A large health benefits company

Preventing nearly 8,000 outages in six months

Published on 16-Oct-2012

"We prevented approximately 8,000 outages and 70,000 impact hours and reduced capacity related outages by 68 percent in six months." - —Director, IT Service Management Strategy, A Large Health Benefits Company

Customer:
A large health benefits company

Industry:
Healthcare

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Automation, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, SmartCloud - Foundation

Overview

The IT team for a large health benefits company launched a five-year program to implement ITIL v3 processes and supporting technology. Because IT staffed used disparate tools and techniques to determine the status of its applications, hardware and network, it was often time-consuming to pinpoint the cause of a service interruption. The organization’s IT staff engaged IBM to design an ISM roadmap based on ITIL and COBIT processes. Taking this approach enables the organization to standardize, consolidate and simplify processes, while confirming adherence to HIPAA and HITRUST requirements.   

Business need:
IT staff used disparate tools and techniques to determine the status of its applications, hardware and network, it was often time-consuming to pinpoint the root cause of a service interruption.

Solution:
The company’s IT staff engaged IBM to design an Integrated Service Management (ISM) roadmap based on ITIL and COBIT processes.

Benefits:
Prevented approximately 8,000 outages and 70,000 impact hours and reduced capacity related outages by 68 percent; expect to reduce outages by 25 percent in the next 12 months; and improve detection automation by 10 – 30 percent.

Case Study

A large health benefits company

Preventing nearly 8,000 outages in six months


Overview
A large health benefits company

Solution components

  • IBM® SmartCloud™ Control Desk
  • IBM Tivoli® Application Dependency Discovery Manager
  • IBM Tivoli Business Service Manager
  • IBM Tivoli Monitoring
  • IBM Tivoli Netcool®/OMNIbus
  • IBM Tivoli Netcool/Impact
  • IBM Rational® ClearQuest®


“We prevented approximately 8,000 outages and 70,000 impact hours and reduced capacity related outages by 68 percent in six months.”
—Director, IT Service Management Strategy, A Large Health Benefits Company


The need
In 2010, the IT team for a large health benefits company launched a five-year program to implement ITIL v3 processes and supporting technology. Because IT staff used disparate tools and techniques to determine the status of its applications, hardware and network, it was often time-consuming to pinpoint the root cause of a service interruption.

“When we started, we had undocumented, loosely coupled processes; a variety of tools; and little transparency into our environment,” says the company’s director of IT Service Management Strategy. “We are transforming how we manage our services so we can more efficiently deliver the stability, flexibility, and scalability that our business requires.”

The solution
The company’s IT staff engaged IBM to design an Integrated Service Management (ISM) roadmap based on ITIL and COBIT processes. This approach would enable the team to standardize, consolidate and simplify processes, while confirming adherence to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) requirements.

“IBM provided the expertise and integrated suite of ISM tools to help us implement ITIL v3 and gain transparency into our environment,” says the director of IT Service Management Strategy. “For example, before, we had 33 change management categories. Through process workshops with IBM, we reduced that to five categories that fit into the ITIL framework.”

Greater visibility, control and automation
An integrated suite of IBM® Tivoli® software helps the organization gain the visibility, control and automation to effectively manage IT services. For example, using Tivoli solutions, IT administrators have a single dashboard that helps them see and respond to emerging issues before service is affected. When a server issue does occur, they have fewer steps to navigate to solve the problem.

“We have visibility into critical business applications, through topology maps and event data tied to each CI [configuration item], so if something goes wrong in the stack, we can see if it’s the database, the network or the server,” says the director of IT Service Management Strategy. “We’ve also instrumented our event management space so we can minimize event storms and analyze event trends. And we plan to link defect management information across development and operations so help desk staff can see if an application problem is the result of a known defect and what work is being done to resolve the issue.”

The director of IT Service Management Strategy continues: “We also now have a single repository to manage nearly two million IT assets. And we’re linking that to the CI space. We have nearly 200,000 CIs from five different computing platforms entered into Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database. That means if we identify an unstable CI item, we can better target our technology refresh strategy.”

The benefit
In six months following the deployment of Tivoli software, the company has seen a measurable difference in service availability.

“We prevented approximately 8,000 outages and 70,000 impact hours and reduced capacity related outages by 68 percent,” says the director of IT Service Management Strategy. “In the next 12 months, we expect to reduce our outages by 25 percent and improve detection automation by 10 – 30 percent.”

And with these improvements, the business’ view of IT is changing. “We’re no longer viewed as a reactive IT organization,” says the director of IT Service Management Strategy. “We’re now seen as a proactive, innovative organization.”

For more information
To learn more about IBM Integrated Service Management solutions, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/tivoli

Legal Information

LEGAL © Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America October 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM SmartCloud, ClearQuest, Netcool, Rational and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml ITIL is a registered trademark, and a registered community trademark of The Minister for the Cabinet Office, and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. TIC14258-USEN-00

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