Squeell: a breakthrough application of social media to IT Service Management takes ITIL to the next level

Finally some sensible use of social media in service management!

You won't have heard of Poforilla. They are a new software startup out of Pomona, California, more in the Apple Valley than the Silicon Valley. An old friend of mine, Will Johnston, is masterminding it. Many of you may remember Will from his presentations at past Pink Elephant and HDI conferences, or recall working with him on some of the biggest ITSM projects on the West Coast. Or you may have seen in the news recently, if you follow the industry, that Poforilla have obtained quite a swag of venture funding to develop an exciting new product for the ITSM market. It is an entirely Twitter-based service desk tool and it is called Squeell.

Squeell is amazingly simple in concept and simple to use. I saw a prototype in secret when I was in LA recently and I can now reveal what I learned that day in Pomona. It is a full service desk tool, supporting incident, request, problem and change, with an integral CMDB, catalogue and SLAs, and the interface is entirely based on Twitter. So a user, say @fred, would report an incident with a tweet something like this:

    d squeell {finance [na s:0800 p:1 invoices not printing

The concise and simple syntax is designed to be typed on an Android keypad with one thumb. Any Squeell user will quickly learn that it means
"The finance service is not available since 8am. This is a priority 1 incident because..." well you can get the rest.
Squeell knows where @fred works and the message then goes to his comnpany's Service Desk team, otherwise known as the twitter list squeell_sd defined by the Squeell administrator of his company. Neat huh? It arrives to the team as two tweets like this

    @fred I1234567 {finance [na s:0800 p:1
    I1234567 |invoices not printing

...so Fred also knows what his incident number is (1234567). Really elegant.

One of the team, @joe, will pick up the call

    @squeell I1234567 >mine

...so all Joe's followers now know he has it.

and get the reply

    @joe I1234567 @fred (909) 999-9999

so Joe can phone Fred or of course tweet him, and Fred knows who has got him.

Later in the day Joe wants to know what he has in his queue. he tweets

    d squeell >mine?

and gets the reply

    d joe I1234567 fred p:1
    d joe I2345678 sam p:3

It's all fully customisable, so for example Joe can change the order his queue is sent him with the simple tweet

    d squeell /I +date -p

The simplicity of it blows me away. It is such an obvious application of social media to ITSM. It is accessible anywhere. Runs on anything. Is hosted in the Cloud. It is blindingly fast and fun to use as well! Users and IT staff will soon learn the syntax, just as they do with SMS or tweeting. Just imagine the applications of hash tags in such a system!

Why Squeell? "Squeal" sounds like what users do when a service breaks, but Squeal was already taken on twitter, by a small mouse-like character who didn't want to give it up.

Although a prototype exists, Poforilla are not going to rush to market. They are working on a graphical interface (much demanded by early testers) still using a series of twitter messages. The final design is secret but it works something like this

d joe ===========================
d joe | I1234567 || fred || p:1 |
d joe ===========================
d joe | Close? +-----+ +----+ ..|
d joe |....... | yes | | no | ..|
d joe |....... +-----+ +----+ ..|
d joe ===========================

Poforilla expects the closed beta testing to be completed in about a year's time. The planned release date of Squeell is this time next year: April 1st 2012.


Awesomely funny. Thanks for

Awesomely funny. Thanks for the laugh.


Been done already. We've just discivered that ITIL was invented in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis and there was a tool called EEEK (Emergency, Emergency, Evacuate, Kill) which was run on an IBM m/f. There's a startup in Staines nr London working on a Facebook version...

Trademark infringement!

Eh - the name is too close to the fastest selling product amongst porn stars - according to intelligence gathered at the local micro-brew... they will get shutdown... or squelched


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