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GCN : October 2014
[BrieFing] The Washington state Department of Enterprise Services has deployed a cloud-based IT support tool as its stan- dard across the organization. The state’s Department of Enterprise Services, or DES, had consolidated what had been five separate depart- ments into a single entity. The five groups used a diverse set of processes, standards and help desk tools. DES issued an RFP for a unified toolset and selected EasyVista’s IT Service Man- agement (ITSM) offering, opting for software-as -a-service (SaaS) delivery. “We were challenged with coming up with a consolidated, consistent, stan- dardized approach that was across the board,” said Nick Fuchs, chief technolo- gy officer and chief information security officer at Washington DES. “This was a way for us to not only have a ticket- ing tool, but a workflow tool that helps ensure a consistent process across the whole gamut of IT support.” ITSM products automate the process of managing user-reported problems or service requests. When a user reports an issue or requests a service, the ITSM software generates a ticket for tracking purposes. ITSM software also supports service management frameworks such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. In DES’ case, ITSM software is used to orchestrate facilities management and other departments in addition to IT. In the IT space, DES supports 235 enterprise applications. DES’ use of EasyVista marks the continued expansion of the company’s software in North America. In addition to the Washington state installation, the company has a deployment with the state of New Mexico as well as cus- tomer activity in Florida, noted Andrew White, general manager and executive vice president, Americas, EasyVista. White cited “significant churn” in the United States as organizations shed legacy systems in favor of web-based ITSM products. “It’s a massive replace- ment market,” he said. EasyVista makes its ITSM product available as a SaaS offering or an on-premise solution. White said the customer purchasing trend is moving more toward SaaS. The SaaS approach provides a num- ber of benefits. “We don’t have to main- tain the system or keep the software updated or the servers updated,” Fuchs said. In addition, the SaaS arrangement lets DES leverage EasyVista’s disaster recovery capability. “We don’t have to build a separate disaster recovery site for that product,” he added. Fuchs noted that EasyVista is based on ITIL, so it’s important for organiza- tions deploying the software to under- stand ITIL principles and review their business processes ahead of time. Im- plementation is easier if the adopter is ITIL compliant or at least has processes that resemble an ITIL philosophy. Fuchs also cautioned deployers against being lulled into a false sense of security regarding the ease of a SaaS rollout. While SaaS vendors focus on the software and software updates, custom- ers are responsible for updating their business process flows and pre-imple- mentation planning, among other tasks. “You still have to do the work,” he said. • BY JOHN MOORE Washington state deploys cloud-based IT support tool 4 GCN OCTOBER 2014 • GCN.COM Washington’s Department of Enter- prise Services is rolling out EasyVista in phases, in keeping with its agile software development approach. The software went live in December with the introduction of EasyVista’s service request management, inci- dent response and service catalog components. The department also deployed a customer portal, which lets users view the status of tickets. The department has moved on to launch change management. Nick Fuchs, DES’s CTO and CISO, said DES “took one of our big applica- tions that had a mature change management process and used that to develop a standard workflow in the system.” Fuchs said DES conducts IT planning in 90-day increments, or phases. Each phase contains mul- tiple software iterations. In general, DES releases new functionality every couple of weeks. In the current phase, which covers September through November, the department plans to roll out asset management and knowledge management. It will also expand the change manage- ment component during that time. EasyVista rollout strategy
November and December 2014