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How HPE Propel Service Exchange helps you resolve issues before there’s a business impact

felix_fernandez

 

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Here’s one thing customers often miss when they start bringing in multiple IT service providers: Someone actually has to manage all these providers. Senior execs might see a great business justification in multi-supplier IT, but we all know that the reality can get very complicated—particularly when one of your services goes down.

I last wrote about how contract management—and how setting up contracts correctly—can further reduce costs. But there’s another fundamental item you must get right if you’re going to be successful as an IT service broker. You need the ability to do a case exchange (sometimes called a ticket exchange), which allows you to exchange incidents or support requests between suppliers. If you don’t have this capability, you can easily find yourself in a situation where something goes wrong, but you can’t resolve it quickly because all your suppliers are saying, “Hey, it’s not my problem.”

Case exchange enables you to quickly determine which component of the service has an issue so you can assign responsibility. It’s the only way you can stop suppliers from passing the buck—and get your IT service back on track before there’s a business impact.

 

Case exchange in action

Here’s an example to illustrate the principle of case exchange at work. Your business users are contacting IT because they can’t start Lync. You might suspect a network issue. But when you go to the networking team, they say their dashboard is green—there’s no issue. So you go to the Lync team. They have the same story—there are no issues, it’s all green. And so on.

Now, from a business perspective, you’re going to have an impact. Because people can’t use Lync, they can’t make phone calls. But from a supplier’s perspective, there’s no problem. They’re not obligated to help you diagnose a problem that appears to be outside their system.

If you’re acting as a true service broker, you’ve got an orchestration layer that gives you clear visibility into service components and enables you to hold suppliers to their SLAs. When a service request or incident comes in, you can assign the right team to work on it, no matter which supplier it is or what service management tool they’re using. Here are three steps to making this work:

  1. Accurately map your services in your CMDB and make it clear which supplier owns which components.
  2. Disseminate this information to all your suppliers so they understand how they fit into the service tree.
  3. Make sure you have a way to send a support request to the responsible supplier where you’re able to communicate the details of the event, the impact on the service, and the contractual response time and resolution time.

 

How case exchange fits into overall service governance

IT is challenged right now to onboard suppliers quickly. But in doing so, it’s often missing several steps that can lead to trouble down the road. Setting up case exchange is one part of your overall service governance.

I spoke to a client recently who said, “My problem is that all day I'm running from one provider's governance meeting to another's—I'm running in circles.”  I told her that what she needs to do is not run to all their meetings. As a service broker, you are the coordinator of all these services, so you need to set up your own governance meeting. 

Along with governance, data exchange is another key aspect of service broker. To enable case exchange, you need to have mapped service components in your CMDB. But to do this successfully, you want a data strategy. How are you going to do this? What’s the data architecture? And what’s the best way to exchange information?

To help customers through this process, we’ve created something called HPE Propel Service Exchange. It’s a service integration bus that lets you integrate easily with any of the standard service management tools and get started quickly.

To learn more, read the HPE Propel Service Exchange data sheet, or download the white paper: The New IT: Managing and Delivering Services in a Multi-Vendor Environment.

 

Félix Fernández is CTO, Strategy & Solutions, with HPE Software Services. Follow him on Twitter at @ffromero.

 

Related links:

HPE Service Broker consulting services

Blog post: Reducing IT costs with smart contract management

Blog post: Moving to service brokerage (it’s not the same as SIAM)

Blog post: A service broker story that’s no fairy tale

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About the Author

felix_fernandez

CTO, WW Strategy and Solutions, Software Services at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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