Look to ITIL this Summer

Opinion: A new service from HP, modeled on the IT Infrastructure Library, offers a get-in-shape regimen for providers and customers.

Many organizations slack off during the summer. Precisely because of that, its a good time for the ambitious to get ahead. One way to get ahead is to get your outsourcing house in order—and a good way to do that is to crack open the IT Infrastructure Library.

ITIL was created by the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and has been generally accepted as the bible of best practices for outsourcing customers and providers. When used by both providers and customers, it can serve as a lexicon of understanding, ensuring that both parties are on the same page. ITIL Version 3 is expected by years end.

Hewlett-Packard is rolling out a new service that uses ITIL as a manual for customer IT makeovers. The service starts with an assessment of customers operations, continues with an improvement plan, and concludes with implementation and follow-up for continuous improvement, said Brian Brouillette, vice president of technology services at HP, in Palo Alto, Calif.

"Were helping customers not only start the process but implement it on an ongoing basis. This is a structured way to improve processes," said Brouillette. HPs educational services are a key element in the process, and HP typically will send an instructor to the customer site to hold classes.

The cost for the entry-level service is $50,000 to $70,000. Advanced services cost $150,000 and up and entail more frequent and detailed assessments and more time spent on the service improvement plan, Brouillette said.

Data Return, a $60 million managed hosting provider in Irving, Texas, called on HP for an assessment of its operations some two years ago. "HP did an assessment and compared us against the ITIL framework. The point of the assessment was to help us become a better hosting provider," said Sherri Young, director of service management at Data Return.

HP left behind a checklist showing where Data Return stood on the ITIL process maturity model. Eighteen months later, HP came back and did a follow-up assessment based on the same model and found that Data Return had raised its incident management performance from ITIL Level 3.7 to Level 5, which is the highest, said Young.

Using HPs education services, Data Return has had 57 of its people certified according to ITIL standards. HP also is assisting Data Return in completing an ISO 20000 certification, which is due to be completed by years end.

Out and About

Electronic data systems will tie the networks of MBNA and Bank of America together under a six-year, $700 million deal. The finished network will link 200,000 bank employees in 5,800 retail banking centers and 50 contact centers across 30 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

Bank of America announced in June 2005 its acquisition of MBNA for $35 billion. At that time, the bank said it would realize $850 million (after taxes) in cost savings by the end of 2007 from a range of sources, including personnel reductions and overlapping technology. EDS and Bank of America signed a 10-year, $4.5 million outsourcing contract in 2003; EDS previously had integrated the network of Fleet Bank, which Bank of America acquired in 2003.

Financial institution ING and a group of outsourcing providers have agreed to a $1 billion, five-year deal covering workplace services for INGs banking and insurance operations in the Netherlands and Belgium. Under a memorandum of understanding, Accenture, Atos Origin, Getronics and KPN will provide installation, maintenance and support for desktops, laptops, printers and telephones, according to an ING statement. Approximately 490 workers in the Netherlands and about 60 workers in Belgium will be transferred to the providers. The memorandum is expected to be finalized by years end.

Executive Editor Stan Gibson can be reached at stan_gibson@ziffdavis.com.


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