Malcolm Fry swaps sides

Malcolm Fry, who has been BMC's ITIL "thought leader" since they acquired Remedy, is billed at the 2008 HDI conference as "Executive Consultant to CA". Seems he's been over to the dark side for a little while. Well well well. I wonder what Beemer think about that.


Good catch by Jacob Lamm

Jacob Lamm seems to be collecting every highly visible independent in the Service Management field - he's already got Brian Johnson, Rob Stroud and Marv Waschke. And, they've got a bunch more, just not quite as visible, like Pam Molennor and John Fulton.

Adding Malcolm, who has worked at Remedy and, before that, Peregrine, is a good catch.

IBM and HP seem to be taking a lower profile, highly-corporate approach.

like saying Genghis Khan took a low-key approach

I beg to differ Cary.

Rob and Marv are longterm CA, not ITIL IP hired in. Only Brian and Malcolm qualify for that description.

IBM recently "acquired" Ivor Macfarlane.

And to suggest that HP takes a "low profile" approach to ITIL is like saying Genghis Khan took a low-key approach.


Sorry, I was thinking more about people who are close to the products and how they're actually designed - not just labeled.
Consultants and Trainers often have only very indirect impact on the actual products.

how many of the architects of ITSM products are ITIL Masters

A good question. Everyone should ask their vendor how many of the architects and developers of their ITSM product are ITIL Masters. I think you will find that the deepest experts (and the loudest pundits) are in sales/marketing and field consulting/training, not in product design.

Few Certified

MMMM, not many are certified. A few product marketing managers, maybe - but their view of things Usually, not the actual designers - they are developers at heart. At least at Peregrine and CA. The ones I worked with study the books very, very carefully. And, they debate - ceaselessly - the actual customer paying customer requirements. Certification wouldn't seem to be all that useful for them, rally - what's taking an arbitrary test graded by a bunch of trainers gonna get them?

But, the product management and development team spend most of their time getting real requirements from real customers. The "theoretical" ideas of the sales "evangalists" and training guys doesn't really penetrate to priority until customers (big customers) really want it. Product management guys that I've worked with really tries hard to figure out where the customers need to be - and take them there.

The customers generally don't move until they see it as a seriously cost beneficial move.

One trend I think will kick in fast, because of the real benefit, is Request Management and Fulfillment (aka bottom-up Service Catalog) Every conference I attend, that's the buzz. But, I'm no longer on the product side...

Vendor control of all things ITIL to tighten?


Skep is closer. Check the representation of vendors on the major Boards and who is in their circle of friends. Also check for example what vendors sit where on the US Local Interest Group boards. There is a string correlation between vendor representation and activity.

Recently, BMC picked up Alan Nance from ITPreneurs, that is my reason for Malcolm shifting. Only one king required. CA has yet to add anything new to the ITIL spin so far. Consulting is a 'safe haven' for many.

Add to all this the likelihood that Ken Wendle (HP) will be the 7th itSMFI Director, and Ivor may be the Chief Editor of the ITSM Library and its all beginning to feel like wearing a set of Levis in the deep end of the swimming pool - a bit tight!

Little new blood - lots of old ideas..... scant actual practical experience of WORKING IN IT!

As for ITIL expertise, I suppose Brian, Rob, Malcolm are all ITIL Service Manager certified - I doubt it. How many plan to 'refresh' their credentials? We need these folks to publish their resumes so we can see the basis for their acclaimed expertise.

who has the time to be an industry "expert"

Note your comments about vendor control, but lets be honest - who has the time to devote to developing and leading management techniques in the industry.

People working in a day job for an end customer have a day job - they are paid mainly to work for the organisation that employs them. Some companies are flexible with their staff and let them participate in industry trade bodies as part of personal development to bring new skills, ideas and contacts - but they can only be flexible to a certain extent. The first hand experience gained by many employees is not wide ranging and few IT departments deliberately rotate their staff in different roles to get a balance.

Vendors and consultants on the other hand make money from education, software and services sales. They realise that awareness, personal trust relationships and innovation all require investment in pre-sales and marketing. So time spent on industry activities can be justified as part of a job role. It also gets them in contact with many customers all trying to do the same thing - so they get a view which "volunteers" from end organisations cannot get in occasional ITSMF meetings and conferences. I'm a vendor, a consultant and a business owner - much of my time is spent listening to customer management challenges and helping to develop practical solutions. Few people will ever get my experience and live by the judgement they dispense. So vendors / consultants will probably always dominate where you have to put in significant time to acquire a wide perspective and help in developing "best practices" and the working of trade bodies.

Accept that its' a fact of life, but don't let vendor representatives abuse the position they have been elected to. A parallel to this that politicians also represent us (in theory), using their position to exert power. Either members are active in elections to make sure they get the best available, or it becomes time to move on, join another trade organisation or set up an alternative.

All credit to the skeptic for providing a means of communicating so that we are better informed.

On a final note, vendors often sell badly as well as customers often buy badly. It doesn't mean that all vendors are greedy, money grabbing ***!@%%, its' just that they don't have to be that great if customers don't sit down and identify their own needs in some detail before committing to a buying decision.


Don't forget the Davids

Don't forget

  • the Davids Cannon and Wheeldon from HP wrote the "flower book", ITIL V3 Service Operation.
  • HP is represented on the new itSMFI Board by Paul Martini
  • ...Peter Brooks is ex-HP. Note that I'm NOT suggesting there is any affiliation any more
  • Ken Wendle of HP unsuccessfully ran for Chair of itSMFI Board. He may indeed nominate for the 7th Director
  • David Cannon of HP is Treasurer of the itSMF USA Board

I think it is great that HP are so supportive of itSMF. Personally I don't have a problem with vendors active in the movement, properly governed. But "low profile" it ain't.

And with Ivor's roles as

  • ITIL3 author
  • itSMF UK Board
  • IPESC Chairman
  • possible contendor for itSMF's ITSM Editor-in-Chief???

he single-handedly disqualifies IBM as low profile.

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