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Is Ivanti a Professional Services Provider?

Ivanti is an IT powerhouse and supply software systems that require professional services. That is not the same as a professional service provider. Ivanti is in the sales business straight and simple.

A while back, in the Frontrange days for HEAT, there was a Professional Services Group, however that group disbanded and replaced with Sales, Project Managers, and Customer Service Managers.

Most if not all Ivanti Professional Services that are delivered today, for example for Ivanti Service Manager (HEAT) aka Ivanti Neurons for ITSM, are not delivered by Ivanti but delivered by Ivanti Business Partners and managed by an Ivanti Project Manager.

This should matter to you when you approach Ivanti for Product Support and Professional Services. Remember what I said earlier, Ivanti is in the Sales business. Sales as in products sold take priority, with Professional Services outsourced to Business Partners, not far behind. Of course by selling more product, more professional services are needed.

With that said, you need to be very careful of a) choosing the right business partner & implementation consultant and b) deciding on what products are a good fit for your company’s direction and business needs.

Case & Point, reporting. I just recently created dashboard reports and analytic metrics for a client that was told it couldn’t be done with out-of-the-box tools and other technology was needed. This is where you need to be careful.

Why purchase and invest in new software product, development resources, training, and additional services for non-native technology like Xtraction (a LANDesk Product), Reports (yep, that’s right, reports are not native and use the Microsoft SSRS engine), and Power BI (again Microsoft), when you can deliver all your reporting needs out of the box with Dashboards and Analytic Metrics.

More on Reporting CLICK HERE

Case & Point, professional services. Given the choice between and Ivanti Lead Implementation and Business Partner Lead, I would not choose Ivanti. Too many chefs in the kitchen, and too many agendas, constraints, and momentum lost in the red tape and project-micro-management. Choosing the right business partner is not an easy task either. It has more to do with the consultant than the business partner. There are lots of good and great business partners out there, but ultimately who will you engage with? who will drive the implementation and guide you? And will it be the same pre-sales consultant? Will there be a hand-off? And again, how many chefs will be in the kitchen?

It’s not easy to find experienced Ivanti HEAT Neurons consultants/developers/freelancers. Don’t I know it, with 25+ years Ivanti HEAT ITSM experience, and 100+ implementations going back to the HEAT for DOS days in 1996, I can tell you that some consultants with 15+ years experience may not have the competencies or skill set of what I’d consider a Junior Developer. And I’m looking for a Junior Developer right now….

The best advice I can give you is to have a discovery session with the candidates to determine which consultant/developer/freelancer is the right fit and has the skill set, and more importantly the competency, in areas like Project Management, Architecture, Design, Development, Consulting, Best Practices, Implementation, Support, Advice, to take you to the next level!

You also want to check the consultant’s testimonials. Here are mine:

Are you getting the most out of your Ivanti HEAT Neurons Implementation?
You are NOT. Not until you talk to me. Guaranteed!

book-discovery-session-with-ivanti-heat-itsm-ivanti-service-manager-ivanti-asset-manager-developer-consultant-former-kifinti-solutions-consultant

PS: Be sure to read Ivanti Developer or Consultant?

ivanti heat itsm forum disucssion sla slm service level agreements service request

Service Request SLA Clock. To Pause or not to Pause?

I have run into an interesting scenario and discussion with a Service Owner that insists that the SLA clock should Run when Waiting for Approval, more specifically waiting for the requester’s manager’s approval.

So in other words, a SR is submitted, waiting for approval, more specifically for the customer’s manager, and the clock is running for the service request, counting towards completion. If it takes the manager 5 days to approve, the time waiting is considered part of the Resolution Time / Compliance metric.

This is a first for me. The Service Desk Industry standard (norm) that I’ve always encountered is to pause the Service Request clock when Waiting for Approval, similar to how Waiting for Customer behaves, as typically any events outside of the Service Request owning team are paused, when the “wait” is for an external event/action, Versus an internal team action/approval/event with a “Waiting for Internal Team” status or similar status.

The argument made was that the Service Level Agreement Resolution Time and Contract with the End User, should be the total time from Submission to Completion, and using OLAs at the Task Level to measure the Team’s Resolution Time and Compliance.

What are your thoughts/experiences?

Here is what an Ivanti Business Partner had to say in the Ivanti Forums:

If it’s the customer’s manager i,e, someone external to the business then controlling the approval becomes harder and 2 weeks is a really long window for approval on a new mailbox. I would flag that for discussion with my customer to see if there are alternative ways to reduce the approval time. Also if it’s an external approval I would pause the clock as you can only measure and be targeted on the elements you control

Here is one of 6 SLA Best Practices from the BMC Blogs:

It’s just as important to define where an SLA does not apply as where it does apply. Your SLA should define any usual and unusual situations that will hinder or prevent IT service processing.

Some SLA exceptions might include:

  • New users will be added to the system within one day of receipt of a completed new user form, provided management has approved adding the user. It will not be considered a service level miss if a new user request has been received but management is slow in approving the new user.


Ivanti HEAT ITSM Consultant UK EU Ireland DACH Australia New Zealand Canada USA Ivanti Service Manager Ivanti Asset Manager ITAM Ivanti Neurons

Ivanti Developer or Consultant?

This is a very common question I get from Ivanti prospects. In fact I rebranded for this reason. It’s not that I like showing of many titles like “Ivanti HEAT Architect“, “Ivanti Developer“, “Ivanti Consultant“, “Ivanti Project Manager”, there is actually a very important distinction. Another reason is that I do it all!

Developers are coders and typically focus on software development, coding, and Ivanti HEAT configuration. Whereas Consultants may be functional, technical, or both, bringing years of industry experience to the table and using their knowledge & experience to advise management in areas such as but not limited to SOPs, standard industry practices, workflows, business processes.

Nowadays most “Consultants” are either A) “Developers” with a hefty daily “consulting” rate that far exceeds a developer’s typical rate. or B) “Consultants” with little hands-on development or Ivanti Implementation experience. By “little experience” I mean less than 10 years and less than 25 Implementations.

It really comes down to competence vs skill. Sure, Ivanti HEAT is “configurable” however the Ivanti ITSM tool has come a long way and does tend to require someone with Development AND Consulting experience to consultant with clients to make informed configuration, architectural, business, functional, and technical decisions.

Experience plays an important factor too, as does the the number of Ivanti HEAT ITSM Implementations. After all, there are many freelancers, and developers disguised as consultants with 5 or 10 years experience however more often than not it’s the same 1 year repeated 5 or 10 times, working on 1 Ivanti HEAT Implementation.

Last but not least you need to consider industry experience, customer revenue & location. You want to find a developer/consultant/freelancer that has experience in many industries. Why many industries and not your industry exclusively? There’s a saying, “What’s as common as dirt in one industry, is an atomic bomb in another!”, that is, you want to leverage best practices & ideas from other industries. Customer Revenue (i.e. Fortune 500 or Global 500) play an important role as well, after all an Ivanti HEAT ITSM Implementation with thousands of employees and dozens of Service Desk staff has different sets of challenges and solutions than a service desk team of 5 supporting hundreds of employees. And this is where location plays an important role as well, multi-national, versus international, vs domestic operations. If you have offices in the UK, EU, Middle East, Africa, Australia, Canada, and the US for example then you likely have another set of challenges, reporting requirements, and solutions that apply to you versus someone based in a city/municipality for example.

Make no mistake about it, combined, experience, and number of implementations as well as solid Testimonials are key to when searching for a competent Ivanti HEAT ITSM “Developer” or “Consultant” or “Ivanti Freelancer”.

Ivanti HEAT ITSM Consultant UK EU Ireland DACH Australia New Zealand Canada USA Ivanti Service Manager Ivanti Asset Manager ITAM Ivanti Neurons

PS: Be sure to read “Is Ivanti a Professional Services Provider?

the spirting of giving

Is it Christmas already?! With Covid and the lockdowns, it either felt like it took forever to get here, or it went by so quickly. One thing is for sure, Christmas is never forgotten. There is another holiday though that’s in the shadows, at least its origin is. It’s far too commercialized now… IMHO

Did you know that boxing day, a statutory holiday in many parts of the world, was established the day after Christmas to “box” up old clothes and items for donations that were replaced by Christmas gifts?

Christmas really is a time to be giving rather than receiving. With that in mind, I have donated to various charities, not just today, but over the last year. See pictures below.

You might ask, what does this have to do with Ivanti, HEAT, and ITSM? What is your Ivanti Service Manager spin?

Over the last couple decades implementing HEAT, Ivanti Service Manager, and now Ivanti Neurons for ITSM/ITAM, the most successful projects were those with collaboration & sharing information, that’s right, giving is the key to a successful partnership and implementation.

Does it feel like you’re giving more than you’re getting? Sometimes internal politics or past bad experiences with a vendor, partner, or consultant, can lead to mistrust and reservation. Sometimes it is just a lack of knowledge, expertise, or skill that makes people freeze up. Other times, it is not having the right people (SMEs, Decision Maker) part of meetings, or perhaps a Project Manager reluctant to listen to subject matter experts (SMEs). I have always said that:

“Ivanti HEAT Neurons ITSM Implementations are simple. People make things difficult.”

Gregor Anton
ivanti HEAT Best Practices
Consultant
since 1996
Project Management, Architecture, Design, Development

25+ years, 100+ implementations

Sometimes you have to share a lot to get back a little. Whether that’s free ESM advice. Implementation Templates. A show & tell of frequently requested functionality. A Lunch & Learn. Admin Tips & Tricks. Ivanti Best Practices. Relevant business examples of what has, and has not worked for other Ivanti clients. Or perhaps the Ivanti HEAT Neurons Blog you are reading now or my Ivanti HEAT Neurons Podcast.

Other times you just need to take a break and regroup. Holidays are great for recharging your batteries and getting back into things, refreshed and perhaps with a new perspective, re-evaluating how you got to where you are today, what hurdles you overcame, and all the great things you have accomplished.

With that said, I wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Service Request SLA Compliance with Targets Met Hours of Operation Calculation Aging Aged Grouping Averages Percentages multiple business objects charts pies graphs analytic metrics dashboards Ivanti HEAT UK Australia

Ivanti HEAT Neurons Christmas Lights

Jingle bells, jingle bells.. WAIT, say what? Christmas Lights? What do Christmas Lights have to do with Ivanti HEAT Neurons?? EVERYTHING!!!

If your dashboards aren’t lighting up like a Christmas tree, and yes I mean green for good and red for bad, for your KPIs and Metrics, including hours of operation calculations, averages, percentages, trends, and complex groupings, then we need to talk.

In today’s shift-left world, the end user, be it an analyst, manager, or executive, have countless KPIs and Metrics at their finger tips.

KPIs and Metrics alike need to stand out from all the noise and more importantly when there is a trend or change in the KPI or metric that requires attention.

This is where your dashboard needs to light up like a Christmas tree so that at one glance your end-user can make informed decisions and act accordingly. Of course you can also incorporate workflows, but before you get there, you need to define your KPIs, your Metrics, and your “normal”.

What you need are some gauges, line graphs showing SLA compliance over time, pivot tables (yes those too can change color) showing percentages and hours of operation calculations by internal and customer facing service requests, and my favorite, time frame groupings, and sure traditional Christmas balls, I mean pie charts.

Are you getting the most out of your Ivanti Dashboards?
You are not! Not until you talk to us!

book-discovery-session-with-ivanti-heat-itsm-ivanti-service-manager-ivanti-asset-manager-developer-consultant-former-kifinti-solutions-consultant

PS: If you’re still using old-school reports then you’re on Santa’s Naughty List!!!

Jingle bells, jingle bells.. WAIT, say what?  Christmas Lights?  What do Christmas Lights have to do with Ivanti HEAT Neurons??  EVERYTHING!!! https://itchronicles.com/business-metrics/itsm-esm-christmas-lights/ If your dashboards aren't lighting up like a Christmas tree, and yes I mean green for good and red for bad, for your KPIs and Metrics, including Hours of Operation Calculations, Averages, Percentages, Trends, and complex groupings, then you need to listen to this podcast! blog.a19consulting.com https://bit.ly/IvantiHEATITSMStatisticsMonitor

What’s new in 2021.4

  • Visual Warning for Opened Records
    • Global Constants
      • EnableRecordLocking
      • RecordLockingTimeout
  • Ivanti Neurons for Ticket Classification
    • Machine Learning to analyze ticket subject / summary and recommend Service, Category, and Subcategory
  • Improved Compatibility for Screen Readers 
  • Improved Logging & Reporting for Data Access
    • Allow Administrator to enable auditing of “View” events
  • Compatibility Update
    • Internet Explorer 11 Support Ending
    • Starting with the 2022.1 release, Ivanti will discontinue support for Internet Explorer (IE) 11 and non-chromium Edge browsers. 

See the detailed PDF here

Ivanti Consultant, developer, or architect?

Ivanti HEAT Project Implementations are quite simple, it’s people that make Ivanti implementations difficult.

Gregor Anton | Ivanti HEAT Implementations Expert since 1996

When you’re dealing with an Ivanti Consultant you really need to take a step back and evaluate the skill set and more importantly the competencies.

Nowadays anyone that has gone through Ivanti’s Certifications uses the “consultant” title. More often than not most Ivanti HEAT Consultants are junior developers. I know of many consultants with 10+ years experience that still are junior developers. Why? Experience, Skill, Competency. Fun fact, the word consultant is derived from Latin, “to discuss”.

Case & Point, most “consultants” do little more than gather technical requirements. A real consultant will elicit business requirements, offer practical solutions, best practice advice, discuss solutions with a business perspective, all with a holistic approach.

One notch above Consultant are Ivanti HEAT Architects. From Latin, “chief builder”, that have intimate knowledge of the technical architecture and possess an uncanny ability to design and discuss. This is the rarest type of consultant you will come across in the Ivanti HEAT World. Most “consultants” are really “developers” focusing on configuration & details, vs discussing, designing, and leveraging experience in building business systems & solutions. In other words left brain meets right brain.

What about Project Managers you might ask? Well Project Managers are for scheduling resources, booking calendar appointments, getting the team organized, checking holiday schedules, but quite frankly should not be involved in the decision making process.

This should matter to you because most Ivanti Implementations go off-track or fall quite short on delivery simply because a lack of skill, competency and quite frankly having the wrong people involved. Worse yet often the software product is blamed because the developer, consultant, project manager, or architect don’t have the skill set, experience, or know-how.

Are you getting the most out of your Ivanti HEAT Implementation? You are not. Not until you “consult” with me!

Ivanti Cherwell UK EU Ireland Australia New Zealand ANZ APAC Canada USA

Ivanti Cherwell Convergence

The long lost prodigal son has returned. That’s right. Cherwell, the Frontrange (HEAT) spin-off.

For Cherwell Customers, Shift-Left is the focus. No Surprise here. Ivanti is an IT power house. 78 of Fortune 100 are using Ivanti.

The goal is to take the best out of Cherwell and converge it into Ivanti. No surprise here. You could look at Cherwell as a Frontrange HEAT development branch.

The exciting part for Ivanti Customers, from a functional and technical perspective:

  • No-code builder for expressions (already possible now, will be improved)
  • Expanded API capability
  • Enhanced expression capabilities
  • Advanced workflows – interactivity, improved integration scenarios, navigation, branching logic
  • Variables
  • Modifiers, manipulate data without requiring code
  • Delegation of Approvals (already possible now, ask me how, will be improved)
  • Trusted Agent – access to private network resources without requiring a VPN
  • Better incoming email parsing and actions
  • Localization Workbench
  • All LoB (Line of Business) Content and Custom Content Maps available

2022 indeed will be super exciting and expect to see some of these changes in the first half of 2022 with a goal to complete convergence and upgrades by the end of 2022.

Video can be found at videos.a19consulting.com

Ivanti Cloud Status Updates & Maintenance Notifications

Ivanti Cloud Status Updates consist of important Maintenance Notifications and Operational Status Updates for Ivanti London, UK, Ireland, Frankfurt, Australia APAC, Toronto Canada, and North Virginia and Washington Data Centres.

The Ivanti Status Cloud Page is a great way of staying on top of notifications for Ivanti Neurons, Ivanti Service Manager, and Ivanti Asset Manager Cloud Platforms. 

Only snag is that there is nO easy way to see landscape specific updates for your Data Centre.  UNTIL NOW!

For Ivanti Maintenance Notifications specific to your tenants be sure to visit status.a19consulting.com

Ivanti HEAT Neurons ITSM Dragons Den UK Canada Shark Tank US Australia

Lessons Learnt from Dragons’ Den UK and Shark Tank Australia

I started watching Dragons’ Den in Canada and then the US version of Shark Tank. When I ran out of episodes to watch I tuned in to Dragons’ Den UK (The Original) as well as the Shark Tank Australia Spin Off. Another German Spin Off that I tend to watch is “Die Höhle der Löwen” (The Lions’ Den)

What does all this have to do with Ivanti, HEAT, and ITSM? More than you think!

When it comes to proper business analysis and requirements gathering, key is asking the right questions (eliciting requirements), focusing on the topic at hand (Scope), targeting the audience (Decision Maker, Subject Matter Experts), laying down the rules of the Den, and setting expectations. (Project Management).

All too often businesses struggle in the den, whether it’s their evaluation, skill set, lack of business planning, thinking too big (unrealistic expectations) or too small (lack of vision or saleability).

The same applies to Ivanti HEAT Neurons ITSM Implementations. All too often:

  • Developers/Consultants lack implementation experience
  • Developers lack consulting experience, and vice versa, Consultants lack development experience
  • Implementation plans are cookie cutter, blue sky, or virtually non-existent
  • Business requirements have more gaps than solutions
  • Technical requirements are flawed
  • Architecture and Solution Design are afterthought
  • Best Practices are a foreign word
  • Business Process Documentation is non-existent
  • Training is old school and lacks a modern approach

In Summary, I highly recommend you watch a few episodes of Dragons’ Den UK, Canada, and Shark Tank US & Australia, and think about how you can apply the questioning and process of the format to your Ivanti HEAT Neurons Implementation. Better yet. Find yourself a Dragon 😉 and ask yourself…

ARE YOU GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR IVANTI HEAT ITSM IMPLEMENTATION?

Ivanti best practices consultant | ivanti service manager | ivanti itsm | HEAT IT service management | Ivanti Asset Manager | Ivanti ITAM

You are NOT. Not until you talk to me. Guaranteed!

book-discovery-session-with-ivanti-heat-itsm-ivanti-service-manager-ivanti-asset-manager-developer-consultant-former-kifinti-solutions-consultant

Lessons learnt from Dragons' Den UK and Shark Tank Australia Ivanti HEAT Neurons Podcast | Best Practices | Tips & Tricks | Latest Solutions

I started watching Dragons' Den in Canada and then the US version of Shark Tank.  When I ran out of episodes to watch I tuned in to Dragons' Den UK (The Original) as well as the Shark Tank Australia Spin Off.  Another German Spin Off that I tend to watch is "Die Höhle der Löwen" (The Lions' Den) What does all this have to do with Ivanti, HEAT, and ITSM?   More than you think! blog.a19consulting.com