Based on experience with, and feedback from, more than 15,000 organizations and hundreds of thousands of users, FrontRange has spent the last year or so developing its hybrid IT service management strategy, which is now being delivered in HEAT 2013, said Kevin Smith, VP and GM Cloud Business Unit. “This (ITSM) is a 25 year passion for us. It’s what we know best.”
Gartner, which calls this segment IT service support management (ITSSM), said there are more than 80 vendors providing IT service desk tools that leverage a business view of IT services, enabling the IT support organization to quickly resolve or escalate issues and problems, improve root cause isolation, and provide higher levels of business user satisfaction. In addition to FrontRange, its Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools (August 2012) covered 10 other vendors, including BMC Software, ServiceNow, IBM, CA and HP.
According to Stephen Mann, senior analyst at Forrester Research, choice is important; in particular choice between delivery models and also choice over time. “It’s also becoming an increasingly high-profile part of ITSM tool vendor selling and marketing/messaging ‘conversations. FrontRange in particular has raised the stakes on choice in terms of coining a new term “Hybrid ITSM” and making it core to its value proposition.”
Mann calls hybrid ITSM a sexy term, and one he isn’t sure he likes, although “it definitely seems to be working for FrontRange and at some point I might have to admit to being wrong”. However, looking beyond the terminology though, it’s a valid concern for customers, he said. “It’s a concern based purely on flexibility though.”
At the end of December FrontRange updated its cloud version of HEAT, and Smith stated that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work: customers want choices, they want flexibility. “We think the market will find equilibrium, 50$ of apps on cloud, and 50% on-premise.”
Flexibility is critical, said Smith. “The great thing about hybrid is you’re not committed to one thing. The reality is the world changes, business changes, and CIOs understand nothing lasts forever.”
Existing customers can migrate when and as they want, he said, and new customers can start with one model, i.e. start quickly and easily in the cloud, and 3-4 years later take it in-house, take it under control and convert to license, own instead of rent.
With general availability scheduled for the end of May, HEAT 2013 is the only service management solution designed to simultaneously support on-premise, multi-tenant cloud and/or hybrid deployments from a single, unified platform, said the company. Managing millions of service interactions a day, HEAT integrates voice and workflow automation with client management applications that are delivered on-premise and in the cloud. New capabilities include: a new user interface; social groups; My Watch List, which provides one-click access to recent work or accessed items; HEAT Cloud Connect triggers workflow advancement when jobs are created or a specific object field is updated; customizable UI; new web services APIs; language localization; and IE 10 support.