Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Peter Kryzanowski

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SaaS or Not To SaaS — That Is the Question

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The IT world is not free of bandwagons and the “cool” crowd. It’s like the age old question; Would you jump off the bridge just because your friend did? When you’re base jumping, then it’s an excellent idea; if you don’t have a parachute, it’s probably a poor choice. As manager of hosting services at Cherwell, I see so many...

Building Searches

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Need to build a search in Cherwell? Afraid you need SQL knowledge to get it done? You can do this! This quick seven minute video will help you build, organize, and store your masterpiece for later use.

More Tips for Starting SLAs in ITSM

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Yesterday, we talked how to get started with SLAs and select services to include in your first SLM pass. Now it’s time to create your SLAs. Here are two tips to remember when building your SLA. Set Realistic Time Limits One of the challenges when creating SLAs is setting realistic time limits. We’re often tempted to please our customers by...

The Service Desk and Business Relationship Management

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Adam Holtby, a research analyst with Ovum, recently wrote a blog about how the service desk can help improve business relationship management. This is a very interesting topic and, having had a background in customer relationship management and ITSM, the blend of these two management principals and frameworks into what is now termed Business Relationship Management makes compete sense. In...

Navigating CSM Documentation

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Take a video tour of our CSM 4.3 Documentation suite, most notably our new interactive and searchable online help system. Accessible directly from CSM (press F1) and viewable using any standard browser, this 1200 topic help system puts answers at your fingertips. For those who love the feel of pages between your fingers, no worries, we also highlight our Product Documentation...

Marketing ITSM – From Service Provider to Business Partner

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Gartner recently hosted a great webinar entitled, “Marketing IT in the Organization.” The webinar covered top line findings from field research Gartner conducted in late 2011 that focused on the following three questions: What is marketing IT? How have you done it? What challenges / successes have you enjoyed? The findings showed that survey participants mostly think ‘”marketing IT” is...

The Patience of Gnat: ITSM Vendor Management

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Guess what? Since my last blog, I still struggle with being as patient as a gnat. Change doesn’t happen quickly does it — especially for impatient people? Many of your IT staff and/or constituents couldn’t agree more with my last post that you need to make the data relevant and get the information out there to be consumed. All right...

ITSM Automation – Together Man and Machine Deliver Business Value

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I recently delivered an IT Service Management webinar during which I showed a slide entitled “Man vs. Machine” in relation to process automation. Subsequently, I’ve realized the term “Man vs. Machine” implies there must be a conflict or battle, which is entirely the wrong message. If we give the impression that machines (ITSM tools) are here to replace jobs currently...

ITSM Education – To Train or Not to Train, There Is No Question

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Over the last few months, we have been working hard to expand our offerings in Cherwell Learning Services. I have just had the pleasure of attending our first in-house Partner Technical Implementer Training in our new training facility. We took over an office space and configured it to really meet our needs for both comfort and convenience. It is a...

Service Management: One Portal to Rule Them All

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As we near the end of 2011, I’ve started thinking about next year. Recently, I was talking one of the analysts. Something they mentioned caught my attention. The analyst eluded to the fact as that there will be a change coming — at time when end users will be demanding more than just IT Service Management. They will want just...

Innovative Technology Built Upon Timeless Values

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We hosted our 2nd Annual Cherwell Advisory Board Conference this week here in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cherwell Customers from around the world joined us for a few days of educational and informative sessions, hosted by Cherwell, including a sneak peak at Cherwell 4.0 due to launch December 2011. Customers themselves also shared their use of Cherwell, including personal customizations...

ITSM Data and Metrics – Make Them Matter

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I’ve often heard Cherwell’s CEO Vance Brown discuss how data should be collected and used to make right, or what Vance has coined RITE decisions. It’s not about collecting data for data sake but about collecting data and metrics that are: – Relevant to the mission, strategies and objectives of the organization – Integrated across all departments and geographic locations – Timely, so issues...

ITSM Service Desks Play a Dangerous Game by Saying ‘No’

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This blog comes from Michael Jenkins, a Technical Business Consultant with Cherwell’s UK team. Michael recently joined Cherwell from First Rate Exchange Services, where he was a Service Desk Manager. Mark Lillywhite’s (of Matrix42) viewpoint on Service Desks saying ‘no’ to highly influential people is a story I’ve come across throughout my IT Service Desk career. Mark is absolutely right – “No”...

BYOD – Just a fad, Mobile Device Support – the future

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Matt Neigh, View Comments | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink Wednesday, January 11, 2012 0 0 0 New BYOD – Just a fad; Mobile Device Support – the future I know people find that statement to be a little shocking. We just barely started talking about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and I’m already stating it’s a fad. My reasoning...

Social Media: The New Customer Service

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Social media is quickly becoming a robust and viable option for customer service needs. No longer are customers calling in to complain; no, they are posting on the World Wide Web exactly how they feel about a product or service they encountered. With so many social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, etc., there is no way to control where the...

Fundamental Tips for Starting SLAs in ITSM

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At Cherwell we work with a lot of organizations embarking on IT service management improvement projects. One question that comes up a lot is “where do we start with service level management?” Let’s start at why you need service level agreements. At the heart of almost every business relationship are expectations. They have to be set, managed, and met or...

GoDaddy Outage: Service Desk Updates via Twitter

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If you tried to go to any website on Monday afternoon, it was a bit like playing Russian roulette. You didn’t know if your page would load or fire a blank due to the widespread GoDaddy outage. News outlets initially reported that GoDaddy was “hacked” or “attacked” after a Twitter user claimed responsibility for Monday’s outage. However, GoDaddy released an...

Pink Elephant CEO Speaks to Cherwell Software’s ITSM Customers

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At Cherwell’s recent European Customer Day (July 2012), Marcus Harris, the CEO of Pink Elephant, spoke about the role of a Service Desk as the “front of house” staff for an IT department. They are the first point-of-call for a customer (internal and external), and their behavior and demeanor hugely impact customer satisfaction. To highlight this, Marcus mentioned a new...

What’s in Your Cereal and Why It Matters to ITSM?

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Cereal is a staple breakfast food at our house. So, it was with great intrigue that I read a USA Today article about one of our favorite cereals, Kashi. Many are upset to find out they are using GMO soybeans (i.e. not natural). People, including my family, have assumed that they used only 100% natural products in the cereal; it says so...

ITSM Software beyond the Service Desk? Absolutely!

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It’s amazing how you can build a piece of software to accomplish a particular task or help with a particular job function and then watch it organically grow into something truly spectacular. At Cherwell, we’ve always known that our software can be used beyond the service desk…HR, Facilities Management…in fact, it can be used for any job function where a...

2012: The Tablet Invasion Begins

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Gartner and other analysts are predicting the beginning of the “Post-PC era” where laptop computers are not the norm, and the majority of tech users are using a tablet as their main computing device. I can relate to a degree. At home my family jokingly calls me “Linus” as I walk from room to room with my tablet computer as...

Cherwell’s Culture Wins

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I attended the HDI Conference in Orlando a few weeks ago, just three days into my new assignment as marketing director for Cherwell. Three fantastic days: listening in on account executives’ conversations with new clients; watching Matt Neigh (Cherwell technology evangelist) deliver engaging demos; meeting new folks — some current clients and many soon-to-be clients. Watching our Cherwell team in...

ITSM Project Success – Define & Document

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Cherwell Software welcomes guest blogger Barclay Rae. He is an independent management consultant, specialising in IT Service Management. My last blog for Cherwell talked about the need for buyers to look for suitable partners and for vendors to be bold in terms of assessing risk and really engaging with clients. This piece looks at how both parties should start to engage...

IT Service Desks Build Bridges with Business Value Metrics

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This blog is courtesy of guest blogger Daniel Wood, Head of Research and Publications at the SDI. Metrics have helped Service Desks move on and evolve.  They’ve moved away from gut-feel decisions surrounding resourcing, investment, performance and service levels and instead, rooted decisions in tangible, empirical data. At SDI, we have seen the rewards that metrics can reap through better...

Gathering Feedback on Cherwell Service Management

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Do you ever wish you could be a fly the wall so you could get honest feedback about a particular endeavor — a home-cooked meal, a creative idea, or a product or service? It’s human nature to want to know, even though it makes you a bit vulnerable. Surprisingly, only four percent of customers who experience problems take time to...

ITSM Service Catalogues – A Necessity Not a Luxury

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This blog entry comes from Mike Kyffin, a senior technical business consultant based in Cherwell’s UK office: There’s a new blog post on MSPmention from our peers at ManageEngine entitled, ‘Is Service Catalogue a Luxury or a Necessity?’. Let’s be clear – a Service Catalogue is a necessity. It doesn’t just simply describe the services IT provides to the business but...

Movember — Growing Mustaches for a Noble Cause

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Each November, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of men’s faces around the world. The aim is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. On November 1, participants register at Movember.com with a clean-shave face, and then, for the rest of the month, these selfless...

Cherwell Culture: He Liked It So Much He Became an Employee

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Wow.  Never have I worked somewhere where one of my direct customers became a colleague. We’re thrilled to have Michael Jenkins on board as the newest member of the Technical Business Services team here in Cherwell’s UK office.  Michael comes to us from being an IT Support Analyst and most recently, an IT Service Desk Manager.  He has a wealth of first-hand...

Service Desk Intrepreneurs – Reports from the Front Line

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Back in September, I wrote a blog about service desk intrepreneurs — internal worker bees with an entrepreneurial spirit — those who take the initiative to research and propose recommendations that aim to fix something or to make something great. I asked the following two questions: How many of you are service desk entrepreneurs? How many of you work for...

When Service Desk Professionals Show Up

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Here in North America we are in the midst of American Football (or as some of you refer to it — Gridiron) playoffs and bowl games. The Superbowl is Sunday! I keep hearing sportscasters and analysts say, “He didn’t show up” or “If only he had shown up” when an individual is not performing well. Also, you’ve probably heard the phrase,...

Money for ITSM Moustaches — £1K GBP and Counting

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As you may know, Cherwell’s UK office participated in this year’s Movember, the world-wide charity month that raises funds and awareness for men’s health, prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces around the world.  Selfless and generous participating men groom, trim and wax their moustaches for...

Oranges and IT Service Management. Huh?

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I just finished reading Juicing the Orange, by Pat Fallon and Fred Senn. Why didn’t I read this book sooner! As a marketeer, I think this book is a must-read.  It reviews, in my opinion, several fantastic and creative advertising campaigns by Fallon Worldwide, an advertising agency based in mid-west USA. For me, the key takeaway, the one theme that...

Cherwell Speaks at Pink 13 ITSM Conference

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Right on the heels of Chinese New Year, the Bellagio is still aptly decorated in red and gold. But after snaking your way through the casino and past the massive poolside balconies, it’s all pink—Pink 13 that is, one of the largest IT Service Management conferences in the world. If you’re lucky enough to make it to Pink 13, and...

3 Ways to Create a Corporate Culture of Appreciation

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We often talk about how we’re not just an IT company, but a service company. We’re as much about relationships as we are about technology. Well, yesterday, one of our vendors surprised us with a basket of “thank you” cookies. And even though half of the office is mindful of their waistlines, the cookies were devoured in short order. (I...

Motivation Made Simple

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If you’re a manager, then you’ve been told at least once that you have to “motivate your people.” But how do you do that? Start by making a change in your head. Forget about “motivating” people. Motivation isn’t something you do to someone else. It’s something we each do for ourselves. You can’t see motivation. Motivation is inside another person’s head...

Tweet Ricochet: How Do You Approach Social Media Management?

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Paul Fey Recently, Duff Watson and his two children were asked to gather their belongings and deboard from a Southwest flight after he sent a tweet, calling out an airline agent for rude service. He tweeted “RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. KIMBERLY S. GATE C39. NOT HAPPY @SWA.” Why was the family removed from the plane? According to the airline agent,...

The ITSM Shift Toward Collaboration

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My last blog (read it here “IT at 30,000 ft“) created a good discussion thread on Google+. One of my friends, the well-known Rob England (aka @theitskeptic), weighed in on my post. You can read his summary here in the Skeptical Informer. Rob said, “My generation built our own PCs from 8080 chips. 🙂  I remain skeptical (SURPRISE!) that this...

BYOD: Same Game, Different Playing Field

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We discussed the general idea of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in a previous post, so today we’ll start looking at the first of my five points concerning BYOD: Productivity. As I mentioned earlier, coming up with a policy and deciding whether we can have BYOD is not the issue. People are bringing their own devices in whether we approve...

Stable ITSM Needs Courage

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Cherwell Software welcomes guest blogger Barclay Rae. He is an independent management consultant specializing in IT Service Management. What level of project involvement should you expect from a good ITSM vendor? I still see many projects where there are misunderstandings and missed expectations between vendors and their customers. Sometimes this doesn’t amount to much; however, in many cases, problems lead...

Who Owns Your Cereal and Why it Matters to ITSM?

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In part one, I talked about knowing what vendors mean by the words they use — an ambiguity that makes it difficult to accurately compare vendor offerings and may leave you surprised that you didn’t get exactly what you thought you were getting. This week I want to look at the second “fine print” issue: who owns your software makes...

IT Service Management at 30,000 Feet

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Chris Dancy and Malcolm Fry have it right — almost. I remember listening to one of the ITSM Podcasts (Chris would remember the exact one!). Chris mentioned something to the effect that IT is in every business — except maybe farming. I also remember Malcolm Fry introducing his ITIL Lite concept (fascinating if you have never heard it) with the...

IT Service Management is Getting Social

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I recently gained some interesting factoids from my peers in the service desk world that support the notion that ITSM is getting social with social media. During my recent webinar, I asked: How important do you think social media data feeds are to IT service delivery? Of the 30 people who responded: 52% said “important and relevant” 41% said “interesting/being...

BYOD: Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

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Last week we talked about how BYOD wouldn’t inhibit productivity, and employees actually benefit from using their own devices for work. However, the more important question is will employees mind when the tables are turned and work has power/control over their personal device? I’ve read several articles where BYOD policies seem to come from a place of distrust: I don’t...

Yes! IT Can Support the Working Style Revolution

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Google Enterprise VP Sebastien Marotte just gave his take to the BBC about how the way we work is going to change. Marotte highlights many of the ideas we — and our peers such as Gartner’s Jarod Greene — believe will become the norm. In my recent webinar about Social IT, I introduced the following challenge: customers of IT have an...

The Marketing Four Ps — Promotion Gets My Attention Every Time

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Every marketeer…and every business school graduate…knows the “four Ps,” the traditional marketing mix — pre 2000 and the explosion of digital marketing and Social Media — that leads all marketing strategy: product, price, packing and promotion. The Four Ps still stand tall and proud in the marketing world, but as a marketeer, promotion is the P that most gets my...

Get Social with IT Service Management. It’s Easy

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What I’ve noticed when we talk about the introduction of social media into ITSM is a general reaction of, you’re joking. How? Why? Why on earth would I want to use Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn in conjunction with my IT service delivery? These people are missing the point. The web is always on.  It makes the world smaller, more...

Malcolm Fry Turns ITSM Talk into Easily Understood Stories

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7:23 p.m. Wheels up. And with that, my overnighter in Indianapolis was over as quickly as it began. My seat mate, a 20 something wearing Sony headphones, a neck pillow, and a sleep mask clearly wasn’t as excited as I was to recap the day. You see, Cherwell Software sponsored the HDI Malcolm Fry Power of Metrics tour. Eight cities...

Raising the Service Desk Bar

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  Cherwell Software welcomes guest blogger Dan Wood, head of research and publications at Service Desk Institute (SDI). Greg Rutherford is a name that probably didn’t mean much to anyone bar the most ardent athletics fan prior to his sensational gold in long jump in the 2012 Olympics. Rutherford came seemingly from nowhere to snatch gold and in many ways...

BYOD: Too Busy Fighting Fires

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If you’ve been following along with my series on BYOD, you know that we kicked things off with my opinion that BYOD is just a fad, but that mobile device support is the future for IT in organizations. As I stated in my original blog, I think the correct term should be “Bring Your Work to Your Device” or, if...

Social IT – Link to Known Tools or Introduce New Ones

Jarod Greene of Gartner did this great webinar the other week on Social IT, and I took away a couple of ideas I’m interested in exploring: Collaborative IT: Jarod explained that by using Social tools, it’s possible to capture the noise that happens between the cracks of a formalized process. People have informal chats and post/share comments via social tools,...

What’s your Service Desk’s “Cow Appreciation Day”?

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Friday, July 13, 2012, was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A: dress like a cow, get a free meal. Simple enough, right? Even two of Cherwell’s own participated in the revelry. But Chick-fil-A’s success story isn’t about free meals; it’s about a great company cultivating a faithful following — so faithful in fact that on a recent layover at the Atlanta airport, I...

Consumerization of Information Technology

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There is a lot of internet “traffic” (blogs in particular) about the ending of the desktop pc-era and the emergence of the mobile-era. While I am not quite sure where I stand on that, I do know one thing: mobile devices or smart phones are impacting our lives, and by extension, our globe, in ways never imagined! As it relates...

ITSM Service Desk 2013 — A View from the Frontline

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The SDI and Cherwell is giving you the chance to tell ITSM tool providers what you really think. We’ve partnered with the Service Desk Institute (SDI) to launch a 10 question service desk survey that explores different aspects of service desk operations, from ITSM tools, vendor relationships and 2013 priorities.  Ultimately, the responses will generate a ‘view from the frontline’. In just one minute,...

Election Fever…Is Social Media’s Temperature Rising?

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Not only will the U.S. elect a president this November, but France will elect one on May 6. Londoners will elect a mayor on May 3. Campaigners are ramping up their activities as voters head to ballot boxes —shaking hands, kissing babies, engaging in debates, using social media tools to connect with voters and generate support. I’m reminded of a...

Hey IT — Remember, It’s the Customer That Pays the Wages

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I couldn’t let this pass me by — a great new blog post on Computerworlduk about IT and customer service.  Firstly, I must acknowledge both Paul Wilkinson of GamingWorks and Stephen Mann of Forrester for getting the article ‘out there’.  Paul’s satirical style is witty, whilst highlighting a sorry state of affairs – you simply must read the article. But, this article made...

Service Desk Support — Learn from 2012 Olympic Volunteers

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As a sports fan, and a true Olympics enthusiast, I, like millions of others, was glued to the TV these past weeks watching Usain Bolt deliver sheer awe in the 100 and 200 metres and Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian. But, there were lots – 70,000-odd actually – of other “game makers” who played a very important role...

Service Desk: Did You Notice the Word Service?

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This blog entry is courtesy of Mike Kyffin, a senior technical business consultant with Cherwell’s EMEA team and a former global service desk manager. There are lots of things IT can do to become more service oriented such as changing people’s job descriptions or adding customer service targets to team members’ KPI. I know a lot of people can use some...

Are you a Service Desk Intrepreneur?

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I recently read some interesting thoughts from David Armano of Edelman Digital about the notion of Intrapreneurs. Intrapreneurs are not those who have an idea and give the needed blood, sweat, and tears to turn the idea into a functioning company, but those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and choose to harness and use this spirit for the good of...

Consumerization of Information Technology (Part Two)

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As I stated in my previous blog, smart phones and other devices are impacting our lives and now our work environment in ways we didn’t think possible even 5 years go! I mentioned that I saw two trends emerging.  The first one we looked at was employees bringing their personal devices to work and expecting IT to service and/or support...

How to Create a Social Media Policy

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We often talk about the integration of social media into ITSM solutions, including Cherwell, and how social media supplements other communication channels. But today, guest blogger Phil Gerbyshak provides great advice on an often overlooked aspect of social media — the social media policy. Many organizations mistakenly have no social media policy, and instead, they fall back upon a generic...