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From the Desk of the CEO – March 2011

Dear Friends of Kovair:

Welcome once again to our monthly update communication. We are focusing on two areas this month for our communication. One is the relatively new area of DevOps for which our CTO has written a brief article for you to gather a better insight on the subject and how Kovair with its capabilities in both ALM and ITSM and our Omnibus Integration Middleware for multi-vendor tools integrations is ideally placed to be a good source of DevOps implementation.

The second article by one of our Sales and Business Development Directors is focused on his recent visit to the Pink Elephant Conference and Show in Las Vegas and concludes from the event that many companies are desirous of having newer technology IT Service Management – ITSM Tools that are 100% web based, have a very easy to adopt and implement graphical process engine with drag and drop configurability without having to hire consultants and doing all this without paying through your nose! Kovair can do all of the above at a fraction of the cost of the legacy systems!

The next item of interest in the letter is the recorded webinar that Kovair recently conducted in partnership with Josephine Smith of Northrop on the topic of “Importance of Process in IT Service Management” where Josephine presented her successes in implementing the Kovair ITSM Studio for her specific needs at Northrop Grumman. Look for the link to the recorded webinar towards the end of this newsletter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. We appreciate it very much!

Sincerely,
Bipin Shah

DevOps-A Bridge between ALM and ITSM

DevOps is about bridging the often mutually competitive groups, which have conflicting goals, within an IT organization – developments and IT operations. Whereas the development group aims at implementing functional business requirements on the application side, the operations group is focused on non-functional requirements like performance, stability and availability. Further, the development group is interested in quick releases of more and more functionalities; the operations group, on the other hand, prefers fewer releases in order to minimize disruption in operations. The two groups often fail to appreciate each other´s viewpoints with the business emerging as the ultimate sufferer!

DevOps, a new movement among the IT communities, involves both operations and development to address the problem, as explained above. Being a new concept, it is yet to have a concrete definition as it lacks consensus. To some, DevOps is the streamlining of the operational part of the application release and deployment process. To others, it is the application of Agile methodology to all IT processes. Yet another group considers it an automation of IT services, especially the programmability of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) Cloud- based infrastructure. As a matter of fact, DevOps encompasses all these connotations, and goes beyond them.

Some of the driving factors of DevOps´s success are:

  • Integration of people, processes and tools related to both development and operations groups.
  • Early involvement of operations in the development process. During Requirements Management phase especially, involvement of IT curbs unreasonable demands on the operations during release and deployment.
  • Integration of various tools aids in the creation of a tool chain which may cross the boundaries of operations and development. For example, a Service Ticket generating an Incident, categorized as an Application bug, automatically generates a defect in the bug tracking tool used by the development group. Once fixed, it traces back the path to the Incident as ´resolved´ and then to closure of the Service Ticket. The whole process can be automated with integrated processes.
  • Use of the Agile methodology for various ITIL process areas, focusing on small frequent releases rather than big bangs.
  • Automation of as many steps as possible by using internal or external Cloud. A good example of DevOps will be to create a test server with an image of pre-installed test automation and other tools; run a complete suite of regression tests- if all pass, dissolve the server – all automated steps!

Kovair with its ALM Studio, ITSM Studio and Omnibus Integration Middleware is uniquely positioned to help customers to achieve DevOps from a very early stage. Whereas the ALM Studio is focused on development group, the ITSM studio focuses on operations group and Omnibus on integration of various third-party tools; together they can create the ultimate bridge between development and operations which has been missing for a long time.

Kovair at the Pink Elephant Show, February 2011

By Rajib Akhter, Director of Sales and Business Development, Eastern Region, Kovair Software

I just returned from the 15th Annual International IT Management Conference & Exhibition organized by Pink Elephant, Las Vegas, February 20-23, 2011. The largest gathering of IT Service Management (ITSM) users, vendors and thought leaders, the conference drew over 1600 attendees.

Kovair, one of the conference sponsors, showcased its industry- leading Kovair ITSM Studio. Its CTO, Sky Basu, an ITSM thought leader, was invited by the organizers to share tips for successful tools implementation.

A steady stream of attendees visited our booth with many of them looking for innovations, having exhausted the options with their current legacy tools. Over the years, they have invested a significant amount of time and money in these tools and have had to hire “an army of consultants” to configure or maintain them in the absence of tool features like 100% Web-interface and easy configurability. As a result, exodus to more innovative products has started – some have already replaced legacy vendors and a lot more are considering exercising this option in the near future. We also met with those who are too entrenched in using those tools to switch completely, but are considering adding new ITSM functions using next generation tools.

We discussed the following options with them:

Option 1: Replace the legacy tools and use Kovair´s next generation 100% Web-based ITSM Studio with point-and-click configurability, full process capability, traceability and a host of other innovations, possibly at the rate of your annual maintenance expenses or even less.

Option 2: If you cannot afford to replace the legacy tools, just keep them. Use one or more applications of Kovair ITSM Studio to fill in the gap, if any, in ITSM functions. Additionally, enjoy the benefits of process, traceability, and total visibility across all the tools by integrating all your existing tools with the Kovair Omnibus Middleware framework, including the legacy tool.

I also noticed that ITIL is gaining ground very rapidly. Many of the attendees either recently implemented ITIL or are considering doing that in the near future. A frequently asked question is: how to enforce the ITIL standards and maintain ITIL certification? And our response is: rest assured of that by using Kovair ITSM Studio.

If you find yourselves in the shoes of the Pink Elephant conference attendees, give us a call. Why keep paying an arm and a leg to maintain cumbersome, highly customized ITSM systems?

Kovair-Pink-ElephantFeb-11

Recorded Webinar: Importance of Process in IT Service Management-ITSM, March 2 & 4, 2011

The success of IT operations depends on well-defined processes and enforcing them consistently. However, enforcing an IT process manually is tedious and prone to errors. Well-defined and optimally implemented processes help organizations achieve Continual Service Improvements-CSI for various IT service areas such as Service Requests, Incidents, Problems and Change Management.

Learn from Josephine Smith of Northrop Grumman how she and her team implemented ITSM processes at Northrop.

Sky Basu, CTO of Kovair,discussed the success criteria of ITSM processes implemented using Kovair´s industry leading visual process engine, the Omniprocess.

Presenters:

Sky Basu – CTO & Vice-President, Kovair Software
Josephine Smith – Enterprise Applications Analyst, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Kovair Software is a software product company specializing in the domain of Application Lifecycle Management - ALM solutions and supports global software development and management. Kovair's focus on integrating third-party best-of-breed ALM tools enables creation of applications in a synchronized tools environment.