Ben Cody Archive

Take a look at this quick 6-minute video of SunGard’s Quinn Lanus talking about why they selected Serena Service Manager over ITSM solutions such as BMC Remedy, ServiceNow and others.

SunGard is a leading software and technology services company with more than 20,000 employees serving 25,000 customers across 70 countries. SunGard Institutional Asset Management is an application service provider (ASP). With global financial institutions relying on their services to be available 24×7, the company needed to streamline processes and phase out its aging IT Service Management (ITSM) solution that was built using Lotus Notes.

Quinn goes through:

  • Challenges with an outdated Lotus Notes-based service desk solution
  • Key requirements for a modern ITSM solution
  • Evaluation and selection criteria
  • Implementation and rollout plan
  • ITSM vision for the company

Check out the video on YouTube and see why Serena was this industry giant’s solution of choice!

I recently had the pleasure of attending a series of Malcolm Fry-led seminars on the Power of Metrics, conducted in conjunction with the Help Desk Institute, or HDI for short.  Malcolm never fails to both educate and entertain, which is a rare combination in the technology world (even rarer with the passing of Steve Jobs).  In this seminar, Malcolm talked about how we are all measured, from the time we are born (how much did we weigh?) until the time we die (how old were we?).  The same is even truer in the business world.  In the Help Desk and ITSM arena, it’s important to have metrics that make sense to your company.  The more you can adapt generic ITIL metrics to tie back to outcomes that make sense to the company – assembly line uptime, number of loans processed, whatever the case may be – the more relevant your IT organization will be to the business.

In fact, we’re even using some of the lessons learned from Malcolm’s seminar to improve our own measurements to heighten an already high focus on our customer outcomes, like successful implementations and customer reference-ability.  Because at the end of the day, if our measurements are completely in line with yours, then that heightens everyone’s chances of success.

For a look at our award-winning ITSM solution, come see us at the HDI 2012 Conference & Expo in Orlando from April 24-27.

Exciting times at Serena right now!  We just announced the newest version of Serena Service Manager, the only ITSM offering on the market today that leverages a process-based approach.  We’ve been advocating the need for orchestrated service management.  In other words, a way to automate ITSM processes so that they become transparent, configurable and connected.  I’m happy to report that Serena Service Manager delivers.

Here’s what you can expect from the new solution:

  • A Flexible, Process-Based Approach: Serena Service Manager provides customers service management processes that encapsulate ITIL best practices. Customers can graphically change these processes to match their unique way of addressing constantly changing business demands – without having to rely on an army of vendor consultants that drive up costs and create upgrade headaches down the road. Intuitive, easily configurable forms and screens result in a lower learning curve and improved agent productivity.
  • Integrated Visibility: The new ITSM solution provides an integrated Configuration Management Database (CMDB), dashboards, ad-hoc reporting and audit trail, which provides greater control over infrastructure changes by delivering contextual information that speeds incident and problem investigation. 
  • Serena Service ManagerA Single, Friendly End User View: Serena Service Manager gives business users a single view of all the services available to them through a unified service request portal and service catalog called Serena Request Center.   It’s incredibly easy to use as well as administer.

Get a comprehensive view of Serena Service Manager and learn how it can help you combat your current ITSM challenges around flexibility, visibility, and usability inherent in legacy ITSM solutions.

Last week I visited a Serena customer who is a long-time devotee of our Dimensions Requirements Management solution. They were planning to upgrade or possibly replace their ITSM solution, and I had already reached out to them about considering Serena Service Manager. I knew that as they considered all options, they wanted to learn more the pros and cons of replacing their legacy solution with something more innovative. They considered their current implementation to be outdated and unsuited for the breadth and style of service delivery their users are demanding.

Our discussion included topics that are relevant to any organization that is exploring alternatives to the traditional big and cumbersome ITSM vendors: costs, flexibility, visibility, usability, and satisfaction.

What are your main issues with your legacy ITSM solution?

Issue Urgency Importance
High costs    
Difficult implementation    
Arduous modifications    
Limited and hard-to-use self-service    
Inadequate automation    
Insufficient insight and reporting    
User complaints    
Not easy to add services or centralize offerings    

One thing that was very important to this customer was improving self-service, which they see as one key way to reduce costs and increase user satisfaction. They want to consolidate various online business services so users have a single service desk where they can explore, submit and track issues and requests. We talked about the role of process automation in realizing this vision. Oh, and cost. They want to be able to implement and frequently adapt this unified service fulfillment desk while spending and waiting less than they do today. That imperative means that each of the criteria listed above is urgent and important to them.

I’d like to hear from you about your most pressing issues, so please add your comments.

Service management systems are IT’s on-line face to the business.  Sure, enterprise apps and personal productivity tools may be how users get their jobs done.  But when that guy in sales or woman in marketing has a problem or needs something, they turn to the IT service system for satisfaction.

They’re often disappointed, leading to dissatisfaction with IT in general and widespread use of informal systems.  Left unchecked, this unfriendly face can lead to elevated service resolution costs, extended cycle times, and frustration within IT itself, all the while leaving end users convinced that IT isn’t a suitable business partner.

Meanwhile back in IT, a process-based revolution has been declared.  ITIL succeeded in defining IT service management processes in standard fashion, while shining a light on the need to become process-based.  Activity-based approaches, ad hoc approaches, and disconnected silos are now properly frowned upon.

At the executive level, CIOs know all this and also know that their sunk costs in rigid 20th Century service management systems are a disproportionately expensive part of their portfolio.  Expensive, unfriendly and rigid is hardly a formula for success, especially for a system that literally defines IT in the minds of the vast majority of IT’s customers.

This untenable situation has led to the increasingly widespread adoption of SaaS ITSM offerings.  These 21st century services help with the cost issue and are at least superficially helpful in presenting a friendlier face to the business.  But they suffer from rigidity and a failure to embrace true process automation.

The better approach is to orchestrate IT service management, whether delivered via SaaS or on-premises.  Orchestrate?  By Serena’s lights, this means to automate ITSM processes in a way that they become transparent, configurable and connected.  Orchestration leads to dramatic improvements in cycle time, compliance, adaptability and accountability.

And friendliness.  Because a friendly face that fronts a flexible and accountable IT operation is a vital precursor to IT success.

We at Serena are going to have much more to say about Orchestrated Service Management over the coming months.  Stay tuned!

Girl with headsetI had the same question. I was on hiatus after working for BMC for a couple of years. I had been toying with the idea of striking out on my own when a conversation with someone I respected from my days at Global 360, a BPM company, piqued my interest. “At least meet with the folks at Serena and hear what they have to say.” I did. And here’s why I decided to take on the reigns of the IT Service Management (ITSM) business at Serena six months ago:

  1. 2000 customers that absolutely love the flexibility of Serena Business Manager (SBM), the company’s BPM solution. With SBM customers, it’s the norm, not the exception to have automated upwards of 20 processes. That is certainly not typical of BPM implementations that I’d seen or heard of in my career. 
  2. 300+ customers use SBM to automate ITSM processes today. That’s more customers and ITSM experience than Service-Now and a whole host of other ITSM vendors put together!
  3. 1600+ customers clamoring for a flexible, cost-effective ITSM solution from Serena. They are fed up with the complex packaged ITSM solutions of old from the likes of BMC, CA and HP that are unintuitive and expensive to use and maintain and the “my way or the highway” SaaS offerings for ITSM that are out there. Serena had all the right elements to alleviate that pain.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve probably met with 50 customers and demonstrated our new process-based ITSM solution, Serena Service Manager. The response has been great. Lots of stories to share. It’s been a tremendous learning experience for the team.

Serena and IT Service Management? I’ve got my answers.