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Q&A with an Industry Awards nominee

Q&A with an Industry Awards nominee

In this third installment of the guest blogger Q&A series, itSMF Board member Justin Gasparre shares his recommendations on nominating for the itSMF Industry Awards and his experience at the Gala Awards Dinner.


Can you tell us why you decided to nominate for the 2016 Service Management Awards?

I was nominated for the awards by a close colleague who had observed my contribution to the itSMF community over many years. I agreed to accept it as I have contributed many years of volunteer effort to itSMF, from local chapter support and representation through to a position on the board over two periods.  I’ve also contributed very openly to my colleagues in Defence and anyone else who needs help in this space.

What do you think makes a compelling Awards nomination?

A compelling awards nomination will need to speak to the person’s contribution to the cause and the community.  I guess you can’t be a champion if you don’t champion what we do and the value we bring as ITSM professionals.

Can you tell us about your experience at the 2016 Gala Dinner and Awards celebration? What were the highlights?

For me, the highlight of the Gala Dinner in 2016 was being able to stand up in front of my peers and share the message that we are all champions and to share my gratitude to the forum and community.  It was also great that my past colleagues were there to share in the accolades!

Why are the itSMF Industry Awards important?

The itSMF industry awards are an important event to showcase the significance of the work that the community is involved in and the improvements that we make on a daily basis.  Having national recognition for great work being done is important and it is good to see that the major IT news sources are picking up on the event.

What advice would you give potential nominees?

The advice I would give to potential nominees is to NOMINATE!!!  Don’t be shy!  Recognise the contribution you make and get your colleagues to put you up for an award.  If you’ve got a nickname for your Service Management prowess, then you’re probably a candidate!

What are you looking forward to at Service Management 2017?

I’m looking forward to Service Management 2017 and the 20th anniversary of the itSMF, it should be a great event and a fabulous Gala Dinner.  I really enjoy catching up with colleagues from the past and making new connections with like minded professionals and those who contribute to the development of our forum and community.

If you’d like to nominate for an itSMF individual or team award you can find more information on the website.


Justin Gasparre has over 15 years of IT experience ranging from helpdesk, field support, systems administration and culminating with IT Governance, Board of Management Representation, Director of a large APS organisation delivering enterprise solutions and now business owner and consultant.

Trained in a variety of best practice methodologies and being from a technical background, having operated an IT Solution provision business, and working in multiple major Government Enterprise environments, Justin has an excellent understanding of IT and Business.

Six ways to build and grow

Supercharge your ITSM skillset by attending the Service Management 2017 pre-Conference Workshop day. As part of itSMF Australia’s 20th Annual Conference, these workshops are led by local and international experts and will focus on trending industry topics and know-how.

Choose to immerse yourself in a full-day workshop or you can mix it up by choosing from the half-day options.


Devops adoption: the Dev-Ops-ITSM triangle – Dave Favelle

DevOps is here, it’s in your organisation but not yet at critical mass. How do we help it get to a scale where DevOps and ITSM are contributing to business competitive advantage?

Next-gen Service Management: A survey of emerging techniques and case studies – Dion Hinchcliffe

Deep-dive into the latest trends in Service Management and examine how the practice will evolve over the next few years!

The three year Service Management roadmap – Dion Hinchcliffe

Build on the latest in Service Management and walk away with a three year strategic plan to adapt your organisational needs. You will have the opportunity to cross pollinate your ideas with like-minded peers.

Building an effective communication plan for your ITSM improvement effort – Karen Ferris

Effective communication is critical to success! Karen Ferris will equip you with the tools and techniques to develop and deliver an effective communications plan for any ITSM improvement initiative.

Bringing Agile to service delivery – Eduardo Nofuentes

Create mindsets that foster a culture of continuous improvement. Take away an Agile and lean way of thinking and learn how to apply a customer centric approach to Service Delivery.

Improve your process improvement – Michi Tyson

This workshop will introduce you to concepts, tools and techniques from the fields of complexity theory, systems thinking, experiential learning and lean management. The purpose is to help teams, departments and whole organisations improve their delivery strategies and methods efficiently, effectively and, most importantly, sustainably.


The Service Management 2017 Workshop day is being held on Tuesday 22nd of August 2017 in Melbourne. For more information and to register for the Workshops or Conference, visit this page.

By |2018-03-19T16:23:17+00:00April 19th, 2017|DevOps, ITSM, Service Management 2017, Workshop|

Dear aspiring speaker

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Submitting a proposal to speak at Service Management Conference is a chance to open a sustained dialogue with your peers and expand your network. In this post, itSMF Australia’s National Events Director Aprill Allen shares her tips for those thinking of submitting a proposal.

I’m glad you’re interested in sharing your story with our delegates for the 20th annual national itSMF Conference. I want you to have the best possible chance at joining us in Melbourne this year, so here are some tips to help your submission be successful.

Our members love case studies. Case studies consistently rate highly with our members and it’s easy to understand why. They’re in ready-made story-telling format, which makes them easy to relate to, easy to understand, and easy to remember. Whether a case study demonstrates your success or ultimate failure, it should start with a background setting of who and where, follow up with what your big hairy challenge was, how you approached solving it, what the outcome was, and why it went the way it did — your lessons learned. This is the valuable part that helps each of us grow from your experience.

Make sure your topic title is interesting and consistent with your session description. This tip almost speaks for itself, but it’s not uncommon to be too clever with a topic title and have your audience not make the connection. They may not understand the session’s relevance to them and not attend, or worse still, they may rate you poorly because they expected something different.

Pitch to the right level. We have delegates covering the spectrum from beginner to advanced. Make sure your content is pitched consistently with the audience level you’ve selected.

Consider the theme when you develop your submission. This year, our theme is Service Management 2.0. Our workplaces and consumer expectations are already changing in a multitude of ways. What do we need to do differently to be a step ahead? How will our service management toolbelt evolve? If your expertise is outside the ITSM domain, what are the skills you know our service management practitioners and leaders need to be successful? What are the stories they need to hear, or learn to tell?

The Conference is the place to push boundaries with new material. The selection process tends to reward experienced presenters, which is why we try to give new speakers exposure at our state seminars and ask for a referral. For our experienced presenters, already popular at our state seminars, the national Conference is an opportunity to share a new angle or a new story.

Reviewer feedback will be your first test of the clarity and impact of your submission. I’m no stranger to how it feels when something so clear in my head isn’t coming through easily to whomever I’m sharing it with. It’s beyond frustrating. Work through those awkward misunderstandings, if they come up, because when the light bulb goes on, it’s rewarding for all involved.  

Reviewers will be looking for all these points during the selection process, and how well you address them will influence your chance of selection. Good luck, and I hope to see your presentation on stage!

Find out more and submit a speaker proposal here.

By |2018-03-19T16:23:17+00:00March 3rd, 2017|ITSM, protips, Service Management 2017|

SM 2.0!

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Service Management 2017 is themed SM 2.0. In this post, itSMF Australia’s National Events Director Aprill Allen shares her take on how the way we work is changing and how that might be reflected at Conference.

It’s exciting to open 2017 with some insight into our plans for this year’s itSMF national conference. Of course, we  rolled right out of Brisbane’s conference straight into planning for what has turned out to be Melbourne, 2017. We immediately began discussing sessions and event feedback, but planning for the next one doesn’t feel truly underway until we’ve locked down the dates, venue and theme.

For 2016, the theme was easy to determine. I knew what shape I wanted our conference to take and the theme provided the frame for our speakers and reviewers to build and deliver what was in my opinion, our most outstanding program so far. I’ve got to admit, I sure did feel like a one-trick pony. With no 2017 theme already in mind, I was nervous. Enter my truly helpful committee and a collaborative Google doc, which helped us to test some ideas, scrap some and start over, and ultimately arrive at SM 2.0.

We wanted to give a nod to our twentieth year, somehow, but we particularly wanted to capture what might be coming next after we asked you to Shake I.T. Up last year.

ITSM, as an industry, is taking a long, hard look at itself. The thought leaders you’re familiar with are scouring the edges of our profession to look at the areas where what we do in Service Management overlaps with what other service providers are offering and achieving. Sometimes it’s about technology, often it’s about new approaches to working with others to achieve common goals. The most successful IT leaders are doing the same thing. We got a sense of that last year when our speakers and reviewers put forward topics about project leadership in general, and DevOps in particular, topics that traditionally haven’t been a big feature of the ITSM toolbelt.

There’s no doubt our workplaces and workforces are changing, inspiring the appetite for broader conference programming. Not just in the way the generational mix at work is transforming, but also in the way we work and where we work. What will your toolbelt look like for the next iteration of Service Management? How are your skills and stories evolving? Share your story.

By |2018-03-19T16:23:17+00:00February 15th, 2017|ITSM, Service Management 2017|

What happened down under at Shake I.T. Up – Service Management 2016

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In this guest blog, Sunit Prakash wraps up Service Management 2016 and highlights the new standards for IT service delivery.

 

 

“It’s one thing to want to innovate, but how can you influence or implement those changes, and do you know where to start?” – Service Management 2016

The 19th annual Service Management conference in Australia showed us a glimpse of how service management is evolving beyond the traditional ITSM. This year’s itSMFA literally shook I.T. up by extending conversation to Agile, DevOps, and Lean – the latter finally making its entrance to the mainstream service management vocabulary.

Proliferation of cloud-based tools

At this years conference, it was clear to see that there were now a number of cloud-based IT service management tool providers offering rich functionality with very low barriers to entry. Which essentially meant no upfront costs, expensive licenses, implementation costs, or support costs – just following an elastic pricing model. Tools that were previously only available to top-end enterprise customers, were now available at a fraction of the cost to small and medium businesses – and to their suppliers and partners who look after them. The implication is that a whole new market could potentially move up from managing their IT and operations by email and spreadsheets to much more sophisticated tools that they previously did not have access to; and perhaps many others at the enterprise end of the market, could potentially move away from on-premise or more expensive tools.

What really happened down under

IT Service Management often does not get the same attention as say, security or architecture or project management; but to have Andrew Mills, the CIO of Queensland Government talk about aligning IT with business strategy was a rare treat.

Talking about the importance of driving self-service adoption in the workplace, Narain Muralidharan emphasized on the necessity for IT to think like growth hackers, and effectively market IT self service to the larger organization. He went on to give a number of simple, yet practical ideas taken from real-world success stories with the self service IT portal, and how to apply them in the service desk scenario – backing it with a case study.

Lean and mean IT

Introducing us to Lean, Em Campbell-Pretty stressed upon how the heart of Lean is its values and leadership – stressing on the need for leaders to create time for innovation with a case study of a telecommunication service provider. The conference peppered with Lean related sessions, and it demonstrated that Lean in IT was beginning to enter the lexicon for many.

Adam Seeber’s keynote about Lean and Agile was insightful – how it’s not a choice of one over the other but that it’s taking the best of both worlds to suit your business needs. He emphasized on the significance of it being adaptable, be it Lean, Agile or ITIL, and went on to describe how customers define value for the business more than anything else.

An eye-opener for the audience was Charles T. Betz’ session introducing the IT4IT standard with Lean language of value chain, value streams, digital supply chain, handoffs, capacity, and value. He explored the current state of IT and offered practical advice on holistically managing IT for business. With the key takeaway around product management being customer intimacy and cross-functional collaboration.

40 Agile methods in 40 minutes by Craig Smith covered various process improvement methodologies – Lean, Agile, Theory of Constraints and everything in between no matter how esoteric. He openly shared the concept, its history, the pros and cons, how widely it was used, and where to find more information.

Bringing in fresh air to the string of topics, Michi Tyson spoke of taking Agile beyond IT and combining it with Lean management and design thinking. Her Lean Canvas and startup background showing clearly in a conference dominated by mature IT departments and businesses. This one was of particular interest because one could see the Enterprise Architecture approach coming through, and the same discipline being applied to the business of IT holistically – once again, using Lean principles.

itSMF 2016 was another insightful, rewarding, and successful conference. It left the audience questioning the conventional way of ITSM – and leaning towards better IT service delivery.

This blog is edited, and first appeared on the Freshservice blog – you can view the original here

By |2018-03-19T16:23:17+00:00October 12th, 2016|guest blogger, ITSM, Service Management 2016, wrap up|

itSMF CEO reflects on Service Management 2016

itSMF Australia’s CEO Alan Hollensen reflects on Service Management 2016.Alan pic

Well the curtain has been drawn on our 19th National Conference and it was a tremendously successful event.

The ‘Shake I.T. Up’ theme drew a great deal of attention even before the Conference commenced, and it lived up to this promise with a speaker program that had a different focus from previous years. Delegates were treated to insights of a future that is already unfolding at a dizzying pace, delivered by speakers of international repute. These were often ‘big picture’ presentations in which the well informed Service Management professional will thrive.

We were thrilled to see attendance climb again this year,  and sponsor support remained strong. In fact we welcomed a range of new sponsors along with attendees who we had not had the pleasure of meeting before.

The format of the exhibition space made for great social interaction and gave attendees a chance to chat to everyone and to see everything – we won’t be changing this for 2017!

But in the end the important thing was the opportunity for our professional members to gain insights they could implement back in their own setting and in this respect the Conference excelled. This was apparent from the first presentations when delegates were overheard making the point that they were emailing their offices with these new and important insights. It was apparent that people’s enthusiasm did not diminish on the second day – people were looking forward to another round of challenging presentations.

Another thing that received a lot of positive comments was the Gala Dinner and Awards night. People liked the new format of the Awards and everyone was delighted to welcome back Jean Kittson for her second stint as MC – a job she seems to have been born for.

Planning has already begun for next year and I suggest you stay posted for our updates – the countdown has already begun to our 20th National Conference.

Stay Tuned!

Alan Hollensen

CEO

itSMF Australia

By |2018-03-19T16:23:18+00:00August 25th, 2016|ITSM, Service Management 2016|

Why you should tear up your support SLAs

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Guest blogger Dave O’Reardon returns today to explain ‘why you should tear up your support SLAs’. You can also check out Dave’s tips for the 2016 itSMF Industry Awards for Excellence in IT Service Management in last week’s blog post!

 

Have you heard of the Watermelon Effect? It’s a rather common problem where Service Level Agreement reports for IT support show that everything is green but the customer is still unhappy. Green (statuses) on the outside, red (angry customer) on the inside.

 

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Research from Forrester shows how prevalent this mismatch of perceptions is – there are about twice as many IT teams that think they provide great IT support than there are businesses who feel they are getting it.

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One of the causes of this problem is that the metrics used in Service Level Agreements are a deeply flawed way of measuring service quality. They mislead IT support teams into thinking they understand how the customer feels about the service they provide.

Typically, support service levels are measured on the basis of time – actual vs target time to respond, actual vs target time to resolve. But purely time-based measures are an ineffective indicator of the quality of IT support.

Our customers’ experience of IT support is shaped by many things, not just how quickly we responded or resolved their issue. Factors such as how they were treated, whether they could understand what they were being told or asked to do, whether they felt well informed about what was going on and what would happen next (and when), and whether they were asked to confirm their issue was solved before the ticket was closed.

Even something like time is not absolute. From personal experience, we all know there are many factors that can make the same absolute wait time feel longer or shorter.

Ultimately, these experience factors are all about expectations and perceptions, not absolutes. The perceptions of those at the receiving end of the service – our customers. And the outcome of their judgement is their level of satisfaction.

David Maister, a researcher on the psychology of waiting times, described this rather succinctly with the formula: S=P-E, where S stands for satisfaction, P for perception and E for expectation. As P and E are both psychological in nature, S can be attained when a customer’s perceived experience of a service, P, exceeds their expectations, E.

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If you want to measure service quality (and you work in Service Management, so you should, right!), the best way to do that is to ask your customers. Valarie Zeithaml put this rather nicely in her book, Delivering Quality Service: “Only customers judge quality. All other judgments are essentially irrelevant”.

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We need to stop putting so much focus on traditional SLA metrics and start focusing on customer satisfaction. The extent to which you can keep your customers happy determines whether your customer trusts you or bypasses you, forgives your mistakes or hauls you over the coals, increases your budgets or squeezes them, keeps you as their service provider or outsources you.

And if you’re always asking your customers to not just rate your service, but to tell you what you need to do to improve (one of the principles behind the Net Promoter System), you’ll find this feedback to be a very powerful way to drive continual service improvement.

By all means measure response and resolution times for your own purposes, but never wave a green service level performance report in front of a customer and tell them they should be happy.

This post was based on an e-book, “Measuring the Quality of IT Support”, which can be downloaded here.

Dave O’Reardon helps IT support teams adopt Net Promoter practices and use customer feedback to drive continual service improvement. He’s the founder and CEO of Silversix, the company behind www.cio-pulse.com, and winner of the Service Management ‘Innovation of the Year Award’ in 2015. Dave can be reached on Twitter via @silversix_dave or LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |2018-03-19T16:23:19+00:00July 14th, 2016|guest blogger, ITSM, metrics, Net Promoter®, Netpromoter, Service Management 2016|

ITSMF Awards Q&A with 2015 winner Dave O’Reardon

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In this week’s special edition of the blog, itSMF Awards winner Dave O’Reardon shares his insights into the Awards process, and gives you some invaluable tips for your application for the 2016 itSMF Industry Awards for Excellence in IT Service Management!

 

Can you tell us about your award?

We were lucky enough to win last year’s Service Management Innovation of the Year Award for a new software product we’d developed called cio-pulse.com.

CIOPulse gathers customer feedback as support teams resolve customer tickets and then helps organisations use that feedback to drive continual service improvement.

Every man and his dog uses the survey capability of their ITSM tool, but we won the award because CIOPulse helps support teams to improve customer satisfaction, not just measure it.

What inspired you to nominate for the itSMF Industry Awards?

Because we genuinely felt we were onto something truly innovative within IT service management and we had the metrics to prove it.

Our company, Silversix, used to be a traditional ITSM consultancy, although it was always one that specialised in improving internal customer satisfaction.  About five years ago, we came across this set of practices – the Net Promoter System – used by organisations around the world (think Apple, Rackspace, Harley Davidson) to measure and improve customer loyalty. One of our consulting clients allowed us to experiment on them by letting us help them adopt some Net Promoter practices. Six months later, they’d increased internal customer satisfaction by significantly more than we’d achieved with them via ITSM consulting in the preceding 3 years.

We built CIOPulse to help organisations adopt these same practices and enjoy the same benefits. Our metrics showed that 90% of our clients have been successful with CIOPulse and this gave us the confidence to nominate ourselves.

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What advice would you give aspiring nominees?

I have only one piece of advice and I don’t want to dilute it by mixing it up with any other advice. My advice is this. Enter. Just do it, as Nike would say. There are probably not as many entrants for each award category as you think and so, just by entering, you have a very good chance of winning.

Can you share any tips for the application process?

Yes. I’ve got a couple of tips.

Read the award criteria and make sure your submission explains how your innovation meets those criteria.  We were going to nominate CIOPulse for the award a year earlier but realised that we weren’t going to meet one of the criteria. So we held off for another year. And that turned out to be the right thing to do.

Make your supporting video funny and/or interesting. Everyone at the awards night wants to have fun and being made to watch a video about how your company makes flare joints for gas pipes is not fun.  All finalists get their video played and so, even if you’re not a winner, your video might get airtime. If it’s fun or interesting or both, you’re going to get the attention of hundreds of people in the room and they’ll remember it/you. If it’s boring I’m afraid they’re going to talk over it.

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What are the benefits of winning an itSMF Award?

The short term benefit was how much more fun it made the awards night. The gala dinner is always great, but the added suspense of being a finalist, not to mention the feeling of actually winning, made it a super special evening. Strangely, my head was much sorer than usual the next morning…

And for those of us involved in developing the product, it gave us an immense feeling of satisfaction to be recognised by the industry that we’ve worked in for so long. These kinds of awards are great to put on your CV and LinkedIn profile too!

Of course we’ve also made full use of the award in all our marketing material – email footers, websites, brochures, presentations, sales pitches. It’s difficult to quantify that benefit, but it has certainly given us a welcome boost to our credibility, as well as increased brand awareness.

To nominate yourself, your company or a colleague for the 2016 itSMF Awards, visit the website!

 

By |2018-03-19T16:23:19+00:00July 7th, 2016|Awards, ITSM, Service Management 2016|

Welcome to Service Management 2016!

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Welcome to the Service Management blog for 2016!

We are delighted to be back and looking forward to celebrating at itSMF’s annual conference on Wednesday 17 – Thursday 18 August 2016. We will also host a pre-Conference Workshop day on Tuesday 16 August, and of course, the highly anticipated Gala Awards Dinner on the evening of 18 August 2016.

This year, the Conference will be held in beautiful Brisbane, and centres around the exciting theme of Shake I.T. Up! Over two dynamic, invigorating days, we will explore ways to ‘shake up’ IT projects and teams. How can we adapt, innovate, or disrupt to ensure greater agility, long-term improvements, and better outcomes for all?

We are now in the final remaining weeks before speaker submissions close. If you would like to share your successes and challenges and connect with an engaged community of your peers, now is the time to submit a speaker proposal

Over the next few months, our Service Management blog will feature exclusive interviews and articles from our speakers and workshop leaders, as well as content that explores ITSM and how we might think about shaking I.T. up!

We look forward to sharing this with you in the lead-up to Service Management 2016.

Best wishes,

Aprill Allen

Conference Director

By |2018-06-30T15:20:27+00:00April 6th, 2016|blog, ITSM, Service Management 2016|

Service Management 2015 was a blast!

The air is still a-buzz with the excitement of the Service Management 2015 Conference held at Sofitel Wentworth Sydney on the 20th-21st of August. It was a most enjoyable couple of days made special by a prolific line up of speakers, a great range of content, networking opportunities galore and some fantastic sponsor exhibitors! It was great to see so many engaged members of the ITSM community out in force and getting the most out of their conference experience.

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This year signalled a movement toward connecting delegates to learnings from outside the IT domain and addressing the theme of Building Customer Value. All four keynotes captivated the audience with their varied expertise and insights.

Lead demographer and social commentator Bernard Salt opened the conference with an engaging and humourous exposition of his insights on Tomorrow’s Customer. Nicole Forsgren PHD then brought the conversation back to the tech sphere with her insider’s look on the the world of DevOps.

On the second day delegates enjoyed an energetic presentation from Atlassian’s co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes on the ever-important topic of Scaling Service. Rounding out the keynote presentations was motivational speaker and bestselling author Dr Jason Fox, who entertained everyone with his fantastic imagery and leadership strategies.

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The annual itSMF Industry Gala Awards Dinner on the Thursday night was a fabulous mix of great food, hearty chuckles courtesy of the hilarious Jean Kittson and of course the celebration of some outstanding finalists and winners. The festivities kicked on late in to the night with good conversation and better dancing!

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Service Management 2015 would simply not have happened without our brilliant sponsors Alemba, Atlassian, Axios, CA Technologies, Unisys, UXC, Heat Software, Freshservice, Fujitsu, HP, Xtraction Solutions, BMC, ServiceNow, Sintegral, Solisma, and xMatters. Thank you all again for your support!

Special thanks to all the speakers who helped make this conference an inspiring and motivating one, and to the many volunteers who so graciously offered their time and effort into making this an event to remember!

You can relive delegate observations or start new discussions about the conference using the #smconfAU hashtag on twitter.

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That’s all folks and we hope to see you all in 2016!

By |2018-03-19T16:23:21+00:00August 31st, 2015|blog, ITSM, Service Management 2015, wrap up|