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The 3 Most Important Parts of the Gartner Magic Quadrant You’re Not Reading

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One of the things I love about working at Cherwell is the relationships I have with my smart and amazing co-workers. Cherwell is a wonderful collection of talented individuals who are extremely passionate about customer success and IT service management. There people like our Vice President of Solutions Consulting, Kathy Abbruzzetti, who, in addition to being brilliant, is a fellow Game of Thrones fan. I endearingly refer to her as “The Mother of Demos and Breaker of Status Quo.”

In that same context, I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of working at Gartner, again with phenomenally smart people who are extremely passionate about technology and helping IT leaders solve problems. I’ve authored a few Magic Quadrants in my day, which take an incredible amount of time and focus. The Gartner Magic Quadrant is one of the most traditionally widely read Gartner assets and, frankly, one of the documents that has put Gartner on the map.

Tweet this: What you’re missing in the Gartner Magic Quadrant if you’re not paying attention, from a former industry analyst

With that said, I endearingly refer to the Gartner Magic Quadrant as “The Mother of Data and Maker of the Shortlist.”

Admit it. That’s how you think about the Magic Quadrant, whether you are a technology buyer, technology vendor, technology investor, or even a casual observer. To many, the Gartner Magic Quadrant serves as a “Who’s Hot / Who’s Not” list, where the viewer takes a superficial look at the grid and draws quick conclusions. It’s the equivalent of watching 15 minutes of a random Game of Thrones episode and assuming you have enough information to predict who will ultimately end up on the Iron Throne.

Let me be clear: if you are using the Magic Quadrant in such a superficial way, as Ygritte the Wildling would say, “You know nothing.” There’s so much more value to be found in the Magic Quadrant, value that many technologists miss. You just have to know how to read it.

So, as a former analyst and author of the Magic Quadrant, here are the sections I believe you should pay the most attention to when reviewing the MQ.

The Evaluation Criteria

One of the biggest misconceptions of the Magic Quadrant is that it is an evaluation of products, not vendors. It’s actually the other way around. The Gartner Magic Quadrant is an analysis of the vendors who license the products in a given market, as defined by Gartner. The analysis is ideal to understand the risks of doing business with a particular vendor or the sales and marketing momentum of a particular vendor, but not in itself a reflection of how good or bad a product is. This misunderstanding is clear when I talk to buyers who ask why certain vendors are leaders, when they’ve had nothing but negative experiences with that vendor’s product(s).

The Evaluation Criteria spells out the Ability to Execute (what makes the dot go up and down) and the Completeness of Vision (what makes the dot go left and right), so it’s important to understand which criteria are present, as well as the level of “weight” Gartner applies to each criteria. For example, Gartner might specify that “Market Responsiveness” has a higher weight than “Geographic Strategy,” which might differ from your requirements. A careful review of this section outlines the placement factors, and Gartner’s interactive version (available to Gartner clients only) allows viewers to adjust the weights, which subsequently moves the placement of the vendors.

Note: Vendors are not allowed to adjust the scale, move their dots and present a different version of the Magic Quadrant to you, although I wouldn’t be surprised if some have tried.

The Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

At first glance, one may look at the Magic Quadrant and not see a vendor they are using or evaluating and question what they should do next. This pitfall is partly vendor-driven. Ever since the inception of the Magic Quadrant, vendors have improperly used the analysis to shame competitors who were either not included in the analysis, or landed in a less-favorable position. To a lesser extent, this is also customer-driven, as many use the Magic Quadrant as the sole justification for selecting (or not selecting) a vendor.

The inclusion criteria section of the Magic Quadrant spells out the vendor requirements necessary for evaluation, which could be related to revenue, number of customers, product capabilities, or even frequency of times mentioned on analyst inquiry calls. It could be likely that the recent startup that offers a solution that meets all your requirements was a few million short of the revenue criteria to be evaluated with the big dogs. This is why it’s important to understand the floor Gartner sets, in addition to how that floor may have changed year over year, hence the “movement” Quadrant over Quadrant.

The Quadrant Structure

Gartner clearly spells out the differences between Leaders, Challengers, Niche (Players), and Visionaries, but often these definitions get overlooked. Going back to the Evaluation Criteria, the Magic Quadrant is a vendor analysis, not a product analysis, so being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean that the vendor offers the best product. In fact, sometimes it’s quite the opposite.

What’s important to remember about the Quadrant is that it should serve as a tool that compliments your analysis, not completes it. Your requirements and your roadmap are more important than what Gartner, or any research firm, concludes, so understanding the delta between how you see the market and how Gartner sees the market is critical. Look no further than the definition of a “Challenger” to emphasize this point:

Executes comparatively well today or may dominate a large segment, but does not have a roadmap aligned to Gartner’s view of how a market will evolve.

Having an understanding of Gartner’s view of how a market will evolve is important, and I would strongly encourage any consumer of a Magic Quadrant who is capable of getting that view from Gartner to do so.

Given the evaluation criteria and inclusion criteria, Cherwell is proud to have been named in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools for the fourth year in a row, and the only challenger in the report for the second year in a row. 

Now that you understand how to read the Gartner Magic Quadrant with the eyes of an analyst, take a fresh look at this year’s MQ. 


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3 Ways Your Service Desk Can Increase Business Trust with Agile

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There’s no question that Agile is one of the hottest IT concepts of the decade. While the notion of Agile generally applies to software development, it can also be viewed more generally as a highly-collaborative, rapid-delivery project management methodology, in which solutions are designed by cross-functional, self-organized teams and are released in a dynamic and continuous fashion.

Unfortunately, the entire Agile approach often runs counter to service desk principles, which are rooted in more rigid ITIL processes — often to its own detriment and that of the business users it’s intended to serve. In fact, while the purpose of the desk is to create efficiency in delivering  IT support and services, these days it is often known for doing just the opposite.

Tweet this: Don’t let your service desk be the bottleneck. Be the solution with #AgileIT.

The root of this problem is that the service desk has long perpetuated the myth that it controls the IT environment from end to end. The reality is, it doesn’t. Sure, people working the service desk triage and troubleshoot issues, but they need to work with the wider IT organization to resolve those issues and fulfill service requests.

In today’s IT environment, with the multitude of devices available, greater technical know-how among users, and expectations for instant problem resolution, many service desks have developed a reputation for being unhelpful and slow. In essence, not worthy of the business’s trust.

The question is, how does your IT service desk build trust between your IT organization and the business? In Agile  terms, it can — and must — do so by continuously demonstrating and delivering business-defined value. While the answer seems simple, getting IT to work across silos and behind the curtain to prove its value can be extremely difficult.

There is a way, though, to improve the situation by embracing certain aspects of the Agile approach. In particular, there is one principle from the Agile manifesto that, if applied skillfully, can help you rebuild and maintain trust in your IT team. If you feel like you have more forms fields to fill out per request than you have products delivered on time, I suggest considering the following idea: Individuals and interactions take precedence over processes and tools.

Tweet this: A people-first approach with your service desk will help you stay true to the #Agile Manifesto

This concept holds the keys to promoting trust between IT and the business, and the following are three specific areas of improvement you should focus on:

1. Focus on People Relationship Management

A primary challenge for the service desk is the “you guys slow me down” reputation. Users know that when they contact IT, they’ll need to wait to open a ticket, will be asked to reboot and perform other steps that don’t feel like their problem is being solved, or that their role within the business is understood.

Before you think that they’re too demanding and write them off, ask yourself, “How well does your service desk know these people? At what point are they treated like a person, and not an open ticket?” Focusing on them, their work and how to empower them can transform your service desk’s reputation and ability to serve your internal customers.

Agile teaches us that people are more important than processes or technology. If your most important job is helping people solve problems, they need to feel that you’re on their side.

For example, let’s say you get a request from a sales guy named Paul. Paul is attached to an open ticket number. That’s true. But, Paul also has a story you can learn. He is a road warrior. He is not very tech savvy. He often has issues with the CRM system, particularly with reporting and getting out the data he needs. He has a dog named Ruby and he is a die-hard Steelers fan.

What if your team kept track of these personal facts about Paul and could access them when Paul calls into the service desk for help? What if there were scripts to follow to aid Paul with his CRM reporting challenges? What if you knew the Steelers lost a close game on Monday night, and knew to steer clear of football talk this interaction?

Chances are that the service call with Paul would go much better, Paul would feel a sense of rapport with you, and he’d trust that IT is on his side. Putting people before processes means having your team take the time to get to know what’s important to those who call in as much as possible.

2. Show Business-Centric Metrics on Your Performance Dashboards

IT service desk metrics and dashboards should report facts that are important to the people it serves. Often times, IT reports on metrics that are important only to IT, like how many tickets were closed, the first call resolution rate and the abandon rate. That information only helps IT to manage the service desk, not help users understand IT’s impact on the business.

Let’s go back to Paul. When he calls you at 9 o’clock at night with an urgent issue and you fix it, he thinks you’re a rock star. But what if you don’t fix it? Would it help to remind him you usually resolve issues at the first contact 65% of the time? Should he call you back another day? Should he just be happy that you picked up the phone?

The Agile focus on people over processes suggests you look at end results for the business and offer metrics related to those impacts instead.

For example, how did you improve performance in various departments? Responsiveness to sales people in the field would be a great achievement to promote. If a salesperson calls while traveling and can’t access a critical file before a meeting, resolving the problem would be a contribution worth sharing — especially if that deal eventually closed.

Highlight your successes that build trust.

3. Improve Your Efficiency

There are so many ways that an IT service desk can improve its efficiency and respond more quickly to others’ needs. One of the main ways is to automate repetitive tasks.

For example, if a service desk person has 18 required fields to complete with each new open ticket, ask yourself how you could save time there. A great way would be to leverage automation that pulls data from other systems and provides the data instantly. You’d save service desk time and, ideally, have the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

Plus, you’re not just benefiting the people IT serves; you’re empowering your team to spend more time showcasing their technical know-how and enjoying the problem-solving aspects of their jobs. Filling out 18 fields every time you pick up the phone is boring. But, helping a busy account manager get an important file to a prospective customer on time and being part of the “team” that helped close the deal is satisfying. And, it creates more trust in your department.

Earn Trust with Greater Agility

You know better than anyone else how your IT service desk is performing. Do you have a good sense of how trusted you are? As you dig into these questions, consider what a “people before processes” approach could do for your team’s reputation within the business.

For further reading, check out our eBook, Take Your IT Service Desk to a New Level in 30 Days.

Take Your Service Desk To the Next Level in 30 Days



ITSM News Roundup: How to Make Your Service Desk Flourish

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Is your service desk the object of compliments, or complaints? Today, we dig into tactics that can turn around any negative perception of your service desk. We also look to the future and ask: How is the service desk evolving? In this week’s ITSM news roundup, we look at how the service desk can improve tactics today, while also pondering the skills and technology support that will be required in years to come.

Tweet this: How the service desk can improve ITSM tactics for your business and how it’s evolved over time

Have Service Desks Lost Touch With Business Tech?

The workplace used to be people’s first exposure to new technology. SITS Community points out that a boom in consumer tech has reversed this trend: Home laptops, phones, and other tech are often more advanced that what the office provides. How can IT departments support users when company technology lags generations behind? Read the discussion and strategy in Have Service Desks Lost Touch With Business Tech?

Building the Service Desk of the Future

In the latest episode of ITSM Zone’s ITSM Crowd, guests Damian Bowen, Michelle Major-Goldsmith, Simone Moore, and Simon Dorst discuss the changing role of the service desk, and what skills will be required to meet the needs of future users. Watch the episode to see what’s required in Building the Service Desk of the Future.

The Service Desk – How do you make improvements?

Over at All Things ITSM, James Gander breaks down the steps required to change users’ perception of your service desk’s performance. Step one is to develop a thorough understanding of what your service desk handles—and what it doesn’t. Get the full strategy discussion in How to make improvements.

Why Your Service Desk Shouldn’t Implement Your ITSM Platform

Typically, it’s the service desk that drives decisions around ITSM platform. Writing for Beyond 20, Amanda Fairbrother argues that a better strategy is to have a leader —one with visibility into company-wide IT processes and strategic insight into goals—drive the process. Find out more about Why Your Service Desk Shouldn’t Implement Your ITSM Platform.

Tweet this: Ideas on how to minimize service desk complaints with continual service improvement 

How to Crush Service Desk Complaints by Boosting Your Capabilities with Continual Service Improvement

Joe the IT Guy points out that the more common response to the service desk is a complaint–not a compliment. By going through the five stages of ITIL continual service improvement, however, you can proactively ward off complaints and improve your service desk performance. Find out every step of the process in How to Crush Service Desk Complaints.

Don’t miss out on the latest news in IT service management. Check out each installment of Cherwell’s ITSM News Roundup.



The Benefits of Agile can Scale to Enterprise IT Operations. Here’s How

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When you think of something being agile, you don’t often think of something large. Agile brings to mind images of things that are small, nimble, and fast. A sports car might be described as agile. A big, lumbering 18-wheeler? Not so much.

The evolution of Agile methodologies was driven by a need to make software development nimble and fast. It was driven by a need to break out of the linear, restrictive mold of the Waterfall methodology. Though Agile was originally intended for software development, we now understand the benefits of Agile — lightening the stifling burden of bureaucracy, for example — were just as applicable to IT.

But, what about large organizations? Can enterprise IT organizations enjoy the benefits of Agile, too? Or, is it necessary that an organization be small and agile to benefit from Agile?

Tweet this: Can enterprise IT organizations enjoy the benefits of adopting an agile strategy? 

The Agile Conundrum

Let me be clear: IT organizations of all sizes can benefit from Agile. But, bigger IT departments must be strategic. Larger organizations, particularly, are susceptible to falling into a bit of a trap as they try to implement Agile because there is a temptation to deploy an Agile process that’s highly formalized and regimented. This approach runs counter to the spirit of Agile.

And that Agile conundrum has led to a new industry trend: Deploying Agile as more of a mindset, and less as a rigid, structured process. Instead of an inflexible, this-is-the-way-you-have-to-do-it approach, I see many IT organizations now taking a more relaxed approach to implementing Agile. Many organizations are even mixing their own philosophical cocktail. They’re cherry-picking concepts and practices from Agile and other methodologies, and stirring (not shaking!) them into a customized mix that perfectly suits their own unique needs. This approach can work particularly well for IT departments, where teams are more likely to vary in size, and tend to be larger and more homogenous than a traditional software development Scrum team. This approach can also be effective where the sheer size of larger IT teams can make adherence to pure Agile principles more difficult.

Avoid the Mean by Going Lean

Enterprise IT organizations can also benefit by borrowing a bit of philosophy from modern manufacturing: Lean Manufacturing. Put simply, Lean Manufacturing was designed to increase speed of production while reducing or eliminating waste. Lean Manufacturing is rooted in Toyota’s revolutionary Toyota Production System — an approach to manufacturing that helped launch Toyota into a position of global dominance in the automobile industry.

A key tenet of Lean Manufacturing is that you adjust your production to your market. You don’t build 10,000 washing machines just because you can, and then store them until you can sell them. Instead, you build to order, adjusting your manufacturing process so that it’s in sync with your market. Many of the principles of Lean Manufacturing are quite applicable to Agile. Going Lean means eliminating everything that detracts from efficiency of production. Implementing Agile with a ‘lean’ approach helps to avoid replacing the rigidity of the Waterfall with just another set of rigid, restrictive principles.

Tweet this: Why having flexible ITSM tools is crucial to implementing an agile methodology within enterprise IT organizations 

Your Tools Should Offer Flexibility

The tools your IT organization relies upon can be just as restrictive as methodologies. And, some industries are particularly rigid and formalized: government, finance, education, and healthcare rank among the more regimented cultures. The more rigid your institutional bureaucracy, the more important it is that your Agile tools offer flexibility. Your IT and IT service management tools should promote the spirit of what it truly means to be Agile; they should be fast, flexible, and nimble. Look for tools that enable rapid and easy customization. And, you should absolutely ensure that customization won’t be lost in the next upgrade.

When I talk about customization, I’m referring to configuring a tool to meet your organization’s actual needs. True flexibility goes far beyond the simple ability to add a field here, or change the look of a screen there. True flexibility gives you the ability to bring in entirely different workflows from Agile and other paradigms, blending them in such a way that they appear seamless to your user base. Your tools should offer the ability to make these large changes quickly and easily.

It’s About Being Agile in Spirit

Going Agile isn’t about simply tossing away one rule book and replacing it with another. It’s about adopting a mindset that focuses upon the spirit of Agile. That’s the key to realizing the benefits of Agile while scaling to IT operations of any size.

And successfully adopting an Agile mindset just isn’t going to happen without having the right tools in place. After all, whether you’re an enterprise IT operation or an auto manufacturer, efficiency of production cannot be maximized while using old, obsolete tools.

The right tool for the right job: You can call it Lean; you can call it Agile. But it’s really just common sense.

Shadow IT can cause your organization to slow down, or can put a stop to all operations. Shine a light on shadow IT with our eBook.



On Family and Innovation: Reflections from the Cherwell Global Conference

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Growing up, I was THAT kid at my family reunion. I ate a lot, I never stopped moving, and I cried when it was over.

In the early 90s, before pervasive text messaging and Facebook, I loved my family reunion because it meant I got to see Greenes and Bosleys from all around the country. I grew up an only child, so my cousins are my brothers and sisters and for two days each year, I was thrilled to spend as much time as I could with them. Each reunion would find us discussing the most important issues on the planet, such as their local culture and trends. I’d also use the family reunion as an opportunity to benchmark my basketball skills – we take the game very seriously.

Last week, I realized the Cherwell Global Conference feels more like a family reunion than a typical conference, mainly because Cherwell customers are family.

Tweet this: Customers, Partners and Cherwell Employees connect during the 2016 Cherwell Global Conference

Whenever a new customer joins Cherwell, I like to welcome them to our family because I know their relationship with us will be unlike any vendor relationship they’ve ever had. I’m excited for them to begin their journey and always introduce them to our other customers in the same industry or the same region. I want them to understand how other organizations use Cherwell to solve IT and business challenges, and I want them to benchmark performance against each other. I’m not alone in this regard – everyone at Cherwell works to accelerate the organizational purpose of our customers, no matter what that purpose is.

I’ve never been more proud of my Cherwell family than I was last week when I learned we collectively raised more than $30,000 to support Judi’s House – a charity whose organizational purpose is to ensure that no child who loses a loved one is left to grieve alone.

Tweet this: Cherwell and 2016 Global Conference attendees raise over $30K for local non-profit Judi’s House

Because of our 98 percent customer retention rate, I love the fact that I get to know our customers beyond a superficial level. We can share our stories and experiences, and we can work together to ensure they have an optimal Cherwell experience. Like family, if there are issues on the table, the Cherwell Global Conference is absolutely the place to address them – it’s the largest collection of Cherwell talent and resources at any one time. If we can’t solve it at Cherwell Global Conference, we don’t deserve your business.

We also don’t rest on our laurels. Even though it’s only been days since the CGC ended, we’re already reviewing attendee feedback to ensure CGC 2017 is the biggest, best family reunion of all time.

Meet more of Cherwell’s family. Watch our new video, all about the culture and community of the people who work to make Cherwell great. 


Day Three of the Cherwell Global Conference: Inspired and Ready to Innovate

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This is my third time at the Cherwell Global Conference (and my second turn as emcee), and I’m convinced this was our best event yet. This last day may have been a short one, but just like every day at the conference, it was full of insights and information. Plus, prizes! Here were some of the moments that really stood out:

Tweet this: Cherwell Community raises over $30K to benefit Judi’s House at the 2016 Cherwell Global Conference 

The closing keynote: Both Vance Brown and Craig Harper were full of gratitude as they closed out the conference. For Brown, there was no way to reflect without thinking of meaningful moments of connection with individuals—moments where people shared stories and feedback.  “This was an inspiring week,” said Harper, adding how much he’d appreciated people’s willingness to give frank, unvarnished feedback on how Cherwell can improve as a company.

Acknowledging winners: Pulling together the list of award winners was an absolute delight—from our longest tenured customer (Western Carolina University) to our social media star (SaifAli Master), there were plenty of people to highlight and award prizes. And remember back to the pre-conference when we held the mApp-A-Thon? Ten teams assembled that evening, creating seven new mApp solutions you’ll see in the Exchange early next week. The winning mApp—from Team Canada—was a GoToMeeting Integration that allows new meetings to be created and launched from the Incident Object.

Tweet this: The 4th Annual Cherwell Global Conference closes with CEO Craig Harper recognizing winners 

Changing the world: During the closing keynote, Brown spoke on one of the core questions of the conference: “What will we do, using innovation with purpose, to change the world together?” One answer can be seen in the money raised by attendees and Cherwell throughout the conference for Judi’s House: $31,200. Thank you to everyone who participated in the silent auction and fun run, contributing to this worthy cause.

As you return to your offices, we hope that you have more knowledge than ever before about what Cherwell can do for you. Most of all, whether you joined us in Colorado or followed along from afar, we hope you feel inspired to innovate with purpose.

Registration is already open for the 2017 Cherwell Global Conference, which will take place on October 16-19th in Colorado Springs. Find out more information and register.


Day Two of the Cherwell Global Conference: The Power of Customer Insight

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Customers are the driving force behind all our decisions here at Cherwell. There’s no exaggerating how important customers are to us, so for Customer Appreciation Day, we turned the spotlight on you, our customers. Here are some of the big takeaways from day two of the Cherwell Global Conference:

Tweet this: Day 2 of the 2016 Cherwell Global Conference focuses on customer appreciation and community

CEO Craig Harper opened the day: To kick off the second day of the conference, Cherwell CEO Craig Harper spoke about the role of innovation at the company, and all the ways we at Cherwell use Cherwell Service Management to meet a host of needs and requirements. Harper encouraged every customer to follow the same path, building capabilities with Cherwell’s flexible, powerful platform.

Carrie Cornella spoke about the powerful role of community: Harper introduced  Cornella as the heart of the Cherwell community. “I told myself I wouldn’t cry this year,” she said, as she spoke about how Cherwell’s community meant that no customer ever has to innovate alone. “At Cherwell,” she continued, “we’re aware that customers know what they require better than we do—and that’s why crowd-sourcing innovation and ideas are core tenets of our philosophy. Through our regional user groups, with locations all around the world, we strive to amplify the community’s voice.” Cornella thanked everyone who participates in those communities, as well our Customer Advisory Board, who provide us with feedback and share their time, speaking to other customers and prospects about Cherwell’s core capabilities.

Robert Stroud from Forrester on why we love IT: Robert Stroud, a Principal Analyst at Forrester, spoke about the need for customers to pragmatically innovate. IT departments need to operate faster and be more agile—all without causing downstream challenges for the business. Stroud shared practical steps that attendees can take back with them to work and move faster when they return to the office.

Tweet this: Industry analyst Robert Stroud delivers keynote speech at the 2016 Cherwell Global Conference 

A wide range of sessions to close out the day: Appropriately enough for the day’s customer appreciation theme, most of today’s sessions were led by Cherwell customers, on topics ranging from automation with One-Steps, to calculating the ROI of an IT initiative, to using Cherwell to manage non-IT assets.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived at the final day of the conference! I’m looking forward to attending more breakout sessions and chatting with customers and partners in the CGC lounge.

Don’t miss out on #CGC16. Follow us on Twitter for live broadcasts of keynotes, presentations, updates, and more!


Day One of the Cherwell Global Conference: Looking to the Future

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Being at the Cherwell Global Conference feels electric—more than 700 people are attending, and we all share a common mission: We want to help people and solve problems. All around, I saw people learning, sharing knowledge, and refining their skills. The first day of the conference was jam-packed with goodness—it’s hard to choose standout moments, but here are a few highlights from Day One.

Tweet this: The 4th Annual Cherwell Conference kicks off with an emotional keynote and a spotlight on Judi’s House

An emotional keynote and panel discussion: If you’ve met Vance Brown, Cherwell’s Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, you know he’s not afraid to get personal. Vance’s keynote focused on Judi’s House, a charity dedicated to helping families grieving the loss of a loved one—a cause that is near and dear to Vance’s heart.

Brown held a panel conversation with Brook Griese, Ph.D. and her husband, former NFL quarterback Brian Griese, the co-founders of Judi’s House. Brian spoke at length about his own difficulties as a child when his mom, Judi, passed away from breast cancer, and the long-ranging impact of his childhood feelings of anger and loneliness. Brook was the absolute star of the panel conversation—warm, knowledgeable, and empathetic. Brook described the challenges Judi’s House experienced finding technology that supported their needs and drove home the theme of the conference: Innovation with Purpose. The purpose driving Judi’s House—ensuring that no child grieves alone—is incredibly meaningful, and through a partnership with Cherwell, Judi’s House can focus on this core mission, without technology holding them back from achieving their vision.

High energy in the CGC Lounge: The booth-filled hall was a flurry of activity. Everyone was there: technical alliance partners, executive team members, and customer experience folks. Plenty of Cherwell staff and partners were showcasing their services and products. For customers, the CGC Lounge was the place to visit to get more information on Cherwell’s partner ecosystem, and meet the partners who can help take Cherwell solutions to the next level.

2017 Product Futures: Josh Caid, Cherwell’s Vice President of Innovation, provided a smart, thorough overview of the state of the industry, as well as a look forward at the major improvements and projects Cherwell is focused on for the upcoming year. Caid emphasized the importance of IT departments putting people first—instead of building tools to support technology, creating tools that help users do their jobs better.

Tweet this: VP of Innovation Josh Caid delivers keynote speech about 2017 upcoming product futures for Cherwell Service Management

In the upcoming year, Cherwell will focus on making our already great ITSM tool even better. We’ll enhance our solution in ways that will reduce training time, and make it as easy as possible to use our technology. A big percentage of our development time will also go toward enhancing the multi-channel experience. And of course, we’ll continue to dream big and build on our company’s history of innovation.

There was tangible excitement as Caid spoke about the possibilities for tech: What if, instead of users visiting a self-service portal to report a broken printer, there were just a button on the printer that people could press to alert IT? Or, what if instead of emailing IT a ticket, people could @ the IT department within Slack or SMS to request a repair or help? From ambient experience to gamification to integrating virtual personal assistants, there are all sorts of ways for IT to provide users with a better, more seamless experience.

The VIP Party: The day culminated with an epic party, which offered an opportunity for everyone to kick back and mingle. It was fun and social—there were lots of drinks, even more food, dueling pianos, and a conga line that could still be going for all I know.

CGC Day One was epic—and I think, a huge success, too. As the second day begins, I’m looking forward to hearing from Craig Harper, our new CEO, and attending as many of the breakout sessions as I possibly can. 

Find out what’s happening at #CGC16. Follow us on Twitter for live broadcasts of keynotes, presentations, updates, and more!


Get to Know the CEO: A Conversation with Craig Harper

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Craig Harper has held several roles at Cherwell—in February 2014, he joined the board, and just months later, he transitioned to a full-time role as President. This September, he became Cherwell’s CEO.

In early October, more than 700 customers, partners, industry experts, and employees gathered for the 4th Annual Cherwell Global Conference. All attendees—as well as the broader Cherwell community—were eager to learn more about Craig Harper. We sat down with Mr. Harper to talk about the company’s unique culture, what he likes best about the Cherwell Global Conference, and his plans for Cherwell’s future.

Tweet this: Candid discussion with new CEO Craig Harper and what excites him most about Cherwell 

Q: Why are Cherwell’s four core values so important to the company?

Harper: Heart, Hunger, Humility, and Honesty make up the foundation of our culture at Cherwell. The technology industry is constantly evolving. I believe our values are timeless and ground us throughout that change. Our customers recognize these values and many cite them as an example of why they chose Cherwell to be their ITSM vendor. They often tell me, “Your company is different. Your culture is different. There’s a lack of arrogance. You listen. You are a true partner. Your team helps us find real and thoughtful solutions.” So, from the very beginning of our interactions, our customers know we are there for them. We’re committed to our customers, which is proven by our 98 percent customer satisfaction rate. So, for me, our customer satisfaction is emblematic of our customer-first culture and our values acting as the pillars of who we are and what we do.

Q: What excites you most about your new position?

Harper: I’m most excited to lead a company that has been on the cutting edge of innovation since its very inception. We’re ready go even further, defining the future of IT and IT service management. Cherwell’s innovation, fueled by the creativity of our customers, partners, and employees, puts us in a position to push the boundaries of IT to accelerate business growth and organization purpose.

Q: What’s your favorite part of CGC?

Harper: I love how CGC gives us the opportunity to bring together our customers from around the world to connect and to learn from each other. The conference gives us a window into how Cherwell can improve as a company, how we can take our products further to better serve our customers, who we hold in the highest regard. Our customers are the heart of Cherwell; we build this company and these products together. I have the privilege of working with the greatest people in the world and the Cherwell Global Conference is an incredible opportunity to bring everyone together into one place to gain tremendous insight.

Tweet this: New CEO Craig Harper shares his perspective on Cherwell’s unique culture

Q: What can the world expect from Cherwell in the future?

Harper: At Cherwell, our goal is to become the tool IT reaches for to solve problems and capture new opportunities. I believe there has never been a better time to be in the service management space; there’s a confluence of innovative technology and creative users. Many legacy vendors try to be all things to all people; at Cherwell, our focus is dedicated to the success of IT within the business. So, the world can expect to continue to see great things from Cherwell in the months and years to come.

Get social with Craig Harper by following him on Twitter


Partner Day at the Cherwell Global Conference

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Here’s how big the Cherwell Global Conference is: Even before the official kickoff this morning, there were two jam-packed days of pre-conference sessions, conversations, and fun.

Yesterday was the last day of pre-conference, and the focus was on Cherwell’s partners. It was a day spent building connections with the many people involved in Cherwell, from all around the world. At our customer advisory board meeting, for instance, our most engaged and well-respected customers exchanged ideas and feedback, and talked about improvements that will make Cherwell the best possible product. Technical alliance partners and integration partners were a big part of the day, too.

Tweet this: The highlight of Pre-Conference sessions at this year’s Cherwell’s Global Conference was Partner Day

Throughout the day, I saw people all around me learning and making connections. At the welcome reception, as a jazz band played and people gathered and mingled in the Broadmoor Ballroom, I saw hugs and handshakes, back slaps, and big grins. There were both excited reunions and the starts of new friendships. We rounded out the day with a late-night mApp-A-Thon—think: hackathon meets mApp-making, with plenty of beverages and desserts to keep the creativity at full blast. A full room of Cherwell designers met to build some really cool functionality, which incorporates the features from our new release in a mApp solution.

For me, there’s no denying that these pre-con days felt a bit like a dress rehearsal for the main event—today, which is the official kick-off to the CGC. Throughout this first official day of the Cherwell Global Conference, we’ll have breakout sessions across all five tracks (Collaborate, Connect, Develop, Learn, and Share). I am so looking forward to seeing our customers and partners share their expertise.

And of course, I’m excited for today’s keynote from Vance Brown, Cherwell’s Executive Chairman and Co-Founder. He’s always such a compelling, captivating speaker—but also, I’m expecting to hear some big announcements during his presentation. (Stay tuned!) Today, we’ll also be looking ahead to what Cherwell will look like in the not-too-distant future. Josh Caid, our VP of Innovation, will be talking about Cherwell’s future and plans in ways that might surprise attendees (and the industry!). And, of course, I can’t wait for the VIP party, which ends out the night. I’ve already had so many wonderful conversations and learned so much from customers and partners—and the conference only officially kicked off last night!

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