IT Service Management (ITSM) refers to the activities – directed by policies, processes and supporting procedures – performed by an organization to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services. Traditionally this has excluded the UC side of the business, with separate teams in place to look after the voice technologies. In this latest release from the IR-Podcast, Eric Bauer - Global Head, Product Marketing discusses why ITSM has previously skipped over UC and how it just may be able to improve the way UC is traditionally managed within an organization.
Scott: Has IT service management missed the boat on unified communications? Here to talk about it is Eric Bauer with IR. Eric, before we get started let's first define what we mean by ITSM.
Eric: So it's a broad category, but it's really directed by policies. Its structure and process, supporting procedures that an organization really performs to plan, deliver, and operate, and even control, you know, the IT services it offers to its internal customers or its external customers. But it's really that overall concept of how do we deliver the services of IT to the organization?
Scott: And so what is its relationship with unified communications?
Eric: You know, so this is where it becomes interesting because it's a multi-billion dollar business. You look at, you know, the likes of ServiceNow, one of the leaders in this space. A cloud based ITSM platform, a multi-billion dollar company. But I really think that it's kind of skipped over some of the aspects of UC and the reason I say that is that there's very robust plans around how to manage servers, how to manage your network, how to manage your operational flow. So trouble ticketing, et cetera. But that often doesn't extend to unified communications and unified communications in the way of how to handle management and ongoing operations of unified communications. So I think that there's a lot of opportunity in this space when you start to apply those same concepts that have been developed over years and take UC into account.
Scott: What is the potential?
Eric: So I think the potential is really adding all of the components as unified communications becomes more critical. Things like you and I are doing where we're able to have conversations. Those need to be managed. Those need to be understood. When you're calling customers, whether it's in a contact center or whether you're reaching out directly in a sales world, they become very critical. And I think the potential is really around the fact that if you start to bring these into the overall concepts that you deploy with ITSM, the service of communications is going to continue to get better. You're going to have less outages, less downtime, less poor quality of experience and make it a more seamless aspect of the organization.
Scott: Why do you think there has been sort of a skipping in terms of its relationship with unified communications? Why is that the case?
Eric: You know, it's a really good question, Scott. And I think part of it comes down to how communications came about within an organization. You know, you typically have—especially in large organizations—your network team, your server team, and then your telephone guys. Where it used to be, you know, these are the guys that own the PBX. You have your copper run to your desk. You know, just kind of always on. You know, you have that concept, I think Sprint came out with it, is the pin drop, right? Where you know, communications was really, it just worked. But as communications becomes an application that relies on the network, you know, as the move over voice over IP, you start to have these problems where you don't have dedicated lines, et cetera. So what happened was ITSM really hit the server world, hit the network world. But because of the quality of UC, may have skipped it, right? So you have these different groups that are now becoming part of operations teams that go across. We're starting to see a shift where it's not always divided into server, network, and telecom. We're starting to see unified communications sometimes managed out of server You're starting to see, you know, one group manage network as well as voice. Right? In fact, you know, referencing Microsoft again, there was an edict put down that the network team is now responsible for voice quality corporate wide. It really changes the mindset so you go into situations where the teams that have ITSM are now responsible for unified communications and that stuff can start to be incorporated.
Scott: So what you're describing here could potentially be a bit of a culture shock within the organization. So, if maybe a manager is listening to this right now and saying, yeah, that's been us. We're not where we need to be. What are some first steps and maybe some ways to start to begin that implementation?
Eric: Yeah. So I think some of the first steps besides talking to us. I'll do a shameless plug. Is the fact that, you know, you really have to sit down with the group responsible for ITSM in the organization. Say, okay, how have we deployed this within our environment? What policies and procedures, operationally as well as around moves, add/changes, et cetera within the organization, how do we actually, you know, what's in place today and then how do we look to apply this unified communication? So leverage what already exists and then incorporate it to make it kind of system wide.
Scott: As technology evolves, your team needs to as well. Check in with the experts at IR to learn about Prognosis. IR.com.