Service integration and management (SIAM) is a management approach that helps organizations stay in control of the internal and external service providers as they gradually move to a more selective and dynamic sourcing model.  SIAM is a prerequisite for dynamic sourcing, which in turn makes it possible for organizations to maximize the speed at which they are able to innovate.

4me is the first enterprise service management (ESM) application specifically built to support SIAM.  It allows an organization’s internal and external service providers to collaborate seamlessly, while 4me provides real-time insight into the level of service that is being provided.

Gartner Research Note:

The SIAM Role Is Critical in Managing Multiple Outsourced Service Providers

by Jim Longwood, Gilbert van der Heiden and Claudio Da Rold
Published: November 15, 2019

Why SIAM Has Become Critical

More and more enterprises are taking a critical look at the tools they use to support their internal support processes.  Their CIOs are under pressure to deliver more quickly on key innovation initiatives.  Their organization’s viability no longer depends on its ability to innovate, but on the speed at which it is able to deliver innovations.  Digital transformation is happening everywhere and it requires knowledge of new technologies.  The core business is looking at IT for leadership, but the IT department does not have the experience in-house to realize all the innovative ideas from the core business.  It does not make practical or financial sense for a CIO to hire and retain experts on all the new technologies that are needed for the organization’s digital transformation.

Instead, CIOs are adopting a dynamic sourcing model. The goal is to be able to obtain expertise when it is needed from providers that have the skills available and to let go of these providers when the technologies they support are no longer needed, when the level of service they provide is deemed insufficient, or when there is a provider that can provide the required level of service at a better price.

Getting a new provider up to speed quickly is the key to dynamic sourcing. The fist to step toward dynamic sourcing is the elimination of long-term commitments. That reduces the risk for the customer, which allows the customer to sign up for services without having to take providers through a long procurement process.

Once the customer has signed up a new provider, there are 2 more factors that determine whether the provider is able to deliver value quickly and will continue to do so for as long as the provider’s expertise remains relevant for the customer’s business needs. These 2 factors are:

1.  The Ability to Collaborate
The customer and the provider normally have their own service management solution.  How long it takes before the customer can rely on a new provider is largely determined by how quickly they can establish a connection between their service management solutions. If both parties have their own 4me accounts, they can simply link these accounts. This allows the provider to register an SLA for the customer. After the customer has accepted this SLA, the customer can pass requests regarding the SLA’s service to the provider. This eliminates the need to spend a few months building an integration, which subsequently requires maintenance every time either the customer or the provider has made a change in its service management application.  More information about 4me’s collaboration capabilities is available in the Seamless Collaboration section below.

2.  The Ability to Track Service Quality
For the provider and the customer to trust each other, it is important that they can have insight in the level of service being provided and that the hard SLAs target are tracked as well as employee satisfaction.  In addition, this data needs to be accurate and cannot be altered by either party.  The customer should be able to track all of the customer’s internal and external providers in real time (regardless of whether they are all on 4me or a mix of service management solutions).  Likewise the provider should be able to see how well it is performing for all of its customers in real time (regardless of the service management solutions that these customers use).

Since the IT department of an enterprise has numerous internal customers, as well as multiple internal and external providers, they need a dashboard that shows them how well they are doing for their customer and another dashboard that shows how well their providers are performing for them.  These dashboards are available out-of-the-box in 4me’s Analytics console.  And because most managed service providers today outsource some of their work to other external providers, they also benefit from both dashboards.

None of the service management tools that are popular today were built to offer the ability to collaborate and track service quality across organizational boundaries. That is why large enterprises, government agencies, and their service providers are switching to 4me. The unique architecture of 4me capitalizes on the possibilities that the cloud offers to provide these two capabilities.

“Today, more and more organizations are using a complex network of suppliers to support their services and deliver value through specialisation. Service integration and management (SIAM) was developed in response to the additional complexity this can bring, helping organizations to encourage their suppliers to work together in a collaborative and innovative way. Initially applied in the IT service space, SIAM is now being used to manage many different types of services.”

Claire Agutter, Director, Scopism*

The SIAM Structure

A SIAM ecosystem has three layers:

  • Customer Organization
  • Service Integrator
  • Service Providers (both internal and external)

Each layer has a role to play to ensure effective end-to-end management of services and the delivery of maximum value to the stakeholders of the customer organization.

Service Integrator Layer

The four most common ways in which organizations chose to set up their SIAM service integrator layer are:

  • Internal service integrator – the customer organization staffs the service integrator layer
  • External service integrator – the service integrator layer is fully outsourced to a specialized SIAM firm
  • Hybrid service integrator – the service integrator layer is partly outsourced
  • Lead supplier – one of the customer’s managed service providers staffs the service integrator layer

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.  Over time, organizations may decide to move from one option to another.  That is why it is good to know that 4me supports for all of these options for the service integrator layer.

For a more in-depth overview of SIAM, please download the free SIAM Foundation Body of Knowledge, which is published and maintained by Scopism.

Seamless Collaboration

4me makes seamless collaboration possible across organizational boundaries, without requiring different organizations to use the same instance of a service management tool.  With 4me, each support organization can set up its own secure 4me account, which they configure so that it is optimized for the support of their internal processes.  What makes 4me so unique is that these organizations can then decide to link their 4me accounts.  Such a link is called a ‘trust’.  A trust takes less than a minute to established and does not require any technical skills.

A trust between two organizations allows:

  • SLAs to be established for the services they provide to each other,
  • requests to be assigned to another organization, provided that the request concerns a service that the other organization is responsible for,
  • the support responsibility for configuration items (CIs or assets) to be transferred to an external service provider, while the financial owner still keeps the CI in its 4me account,
  • one or both organizations to allow the other to assign change or project tasks to them,
  • one organization to provide first line support (the service desk function) to the other organization.

The important thing is that each party can only see what the other party has allowed, and that no integration or technical skills are needed to make this work.

The Only Practical SIAM Solution

Managing numerous outsourcing contracts presents its challenges.  4me makes it possible to stay in control, even when there are many internal and external providers that need to work together.  4me is the only enterprise service management solution that can do this without an extensive and costly customization effort.