Many organizations on their journey to delivering IT as a service have chosen to adopt and implement VMware vCloud® Automation Center™ to automate the delivery and management of IT infrastructure and services through a unified service catalog and self-service portal. As this transformation requires a new IT operating model and change in mindset, a common challenge that IT organizations encounter is:
- How do I define and package IT services to offer and publish on the service catalog?
This is analogous to a mobile operator putting together a new mobile voice and data plan that the market wants and pricing it attractively.
Here’s a possible approach to designing a service catalog for vCloud Automation Center implementation.
Service catalog is the new face of IT. It is a communication platform and central source of information about the services offered by IT to the business. It is also empowering users through an intuitive self-service portal that allows them to choose, request, track, and manage their consumption and subscription to IT services.
The first step to developing the service catalog and identifying the services within it is to understand the business requirements as to how these demands are going to be fulfilled — that is to develop a service model. For example, you could start with a business function — Sales — and then pick a business process — client relationship management (CRM). CRM can be further broken down into three domains: operational CRM, collaborative CRM, and analytical CRM. Each of the CRM systems can be instantiated in different environments (product, test, and development). Each instance is technically implemented and delivered via a three-tier system architecture. What you would get is shown below in Figure 1, which is a service model for CRM.
Repeat the above steps for the other business functions. At the end of the exercise, you have defined service categories, catalog items, and service blueprints for implementation of a service catalog and self-service portal in vCloud Automation Center.
Using the above business centric approach allows you to define a customer-friendly service catalog of business services. The service categories and catalog items are in business-familiar terms, and only relevant information is presented to the business user so as not overwhelm him/her with the complexities of the underlying technologies and technicalities.
The business services are provisioned using service blueprints, which are templates containing the complete service specifications, technical service levels (e.g., RTO, RPO, and IOPS), and infrastructure (e.g., ESXi cluster, block or file storage, and network). The service blueprints allow IT to automate provisioning through vCloud Automation Center. To maximize business benefits and optimization of infrastructure resources, it is also important to establish a technical service catalog of technical capabilities and to pool infrastructure resources with similar capabilities. Then, vCloud Automation Center can provision a service via the service blueprint to the most cost-effective resource pool and providing optimal performance.
In summary, using a business-centric approach to designing your service catalog elevates IT to speaking in business terms and provides a whole new IT experience to your users.
Choong Keng Leong is an operations architect with VMware Professional Services and is based in Singapore. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
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Employees at VMware Cork support customers throughout the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). VMware Cork is home to functions such as Global Support Services, Finance, Inside Sales, IT, Order Management, Deal Desk, Facilities, Legal, HR and Recruitment/Staffing. Itrsquo;s a truly multi-cultural campus with native speakers of over 20 different languages. Employees can avail of a wide variety of activities including a running club, tag rugby, cookery classes, among others and there are regular social events, including the annual Summer BBQ.
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VMware Cork also recently finished their first programme ofCoderDojowith an all-girls local Primary School -Scoil Mhuirebased in Ballincollig, Cork. VMware is aware of the need for more women in the IT and Computing industries and the interest in the programme from an all-girls school was something that we were extremely excited and optimistic about. The CoderDojo was run through the VMware Foundation with mentors using their Service Learning hours to help teach young children coding in an exciting and innovative environment.
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In 2013 VMware was awardedCork Chamber of Commerce Company of the Year. The award was in recognition of the companyrsquo;s culture of innovation, the quality of its workforce, its continued growth and its contribution to the local economy.
One of the main factors behind VMware winning the award, according to the judges, was its apprenticeship programme. VMware has adopted the government-sponsored JobBridge scheme enthusiastically. Known internally as theCloud Careers Programme, the company takes non-IT and unemployed people and puts them through a three-month technical training programme, followed by a six-month work placement. Since its introduction three years ago, over 90% of participants have securedemployment with VMware.
AlsoVMware took the honours in the 2013 lsquo;Sustained Excellencersquo; categoryaward at the IT@Cork Leaders Awards in County Hall.
IDA Ireland, the state body responsible for attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the country, has highlighted VMware as a success story when enticing new companies to the Cork region. In May 2014, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited VMware in Ballincollig in recognition of the company’s investment in the local workforce, where he remarked: rsquo;Yoursquo;re a great brand image for our country.”
The influential business magazineForbesranked VMware as the third most innovative company in the world. VMware’s people in Ballincollig will continue to play a key part in that innovation in the foreseeable future.
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