By Dick Stark
We attended an “orals” this week held at a local government agency. We teamed with an 8(a) company to compete for Remedy implementation and consulting work for this very large Remedy account. The oral competition included a presentation followed by a practical exam. That exam contained three impromptu questions:
(1) How would you deal with disparate groups consolidating their service desks into one? Describe how to ensure their data is segregated. What are the risks and benefits?
(2) Describe how you would upgrade to Remedy v8.1.2? How much experience do you have and what is the technical approach?
(3) How would you roll out an enterprise version of Remedy Change Management to all? What are the risks and how do you get the users to embrace the new system?
We had 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to present. What would you do? Here is a brief summary of our response.
(1) I opened with a few assumptions about value points: improve IT management and governance, reduce the cost of IT, and consolidate IT operations and resources. Consolidating service centers is a terrific way to return value back to their organization due to savings in hardware, software, maintenance, and support costs.
We followed with a technical discussion about Remedy multi-tenancy—how to set this up, what to watch out for, and technical considerations. Overall, Remedy multi-tenancy is a win/win, as more and more agencies consolidate into a single system that supports multiple organizations.
(2) Next we addressed our experience with Remedy 8 upgrades: 844th, House of Reps, Department of Treasury, George Washington University, and starting on Monday, USDA. Version 8 is a solid release with significant performance and usability improvements. I stressed the success we’ve had with each upgrade.
We then discussed our typical upgrade process: fresh install, followed by a data migration. We mentioned this is not the process BMC recommends, but our process was documented and presented in the Remedy WWRUG conference held last year in San Francisco (and it works!)
(3) For Change Management, I related our experience with National Academy of Science (NAS), where we performed a design and roll-out of only the Remedy Change application. A risk of NAS, and others is user adoption. I quoted from management guru, Dan Heath, “resistance to change is often a lack of clarity.” Then I discussed the role we played in making sure the users where trained and excited about the new system.
I also pointed out the importance of Change, especially integrated Change, Incident, and Problem Management. I also related the INSCOM story of closed loop change management; when an unknown asset is discovered on the network, a check is performed to ensure that a change request was in place for that new asset. If not, an alarm sounds. Other benefits are significant: risk mitigation due to fewer outages, better security, and improved efficiency.
The end result: improved customer satisfaction and lowered overall costs. We’ll find out in August how we fared. Win, lose or draw, we certainly aced the exam and gave the agency some good ideas about effective service management.