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I'm on a mission! A mission to help you create the most valuable Service Manager solution ever

ScottKnox ‎07-26-2013 02:31 PM - edited ‎10-04-2015 08:40 PM

Greetings everyone,


I am finally back to my favorite blog.  Before we start though, I want to let you know that I am glad to get back to you (and to writing about Service Manager) after a long break.  I wanted to start with something like:  “I apologize for not writing sooner” but that sounded way too much like a letter to my mother.  So I decided instead to tell you what has been keeping me away. 


See, I was walking through this tunnel and suddenly there was a burst of gunfire from an M16 and a voice yelling “Why haven’t you been writing?”  I dropped to the ground.  It was the evil editor and I knew I was a goner unless I came up with something. Unfortunately, my brain went completely blank.  All I could do was revert to the truth.  I blurted out.  I ran out of gas.  I… I had a flat tire.  I didn’t have enough money for cab fare.  My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners.  An old friend came in from out of town.  Someone stole my car… There was an earthquake,  a terrible flood. Locusts …. IT WASN’T MY FAULT!


Alright that really isn’t the story but it sounded good right? For those of you playing along at home that was a quote from a great musical comedy movie. That’s right I do watch the occasional musical, especially if it stars Aretha Franklin, Cab Callaway, James Brown, and a couple guys dressed like Hasidic diamond merchants. 


So what is the connection between this movie and important customer conversations?  It’s all about being on a mission.  Those of you that know the movie (no I am not going to tell you the name of the movie) just know that the guys are on a mission to save an orphanage.   My mission and my conversations recently have been focused on helping my Service Manager customers realize value.


Ha!!  You think you’re clever but you’re not.  The movie was the Blues Brothers.  Released in 1980 and staring Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Carrie Fisher.  Ha Ha… never mess with the editor!





Here are a few of the biggest questions I heard from customers while I was at HP Discover and from my daily interactions with all of you:

  •          Is the quality of Service Manager 9.31 really as good as I have been hearing?
  •          How can I realize more value from my Service Manager system?
  •          What are the top considerations I need to make if I want to upgrade soon?

Let’s address these questions and consider how improvements made to Service Manager will answer them.


“E-excuse me, uh I don’t think there is anything wrong with the action on this piano” - Ray


What I have seen recently is that the mission has changed.  I used to spend a lot of time working with customers along with HP support and Service Manager R&D to make sure systems were fast and reliable.  Now with the improvements in 9.30 and 9.31 we can focus on other things. 

So what did we do to improve Service Manager?  The superstars in R&D did a lot but the keys in my mind are listed below.

  •          Provided a laser focus on automated test
  •          Required a mandatory peer review for all code submissions
  •          Performed Extensive root cause analysis and  made associated corrections
  •          Created significant refactoring including a new engine for record lists and locking and session management changes to reduce the burden on J-groups

BTW…I spoke with Matthew Darwin of HP R&D at HP Discover in Las Vegas on this topic. Check out our conversation on quality improvements in these three videos


“We’ll put the band back together, do a few gigs, we get some bread.  Bang! 5000 bucks” - Jake


Now that many of us have shifted our focus from maintenance to innovation, my customers are asking what else they can do to realize more value for their consumers. For me, this equates to automating what you do.   

In these conversations, I always start with the “low-hanging fruit”.  This boils down to using what you already have.  I have been surprised by how often customers are not linking and automating the activities of operations and service management when they already own the component tools. Here are a few examples

  •          Event management: Are you correlating events from your monitoring tools via OMi and passing key events to service manager for incident management handling?  Do you know that the event triggered incidents are available for incident matching activities to make the service desk agents more effective and efficient? 
  •          Change Verification and unplanned change:  Customers are often shocked to hear that up to 70 percent of all incidents are generated by bad changes.  Of course there are a lot of sources of bad change but those of you with discovery tools can at least verify that the change you thought you were executing is the same as the change you did execute. To implement, simply add a change verification step using discovery into your workflows.  Another value opportunity is to implement mechanisms so that the discovery can recognize unplanned change and notify you.
  •          Automation:  There are many tools such as Operations Orchestration, Server Automation or CSA available for automated deployment or task execution and many trigger points for these tools, especially in Change and Request Management. Are you using any of them? I spoke with one customer that spent 1.5 full time equivalents (FTE) for 1 year to generate automation solutions that yielded an ongoing six FTEs in cost avoidance annually.  In another case a customer reported that automating the deployment of virtual machines reduced average delivery time from 10 days to 6 hours.  

For more insight on automation check out my automation blog, and the blog about Richard’s winning automation solution.  


“This is definitely Lower Wacker Drive! If my estimations are correct, we should be very close to the Honorable Richard J Daley Plaza!” - Elwood


At this point in the movie, the boys in the black suits had their $5000 and were approaching the Picasso statue and the end of their mission.  They were about to save the orphanage.  They still had some work to do though.  In my mission, I still have some work to do.   The big step is to make sure that all of you are upgraded to the latest version where you can realize the improvements and deliver on the value opportunities identified above.  This leads me to the upgrade topic.    

As we approach the release of Service Manager 9.32 there are several topics to consider regarding upgrades.  Below are a few I think are most important.

  •          Talk to us: There are many of us in HP and in our partner ecosystem ready to help you. We also have a lot incentives, tools, and programs to accelerate your upgrades.  Let us know what you are doing and how we can help.  I encourage you to reach out to your sales, support, services, or partner contacts or email me directly
  •          Process Designer:  Hopefully you are aware that Process Designer (PD) is available for Knowledge Management, Change Management and Incident, Interaction and Problem Management. Wherever possible, I encourage adoption of process designer tools and workflows.  This will definitely be a long term benefit.  That said PD is definitely something that needs careful consideration.  (btw… if you know the movie you might expect me to plug  Aretha song “Think”  in here)  Since this is such a hot topic, below are a few interesting blogs and videos you should check out.
    •    Managing Change Tasks with PD is here
    •    Process Designer for Help Desk is here
    •    And my personal favorite –our customer Lauren tells us how she used Process Designer to deploy an new and effective Service Manager Change Management process in only three months. Watch the video here.  
    •          Architecture: Getting the architecture right is a huge part of any upgrade.  One of the surprising issues is how often customers deploy Service Manager on an untenable configurations.  How can you avoid that?  As above, let us help.  Contact your HP sales, support or services representatives and ask to get an architecture review

“Have you seen the Light!?!” – Reverend Cleophus James


So there you go everyone. I am on a mission. A mission to ensure that all of you have the fastest, most stable systems possible and that your systems are providing the maximum benefit at the lowest cost.  I hope that this post has been clear and helpful so that you can see the light and realize the Service Manager system you and your consumers want.


Please make a point of letting us know your thoughts and questions. More importantly let us know how we can help you get to or stay on the latest versions of Service Manager or how we can help you realize value from your ITSM solution.  For more insights start here on our ITSM page 

Thanx for your continued support and loyalty


With much respect


Scott Knox

SR Product Manager

HP IT Service Management

1060 West Addison

About the Author


I am Senior Product Manager for Service Manager. I have been manning the post for 10 years and working in various technical roles with the product since 1996. I love SM, our ecosystem, and our customers and I am committed to do my best to keep you appraised of what is going on. I will even try to keep you entertained as I do so. Oh and BTW... I not only express my creativity in writing but I am a fairly accomplished oil painter.

on ‎07-30-2013 09:57 PM



I agree with the positive feedback on SM 9.3 stability and performance from HP Discover. Nice to have your service desk work for you and with you.


You have probably written on this. Do you have some favorite links, resources on moving to 9.3 from earlier versions of Service Manager.



Mritunjay Kumar
on ‎12-07-2013 12:29 PM

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