ITSM Leader at PS Global Delivery Center, Bangalore, India.
Quality of Service (QoS) is becoming more and more critical with people being pampered for technological choices and digitization. With digital components becoming pivotal in every aspect of our lives, data proliferation is at its peak. Organizations and businesses are trying to make sense out of the volumes of data being gathered from every system/application--and enterprise service management is no outsider to it. Using Machine Learning (ML)/AI technologies and automation, organizations are trying to make their processes more efficient, their workforce more productive and businesses more agile.
Micro Focus SMAX – the latest service management platform offering from Micro Focus – brings the unique capability to extract intelligence from all data gathered in the system (service requests, incidents, problems and change requests) to enable businesses to make faster decisions, predictable services, closed-loop incident management, and engage a lean and more responsive service desk. It provides a digital self-service experience for customers. (Reference: extract from Forrester Wave: Enterprise Service Management Scorecard, Q3, 2018 below)
Lets look at some key features of SMAX:
- Multiple deployment options (on-premise, public cloud, private cloud)
- Codeless configurations (faster time to upgrades)
- Smart Search, Smart email and Smart ticketing
- Smart analytics and machine learning/ artificial intelligence
- ChatOps and Virtual Agent
As more and more customers recognize and embrace the unique capabilities offered by SMAX, we have composed some interesting facts which you should know before embarking on your SMAX journey.
Implementing SMAX is easier compared to other service management platforms. However, both customers and those implementing must consider the below:
- Adapt to the new style of working – that’s the mantra for a successful roll-out!
- SMAX adopts industry best practices (ITIL) for the service management processes, so enterprises must gear-up to adopt these best practices with very minimal modification.
- Enterprises must shed their old ways of working, steer away from heavily customized processes and adopt LEAN and SIMPLE service management practices that SMAX recommends. Management must question every request for customizations no-matter how age-old the practices may be. This will not only ensure a faster time-to-value of the SMAX solution, but also guarantee an easier maintainability of the system with minimal disruptions/downtimes. Hence Adapt, Adapt, Adapt!
- Foundation for SMAX: Built on the latest container-based platform, knowledge of Kubernetes and Docker is important both for customers and service providers (implementer/platform support staff). Customers must understand what is required of them when applications are deployed on a container platform vis-a-vis a traditional bare-metal or virtualized platform (if SMAX is deployed on premise). SMAX requires intensive hardware behind the technology it uses and thus customers (on premise deployment) must fully understand the Whats and Whys behind the infrastructure requirements. Skill enablement for the IT staff is a key element which cannot be overlooked especially if they intend to support the SMAX solution in-house.
- Knowledge and availability of Cloud platform: Customers/Service providers who intend to deploy the SMAX solution in the cloud must ensure they have adequate expertise in cloud architecture. While the product documentation provides adequate details around setting up SMAX in the cloud infrastructure, it does require a Cloud Architect to assist in designing the cloud infrastructure required for SMAX. Since SMAX can be deployed on AWS, Azure or Google Cloud, it really helps to invest in expertise around these cloud technologies.
- Regular upgrades: SMAX is developed through adopting DevOps best practices and thus every quarter there is a new release of SMAX with new features and hot fixes. While the upgrades themselves are much easier with SMAX, it is important that the upgrades must be done sequentially. Hence, it is mandatory that customers keep pace with the quarterly releases. This must be factored into the application support team’s action list.
- Composite suite: SMAX is just not a service management solution, but the full suite comes along with the CMS (configurations management system) and AM (Asset management) capabilities. The combined capabilities cover the entire IT asset lifecycle from procurement to asset retirement, financial management, vendor management, software license management and more. Planning to implement a complete Service Asset and CMS using SMAX should be on the agenda for most customers to leverage the full benefits of the solution.
Transition to SMAX from its earlier versions is pretty simple and straightforward if you can factor in the above considerations.