In 2012, ITSM Reporting Services were engaged by an energy distribution company to provide Captell Enterprise Reporting software and services to help improve their Capacity Management activities, in addition they required a better understanding of IT Security , asset life cycle management and it was recognised the their CMDB needed a reconciliation process.
The company is an Australian infrastructure company that builds, owns and manages a combination of major electricity, gas and water assets. Consisting of over 1,300 employees across the country, they manage more than $8.5 billion worth of Australian utilities assets and specialises in both transmission and distribution of electricity and gas.
The company requested that their name be withheld from this case study.
As part of a program of service improvement the company wanted to increase visibility and efficiency of their Capacity Management processes along with improving several other areas of ITSM reporting.
The companies IT infrastructure consists of more than 2000 devices (excluding desktops) spread across Windows and Oracle Servers, network switches and routers and storage devices. Comprehensive monitoring is in place through SCOM, Oracle Grid, Solarwinds and VCenter.
Much of the Capacity management reporting activities is labour intensive being created and maintained in Excel Workbooks and MS Word documents.
ITSM Reporting Services was engaged to provide Captell Enterprise Reporting software and services primarily for Capacity Management reporting but also to assist in other IT Service management reporting activities. The initial brief was to automate their existing capacity reporting which at that time was Excel and Word based and very labour intensive.
We installed the Captell system and commenced data extraction from several monitor and configuration tools including:
- Oracle Grid;
- Solar winds; and
Subsequently the company conducted a review of all capacity reports with a view to reducing the size of the published documents and streamlining the reporting processes. The review resulted in a redesign of the Capacity Management data warehouse to provide a single database for all capacity (and other) data with additional databases created purely for reporting purposes.ITSM Reporting Services also designed and built a suite of reports used for CMDB reconciliation and IT asset lifecycle reporting.Captell CMC was implemented and configured in less than a day with first reports being available within 2 weeks (time needed to collect the necessary historical data).
At the behest of the company in late 2013, ITSM Reporting Services commenced a development project to create a dedicated Capacity Management tool that would provide a simple interface to deliver a Component Capacity Management capability. This was completed in mid-2014 and Captell CMC is now in production use by the company in their annual capacity planning processes and quarterly reviews.
Additional reporting systems were created including a suite of reports covering the companies security concerns, such as patching compliance, antivirus protection, active directory (AD) consistency with SAP registered users, firewall effectiveness and intrusion detection.
The initial extraction and report automation took approximately 6 weeks.
The benefits seen include:
- Improved capacity data capture procedures, security and reliability;
- Improved reporting for capacity, security and IT asset life cycle;
- Reduced time for annual capacity planning activities;
- Reduced time for quarterly capacity reconciliation; and
- Reduced capacity incidents.
Less tangible benefits of the utilisation of the Captell system were as a vehicle to gain senior executive approval for automated reporting activities firstly in the Capacity Management arena and from there to other areas of the organisation.
Products and services used
The following ITSM Reporting Services and products were used during the engagement:
- Captell Enterprise 6.16.0;
- Captell CMC 7.x;
- Captell Report Portal;
- Captell Service 6.16.0; and
- Consulting services varying from 1 to 3 full and part time consultants.
The work to enhance the companies Capacity Management and other IT Service Management reporting activities and through that improve service delivery is a continual process. The early (quick wins) obtained by utilising Captell Enterprise to automate and streamline their Capacity Management effort gained the support of the senior executive and allowed the expansion of the reporting program to other areas of IT support.
The learning curve for the company, while steep was easily managed and they now find themselves in a position of having more time to further develop their programs.