More Content - Including Podcasts

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summer Break

For any who follow this blog and are wondering why the dramatic pause in some posting streams - Greening IT & CMDB reviews for example - we're taking an "extendo-summer-hiatus" for July & August, but will be back with a vengeance at the end of August and into September.

I hope all my readers have a safe & fun-filled summer! See you in the fall!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Greening Your IT - Dispelling the Paperless Office Myth

Printing and the consumption of paper, ink, toner, and electricity are one of the easiest ways to raise awareness and lower costs in your organization. But can any office go paperless? I think time has dispelled (or “busted”) this myth. So accepting that printing and the processing of paper will never disappear completely the emphasis turns to responsible use of printing and print technologies.

So what we are after are the easy wins in this area. Growing in popularity recently has been having a social-engineering approach of people tagging comments to the effect of “do you really need to print this?” attached to their emails. Having management reiterate the importance of reduced paper use in meetings is also helpful. But these are not methods that can necessarily be objectively measured for results unless you know how much printing is happening in your organization today.

All corporate network printers should support the ability to centrally draw back and report on the volume of printing they have completed in a given period of time. A small amount of legwork can have this functionality setup and working in a short timeframe, and then this data can be used to objectively measure the results of any further printing reduction activities. Having a place to store all this data (as configuration items) for the purposes of measurement is yet another reason for your organization to formalize the CMDB.

With an understanding of how many pages your organization prints daily/weekly, you can start to measure any reductions. Following the “reduce, re-use, recycle” mantra, other ways can be instrumented to reduce printing volumes. By leveraging Active Directory group policies for providing access to networked printing resources, you can control what users have access to which printers, at what times. This will prevent employees from printing volumes of paper for personal use before and after core work hours.

The more difficult questions arise around how to control the size of print jobs, the content of printing (printing only what’s necessary), and the format of the print jobs. There are means for accomplishing all of this via various new technologies (foremost amongst newcomers in this arena is software development company GreenPrint - ) but the most important point is to understand where you are today, set goals, communicate those, and reward those who assist in achieving them.

Quick wins to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint in the area of printing would need you to start measuring your printing and reporting weekly or monthly (please don’t print and post the reports!). Accountability and recognition will be some of the keys to success in this area.

Some of this quick wins would be:

  • Ensure you use recycled paper
  • Reduce the number of printers (if possible)
  • Provide the ability for all staff to “print” to PDF and encourage that behaviour
  • Use Group Policies for Windows-based print queues to enforce duplexing and other print saving measures
  • Disable printing outside of core business hours for most staff
  • Ensure all printers have either “power save” modes or ideally are powered off overnight

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Updated Fognet Field Guide to NNM Available

Fognet's Field Guide to OpenView Network Node Manager

A reference guide for administrators of HP Software Network Node Manager.

This vade mecum is written for field consultants, users and administrators of the HP Network Node Manager (NNM) software product. The second edition covers information that is relevant for NNM product versions 6.0 through 7.53. It does not cover NNM 8i, which is an entirely new and different product. It was written for those who seek a shortcut to commonly used product info that is either missing or obfuscated in the product docs, and it covers practical implementation information that can’t be found in any product documentation or the fine product manual or reference pages. This guide was gleaned from OpenView users and from the author’s fifteen years of compiled notes on the product.

June 2008 Update: 2nd Edition now available in paperback via Lulu or Amazon or PDF download via Lulu

Vivit Press Release - New Board Members Announced

NEW YORK, June 5  -- Vivit, the independent, non-profit,
users group for the HP software community has closed their elections and
announced their three newest Board Members. Donna Farmer, Executive
Director of Vivit, congratulates Brad Clark, Systems Management and
Availability Specialist of Herman Miller Inc.; Jim Murphy, Director of
Infrastructure Management Practice of Pepperweed Consulting and Karen
Semonson, IS Operational Services Manager of Foremost Farms Inc. as the
most recent Directors of the Vivit Board.

"Mr. Clark, Mr. Murphy and Ms. Semonson are all experienced and
dedicated individuals who already volunteer their time and talents to help
support Vivit, said Donna Farmer, Executive Director of Vivit. "I look
forward to having the opportunity to work more closely with each of them in
their new role as Directors of the Vivit Board. Together, we will serve
this organization by providing strategic guidance and direction as we move
forward and continue to fulfill our goals."

"For me, this is an exciting opportunity to work closely with a very
talented team with diverse backgrounds to really shape the future of our
organization and its relationship with HP," said Brad Clark. "I look
forward to connecting with more of our members and utilizing their input to
continue to strengthen Vivit's service offerings."

Jim Murphy said, "I would like to thank the nominating committee, and
everyone who voted. I am looking forward to working with the board of
directors and the membership to build on the success and legacy of the HP
Software community. We have the great challenge of working together to
provide a place where people can come and gain knowledge about how HP
Software can be implemented to achieve efficiencies and improved service
quality for Information Technology organizations around the world. It is
going to be an exciting year."

"As a real world strategist utilizing HP Software's product portfolio
to run Information Services like a business, HP's visionary direction and
roadmap is chock full of relevant answers too many of my intriguing

Being an active member of Vivit has allowed me to move from a brisk
stumble to a swift stroll as I have expanded my knowledge about HP Software
through sharing and connecting with other practitioners. These Vivit
relationships have encouraged me to build a new environment, all the while
being surprised at how much I have been able to get done.

As a Vivit Board Member, the accountability for nurturing the global
user connection and representing the voices of HP practitioners is -- in
part -- I believe, the practical answer to how HP's vision and roadmap will
be achieved," said Karen Semonson.

"I am pleased to see three new excellent Board members join the Vivit
Board. All of them have shown leadership and commitment to HP's Worldwide
Software Users Group, and will continue to help advance the organization,"
said Tom Reinsel, past President and Director as he departs after serving
on the Vivit Board for six years.

About Vivit

Vivit is a non-profit corporation founded in 1993 (as OpenView Forum)
by customers of Hewlett-Packard's Software products to represent the
interests of HP Software customers, developers, and partners world-wide.
Vivit represents and serves the broad HP Software Community (including
OpenView, Mercury, Peregrine, Radia, and more) and is the endorsed HP
Software users group. Vivit has 8,360 members and growing every week
representing all areas of Business and Industry. For more information about
Vivit, log on to the organizations web site at http://www.vivit-worldwide-org .

Friday, June 20, 2008

HPSW - Part 3 - The Software Announcements

HP had three main announcements they were using Wednesday's mainstage session to make:

  1. Application Lifecycle: The enhanced integration and development in the Portfolio, Requirements, and Quality products, providing for the ability to manage the application lifecycle from start through to go-live. Maybe I missed a memo, but I didn't think that this was so new to HP Software?
  2. The Release Control product, and the claim that it helps with automating operations, and ties into that federated configuration management system; uCMDB. More detail around these includes that the tools have been revisited to accord with ITIL v3 in the sense of federating a Configuration Management System instead of gathering & replicating the config items across several barely linked data-stores. This is far more interesting of an announcement to me (as is the third one discussed subsequently) particularly with the time I have been putting into investigating vendor-based federated CMDBs and the mechanisms used to populate them.
  3. Virtualization: HP announced that they have been working tightly with vmware to create better management & operation of virtual environments. This was interestingly reflected on the show floor later . An increasing number of software partners are flogging integrated or at least somewhat coupled virtualization-oriented offerings that connect one way or another to the HP Software Suite. Most offerings are around the management of your virtualized infrastructure or the leveraging of virtualization for the development and quality processes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

HPSW - Part 2 - Business Availability Center Announcements

HPSW is staking claim on the #1 spot in data centre automation and IT service management. We're introduced to Ramin Sayer, the Senior Director for BSM & uCMDB products. Ben continues to play the role of Dilbert's boss, which is ironic for someone as bright as he is, I understand it's intended to summarize facts for any "pointy-haired idiots" in the audience but it gets annoying after a while... but I digress.

Ramin walks us through the BAC suite of tools; none of this really that new to me having been on the BAC training already, but a good over-view. The discussion goes around moving from reactive application and infrastructure management to proactive root cause analysis. Honestly, this message has been re-iterated for a number of years now, but what they're focusing on is how integrating the new technologies acquired in the past year or so is giving better functionality to this end.

OpsWare tools, Service Manager, the "new" NNM8i (topic for another posting), and uCMDB are all shown integrated to match the process of change with the actual change release. Release Control 4.0 gives impact analysis pulled from the change management system & the CMS, to give the CAB a better picture of change impacts. Very cool idea, but I have to ask how long it would really take any organization to get to the point where this is functional? Again, a likely suspect for another posting, because as the guys continue talking my mind starts spinning ff on how to make this kind of implementation work optimally.

We're introduced to the ex-OpsWare product, HP Operations Orchestration Centre and how it underpins the change life-cycle through another medley of integrations to provide process-oriented change, incident, problem, and configuration management. Ramin discusses BAC being used in the NOC or Operations Centre and the Application Support groups. With focus on product integrations, HP shows us how we should really buy all of their software, by moving the incident into Service Manager, then Release Control, and Network Automation tools all underpinned by uCMDB.

uCMDB is definitely getting reviewed in an upcoming post so stay tuned for that one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

HP Software Universe 2008 - Las Vegas - Part 1

Wednesday morning rolls around pretty early in Las Vegas... It's day three of the "big show" for HP Software in the Americas. I'm sitting in the mainstage area waiting for this morning's keynotes:
  • Ben Horowitz, Jonathon Rende, and Ramin Sayor to speak about Business Technology Optimization
  • Christopher Rence to speak on HP Software at Fair Issac Corporation
  • Caleb Sima to show us what the "newly acquired" web security tools are all about and discuss current exploits
  • Jean-Michel Cousteau to educate the group on the true interdependance between mankind and nature
David Gee (VP of Software) kicked things off. A humorous vignette of David as Kevin Spacey's character from 21 and then David refers to today as "product day" which concerns me a bit in that we may be going down the road of sales pitches and not technology updates... but I'll be optimistic... as we go.

Ben Horowitz:

Two facts, three announcements:
1. HP stakes their claim as #1 in requirements management; segues to Jonathon Rende's talk. VP Products SOA, Jonathon introduces a virtual company called "Weeble Communications" and uses it to describe why HP SW is #1 in requirements management. PPM & it's integration with QC & other products is used as the starting point. Jonathon focuses on governing lifecycle processes. Ben keeps interjecting, and finally promises to stop the weeble puns, which is greeting by a trickle of applause. Content creation around workflows is pointed to as a differentiating factor, and how important it is to have their Out of the Box (OOB) content templates. Another factor Jonathon notes is the process of going from business priorities to project management and QC in parallel.

HP announced the Requirements Management module of the latest release of Quality Centre which puts requirements management into the same platform as the quality management tool set. The ability is provided for non-functional requirements (security, performance, etc) to be linked in early on in the project lifecycle. HP states that risk based decision making is available out of the gate and customizable to your organization - the announcement from Jonathon indicates that these can also be technical questions; and that this gives IT and the PMO the ability to create (and manage) contracts with the business areas around application project quality with most if not all vital decision points.

Continuing on about the features and functions , we're informed about agile quality practises that are being integrated into QC now, and that "lightweight out of the box" components are supporting this feature as well. Additionally Web 2.0 framework support has been added in Load Runner/Performance Centre, which seems an obvious mandatory in todays business space.

So, the marketing angle from HPSW on this topic discussing the solutions targeted at Project Portfolio Management, Quality Centre, Performance Centre, and Application Security Centre that provides for one application life-cycle vision across the organization. As I always say, great, but at what cost and how long would it really take to get this in place? As well, I'm not generally a big fan of "out of the box" processes and templates designed for your business processes, but without really rolling up my sleeves on this one I'm holding back a strong opinion on endorsement.

More to come in my next post...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Follow-Up on CMDB's Out of the Box

I had an email in response to my last post from "Manu" at ...

"I would say you should also consider evaluating non-framework related solutions like the ones from Ni2 or Managed Objects (I am not working for either, so this is impartial feedback from our customers).

This said, I personally think that evaluating CMDBs without the tools that populate them is limited in value. .."

The plan was to investigate the three products named (each claiming to be an industry leader) along with their respective discovery mechanisms, but I hadn't explicitly stated that, so good catch Manu!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

CMDBs Out of the Box

I've started to evaluate the software CMDB solutions from various vendors - HP, BMC, and IBM to start with. I'll be posting the findings of my research as I go along, but certainly welcome any feedback or input from those of you who may be looking at these products as well, or in fact may have already obtained/installed one.

The products I'm looking at in particular are:
  • HP Software uCMDB
  • BMC Atrium
  • IBM Tivoli Asset Management

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on my research into these, including the hands-on lab work I complete.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Greening Your IT - Power Savings & ROI

Everyone wants to be responsible about their energy consumption, and while from a corporate perspective, it looks great in press releases and marketing materials, it's a hard direction to move in if you can't justify the expense in an objective manner.

So how do you establish the actual return on investment for your energy optimization projects?

The most obvious method, and the best place to start, is by having an objective baseline of your current energy costs related to IT. Make sure not just to include desktop computers and monitors, but any associated peripherals. Include the networked and personal printers. Include the Blackberries and cellphones because of their chargers. How about scanners? Air-conditioning? UPS and power management systems also have a draw and should be measured. Network gear, KVM switches, and the list can go on. For an extensive list contact for our whitepaper on Green IT. This audit can take some time (and therefore money), particularly if you don't have a CMDB (Configuration Management Database) in place already.

Incidentally, if you do have a CMDB, or are currently undertaking a CMDB project, have you included energy consumption rates as a CI (Configuration Item)? It's worth thinking about...

Once you have your baseline, you can now consider what initiatives your organization may undertake. Budget the cost of implementing those items, processes, or technologies (and are those costs that can be partially absorbed by budgets other than IT? ) and look at the energy reduction rates to calculate the initial, high-level ROI for the project.

But there's other ways to reduce those costs. In the Province of BC, BC Hydro has joint rebate programs with the Provincial Government that can make significant additions to your ROI calculations. If you are reading this from a location other than British Columbia the odds are that some similar rebates may be available for you as well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Greening Your IT - Virtualization on a Dime

For my first article on greening your IT, I want to talk about server virtualization. Moving some or many of the servers in your IT shop off of their own physical hardware and into a shared, virtual environment is a well established step toward reducing your carbon footprint.

There are a few different approaches to take on this, and all have their own valid reasoning as to why they are best for a given situation; but I'm going to talk about virtualizing on the cheap. We've been running a successful implementation of this in our labs at, and I've personally been really happy with it.

At the core of this solution is a CentOS server hosting the Linux port of VMware Server.

This implementation was targeted for a testing environment, but should it prove to be successful we'll be leveraging the same or a similar model for more production systems.

So for the first bit here, I'll describe how I got it up & running. Using a retired (read: second hand) IBM x-series server, I installed Cent-OS 5.1 following a standard minimalist installation.

Once the OS was installed, I added the development libraries, ensuring that I had all of the following installed as well:
  • xinetd
  • gcc
  • kernel-devel
You'll need to download the Linux port of VMware server, which while free, is NOT open-source, just in case you're a purist. You'll also need to obtain license keys by registering. Note that you can get more than one key at a time if you are planning on building a few of these systems! As of the time of writing this Blog, the current version (that I'm using) for VMware server is 1.05.

If you're doing this from the CLI in CentOS, you'll use the following commands to complete this:
tar xzvf VMware-server-1.0.5-80187.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
su -c "./"

On that last command, the one where as sudo you launch the installation script, you'll need to verify the path & the script name, I've seen it change, so be aware!

Follow the prompts making decisions about configuration as you go. You'll be prompted to run the script and that should take you through to a successful completion, assuming you've loaded all the correct kernel modules, etc.

The biggest item to watch for in all of this is planning ahead on how you choose to set up your network connections for the virtual machines you'll be hosting - host-only, bridged, or NAT.

So, that's how it's done. Now why do it is the logical follow-up question. Well, in order to give you a virtualization platform with no licensing or capital costs outside of the physical host server itself. Is this the right decision for your organization? Again, that really is going to depend on what you're trying to accomplish, but for us, it's a perfect fit in the labs, and possibly production systems too.

One word of warning first though. If you are thinking of hosting an Active Directory infrastructure on this platform for production purposes I'd review that decision personally. There is still a strong argument for having your AD (authentication, name resolution) server (at least the primary, or GC box) on it's own hardware and not dependent on a virtualization platform.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Volunteering - Part III; Mom Said There'd be Days Like These...

Remember when I said all the heavy lifting for the itSMF National Conference was done? Yeah. About that...
So, between people who deeply resent not being chosen to speak, and people who seem to have extremely particular restrictions as to how and when they will speak, it's been a challenge.
Not to mention the usual number of folks who for very legitimate reasons have to opt out of speaking and then we need to make sure we have others willing to step in even though they were initially rejected for the conference.
However, it's all done now, we've got our speaker list set and you can check it out here.
Now we get into selecting the "table topics" for lunch-time hosted discussions, bios for all the speakers, and getting the speakers to put their presentation into our standardized slide-deck.
It's been a fair bit of work to get to this point, but because of great teamwork it wasn't as hard as it could have been! And now it's just getting easier and May 5 is getting real close!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

nworks VMware SPI for HPSW OMW8

Some late breaking news. I found out today that nworks, the maker of the most excellent VMware & BES SPIs for the OVOW 7.x platform have committed to having an Operations Manager for Windows 8.0 compatible SPI available April 7th (2008). You heard it on ITManageCast first.

HP Partner Enablement Galaxy - March Part Deux

Well, we've completed the third day here in "Nawleens" and my take is that PEG this Spring has been better than last Fall. I know Steve Myers took quite a bit of the feedback from the fall session to heart and it helped improve the sessions we had.

I've been taking the OMW8/SiteScope session, and we've completed the OMW8 sessions led by Lars Droeger from HPSW Germany. Lars was able to give a great hands-on experience as we worked through VMs of OMW. I stayed late last night to tackle some extra labs, but have felt that I've gotten quite a bit out of that. This afternoon we tackled DMA (Dependency Mapping Automation) which is effectively the automated connector between OMW8 and uCMDB. Dave Trout from HP was leading the DMA sessions. Unfortunately for Dave he was trying to get us to use lab VMs back at Fort Collins but the bandwidth out of the hotel was so limited that RDP sessions had screen refreshes that just c-r-a-w-l-e-d. I made sure to pass that feedback to Steve tonight.

Speaking of tonight, I should mention that Steve Myers sure can throw a party. It was the Riverboat Gambling Theme Party tonight for everyone attending and Steve & Opus (the conference organizing company) put on a fantastic dinner. There were a few tables with different gambling games, a live band playing Dixieland, a couple of gents from the Bayou with three 'gators to play with, and lovely young show-girls to greet us at the doors. Not to mention the open bar & fantastic variety of food. So, my thanks to everyone involved in putting that on!

Back to the learnin' an' stuff. I was able to get a lot of knowledge out of the DMA session with Dave Trout. HP's uCMDB is a powerful tool, but I'm thinking they may have it priced out of reach for most. Some of the underlying technology is impressive though, I was particularly impressed with the elegant "Smart Message Mapping" solution for replacing SPI discovered service objects with objects/relationships from the CIs in the CMDB. It's powerful, but a pretty expensive solution. Any of my clients can contact me for ball-park pricing. It does seem that the messaging from HP is that uCMDB is going to be core/central to all their major ESM offerings.

HP OM8 for Windows - First Review

While at PEG March '08 I've been attending the Operations Manager Windows 8/SiteScope training. I've had the web-delivered "intro to" session a couple of months ago, but there's nothing like the hands-on with the HP experts there to walk you through and answer questions.

Prior to this week, I knew at a high-level what most of the new features/functions to the Windows version of the product would be. A lot of the functionality that was previously only available with the Unix version has been ported. I also knew about Reporter, the HTTPS agents, and Performance being packaged up together in OMW8.

My initial thoughts after three days of instructor-led hands-on is that there are enough significant improvements here for any OVOW 7.x users to start planning their upgrade. And anyone who is going down the path of trying to find an ESM solution should give this product a fair shake in their evaluations.

Nodes Business Like ESM Business
Having the External Nodes feature available for the Windows platform is great. You can use the standard pattern matching syntax for OM to match messages from nodes not in DNS against "catch-all" groups and this is helpful as many organizations don't seem to have their DNS 100% clean... But besides processing messages, the ability (which has been there previously) to have nodes without agents in the node & service topology is quite handy. HP has put a new wrapper around the node config editor which is useful since the addition of the HTTPS agent type makes node config a little trickier than it used to be. However, you can always jump to "expert mode" and do things the "old" way. Obviously, the inclusion of the HTTPS agents is a huge leap forwards for the Windows management world, but beware - it's not just a single port each way to manage through the firewall. Another really nice touch is the ability to push HTTPS agents to UNIX nodes. This function is technically unsupported, but easy and useful.

Service Please!
Version 8 also brings the CLI access to the configuration of service via the service API.

Config This
For anyone who's rolled up their sleeves and dug into the OVOW registry previously, you'll be glad to hear about the Server Configuration editor in OMW8. Many of the settings and configuration that were largely unknown and only available through registry edits are now contained in this powerful GUI. Config items from auditing to database to agent certificates are accessed through this interface. Another long-awaiting config item is the ability to add AD groups to roles in the User Role Config Editor.

Other useful features include the unplanned/scheduled outages, remote action security, and detailed heart-beat polling config options.

All-in-all, if you're an OVOW shop today, start talking to your consultants about the upgrade (it's going to take some planning!) and if you're not using a tool like this yet, check it out. Pricing is still going to be the major issue for anyone new to this market space, and I'm waiting to hear from HP if they'll be offering an "Express" package like they did for OVOW 7.5x to make it more affordable to the mid-tier market.

Monday, March 17, 2008

HP Partner Enablement Galaxy - March Edition

St. Patrick's Day finds me back in New Orleans, and back at the HP Software Partner Enablement Galaxy (PEG) for ramping up my Ops Centre & Site Scope skills/knowledge.

So first off, Happy St. Patrick's day to everyone!

This morning started off with the general session from 8:00 to noon (well, 6:00 to 10:00 according to my body) but despite the fact that I don't handle jet lag well, I was able to be completely attentive. Steve Myers from HP started things off with over-views and clarification on HP's bail policy for people who decided to go out to Bourbon Street. Steve also shared some other interesting facts about PEG in general such as:
  • This PEG has 30% greater attendance than the last one
  • This PEG has a large Central/South American contingent
  • 155 "students" are here representing partner companies from Canada (yay!) to Argentina
  • This time 'round there are 8 tracks and 23 instructors
  • Onsite certification will be available this Friday
Jim Murphy came on stage to discuss the vivit training lined up for HP Software Universe in June and encourage everyone present to consider attending those sessions.

Steve finished up his sessions by letting us all know that PEG will be here once more, the week of Oct 6 2008.

Next up was Mike Procopio from HPSW to address the group on the HPSW Network Lifecycle Management initiatives, and how HP wants partners engaged in that. Mike went through the standard aligning IT to business pitch, and discussed the concern of CIO/CTOs of keeping the network operational, meeting SLAs, and cost-effective. An interesting factoid he brought up was an estimate of average network downtime impacting business bottom-lines at $70,000/minute. I'm thinking this is an average across Fortune 500s, but interesting factoid none-the-less.

Mike talked in depth about NNM8i, the Performance iSPI for NNM, change & config management, and AlarmPoint Express. Gotta say I've never personally been a huge AlarmPoint fan, but I will make the time to take a look at the new offering bundled with full purchases of NNM8i. Stay tuned for a review at some point.

A major point Mike made that clarified some confusion for me was that Performance iSPI is NOT intended to replace OVPI (or HP Software Performance Insight), but instead it appears to me to be more like a "pay for" integration piece that gives you "OVPI light" integrated into your NNMi architecture. Again, more on that topic as things develop!

Chuck Fugee & his team of SAs were introduced to everyone. Nice to meet them. :-)

Next up was Scott Strubel. I haven't had a chance to talk to Scott for a while; not surprising because he always seems to me to be one of the busiest execs in HP - although if you can find him he always does make some time to talk. Scott addressed us partner organizations about ways that the HP sales force and partners should be working together, the state of BTO (Business Technology Optimization) solutions today, what HP needs from the partners in as far as solution offerings go, and some re-iteration around HPSU in Vegas, and the Partner Summit to be held there.

Personally, I've never been a big fan of the Partner Summit when I've attended HPSU or OVFI conferences. It's nice that the big partners get their pats on the back & trophies, but the info there I find really oriented towards software sales and not implementation guys & gals. Give me case-studies or in-depth techie sessions anytime!

Scott is planning on being in Central Canada next week so heads up HP Canada Software Sales folks!

Scott made reference to the number he mentioned last October, of FTE and professional services consulting hours that HP software sales were planning on driving to the partner base. Then he informed us that it looks like HP is tracking to exceed those numbers. Good news for the partners! Well, the ones that HP is working actively with anyhow.

The last item from Scott that really caught my attention was the mention of HP shifting some percentage of it's software sales attention towards the upper end of the SMB market. There wasn't a lot of info on that, but as it's a space that Tsunami actively engages in I must admit that piqued my curiousity - More info please, Mr. Strubel! Perhaps my channel manager can update me after he's had his visit with Scott next week. ;-)

Last up was Victor Fadool from HPSW Professional Services. Victor spoke on a number of items, but I must confess that I glazed over a bit as it was very US oriented, and rarely discussed how the Canadian organization might find ways to work better with the Western Canadian partners... It was interesting to hear him make mention of work done in conjunction with some mysterious un-named partner at BC Hydro. Apparently Service Management work. Sounds like a good story, if the work has been as successful as it was promoted as being - so mystery partner(s), here's your invitation to contact me for an interview about the project, and give a presentation to our Vancouver local chapter of Vivit!

So that was the general session and the morning of DAY ONE. We next went to lunch where I was able to briefly chat to Scott Strubel and get a little more detail on what's up for Canada (I'm not posting that though, it'll be a suprise for my Canuck counter-parts!).

The afternoon got us started on our break-out sessions. Stay tuned for updated posts on those. I'm taking the OVOW8/SiteScope session, and I'll post all the late-breaking news I get from that. I know my customers are eager to hear more about OVOW 8.

Volunteering - Part 2

Wow, I'm bad at updating this blog. :-) That's got to be annoying for the 2 people who read it.
On the plus side, there's lots to talk about now.
The CSI:Vancouver conference is moving along for May, and just this past weekend the Program team (which I'm on) finished up the conference sessions. We've got a fantastic group of speakers ranging from international ITIL experts to local (BC) organizations who are willing to share their experiences with everyone else.
This week I'm out of town in New Orleans at the HP Partner Galaxy event (post to come on that!) so I'll have some cycles in my evening to work on ITManageCast.

At the same time, I've been working with some folks from Vivit (the former OpenView Forum International, HP Software users group) to put together sessions for this summers HP Software Universe in Las Vegas. We've got some great speakers lined up for those sessions which is great.

Back to CSI:Vancouver & itSMF Canada. With the speaker selection completed, and us having decided the order in which we want all the speakers, we now have sent out all the speaker agreements. Assuming that everyone agrees, and that there are no last minute cancellations we'll be good to go! No-one ever said this was going to be easy! Wait a minute, I think I did in my last post. D'Oh!

Well, the next steps are to get the presentation slide-deck template out to all the speakers, and get them to send us their slide-decks for their presentations. That way, we get to both review those, but also to make sure that the speakers are keeping on track and will be ready. So once that gets underway I'll update the blog with the results!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Volunteering - Part I

I've decide to start blogging about some of the volunteer work in the IT arena I've been doing for the past few years. More to promote those organizations I support than to promote my selfless super-human acts of volunteerism. Because frankly, most of the people I work with in these volunteer groups work a lot harder at it than I do.

So in my first instalment, let's talk about itSMF Canada. The Canadian ITIL users group, in short. :-)

I've volunteered to help run the Program Committee for the 2008 National Conference. Bonus, since it'll be held in my home town (Vancouver, BC). I think the one thing I like the most about volunteering for program committees (yes, I've done this sort of thing before, another story for another post) is the variety of people you meet who are interested in speaking at your conference. In addition to that, the people you end up recruiting to speak who never thought they would!

There's some amazing stories out there about what people are accomplishing in the IT world, and I love being able to help them share those stories. of course, you also have to sort the wheat from the chaff and try and weed out the people who just want to plug their consulting company or "all in one" service desk software package... But in a way, that's fun too.

The biggest excuses for not volunteering are always a) didn't know I was needed/wanted or b) just don't have the time. The thing is, EVERYONE is wanted, you just need to reach out to these organizations ( and say "Hey, how can I help?" Also, the more people who help out, the less time any one volunteer needs to give up.

So where is this conference at? Well, we can still use help - anyone interested in volunteering can contact the conference team via So there's how you can get involved!

As for the conference itself, we have the speaker submissions open. Are you interested in speaking at the conference, national exposure, and free conference pass? :-) Take a look at our speaker submission site and sign up! Every submission will receive equal consideration. We've got a good start on people signing up, but would love to see more.

The facility is booked in downtown Vancouver BC, and all the conference details are available at the conference site.

So that's my big ad for the conference. From now on, we'll discuss the details of how the volunteering there is going.