Part I : How can we implement ITIL practices for Peoplesoft Applications?
I worked as a Hexaware Consultant for some of our customers, and many of the ITIL practices are followed there. As you are aware, I was an Unix Administrator in my earlier career, then started working as a Peoplesoft infrastructure person. Having this infrastructure support background, I am interested to know more about ITIL framework and related best practices all the time, especially this becomes more important to me after I completed my PMP Certification last year. I started learning details about the ITIL concepts and started liking the framework. It will be a really good thing to know about ITIL, especially for a person working on managing the IT infrastructure like me.
ITIL provides a framework of best practices for IT Service Management. As per ITIL Version 3 Overview Document, IT Service Management means set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to the customers in the form of services. ITIL framework provides processes, functions, methods and more for the service provider to manage the customer better. ITIL framework is public and was initially published the first version in the year 1989. Now, we have the latest ITIL Version 3 which was published in the year 2007.
We can manage Peoplesoft infrastructure better using ITIL framework. For any organization, using all of the prescribed ITIL practices at day one is not at all possible for sure. However, we can slowly start using some of these ITIL practices and this will really provides a flexibility in managing the Peoplesoft Infrastructure. One of the important best practice that ITIL framework provides is the Service Desk concept.
As per ITIL Version 3 framework, Service Desk is part of Service Operation stage. At Service Operation stage, the defined services are available to the users, for example, an end user can call the Service Desk to report an incident like unable to access a website that normally be available. Any service failures are reported to the Service Desk. Also, incident management is handled with Service Desk, along with problem management and access management.
In many organizations, there exists some kind of Service Desk concept, in the form of help desk, call center or in some other ways of calling people. Also, every company is having great pressure to reduce their operating costs, especially during these hard times. Service Desk concept provides, a facility for the customers or end users, as a single point of contact for the IT support requirements. By creating a service desk concept, organizations can centralize their support requirements and minimize financial cost by removing overlapping services.
In Peoplesoft infrastructure context, how can we implement a Service Desk as detailed by ITIL Version 3 Framework? We can include Peoplesoft related services (Peoplesoft related service failures, reporting problems, managing changes, managing Peoplesoft security etc) in a Service Desk model and can provide central point of contact for Peoplesoft related services.
Whenever there is a problem accessing the Peoplesoft web site, we can instruct the business users to contact a Service Desk. As per the ITIL Version 3 framework, a Service Desk may deal with events triggered by telephone calls made by an user, a web interface tool, or by automatically triggered infrastructure events such as a Pager from a computer.
For Peoplesoft applications, there are many users who can contact a Service Desk by phone whenever there is a service failure. Also, for users that are located remotely, we can request a Problem Ticket to be launched and Service Desk Personnel can pick up the Ticket. The third way is by using shell scripts, perl scripts or using monitoring tools such as Tivoli or some other tools to send communication to the Service Desk Personnel whenever a service failure is detected by the script or tool.
We have lot of scripts and other tools to trigger an even in case of a infrastructure failure occurs within a Peoplesoft related infrastructure. I am sure ITIL framework provides a variety of ways for Peoplesoft Applications to provide a better customer service when managing Peoplesoft applications. I am planning to write more about ITIL framework and how this can be used with Peoplesoft applications. Some of the practices from ITIL framework provides details for good change management practices, problem management practices, and other IT infrastructure related.
For this Service Desk concept to work with Peoplesoft, there are some specific design considerations required during initial design period. Be it personnel, or other resources. We will talk more about ITIL framework for Service Desk and Peoplesoft in coming weeks. Until then