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How to use MOF as a consultant / integrator? RRS feed

  • Question

  •  Hi

    I work for RealDolmen, one local Microsoft partner in Belgium. We use ITIL and ITIL V3 in combination with our own models and other industry-standard models when talking to customers about implementing solutions and services, including tools like System Center (SCOM and SCCM) and similar. Some of us know and understand MOF (V3 and V4) very well and use it implicitly as one tool in a very large toolbox, when working on specific topics. However, we have not been able to use MOF and MOF branding as a differentiator in the market to bring our business forward, as far as I know.

    We have an (ITIL) consultancy team which is continually optimizing its business plan and its catalogue of pragmatic and market-oriented ITIL based services. Today MOF is not something that is very well-known in the market, on the contrary, and therefore we have not won or done any consultancy business or integration business specifically thanks to MOF. But somehow we would think that it should be feasable to use it that way...

    What I have been wondering, is how MOF could be used by Microsoft partners as a way to win customers for specific operations improvement and consulting projects, as well as tooling implementations and improvement programmes based on or including tools (such as the SCOM and SCCM, and maybe soon SCSM, and why not all three of them together). E.g. Is there some kind of maturity model / assessment model that can be used to convince customers on how to go one step further? Preferrably of course something that is near to free and easy to use for consultants as part of a maturity quick assessment which identifies way to grow in maturity... (I know about Microsoft Core IO, but it is more focused on selling technology than on selling related processes, services and consultancy) And how would we sell such services? To which kind of customers? (without cannibilizing our ITIL and integration business)

    In other words: how would we as an ICT Integrator use MOF as part of our services lifecycle in our local market? How can this help us convince customers, win customers and/or make more profit than with our current practices based on ITIL and other similar proven frameworks?

    Looking forward to any insights and experiences on this topic.

    Best regards
    Tom
    Monday, December 15, 2008 7:14 PM

Answers

  • It seems to me that Europe is not ready to use MOF as a marketing tool. MOF being a succinct and concise presentation of the Service Designa nd Service Operation of the ITIL service strategy it should be understood in that framewoork. MOF is not comprehensive as ITIL is. MOF is meant to be a direct route through the SD and SO functions featuring Microsoft products as solutions to these management needs.

    Perhaps when interacting with American counter-parts you may find using MOF references useful as I am witnessing an increased interest here in the States in MOF. Some are oblivious to what it really is... a restatement of the SD/SO functions of ITIL and is not in itself a full management methodolgy as ITIL is. However, as a concise model for addressing the IT management needs of most businesses I believe it is very marketable. MOF addresses the concerns of most non-IT people and they can relate to the benefits that implementing MOF can provide. There's your answer, MOF is marketable to the right people. If you are talking to an ITIL guru, you will get "But, what about..." If you are talking to a brass-ringer on mahogony row then they will respond.

    Plus, there are colorful graphics; very useful in sales presentations. :)
    Monday, December 15, 2008 7:45 PM
  •  

    Regardless of region or market, I think MOF presents a great opportunity to enhance an integrator or consultant’s practice and service catalog in a number of ways. 

    I am guessing that some of the challenges that you mention may come from the perception that MOF competes with ITIL.  ITIL is the most globally recognized Service Management framework and many organizations have already or will invest in ITIL education and implementation. While ITIL has quality guidance, no organization will adopt "pure" ITIL.   Clients should be encouraged to mix and match guidance from multiple frameworks to build a Service Management strategy most applicable to their culture and environment. 

    The first step in building a MOF practice is to create evangelists by demonstrating MOF in action.   I have two suggestions on how to do this.   

    Have your consultants use MOF as a Solution Accelerator during your upcoming service implementation projects.  For example, hold Management Reviews at appropriate project milestones or for Operational Health reviews.  Use some or all of the question guidance in the SMF activities to facilitate dialog and to ensure that all aspects of the activity are considered and discussed.  Offer MOFs free job aids as templates or starting points for client documents such as SLAs.   This approach is almost subliminal - perhaps not actually implementing SMFs but introducing some of the most practical (and different) aspects of the framework.

    My second suggestion is similar but can be used to help organizations overcome some bottlenecks or challenges within their ITIL implementations.   Again, I suggest introducing Management Reviews, question based activity guidance and job aids – all of which enhance  ITIL.  Most importantly, I would suggest educating your clients on the Manage Layer (GRC, Change/Configuration and Team) – this layer is where MOF is clearly stronger than ITIL.  The prescriptive advice inside MOF can be used to improve ITIL processes - particularly since MOF's guidance is easier to read and digest than some of the newer ITIL v3 literature.

    The more clients get exposed to MOF,  the more they will recognize its value.   Frankly,  it should not be ITIL or MOF as the branding initiative – but Service Management best practices leading to ISO/IEC 20000 (which seems to be gaining greater acceptance outside the US).   

    My organization is an ITSM training provider delivering ITIL, MOF, ISO 20K and Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE) courses.    We are working towards raising MOF awareness and creating evangelists.  We have delivered a few MOF 4.0 Foundation courses in Q4 and the feedback has been very positive from both practitioners and consultants.     It may take some time, but I truly believe that MOF will steadily gain acceptance and adoption both within and outside of ITIL.

    Hope this helps,

    Jayne Groll
    ITSM Academy


    Jayne Groll
    Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:08 AM
  • ToSeg said:

    In other words: how would we as an ICT Integrator use MOF as part of our services lifecycle in our local market? How can this help us convince customers, win customers and/or make more profit than with our current practices based on ITIL and other similar proven frameworks?


    We hear this a lot--should I use MOF or ITIL?  To put this in perspective, if this were a carpentry forum, the question might be, "Our customers use ball peen hammers.  Why should they change to claw hammers?  They've already invested in what they have and don't want to change."  MOF and ITIL are tools.  Far too often in the ITSM industry, tools are treated as an end in themselves.  Implementing ITIL becomes a goal, not a path to better service.  Rather than question whether a customer should use MOF or ITIL, use elements of both as needed to deliver the service the customer needs.
     
    To return to our carpentry analogy, if a customer has a ball peen hammer, he might be quite happy with what it can do, and reluctant to spent the time and money for a claw hammer--until he tries to pull a nail.  The claw hammer provides a capability that the ball peen hammer cannot.  That doesn't mean that the ball peen hammer should be tossed aside--it's value has not been decreased by the purchase of the claw hammer.  It still works the same and can continue to do what it has always done.  The customer is satisified with it and is comfortable with its use.  The new tool adds to the total value of the toolchest.
     
    So, to answer your question (and yes, I do remember the question!), remember this: the best solution that we as training providers can produce is to be as fluent as we can in as many technologies as possible, then provide training on those technologies to potential users.  The job of service providers is to learn what tools can do the jobs they are facing.  Knowledge of ITSM frameworks expands the service provider's usefulness to its customer. 
     
    And that is what it's all about, isn't it?  Providing value to our customers.
     
     
    Ric Crouch
     ----------------
    Process Catalyst Solutions, LLC
    Don't just learn. Learn to DO. ™
     
    Friday, December 19, 2008 4:13 PM
  • Which tool?  It's a perennial debate amongst practisioners isn't it - ITIL and/or MOF

    I have a simple rule that has served me well and I apply regularly:
    ITIL=What To Do & MOF=How To Do

    With the perpetual boundary shifts within the likes of, say for example, the SD and consumer self-serve practises surely it's a matter of selecting the right tool and getting the job done. Yes/No?
    After all isn't that the raison-d'etre of what we do?  We continually push-the-resource-envelope (what we know) to achieve the best possible outcome (what we do).

    Give it a shot: mix 'em up: I'm with Tom and Ric here. It's all about "the Customer".
     
    Like most things in our industry I guess this topical debate will, most likely, continue ad-infinitum. Long may it remain so!


    Regards


    Jack

     

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:54 PM

All replies

  • It seems to me that Europe is not ready to use MOF as a marketing tool. MOF being a succinct and concise presentation of the Service Designa nd Service Operation of the ITIL service strategy it should be understood in that framewoork. MOF is not comprehensive as ITIL is. MOF is meant to be a direct route through the SD and SO functions featuring Microsoft products as solutions to these management needs.

    Perhaps when interacting with American counter-parts you may find using MOF references useful as I am witnessing an increased interest here in the States in MOF. Some are oblivious to what it really is... a restatement of the SD/SO functions of ITIL and is not in itself a full management methodolgy as ITIL is. However, as a concise model for addressing the IT management needs of most businesses I believe it is very marketable. MOF addresses the concerns of most non-IT people and they can relate to the benefits that implementing MOF can provide. There's your answer, MOF is marketable to the right people. If you are talking to an ITIL guru, you will get "But, what about..." If you are talking to a brass-ringer on mahogony row then they will respond.

    Plus, there are colorful graphics; very useful in sales presentations. :)
    Monday, December 15, 2008 7:45 PM
  •  

    Regardless of region or market, I think MOF presents a great opportunity to enhance an integrator or consultant’s practice and service catalog in a number of ways. 

    I am guessing that some of the challenges that you mention may come from the perception that MOF competes with ITIL.  ITIL is the most globally recognized Service Management framework and many organizations have already or will invest in ITIL education and implementation. While ITIL has quality guidance, no organization will adopt "pure" ITIL.   Clients should be encouraged to mix and match guidance from multiple frameworks to build a Service Management strategy most applicable to their culture and environment. 

    The first step in building a MOF practice is to create evangelists by demonstrating MOF in action.   I have two suggestions on how to do this.   

    Have your consultants use MOF as a Solution Accelerator during your upcoming service implementation projects.  For example, hold Management Reviews at appropriate project milestones or for Operational Health reviews.  Use some or all of the question guidance in the SMF activities to facilitate dialog and to ensure that all aspects of the activity are considered and discussed.  Offer MOFs free job aids as templates or starting points for client documents such as SLAs.   This approach is almost subliminal - perhaps not actually implementing SMFs but introducing some of the most practical (and different) aspects of the framework.

    My second suggestion is similar but can be used to help organizations overcome some bottlenecks or challenges within their ITIL implementations.   Again, I suggest introducing Management Reviews, question based activity guidance and job aids – all of which enhance  ITIL.  Most importantly, I would suggest educating your clients on the Manage Layer (GRC, Change/Configuration and Team) – this layer is where MOF is clearly stronger than ITIL.  The prescriptive advice inside MOF can be used to improve ITIL processes - particularly since MOF's guidance is easier to read and digest than some of the newer ITIL v3 literature.

    The more clients get exposed to MOF,  the more they will recognize its value.   Frankly,  it should not be ITIL or MOF as the branding initiative – but Service Management best practices leading to ISO/IEC 20000 (which seems to be gaining greater acceptance outside the US).   

    My organization is an ITSM training provider delivering ITIL, MOF, ISO 20K and Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE) courses.    We are working towards raising MOF awareness and creating evangelists.  We have delivered a few MOF 4.0 Foundation courses in Q4 and the feedback has been very positive from both practitioners and consultants.     It may take some time, but I truly believe that MOF will steadily gain acceptance and adoption both within and outside of ITIL.

    Hope this helps,

    Jayne Groll
    ITSM Academy


    Jayne Groll
    Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:08 AM
  • ToSeg said:

    In other words: how would we as an ICT Integrator use MOF as part of our services lifecycle in our local market? How can this help us convince customers, win customers and/or make more profit than with our current practices based on ITIL and other similar proven frameworks?


    We hear this a lot--should I use MOF or ITIL?  To put this in perspective, if this were a carpentry forum, the question might be, "Our customers use ball peen hammers.  Why should they change to claw hammers?  They've already invested in what they have and don't want to change."  MOF and ITIL are tools.  Far too often in the ITSM industry, tools are treated as an end in themselves.  Implementing ITIL becomes a goal, not a path to better service.  Rather than question whether a customer should use MOF or ITIL, use elements of both as needed to deliver the service the customer needs.
     
    To return to our carpentry analogy, if a customer has a ball peen hammer, he might be quite happy with what it can do, and reluctant to spent the time and money for a claw hammer--until he tries to pull a nail.  The claw hammer provides a capability that the ball peen hammer cannot.  That doesn't mean that the ball peen hammer should be tossed aside--it's value has not been decreased by the purchase of the claw hammer.  It still works the same and can continue to do what it has always done.  The customer is satisified with it and is comfortable with its use.  The new tool adds to the total value of the toolchest.
     
    So, to answer your question (and yes, I do remember the question!), remember this: the best solution that we as training providers can produce is to be as fluent as we can in as many technologies as possible, then provide training on those technologies to potential users.  The job of service providers is to learn what tools can do the jobs they are facing.  Knowledge of ITSM frameworks expands the service provider's usefulness to its customer. 
     
    And that is what it's all about, isn't it?  Providing value to our customers.
     
     
    Ric Crouch
     ----------------
    Process Catalyst Solutions, LLC
    Don't just learn. Learn to DO. ™
     
    Friday, December 19, 2008 4:13 PM
  • Which tool?  It's a perennial debate amongst practisioners isn't it - ITIL and/or MOF

    I have a simple rule that has served me well and I apply regularly:
    ITIL=What To Do & MOF=How To Do

    With the perpetual boundary shifts within the likes of, say for example, the SD and consumer self-serve practises surely it's a matter of selecting the right tool and getting the job done. Yes/No?
    After all isn't that the raison-d'etre of what we do?  We continually push-the-resource-envelope (what we know) to achieve the best possible outcome (what we do).

    Give it a shot: mix 'em up: I'm with Tom and Ric here. It's all about "the Customer".
     
    Like most things in our industry I guess this topical debate will, most likely, continue ad-infinitum. Long may it remain so!


    Regards


    Jack

     

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:54 PM
  • I’m marking this post as answered, if you need any help about MOF please open a new thread. J

    Thank you,

     

    Cleber Marques
    MOF Brazil Project: Simplifying IT Service Management
    www.mof.com.br | www.clebermarques.com | www.clebermarques.com.br

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:42 AM
    Moderator