ITIL as a Service

If you ever want to polarize a group of IT professionals, all you need do is drop ITIL into the conversation. For some people ITIL is the devil incarnate. For others it is the Holy Grail–an unattainable symbol of union with the divine.

For VMWare it’s clearly the devil. In his VMworld keynote last month, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said that the company is “putting aside ITIL and CMDB in favour of process that works for cloud,” a position that Citrix clearly disagrees with after announcing that it had completed the acquisition of New Zealand-based startup Beetil, which is rapidly making a name for itself with a SaaS-based service management offering that delivers a readily accessible pragmatic approach to ITIL.

I have to confess that I have always been a supporter of ITIL. The IT Infrastructure Library was a massive endeavor led by the UK government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency, designed to change IT services by aligning them with the needs of business, and was, depending on your perspective, the perfect example of  Big Government in action or inaction. Its popularity has waxed and waned over the years as new releases have simplified (ITIL v2) and complicated (ITIL v3) its adoption. However, regardless of the feelings of proponents and detractors, with over 1.5 million IT professionals holding ITIL qualifications, ITIL is the de facto best-practice framework for IT service management, and ITIL is here to stay. I confess also that I had not heard of Beetil until recently, when Citrix announced its acquisition. However, now that I have, I am rapidly becoming a fan.

ITIL isn’t perfect. It can be frightfully difficult to implement and overwhelming in the thousand plus of pages of hard-to-read documentation needed to understand it. And that is what makes Beetil so interesting; Beetil has sliced and diced ITIL and offered it up in easily digestible pieces as SaaS, so much so that unless you know ITIL, you might not know that this is what Beetil is delivering. Beetil is aimed at SMBs who have recognized the need to put better service management processes in place and need a tool to support those processes, but can’t justify the cost and complexity of the medium to large enterprise-focused tools that dominate the market. Beetil focuses on ease of use and simplicity while still delivering the main features of most value to small to medium organizations and their customers.

Beetil segments its service into six main modules:

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Release Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Conflict Management

along with a seventh module that bundles together dashboards, reporting, messaging, contact lists, and timesheets.

Citrix will be slotting Beetil in alongside its existing cloud-based Citrix GoToAssist, which will enable Citrix to deliver a full set of cloud-based services from a single platform for remote support, monitoring, and service desk management.  Beetil is currently offered at $29 / User / Month with volume discounts available, putting it in the reach of organizations of 100 employees and more who are looking to deliver enterprise-class support services based on the ITIL standard. All things considered, there’s ample room for both ITIL and whatever it is that Gelsinger is envisioning for the future of cloud-based services–even ITIL delivered from the cloud.

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