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What is Enterprise Service Management?

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The simplest and clearest definition of Enterprise Service Management (ESM), is the use of IT Service Management (ITSM) principles and capabilities in business functions to improve their performance, service, and outcomes.

ESM improves visibility and access to enterprise services of all forms, accelerates service delivery and of course supports core ITSM processes, such as incident, problem, change, request, and service asset and configuration management.

Enterprise Service Management (ESM)

What does this mean?

Modern technologies and software that deliver instant access and answers to all aspects of consumer life have become pervasive. Employees expect a similar experience in their day-to-day business life, whether they engage with IT or any of the many other service providers in a company. This includes Human Resources (HR), Legal, Facilities, Education, Security, Sales, Marketing, R&D, and Finance departments.

As a consequence, businesses need to rethink their approach to providing employee workplace services. These back office services, for example onboarding a new employee, have been made – and often still are – only available through manual processes including phone calls, emails, or filling in spreadsheets. In the digital world, employees expect easy and instant access to these services through a common service catalog, along with automatically fulfilling their request immediately. Another characteristic of non-IT services is that enterprise services span multiple business functions and typically also include IT services.

A service is a service, no matter whether it is an IT or a non-IT service, and as such the foundational ITSM concepts, principles and capabilities apply. A service, needs to be defined, created, rolled out, supported and improved.

When thinking about service management, the service desk or help desk immediately comes to mind. But this is only one element for an ESM strategy. Some other key capabilities, which are an opportunity for introducing Enterprise Service Management, include:

  • Self-service portal
  • Easy access to knowledge
  • Automation of ticketing
  • Problem management

Although ITSM and ESM conceptually are the same, there are also differences. One difference comes from the fact that many ESM use cases depend on the support of multiple business functions and departments: The need for collaboration and the need for sharing supporting services between departments, not just the tools but more importantly the practices, processes, and workflows. This provides an opportunity to apply ITIL 4 (IT Infrastructure Library) approaches to your ESM strategy, with “value co-creation” as one of the guiding objectives, and – with no surprise – the need for organizational change. IT can be the trusted advisor on the entire journey of digital transformation and taking the shared services concepts and their management into business functions.

Why Enterprise Service Management?

Enterprise Service Management helps transform a slow, reactive, organization with business functions and departments working in silos into an integrated working environment, which is efficient and satisfies your users and the business. With ESM, ITSM extends its proven benefits into business functions, to:

  • Standardize service delivery across the business 
    Standardization enables a common service catalog for IT and non-IT services, and is a pre-requisite to automated fulfillment. As a result, business departments can focus on providing business value instead of manually supporting employees with multiple differing requests.
  • Improve service delivery outside of IT
    By automating service management, specifically support and delivery of services, outside of IT, business functions can reduce related workloads for delivery, avoid error of manual procedures, and provide higher quality services.
  • Improve user experience outside IT
    A unified portal based on a common catalog provides omni-channel self-service, easy-to-access knowledge, social collaboration, and a virtual agent. This lets employees get back to work easily and quickly, regardless of what type of service request they have.
  • Increase service and support performance
    Reporting and analytics capabilities provide the foundation for continual service improvement, which in turn further helps improve the service delivery and user experience

By leveraging your ITSM investment, knowledge, skills and experience for ESM, you can increase your return on investment and decrease operational costs of your service management solution.

THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE became even more important during the COVID-19 crisis. With a vast increase in employees working from home, an entirely new situation for IT and business departments who had to deal with new and increasing demand for services such as VPN access or ordering work equipment. One example of how an organization was able to leverage ESM to successfully respond to this is a federal judicial body that quickly and easily pivoted to remote working during lockdown.

The COVID-19 crisis propelled the digital transformation in many businesses, and these new ways of working will stay long after the crisis, a chance for ITSM concepts and tools with their benefits to expand into ESM use cases.

Improving the customer experience is a business driver for expanding service management outside of IT, said 77% of the survey respondents.

What is Enterprise Service Management in ITIL?

Similar to IT Service Management (ITSM), ESM provides a strategic approach to offering and supporting services across the company. This is what IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) helps with; it is a best practice framework for delivering services, from design to retirement, and continuously focused on improvement. While ITIL 3 looked at processes such as incident management, it did not focus on how work flows within and across organizations and what the role of incident management therein is. Other industry standards such as IT4IT with its value stream approach, and agile methodologies address this critical aspect.

ITIL 4 has changed the way to look at and approach this, managing services from demand to value.

The four dimensions model in ITIL 4 - organizations and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, value streams and processes - ensures a holistic approach to service management, which can also be applied to non-IT functions.

The Service Value System (SVS) in ITIL 4 discusses how the components and activities of an organization work together to facilitate value creation. The SVS includes guiding principles, governance, service value chain, continual improvement, and practices, the latter replacing the processes.

The fundamental ideas and concepts of ITIL 3 and ITIL 4 are the same, and ITIL 4 can be seen as an expansion of ITIL 3 with a focus on value and outcome, and therefore a proven foundation for ESM.

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning benefit ESM?

Both IT and business face the challenges of too many manual, error-prone workflows, an ever-increasing volume of requests, employees dissatisfied with the level and quality of service, and more. AI and machine learning technology can take ESM to the next level:

  • Smart search capabilities enable employees to find answers easily and quickly
  • Virtual agents or bots can perform tasks using natural language processing (NLP)
  • Intelligent analytics enable workflow optimization and automation
  • Metrics from unstructured data, for example user surveys, can be gathered and analyzed more efficiently.

What is true of IT support, is also true for ESM; AI makes operations and outcomes better.

How to choose the right Enterprise Service Management software

A tool alone does not solve any problems, whether they are ITSM or ESM related problems. First and foremost it is about creating and applying a service centric approach, then adopting service management by leveraging ITSM principles and practices, and expanding them into business functions.

It is important to understand what your objectives for implementing ESM, the resulting requirements, and the desired business outcomes are.

This helps determine the scope of an ESM project, the readiness of the organization, and the critical success factors. Questions to address should include:

  1. What is your current state?
  2. Where are you in terms of service management maturity?
  3. What are your priorities and project goals?
  4. What do you really need?
  5. Do you have organizational or cultural factors that could inhibit success?
  6. Who is your sponsor, and how actively will they support ESM?
  7. Can you build the right kind of team?

How does OpenText help with Enterprise Service Management?

SMAX software for IT and Enterprise Service Management makes it easier for IT and non-IT to get employees back to work faster, happier.

Pervasive automation of processes, workflows and tasks makes service desk agents more productive. Machine learning powered auto-categorization of tickets and the capability to identify patterns in data eliminates incident recurrences. Context-sensitive agent-to-agent live chat enables them to address and resolve employee and business expectations.

An easy-to-use self-service portal with a 24x7 virtual agent offers a modern user experience. Employees can find solutions to their issues quickly or request goods and services, resulting in increased employee satisfaction and efficiency.

Out-of-the-box best practices, codeless configurations and easy software maintenance require less people and effort to configure, run and update the software solution. And with SMAX license and deployment flexibility you can run your service desk the way you want, where you want – on-prem, SaaS or cloud with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

OpenText™ Service Management Automation X (SMAX) brings the value of service management to all areas of your business. Enterprise Service Management with Service Management Automation X makes your service desk agents more productive, reduces your TCO and increases employee satisfaction.

Visit the Service Management Automation X webpage to learn more about the capabilities and benefits.

Enterprise Service Management (ESM)

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