ITIL for Telecom Techs

Dear Wiz;
I manage a large workgroup of telecom techs that see ITIL as just a framework for the Service Desk and feel the processes should not apply to them and the work they do (supporting WAN transmission equipment, PBX systems, Base Radio systems, etc...). Are there references to implementing ITIL within a Telecom organization?

Dear ITIL4Tcom (I'm guessing that is a pseudonym, either than or your parents were extraordinarily prescient)

Sorry but your staff have got it right. I've read all five ITIL books and I don't recall a single reference to Base Radio or WAN transmission, but they sure do talk about service desk a lot. Why don't you organise your staff into a service desk team? Then they can use ITIL after all.

Good luck!
The ITIL Wizard


Enhanced Telecom Operations Map?

Dear Wiz, since they are Telecom techs, should they have a look at eTOM?

Nobody has heard of eTOM

I didn't really consider eTOM. After all nobody has heard of it and everyone has heard of ITIL. The management obviously want ITIL. Who wants to be talking to peers and not be doing ITIL but be doing some other obscure thing? You come across as outmoded, not up with the play. Even worse when reporting to the Board. You can bet they are more likely to have heard of ITIL.

Sometimes IT folk have no grasp of business realities. It's not what you know, it's who knows of you.

Besides eTOM isn't about support, it is about running a telco: supply chains, networks, marketing, all that stuff.


You are a wicked, wicked wizard for teasing people so!

Use of ITIL for Technical Staff

I have been using ITIL as a practitioner, lecturer and consultant for almost 20 years now (39 years in IT). I have been Operations Manager and Data Communications Manager and have worked with many technical oriented staff so please accept this comment from a point of experience. Most technical people do not like ITILbecause it helps to formalise what they do. It in no way seeks to replace their creativity, ingenuity or whole hearted committment to their technical role. What your people are missing is the very simple truth that they are providing a service to a set of customers (users - call them what you will) and that service has to be consistent, repeatable, measurable and add value. ITIL based service management helps to achieve those things. Basically eTOM is a process framework to guide the development and management of key processes within a telecommunications service provider (e.g. BT, Cable & Wireless). There is a similarity in approach between eTOM and ITIL but they should focus on different areas.
To quote from the film "Dune" - "Fear is the mind killer". I believe your team are afraid of ITIL and as such are not willing to even consider that it might help them to deliver a service to their customers that helps them to deliver against business objectives i.e. help your organisation survive in business.

ITIL is for call centers

Dave, the telecoms world is different.

First the technicians are an elite: they are more skilled than most IT operations staff - they are nearer true engineers. They
are more qualified, more professional, went to better schools and are generally better looking.

Second, the users don't really matter. Show me one telco that truly cares about user service. They are in a commodity game. they are all as bad as each other: once their marketing people hook you in they know you can't be bothered switching. Heck in my country i don't even have a choice of providers in my little village. That's why eTOM doesn't have to bother with user service. A telecom engineer's job is to run the best performing network he can and users only get in the way of that.

Telecom engineers aren't afraid of ITIL - they hold it in contempt. ITIL is for call centers

Commodity game

That same commodity game that so much IT is heading towards. I've been there. It is interesting, and it has pros and cons. A lot of things we have taken for granted in the ITIL world have to be reframed and the emphasis shifts considerably, especially when components of the service are delivered by separate entities and a network of utility contracts.

Telecom World & ITIL

Take a look to the efforts of TM Forum and ITSMf, eTOM & ITIL working together maybe this can help!!!

e by Gum Tom

eTom defines a framework rigour around telecoms and service providers billing/order/fulfillment and management disciplines. Its well understood and has several links into the ITIL v2 world.

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