Are you worn out talking about all the reasons why your tools can’t integrate? We were recently browsing a chatboard when we saw a post from an HPE customer in the Netherlands. He was saying that the best way to get value out of HPE products like UCMDB, ITSM, and ITAM “is by integrating them and us[ing] the best features of the products.”
“But,” he went on, “there is not really a best practice how to do this. If I speak to a Service Manager specialist it is this way, when I speak to a UCDMB specialist it is that way and so on. It would be great if there [were] an overall best practice how to get the most out of the HPE products when you have more than one.” He said that many current solutions contradict one another, and he couldn’t find any White Papers outlining a complete solution.
That’s because there isn’t a repository of white papers and use cases about this topic; they do not exist. Anywhere. Yet.
But as the integration specialists, the Effectual team are singularly focused on developing best practices for integrating the HPE ITOM Service Management tools as a complete solution. We want to revive some confidence that continuing with HPE Software is not only feasible, but integral to the success of a large modern enterprise.
It’s really simple: HPE software works best when it is working in unison to deliver financial and operational improvements; so we use our PIE solutions for HPE UCMDB, ITAM and ITSM together as an Advanced Configuration Management System. Our approach works, it’s elegant, and the outcome is repeatable in multiple organizations– sounds like a CMDB best practice.
Reimagining The Use Case Paradigm
A use case requires understanding of how various aspects of IT operations and finance actions relate to one another. So how can you develop a use case that works for every customer when every customer has chosen different tools, use cases, and implements tools differently? To create a universal use case that would work for every customer, you’d have to pare the scope back so far that anyone with greater maturity would recognize it as being functionally useless. A universal use case would have to be so basic that no one would use it.
Prefabricating use cases ultimately increases spending, while limiting options and flexibility. In fact, the endless discussion that goes into planning one can often forestall projects indefinitely. Consider instead the idea that end-stage use cases aren’t the way to start a project at all.
A better place to start is by simply building an CMS. If you do it right, you will develop the capability to push and pull whatever normalized source data you want. You can then show all this ITIL-normalized information to your stakeholders. You’ll be empowered to collaborate with them to develop (and deliver) lasting, super-high value use cases. You’ll have the unfaltering capability to support them, as the data comes and goes free of the traditional confidence issues.
We provide drop in adapters for most common systems. We then bring your environment to a consistent standard so that we can merge your data from Service Manager and Asset Manager. Right at the start, not 12 months from start. From there we can customize to your desire – or you can leverage some of the best practice approaches we have delivered for other customers. Once your system is integrated, once you can understand its capability, use case planning becomes exponentially more streamlined and effective.
We’re not just speculating here, we’ve had have a number of success stories with real customers. One customer, for example, has their ITAM, ITSM, UCMDB, BSM, and third party data sources all integrated and mapped to one consistent set of non-discoverable software asset groups and business services. They are approaching both SACM and CLIP simultaneously, as well as a number of other “solutions.” This is a totally different approach than sitting down with a defined use case on Day 1 and trying to will it into reality. They are able to choose the outcome they actually want, the way they want it, as a direct result of their PIE framework CMS starting point.
CMDB Best Practices in The Age Of Integration
If we haven’t made it clear by now, the Advanced CMS provides visibility to related data in ways that just aren’t possible in any other context. You can traverse and answer questions in real time about any factor of configuration, any element of cost, change or asset nature.
In the CLIP instance, incidents are automatically opened against the same CIs and business relationships that everything else operates on, so costs of incidents are automatically calculated. The cost of labor and resolution is automatically related. This is synchronization, this is the PIE framework. Endless options based on factual information, endless use cases because you’re never limited in how tools are actually used.
This strategy also allows the customer to demonstrate real ROI as investment is made. It prevents the wasted time and frustration of trying to pursue a specific use case that may not ultimately be possible. Other “solutions” and use cases are still viable, they just aren’t pursued as a starting point.
We believe it’s time for us all to shift our thinking, and the strategies we pursue to enable customers. We need to help more customers get to this point, more quickly, more cheaply, and with more confidence. We need to stop thinking about HPE software integrations and products as a specific use case to achieve or a specific solution, but rather help HPE customers to succeed in reaching a new level of value.
The old “solution” style consulting model of inventing a new customer-specific wheel each time is not sustainable. We need to simplify and accelerate customer success, or we will continue to see competitive and more nimble products win. HPE provides incredible features and capabilities. We’re seeing a whole new style of IT value emerge, both with HPE Software, and by incorporating existing data sources no one previously imagined could help lower costs and accelerate service delivery. Along the way, we need a new set of best practices. At Effectual we’re proud to help pave that road, with the implementation plan outlined above, our innovative integration and automation techniques, and our revolutionary multi-instance UCMDB architecture.