Office 365 Service Delivery Mgmt - Part 3
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Cloud Service Management best practices for Office 365

This article is part of a series on Office 365 Service Delivery Management. In the previous article we had a look at Service Management. Now let’s have a closer look at best practices for Office 365 service management.

ITSM represents how IT manages, operates and transitions technology but also designs services and manages risks within the organization.

You certainly have already seen what service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, or service incidents are.

They are clearly defined in ITIL processes, and I would warmly recommend you read about these processes if you haven’t started to implement these best practices for service management.

However, even clearly defined, these processes are facing serious challenges with Cloud Service Delivery.

In term of service strategy, one of your goals is to avoid risks of Shadow IT.

? For that you need to understand the use of the current solution the overall business needs and anticipating new services.
? Regular surveys among your employee, and public cloud services offering must be analyzed by your team.

When you think of service design and service operation, Software as a Service can be a headache.

? The challenge is to first define which service you want to manage.

In a previous article, we’ve seen that even for a simple Exchange Online environment, the notion of service can be very versatile.

? Then you need to define Service Level Target instead of SLA for these services.

Service Level Targets are better here, because they’re based on best effort and are not correlated with penalties.

You cannot take the risk of an SLA when you are not controlling the entire route of the service to the end-user.

Service Level Targets should be defined with the business lines at the location level (per country or region) and should not forget your mobile user. That is why you need to have a way to measure the mobile experience when it makes sense.

Defining SLT will enable you to start working on continuous service improvement, pinpointing the issues and justifying investment and success in service delivery

Regarding Service Transition and Change Management, the continuous migration of on-premises devices to mobile ones and the access to hybrid cloud system clearly complicates the job of IT administrators.

? To face that challenge, you should ensure the monitoring of the health and usage of your complex hybrid identities management.

The correlation between hybrid CMS and SaaS end-user service delivery is critical to manage.

Service Improvement is now even harder to reach than before because you can only improve what you can measure.

? For that, you need to implement a way to continuously measure the end-user service that is really delivers to your locations.

We’ve already explained how you can do that with GSX Robot Users.

Finally, regarding Service Incident and Service Desk, we’ve already seen what Microsoft is recommending and how GSX can really help you on that topic.

We would just stress a few additional recommendations here.

? You need to correlate the end-to-end user experience with the health of every component that can impact it, including the Microsoft Service Health Dashboard.
? You need to determine quickly if it is a local or tenant-wide issue.
? You need to know if anything that can impact the end-user experience is having trouble and then immediately share the information
with the right team to fix the situation.

That will drastically reduce the mean time to repair and clearly improve the whole process of incident resolution and incident assignment, enabling better incident analysis and evaluation and the creation of a knowledge base.

Now that we’ve covered the main aspect of IT Service Management and what to put in place to face the Cloud delivery challenges, it is important to focus on how to set the right target for your service delivery.


Define Service Availability & Performance Level Target

We’ve already seen that defining the right services, based on user capabilities can be a challenge but is important to do.

Next is to define what level of service we want to reach.

From a user perspective, the notion of availability and performance are really intertwined.

Something too slow to use quickly becomes an availability issue for them.

So now we have to define what level of availability and performance we want to define in our Service Level Target and how to put them in place.

? First you need a way to test continuously the service you want to provide.

Again, one of the best way to do that is to use GSX Gizmo.

The purpose is to define baseline in term of availability and performance, on a stable environment, at the location level action per action.

These baselines should recognize pattern of utilization. Usage varies during the day, the week the month and even the year.

? With these baselines you can start to define threshold on service delivery for alerting purposes.

Being alerted on any service degradation allow you to react quickly and fix issues before they really impact your users.

? Now you can calculate a target in term of minutes downtime per month that provides a good balance between the necessary business needs and the resources you have.

For example:

? Service true availability target at 98%
? Service Level Target Latency Threshold at for example 500 milliseconds to download a 1MB document.
? Service performance target at for example 80%. It represents the percentage of the time where this service latency is below  a certain threshold.

So now that we have these Service Level Targets in place, you can really measure their achievement and enforce them.

Here comes the Service Capability monitoring.

Implementation of Service Capability monitoring

It defines the ability of your own environment to deliver the cloud service.

Your environment is of course your hybrid component, your network, your internal applications using the cloud service and generally everything that can impact the end-user experience.

? What’s critical here is to be able to measure and correlate the information.

? For that you should have a single pane of glass that breach silos of your IT environments and display, in real-time, the health and main usage statistics of every component that can impact your Service Level Target.

GSX Gizmo for Office 365 is the only tool on the market that provides you that.

We have pretty much covered the essential point of Service Delivery Management when it comes to SaaS application like Office 365.

In this series of articles on Office 365 Service Delivery Management, we discuss:

GSX Solutions provides the only Office 365 user experience monitoring tool that truly measures the quality of the service delivered to all enterprises’ sites, enabling their IT to take power of the Office 365 performance.

Get started today with Office 365 monitoring and see how you can keep your employees on the path to optimal productivity.