David Hurwitz Archive

Pink Elephant logoThis never gets old.  Innovation and validation, that is.  Serena’s innovation in the broad realm of ITIL processes was validated almost a year ago when we won Pink Elephant’s prestigious ITIL Innovation of the Year Award.  The new news is that we’ve just been selected as a finalist for this year’s award, further validating our ongoing innovation.

Our innovation this time is to directly address and automate the challenges of Service Transition, the ITIL volume focused on change, release and deployment management.  Service Transition has received too little attention from those of us in the vendor community, which is a problem since it is central to speeding up Request-to-Release cycles and in addressing the DevOps divide.  IOW, it is an essential competency for any business that competes online.

Anyway, speaking for the innovative Serena software engineers who built the solution that automates the Service Transition process, let me say that it’s an honor to be a finalist for the second year in a row.  We look forward to sharing with the attendees at Pink13 how the solution that impressed the Pink Elephant judges works and why it will win them awards of their own.

Best in Biz Awards TrophyBack in March we launched Doug Serena, CIO, a popular docudrama that served as a case study of an intrepid IT leadership team’s quest to transform their company from endangered to dominating. Doug Serena, CIO was created to educate people about the benefits of Orchestrated IT in what turned out to be a fun, fresh and catchy new manner of product marketing. Not only was the YouTube docudrama a success, Doug Serena himself made a celebrity appearance at this year’s Serena xChange Global User Conference.

The Doug Serena, CIO project is now also award winning, having been named a Gold Medal winner in the ‘Film or Video of the Year’ category for the Best in Biz Awards 2012. Winners of the Best in Biz Awards 2012 were determined by an independent panel of 32 judges from top-tier news, business and technology publications, broadcast outlets and analyst firms, such as ABC, BusinessWeek, Computerworld, Entrepreneur, eWeek, Examiner, Forbes, FOX News, and IDG. Prior to the Best in Biz, the Doug Serena, CIO series was named a finalist in the Business-To-Business (B2B) Talking Category for the Forrester Groundswell Award 2012.

We are excited that Doug Serena, CIO has continued to drive awareness of the benefits of Orchestrated IT, and are appreciative that it is being recognized even outside of IT.

If you missed the series, you can watch all five episodes here.

We’re thrilled to have Serena executives deliver upcoming presentations on both Dev and Ops topics. Our resident Release Management expert Jeff Westenhaver is set to speak on Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. PT via WebEx in the Software Systems Best Practices eConference. Jeff will be presenting on best practices for application release management and covering success from development through quality assurance and into production. Tune in to hear Jeff’s presentation by registering here.

ITSM guru Ben Cody will be presenting on “IT Economics: Mastering Business Demand” at FUSION 12 on Oct. 30 at 11:15 a.m. PT. If you’re around, come learn how you’ll be able to effectively utilize the resources to meet business demand, eliminate work that doesn’t provide value to the business, make a better case for additional resources where needed, and master the challenge of meeting business demand for IT services.

UP-START Cloud Computing Awards - Vote for Serena!This has been an exceptional year for industry recognition of Serena Software. So far we’ve walked away with awards from SD Times, Network Product Guide and the Tech Awards Circle. All this in addition to being named Innovator of the Year by Pink Elephant!

We’re looking to keep the momentum going with the “Best Hybrid Cloud Solution,” one of the 2012 UP-START Cloud Computing Awards. The 2012 UP-START Cloud Awards recognize cloud-computing contributions to the business and technology community. We think we have a great shot at this given how Serena’s Orchestrated IT offerings are both available from the cloud and help IT organizations deploy their apps to the cloud.

Finalists are selected via a public voting system, which is open now through November 23, 2012. Please help support Serena and vote by clicking here and selecting Serena as the “Best Hybrid Cloud Solution” for this year’s UP-START awards.

Apartments.com is the #1 online rental search destination and the way they stay #1 is with high velocity product releases and deployments.  Matt Stratton of Apartments.com recently lit up xChange12, Serena’s global user conference, with their success story.

Apartments.com‘s technology teams were doing two-week sprints but found that releases needed to be managed better and automation was a must.  According to Matt Stratton, Director of Technology Operations at Apartments.com:

In our business, we can’t afford to have 18 month projects for new features. That’s an eternity in the online world. How can you have a two-week sprint and then take three days to deploy an application or new feature? We were very good at creating new products, but we needed to get better at how we managed the releases of these products

After considering a homegrown solution and consulting Gartner, Apartments.com discovered Serena to be the leader in the release management space and began evaluating our solutions.

In just six weeks Apartments.com implemented Serena’s DevOps solutions, going live with incident management, service request and release automation.  The result was a 70% reduction in environmental issues.  Such tremendous success led to Apartments.com winning a Serena Innovation Award at xChange12.

Want to learn more?  Check out the following links.

I’m very pleased to let you know that Serena has been recognized by leading research firm, Enterprise Management Associates, as the “Most Complete Solution for Next Generation IT Management (NGITM).”  This impressive endorsement was recently announced in the EMA Radar Report.

According to EMA: “There was virtually no aspect of NGITM functionality left unaddressed by Serena. While of recent vintage, its ITSM coverage includes full support for Change, Incident, and Service Catalog. Consistent with its origins, project portfolio and execution are both fully supported, and its support for requirements management is without peer in this report – few other vendors have a dedicated module for this, and Serena’s has been a leading industry product for years… Unlike most other vendors in this report, Serena has rich support for software configuration management, which makes them especially attractive for those seeking a full DevOps solution.”


This EMA recognition comes on top of recent praise from other analyst firms such as Gartner, Ovum and Info-Tech Research. Of course, Serena was also fortunate to recently receive product awards from the Network Products Guide and from Pink Elephant.

Read the full EMA report.

Also, see snapshots of all recent analyst acclaim for Serena.

It is time to name and celebrate the winners of our latest contest. The “IT Agility Deserves a Beer” contest generated many entertaining and creative haikus from a variety of submitters, including some entries from our awesome customers. The contest played in nicely with our recent Orchestrated IT for the Agile Enterprise products launch and generated some nice buzz at Serena xChange as well.

The Twitter-based contest called for contestants to submit a haiku poem expressing their gratitude for IT agility. Winners were selected based on creativity, humor and relevance and announced via Twitter today. The judging panel also verified that all submissions adhered to all of the contest rules and guidelines.


Grand Prize Winner – Beer for a Year from Amazing Clubs

Chris Hoell ‏‪@MNBadgerDad

Quicker than before

How could we do without it

Beers on Serena

2nd Place Winner – $75 Gift Certificate

Jason Siegel ‏@siegel_j

Agile Serena

With Orchestrated IT

Transform Speed and Cost

3rd Place Winner – $25 Gift Certificate

Kaizeneer ‪@Kaizeneer


Turn problems into profits

With Agile IT lean

Thanks to the multitude of entrants and also to our judging panel for another fun and worthy contest!

Mandalay Bay in Las VegasDay two is almost over but for the shouting, er, the xTravaganza.  More about that later.

After yesterday’s focus on Serena’s vision and roadmap, today was all about our customers.  We started off early this morning with 400 people assembled in general session, today’s consisting of an often inspiring set of presentations, including the Serena Innovation Awards, the now traditional Fact or Fiction customer panel and the new Serena Charity Challenge winner.

Serena founder Doug Troxel skyped in for the Innovation Awards ceremony, while they were handed out by Doug Serena, CIO.  The Douggie for Orchestrated Apps went to Katherine Chu of Navy Federal Credit Union, while the Douggie for Orchestrated Ops went to Peter Rizzo of Interactive Data Corporation and the Douggie for Orchestrated IT went to Matt Stratton of Apartments.com.

I then had some fun with three Fact or Fiction panelists: Craig Kaley of LenderLive, Paula Callis of Shelter Insurance, and Justin Arnoldi of Blue Turtle.  They gamely passed judgement on a series of provocative statements, providing interesting commentary about each.

We ended the morning on a truly uplifting note, as we awarded the Oregon Humane Society with a check for $5,000 AND a new surgery scheduling system built in Serena Business Manager.  This was the result of the Serena Charity Challenge, “won” by Robin Drummond of Kaiser Permanente, who nominated the Oregon Humane Society and built the app.  Serena’s contribution is the $5K check and freely providing access from the cloud for them to use their new system.  Almost as sweet as a new puppy!

After an afternoon of great breakouts and a great talk by Matt Stratton about the DevOps accomplishments at Apartments.com, we’re now assembling at the House of Blues for the 2012 xTravaganza!

Great day!

Tags: xChange

Mandalay Bay in Las VegasThe first day of xChange12 is all but in the record books, and a great one it was.

The morning keynote sessions were fun, informative and well received.  We had some 400 people in the room at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center with another 200 tuned into the live webcast.

Kevin Parker welcomed everyone, and then brought up a “surprise” attendee – Doug Serena, CIO.  Doug Serena updated everyone about how his company had acquired their largest competitor, the one they vanquished in the videos, and that he was here at xChange12 to learn how the newest advances in Orchestrated IT could help him bring the new people and systems up to snuff.

John Nugent’s keynote was passionate and informative, after which I had the privilege of interviewing Safeway’s Larry McAuley about his company’s transformation into an Online Agile Enterprise and how Orchestrated IT is helping them make that journey.

Killer demos of the latest in Orchestrated IT systems followed, as did an afternoon of breakouts.

My discussions with attendees indicated that everyone was getting lots out of the proceedings and that lots of ideas are indeed getting xChanged!

Can’t wait for tomorrow.

Tags: xChange

The new and enhanced products introduced today add developer-driven continuous delivery with cloud provisioning; IT catalog, control and analytics on phones and tablets; and full-cycle social IT capabilities to Serena’s Orchestrated IT solutions.  Thus Serena’s Orchestrated IT solutions now provide powerful support for the agile enterprise.

Development-Driven Release Management and Cloud Deployment

Serena Release Manager has added Development-driven release management to its already rich support for Operations-driven release management.  Development-driven releases are characterized by continuous delivery, which are especially useful during pre-production phases of the application delivery lifecycle.

Serena Release Manager also supports intelligent deployments, which deploy only what has changed, reducing deployment time and costs, and minimizing business risk.  Last but not least, Serena Release Manager now provides enhanced cloud deployment ability, including scheduling and tracking deployments to Amazon Web Services.

Social IT Collaboration

Serena Service Manager is the first Serena Orchestrated IT solution to incorporate the new Orchestrated IT Feed. Leveraging social IT capabilities to resolve issues quickly, the Orchestrated IT Feed allows stakeholders to monitor and participate in a customized activity stream and make more informed decisions as a team. Stakeholders can find and collaborate with an expert, “follow” an item, person or issue, and receive updates via Twitter, Yammer, email or SMS.

Mobile Catalog and Requests

The new Serena Mobile Request Center takes the request fulfillment process mobile, allowing both business and IT users to conveniently browse services and associated SLAs, as well as submit, monitor, fulfill or approve requests from any mobile device. With support including iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android, Serena Mobile Request Center enables approved users in the front of back office to monitor the status of requests and key metrics on the go.

Mobile IT Analytics

The new Serena Mobile Dashboard brings important IT analytics to the Apple iPad. With executive adoption of tablets for business on the rise, the Serena Mobile Dashboard lets IT executives use the iPad to access and interact with the latest KPIs and dashboards. Intuitive drill-downs, simple data manipulation and rapid personalization make it easy to find the right information at the right time to run IT more efficiently.

The Serena Mobile Dashboard is available now on the Apple App Store.

Social Capabilities for Process Management

Serena Business Manager is the process management platform at the core of all Serena Orchestrated IT solutions. The new Orchestrated IT Feed, Serena’s latest innovation in social IT, makes it easy for IT stakeholders to access and collaborate on the latest information relevant to their jobs. Stakeholders can choose to receive task-related updates in real time via Twitter, Yammer, email or SMS.

Discover the power of Orchestrated IT!  Watch a 2-minute video describing the challenges of coordinating Apps and Ops, and how Serena Orchestrated IT can get IT to work perfectly in sync.