By: David Norfolk, Practice Leader - Development, Bloor Research
Published: 1st August 2014
Copyright Bloor Research © 2014
IT Service Management (ITSM) is very worthy, and very useful, but perhaps a little unexciting—exemplified in Gartner's 2013 ITSM Magic Quadrant, with everybody (apart from BMC and ServiceNow—just) grouped in the bottom-left quadrant. I see ITSM, by itself, as an enabler for good IT governance.
Hornbill is a well-established ITSM company that now wants to break out from the pack, by providing a SaaS/Cloud development platform that offers collaborative features and goes well beyond ITSM—with its own App Store (although it seems to me that ServiceNow, for example, may be thinking along similar lines). Hornbill is taking advantage of its 20 years' experience in IT and the experience of its customers, who have often extended its tools beyond pure ITSM. It notes that IT is often a driver for business inovation these days; and that the consumerisation of IT and technology convergence (specialised hardware is being repaced by a computer with specialiised software), is changing the business' expectations from IT (part of what Bloor calls "people-centric computing"; and part of the trend towards freedom to work the way people want to).
Hornbill's new SaaS/cloud offering is a business collaboration platform exploiting the best features of consumer social applications—but tailored for Enterprise needs (it is definitely not intended to be a 'Facebook for the Enterprise'). Its key capabilities include a visual business process design tool and process orchestration engine, which can develop socially-enabled, location-aware, applications that can be deployed from Hornbill's App Store "with the click of a button".
Hornbill claims that it fits between tools that have emerged from a workforce collaboration, content management or messaging/sharing background (for example, Huddle, OpenText, and Jive); and tools that evolved from adding collaboration capabilities to Enterprise applications (for example, Salesforce.com Chatter and IBM's Social Business tools). Free trial options are available, as are full Enterprise support options. Current fully-integrated applications include service, customer and document managers. New collaborative features for 2014 include intra-enterprise collaboration with community workspaces; WebRTC video chat and conferencing; Android mobile support; blog-like document publishing; and workforce E-Mail (both personal and with shared mailboxes). New applications for 2014 include a project manager (oughtn't that to be a portfolio manager, for parallel projects sharing staff?); a holiday tracker; and, a sales manager.
Hornbill's plans seem very much in line with where things are going (which means that it will have competition [existing or sooner rather than later]), so I think this new platform is well worth investigating, in comparison with others.
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