ITSM Adventures – Stamford, UK, Belfast and Matchett

After my wonderful time in Australia at the itSMF event (sorry I didn’t write a blog, Ivor was too busy and I couldn’t remember much because I spent a lot of time between a lady called Simones’ breasts)…

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I packed my Pengi suitcase and headed on over to Chris Matchett’s house.  I had high expectations, I had heard he liked Japanese food so Sushi was bound to be on the menu.  Needless to say I was very excited.

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Bathtime

After my multiple trips to Las Vegas, my adventures in Sweden, tour of Australia and getting down and dirty with Andrea Kis in London, it would appear that I was a stinky penguin. I must admit I was looking forward to the high velocity Jacuzzi on offer at Chris Matchett’s house, I had my slippers and robe all ready and was even thinking there might be an opportunity for a little Pengi massage (I do love a good massage oil) but clearly human jacuzzi’s are not the same as Penguin jacuzzi’s. That’s putting it nicely. I’m not certain that I enjoyed it that much. It was nice to have clean feathers again but I was dizzy for a couple of days afterwards. I smelled of clean clothes too for some reason.

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Remarkably ITSM seems to make more sense when one is dizzy.

The Small Human

Chris has a small human who is very cute.

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She liked to give me lots of hugs and look for me when I got lost (I do tend to wander off…). She’s still very young and learning about the world but she spoke more sense about ITSM than a lot of people I’ve met.  In fact I nominate her for a starring role in the AXELOS venture.

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As an added bonus, she’s too little to eat cake so I was glad to help out with that. Every family needs a penguin.

Stamford

Time to return to the USA (maybe I should get a green card?) to Stamford, Connecticut which is by the sea and therefore has access to lots of tasty fish.

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I think this trip was supposed to be a training week for new Gartner analysts, but they didn’t teach me anything that I didn’t already know.

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Everybody there seemed very clever but nobody knew some these obvious truths about the industry:

  • Fish has two unique properties on the Hype Cycle:
  1. Fish has skipped the Trough of Disillusionment
  2. While existing on the Plateau of Productivity, fish is also riding high at the Peak of Expectation
  • The Magic Quadrant for Fish has almost all types of fish in the Leaders section with Fugu (Puffer Fish) as a Challenger (it’s tricky to eat safely) and the lead singer from Marilion as a Niche Player.
  • On the Market Clock fish is best found at 5 o’clock. If you wait until 6am all the fresh stuff will be gone

I tried to educate the group as best I could over dinner, but I can’t promise they listened.

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Of all people I would have thought Mr Greene would have known this stuff.

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I can’t really say anything else about the training.  I was threatened with Polar Bears if I ever spoke about their analyst secrets. I don’t like polar bears so I am going to keep the gossip to myself.  Unless you have fish to share… then maybe I could tell you a few things over a cod or two (provided you keep your mouth zipped and also act as a human shield against the Polar Bears).

Oh and I should wave my flipper at Jenny and Jennifer who made me feel very welcome and gave me much more attention than that boring Chris did.

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Oh I almost forgot, I caught up with fat cousin Bob on this trip! It was good to see him, although I didn’t hang around for too long for fear of being eaten.

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Belfast

Belfast is near the sea. The sea has fish in it.

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Seriously, what more do you want me to say about Belfast? Except Matchett has his own music shop there?

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ITAM

There was a fancy Gartner event in London that I attend with Chris – the Gartner ITAM Summit (I think it stands for Investigating Turbot and Mackerel) I saw lots of humans talking about boring IT stuff. It would appear that it’s not just ITSM that humans don’t understand, it appears they don’t get ITAM either. One of these days I’ll sit everyone down and tell them what it is really about… In fact I was going to do just this when some BMC bloke (I believe his name was Jon Hall) interrupted me (I was warned about this particular vendor from that ServiceNow bunch but that’s another story).

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Things spiced up a bit when some dude called Martin Thomson tried to eat me. I’m still not sure why.  He was a strange man.

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I’m sure the analysts and events team worked really hard behind the scenes, but I’d say the real credit must go to the hotel staff keeping us (me) fed on salmon bagels.

I met some former apprentices that used to belong to Chris. They didn’t try to eat me so that was a step in the right direction.

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AXELOS (just for a change…)

For my final trip with Chris I got to meet my other friend called Chris from AXELOS. He was explaining to the BCS Service Management Specialist Group about the changes coming now that they own ITIL (but he seems to have trouble remembering what we agreed last time). Luckily I was on-hand to flap up to the top table and put everyone straight.

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There still seems to be no penguin mascots in their plans for world domination, which lets face it is a major mistake.  Everybody knows that you need at least one cute penguin to do the marketing and distract attention whilst the humans run in, change all the ITIL exams and create ITIL version 23972496.

Food

If there are two things that I learnt about Chris Matchett during my stay with him, it would be 1) he is very anal (or was that that he liked… wait no… I was right the first time), and 2) he should really weigh 25 stone because that guy likes his food! Had I stayed any longer I would probably have needed to borrow Cousin Bob’s clothes (if penguins wore clothes).

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Where next?

Well, now I am on my way to a place called Israel to see my friend Joe the IT Guy from SysAid.  I hear they drink vodka in the office on Thursdays so this penguin could be getting well and truly S.M.A.S.H.E.D.  It should be good fun, I haven’t been drunk since the last time Patrick Bolger breathed on me.

I hope those guys at SysAid have a fish platter ready for me… this travelling lark makes me a very hungry penguin.

And finally

Thank-you for looking after me Mr Matchett. I had a lovely time. So long (until next time) and thanks for all the fish!

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ServiceNow’s Knowledge13 Event – A Birdseye View

This penguin is fresh back from Las Vegas and Know13; well, I say fresh, even penguins get jet lag. It was an information-whirlwind and a chance to meet many of the IT service management (ITSM) Twitterati (but I’ll never get over the fact that humans are so tall and wear clothes, and don’t talk to me about those strange finger-things they have).

Entering Las Vegas - do they speak Penglish here?

Entering Las Vegas – do they speak Penglish here?

A few “disclosure” statements before I start:

  • Firstly I attended Knowledge13 on ServiceNow’s dime – next year I hope they will invite more penguins. There is a definite ROP, that’s Return on Penguins!
  • It was hard to attend all the sessions I wanted to due to the high demand for Pengi photo opportunities from the other attendees – but I appreciate penguins can’t help being so damn sexy ❤
  • This is my first blog, I’ve read a few by people like Ken Gonzalez and James Finister – it doesn’t look difficult and “Shakespeare and infinite monkeys” comes to mind. I should be fine.
  • I have been known to “do things for fish” but don’t we all in our own way.
  • Lastly, penguins never say mean things about anyone. If they do it is purely in jest, through provocation, due to a lack of fish, or if someone hijacks my hashtag.

What I learnt in Vegas – the keynotes

So there was some general behavioural stuff like not to pee on people’s shoes (people are so sensitive about these clothes things) and that developers don’t like sunshine (I’m told that Twilight is actually a DevOps movie that pits vampires against werewolves in the pursuit of the business’ affections). There was also some great content. I’ll start with the keynotes.

Know13 kicked off with ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman who threw some big figures out into the audience – over 3900 registered attendees for Know13, for a company that now has over 1200 employees and over 1600 customers. These are big numbers for a penguin, even king penguins.

Frank spoke of things such as ERP for IT and single systems of record but the real hook for anyone in the audience not already a ServiceNow customer came as part of his customer panel. With statements such as:

  • “When our IT is mediocre Intel is mediocre”
  • “Coca-Cola feels that ServiceNow is critical to our business”
  • “We couldn’t have done this with the other product, 50 clicks and a cloud of dust.”

So some great words from some important people in some very successful organizations but I’m still unsure why Coca-Cola advertises with polar bears and not penguins. I can only guess they have a cheaper day rate.

The day two keynote from ServiceNow-founder and CPO Fred Luddy was a laugh-a-minute-athon that contained some important new-capability announcements. The mobility stuff was cool but I think the most talked-about thing was the App Creator which allows the ServiceNow platform to be easily leveraged by customers – a demo showed a corporate room-booking app being created in just 4 minutes. Fred’s great lines included:

  • “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” (in IT)
  • “IT is no more a commodity than romance – IT has to be custom built”
  • “It’s easy to predict the future… It’s just hard to predict what and when”
  • “3-5 years ago corporations had a white board with “cloud strategy” written at the top. The rest of the board was blank”
  • “Tablets – what we use when in a meeting pretending to be in a meeting”.

What I learnt in Vegas – the sessions

As I have already admitted, I wish I had attended more sessions. Here is what I attended (and you can see most of these people, and where they work,below):

  • Saurabh Dubey talking on practical configuration management – using non-IT scenarios to help understanding. It seemed that configuration management was actually a popular topic across the event, I must inform Carlos and Glenn that they need to do an update to The CMDB Imperative. In my opinion, they would have sold far more copies with a picture of a penguin on the front of the book but they wouldn’t listen. Maybe next time?
  • Gene Kim spoke of DevOps as only Gene Kim can. Even a little penguin could see the benefits of breaking down the fence between Run the Business and Change the Business, although I imagine many would still love to sit on it. A killer stat: “High-performing IT DevOps teams deploy 8000 times faster and restore service 12 times faster than legacy IT Ops”.
  • The Culture Eats Process For Breakfast panel with Eveline Oehrlich, Paul Hardy, Chris York, and Adam Mason was popular and interesting with a 50:50:1 male-female-penguin ratio. Lots of questions, probably helped on by gamification at work (you could win an Apple TV by asking a question), and evidence of there still being so much more to do around culture, social, gamification, and even the age-old art of knowledge management.
  • Simon Morris gave a Lab-type session on Agile. Helping beginners from the bottom up on sprints, scrums, and other highly-athletic activities. Please remember that I only have short legs.
  • Farah Remtulla and Mark Kawasaki (that’s a lot of As in one name) spoke of understanding and delivering customer value. Mark gave up his office for 30 days, became mobile on campus, and just observed his customers. He never went back. They also used a great quote from Matt Hooper ~ “IT is not a department, it’s a competency”.
  • A panel led by Michael Dortch and including Jarod Greene of Gartner, Ken Gonzalez of <<any company with bacon>>, and three guys with real IT jobs looked at what needs to change in IT, IT service management, and IT service delivery beyond 2015. There were far too many great comments to list them all so I have include one from my new friend “Big D” (although many call him “The Dortch”) ~ “There are still people who still say that: this #SaaS thing could take off any day now”.

I also hid in the bushes and listened while Ken Gonzalez and someone I didn’t recognise spoke with Chris Barrett of Capita about the future of ITIL, the ITSM best practice framework. Ken came up with some genius points but the other guy was as much use as a chocolate tea pot – I think he used to be an analyst.

What I learnt in Vegas – the people

I met lots of fantastic people at Know13. They were a lot bigger than their Twitter avatars, especially Jarod Greene. It seems he gets this a lot, even from those bigger than six-inch-high penguins.

Matt Hooper of Acorio

Matt Hooper of Acorio

Daniel Billing, Time Lord

Daniel Billing, Time Lord

Daniel Billing, Time Lord

Brian Hollandsworth of ServiceNow

Mike Malcangio and Simon Morris, ServiceNow

Mike Malcangio and Simon Morris, ServiceNow

Shane Carlson of Cognizant

Shane Carlson of Cognizant

Matt Beran of Maryville Technologies

Matt Beran of Maryville Technologies

Forrester: Courtney, Glenn, and Eveline

Forrester: Courtney, Glenn, and Eveline

Jarod Greene of Gartner

Jarod Greene of Gartner

Adam Holtby of Ovum

Adam Holtby of Ovum

Saurabh Dubey of KPMG and Ken Gonzalez

Saurabh Dubey of KPMG and Ken Gonzalez

Peter Doherty of ServiceNow

Peter Doherty of ServiceNow

@foolwithatool unmasked

@foolwithatool unmasked

Rhett Glauser of SaltStack

Rhett Glauser of SaltStack

Earl Begley of University of Kentucky

Earl Begley of University of Kentucky

Hey, who let the Hornbill toucan in?

Hey, who let the Hornbill toucan in?

Gene Kim, Legend

Gene Kim, Legend

Paul Hardy of Informa

Paul Hardy of Informa

Chris York of York Services

Chris York of York Services

Adam Mason of Loyola University

Adam Mason of Loyola University

Craig McDonogh of ServiceNow

Craig McDonogh of ServiceNow

Arlen Vartazarian of ServiceNow

Arlen Vartazarian of ServiceNow

Linda King of G2G3/Capita

Linda King of G2G3/Capita

Ros Satar of the ITSM Review

Ros Satar of the ITSM Review

Mark Kawasaki of Emory University

Mark Kawasaki of Emory University

Farah Remtulla of KPMG

Farah Remtulla of KPMG

Mark Carroll of ServiceNow

Mark Carroll of ServiceNow

Michael Dortch of ServiceNow

Michael Dortch of ServiceNow

Who forgot their penguin suit?

Who forgot their penguin suit?

I know it sounds clichéd but meeting all these great people was a big part of the success of Know13. We just needed more penguins!

Spot the birdie

Look out for me in Sweden as Daniel Billing shows me the sights and frights. We are big mates now, massages and everything …

Massage time with Daniel

Massage time with Daniel

I’m also hoping to be at more sexy ITSM events in the future – invitation for a small one please?

So please follow me on Twitter, if you don’t I’ll tag you a penguin-racist 🙂

@ITSMPenguin out.