TSO Online ITIL® v3 Demo

Brian BroadurstTSO has made available a demo of its online ITIL v3 offering, ITIL Live. Those who have registered an interest in being kept up to date with the development via the TSO ITIL web site will have received an email asking them to view the demo and complete a short survey. Actually, this posting is a bit late, as there was an incentive offered by TSO that all surveys returned before 1st July 2008 would qualify the sender for a 10% discount off their first year’s subscription – I don’t know how much this would be worth, as there are no published prices; also, at the bottom of this notification email, in very small text, is a paragraph that begins “Assuming the product goes ahead…” so it sounds as though it is not yet a done deal that ITIL Live will ever go live!

The demo is not accessible from the TSO home page, so use this link to go directly to the ITIL Live demo. You will see from the introduction that the content of ITIL Live is organised such that it can be accessed in 3 different ways, depending on which particular aspect of ITIL you are interested in. The 3 ways are, basically:

  • via processes. The 27 processes described within ITIL v3 are mapped against the lifecycle stages, with a view of how the process operates.
  • via the lifecycle stages – or at least what is referred to as Main Practice Elements (MPEs) which are the building blocks of the lifecycle stages, and describe the tasks that need to be performed, who needs to perform them, what tools might be required, etc.
  • via roles. The main Service Management roles are described, along with details of where they fit within the lifecycle.

The system lets you drill down through a hierarchy of information, from lifecycle stage to process to task, then the “knowledge base” gives details of each task – work instructions, roles involved, and even templates for the documents that are generated or used by the task. However, I think it would be more useful if the process flowcharts used swim lanes so it is clear who carries out which task, and RACI charts to indicate the responsibility and accountability for each activity within a process.

The demo itself is pretty static – a few screenshots of the system, with just one or two active hyperlinks, and text boxes to instruct you where to click. There are only 4 screens in the demo, which demonstrates only one path down the hierarchy of information – so overall, it is difficult to get a real flavour of how the system will operate, or what level of detail will be contained within the knowledge base. I’m left wondering why the TSO released a “demo” with such limited functionality – admittedly it could be in order to get feedback from prospective customers at an early stage in order to guide the future development – or maybe it is to gauge whether it is worth continuing with the development at all.

TSO have not yet announced how much this service will cost – presumably it will be comparable to the licence fee for the electronic version of the ITIL v3 books. Being familiar with similar ITIL process tools such as foxPRISM, I will be very interested to see how this new service compares both on price and in functionality.

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