After a year of transformation of our ITSM portfolio, I am excited to announce the result of that transformation, the new Micro Focus SMA-X suite. In this article, I take a closer look at what we are delivering, and why you should be as excited as I am about it.
With the introduction of Service Anywhere a few years ago, a propulsion was created by a revolutionary simple and intuitive service desk that extensively used machine learning technologies to simplify the life of end users and IT personnel alike.
What we were not able to do at that time however is to provide a unified offering to both customers of Service Anywhere and the large number of customers of our Service Manager product. We subsequently embarked a year ago in a vast transformation agenda so that we could deliver the benefits of the Service Anywhere product in a way that would be more easily consumable and would provide more delivery options for everyone. Now I am excited to introduce Service Management Automation X (SMA-X) to meet these needs.
A modern architecture
SMA-X has been designed on three key principles:
- A uniquely engaging user experience—Providing unparalleled simplicity and ease of use for end users and agents alike.
- A fully codeless approach to application and process development—Providing a low total cost of ownership so that customers and partners enjoy quick deployment and seamless version upgrades
- The extensive use of machine learning and analytics—Brings contextual assistance to end users and agents to accelerate their work.
In addition, SMA-X has adopted the Micro Focus ITOM Container Deployment Foundation, making it available on virtually any deployment infrastructure. SMA-X is available either on customer premises, hosted in a managed service provider virtual cloud or in the public cloud (AWS today, Azure in the future). This makes it particularly suitable for Managed Service Providers to adopt it as they can provide some differentiated service leveraging their customer proximity.
Let’s review briefly the content of this new suite.
A unique engaging user experience
Service ManagementAutomation X is a new suite designed to simplify the way enterprises manage their IT services and assets. It applies the thoroughness of IT processes aligned with ITIL, but also brings a new angle to the process thanks to the extensive use of embedded machine learning and contextual analytics.
The service portal, which is now unified across the two flavors of SMA suite (SMA, based on SM, and SMA-X) provides a simple, search-first, Google-like experience that enables its adoption from end users to be training-free. (It is naturally intuitive because it is so similar to websites they currently use.)
The simplified experience is also the hallmark of the various aspects of the suite for IT agents, as illustrated by the simplicity of scheduling a change with the Change Calendar.
Codeless and seamless version upgrades
Machine learning and contextual analytics
Another founding principle of SMA-X, even more central than with the Smart Analytics extension of Service Manager, is the inclusion at the very heart of the platform of our proprietary IDOL machine learning engine, widely recognized as the undisputed leader in this space.
Our vision is that increasing IT process maturity should be the result of the solution learning from the accumulated data and suggesting improvement areas, instead of the traditional “tribal” knowledge approach that has made the industry stagnate in terms of the average maturity of its IT practices.
This vision is now a reality with the use of contextual analytics to guide agent decisions as well as the suggestion of prescriptive actions to improve process KPIs.
Flexible deployment and built for MSPs
One of the key transformations we did to bring to market SMA-X is to make it available as a fully containerized package. This means it can run on virtually any deployment environment, as we see increasing requests for more flexible deployment and security models that traditional SaaS cannot provide. Besides on-premises and public cloud environments (see the following post for a deployment example), we see a growing appetite for more intermediate delivery models for which MSPs have a very good fit, and as a result we have consequently been focusing a lot on the development of our MSP channels.
SMA-X is undoubtedly the most important ITSM product release in several years. Together with the new ITOM foundation, they are the reflection of the commitment from Micro Focus in its ITSM customers and investment. The initial reports are that customers and partners are as enthusiastic as we are about SMA-X!
Moreover, while SMA-X is technically a new product, it is also a very proven one as many customers of Service Anywhere essentially experience the same application content and innovative user experience as is now coming in SMA-X.
Micro Focus Service Management Product Management Director