In an effort to make its 1,000-person IT organization more efficient, cost-effective and "client-facing," network infrastructure provider Lucent recently adopted the IT Infrastructure Library across the board, complying with 12 of the 16 basic ITIL practices within 11 months.
"There were a lot of challenges, particularly for a company that has a heritage that stretches back more than a century," IT director Sheila Bridge says. "But the IT team was determined to make a success of it, and we had the backing of the CIO and the rest of the senior leadership."
Lucent dedicated 200 full-time staffers to building the ITIL architecture and tools. They started with HP software and services, then tested and confirmed their validity for Lucent. "Like any other company, we like to reinvent processes and tools ourselves, but we had to teach [employees] that customization is not always the way to go, especially when you're looking for speed," Bridge says.
Under the "service request and incident management" practice of ITIL, Lucent consolidated 14 helpdesk call centers into one global helpdesk with three locations and common processes, cutting costs 50 percent. "We now have one software tool that holds all the trouble tickets, which allows all three locations to use the same processes and information," Bridge says. "We can easily redirect calls from one center to another." High-priority tickets are being closed within eight hours, where previously they took three times as long.
What are the keys to a successful ITIL deployment? Bridge says the first element is C-level buy-in. "It's absolutely critical to have leadership commitment; the project must be a No. 1 priority," she says.
Second, the go-live date must be firm. "It imposes discipline on the team," she says.
Third, Bridge recommends the "confirm, not customize" approach, to save time and effort rather than reinventing the wheel. --Penny Crosman
BUSINESS OBJECTS DEBUTS DATA VISUALIZATION
In the latest version of its BI platform, BusinessObjects XI Release 2, Business Objects introduced a visualization tool, Crystal Xcelsius Viewer, based on technology it acquired from Infommersion. Crystal Xcelsius Viewer lets customers turn static information into charts, graphs and interactive "what-if" scenarios while maintaining live connectivity to data. For example, a sales executive could display sales information for different products across various vertical markets and regions in a visually compelling format, then demonstrate how decreasing inventory for a particular product line might affect Northeast regional sales.
SPOTFIRE SEES HOT MARKET AMONG BUSINESS PROS
Spotfire, traditionally a provider of analytics to the scientific and technical computing markets, has entered the realm of analytics for business professionals. With DXP, the vendor offers a solution said to be highly visual and interactive, based on Microsoft .Net and running on 32- and 64-bit desktops. Alongside DXP, Spotfire introduced DXP Metrics, an expression builder and collection of embedded statistical routines that can be deployed with DXP applications.