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IT Service Catalog Development

Manufacturing | it Service management

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IT Service Catalog Development

TEKsystems helped mature a video and computer entertainment organization’s IT Service Management by building an IT service catalog that defined service and accountability within the client’s infrastructure team.

The client, a video and computer entertainment organization distributes and markets game consoles in North America; develops and publishes game software; and manages a U.S. third-party licensing program. The client has partnered with TEKsystems since 2012.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Information Technology Service Management (ITSM)

An IT service catalog is a comprehensive list of all services an organization offers to its employees and customers. It serves as a directory for users to navigate different types of issues they experience and how to resolve them. The catalog clearly defines the services available and provides detailed information about the service, including the objectives, how each service is delivered, and anticipated timing and potential costs associated with each service. Catalogs may include a variety of different service categories, for example, passwords and resets; email and calendar; remote access; data center services; desktop computing services; and network, wireless and telephone. Users can intuitively browse the catalog to identify the type of service they need, learn more information about the service and request support. The benefits of having formally documented services are significant.

With a well-crafted and properly maintained IT service catalog, organizations have greater visibility into the IT services they provide; in turn, decision makers can monitor and ensure those services are aligned and on track with the broader goals of the business. The heightened visibility created by the service catalog also allows organizations to optimize how they manage resources, subsequently driving increased efficiency and responsiveness of service. In terms of efficiency, it is easy to understand why details around the cost of services would be of great use to businesses. Cost-related intelligence enables organizations to make educated decisions related to expenses, such as where corners can be cut to reduce redundancy or which services are low in demand or value and should be retired to make way for priority services. The service catalog is also known to improve end-user experiences by managing their expectations from the IT team. With clear and well-defined descriptions of services, the IT service catalog sets the bar—what services are available, how each service is implemented and the length of time required to complete the service.

The client did not have an IT service catalog in place; available internal services were unknown. This meant that employees—new or tenured—who needed IT support experienced difficulty finding solutions to their problems. There was no workflow or designated point of contact for resolving specific issues. As a result, the user would have to know—or figure out—whom to go to for support. This inefficient method impacted productivity for the billion-dollar company, slowing down its employees when they needed to work through IT issues, and creating redundancies in how IT was delivered. Needing to work quickly and efficiently when introducing the latest video gaming console or other consumer electronics in a fast-moving and highly competitive market, the client realized the internal bottleneck was hindering business operations; any time there was a need for IT services, stakeholders were uncertain whom to contact, where to go and how to get the issue resolved.

Lacking well-defined and published internal service offerings, the client would not be able to resolve the problem easily. The client required support establishing an IT service catalog to increase service accountability, enhance customer satisfaction and awareness, and yield cost savings across the organization. A service catalog would enable the client to define internal IT service offerings, clarify ownership and responsibilities, and identify service metrics, thereby driving increased accountability related to services. By initiating repeatable processes and improving internal marketing, the client would realize improved customer satisfaction and awareness. The service catalog would also generate cost savings by transitioning and consolidating redundant services provided by outside vendors and the parent company.

Meanwhile, members from TEKsystems’ Support Services practice were providing the client with service desk and desktop support. Through conversations with our Support Services team, the client recognized they needed guidance maturing their ITSM, particularly with regard to building a service catalog, but were not sure of the optimal solution. Our ITSM practice director was brought in to speak with the client, understand their perspective on the problem and offer service management expertise. We advised that the client needed a way to identify, define and catalog their services. Their team immediately realized our proposed service catalog solution was exactly what they needed. Unsure where to start and lacking the in-house expertise to institute ITSM practices, the client knew TEKsystems’ ITSM practice was the team to do it.

As the partner of choice, TEKsystems recognized a few risks that needed to be taken into consideration when developing and implementing our solution:

ITSM and ITIL maturity

ITSM and ITIL are intangible concepts that weren’t fully understood by the client; for instance, they did not know what an IT service catalog was. They knew they needed support to streamline IT services, but did not necessarily know the best way to articulate the need. TEKsystems needed to position our solution in alignment with the client’s level of maturity; otherwise, users would not be able to understand the solution.

Approach to service management

The client did not have a holistic understanding of its services, which left room for confusion and miscommunication. For example, an application such as Exchange may have been thought of as a service instead of an application. This could create a challenge when defining the services. Intensifying this challenge was that some IT services were provided to the client from upstream at its larger parent company. Those services also needed to be identified and categorized appropriately to eliminate the potential for redundancy and duplication.

Timing

The client required a fast-turnaround solution. Holidays were approaching and a major release of the client’s latest game console was scheduled; stakeholders needed their attention to be focused on the core line of business, consumer electronic goods, as opposed to operational IT initiatives. In addition, the new calendar and fiscal year was approaching and a new VP of IT would be arriving; the client’s IT team knew it was critical to put this concept into place in order to enhance their performance.

To help mature the client’s ITSM practices and support its need for an IT service catalog, TEKsystems would assemble a team of ITSM and ITIL resources based on site at the client’s facilities. Our team would comprise an ITSM practice delivery director who would provide ITSM/ITIL guidance and project oversight; a global delivery manager who would be responsible for ensuring quality in management and project deliverables, as well as customer satisfaction; a delivery manager who would act as the client’s single point of contact for all project activities and would manage on-site resources; two ITIL® certified experts who would offer subject matter expertise and on-site support through service catalog design and build, and process guidance; and two developers (internal to the client) who would develop the web-based service catalog utilizing Salesforce.com.

The team proposed a multi-phased solution to clearly define and build out the optimal IT service catalog:

  1. Assessment of high-level process design – At the start of the engagement, the TEKsystems team would identify and define customer-facing and internal IT services. We would coordinate with identified client stakeholders to schedule and conduct assessment interviews of the current service catalog, processes and associated needs. We would provide a current-future state analysis and all IT and business services would be identified.
  2. Service catalog management build – We would then build and evaluate the first version of the service catalog. A service catalog management process strategy would be developed, high-level process design and descriptions would be created, and the service catalog management information would be ready for importing into the Salesforce website.
  3. Detailed process design – During this phase we would design the service portfolio management and service catalog linkage, and how to handle add/move/change needs. Based on the assessment phase, we would design the first version of the service catalog. The first version would be a passive design that provides information around the services. Future versions could be upgraded to make them active and integrate with their service desk.
  4. Service catalog management process deployment – Based on the previous stages of our implementation, we would then deploy the service catalog management process. At this point, ownership and accountability for managing the service catalog would transfer to the client.
  5. Process management and education – Lastly, the TEKsystems team would define roles, responsibilities, processes and services owners. This would ensure effective maintenance of the service catalog and move/add/change support beyond our partnership. 

Through this IT service catalog management program, redundant IT services would be consolidated across the organization. And awareness of internal services offered would increase, as would accountability for using services across IT and business groups.

TEKsystems successfully designed and built the client’s IT service catalog, further maturing its ITSM practice. The service catalog was essentially a listing of all business-facing services they provide; built and housed on salesforce.com, the platform used by the client for consolidating its IT services including the service desk and now the IT service catalog.

To do this, we performed an assessment of all services, then categorized them based on different scenarios of the web-based catalog; all internal IT service offerings were clearly defined in just two weeks. From this we learned that there was a misconception between “services” and “applications.” TEKsystems helped the client better understand the distinction and properly define service areas—such as messaging, collaboration or telephony—in the service catalog. In two-weeks’ time, we also identified the different service owners and clarified ownership and responsibilities. With that, we identified descriptions and attributes around those services, then working with the client, we built out an actual site listing all of the services. In terms of maintaining the catalog over time, TEKsystems carefully built out repeatable processes for the client to follow in order to properly introduce new concepts into the catalog, manage existing information as well as retire any relevant services.

Our deliverables included a current-future state analysis to identify IT and business services. We defined service and process owners’ roles and responsibilities. Because there is an entire process around managing the catalog, integrating it and keeping it current, we developed a service catalog management process strategy. And based on the client’s ITSM maturity, we also offered service catalog management process guidance on:

  • The maintenance calendar, or when and how to update the various components within the client’s environment
  • Integrating service and organizational level agreements (i.e., SLAs and OLAs) between different teams
  • Integrating service and component metrics for measuring the services

We also provided documentation for how the client needs to manage the process; with that we trained the service catalog manager on the catalog itself, along with how end users should be educated on the tool. As a result of our partnership, the client realized increased service accountability and improved customer satisfaction and awareness. The client also benefited from our efforts to help reduce redundancy, thereby yielding cost savings across the organization.

TEKsystems’ skills and expertise, our quality staffing capabilities and our approach helped drive the success of this engagement.

SKILLS AND EXPERTISE

While speaking with our ITSM and ITIL experts, client stakeholders became immediately confident in our capabilities and recommended solution. The client felt very comfortable that the TEKsystems team knew what we were talking about, understood what needed to be done in order to achieve the goals of the business, and had the skills to implement the right approach.

STAFFING CAPABILITY

Through TEKsystems’ proprietary Staffing Quality Process®, we were able to secure the right people for the team. Leveraging TEKsystems’ staffing teams based near the client, we were able to find high-quality local talent. With our deep connections to IT professionals around the country, we were able to find the expert-level skills we needed. And the client acknowledged and appreciated not only the quality and expertise of our team, but also the soft interpersonal skills and professionalism we provided.

APPROACH

We developed a solution that took into account the client’s level of ITSM maturity when we began this engagement. We knew that the best results would come from a solution that met the client where they were, then helped them mature with our guidance. Our straightforward approach enabled a smooth implementation and subsequent transition of ownership.