One of the capabilities that makes the 4me service so unique is its support for SIAM (service integration and management). 4me makes it possible for organizations to work together on the support of services. From the beginning, this has allowed organizations to pass requests to each other while 4me keeps track of the service level agreements in the background. Later, this functionality was extended, giving organizations the ability to work together on changes.
The SIAM capabilities have been extended again, this time for the configuration management process. This allows the financial owner of an asset to delegate the support responsibility for this asset to another organization (e.g. a managed service provider). A prerequisite is that both organizations have already established a trust relation between their 4me accounts. In addition, the MSP must have given the financial owner permission to assign their configuration items to the MSP.
For the MSP it is easy to give this permission to one of its customers. They can even limit the teams to which each customer is allowed to assign their CIs.
Once this permission has been granted, a configuration manager of the financial owner is able to select these teams in the Support team field of their CIs.
After a customer has assigned some CIs to the MSP, the MSP can link them to one of its service instances.
The MSP then links this service instance to an SLA that covers the financial owner. Activating this SLA makes it possible for the financial owner to pass its requests regarding these CIs to the MSP.
The SLA also ensures that both the customer and the MSP can track the actual level of service that is provided. No special configuration is needed and all reporting is provided in real time.
Why is this so important? There are many organizations that want to outsource the support of some of their CIs, without transferring ownership of these CIs. For example, an organization may have a number of older AS/400 machines and finds it difficult to find experienced support specialists. An external service provider can then be contracted to take over the support for these computers.
Another example that may explain the relevance of this new capability, is a large multinational that put its data center organization in charge of centralizing support for all Exchange servers. These servers may be located at different sites around the world and they may be owned by the local legal entities. When each local entity has its own 4me account, this new capability gives them the flexibility to transfer the support responsibility for their Exchange servers to the data center organization, while still being able to account for all their servers from a financial perspective.