Wp help the_help_desk_snc


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Wp help the_help_desk_snc

  1. 1. WP Help Desk Help New Alternatives for More Effective Economical Support white paperINFO@SERVICE-NOW.COM
  2. 2. HELP DESK HELP - WHITE PAPERTable of ContentsHelp Desk Help: New Alternatives for More Effective, Economical Support 1 Service-now.com; A Happy Ending at Juniper Networks 1 Arizona Public Service: The Power to Change for the Better 3 Next Steps: Check it Out for Your Help Desk 4Service-now.com White Paper Table of Contents i
  3. 3. HELP DESK HELP - WHITE PAPERHelp Desk Help: New Alternatives for More Effective, Economical SupportAt a growing number of businesses, help desks need help themselves. For years, companies needing to resolve IT inci-dents and problems have relied on traditional help desk systems. Among the most popular of these has been HPs Serv-ice Desk offering, part of that companys venerable OpenView IT management portfolio. However, in recent months HPService Desk users have been plagued by uncertainty concerning the future of the offering.This is a significant challenge, in large part because those businesses are increasingly dependent upon their IT-enabledbusiness applications, information and infrastructures, even as these become more distributed and technologically di-verse. At many companies, initiatives such as service-oriented architecture and cloud computing promise to help by con-solidating, integrating and reducing overall complexity of enterprise IT and business infrastructures. In the meantime,however, such initiatives often exacerbate management and support challenges as users and administrators alike adaptto frequently changing resources.To be sure, many companies are enjoying significant business benefits from their investments in modern, IT-enabledbusiness applications and solutions. However, to make sure no users are left behind by modernization efforts, businessesmust provide effective IT support and service management.Meanwhile, HP has announced that it is superseding Service Desk, replacing it with an offering known as ServiceManager. This latter product is supposedly based on more modern technologies and is more capable and aligned withtodays IT management challenges, according to HP. However, users indicate that Service Manager appears poised to befar more costly than Service Desk. In addition, HP requires that users of older Service Desk versions must upgrade to thecurrent release to smooth their migrations to Service Manager. And the latest release of Service Desk is less reliable andpredictable than its predecessors, those users say.Many HP Service Desk users are therefore now faced with what seems to be a Hobsons Choice – sticking with an olderbut more stable version of Service Desk that HP will soon no longer support, or moving to a newer version supported byHP but hobbled by bugs and instability.Fortunately, alternatives do exist. One such alternative from Service-now.com, offers comprehensive functionality, flexibil-ity and aggressive cost-effectiveness that adapts to users specific needs and grows with them. And because theService-now.com solution is built on the Internet and delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS), it eliminates the high im-plementation and management costs and complexities associated with traditional client / server software like HP ServiceManager and BMC Remedy. Service-now.com makes IT service management easy to start, easy to grow, easy to custom-ize and easy to afford. It also helps the companies using it save resources on managing infrastructure and supportingsoftware, and to shift those resources to supporting users and the business, the reasons those companies have IT servicemanagement in the first place.Service-now.com; A Happy Ending at Juniper NetworksChris Terzian is the IT senior technical lead at leading network infrastructure and services provider Juniper Networks.Juniper was growing quickly and Chris and his team decided the company needed a long-term service desk solution andbegan to explore alternatives.Years ago, Terzians team identified a developer and began working with them to build a browser-based solution. Theyspent approximately a year and a half moving down that path, only to have senior management decide that the companyneeded a more scalable and functional alternative, from a more established and better-known vendor. However, beforethey were able to line up options for evaluation, the company got a new CIO. “He came in and said, Were going to useHP Service Desk. Its what we used at my last company, and its what were going to use here,” Terzian said.Service-now.com White Paper 1
  4. 4. HELP DESK HELP - WHITE PAPERJuniper originally implemented HP Service Desk version 4.5, and found it relatively stable, albeit perhaps not as functionalor flexible as the custom-built alternative first considered. However, HP soon announced that Service Desk 5.x was theonly “officially sanctioned” release that enabled the transition to the then-forthcoming Service Manager offering. And Serv-ice Desk 5.x turned out to be a “painful decision,” according to Terzian.“HP promised it would provide a smooth migration path to Service Manager. But the year following our decision to imple-ment Service Desk 5.x was basically a blur. As soon as we went live, I was on the phone at least once a day with HP. Onmany days, almost as soon as I set my foot in my car and started driving down the freeway for home, I got a call sayingthe software had crashed. We even had HP development teams come out and work with us to try to resolve problems.They put a lot of resources to work for us, but it was like trying to plug a hole in a dam with a Band-Aid,” Terzian remem-bered.Once again, he and his team began exploring alternatives, including those from all of the “big-name” providers. Soon, heand his team discovered Service-now.com, a young and little-known vendor when first encountered by Juniper. However,Service-now.com warranted a recommendation to Juniper senior management from a senior analyst at a leading IT advi-sory services provider.Initial doubts quickly gave way to enthusiasm. “When I first saw Service-now.com, I was not initially excited, because wedalways depended on-premise applications and I was skeptical of the SaaS model. However, I was quickly blown away bythe solution. It took me back to the days when we were trying to build our own application, but Service-now.com had takenour ideas several steps further,” Terzian said.He added that Junipers engineers were also initially dubious. Previous applications didnt work with the browsers the en-gineers preferred, or required the use of fat-client software those engineers disdained. “We were worried about how theydreact to Service-now.com, but they loved it. It was the first time engineering was excited about an application wed pro-vided to them,” according to Terzian.Service-now.com delighted the doubters at Juniper because it offered superior functionality and flexibility and a powerfulyet easy-to-navigate user interface. Ironically, the problems Juniper had experienced with HP Service Desk 5.x also aidedand accelerated the transition to Service-now.com. “HP Service Desk 5.x was actually a blessing in disguise. The prob-lems we had drove us to do more comprehensive planning and preparation for a configuration management database(CMDB) which helped us implement Service-now.com rapidly and easily. We might have put up with the pain and limitedflexibility of 4.x because at least it was stable, but 5.x forced us to find something else,” Terzian said.Despite limited resources and a team of only four people, Terzian and his staff completed implementation ofService-now.com within a couple of months.“Help from Service-now.com was invaluable to our planning and basic imple-mentation. Every time we had a request, theyd be on it, a trend that continues today. With the HP tool, we spent a lot oftime and effort working around limitations. With Service-now.com, we could accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.”Those goals included better reporting, more transparency, greater insight into performance of both the infrastructure andthe support team, and the ability to be more proactive, Terzian said. “With HP, we were stuck in firefighting mode for ayear. With Service-now.com, we were able to start planning, enhancing processes and rolling out new modules such asproblem management. We unplugged HP Service Desk and had the migration completed shortly afterward.” To date,Juniper has implemented the Service-now.com incident and problem modules. Imminent future plans likely include addi-tion of the Service-now.com change and service catalog modules.And what advice would Chris Terzian give those reconsidering current HP Service Desk deployments? “If you like beingon the phone 24/7, and you need friends or stress that badly, stick with HP Service Desk. Otherwise, move toService-now.com Things may be quieter, but youll sleep better, as I am.”Service-now.com White Paper 2
  5. 5. HELP DESK HELP - WHITE PAPERArizona Public Service: The Power to Change for the BetterArizona Public Service is that states largest electric utility, serving more than one million customers. APS was recentlynamed the number one energy utility for IT innovation according to the 2008 InformationWeek 500. Pinnacle West/APSalso ranked among the top ten overall U.S. companies and highest among those based in Arizona. Margaret Melisko, Ari-zona Public Service group manager of enterprise systems and application development support, leads a 60-person teamwithin a 400-person IT staff that supports approximately 7,000 employees.Four groups report to Melisko and support different areas of the companys infrastructure: databases; application devel-opment and support; middleware; and infrastructure applications. The infrastructure applications group utilizes an IT serv-ice management solution as the principal tool to help information services adhere to the popular Information TechnologyInfrastructure Library (ITIL) guidelines.For about five years the company has been working to implement an effective incident management system. “We neededtechnology to support our existing processes,” Melisko said.Melisko and her team faced a significant upgrade of their existing ITSM tool and decided to consider solution alternatives.“At the time, our internal team was very prejudiced to the incumbent and not receptive to looking at alternatives.“We felt it was our responsibility to provide the best to the company, and you don’t know that you have the best unless youlook at all the options. Everybody wanted to do what was right for the company,” said Melisko.So Melisko put together a team that spent three months defining the requirements for their ITSM solution. They came upwith about 400 functional requirements and related considerations, including all of the ITIL-related processes that requiredtechnology support. “Our people had a vested interest in the outcome of this vendor analysis because many of themwould be working in the tool all day, every day. We had more interested stakeholders in this project than many other pro-jects,” Melisko affirmed.Eventually, Arizona Public Service decided on a short list of vendors that included Service-now.com. The company heardabout Service-now.com from another utility through their participation in an industry consortium.Arizona Public Service sent out a request for information (RFI) with a set of “change lifecycle” scenarios to each of thevendor candidates. Each had a day to do a presentation and a demo for Meliskos team. “Because of the interest level, wehad about 25 people from across information services attending these demos. Going into the demos, the majority of peo-ple had already selected a winner and it was not Service-now.com,” she said.However, Service-now.com “absolutely blew everyone away,” according to Melisko. “They were very well prepared, fol-lowed the scenarios, and gave an all-live demo. Not slideware. Not yes we can do it but we can’t show you how. It con-vinced the majority of the critics and we had instant converts.”Concerns remained about switching to a SaaS solution. Those concerns included information integrity and availability,performance, confidentiality and control over a CMDB not located on company premises. The CIO, among others, ques-tioned whether an external company could provide the performance or security Arizona Public Service could provide in-ternally. However, all of these concerns were eventually determined to be unfounded or were outweighed by the strengthsand benefits of the Service-now.com solution, according to Melisko.One of the things that most impressed Melisko and her team during the Service-now.com demo was the solutions Web2.0 user interface. “This was not a legacy system with a Web front end. Service-now.com was able to do it right from thebeginning,” Melisko said.Service-now.com White Paper 3
  6. 6. HELP DESK HELP - WHITE PAPERAnother strongly convincing factor was six Arizona Public Service staffers attending Knowledge, the Service-now.com an-nual user group meeting. “They got to talk to employees and current customers. They all came back so excited andjazzed,” according to Melisko.Another powerful convincer was Service-now.com support, before and after the sale. This included multiple conferencecalls during the design process, and setting up an instance of the solution specifically for the Arizona Public Service team.This allowed users at the utility to explore the solution under “real-life” conditions. “They had never been able to test drivethe car before,” Melisko said of her team members.With doubts and concerns addressed effectively, the utility has opted for a big-bang approach, planning to implement theService-now.com incident, change, configuration, and problem modules simultaneously. Service catalog will be imple-mented later. The plan intends to avoid duplication of tools and ensure everything is based on a single CMDB. The initialmodules go live in Jan. 2009.The utility also plans to integrate Service-now.com with several other management solutions, including HP OpenViewmonitoring tools, as well as Oracle PeopleSoft for HR, Microsoft Active Directory and Lightweight Data Access Protocol(LDAP) for authentication, and IBM FileNet for document management of detailed design drawings and project plans. Thecompany will be using Service-now.com discovery for asset inventory and dependency mapping.“With Service-now.com, we built our existing processes and best practices right into the tool. Service-now.com is like Tur-boTax,” Melisko said. “You don’t need to know all the tax laws to use it. With Service-now.com, you don’t need to know allthe processes to follow them. We can now focus additional efforts on improving our processes which at the end of the daywill mean good business practices for Arizona Public Service.”Next Steps: Check it Out for Your Help DeskAs the experiences at Juniper Networks, Arizona Public Service and numerous other companies demonstrate,Service-now.com offers powerful, flexible, economical and effective alternatives to legacy tools for IT service manage-ment. The Service-now.com Website offers more information and includes a live demonstration instance that does notrequire registration. Help desk and IT decision-makers can also explore the Service-now.com wiki and an online forumthat connects users, developers and Service-now.com company executives.Service-now.com White Paper 4