Managing IT Using the Summit Platform

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1 White Paper Managing IT Using the Summit Platform SUMMUS Software 1

2 Introduction Midsize and enterprise organizations worldwide are faced with increasingly tough challenges. Many are asking their IT organizations to do more with less by optimizing people, processes, and technologies. Meanwhile, IT decision makers find themselves flooded with information from their enterprise applications but can t make sense of it. To deliver business value, this information must be effectively aggregated, correlated, and contextualized. In response to these pressures, many IT organizations are launching integrated service management initiatives that view technology components as interrelated parts of services running on a centralized platform. This approach requires implementing a unified service and assets management (ITSM/ITAM) solution that reaches across the enterprise and extends to partner systems. With the right approach and the right IT management technologies, IT managers are finding better ways to proactively and remotely manage their IT infrastructures on a centralized platform that unifies networks, applications, and databases. This white paper describes how IT organizations can successfully address operational challenges by deploying Summit Platform, a fully integrated and comprehensive IT management platform from SUMMUS Software. The following areas will be discussed in depth: Business Challenges... 3 SUMMUS Approach to Comprehensive IT Management... 4 Overview of Summit Platform... 4 Project Management... 4 Incident Management... 4 Problem Management... 5 Change Management... 5 Availability Management... 5 Asset Management... 6 SLA Management... 6 Executive Summary Delivering service excellence enables IT to move from simply supporting your business to helping you innovate, strategize, and optimize. One of the main challenges is designing and deploying IT services that enhance the efficiency of day-to-day operations while continuously improving customer satisfaction. For increasing numbers of companies, a comprehensive and robust ITSM/ITAM suite is the best option, one that allows organizations of all industry sectors and sizes to improve IT governance, optimize service levels, increase productivity, and reduce associated costs. A successful ITSM/ITAM solution must continuously provide intelligent process automation compatible with the ITIL V3 processes. It must also support an integrated configuration management database (CMDB) for the management of complex IT infrastructures. An open platform with easy integration with other systems is mandatory. The Summit Platform unifies key applications such as service desk, incident, problem, change, asset lifecycle, SUMMUS Software 2

3 availability, and service level management applications using a single data model, workflow platform, and user interface. This unified approach ensures proactive and continuous improvement of service availability, quality, and costeffectiveness. Built on a single software platform, the Summit Platform from SUMMUS Software provides a comprehensive, enterprisewide view of all asset types, production, facilities, and IT. This holistic perspective supports viewing all assets in context so fully informed IT decisions can be made. The Summit Platform also has auto discovery capabilities that allow you to discover IT assets by interrogating the network and self-populating network devices. Business Challenges The top questions that keep today's enterprise IT operations professionals up at night include: How can we get better control over IT processes? How should we align our services with our business processes and goals? How can we increase operating efficiency? How can we boost productivity and foster a climate of innovation? Should we implement an on-premise solution or opt for a cloud-based solution? How should we balance legacy resources versus outsourced services? Often, companies and organizations approach these challenges by adopting industry best practices. If an organization is following ITIL standards, the objectives are usually similar: maximizing the use of information technology, deploying high standards for customer service, developing appropriate IT governance and control within a company, and reducing overall service delivery costs. The quest to improve productivity and the predictability of IT management has led to the creation of business service management (BSM) and the configuration management database (CMDB) both now seen as the central pillars of the new wave of IT management software tools. The advent of BSM and CMDB has spurred renewed interest in refining existing implementations while also creating a new wave of solutions. Summit IT Platform ensures efficient management of IT from a business perspective: Reduce business disruptions by addressing infrastructure-related incidents well before users call Improve cost-efficiency, reliability, and performance by using closed-loop change processes for datacenter and desktop management from authorization and execution to verification and compliance See the resource capacities of server assets and more fully understand their performance, as well as financial and contractual dispositions Monitor and enforce business service level agreements that unify service and support metrics Enterprise IT management software is designed to help monitor, detect, and identify any abnormal behavior of the IT infrastructure. It provides dramatically improved control of infrastructure through integrated asset management, incident management, problem management, and change and configuration management. The software also improves production flow job scheduling and workflow management plus communication flow, such as service desk, service level management, and business service management. Summit Platform provides end-to-end visibility into the performance of the enterprise s total IT environment. SUMMUS Software 3

4 SUMMUS Approach to Comprehensive IT Management Eternal vigilance is critical to maintaining the health of an IT environment. Yet all too often organizations fall short of perfection because of the non-availability of expertise and resources. This often results in server management-related problems that jeopardize long-term business prospects. The Summit Platform helps resolve these issues and allows you to concentrate on your core business. Usable Features An ITSM/ITAM suite is considered useful not based on the number of features, but rather on the total features that are genuinely usable. What s more, the software must be usable with little training and minimal overhead costs. Apart from monitoring and data generation, the solution must also act as a support for all continual improvement activities, such as event consolidation, centralized reporting, workflow management, and operational framework support, plus TIL, ISMS, process excellence, 6S, and COBIT. Overview of Summit Platform The Summit Platform provides a one-stop solution for IT management integrating applications. It provides unparalleled visibility and transparency, enabling business managers and business users to monitor IT projects and IT service operations in real time. Summit Platform also provides managers with a full range of business intelligence tools, including indicators, dashboards, reports, and other custom analysis tools to build an integrated ITSM scorecard. The following modules of the Summit Platform enable you to fully manage enterprise IT environments using ITIL v3.0 processes. Project Management The Project Management module provides comprehensive scheduling to keep projects on track, enabling you to fully automate day-to-day tasks from project design to closeout. The module supports project planning and tracking, time and resource management, dynamic reporting, and more. You can manage all projects in one system using best-inclass project management processes across your organization. This boosts productivity by eliminating inefficiencies in existing business processes while enabling you to create even better processes going forward. The module keeps project costs on target with real-time cost management and budget tracking. It also supports real-time collaboration for geographically dispersed project teams and external vendors. With Project Management, your mobile workforce will have secure online and offline access to all pertinent project information. This includes charts and reports to view project progress at a high level, with the capability to drill down into the status of specific tasks or items. Incident Management An incident is any event that is not part of the standard operation of a service and may cause an interruption or reduction in the quality of that service. In the context of ITIL, incidents include not only hardware and software errors, but also service requests. Service requests are requests from a user for support, delivery, information, or network status. Examples of service requests include: functional questions or requests for information, status inquiries, password resets, requests for batch jobs, password authorizations, and database extractions. SUMMUS Software 4

5 The end customer can log incidents in the Summit Platform through various media Web, , voice and custom applications. With incident management, you can open, assign, view, search, and manage tickets. You can also define different parameters to handle each ticket, such as executive, workgroup, criticality, severity, SLA, categorization of user type, end user escalation, auto escalation, and reasons for keeping a ticket pending without closing. Out of the box reports help you to view data about the tickets that are transferred between teams, the top 20 callers, SLA achieved by workgroups, CSAT by customer, CSAT by workgroup, SLA achieved by engineers, SLA achieved by departments, tickets that have been reopened, etc. You also have a report builder that enables system administrators to generate reports based on the needs of the organization. Problem Management Problem Management roots out the underlying causes of problems and resolves them before they happen. The module includes proactive and reactive activities. Reactive problem management identifies the root causes of past incidents and provides proposals for improvement or rectification. Proactive problem management aims to prevent incidents by identifying weaknesses in your Infrastructure and making proposals to eliminate them. Requests for changes are raised to modify the infrastructure. And reports are issued about the quality of the IT infrastructure and the process. By proactively documenting and eliminating errors, Problem Management improves service quality as it increases user productivity. Since both errors and solutions are thoroughly documented and tracked, even non-technical staff can resolve incidents more quickly and efficiently. Because the stability of the services increases, customers are more likely to trust the IT organization with new business activities. Problem Management stores historical information that can be used to identify trends and prevent new incidents. The Problem Management module establishes standards for incident recording and classification, enabling you to quickly identify problems and their symptoms. It also improves incident reporting. With Problem Management, first-call resolution rates increase dramatically. And work-arounds are available from an indexed knowledge base. Change Management The Change Management module controls the implementation of changes, including the requests for changes (RFCs) recommended by the Problem Management module. A major source for updating the CMDB, Change Management uses the CMDB to estimate the impact of the changes to be implemented. It also authorizes changes and associates them with relevant configuration items (CIs). The module is responsible for assessing the impact of changes across the enterprise, identifying required resources, and planning changes. It coordinates and evaluates requested changes, while continuously informing the Problem Management module about the progress and completion of corrective changes. A post-implementation review (PIR) identifies which known errors can be closed by error control. It also identifies which relevant (open) incident records can be closed. In addition, the Change Management module provides the Incident Management module with information about scheduled changes and their status. Availability Management The Summit Availability Management module helps monitor the availability, performance, and utilization of different client servers. It creates a schedule for monitoring at pre-set intervals. This includes working status, CPU and memory, hard disk, service, printers, and other functional parameters and services of a server. Reports can be generated to ensure fully informed technical or strategic decisions. Auto-discovery of server, network, and software assets is supported. The module also allows administrators to schedule the monitoring process and generate timely reports that facilitate preventive measures. SUMMUS Software 5

6 To measure aspects of the availability of services, Availability Management uses incident records and status monitoring provided by a configuration management module from SUMMUS Software. A service can be assigned the status down, just like a CI in the CMDB. This information can be used to determine the actual availability of a service and the response time of the supplier. Different services can monitor server performance and generate reports based a schedule of your choice. You can customize the views by grouping the servers. You can modify details of an existing server, user, and a server group. You can also assign values to different master types that help to classify servers on the basis of customer, location, server type, vendor, user, and so on. Asset Management Designed to help manage technology assets that your company owns, leases, or licenses, the Asset Management module helps maximize the performance and lifetime value of complex technology assets across your enterprise. It tracks each of your IP and non-ip assets through each stage of the lifecycle: planning, requisitioning, allocation, retirement, and disposal. The module empowers you to optimize and streamline the entire asset management process, significantly lowering the ongoing cost of your technology investments. It also better aligns IT resources with core business objectives. Asset Management module provides extensive asset portfolio management capabilities, greatly improving decision making by helping you identify unused or underutilized assets and maverick purchasing. The module increases and optimizes utilization, decreases the risk of software license noncompliance fines and penalties, and eliminates overpayments on invoices. By fully automating many of the tedious, manual tasks associated with contractual paperwork, it reduces the risk of non-compliance. And it stores precise data on everything from software release versions to license terms and maintenance contracts. With the Asset Management module, you finally have the information you need to gain an accurate picture of all your IT assets and their associated usage rules. And because your knowledge of the IT infrastructure is now complete and accurate, you can begin to implement industry-accepted best practices for total asset management. By deploying the Asset Management module, you will dramatically lower the cost of current and future technology investments. SLA Management Service Level Management (SLA) module ensures that the IT services required by the customer are continuously maintained and improved. This is accomplished by agreeing, monitoring, and reporting on the performance of the IT organization. Effective SLA improves the performance of the customer s business and results in greater customer satisfaction. Because your IT organization is more aware of what customers expect, you are better able to plan, budget, and manage services. Service Level Management provides an opportunity to discuss the customer s business needs without getting sidetracked by technical details. Since everyone is aware of their responsibilities and roles, you can create a more flexible and responsive enterprise with far fewer misunderstandings or omissions. When IT departments and customers are in synch, it is easier to strike the right balance between the required quality of service and the corresponding cost. Because they can more precisely specify the services and components required for proposed ITSM/ITAM solutions, IT organizations gain much better control over resource management and costs. SUMMUS Software 6

7 Conclusion Effective IT management ensures that you will thrive in your market place. The Summit Platform provides all the features and capabilities you need now, while building a scalable platform that will continue delivering solid business results for years to come. It is a comprehensive, end-to-end IT Management solution that provides real-time status on a dashboard. It is a secure, role-based platform that supports remote access. It offers configurable alerts, offers full reporting features, and supports both SNMP and WMI. With the Summit Platform, the more you know, the more you can maximize IT performance and availability. SUMMUS Software is a cloud-based provider of integrated and comprehensive IT service management, IT asset management, and IT network & server management solutions. Enterprises worldwide are using the SUMMUS Software IT management solutions to cost-effectively and flexibly deliver missioncritical IT services for on-premise and cloud based infrastructure schedule allow for easy tracking, monitoring and reporting on all past and current changes. Risk assessments and authorizations can be seen via workflow tabs, with a full audit trail SUMMUS Software, Inc Skyway Court, Fremont, CA summussoftware.com

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