Payment provider streamlines processes with ITIL

IT best practices need to be tailored

New Zealand business transaction and payments systems provider Synergy is implementing an ITIL and ISO framework to improve its IT governance, enterprise architecture, and to manage its integrated service management processes.

The company chose to deploy a combination of ITIL and the ISO/IEC 2000 standard after evaluating best practice service management strategies CMMi, COBIT and IT Service CMM. The combined package includes components for organizational change and awareness, implementation and configuration, process design, and continuous review of business objectives.

Synergy's acting general manager for managed services, Alison Holt, said the changes proceeded business modifications, including a name change to Fronde Systems Group, a new CEO, and the acquisition of subsidiary company Fronde Anywhere.

"Synergy is part the way along a business service management journey. We will be able to provide robust IT operational services by creating an integrated view of our IT infrastructure and services, and by early detection, we will be able to eliminate the cause of failing infrastructure items and protect services before they become impacted," Holt said.

Holt said the company selected ITIL, which describes best practice for IT operations, because of personal certification for its managed services staff and it will use ISO/IEC 2000 which follows strict guidelines for accreditation, and for process mapping and implementation.

"We chose the ISO standard because it covers 13 service management processes as opposed to the 10 processes covered in the ITIL Service Support and Service Delivery books," she said.

"ISO 2000's three additional core processes of business relationship management, supplier management and information security management cannot be ignored as they are critical to deliver robust IT operational services," she said, adding that ITIL does not necessarily represent efficiency as it can be implemented very badly.

The ISO/IEC 2000 accreditation is more rigorous than ITIL because it requires 169 prerequisites governing integrated service management activities to be satisfied.

"One of the common reasons ITIL implementations fail is that they lack contribution from senior management; however, the ISO standard mandates their input from the start. An organisation that is ISO certified has achieved a known and measurable international standard of service management across all processes," Holt said.

Synergy trained IT staff internally to avoid downtime and to ensure its training manual was tailored for the company.

"The customized and modular training enabled us to give half-day sessions on site, and had minimum impact on our operations. We now have training prepared and ready to give to new managed services staff as part of our staff induction programme," she said, noting ITIL implementations often overlook the need for ongoing training.

To date, Synergy has rolled out enterprise monitoring based on BMC's ITSM 7.0 module which allows complex infrastructure environments to be assessed rapidly.

"The great advantage of ITIL is that brings a common language into your organisation - now when we say change management or configuration management, we have a common understanding of what we mean by it," Holt said.

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