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Archive for March, 2013

Why customers choose ITinvolve: Rapid growth of Security-as-a-Service company calls for a new approach to managing IT changes

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

You can imagine how critical IT operations must be for a company that offers Security-as-a-Service, and how unintended consequences from changes can not only wreak havoc internally but actually risk the business should IT changes cause unexpected problems.  That’s the challenge for a very successful company based in Houston called AlertLogic. Founded in 2002, Alert Logic has grown revenues more than 50 percent each year, while adding more than 100 new employees in the last few years.

According to Alert Logic Senior Vice President of Product Development and Chief Technology Officer, Dave Colesante, finding a solution like ITinvolve to help manage that kind of growth in IT ops was like having a dream come true.  Here’s how he put it to us:

“In a growing company that has added over a hundred new employees over the last two years, having a solution that proactively engages the right experts and self-documents activities makes it easier and faster to get everyone onboard with the process so we can make better-informed decisions.”

By choosing ITinvolve, Colesante is able to move beyond burdensome manual IT process oversight to a whole new world of automated knowledge sharing and collaboration among his staff.  This, in turn, goes a long way to ensuring changes are properly evaluated among each and every stakeholder through a unique, collaborative change assessment and weigh-in process.  And most importantly, he and his stakeholders gain a solution that ensures no stone is left unturned when assessing risks upfront so there are no surprises down the road.

ITinvolve gives Alert Logic the ability to visualize the impact of planned changes, involve appropriate stakeholders, and make accurate decisions in support of rapid business growth objectives.  Just as important, ITinvolve helps the AlertLogic IT staff define changes in the context of social objects that interact with each other, allowing for a faster identification of upstream and downstream impacts.

“I’ve been using manual change management approaches and ITIL processes for twenty years,” Colesante said, “and I found ITinvolve’s approach to be fresh with an appealing SaaS model that helped us get up-and-running fast and cost effectively.”

For Alert Logic, finding a better way to automate and run the change management process wasn’t the only benefit from choosing ITinvolve.  AlertLogic was also looking to support business outcomes and evolve as a company with ITinvolve as a like-minded partner in innovation and growth.

“The commitment and ability of the ITinvolve team to do what they say, and say what they do, is a sound foundation to grow the relationship,” he said. “As a SaaS provider, fast deployment is what we expect. We have a high standard for rapid customer deployment and we liked how ITinvolve met that same standard.”

Colesante also has some advice for others considering ITinvolve solutions such as ITinvolve for Social Knowledge Management and ITinvolve for Service Management.

“If you want to grow and ensure your processes and procedures are commensurate to your level of growth and the amount of change you’re making, then it makes sense to use a solution like ITinvolve. Our business is IT, and we are confident that ITinvolve has the right focus on quality and attention to detail to be a part of our growing success.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  So, if you want to see how you can use ITinvolve to get immediate value in meeting your IT operational challenges, go to our ITinvolve website resources section and download some of our use case scenarios.

You should also check out one of our recent archived webinars to hear straight from another of our customers, Jalasoft, how ITinvolve works in a highly complex environment.

Next week:  In honor of the approaching annual tax return filing deadline in April, we explore why the nation’s leading tax audit defense firm has chosen to implement ITinvolve for Service Management.

Matthew Selheimer,
Vice President Marketing

Why customers choose ITinvolve: A School District with Urgent Pain but Limited Budget

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

One of the best parts of my job as head of marketing for ITinvolve is talking with new customers to discover why they chose to implement our innovative solutions.  We usually post some of their comments in new customer announcement press releases on our website.

Take the West Aurora school district 129 located in a suburb southwest of Chicago.  West Aurora is one of our newest customers using the ITinvolve for Social Knowledge Management software as a service.  Like a lot of school districts across the country, Don Ringelestein, director of technology for West Aurora has been dealing with reduced budgets and state aid, forcing him and schools like his to take an urgent look at how to achieve the best possible quality of service with fewer resources.

“We found tremendous utility in leveraging ITinvolve for our change and knowledge management needs,” he told us. “Given today’s economic realities, we have to seek out new and more innovative ways to save money and time by improving how we manage our IT infrastructure and vendor relationships. With ITinvolve, we can easily codify existing knowledge and add to it over time through social IT collaboration.  This enables us to be more efficient and accurate in our work, give our vendors a more accurate update on how their equipment is performing, and improve overall end user satisfaction.”

Prior to ITinvolve, Ringelestein said users experienced widely divergent issue resolution times as IT staff had expertise in different areas and knowledge was stored in different places.  This made the IT service experience inconsistent and difficult to manage without a “single version” of the truth about his IT environment.

Because Ringelestein has a combination of district employees and contractors with different levels of expertise and in different areas, he recognized an urgent need to share knowledge across the organization so it’s more accessible to everyone and so he could achieve a more consistent and high quality service experience for his users.  ITinvolve gives him the means to collect, verify and share key knowledge, regardless of where, or with whom, it resides.

Here’s how he describes the benefit he gets every day from ITinvolve for Social Knowledge Management:

“We are building a social knowledge system that enables us to tell a story around all of our devices – at the end of the day, ITinvolve saves us money because we don’t spend time anymore calling around, sifting through e-mails and asking about a particular device to get what we need to solve an issue. ITinvolve is tremendously easy to use as it’s built using social media principles that our teams find very familiar.”

Ringelestein, who leads a roundtable group of school district technology leaders in northern Illinois,  plans to share the efficiency-generating, cost saving success of ITinvolve with fellow district CIOs in search of more innovative IT change, knowledge and service management alternatives.  That gives us at ITinvolve a great deal of satisfaction as we look to helping other school districts improve the quality of IT service and educational opportunities for their students.

To gain a better understanding of how you can use ITinvolve to get immediate value in meeting your IT operational challenges, go to our ITinvolve website resources section and download some of our use case scenarios.

And, be sure to watch one of our recent archived webinars to hear straight from one of our customers, Jalasoft, how ITinvolve works in a highly complex environment.  If you are feeling an urgent pain in your IT operations there’s no better time to explore a no-risk free trial of ITinvolve in your own environment at http://www.itinvolve.com/try-it-now .

I’ll be sharing more customer stories in the weeks ahead.

Matthew Selheimer,
Vice President Marketing

OVUM Report recognizes “compelling” differences and enhancements to ITinvolve service and knowledge management solutions

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

It was encouraging to see a recent report by Adam Holtby from OVUM, an independent analyst and consultancy firm headquartered in London, highlighting several key advantages of ITinvolve’s service and knowledge management solutions.

Specifically, the report notes an important differentiator for ITinvolve’s unique knowledge capture and social collaboration capabilities.  Holtby points out that:

“Many ITSM solutions have embraced social, but this is usually through modular add-ons or integration with popular social network platforms.  ITinvolve offers a solution that has been built with social at is core, and the wealth of knowledge gained from this can benefit all core ITIL processes support by the tool.”

You can download the complete report from the ITinvolve website at http://www.itinvolve.com/about/what-industry-analysts-are-saying/ as well as read other recent reviews from leading analyst firms such as IDC and EMA.

The OVUM report points out that as part of our Winter ’13 release, ITinvolve’s knowledge capture and collaboration capabilities can now be easily integrated with existing service desk or ITSM solutions through the use of what we call scenario objects and channels. These scenarios are used to support an extensive set of processes ranging from incident and request management, to change and problem management as well as other areas where collaboration and IT environment visibility are essential to making more effective decisions – such as disaster recovery planning.

Our seamless integration with existing tools makes it possible for any IT organization to take advantage of ITinvolve’s social IT collaboration strengths — a huge productivity booster for your IT service operations.  Holtby spells it out:

“This functionality prevents service desk analysts from having to spend time tracking down who an incident should be escalated to, as this information is contained as part of the scenario object. It also eliminates the need for service desk analysts to re-discover or repeat information, as knowledge gained through addressing the scenarios is added to ITinvolve for future use. This approach enables ITinvolve to do away with the drudgery of creating knowledge articles, as new knowledge is easily and automatically added through day-to-day operations.”

For the many reasons cited in the OVUM report and more, ITinvolve represents a compelling complement to traditional IT management approaches. To see how it works, visit our website and download a Use Case Scenario that describes in more detail how ITinvolve complements existing tools.  And, be sure to watch one of our recent archived webinars to hear straight from one of our customers, Jalasoft, how ITinvolve works in a highly complex environment.  When you’re ready, find out how you can take a no-risk free trial of ITinvolve for your own environment at http://www.itinvolve.com/try-it-now .

Matthew Selheimer,
Vice President Marketing

New IDC Report: ITinvolve delivers social IT benefits without the pain of uprooting existing ITSM solutions

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

A new IDC Link report offering a research opinion from IDC analyst Robert Young highlights one of the key advantages of ITinvolve’s latest release of our SaaS offering, Social Knowledge Management.

Recognizing that many organizations have made investments in existing service desk tools and ITSM solutions, Young describes how ITinvolve’s unique knowledge capture and social collaboration capabilities can be used alongside of existing tools or tightly integrated with an existing service desk or ITSM tool.

Young points out that the latest ITinvolve release, “allows IT organizations to leverage ITinvolve’s powerful social knowledge management capabilities without having to take on the potential burdens associated with uprooting their otherwise functioning third-party service management solutions.”

You can download the complete report from the ITinvolve website at http://www.itinvolve.com/about/what-industry-analysts-are-saying/ as well as see some of the other recent reviews from leading analyst firms such as OVUM and EMA.

As I’ve discussed ITinvolve’s social knowledge management capabilities with various industry analysts as part of our Winter ’13 launch over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed strong appreciation for why ITinvolve is truly unique in this market.  By combining the best of IT expert crowd-sourcing and peer review with the ability to integrate or federate existing machine-based knowledge stored in CMDBs,

SharePoint sites, spreadsheets, etc. ITinvolve offers a single version of the truth that IT team members can trust.

Based on this human and machine knowledge, ITinvolve generates perspectives that your IT staff and decision makers can use to collaborate in-context on IT objects such as networks, applications, databases, storage, and servers — and understand the key relationships between them in a way that is relevant and specific to their areas of responsibility or interest.   Plus, ITinvolve proactively notifies stakeholders with updates, and alerts them on changes that could result in service interruptions, incidents that may affect service quality, and new knowledge that has been added by other users.

Best of all, ITinvolve’s knowledge capture and collaboration capabilities can be integrated with your existing service desk or ITSM solution through the creation and use of scenario objects and channels. These scenarios are used to support incident management, problem management, request management, and change management — or any other where collaboration and IT environment visibility are needed for effective decision-making.

And it’s not only these capabilities individually, but more so their collective innovation that is making ITinvolve such a compelling alternative to traditional IT management approaches.  Besides downloading our analyst reports, I would encourage you to watch one of our recent archived webinars.  You’ll hear straight from one of our customers, Jalasoft, how ITinvolve works in a highly complex environment, as well as other webinars that further describe ITinvolve’s newest capabilities and how you can benchmark your own Social IT maturity.

Matthew Selheimer,
Vice President Marketing