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Business Management for Service Providers Program
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Business Management for Service Providers Program

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  • 1. Copyright 2002 InterProm USA Corporation ITIL’s Contribution to the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) Introduction With the introduction of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) by Microsoft in 2001, the ITIL-world was pleased with the additional attention the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) would receive because of the fact that MOF is based on ITIL. At the same moment there was some fear as far as what the intentions are of Microsoft, to embrace a non-proprietary best-practices process framework. It is clear that Microsoft is aiming to become a major player in the enterprise arena. Its recently released products and actions taken are the best proof of this statement. At the same time, Microsoft is aware that the IT challenges on this enterprise level need to be addressed in a most professional way. The best choice to make in doing so is to build upon a solid foundation (ITIL) that has proven to be successful in this market segment for the past decade. MOF and other Frameworks The Microsoft Operations Framework is not a stand-alone framework. It is one of the several enterprise frameworks that have been developed by Microsoft lately. All are focussed on supporting the complete IT-lifecycle. Microsoft has distinguished phases in this lifecycle for Planning, Preparation, Build and Deployment, and Operations. For each phase a framework is available. These are respectively Planning Services, Readiness Framework, Solutions Framework, and Operations Framework. The MOF-framework can best be described as a set of models, guidelines and best practices. The similarities with ITIL are striking. Microsoft has intended to provide information on how to manage heterogeneous (Microsoft-) IT environments. MOF owes a lot to ITIL from a content point of view. Microsoft has made a few enhancements however. Customers of Microsoft will benefit from MOF mostly, since it provides guidelines on how to manage their Microsoft technology. However, for application hosting and management of distributed environments, MOF offers valuable enhancements to ITIL. Microsoft’s acquisition of NetIQ’s Operations Manager is an example of MOF-supporting technology for Windows environments. With this, Microsoft is making efforts to make Windows environments as manageable as UNIX environments. Process model MOF’s foundation is to manage and control every change in the IT infrastructure. This explains the lifecycle approach that has been chosen. This lifecycle has 4 phases: • Optimizing, • Changing, • Operating, and • Supporting. InterProm USA Corporation 2437 Bay Area Blvd., #133, Houston, Texas 77058 Tel: +1 281-286-2853, Fax: +1 281- 461-9539, URL: http://www.interpromusa.com, E-mail: info@interpromusa.com 1
  • 2. Copyright 2002 InterProm USA Corporation To go from one phase to the next phase in the lifecycle the following activities take place: • Release Approved Review when going from Optimizing to Changing • Release Readiness when going from Changing to Operating • Operations Review when going from Operating to Supporting • SLA Review when going from Supporting to Optimizing Each phase has its set of (ITIL) processes. The ITIL processes are underlined. • Optimizing: • Service Level Management • Capacity Management • Availability Management • Financial Management • Workforce Management • Human Resource Management • Service Continuity Management • Changing: • Change Management • Configuration Management • Release Management • Operating: • Security Administration • System Administration • Network Administration • Monitoring and Control • Directory Services and Administration • Storage Administration • Job Scheduling • Print/Output Management • Supporting: • Service Desk • Incident Management • Problem Management Microsoft’s reason to not just focus on additional processes, but also include some of the ITIL processes in its MOF framework is that it wanted to provide more than just the operational aspects of managing Microsoft’s technology. Team model Besides (Microsoft-) technology and a set of processes, MOF also includes organizational aspects in its framework such as roles for a process manager and a process owner. A so- called Team Model is focussed on the organizational aspects of IT Service Management which includes organizational structures of IT service management teams, the mapping of the key-competencies and activities, and the interaction between MOF-team-members and with other teams. InterProm USA Corporation 2437 Bay Area Blvd., #133, Houston, Texas 77058 Tel: +1 281-286-2853, Fax: +1 281- 461-9539, URL: http://www.interpromusa.com, E-mail: info@interpromusa.com 2
  • 3. Copyright 2002 InterProm USA Corporation Note that the Team Model is focussing on distributed environments. This, because according to Microsoft, the days of the centralized environments are counted. A statement that does not come as a surprise when taking into account the market segment Microsoft is playing a dominant role in. The cyclical communication roles of the Team Model are: • Release role • Infrastructure role • Support role • Operations role • Partner role • Security role With these communication roles Microsoft is rather trying to trigger the thought-processes within IT organizations than to provide a complete blueprint. It will depend on the specific situation within the IT environment, which role needs to staffed with more employees compared to another one. Processes and Roles When combining the Process model and the Team model, the end result looks as follows: • Optimizing • Infrastructure role • Security role • Partner role • Support role • Changing • Release role • Operating • Operations role • Security role • Supporting • Support role • Partner role As far as the technology to support the defined processes and roles in the MOF framework, we anticipate that Microsoft will provide the market with the management tools that will fill the current gaps and holes. We recommend taking these aspects into account when deciding to adopt the guidelines of MOF. Making the right choices If you are wondering whether to choose for ITIL or for MOF, or use both to manage your IT environment more efficient and effectively, our recommendation is to use of both frameworks those components that work best for you and fit your needs. MOF may have come with some enhancements to ITIL, but at the same moment, ITIL still covers aspects that remain untouched by MOF. InterProm USA Corporation 2437 Bay Area Blvd., #133, Houston, Texas 77058 Tel: +1 281-286-2853, Fax: +1 281- 461-9539, URL: http://www.interpromusa.com, E-mail: info@interpromusa.com 3
  • 4. Copyright 2002 InterProm USA Corporation A mature ITIL-market as in Europe is expected to stick with ITIL, despite Microsoft’s useful enhancements provided by MOF. Especially the enterprise market will most likely benefit most of ITIL. The SMB market segment however may benefit substantially of everything MOF has to offer. Every attempt to structure these environments will result in quality improvements and cost savings. It is also important to understand that as with ITIL, the MOF framework is a guideline. It should not be implemented word-by-word as written down in the MOF literature and as taught in the MOF Essentials training class, unless it is your intention to turn your IT environment into a 100% Microsoft environment, including all your IT service management technology. And finally… In case you are interested in learning more about MOF, we recommend to download the White papers on Microsoft’s Website at: http://www.microsoft.com/mof. If you are looking for information about the MOF Essentials training class, please feel free to send an e-mail to info@interpromusa.com. To learn everything about ITIL, we invite you to visit our ITIL Portal. InterProm USA Corporation 2437 Bay Area Blvd., #133, Houston, Texas 77058 Tel: +1 281-286-2853, Fax: +1 281- 461-9539, URL: http://www.interpromusa.com, E-mail: info@interpromusa.com 4