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20.01.2006 - A big win - integrating Remedy into HP Open View

Stanislav Georgiev – Stanley, tells how end-to-end monitoring of the business critical applications was successfully implemented by a small team in number, yet big enough to handle a comprehensive and time-consuming project;in addition we have been asked by mobilkom austria to assist in implementing further developments of OpenView and Remedy in their part of the Group

It is a common fact that the business mainly responds to a deficiency in the IT- when a function is not there or not working properly; only then, the otherwise seamless work done by the IT comes to the surface. To avoid these situations, it is a primary task for any IT organization to maintain the highest possible level of satisfaction for its users, both internal and external. This can be achieved by creating a sophisticated operational environment and having the right people in place, to deal with any situations of this kind.

In the past when a situation occurred, there was a reaction to the problem, but usually only on a local technical level and not as synchronized as it should have been; these reactions were usually rather symptomatic, reactive and aimed to solve a problem within the narrow domain that the individual employee understood. So our first goal was to streamline the efforts of problem solving in the most efficient way. Efficient in this context meant to fix problems with the least number of resources, shortest timeframe and highest level of satisfaction in the business. The next issue to tackle was the escalation of any problems in the systems. If problems occurred, the resources immediately were jumping into resolving them, ignoring the fact that management and business users need to be also promptly informed of the situation. Now the systems health dashboard provides comprehensive information not only to the technical guys but also to the management at stake. We went one step further by not only creating a platform where we could efficiently deal with problems but also be more proactive in anticipating certain shortcomings in the system, by monitoring our landscape.

In order to find the right solution we did a lot of research and issued a huge tender which took us several months and was finally won by Hewlett-Packard and their OpenView suit. We strongly believe that OpenView is currently the best solution in the market and moreover it has been already known in the Group. The implementation took place in a relatively short period of time between January and June of 2005 and at present we are one of the biggest success stories for HP in the region . What I found interesting is that HP decided to heavily invest in its relationship with Mobiltel, by granting us major discounts in comparison with all other markets. The purpose was to prove that their systems can be successfully implemented by a top technology company in the Eastern European region. HP were so impressed by the success of their solutions at Mobiltel that they invited me as a speaker at their Software Universe conference in Nice last month, to present and share Mobiltel’s expertise in their solutions.

One of the greatest advantages of HP OpenView is the fact that it gives us a clearer view of our environment, keep track of it, monitor and manage it. It is of course not a system that solves problems, but needs the precise people and their knowledge.

The actual implementation was made possible, thanks to the joint efforts of my colleague Andrey Karadimov, heading the recently-formed IT Operations Center and his four-member team, with whom I had the pleasure to work. I must emphasize that the actual work was done by our people with the great support and understanding of both the previous and current management.

The main drivers for integrating Remedy into OpenView had several reasons. First of all it made it possible to make the content of an existing problem known throughout the entire organization, to allow synchronized recovery actions and seriously reduce the time involved in locating or identifying the problem.

Now when an accident occurs or when there are negative indicators, an automated ticket immediately gets dispatched to the person or people responsible for this area. In addition we have been asked by mobilkom austria to assist in implementing further developments of OpenView and Remedy in their part of the Group, since we have gained so much knowledge and are indeed very much advanced.

The next step is to build a common Operations Center in the company, based on the principles of the current IT’s one, to deal with all the incident processes in the organization.

The biggest challenge to overcome was caused by the fact that Mobiltel is always on the brink of technology and uses the latest available hardware and software platforms. An excellent example is that we were the first company in Europe and even the first telco in the world to install Itanium 2 Processors on our high-end servers.

Remedy was introduced in M-Tel in 2003, has over 1000 users and is the preferred tool for supporting the IT Service Management processes by the Service Desk department, formed in 2005 and consisting of two sectors:
- Help Desk – Internal End User Support ( handles exceptions in the billing system; manages employees’ SIM cards; activation of test SIM cards for different internal customers and GPS cards; handles requests for assignment of Golden, Silver and Numbers by choice; manages credit/debit notes for internal customers etc)
- Operations Center Umbrella Monitoring (keeps track on the system’s health; KPI and SLA reporting; monitors almost 100 nodes; secures end-to-end process monitoring)
- Incident Manager - Tracks all reported incidents, respects functional escalation terms, executes hierarchical escalation procedures;

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