CA Unveils Bundle to Automate ITIL Process

CA Inc. late last month brought out a package of software, services and training programs to help implement best practices for managing IT shops under the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.

The new CA Service Management Accelerator offering aims to formalize and expand CA's ITIL-related products and services, said David Hurwitz, vice president of product marketing for business service optimization. "CA customers want to move up the ITIL maturity curve more than ever. ITIL is very hot right now," Hurwitz said.

The U.K. Office of Government Commerce developed the ITIL model in the mid-1980s. ITIL contains standard descriptions for key processes needed to improve IT service management, but it does not offer ways to deploy the processes, Hurwitz said. "The approach at CA is that automating ITIL is the quickest route to ROI," he added.

Two CA customers said they have embraced ITIL best practices and are glad to see CA move to further the philosophy, but neither plans to immediately implement any part of the new bundled offering.

Fran Findley, a project management analyst at MultiCare Health System, said that when the Tacoma, Wash.-based health care provider picked CA's software three years ago, it was "the perfect time to change the culture around IT in line with ITIL." MultiCare's set of CA applications, including the Unicenter Service Desk offering, works well within the ITIL model, said Robyn Brooks, an IT manager at MultiCare, which runs three hospitals and 60 clinics.

"But we're still in our infancy," Brooks said. Eventually, cost savings in IT investments will be a byproduct of the ITIL effort, she said.

Daren Thayne, chief technology officer at MyFamily.com Inc., said the Provo, Utah-based company has used ITIL to define IT management best practices, and one result has been a change in the way IT teams are structured.

"CA has provided us with all the solutions and support we need to automate these essential ITIL processes," he said in a statement.

MyFamily.com uses CA tools to help manage about 4,000 servers that provide digital census information to the public for a fee, said Eric Martineau, vice president of Web operations at the company, which provides online genealogy tools, among other offerings. New Software Included

In addition to bundling existing software, services and training, the CA Service Management Accelerator offering includes a new software product, Configuration Management Database r11, which ships in August, Hurwitz said. Pricing has not been announced. The new tool will work within the existing CA Management Database r11 to consolidate disparate sources of IT-related data and present graphical views of configuration information on servers, switches and even applications, he said.

The bundled offering also adds 14 ITIL training programs to the four now available, Hurwitz said.

In general, the ITIL framework has been hard for businesses to implement, and CA's Accelerator will help companies "do things themselves" rather than rely on consultants, said Rich Ptak, an analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates in Amherst, N.H. Ptak said CA and BMC Software Inc. have been the market leaders in providing ITIL implementation aids.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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