Service Integration and Management (SIAM): Helps You Efficiently Manage Your Support Ecosystem

October 1, 2015 - 4 Comments

“Simply put, successful multisourcing requires establishing end-to-end visibility, reporting and accountability for services that are delivered by multiple suppliers.”1

-Bill Martorelli, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

For the past two decades many enterprises managed their IT vendor relationships pretty much the same with batch updates and reviews. That worked well when they were fully outsourcing their IT function with a single service vendor. But, in our hyper-connected world IT departments are managing five times as many providers as they were seven years ago and the pace and scale are increasing.

Because of the need to coordinate multiple sources of information, manage service cases across diverse environments, and maintain service performance levels, enterprises are looking for new ways to effectively manage increasingly complex ecosystems. Couple this with business leaders’ expectations for increased IT speed and responsiveness; we quickly see there is no sign of multi-sourcing slowing down. With that being said, a solution is needed to help manage these intricate environments and get the best value and service from all service providers.

Service Integration and Management (SIAM)

Outsourcing and service integration have evolved. The way we managed both between the 1980’s and the early 2000’s is not ideal in today’s pluralistic service environment. A solution would be an approach that manages multiple suppliers of IT services and integrates them to retain control of the entire service delivery process. This approach is called Service Integration and Management (SIAM) and it is designed to be a solution for effective multiprovider management in today’s hyper-distributed environments.

SIAM_pic3 and JMs blog

SIAM continues to be one of the most talked about topics in IT Service Management. This is because a well-integrated support service is no longer a luxury, but an absolute necessity for any business wanting to maximize the value of contracted IT services.

SIAM Helps You Build an Efficient Ecosystem

A truly great SIAM process should be seamless and efficient providing relevant information to business managers about different service level agreements (SLAs), produce reports that reflect performance, enable effective service governance of all service providers, and provide a way for parties to securely share information in real-time for faster collaboration and issue resolution.

In a recently published Pulse magazine article, Connect the Unconnected with Service Integration and Management, I stated that an effective integration approach should provide enterprises with exceptional benefits such as:

  • Lower initial investment costs due to faster partner on-boarding
  • Ongoing maintenance cost savings
  • Lower operating costs and increased customer satisfaction from faster issue resolution
  • Increased ROI on services

Hannah Patterson- a leading expert in multi-sourcing and service integration with significant market experience including her work on the first UK SIAM implementation- expanded on this thought in the newly published white paper, The Impact of Cisco’s ServiceGrid in a Hyper-Distributed World: Managing Multi-Supplier Relationships with Service Integration Management (SIAM):

“A good SIAM function will understand and enable the inter-relationships between processes. It will enable the business relationship managers in their interactions with the client businesses by providing the relevant information out of the demand, service level and other service management processes. It will enable effective supplier management through the provision of supplier performance reports across all processes including testing, change and configuration management etc. It will also make available meaningful reports and will help to run an effective governance practice across the IT services enabling effective day-to-day delivery of services, commercial management of the suppliers and the relationship management with the business.”

 If enterprises are going to be successful in vendor relationship management, it will be necessary for them to think differently about how they implement service integration and management going forward. Watch the video below of Frank Casale, Founder & CEO, Outsourcing Institute and myself discussing this paradigm shift.

1Forrester Research Inc, Building the Service Integration Layer in Multisourcing, Bill Martorelli, September 28, 2011.

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  1. Great Article Jim! SIAM is even more critical for IoT/IoE. IoT introduces:

    · Multiple sensor types, many with no unique IP address to track (often getaways are used for sensor identifications).
    · Multiple access protocols (e.g. Zigbee, MQTT, CoAP, XMPP, SIP just to name a few). It’s unlikely to see IoT protocol conversion any time soon. This is due to the fact that different protocols are needed to address different IoT requirements. For example, CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol) over UDP is primarily, a one-to-one protocol for transferring state information between client and server. It is used for resource constrained, low-power sensors and devices connected via lossy networks, especially when there is a high number of sensors and devices within the network. On the other hand, MQTT over TCP is a many-to-many communication protocol for passing messages between multiple clients through a central broker.
    · Multiple IoT Getaways addressing multiple vertical needs. Cisco plays an import role is this area.
    · Multiple verticals such as Industrial, Smart cities / Smart buildings, eHealth, Agriculture, etc.

    · Managing multiple Suppliers of the various components (e.g. sensor suppliers, component suppliers, network management suppliers, embedded management software suppliers) for IoT solutions/services and integrating them to provide a single business-facing view is essential.
    · Managing multiple Partners for IoT services. Eco-system partners work with suppliers and enterprises/customers to deliver, deploy, integrate, monitor, and/or manage IoT services. This are is extremely important for Cisco where the majority of deals include ecosystem patterns. Generally, IoT suppliers operate on the Physical Layer while IoT Partners operate at the application layer of IoT stacks.

    With up to the minute monitoring and management requirements in IoT, no solution can practically operate without seamlessly integrating interdependent services from various internal and external service providers into end-to-end services in order to meet business requirements. SIAM is great overall framework for address the above 1-5 IoT requirements for Service Integration and Management. Managing multiple suppliers and partners to support IoT end-to-end services and integrating them to provide a single business-facing IT organization is perhaps the most essential SIAM value.

    Unlike ITIL, which is implemented in line with proprietary models developed by large IT providers, SIAM is aimed at delivering a framework and establishing body of knowledge. It targets integrating interdependent services from internal and external service providers into global services in order to meet business requirements

  2. I think the new outsourcing these days is even shorter. more and more companies outsource projects for periods in the range of 2 weeks to 3 months…

    • Totally agree – the relationships are becoming so much more dynamic, and as the Internet of Everything accelerates they will become even more dynamic in nature. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Great Stuff Frank, You look great on camera, Don’t change a thing,,, Don,,,