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Service Management Solution - POC

Written by Dave Chambers

Proof of Concepts (POC) have a reputation of being long drawn out processes, therefore many vendors discourage going down this path. This however  does not have to be the case and is an essential step in confirming the correct and most cost efficient solution for your organisation.  Unless your organisation has processes that are very complicated and a long way off what is standard, then there is no need to test functionality at this stage.  The majority of Service Management solutions work very well and rarely encounter issues where what is sold from a functionality perspective cannot be delivered; instead the support model and pricing model is what requires testing to gain a full understanding of true costs.


Anyone who has built a new house has learnt the lesson that the display house you walked through does not have only standard features and costs a lot more from the advertised base price.  Service Management solutions can also be lumped in the same scenario where the extras are not initially evident especially when a solution is well integrated; therefore it is important to test these aspects through a POC.


Request fulfilment and operational support are two areas that allow the above to be tested in a POC and are detailed below.


Request Fulfilment - Ask the vendor to set up three different Service Requests whilst you are overlooking the process so that technical capabilities and effort can be assessed. This is an opportunity to discuss licensing types/options, transferring licenses between modules and what is not included in the base price to deliver the Service Requests.  


The three different types should follow common types of requests that will be built within your organisation however the following is an example of what can be tested:

  • Simple - a request for access or something similar that requires a simple workflow that includes an approval and a task (could also test access for facilities and file shares)

  • Moderate - a request that may move across various teams or a request that has selectable items with different options (such as a manually provisioned server where memory, disk space, storage type etc can be selected)

  • Extensive - a request that will move between different organisational units and/or multiple integration points (onboarding a new employee or ordering a laptop are good examples to use)


The above examples will provide enough information to calculate the following costs for Request Fulfilment:

  • Support Role licensing

  • Module Licensing

  • Operational costs to create and maintain Service Requests


Operational Support

Looking at the solution history can provide an excellent idea of how often upgrades and patches are released for the product however it is a good idea to see a live update to understand the required level of capability and types of capabilities required to install patches or releases.  Some solutions may require strong scripting capabilities and others may require general database and infrastructure knowledge.  Once this has been assessed you will be better placed to make resourcing decisions such as FTE required and if you will use internal or external support or both; this stage will also identify where training and upskilling might be required.  This stage could be the most critical for decision making as solutions could vary greatly in how often improvements and patches are released; fast moving organisations may work better with a vendor who releases patches and improvements often, whereas an organisation that moves more slowly may benefit more from a solution that does not move as quick.  Support may become more difficult and solution stability may suffer if your organisation is not able to keep up with the required patching and upgrades.



A strong understanding of effort required to enhance and support the solution is essential to gain the full benefit, as well as understanding what the licensing requirements will be post implementation when the solution is operational.  Without fully understanding the real costs, your organisation will be at risk of not being able to deliver the solution to other areas of the business or other/additional funds will be required to cover an unexpected increase in ongoing cost.


Last modified on %PM, %06 %109 %2016 %12:%Dec

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Email: dave@dcsmconsultancy.com

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