Gabriel Lopez – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:05:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Leveraging Lean IT for Service Delivery Optimization https://infocus.dellemc.com/gabriel_lopez/leveraging-lean-it-for-service-delivery-optimization/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/gabriel_lopez/leveraging-lean-it-for-service-delivery-optimization/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:00:22 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=36264 As a Managed Services organization, Dell EMC takes the quality of the services we deliver to our customers very seriously. Over the years we have developed best-in-class service delivery practices for the technologies we support, not only for our own products, but also for a variety of technologies available in the market today. Our approach […]

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As a Managed Services organization, Dell EMC takes the quality of the services we deliver to our customers very seriously. Over the years we have developed best-in-class service delivery practices for the technologies we support, not only for our own products, but also for a variety of technologies available in the market today.

Our approach to service delivery includes a very strong and skilled set of Professional Service Managers who are tasked with influencing our operations across the globe in the utilization of Dell EMC Best Practices for achieving proactive support and sustaining our internal Continual Service Improvement cycle.

In a previous blog I’ve discussed the challenge of how to get Better, Faster and Cheaper IT services, particularly around Cloud Computing. The challenge is real!

Continuous Improvement

Whether you are part of an external Service Delivery organization like ours, or a member of an internal Service Delivery team, I’m sure we share the same challenge. We aim to deliver best-in-class services to our customers around the globe and across a variety of different industries. We are tasked with maximizing delivery operations with a healthy contribution to our bottom line by making continuous improvement and reducing service cost to enable sustainable growth. Our customers, as well as your internal customers, are demanding more for less!

Within the highly competitive environment our organizations are facing every day, business disruptions are simply not tolerated. Our customers and their businesses have developed a high level of dependency for the technologies we support. Cutting cost by reducing service levels is simply not enough. Compromising service quality could be a very short term policy but won’t pay over time.

Reaching our target requires a delicate balancing act of managing cost, efficiency and capacity of the activities and processes we execute every day in our service delivery. This delicate balancing act, should be performed in such a way that service quality is not compromised and the delivery of value to our customers is maintained and increased over time.

Extreme Cost Optimization

According to the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) in a paper by Thomas E. Lah published in February 2018, one of the top seven key industry trends is what he calls “Extreme Cost Optimization.” It’s a clear trend for service providers, driven by customers, so it easily translates to every IT Service Delivery organization. In his paper, Lah states that in order to pursue avenues of cost reduction, two of the levers being pulled hard are “extreme service automation” and “reduced workforces.” He also argues that “support and field services organizations are reaching the limits of these levers.”

So, how can we achieve this “Extreme Cost Optimization” without impacting quality and value to our customers? How can we know just how much it’s costing us to execute processes such as virtual machines (VM) or storage provisioning? How do we measure the efficiency of these processes? What is quality and how do we know how much quality is enough so we don’t overdo it? How can we control and measure process capacity?

We do it by adopting Lean IT, minimizing waste and maximizing value, and innovating rethinking the ways we conduct business, and changing our mindset and our leadership skills to turn “problems” into positive learning experiences.

Lean IT

The Lean concept is not new. Back in the 1940’s, Toyota needed to reduce the amount of raw materials used in the production of their vehicles, and the time incurred between when the raw materials were acquired and the cars were invoiced to customers. That’s how the Toyota Production System or TPS was born. It was rooted around efficiency and quality, where every link of the production chain was committed to the quality of the activities performed, resulting in a valuable delivery to the end Customer.

The Lean concept is relatively new in its application to IT Services: it’s referred to as Lean IT.

It’s well known that “what is not defined can’t be controlled, what is not controlled can’t be measured and what is not measured can’t be improved.”

Figure 1: Lean IT Methodology

As part of our innovation and continual improvement efforts, Global Service Quality (GSQ) incorporated the utilization of Lean IT to its Service Improvement Practice for several years, and recently developed a methodology that enables our organization to measure process efficiency, process cost and process capacity for the very first time. Our new enhanced methodology also allows us to define what’s Critical to Customers (CTC) and critical to Quality (CTQ) by listening to the voice of the Customer and the voice of the Process.

This new methodology also allows us to run different scenarios and analyze possible impacts on efficiency, cost and capacity for different support structures. It’ll help us by creating models that are centered on the customer, thereby providing understanding of the impact of changes before they are implemented, benefiting strategic decisions, and increasing our overall delivery of value.

Dell EMC’s IMS Value Stream Mapping Methodology

Earlier this year, the Dell EMC IMS Value Stream Mapping Methodology has been piloted with one of our Competency Groups in our Draper CoE (Center of Excellence). We are currently in the process of moving this new tool from pilot to production so it can be further utilized across different accounts. I will be sure to report on its results.

Figure 2: Dell EMC’s IMS Value Stream Mapping Methodology

Summary

A best-in-class service delivery model entails a skilled set of Professional Service Managers who leverage best practices for achieving proactive support and sustaining continual service improvement while utilizing Lean IT disciplines. Like Dell EMC, an organization that fosters a culture for innovating, to turn “problems” into positive learning experiences will sustain health and a competitive edge.

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Cloud Computing: How to Get Better, Faster and Cheaper https://infocus.dellemc.com/gabriel_lopez/cloud-computing-how-to-get-better-faster-and-cheaper/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/gabriel_lopez/cloud-computing-how-to-get-better-faster-and-cheaper/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 09:00:00 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=35466 As trained technology professionals, we’ve become used to the idea that technology changes faster every year and the need to ‘minimize negative business disruptions’ is even more critical today, when more and more business transactions are relying on effective and efficient IT Services. Many years ago, I learned how difficult it was to be ready […]

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As trained technology professionals, we’ve become used to the idea that technology changes faster every year and the need to ‘minimize negative business disruptions’ is even more critical today, when more and more business transactions are relying on effective and efficient IT Services. Many years ago, I learned how difficult it was to be ready and able to support hardware, software and, most importantly, customers in the face of this rapid change.

To put this into context, in just a few decades, we’ve gone from mainframe to distributed systems to cloud computing. Now according to Gartner, the cloud market grew close to 20 percent in 2017. With digital transformation at the top of every executive’s mind, it’s likely that this trend will only accelerate. So much so that by 2020, Gartner estimates that the overall market will reach $411 billion, and IaaS $72 billion, 87 percent and 185 percent increases respectively from 2016.

When we see this rapid growth and the current compute power, storage quantity and networking capacity required to handle today’s daily business transactions, the numbers are really quite astonishing. However, most demand faster response times, more compute power, more storage, increased bandwidth and throughput, and much faster provisioning just to meet the most basic daily business needs.

Better, Faster and Cheaper

Better, faster, cheaper is and has always been the name of the game; no surprises there. Some organizations, though, can’t quite seem to focus on all three of these attributes at the same time. In my experience they tend to focus on just two, faster and cheaper, and disregard the better.

But, can they really afford to just deliver two out of three?

I am surprised that many organisations pay little to no attention to their IT operations’ maturity level. Organizations large and small, new and not so new, are sometimes so entrenched in delivering the faster and cheaper that they forget that the better can significantly contribute to achieving the performance and cost efficiencies that we all seem to be chasing after and dreaming about.

Cloud computing is certainly not a new concept. The availability of today’s amazing compute power, paired with fantastic virtualization solutions, represent key contributing factors to achieving faster and cheaper IT service. This is very evident with an efficient orchestration layer that automates provisioning by providing the end customer with a powerful and complete IT catalogue, at their fingertips, to meet their needs faster and cheaper than ever before.

But Is It Really Fast and Cheap?

What happens when companies decide to invest in new cloud computing technologies to make their IT run faster and cheaper, but lack the backbone and processes to deliver better IT services?

Even worse, what happens when they invest in cloud computing to migrate business critical applications, such as SAP, to a cloud environment without having the ‘better’ factor in place and actually end up doing damage to their business?

In these cases, the new solution fails to deliver any of the three desired attributes: it is not faster due to recurring service disruptions, is not cheaper due to the lack of service availability and is certainly not better because it ends up hurting the business.

The better factor is, in my opinion, critical for success in deploying new technologies such as cloud computing.

This better factor I’m referring to is also known as maturity. The maturity level of your IT operations is a key factor in provisioning a fast and reliable IT service at the right cost, enabling your organisation to meet, and sometimes exceed, business demands.

Finding the Better

Whether you run your business on a private, public or hybrid cloud, increasing the maturity level of your IT organisation and engaging IT service providers with a proven record of effective operational maturity is critical to achieving faster, cheaper and better IT services.

Reaching appropriate ‘Operational Maturity Levels’ – by yourself and in conjunction with your IT partners – will save you money in the short and long term. You will enjoy the benefits of a proactive support organization that will:

  • Enable your IT services to minimize and even eliminate negative impacts to the business, sometimes even before disruptions actually occur.
  • Empower the business to self-serve their own needs consistently with technology and enjoy higher levels of availability with predictable service levels.
  • Increase retention of key resources. A higher level of operational maturity immediately translates into less “firefighting”, reduced stress and minimized unpredictable working hours.

What Can You Afford?

So, can you really afford not to focus on the better factor and do you still believe you’ll be able to deliver IT services faster and cheaper without it? Can you afford to not reach an appropriate maturity level in your IT Operations? Can you afford to hire vendors who are lacking operational maturity?

If you think you can, my advice to you would be to take a closer look at your bottom line, particularly around hidden costs such as project delays, loss of business, and loss of potential business. It should become apparent quickly that fast and cheap will not deliver over the long term without the presence of better.

Summary

It makes the most sense to partner with vendors who can prove to you how mature their operations are and who will willingly discuss their operational best practices. Include certain maturity level requirements (for whatever level is appropriate for your organisation) in your future RFPs before hiring new vendors and make operational maturity a prerequisite. This will not only improve your overall services but will also contribute to increasing the maturity level of your own operations at a much faster pace.

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