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Suite offers help with IT service management

The relationship between specific business processes and the IT infrastructure can be a difficult one to unravel. Improving internal business processes, and your company's ability to track them, can obviously help. But where to begin?

One place is the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a series of public documents designed to aid companies in implementing a framework for IT service management. It's essentially a set of best practices for running an IT organization, drawn from the public and private sector worldwide.

A new suite of tools from FrontRange Solutions can also help, partly because the company aligns its IT service desk management tools with ITIL. FrontRange says its new IT Service Management (ITSM) suite, built on the Microsoft .NET platform, is specifically designed to improve the performance of IT and support organizations by following ITIL. ITSM also offers modules that add functionality for customers currently using FrontRange's Heat product for help desk service and support.

Because the new suite uses a common foundation and single database for all aspects of IT management, the company says, it can help simplify management for IT departments using the product to track issues and maintain infrastructure. And because ITSM's process flow and functionality follow ITIL best practices, companies can more easily follow those dictates.

The fact that the new product follows ITIL was key for the city of Olympia, Washington in selecting the ITSM suite. According to Cheri Tipton, a service desk administrator with the city, "We've reorganized our division under the ITIL model."

Olympia, which has been using FrontRange's Heat product successfully for years, agreed to beta-test ITSM six months ago, and found that it can greatly extend the incident tracking services Heat offered. With ITSM, Tipton said, the city can not only track incidents for its 650 customers, but also handle problems and changes, track new releases and products, do configuration management, and much more.

As an example of the increased efficiency ITSM will bring to her 17-member service department, Tipton said that when software undergoes planned downtime, the service desk will now have a way to track that through a service portfolio, and notify users of the pending outage.

"This will allow us to be more proactive, instead of reactive, for customer service," Tipton said. "The product itself will help us be a better organization."

ITSM pricing is based around a platform license and is available for individual modules, which can be licensed in different combinations.

About the Author

Linda Briggs is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She can be reached at lbriggs@lindabriggs.com.

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