How to Improve IT Service Delivery with Enterprise Calendaring Visibility (Video)

Why is service visibility valuable? Because enabling people to see “what’s going on” builds confidence between a service provider and the internal or external customer. It helps identify area for service delivery improvement. And it keeps everyone who’s involved in the process informed of the status of a service request at all times, thus avoiding unnecessary calls to the service desk.

Why is enterprise service calendaring important? Because business professionals live by their daily calendars, which show all commitments, schedules calls, meetings, follow-ups, to-do’s and other activities. Similarly, an enterprise service calendar intuitively makes clear to people what is happening and what the impacts are on their role or organization.

Watch this video to learn more about how enterprise calendaring visibility supports ongoing service improvement.

Video Timeline:

0:16   About Kinetic Data
0:48   What is Enterprise Request Management?
1:47   Why is Service Visibility Good?
3:08   Examples of Service Visibility
3:28   Why Enterprise Service Calendaring?
4:26   Business-Specific Process Visibility Example
5:05   Enterprise Calendaring Examples
7:25   Kinetic Data Product Overview
7:40   Enterprise Calendar Demo

Examples of where enterprise calendaring provides helpful visibility include change management, release management, on-call support scheduling, service level management, training schedules and vacation calendars.

Time- and date-based information can be pulled from virtually any enterprise data source (e.g., an HR system, ITSM platform, ERP system, Exchange, etc.) and the resulting display filtered by various criteria in order to focus on specific resources, tasks or groups.

Kinetic Calendar enables creation and sharing of actionable calendars across an organization, providing enterprise calendaring visibility for continuous service improvement. Want to learn more? Download the new white paper, Say Goodbye to the IT Service Management Queue.

Proactive Change Management with Actionable Online Calendars (Video)

Actionable online calendars–with the ability to pull time- and date-based data from a wide variety of enterprise data sources (e.g., SharePoint, PeopleSoft, Exchange, ITSM platforms)–are valuable tools for managing changes and other tasks while avoiding scheduling conflicts and “collisions” with other events.

The calendar interface makes it easy to spot potential conflicts as well as identify opportunities to combine change management tasks for greater efficiency.

For large organizations with hundreds of changes scheduled each month, the data displayed can be filtered by various criteria to eliminate “noise” and allow managers to focus on the critical resources they need to track.

Watch the demo to learn more about proactive change management with Kinetic Calendar.

Video Timeline:

0:18   About Kinetic Data
0:54   Kinetic Data Products Overview
1:25   What is Enterprise Request Management (ERM)?
2:49   Getting Visibility into Change Management
5:22   Use Cases for Actionable Online Calendars
5:56   How to Contact Kinetic Data
6:45   Kinetic Calendar Live Demo – Scheduled Change Calendar
9:55   Asset Information Calendar Demo
11:48   Presentation Recap

While a traditional report is essentially out of date as soon as it is run, the online calendar is built from live real-time data so it’s always current and reflects any new or changed data as soon as it is added. This provides a proactive approach to change management.

Kinetic Calendar supports a wide variety of uses such as change management, release management, on-call support scheduling, ITIL process reviews, vacation calendars, and facilities resource management.

Saying Goodbye to the IT Service Management Queue

If you own an Apple product, chances are you’ve paid a visit to the Genius Bar, the mystical  place in the back of an Apple Store where your broken iThings get fixed.  To many Apple fans, what makes the concept so appealing is its convenient self-scheduling functionality. Apple users find their nearest Apple store online, click on a calendar showing open time slots for the week, and click on a day and time convenient for them.  It’s perhaps the ultimate in customer-driven service, since service is completely scheduled on the customers’ terms, when and where they want it. Of course, Apple spends a ton of money running Genius Bars in each of its hundreds of stores, but consider this: 40 percent of Apple customers have visited a Genius bar; and of that number, 90 percent say the experience makes them more likely to buy an Apple product in the future. That’s probably the ultimate example of a service organization bringing value to the business.

Is Genius Bar-type scheduling the future of the IT help desk?The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon and the fact that many employees work know where to  get responsive and convenient support for their devices  are putting tremendous pressure on traditional corporate help desks. The “log it and flog it, detect and fix” model is dying, say several prominent analyst groups.  What is emerging instead are versions of the Genius Bar in companies like Intuit, SAP, Intel, Hewlett Packard and many others, and growing efforts to allow employees to select the time and manner of their service and support encounters.

That means replacing  traditional IT service management queues with schedule-based services. That requires tools that work with underlying service management platforms to:

  • Track the availability of resources;
  • Apply business rules concerning resource utilization,
  • Provide trained call takers a rich interface to schedule complex activities.
  • Provide self-service requestors a much simplified interface to schedule a visit similar to using  Apple’s online concierge service.
  • Create automated workflows that update resource availability as scheduling activity occurs and notify service requestors and service delivers that a scheduling event has occurred.

These tools may not completely kill off the queue, but they offer an efficient and cost effective alternative for businesses grappling with a changing IT service management landscape. If you want to read more about how Kinetic Data does it, check out a new white paper here.

Actionable Online Calendars in Two Minutes

Want to quickly create web-based calendars showing your people and resources in a single view, for purposes like critical incidents calendars? Calendars that automatically pull existing time- and date-based data from BMC Remedy, Microsoft Exchange and other data sources?

Sure, sounds interesting, but who has weeks to spend installing and configuring the software, modifying their BMC Remedy environment, testing, rollout,  training and all that jazz?

Turns out you don’t need weeks. Just two minutes. See for yourself in this demo video.

Here’s the link to the download from Kinetic Community.

Better Visibility into Change Management

Change Management and BMC

The risks of poorly managed IT changes range from minor inconveniences to disasters
that cost millions of dollars and directly affect short-term profitability. Quoting the Gartner
Group, BMC states that “80 percent of down time is from people and process failures,
and change plays a significant role in that. Investing in change management pays off
in ROI immediately, as business availability levels generally rise by 25–35 percent
or more.”

BMC has made significant efforts to address the need for effective change management
for larger enterprises in the release of its BMC Remedy IT Service Management
Suite® (ITSM 7.0). It includes a Change Management application, designed,
according to BMC, to deliver “comprehensive policy, process management and planning
capabilities that help you increase the speed and consistency in which you implement
changes, while also minimizing business risk and disruption.”

Customers have enthusiastically embraced ITSM 7.0. According to many BMC users,
the first BMC Remedy module typically implemented with ITSM 7.0 is Incident
Management, which is far more ITIL-compliant than previous versions of ITSM. Now,
many of these same users, after having mastered the implementation of the Incident
Management module, are turning their attention to BMC Remedy Change Management,
which is virtually a complete redesign of the change management functionality of
previous versions of the ITSM suite.

These users are discovering how BMC Remedy Change Management increases the
availability of business management systems, makes implementing changes easier
and faster, and enables IT to support critical business services more effectively than
ever before.

BMC Change Management with Kinetic Calendar

Many BMC Remedy Change Management users are also discovering the benefits
of creating greater visibility into BMC Remedy Change Management events with
Kinetic Calendar.

Kinetic Calendar is a native BMC Remedy application that provides the ability to visually
display any time-based information captured or generated within BMC Remedy systems.
It is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to graphically display BMC data online. It
translates any BMC Remedy time-based data into a visual calendar format, which
enables end users to more easily recognize and comprehend BMC Remedy data and its
relevance to their responsibilities. Kinetic Calendar was developed to meet the demands
of BMC Remedy customers for better visibility into their IT processes.

The flexibility of Kinetic Calendar allows organizations to create virtually any type of
customized calendar based on BMC Remedy data. Kinetic Calendar users have been
very creative in finding new applications for it. Among the many examples of calendars
now deployed are:

• Release Management

• Outage Calendars

• On-call Support Scheduling

• Training Scheduling

• ITIL Process Reviews

• SLA Monitoring

• Vacation Calendars

• Facility Resource Management

A growing number of BMC Remedy customers are using Kinetic Calendar as a valuable
extension of BMC Remedy Change Management. BMC Remedy Change Management
itself focuses on change management data and workflows, and provides one of the
software industry’s best platforms for the initiation of change requests and their review,
approval, scheduling, implementation, closing, reporting, and auditing. Kinetic Calendar
takes this functionality a step further by providing visibility of Change events to the
entire organization.

Why is this important?

Many organizations that have implemented BMC Remedy Change Management have
discovered that as their use of the module grows, both in terms of the volume of change
requests handled and the number of business users affected, the ability to effectively
communicate changes using different styles tailored to the needs of various user groups
has grown in importance. This communication can be accomplished through emails,
memos and reports, or it can be done by giving users access to online calendars tailored
to their individual business needs. Calendars provide drill-down capability to give users
as little or as much detail as they need about specific changes. The calendar approach
improves acknowledgement and understanding of change events by those who will
be affected.

In most organizations, the vast majority of these users won’t be licensed BMC Remedy
users. Rather, the users affected by changes will be business managers in HR, finance,
operations and other areas in all the different locations where the organization operates.
Some of these users will need a broad perspective; others will only need visibility into
how changes will impact their own immediate work units. These views need to be
simple, uncluttered and easily navigated. Some users will need views that are easy to
drill into for more information on change events.

BMC Remedy Change Management users—responsible for scheduling and managing
change events and serving on Change Approval Boards (CABs)—need views that make
it easy to see how one change event impacts another and whether scheduled change
events collide with other scheduled events. Many of these users may need access to
multiple views from the same calendar interface. This is especially true in larger IT
organizations that may be required to manage hundreds of change events daily in
multiple departments and at multiple locations.

Check out the entire white paper:  Better Visibility into Change Management with Kinetic Calendar

Transform Actionable Online Calendars into Meaningful Information

By Nancy Nafziger

An online actionable calendar has the greatest chance of success when a calendar-publishing tool can be configured to create any type of customized calendar.

There are many examples of customized calendars that can be created with a calendar-publishing tool such as Kinetic Calendar, from IT help desk calendars to consumer testing schedules

Kinetic Calendar lets you easily create, manage and view BMC Remedy data in a calendar format for virtually any purpose.  Actionable online calendars enable effective communication of changes and other events across functional groups within an organization.

Kinetic Calendar is built for multiple uses. Common examples include: Release Management, Outage Calendars, On-call Support Scheduling, Training Scheduling, ITIL Process Reviews, SLA Monitoring, Vacation, and Facility Resource Management.

Thinking outside the box, here are four more compelling calendar-publishing tool applications:

  • Visibility into IT governance related activities. With a calendar-publishing tool, you can visually display critical compliance information and provide easy 24/7 access to it for all users. An actionable calendar will display a complete and accurate view of compliance information. You can also display compliance events in a daily, weekly or monthly calendar format. To learn more check out the Kinetic Calendar Video—Visibility Into Governance Activity.
  •  Visibility into location-based changes. Today’s large organizations often have multiple locations and they need to display location-based activities or events during a certain period of time on a calendar format. For an overview of how to use Kinetic Calendar to provide location-based change information check out the video—Location-Based Changes.
  • Visibility into Asset Management information. A calendar-publishing tool can provide visibility of BMC Remedy asset information in a calendar format. For quick tour of how to get visibility and control of production go live management, support contract management and warranty management, check out the video—Managing your Assets.
  • Visibility into Change Management. Actionable calendars enable better control over change management processes by providing users a way to configure any BMC Remedy data information to display in a change calendar format. Calendars can be published online for any number of user groups and tailored to meet their specific visibility needs into the change management process. To learn more check out the white paper—Better Visibility into Change Management.

In most organizations, it is imperative to have visibility to critical time-based information in an online calendar format. However, this doesn’t mean that all organizations have exactly the same needs. Think about your own applications for online calendars. How can you transform actionable online calendars into meaningful information for your organization?

Kinetic Calendar Gives Building Materials Giant Solid Insight into Environmental Permitting and Testing Requirements

It Happened in Vegas

When the company’s BMC Remedy administrator and developer saw a demonstration of the latest version of Kinetic Calendar at last year’s World Wide Remedy Users Group conference in Las Vegas, he peeled off a symbolic $1 bill and gave it to Kinetic Data’s President, John Sundberg, on the spot. It was a tailor-made solution for a big challenge.

The company has long used BMC Remedy for custom-built help desk forms, project and asset management, as well as leave requests and other applications. One BMC Remedy application the company acutely needed was a calendar that would give upper management quick views into how environmental and regulatory deadlines were being met in the company’s cement and ready-mix concrete divisions.

Both divisions are required to meet strict environmental standards and regulations. The ready-mix concrete division had built out an Environmental Management System (EMS) that tracked permit deadlines, air-quality testing and other requirements. Part of its EMS included a calendar built in BMC Remedy using tables. When the concrete division reviewed the ready-mix group’s EMS, users quickly fell in love with most of its features.

Except for the calendar.

For starters, the EMS calendar application was resource-intensive and the wait for a calendar to come up was agonizingly slow. Even worse, the calendar content was not configurable, showed only limited views into EMS activity, and couldn’t provide an overall view of all the different modules in the EMS system—let alone allow managers to drill down into modules for more details.

Delivering What Management Needed

Luckily, the company found their problem’s solution in Las Vegas.

Kinetic Calendar is a surprisingly simple to deploy off-the-shelf BMC Remedy application. And it works seamlessly with custom-built BMC Remedy applications. Both requirements were important to the company because it had been disappointed before by purchasing a software product that didn’t work with customized applications and instead required extensive development work. The company wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

That’s why the company was delighted when it learned that Kinetic Calendar works easily with custom-built applications. In fact, Kinetic Calendar worked so well with the company’s custom-built applications that two calendars were ready to be rolled out to its U.S. cement production sites in just a few weeks. In all, the company will roll out 10–15 Kinetic Calendar modules with specific dates for tracking purposes in such critical EMS areas as permit expiration dates, site inspections and air-quality testing. All modules can be tracked on one main calendar view—a critical requirement for management. Users can also drill down from the main calendar into specific modules and site locations.

It’s a one-stop shop for upper management. Executives can view any level and detail of EMS tracking they need—by month, week or day—at any time, anywhere they have an Internet connection. And they don’t need to know how to use BMC Remedy or any special application, so their learning curve is practically nonexistent.

Who Says Great Software Can’t Be Boring?

One of the most appealing aspects of Kinetic Calendar to the company is its ease of use. So much so that BMC Remedy developers in the company find Kinetic Calendar actually kind of boring.

One Remedy developer recalls the Friday afternoon when the company purchased and downloaded Kinetic Calendar. It was a busy day at work so he didn’t get around to playing around with his new “toy” until after he went home and had dinner. His wife expected him to be holed up in his home office for hours, which was often the case when he tried out new software. Instead, he emerged from his office 45 minutes later and announced he was bored.

“You just got new software and you’re bored already?” his wife asked incredulously. Sad but true. Kinetic Calendar poses no challenges to BMC Remedy developers. Users, however, probably will find Kinetic Calendar’s ease of use anything but boring.


Personalizing Kinetic Calendar

By Derick Larson

Kinetic Calendar is possibly my favorite product—and not just because we get fewer support calls. Kinetic Calendar gives you an entirely new way to view your Remedy data and opens it up to a much wider audience.

The most common question about Kinetic Calendar is how to let customers view the events they want without making multiple calendars. The idea is to give the customer a lot of data and let them “filter” down to what is important to them. This lets you have one main calendar that customers can personalize for their own requirements.

For example, you have one change management calendar that multiple departments use to view their changes. You could create multiple calendars, but that is limiting if a customer wants to see the changes for multiple departments. Filtering lets the customer personalize the calendar, without requiring you to make any changes to the actual calendar definition.

Filtering is done two ways.

First, there is an event type for a calendar called Filtered that lets you select fields (from the BMC Remedy form you are using for your data) for your customers to filter the individual events. You can set the order of the fields and even set a default. The fields are listed along the top of the web display of the calendar for the customer to choose.

The second method allows you to put parts of your qualification in the URL that is used to display the calendar. You have to build your own web page to collect the parameters and call the URL (Kinetic Request and Kinetic Survey are perfect for this), but you can really add to your customers experience by letting them make selections before the calendar is displayed. This method uses a feature called Parameter Values, and can be combined with the filters.

Combining the two methods together allows you to present very informative and personalized views into your own BMC Remedy data. For example, a service provider could see events by one or multiple companies, or their customers can be limited to just their own tickets, but still have the ability to filter based on other criteria like priority, status or assigned to group.

Let us know what cool things you’ve done with Kinetic Calendar—we love to share ideas and experiences with our customers.