Why Choose BMC/Remedy IT Service Management for your Enterprise?

October 10, 2017

A Little History


Remedy Corporation started out in the early 1990’s with a unique product that was based upon the new windowing technology available in Solaris UNIX. Anyone who started out with UNIX of any flavor at that time knew that the personal computer had arrived on the scene with a unique interface called Windows, and UNIX. Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) was one of the first to develop a graphical user interface that would allow for ease of use for UNIX client workstations, and Remedy had the tool – a workflow engine that would allow you to press a button on a WYSE terminal and execute a command. For service providers such as AT&T (one of the first to purchase Remedy commercially) this was a must-have. In 1995, as a mostly-unemployed professor of English, I took a job developing training curricula and delivering courses to engineers and Network Operations staffers at AT&T Wireless for the newly-deployed Remedy workflow engine. AT&T Wireless had hired Remedy Consulting from Mountain View, CA, which delivered an on-site course for NOC staff (and for the trainers). It was my job to learn the tool, then particularize custom training for all of the network operations and service desk staff at AT&TW’s North American call centers and Network Operations Centers (NOCs) around the country.


Remedy’s attractiveness to IT operations was significant. Banks, governments, large telecommunications firms, insurance companies followed AT&T (one of its earliest adopters,} and once I completed a product review on improving the custom button-driven user interfaces with customer feedback given during the training sessions in Florida, Dallas, Portland and Seattle, I took the available Remedy courses and became an authorized “administrator” which meant, in Remedy-speak, that I could write these workflow triggers and user screens using a a toolkit that utilized a a three-tier configuration – database, server, and client, and which in 1995-96, was one of, if not the only – true enterprise applications.


The Push for Standardization and Integration

Competitor products for outage and incident management have come and gone, largely due to a lack of integration, or because they consisted of either two tiers (database and application), and required, sometimes literally, an army of application developers or of database specialists. The user interfaces for these extinct products were just too hard to program and were not supported on UNIX and Windows, which in 1997 because Remedy’s new first-tier client platform. Remedy’s products required neither an army of DBA’s (just one would do) nor a large staff of specialists of various kinds, and early products either did not address the customer’s often very particular service desk (or network operations) process, or because consultants who did attempt to deploy a piece of software for this area of IT did not understand or appreciate the service desk’s need. In the IT software industry, the gap was clear, and the drive for standardization and a cookie-cutter approach to provide a standard, out-of-box solutions became the next big challenge. I continued to work with Remedy as a product as it evolved from custom-only AR System (v. 1 and 2 with Distributed Server Option for multiple-site support, to HelpDesk Templates (v. 3.0) and I stayed with the product suite as it evolved to the meet the mature standards that became known as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) at v. 2, which formalizes into processes, procedures, and work instructions the IT functions common to an IT enterprise. The product we know today, BMC Remedy IT Service Management (now at v. 9.12), incorporates the complete Service Support, Service Transition, and Continual Process Improvement phases of ITIL 3.0 into the tool itself, so that processes, procedures, and work instructions, down to the down to an individual task level, match the function of ITSM’s full-featured consoles.


The Modern Era of Remedy/ITSM – A Fully-Featured, Flexible Enterprise Application

Today, too, industry-wide standardization in web applications, courtesy of Java, Enhanced Java and XML/Javascript, as well as other open-source middleware, have provided almost universal accessibility for external data sources to feed into the re-engineered ITSM product suite, which is driven by centered the central Configuration Management database (CMDB), which constitutes the core of an ITIL-compliant, end-to-end IT management system. And these aren’t just buzzwords. A scanning integration supports a purchased asset, which is tracked by the Asset Management process and its underpinning tasks, is entered by federation into the CMDB, and becomes available for configuration, maintenance and warranty servicing, incident or outage management recorded by Incident Management staff, tasks performed by Break/Fix technicians, following the entire lifecycle of the IT inventory, All including all discoverable and reconciled equipment, fixtures, and other assets ,including work assignments and support staff) are related, or can be federated from external sources, using these powerful integration techniques. Without rekeying by staff, or by manual shelf inspection at inventory time (everyone’s favorite job to avoid).


The integration between the BMC Atrium CMDB(TM) and its core service applications – Incident and Problem Management, Change and Release Management, Asset and Configuration Management, and Service Request Management as a self-service shopping-cart for end users, are today all bundled together for the mature enterprise. ITSM no longer requires customization, additions, expensive coding – unless the process deviates significantly from an ITIL baseline and is desired. Robust code control of the base applications, and all customized objects (because you CAN still customize anything in the system if you want to – and a LOT of customers want to!) and support for upgrade and enhancements to keep current with the latest changes and code updates on its premier platform, which is today Windows (Server 2012 and 2014) and SQL Server (up to v. SQL 2016), while supporting the 21st century flavors of UNIX – Linux (Red Hat, Ubuntu and several other open-source client and server platforms). Red Hat (RHEL7) is the premier Linux platform and uses a plug-in and open-source Putty to connect to RHEL servers.


The new version 9 BMC IT Service Management (ITSM) product suite is more flexible, more full-featured, and does not require years of expert consulting for care, feeding and operations. Migration from older products or from other service desk platforms has gone from months to weeks. My recent experience as a BMC Certified Professional, working as a system integrator and implementation lead, has convinced me that upgrades and new implementations at the latest version rather than more complex and painful than previous upgrade, are easier. Tools for exporting, revalidating and importing from a legacy system are now robust, and data validation of legacy transactions and base configuration data are automated using the Data Wizard tools, newly enhanced since ITSM v. 8. Client tools are fully supported on Windows 10. I performed an upgrade from version 7.1 for a Defense Department agency, and got their ITSM upgraded and in production in less than 40 days.


And after 23 years doing Remedy enterprise service desk implementations, I am leading the Remedy practice at A&A to address the needs of those customers in private industry and in government whose security needs are suddenly put into focus, and whose enterprise direction requires new stringency in security policy – whether in the enterprise platforms, virtualization and operating systems, including all major database and OS flavors. Welcome to my blog, and check back in for new installments, which I anticipate will be monthly at a minimum.


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