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Gerry last won the day on September 19

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About Gerry

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  • Birthday 03/19/1966

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  1. @Martyn Houghton these were all related to schema changes on the table that holds BPM state (that table on your instance is around 10Gb in size), it takes time on large tables. The good news is we don't often change the schema for this table so I would expect you will not see this very frequently at all. None the less this is not efficient so we are looking into ways of changing the way we hold BPM state to overcome this problem. It will take some planning so wont be an immediate change but I will keep you informed as we make progress. Gerry
  2. Thanks @Martyn Houghton, Of those you sent, four took longer than 9 seconds, we will investigate. We are pretty sure that one of the updates relates to a schema change to a table thats hold business process state, in your instance this table is around 10Gb in size! The majority of the data in this table is static so I expect that we will have to implement some form of object archiving to reduce the size of this table in order to prevent this type of update delay. As for the other three I am waiting to hear what we find in the logs, once I know i will let you know. Gerry
  3. Hi @Martyn Houghton Thanks for the question. Firstly, I will say that its very unusual that an update would take anything like the amount of time reported above, its more typically 5-10 seconds, sessions are persistent and retry logic ensures users do not experience unavailability assuming the update time is below 15 seconds. I will need to ask our team to investigate that to determine why this happened in this instance. If we make database schema changes that cause an index re-build and if you have very large data sets then its possible for it to take some time but we generally are concerned with things that take more than a minute or two which is why I am surprised to see that. I expect something went wrong in this instance, we will need to investigate and get back to you. In terms of the question relating to the maintenance window. The problem with providing a day mask for this is we could end up causing problems. Updates are done incrementally and forwards only, and our publishing process handles this. If we provided this capability and you only allowed updates on Sunday at 2AM and we had number of sequential updates, there might be an incremental dependency that gets skipped causing an update failure. The system and our processes that handle and schedule our updates are tuned/configured and organised around the premise that instanced can be updated once a day, by allowing customers to gate updates over days would stall our ability to push updates at the rate we currently do so I would not be keen to change that. Now, we have in the works some fairly substantial under the hood changes that will change this behaviour, specifically for updates that do not include database schema changes there will be zero service unavailability, we will be getting back those 5-10 second windows you currently have. This is still work in progress so watch this space. Hopefully that makes sense. Gerry
  4. Exactly Why do ITSM Vendors Lead with ITIL? I was inspired to write this article on the back of a question asked on the Back2ITSM community by William Goddard which was... I think the answer to the question is obvious, but we can explore it by looking at the role of a vendor in a niche industry.  Firstly, and most obviously I think, vendors do not choose to lead with ITIL, Pink Verify or anything else. The buying public chooses, and vendors simply make and sell what they are asked for.  The problem with niche markets like the ITSM space is there are different parties, with different agendas, and for the most part they are in conflict with each other. The Customer Organisation – needs improved efficiency and better ROI on its investments. They don’t care how it is done, and often don’t know what they need to do either. The command from above is ‘get it done’ and they want demonstrable results, measured essentially in reduced costs/increased business value. The Buying Customer – for the sake of this example, is the IT department and/or the people directly responsible for running IT Service within the organisation.  They are under pressure to succeed by showing business value, with a backdrop of serious completion from consumerisation of IT, BYOD and cloud providers.  They’re following an IT strategy, which often doesn’t dovetail with a business strategy. They don’t really know what to do and things move so quickly they are looking for help and guidance, so often tune into the next ‘silver bullet’ that has traction and early success. The ITSM Influencers – the people who guide the industry; experts, authors, pundits, bloggers, consultants, analysts, training and certification organisations…independent trusted advisors. The Vendors – the people who have deliver the tools that balance the needs and wants of the customer with ever-changing requirements, to deliver efficiency and lasting value that justifies the significant expense of their ITSM investments. With the definitions out of the way, let me explain some of the behaviours I’ve witnessed, and forgive me if I hit a nerve or two along the way.  Let’s start with the Organisations.  They are absolutely right - IT is expensive, often inefficient, and more often than not, struggles to demonstrate business value. Over the last 15 years, whilst ITIL has enjoyed prime-time, technology has changed radically, and the security that surrounds it is placing a larger burden on IT. Don’t get me wrong, security and privacy concerns should be taking centre stage, but there’s a cost, and the greater the demand for better protection, the higher that cost will be.   Security teams now carry more weight than any other IT group, and that’s the biggest change that I’ve observed in the last 20 years.   Once you are past the organisational governance and procurement, let us talk about The Buying Customer. Customers ask for ITIL, so vendors create solutions around it, and many lead with it.  Vendors are in the business of selling products, so market forces of supply and demand are what apply here, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  If customers consistently asked for a service desk tool that included a IoT coffee maker, trust me, vendors will start to provide it.  If we accept this notion, then we have the answer to the question “Why Does a Vendor Lead with ITIL”.  Perhaps a more interesting question is “Why DO Vendors Lead with ITIL?” The ITSM Influencers – If buying customers need help, and if influencers in the ITSM community say, “you need to be doing ITIL”, then customers will ask vendors for ITIL?  It’s somewhat ironic then, when influencers berate vendors for leading with this.  It should be remembered that Influencers have a commercial agenda too.  It amuses me when industry pundits say “Vendors should sell solutions to problems and not sell product features.” The implication being “vendors just want to sell products, so shouldn’t be trusted. Instead, you should listen to us, and buy some consulting, education, certification, or get our help during your product selection process, because we’re independent and can be trusted.” If I sound cynical, perhaps I am, but I’m just pointing out that it’s not only vendors that have products and services to sell. Influencers work with vendors too, because vendors have sustainable revenue sources and are often “less good” at talking the talk. Just pick your favourite expert or industry pundit and google them - the odds are good you will find a video, blog or white paper content written by them for a vendor. On to the Vendors then – it is true, vendors are in the business of selling products/licenses/subscriptions.  I make no bones about it, because that’s what vendors do. It’s usually honest and transparent – money for software that delivers productivity.  But the assertion that a vendor is not interested in helping customers succeed, is nonsense. With a SaaS, pay-as-you-go business model, that viewpoint is ridiculous.   I can’t speak for other vendors, but our motivation is to help customers be successful. Our efforts are often hampered by complex procurement, regulatory controls and 200 page RFI/RFP documents that make it as difficult as possible for vendors to comply, meet requirements, and also deliver real value. Isn’t it time for influencers and the community at large to stop referring to vendors as the “Dark Side” to justify “independent” services prior to vendor selection. To simply trade and exist, vendors have to: Make products to meet requirements that customers cannot fully quantify Navigate regulatory and governance requirements in a landscape that’s constantly changing  Deliver consulting, training and education to customers - free of charge - during sales cycles, pre-sales, pilot projects Keep up with the latest “shiny things” because customers continuously ask for them. Answer the same questions, in the same RFPs – yes that happens…often – and submit a response that’s contractually binding. Differentiate with products/features against ‘unknown’ competition.  As a side note, in almost all cases, when a vendor is in a competitive situation, and the customer will not disclose who we are competing against, we can generally guess. By the second round of demos, we’re asked for the “shiny thing” that was in another product – so we usually know who we’re up against Take the blame.  Despite the buying process, independent consultants, implementation process or the day-to-day management of the solution, if it fails, the product is blamed. Everyone else washes their hands of it and moves on to the next project. Long after the ITIL foundation training is done, when the consultant is gone, and the people who implemented your solution have moved on, as a vendor, we will still be there, supporting you, and doing what we can to help you succeed. I rarely see an RFP that spells out the business problems that need to be solved. More often than not, it’s a shopping list of features/functionality, often derived from the bits people liked about their existing solution, topped with generic ITSM requirements based on a commonly used template. If customers would just explain the business problems they’re trying to solve, vendors would be in a better position to help.      Vendors sell what customers ask for. Customers ask for the latest silver bullets that the industry pundits are promoting. Customers are told that vendors have an agenda and only want to sell their products, you need independent advice…and round and round we go… The Hornbill Promotion Bit: I am proud to say as a vendor we do not lead with ITIL. We have to fit within the ITIL box, but we will never allow innovation to be stifled by ITIL dogma.  We lead with technology innovations that improve the way our customers work. We listen to concepts and blue sky thinking, but we base our products on practical, tangible things you can touch, see and use every day. With pay-as-you-go, no contractual tie-in arrangements, the balance of power has shifted to the customer.  Vendors want customers to succeed, quite simply because their revenue and long-term sustainability depends on your continued success. In the age of on-premise software, with large up-front costs and long term contracts, the vendor had the edge, and customers had to “sweat the asset” and “justify the spend”. Today, if the vendor doesn’t deliver value, customers can walk away.  If you’re a SaaS customer, and you need help, just reach out to your vendor, I guarantee they’ll be highly motivated to do everything they can to support you.
  5. Advanced Hornbill Training

    Hi Sam, Rather than having stock classroom training we deliver 1-on-1 with you that meets your specific needs. One of our solution specialists can contact with you to determine what you are looking for and what we can offer. Is that of interest? Gerry
  6. Authorisation Node - flowcode use

    Hi Sam, Is the email address for a Hornbill Collaboration or Service Manager user? Gerry
  7. SPOTLIGHT: To Microsoft System Center Service Manager and Back Again People will tell you “there is no such thing as a free lunch" and this story is such a great example of that.  Paul and the team at Vinci PLC have been on a bit of a Service Management journey over the last three or so years, having previously used our Supportworks on-premise solution and then moving to Microsoft System Centre Service Manager, and all for the right reasons of course, I remember them being very gracious and having good business reasons for doing so. I am delighted to say that we are lucky enough to once again have the custom of Vinci PLC and Paul has been kind enough to allow me to share their story.  I asked him some questions and this is what he told me.  Can you give me a brief background of who you are and what your role is at Vinci? What Service Desk tool was in place at Vinci before you deployed Hornbill Service Manager? and what were your reasons to change? What other service desk tools have you used in the past? How does Hornbill Service Manager compare in your opinion? What other solutions did you consider/shortlist before choosing Hornbill Service Manager?  What was your first impression of Hornbill Service Manager? What was your impression of Hornbill as a company during the selection, procurement and implementation process? Since rolling out Hornbill Service Manager, how has it gone since you went live? Can you pick out three things that you love about Hornbill? If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you would change about Hornbill right now? Is there anything else you would like to mention in relation to Hornbill? In my own opinion, Microsoft System Center Service Manager is not a bad product, its quite comprehensive but it does come at a cost, and up until recently the costs were primarily just the invisible cost of ownership.  The big problem though is the strategic reason for its existence. Microsoft are a great company and much of their success beyond their desktop application portfolio is built on a broad partner eco-system. Microsoft are not in the niche player business, but they offer niche products essentially through their partner network.  If such a product just worked out of the box there would be no "skin in the game" for the partner eco system, so you can think of SCSM as a toolkit rather than a finished product, and as a toolkit, its specifically designed to create a revenue stream opportunity for Microsofts partner ecosystem either through implementation/customization services or providing add-ons that round the solution out.  Of course the marketing of the product would not make that immediately apparent which is a trap very easily fallen into. As a niche player, Hornbill offers something quite different; our solution is complete out of the box. It's not a product. It's a service we provide, and as a result our partner ecosystem works differently too. Our partners' revenue opportunities come from adding value, by delivering support and services that focus on helping you get your processes, reporting and strategy all going in the right direction. Thanks again to Paul for sharing your service management story with us.   About Hornbill SPOTLIGHTs Like any company, we obviously love to tell our customer success stories, we are delighted whenever a customer agrees to participate in one of our spotlight articles.  These spotlight articles are very specifically created using our customers own words, for this series we prefer their words rather than ours. Our goal is to “tell and not sell” so we don’t glitz these up with enterprise marketing words, fancy info graphics or meaningless statistics, we just document what our customers tell us and publish that in the hope that we maintain a level of on-the-ground integrity and honesty in our story telling efforts. 
  8. Mentions

    Hi @shamaila.yousaf Thanks for the suggestion. We have had a look at this and we think its a nice idea we are adding it to our backlog but its not presently in our 90-day development window, we will post here as soon as we schedule something around it. Gerry
  9. SPOTLIGHT: Leica Microsystems Unifies Global Service Management with Hornbill One of the best things about my job is getting the opportunity to work with great companies who are doing interesting things, and at Hornbill I am really blessed to have such a pro-active community of customers that are willing to share and be part of the Hornbill community.  I have recently been working on some integration ideas with Keith Bage over at Leica Microsystems to help them support some automation needs around their very large SAP deployment – that’s still ongoing so don’t have much to say about that just now, but in the mean time I asked Keith if he would be kind enough to give us some insights in to how they are using Hornbill within their organisation globally, this is what he had to say.  Can you give me a brief background of who you are and what your role is at Leica? What Service Desk tool was in place at Leica before you deployed  Hornbill Service Manager?  What were the business drivers and reasons for implementing a new solution? What was your first impression of Hornbill Service Manager? What other solutions did you consider/shortlist before choosing Hornbill Service Manager?   What was your impression of Hornbill during the  selection process?  What would you consider your biggest personal success coming out of the project?  Since you went live with Hornbill Service Manager, how has it gone? Can you highlight three things that you love about Hornbill?  If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you would change about Hornbill right now? Is there anything else you would like to mention in relation to Hornbill?  Keith and the team at Leica are very progressive and have truly embraced the continuous delivery approach we have adopted.  I know that Keith is presently looking at some interesting IT automation initiatives so hopefully he might have a little more to share with us in the near future. Thank you Keith for allowing me to share your story.  About Hornbill SPOTLIGHTs Like any company, we obviously love to tell our customer success stories, we are delighted whenever a customer agrees to participate in one of our spotlight articles.  These spotlight articles are very specifically created using our customers own words, for this series we prefer their words rather than ours. Our goal is to “tell and not sell” so we don’t glitz these up with enterprise marketing words, fancy info graphics or meaningless statistics, we just document what our customers tell us and publish that in the hope that we maintain a level of on-the-ground integrity and honesty in our story telling efforts.
  10. Board to appear on 'Display Columns'

    @shamaila.yousaf Yes I think you probably ought to look at how you are using the boards, if you find yourself needing to have an object in more than one list on the same board you should look ay how you are using boards, you are probably trying to do too much with a single board, break it down keeping in mind the restriction on having an object appear only once per board and it should become self-guiding for you. Glad we got to the bottom of it - you can see how important terminology is Gerry
  11. Attachments received via Email

    Steve, Yes document manager is oddly as the name implied designed as a tool to help you "manage" "documents" and as you rightly point out file attachments are more often than not transitory by nature. Some documents you might want to move out of email and into something where it will be managed. The suggestion above was for an option to "Save Attachment To Document Manager" which I think is a perfectly reasonable addition, I really like the idea of making the system smart enough to know that a file attachment us a newer version of something you previously stored in DM and for it to give you an option to update DM with a later revision, that would be pretty awesome but as you say its not exactly simple. As for cloud storage, it absolutely is for all practical purposed limitless, the only limit is how much you want to spend on keeping the stuff you store. That is of course also true for normal IT/on-premise storage although users never quite see it like that - Office/Exchange is the same, no one cares about how much storage they use so long as they can keep their documents and emails forever, do not have to spend any time managing or taking responsibility for them and so long as they don't get held accountable for and/or have to pay for the storage they consume. Some people have a bit of a love-hate relationship with document manager because it basically highlights these things. Being extreme about it, a document takes time to create and therefore has an intrinsic value to your organisation, if it does not then why would your organisation pay money to allocate time to allow you to create it. If it has value, then it probably also has a lifetime value, so by definition that document must be owned (i.e. someone needs to take responsibility for it) so it can be reviewed, maintained and at some point when it no longer has value can retire the document. If the document does not have any intrinsic value then why does it exist or why do we spent time moving it around or waste money consuming compute and storage resources keeping it. All too often a document gets created, passed around in email for a while and put into the graveyard we all know as a network share, where everyone involved in the creation of the document washes their hands of the responsibility of managing it, while IT are left accountable for storing it forever in the slight off-chance that someone might need it three years from now. We build document manager to help organisations manage at least some of their important documents., building a library of knowledge is important, those knowledge documents are arguably some of the most valuable an organisation can hold and also relaly need to properly maintained, I think thats what Document Manager enables you to do really well. I know thats quite an idealistic view and probably quite impractical for a lot of cases but even if 10% of the junk that is floating around IT systems were better managed companies would save a whole ton of money.
  12. Board to appear on 'Display Columns'

    @shamaila.yousaf I am afraid I am not sure now, I dont know enough about how the boards work with tickets, perhaps someone else can provide more information Gerry
  13. Attachments received via Email

    Hi, Thats what I thought. @James Ainsworth thats the clarifiation I think you was looking for. In terms of the number of files that can be saved to document manager? No there is no practical limit, the only limit is disk space, your instance includes 30Gb, you can subscribe for more space and there is no practical limit to the amount of storage space we can provide you. Gerry
  14. 'On Call' phone workflow/notification

    @Martyn Houghton I will PM you as I have a question thats probably not suitable for public presentation at this time. Gerry
  15. 'On Call' phone workflow/notification

    HI @Martyn Houghton How quickly do you need something in place for this? Gerry