This session, led by David Crane, Consulting Architect, and Nick Moore, Global Technical Operations Architect, was well attended. It presented an interesting use case of how Operations Transformation helped a large financial organization streamline and improve their virtual machine (VM) provisioning process. In the presentation, David and Nick alternated between outlining the business problem and the challenges faced by the team in working with the customer, and then explaining the technical part of the solution utilizing vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation.
The customer’s primary objectives were to find a way to reduce their operational costs, handle their users’ demand for more speed and agility, and try to minimize the expansion of “shadow IT.” The customer’s challenges were also that their infrastructure and organization were heavily segmented and siloed, their data centers were underutilized, and their users were going directly to third-party and internal “shadow IT.” The Operations Transformation team’s solution was to implement an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC), fully diagram and assess the process operations, design and optimize an approvals process, and produce a detailed transformation roadmap.
The team’s process first involved having the right tools in place to support the automation of the provisioning process. Next, they broke down the entire provisioning process to its most basic steps and determined how much time in each step was task-time vs. wait-time – and then utilized automation to compress out as much of the wait time as possible. Through this process, they were able to help the customer transform a months-long process into a minutes-long process.
However, this new IT speed created new friction within the existing IT organizational infrastructure. The VMware team worked with the customer utilizing measurement tools to help restructure and remove the artificial silo-imposed barriers. They presented an EHC operating model that better empowered the IT organization to fully leverage the benefits of vRealize Operations.
Another challenge was understanding and meeting the objections of the approvers, who in many cases were personally liable for decisions made by the new automated system. The VMware team educated the approvers on the process and put them in full control of the approval rules to ensure they were more comfortable with the process. They also started small, leveraging a full approval flow on the more general cases that did not require in-depth analysis.
Lastly, they helped set up monitoring and metrics using vRealize Operations to provide the customer with real-time information on how the provisioning processes were running; forecasting future provisioning needs; and showing where time and money were being saved. In one example, automated provisioning and approvals saved nearly 5,000 USD per VM provisioned.
David and Nick presented a well-structured view of a typical, common IT challenge and showed how Operations Transformation helped the customer resolve their challenges and greatly improve their IT investment and relationship with their users.
Craig is on the Global Technology & Professional Services team and supports TAM service development. Craig developed the Customer Maturity Assessment, the NSX Readiness Assessment and several other methodologies used by TAMs. Craig has over 30 years of experience in IT, covering Development, Systems Support, Data Center Management, Strategic IT Planning, and Benchmarking. Prior to VMware, Craig was a Research Director and VP with Gartner, Inc. Craig managed and led the evolution of the server models and architected the storage management TCO and ROI models. Craig also authored several research notes on TCO, ROI and Best Practices. Craig holds a bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Management from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.