GSX Blog

ITIL for your Messaging and Collaboration environment (Part 3a: Service Design)

Posted by Carl Drechsel on Tue, Jan 31, 2012


This week I’m going to tackle Service Design, specifically how it applies to your messaging and collaboration environment.  Service Design is actually quite a large topic, so I’ll be cutting it in half delivering Part 3a: Service Design today and Part 3b: Service Design on Friday.

As I mentioned in Part 1 Service Design includes all aspects of new services and the changes or improvements of existing services. This covers their architecture, processes, policies and documentation, in order to meet current and future business requirements.  As of ITIL 2011 there are eight main processes associated with Service Design, this article will focus on the first four and their associated process owners, or Roles.

Ok, let’s jump right in.

Design Coordination

Design Coordination is concerned with the coordination of all activities, processes and resources entailed in Service Design.  The goal is to ensure design activities are consistent, efficient and thorough. Design Coordination is a function of the Service Design Manager, this role is accountable for all planning and coordination as well as maintaining all design documentation.

So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

Messaging and Collaboration teams can expect to work within the processes and policies set by the Service Design Manager. This area of Service Design is largely about setting standards and methods for quality, efficient design activities. The Service Design Manager will review projects to determine if they are required to take part in the formal Service Design process. If required the Service Design Manager will then work with potentially impacted teams to determine which components of the IT organization are affected and how the new service will be provided. As part of the Design Coordination process the Service Design Manager will also work to determine the feasibility of a new service and the financial impact.

It is important to note that Design Coordination and Project Management are not the same things. While there are certainly many similar qualities, Design Coordination is based on a lifecycle, it is continuous and its goal is efficient, quality design. Project Management is finite; there are deadlines, scope and budgets. Project Management functions alongside Design Coordination assigned one project at a time. Design Coordination encompasses all design related activities project independent.

Service Catalogue Management

The objective of Service Catalogue Management is to produce and maintain a catalogue regarding information on all operational services and those being developed. The information contained in the Service Catalogue will be used in the other Service Management processes. This information includes the service details, its current status and potential interdependencies.

Service Catalogue Management is maintained by the Service Catalogue Manager. The Service catalogue Manager ensures that the information in the Service Catalogue is accurate and up-to-date.

So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

A basic customer facing Service Catalogue will contain the information below:

Service type, name and description-Just as it says, what family does the service belong to, what is it called, and what does it do?

Features-What different thing are offered by the service, what can users expect?

Expectations-Availability, incident and problem resolution, standard request process.

Metrics-How the service is measured in terms of availability and performance

Pricing-How much does it cost? Are there different tiers of service?

From a Messaging and Collaboration perspective this information can be critical when working with customers to develop and deploy new services, upgrade existing services or manage day to day service expectations. Having a better understanding of the service you provide and the operational commitments behind them provides a clearer picture to your overall capabilities. From an individual department standpoint a Service Catalogue can be fairly simple to create and maintain, publishing this to your customers creates an awareness around what you do and what potential value your services can provide to the company at large.

Service Level Management

Service Level Management is tasked with negotiating Service Level Agreements with customers and ensuring that services are designed to meet agreed service level targets. Service Level Management is also concerned with any underlying Operational Level Agreements and third party contracts. These activities are managed by the Service Level Manager who is the process owner. The Service Level Manager is also responsible for Monitoring and reporting Service Levels and their performance with the SLA.

So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

Service Level Management is often critical for Messaging and Collaboration services. Many of the services we provide are mission critical, meaning that any disruption of service will have a severe negative impact to your customers. For some services even a very short disruption can cost thousands of dollars, in larger organizations service disruptions can run into the tens or hundreds of thousands. Your customers want to know what your previous performance is and what you’re willing to guarantee with a Service Level Agreement.

Service Level Management and Service Level Agreements are very often dependent on demand and capacity management.  Each component is critical to balance; too little capacity can lead to service disruptions, which in turn impact the SLA. At this point there are a few simple options, renegotiate the SLA, increase capacity at the expense of the customer due to increased demand, or increase capacity from an IT perspective. The nice part of ITIL is that whichever option you need to pursue, you should already have all of the information you need to support it.

Capacity Management

The object of Capacity Management is to ensure that agreed service level targets are met from a capacity standpoint.  Capacity Management covers all IT resources required in order to deliver a service. This process is governed by the Capacity Manager, who creates plans for not only the short term but the medium and long term as well.

So how does this impact your Messaging and Collaboration environment?

From a Messaging and Collaboration perspective this means not only the capacity of you servers but the entire underlying infrastructure that supports them. This could be Active Directory, network bandwidth, disk capacity or even personnel (From the help desk to the architect). Capacity Management takes all of these things into consideration in order to manage, control and predict what the availability and performance of your services.

In order to manage Capacity Management properly you need to have the right metrics, in this case the more information the better.  If collected properly or with the proper tools trends can be of tremendous value. The ability to show growth and usage over time leaves little room for doubt upon the need for additional capacity or newer solutions to old problems.

Next Week I will publish Part 3a on Service Design where I will cover the final four processes. If you missed my previous posts you can find them here.

As with the rest of the articles in this series this is just an introduction, ITIL is vast, and in order to full advantage of the framework I would recommend additional research.  If you have any specific questions or would like to continue the conversation further please reach out in the comment section, I'd be happy to respond to any questions.

Also, please take a moment to learn a little more about our company.

Tags: Collaboration, ITIL, sla, Service Delivery, Lotus Domino Monitoring, Messaging, Service Design, Reporting, lotus domino, Framework