar with the cyclical trends of their business, for example, the retail peak over Christmas or the holiday season. Increased capacity at these peak times means increased competitiveness. The ability to adapt to and support these seasonal peaks and troughs are where the economies of scale offered by a multi-tenanted cloud based solutions really come into their own. Businesses are already starting to see the difference between being stuck in a lengthy systems integrator contract and the quicker, more agile capabilities of the cloud platform. This is when cloud services can deliver tangible competitive value as well as cost efficiencies. It must be remembered that it’s not just cloud that organisations need to consider, but also the stepping stones that are involved in the migration process. The transition into the cloud for most organisations will be a journey – one that takes them many months www.vital-mag.net

to execute on. Being able to introduce cloud infrastructure alongside existing infrastructure, and managing that hybrid model, allows organisations to effect the gradual transition into the cloud in a way that suits them and allows them to adjust their strategy as they learn through execution.

Agility the cloud offers When approached by the IT department regarding cloud migration today’s CEO is likely to ask why everyone re-engineered IT in the ’90s just to migrate to cloud now? The message needs to be communicated to the C-level that the older model of having infrastructure and capacity able to cope with the businesses busiest day means over investing in infrastructure that they are unlikely to fully use. This is not only not cost-effective, but in no other part of the business would a ten percent usage be acceptable. The agility of cloud means that new services can be introduced more quickly, reducing staff costs and the need for lengthy systems integrator’s provisioning cycles. This can potentially reduce the time needed to provision new services from 6 months to 2 hours, delivering massive cost savings and significantly improving business agility. How much variable demand a user has is directly related to how much benefit they will get from cloud migration. If there is minimal variable need within a business, there will be little tangible benefit. The ultimate benefit is that, as a result of the migration, the IT dept can become a better partner to the business by reducing waste and offering a better service.

The ability to adapt to and support these seasonal peaks and troughs are where the economies of scale offered by a multi-tenanted cloud based solutions really come into their own. Businesses are already starting to see the difference between being stuck in a lengthy systems integrator

Ensuring the right support While cloud can offer a complete transformation for the IT department and agility for the entire organisation the business cannot halt to facilitate it. Organisations need a refined programme to move to the cloud while keeping the lights on. Many vendors today are offering a cloud platform but no consultancy to support the businesses along the journey. Customers need to identify what they’re getting into before committing to the process. As such vendors need to be working with enterprises to refine the roadmap to the adoption of cloud computing. We do this by helping shape the consultative approach and migration strategies for our customers, working alongside them and assisting with each step in the migration process to help them realise a seamless transition. VitAL www.cw.com

contract and the quicker, more agile capabilities of the cloud platform.

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CHERWELL Stand number: 800 T: +44 (0)1793 858181 E: Info@cherwellsoftware.com www.cherwellsoftware.com The Complete ITIL v3 Service Management Software Solution Cherwell Software is the developer of Cherwell Service Management™ – an integrated service management software solution for IT and support professionals. Cherwell Service Management™ was designed, from the ground up, using .NET and Web 2.0 technology enabling the solution to be delivered as a traditional On Premise or a fully hosted SaaS subscription service, you choose! Cherwell delivers ITIL good practice out-of-the-box and has 11 fully-integrated PinkVERIFIED & SERVIEW CERTIFIEDTOOL ITIL v3 management processes including; Incident, Problem, Change, Release, Configuration, SLM, Service Catalog and Knowledge. Cherwell Service Management™ provides a holistic approach to service management, allowing IT and support departments to align themselves with the organisations they support. The Cherwell solution is quick to deploy, easy to manage and offers enterprise functionality at a mid-market price. Cherwell Service Management is a fully integrated software solution for your service desk, help desk, or customer call centre. Cherwell is Web 2.0 enabled product using Microsoft’s .NET technology. The Cherwell solution is available via the traditional perpetual licensing model (Cherwell On-Premise) or as a fully hosted SaaS subscription service (Cherwell OnDemand). Either deployment offering supports both of our browser-based and rich client user interfaces, providing true system management capabilities. The Cherwell Service Management solution provides: • Concurrent, all-inclusive, simply priced licensing model. A concurrent license of Cherwell Service Management includes the 11 ITIL v3 management processes for integrated core functionality of incident, problem, change, configuration (CMDB), release & deployment, service-level agreements, service catalog, service portfolio, event, fulfilment, knowledge and also includes; unlimited end user self-service, AD/LDAP & email integration, dynamic dashboards, multiple calendars, fully integrated Outlook email integration, workflow and business process design engine, reporting and more.

• .NET scalable technology. The Cherwell product is written in .NET as an XML-based, three-tier application that provides enterprise-class scalability. Both Cherwell’s browserbased and rich-client-based user interfaces communicate over the Web using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and other technologies that allow for easy access to centralised data from any point. • Configurability/customisation. The Cherwell development environment enables Cherwell Service Management to be completely configurable and customisable by the IT group. Customers use Cherwell’s administrative console to create seamlessly integrated business objects for applications such as; bug tracking, procurement, sales, marketing, and more – without the need for any programming resources. If it can be drawn on the whiteboard, IT can build it with Cherwell. Through its WYSIWYG administration tools, Cherwell provides flexibility that allows organisations to make any changes they desire to screens (forms), business processes, workflows and escalations and approval processes – even the ability to add new business objects. • Management tools/reporting. Cherwell Service Management takes advantage of SQL’s full-text search for enhanced “Google-like” search capabilities. Additional reporting support allows users to launch Crystal Reports Writer and MS SQL Reporting Services or use its built-in Report Writer. Dashboards are completely customisable. External table support provides the ability to talk to data in other systems and include such data in Cherwell forms as if it were part of the Cherwell system. Additionally, iCherwell enables iPhone/Blackberry/Android and other smart phone users to, for example, modify incidents, approve changes, utilise drilldown dashboards and much more. The Cherwell solution is an extensible platform; it not only offers service delivery management capabilities but also enables business users to add new custom built applications through the use of customisable business process templates. This is enabled through what Cherwell terms ‘Codeless Business Application Technology’ or CBAT. CBAT’s scope extends from simple customisations to existing templates by business users through to complex business processes implemented by advanced users with the help of Web services-based APIs (for integration with other systems).

frontrange Stand number: 514 www.frontrange.com

FrontRange is a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT Service Management, IT Asset Management, and Customer Service Management solutions. These solutions enable IT and Services transformation by providing Enterprise-class capabilities that deliver fast time to benefit, high ease of use, and rapid return on investment. With an award winning tradition and recognized as a leader by industry analysts, FrontRange’s products and solutions are used by over 13,000 customers in more than 80 verticals and 45 countries to quickly improve interactions with external and internal clients and achieve better business results. The latest product to be introduced to the market by FrontRange Solutions, is our Solutions-as-a-Service product suite, which we refer to as SaaS”. Created and developed from our 20 years of experience in the service desk market, this solution provides all of the traditional benefits offered by SaaS providers with some additional benefits that can include the following; ability to operate in hybrid (premise and SaaS) environments; Embedded best practices for increased standardization and consistency; ability to offer the full range of capabilities, from complete self administration and control by the user to 100% managed by the solution provider. Modeled and built specifically for the cloud environment, SaaS” delivers world class and proven IT Services capabilities on a true multi-tenant platform. FrontRange Solutions will be showcasing the ITSM SaaS” solution at this year’s SDITS, visit us on Stand 514. Take a test drive of our latest products ITSM Enterprise, Service Catalog and IT Asset Management solutions.


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Hornbill Service Management Limited Stand number: 300 T: +44 (0) 208 582 8222 Twitter: @hornbill_sys www.hornbill.com

Easy to implement service management software with new social media integration Hornbill is an IT Service Management (ITSM) software provider that offers three solutions, each designed to match different levels of ITSM maturity. Supportworks applications enable customers to get up and running quickly with minimal need for professional services. Unique ‘Human Touch’ features improve the service experience, whilst powerful workflow automates ITSM processes. The highly configurable Supportworks platform and design tools enable customers to tailor the application, or build service desks for HR, Facilities, Customer Service and other areas of the business. Supportworks ITSM Enterprise is certified by PinkVERIFY™ for 11 ITIL processes. Hornbill’s software supports thousands of commercial and public sector or government sites worldwide. Founded in 1995, with offices in London and Dallas, Hornbill’s customers include Comet, Toyota Motorsport, Greggs, Carpetright, Northumbria University, London Metropolitan University and Knight Frank. IT organisations are under ever-increasing pressure to demonstrate business value. The latest release of Supportworks ITSM Enterprise includes social media integration that extends the ‘Human Touch’ and enables corporate, product and service ‘mentions’ to be monitored. Supportworks Social ITSM provides a means for staff to support customers through new media channels, logging calls from ‘tweets’. It enables IT to proactively respond to service requests and evolve with the changing demands of customers. To secure your personal product demonstration of Supportworks Social ITSM on the Hornbill stand at the 2011 Service Desk & IT Support show, visit www.hornbill.com/SDITS. Don’t forget to visit us at Stand 300 to collect your copy of Hornbill’s ‘7 Point Plan for Proactive ITSM’ – advice for all service desks around how to take a proactive approach to cutting costs and driving service optimisation.

Kepner-Tregoe

LiveTime Software

Stand number: 204

Stand number: 720

Contact: Steve White

T: +44 (0) 1242 580090

E: swhite@kepner-tregoe.com

E: sales@livetime.com

T: 01628 778776

www.livetime.com

Visit stand 300 for a demo of Supportworks Social ITSM

www.kepner-tregoe.com Software doesn’t solve problems, people do! Kepner-Tregoe (KT) helps service organisations significantly improve their strategic and operational results by delivering best in class Incident & Problem Management performance. With over 50 years’ experience, we understand the challenges of consistently delivering high-quality, world-class service and support. Our clients’ results demonstrate dramatic performance improvements in increased customer satisfaction, reduced resolution times, decreases in service costs, increases in first time fix-rate, reduced service performance variances and increased employee retention. Kepner-Tregoe Resolve®, a core Service Management offering, is the only proprietary method acknowledged by ITIL as best practice for problem analysis and troubleshooting. Through a combination of analysis, training, business process integration, and performance system improvement, KT helps organisations improve their ability to delight customers and become more efficient. The KT Resolve® process dramatically increases performance against key indicators like Mean-Time-To-Resolve, Customer Satisfaction, Cost of Service, helping organisations transform their support function from being a cost centre to a true competitive advantage. We collaborate with organisations to diagnose their greatest needs to design tailored, effective solutions. And we bring together the right team to deliver rapid results. Because the work is collaborative, improvements are sustainable and add lasting value - offering a truly effective alternative to traditional business consulting. But don’t take our word for it. Find out for yourself by contacting us via our details above.

LiveTime Service Manager gives you full control of your service desk implementation – guaranteeing your time is invested in evolving the maturity of your service management and not wasted on building, configuring and upgrading software. You can fully integrate Service Manager with your existing environment, using built-in connectors or Web Services, so your service desk is not just another isolated store of information in an already crowded IT infrastructure landscape. Full integration across eleven ITIL v3 Processes ensures open and accurate communication between stakeholders – enhancing service levels and giving you the capacity to meet, and exceed, business goals. • 100 percent web-based with SaaS or On-premise deployment; • Any platform, any database, any browser; • High performance – for all sizes of service desk; • Rapid deployment and instant upgrades lowering TCO; • Uncomplicated configuration for all service scenarios; • Enterprise-level functionality in an all-in-one package; • 11 certified ITIL v3 processes with tight integration; • Federated CMDB synchronises with multiple data sources; • Localized for many languages; • Integrations - Single sign on, Email, AD/LDAP, Discovery; • Out-of-the-box Knowledge Base and Reporting; • LiveTime iPhone app and support for Social Media.


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logmein Stand number: 920 www.LogMeIn.com Simply connected LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM) provides SaaS-based remote access, support and collaboration solutions to quickly, simply and securely connect millions of internet-enabled devices across the globe — computers, smartphones, iPad™ tablets, digital displays, and even in-dash computers of the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Designed for consumers, mobile professionals and IT organizations, LogMeIn’s solutions empower over 10.4 million active users to connect more than 100 million devices. LogMeIn has been recognized with eight Editors’ Choice Awards, “Best of the Year” and “Best in Show” honors. In October 2009, the company was ranked the 94th fastest growing company in North America on Deloitte’s 2009 Technology Fast 500, and in November, LogMeIn’s products and dedication to serving the needs of small and medium businesses caught the attention of research firm IDC, earning the company the prestigious IDC “SMB Excellence Award.” The company is headquartered in Woburn, MA, USA, with offices in Amsterdam, Budapest, London, Sydney, and Szeged. Key Solutions All LogMeIn solutions combine remote access and security with ease-of-use to eliminate connection hassles, automate routine functions, and quickly diagnose, resolve and prevent PC, server, Mac and smartphone issues. Access – Remote access to home or work computers over the web. LogMeIn’s access products include: • LogMeIn Free: Anytime, anywhere access to your PC or Mac’s files and applications. From the convenience of a web browser, you can work with a remote computer securely as if you were sitting right in front of it. 100% free, 100% of the time.

• LogMeIn Pro2: Remote computer control with additional productivityenhancing features, including file transfer, remote-to-local printing, remoteto-local sound, and 1-to-1 screen sharing. • LogMeIn Ignition: ake anytime anywhere access to a whole new level. Access and control your remote computers directly from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Support & IT Management – Designed for helpdesk, service desk and IT support & management professionals. LogMeIn’s support and IT management solutions include: • L  ogMeIn Rescue: On-demand support of remote customer or employee Windows PCs, Macs and smartphones (BlackBerry®, Symbian OS™, Windows Mobile®, iPhone/iPad) over the web without pre-installing software. • LogMeIn Central: Web-based management console that helps IT professionals deliver and administer LogMeIn’s remote access, computer management and VPN connectivity services. Collaboration – The latest product offering from LogMeIn. • join.me: Fast, simple and secure screen sharing for anything, from impromptu meetings to ad hoc conversations to scheduled events, without all the headaches and unnecessary features of other web conferencing products. To learn more or to take a trial of any of our products, visit: Web: www.LogMeIn.com Facebook: facebook.com/LogMeIn Twitter: twitter.com/LogMeIn

manageengine Stand number: 938 www.manageengine.com The Company

ManageEngine history

ManageEngine is the Enterprise IT Management Software division of ZOHO Corp Founded in 1996 and known until 2009 as AdventNet Inc, ZOHO Corp is headquartered in Pleasanton, California with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. ZOHO Corp is privately held.

ZOHO Corp began life by building SNMP APIs and network management platforms for network and element management systems for the telecom domain way back in 1996. The WebNMS framework was rated number one EMS/NMS platform for telecoms and is a carrier grade platform with over 1000 man years of development. After the dot com bubble burst and the telecom slowdown in early 2000, ZOHO Corp diversified into the enterprise IT management space. ManageEngine as a brand targeting enterprise IT management was born. The carrier-grade platform (used for large telecoms) was used as the basis for the new products in the IT management space. Today ManageEngine has 40 products with well over 100 editions that cover many key areas for effective IT management.

ZOHO Corp serves a diverse range of enterprise IT, networking and telecom customers. ZOHO Corp has achieved impressive growth over the years and has been a rock-solid supplier and partner, with sound financials.

Our philosophy ZOHO Corp believes in providing customers with the best software at affordable prices. We believe traditional enterprise IT management software vendors have business models that cannot provide software at the right price.

About ManageEngine ManageEngine is an innovative producer of Enterprise IT Management Software, offering high-end functionality of large network management frameworks at costeffective prices to enterprises world-wide. With more than 45,000 customers worldwide, including three out of every five Fortune 500 companies, we are the fastest growing alternative to traditional network management frameworks. We sell a ManageEngine every 23 minutes.

We believe in innovation and invest heavily on research and development. Our products and services range from installed software to Software as a Service (SaaS). Zoho.com is a leader in online office productivity and collaboration software (Web 2.0). Additionally our recent announcements about OpManager OnDemand (network management – SaaS) show cases our belief in investing heavily in R&D, in the process making sure our customers invest in a company that stays relevant. “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work – he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him.” Mahatma Gandhi


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partners in it Stand number: 636 Partners in IT, 7 Bracknell Beeches, Bracknell, Berks, RG12 7BW www.piit.co.uk

Partners in IT is a specialist IT consultancy focussed on bringing true end to end service management to life. From small company engagements to large scale enterprise deployments we focus on the implementation and long term support of IT Service Management solutions and therefore: • Controlling and reducing costs; • Improving the quality of IT services and processes; • Aligning IT better with the business; • Meeting compliance requirements. We have been working with IT Service Management for nearly 15 years and for the Service Desk and IT Support show 2011 we have a great story to tell. Not only are we delighted to be a partner of Service-now.com, the service desk technology that is challenging and changing the industry but we are also launching some new products and services of our own. Come and talk to us on stand 636 for: • Service-now.com – the software that is changing the industry; • Integrated out of the box processes for Service-now.com; •  Low cost monitoring – Vision IT Open Source based enterprise class monitoring. Service-now.com is the technology that is disrupting the Service Desk industry in many positive ways. Not only is the delivery mechanism

of the software the most cost effective and flexible, a pure Saas model, but the entire philosophy of the application means that it is cheaper and quicker to implement, cheaper to own through free and automated upgrades and more flexible and extensible through a powerful and intuitive development platform. We are launching our own Service-now.com based platform for smaller IT teams. We have built our own Service Management platform on Servicenow.com which means you can get the best technology in the industry even if you only have a very small number of users in your team. (Less than 35 users) We are launching GovernIT, a detailed process model for Servicenow.com that we have built to accelerate implementation and provide consistent and rapidly adopted processes across an organisation. A World Class deployment framework for the World’s best Service Management tool! We are also launching VisionIT a low cost subscription service for IT management and monitoring that is fully integrated with Service-now. com and provides enterprise functionality at entry level price with minimal ongoing cost of ownership. VisionIT is a managed service that is based on a core set of Open Source tools and delivered as a software subscription providing a low cost, low maintenance management platform for infrastructure, network and application monitoring.

Purple Griffon Stand number: 334 1A Stramongate, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4BH T: 01539 736828 E: sales@purplegriffon.com www.purplegriffon.com

Your Service Management training partner Purple Griffon has been delivering Service Management training and consultancy since it was first formed in 2002. It is now an internationally recognised deliverer of quality Service Management ‘Good Practice’ guidance using the OGC’s ITIL framework. Purple Griffon became an accredited training organisation with the BCS/ISEB examining institute in October 2002. Purple Griffon provides high quality Service Management Training and Consultancy solutions. Specialising in ITIL training, we offer the entire range of accredited courses including Overviews, Foundation, Lifecycle, Capability, Bridging, and Managing across the Lifecycle courses. We can also develop bespoke courses if required. Our team of experts has a skill base which covers the full set of Service Management disciplines, gained across a wide number of industry sectors and we will work with you to ensure you benefit from the most appropriate training solution. With exceptionally high delegate pass rates, we offer flexible training that can be tailored to meet your needs. Our strengths stem from: • Our Trainers and Consultants have been at the leading edge of IT Service Management for many years and regularly contribute to industry events and seminars. • Our Trainers and Consultants have considerable real world ‘hands on’ experience. • Our Trainers and Consultants are accredited to ITIL version 3 ‘Expert’ level ensuring that all work undertaken is fully ITIL conformant. • Purple Griffon is recognised as an ITIL training specialist and runs

specialised and complementary courses and consultancy services that many other companies do not offer. • Purple Griffon has been specifically sought out to deliver specialised Service Management training and consultancy on behalf of a number of other training companies worldwide. • We employ more accredited Service Management ‘Expert’ level trainers and consultants than any other UK accredited IT Service Management service provider. • We can tailor consultancy services and on-site courses to meet your exact needs. • All of our training courses and consultancy services are very competitively priced. • We achieve high pass rates on all of our training courses and have a high level of satisfaction of our consultancy services. • We have undertaken assessment services against ITIL v2, v3 and ISO/ IEC 20000. • We have considerable experience of working with Service Management technology providers to implement consultancy and tailored training aligned to technology deployment Find out more about Purple Griffon Training and Consultancy and how we can help you achieve an effective, efficient and economic IT service by visiting Purple Griffon on Stand No 334 at the Service Desk and IT Support Show, Earls Court on 19th-20th April. References available on request.


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RMS Services Ltd Stand numbers: 540/840 www.rms.co.uk

Providing comprehensive IT Service Management Solutions, meeting Enterprise Service Management requirements, RMS encompasses all of the functionality required from a top level Service Management Solution at a fraction of the cost and installation. The RMS solution focuses on providing clarity and comprehension and represents a growing investment for our customers.

Providing More for Less With the current economic climate and the growing pressure on Companies to provide more for less, RMS is focussing this year on how we can help our customers do just that – whilst at the same time providing an ever more efficient service to their business. We will be showcasing our new process and service wrapped corporate offering, RMS Insignia, which gives the customer absolute financial clarity. As well as providing fully ITIL based Service Management in a fully integrated suite, the costs are transparent and there are no “hidden extras”. Installation, maintenance, upgrades and system reviews are all included in the price. All at a fraction of the costs usually associated with a solution of this quality.

RMS Insignia comes in four flavours to suit every company with special editions for Service Providers, Health Providers, Finance and Retail/Distribution. We will also be highlighting RMS Automation and how the use of automation significantly increases productivity and efficiency and saves money, posing questions such as: Does your system do the work for you or does it just track what you have done? Does it tell you what the cause of any logged issue is likely to be and does it try to fix for you automatically, providing diagnostic information if it can’t?’ Does it help to automatically fulfil your service requests? Does it pull the information from all your monitoring tools into one place highlighting the business impact of any failure? Can it monitor your network and servers itself, automatically fixing problems as they occur and advising the whole Service Management team about it as it goes? Visit our stand and enter our draw to win a free personalised study on the benefits of Automation for your organisation, plus an iPad for the first five people drawn after the show.

servicenow

sitehelpdesk

Stand number: 630

Stand number: 542

www.service-now.com

Pervasive and familiar technology, evolved processes, cloud services and social IT are combining to help IT focus on the business and its people. Service-now.com is built to help customers transform IT and realize the benefits of IT 3.0 . Service-now.

E: sales@sitehelpdesk.com www.sitehelpdesk.com

Leading web based help desk software solutions Whether you’re a small business or a multinational corporation, if you provide any kind of support services such as IT, HR or building

com SaaS for enterprise IT management is best known for being software that just

maintenance then we have a product that will consolidate your

works. Founded in 2004, Service-now.com is using a new business model and

requests, improve efficiency and reduce your costs.

modern technology to become the largest and fastest-growing IT management

Our support solutions have one of the best price / functionality

software company on the 2010 Inc. 500 list. For more information, please visit www. service-now.com.

ratios in the industry with special discounts available to health and education and other not for profit sectors. We also publish our prices and provide a free fully functional download so you can see exactly what you get. No surprises. It is simple to install and easy to use. Features include: - Customer or User Support and Service Desk; - Self Help, user call logging and tracking; - Optional SLA, Configuration, Change and Problem Management; - Optional Asset Management; - Customer feedback and satisfaction surveys; - Volumes and trend reporting and 3D graphical dashboards.


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TechExcel

31 Media – VitAL Focus Groups

Stand number: 216

Stand number: 337

T: +44 207 470 5650 E: emeainfo@techexcel.com www.techexcel.com

Contact: Grant Farrell T: 0203 0564598 E: grant.farrell@31media.co.uk www.vitalfocusgroups.com

TechExcel, a leading provider of IT Service Management software, has 1,500 customers in 42 countries and maintains offices in USA, UK, China and Japan. ServiceWise is a customisable and comprehensive internal Helpdesk, ITSM and ITIL compliant solution. It can enforce business rules and optimise business processes regardless of the size of your organisation. Automate and streamline services and helpdesk activities with configurable workflows, process management, email notifications and a searchable knowledge base. Provide support from a browser by creating a customised self-service portal that matches the look and feel of your company’s website. The self-service portal includes online incident submission, status updates, online conversations and a knowledgebase. ServiceWise includes modules such as incident management, problem escalation and analysis, change management and asset management. CustomerWise is an integrated CRM solution focused on customer service throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Provide your support, sales, and marketing teams the necessary tools, processes, and information they need to meet customer demands and improve the customer’s experience. CustomerWise allows you to refine sales, customer service and support processes to increase cross-team communication and efficiency while reducing your overall costs. Combine sophisticated process automation, knowledgebase management, workflow, and customer self-service to improve business processes that translate into better customer relationships. AssetWise aids the process of monitoring, controlling and accounting for assets throughout their lifecycle. A single and centralised location enables businesses to monitor all assets including company IT assets, managing asset inventories, and tracking customer-owned assets. All asset changes, including maintenance information, trouble ticket data, status inventory, utilisation metrics and usage, are recorded in the central repository and linked to other Service and Support tasks. As part of the TechExcel Service Suite, AssetWise can be accessed by members of TechExcel CustomerWise and ServiceWise and provides a single version of asset truth for sales, service, help desk, IT, and other teams.

focus groups

The VitAL Focus Groups take place on 28th June 2011 at the Park Inn Hotel, Heathrow, and will focus on key strategies to help senior IT professionals map clearly defined paths and implement change to help their businesses be more effective as the UK economy grows. The overall event sponsor is leading ITSM vendor Cherwell Software, but Hornbill, Pink Elephant, Kepner-Tregoe, Wardown Consulting and Facilita have all added their support with many more leading vendors expected to participate in an event which promises to become a highlight of the IT management calendar. The VitAL Focus Groups will consist of fifteen syndicate rooms, each a forum to discuss a specialist subject for IT leaders. With some of the industry’s leading minds on hand to help facilitate and steer each session, we predict that the VitAL Focus Groups will quickly become a ‘must-attend’ event for anyone serious about IT in the modern environment. In addition to the syndicates there will be networking opportunities available as well as an exhibition area where delegates can interact with their peers and source the latest products and services. The VitAL Focus Groups are open to all professionals within the IT industry although complimentary places are limited to 120 and are offered to managers, directors, and board executives on a first come first served basis.

VMware UK Limited Stand number: 730 Theta Building, Lyon Way, Frimley, Camberley GU16 7ER T: 08000 327 597 or 0800 882408 F: +44 1276 685018 www.vmware.com

VMware (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, delivers customerproven solutions that accelerate IT by reducing complexity and enabling more flexible, agile service delivery. VMware enables enterprises to adopt a cloud model that addresses their unique business challenges. VMware’s approach accelerates the transition to cloud computing while preserving existing investments and improving security and control. With more than 250,000 customers and 25,000 partners, VMware solutions help organisations of all sizes lower costs, increase business agility and ensure freedom of choice.

vital


directory

Hornbill Systems

Ares, Odyssey Business Park, West End Road, Ruislip, HA4 6QD T: 020 8582 8282 F: 020 8582 8288 W: www.hornbill.com C: sales@hornbill.com E: info@hornbill.com Hornbill develops and markets ‘Supportworks’, applications for IT Service Management (ITSM) and business helpdesks. Hornbill’s ITSM & service desk software with a ‘Human Touch’, enables its customers to provide excellent service while benefiting from consolidation on a single technology platform.

InfraVision

Delegate House, 30A Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 2AL T: +44 (0) 1491 635340 F: +44 (0) 1491 579835 W: www.infravision.com C: Nigel Todd E: info@infravision.com BMC Software’s #1 partner for Service Desk Express and the Alignability Process Model, delivering rapid implementation of proven ITIL aligned processes, procedures, work instructions and tool settings, and transformation to service-led approach in only 12 weeks!

Pink Elephant

Atlantic House, Imperial Way, Reading. RG2 0TD T: + 44 (0) 118 903 6824 F: + 44 (0) 118 903 6282 W: www.pinkelephant.com C: Frances Fenn E: info.emea@pinkelephant.com Acknowledged worldwide as niche, independent, IT Service Management Education and Consulting providers. Having trained more people than any other company in ITIL related subjects since 1987, we have contributed to all 3 versions of the ITIL books.

74 VitAL : March / April 2011

ICCM Solutions

Cedar House, Riverside Business Village, Swindon Road, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9RS T: + 44 (0) 1666 828 600 F: + 44 (0) 1666 826 103 W: www.iccm.co.uk C: Kate Springer E: sales@iccm.co.uk One of the overriding directives of ICCM Solutions is the simplification of complexity in Service Management environments. ICCM provides a global client base with sophisticated ITIL aligned Service Management Solutions built on Business Process Management (BPM) Architecture, from Metastorm BPM®.

iCore

60 Lombard Street, London EC3V 9EA

T: +44 (0) 207 464 8883 F: +44 (0) 207 464 8888 W: www.icore-ltd.com E: sales@icore-ltd.com C: Greg Lake iCore is the largest specialist IT Service Management Consultancy in the UK. ICore has a long & impressive track record in delivering & embedding pragmatic IT service management, solutions, relying on the deep, real world experience of our mature & determined consultancy team.

Kepner-tregoe

NetSupport Software Ltd

Quayside House, Thames Side, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1QN T: +44 (0) 1753 856716 F: +44 (0) 1753 854929 W: www.kepner-tregoe.com C: Steve White E: swhite@kepner-tregoe.com Kepner-Tregoe provides consulting and training services to organizations worldwide. We collaborate with clients to implement their strategies by embedding problem-solving, decision-making, and project execution methods through individual and team skill development and process improvement. Clients build competitive advantage by using our systematic processes to achieve rapid, targeted results and create lasting value.

Towngate East, Market Deeping, Peterborough, PE6 8NE   T: +44 (0) 1778 382270      F: +44 (0) 1778 382280 W: www.netsupportsoftware.co.uk C: Colette Reed E: colette@netsupportsoftware.co.uk NetSupport provides a range of complementary Remote Support and Service Management solutions that help organisations deliver a productive and cost effective IT support service. Products include multi-platform Remote Control solution NetSupport Manager, IT Asset Management suite NetSupport DNA and web based ITIL Service Management tool NetSupport ServiceDesk.

ManageEngine

G2G3

ZOHO Corp, 4900 Hopyard Rd, Suite 310, Pleasanton, CA – 94588, USA

T: 925-924-9500 F: 925-924-9600 W: www.manageengine.com E: eval@manageengine.com C: Gerald A. Raja ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is highly customizable, smart and flexible Help Desk Software used by more than 10,000 IT managers worldwide in 23 different languages. It helps you to implement ITIL best practices on the go and restore your IT services on-time. ManageEngine has a suite of software products in Enterprise IT management space like Network monitoring, Desktop Management, Applications, Logs, AD management, et al.

Panama House, 14 The High Street, Lasswade, EH18 1ND    T: + 44 (0) 131 461 3333     F: + 44 (0) 131 663 8934 W: www.g2g3.com C: David Arrowsmith E: info@g2g3.com G2G3 is the leading provider of communication tools, gaming solutions and simulations that propel enterprise IT and business alignment. Headquartered in the UK, G2G3 has a strong global network of partners supporting the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. www.vital-mag.net


directory

Dennis Adams Associates

Tel: +44 (0)845 055 8935 www.dennisadams.co.uk info@dennisadams.co.uk Dennis Adams Associates IT Management Consultants enable clients to: l

l l

l

l

 uild high performing IT Management B teams Implement effective IT Strategy Create empowering IT Processes and Procedures Establish Production Supportable Technology Roadmaps Be visibly Accountable to the Business

Cherwell Software

sitehelpdesk.com Ltd

APMG

Eagle House, Lynchborough Road, Passfields , Hants GU30 7SB

Sword House, Totteridge Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK

T: +44 (0) 207 419 5174 F: +44 (0) 870 138 3824 W: www.sitehelpdesk.com E: sales@sitehelpdesk.com C: Bryan Taylor

T: + 44 (0) 1494 452 450 F: + 44 (0) 1494 459559 W: www.apmg-uk.com C: Nicola McKinney E: nicola.mckinney@apmgroup.co.uk

Sitehelpdesk.com will take you to the forefront of service delivery with a suite of products designed to provide you with low cost web browser based action tracking and self-help, making your services instantly available 24 by 7.

unipress software

As an accredited ITIL® Examination Institute, APMG offers our training organizations a range of benefits to help them demonstrate the quality and professionalism of their services. Call us to find out how your business could benefit from our accreditation services.

TEST MAGAZINE

innovation for software quality

Lime Kiln House, Lime Kiln, Wooton Bassett, Wiltshire, SN4 7HF

UniPress Software – London

T: + 44 (0) 1793 858181 W: www.cherwellsoftware.com/contact

2 Sheraton Street

Cherwell Service Management delivers ITIL v3 best practice ‘out-of-the-box’ including: Incident, Problem, Change, CMDB, SLA, Knowledge, SelfService and is PinkVERIFY certified. Our unique CBAT development platform empowers users to fully customise screens, workflow processes and develop additional business applications. The Cherwell solution is available via a standard license model or ‘On Demand’ SaaS service.

T: + 44 (0) 8450 646566 F: + 44 (0) 8450 636261 W: unipress.co.uk E: sales@unipress.co.uk

avocent landesk

Dukes Court, Duke Street, Woking, Surrey GU22 7AD

London, W1F 8BH

Web Help Desk is a 100% web-based helpdesk solution which provides a low cost of ownership, ultimate portability and simple implementation. A totally cross-platform solution, Web Help Desk has a diverse feature-set that will allow you to fulfil any submitted request more efficiently and effectively.

IT Service Management Forum

T: +44 (0) 1483 744444 F: +44 (0) 1483 744401 W: www.landesk.com C: Sarah Lewis E: sarah.lewis@avocent.com Avocent delivers IT operations management solutions that reduce operating costs, simplify management and increase the availability of critical IT environments 24/7 via integrated, centralized software. This includes Systems Management, Security Management, Data Centre Management and IT Service Management.

www.vital-mag.net

UniPress Software Ltd

Three Tuns House, 109 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1NL T: +44 (0) 870 863 6930 F: +44 (0) 870 085 8837 W: www.testmagazine.co.uk C: Tim Fleming E: tim.fleming@31media.co.uk TEST is a publication designed specifically for individuals and organisations aligned with software testing. With independent, practical, and insightful editorial TEST aims to inspire its readers and provide its advertisers with a clearly defined route to market.

e-Warehouse

. 150 Wharfedale Road, Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham, Berkshire. RG41 5RG

e-Warehouse Ltd, Hampden House, Hampden House, Monument park, Chalgrove,Oxfordshire , OX44 7RW

T: 0118 918 6503 F: 0118 969 9749 W: www.itsmf.co.uk C: Ben Clacy E: ben.clacy@itsmf.co.uk

T: 0845 299 7539 f: 08717143802 w: www.oxygenservicedesk.com c: Victoria Eggleton e: oxygen@e-warehouse.com Oxygen Service Desk is a process automation engine that simply interprets your pre-defined business processes and then mobilises the actual process, pushing work tasks to people and to systems, streamlining how the processes run across your entire department or organisation.

The itSMF is the only internationally recognised and independent organisation whose sole focus is on the on-going development and promotion of IT Service Management ’best practice‘, standards and qualifications. The forum has 14,000 UK members and official itSMF chapters in 44 countries

March / April 2011 : VitAL 75


secrets of my success

Andrew Scott Group manager of IS Systems Allocate Software plc

VitAL: Name, company and job title please? Married? Kids? Andrew Scott: Andrew Scott, group manager of IS Systems at Allocate Software Plc. Married? Why, are you offering!? VitAL: What got you started in IT? AS: I discovered an aptitude and interest in IT from school days, when I took Computer Science at A Level. I then got a job working at Nat West bank, just as it started to roll out Windows to its branches. This was a great experience, and gave me the opportunity to work with some fantastic people – I have never really considered any other career. VitAL: Was there any one person or organisation that was your inspiration? AS: I have always followed the success of Microsoft and Bill Gates; Microsoft is truly phenomenal and has fundamentally changed the way the world operates. For me, Microsoft is the reason IT has been able to offer me a financially stable and enjoyable career and for that reason I owe it a lot.

I managed to disable four Nat West branches by accidentally scheduling a software update to the branch terminals for 8am and not 8pm. I learnt to always put other checks and balances in place, so human error can’t be allowed to wreak havoc. In IT, we talk about

VitAL: What was your first IT job, what was your first major IT triumph? AS: My first IT job was working for Nat West on printers and tapes which hung off their IBM mainframes. Back in those days, units took up half the floor of the data centre!

mission critical software

VitAL: Did you ever make any embarrassing mistakes? What did you learn from them? AS: Oh yes! I managed to disable four Nat West branches by accidentally scheduling a software update to the branch terminals for 8am and not 8pm. I learnt to always put other checks and balances in place, so human error can’t be allowed to wreak havoc. In IT, we talk about mission critical software precisely because what we do is vital to the smooth running of an organisation.

the smooth running

76 VitAL : March / April 2011

precisely because what we do is vital to

of an organisation.

VitAL: What do you like best about your job? AS: In my current role, no two days are the same. Allocate is a fast paced, fast growing company. It’s quickly changing from a small but innovative software company, to an

international medium-sized company with huge ambition. Our technology not only sits at the heart of our business, it is also sits at the heart of our customers’ operations, helping them to get the best out of their staff, while meeting rigorous governance criteria. To add to the job satisfaction, the company has a lively atmosphere and I really love being able to communicate with people about IT without blinding them with science – it’s a great part of the role. I am also lucky enough to have been able to travel extensively with this career, which has enabled me to bring in new approaches and perspectives when addressing challenging issues. I hope it doesn’t come across as too smug to say it’s very satisfying to have reached this stage in my career and still look forward to taking this exciting company to the next phase of its business growth. VitAL: What is your biggest ambition? AS: Well I’m in the right place. Allocate is a UK headquartered company on the cusp of becoming a truly integrated multinational company. So my ambition would be to fully immerse myself in the key strategic programmes which will continue to help deliver efficiency benefits to my colleagues and our customers. VitAL: What are your hobbies or interests? AS: I am a keen sports fan – I have been avidly watching the Six Nations, and am very much looking forward to the start of the Grand Prix season as well! I also enjoy the cinema, and admit I am a geek, so my iPad has become my new best friend. VitAL: What is the secret of your success? AS: Hard work, dedication and never stop learning. I am currently studying for an Open University BA (Hons) in Business Studies. VitAL: Andrew Scott, thank you very much. www.vital-mag.net


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VitAL Magazine - March-April 2011  

The March-April 2011 of VitAL Magazine

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