In a post yesterday by James Governor, about Microsoft owning ITIL conversations, he mentions that Microsoft seems to be the center of gravity for most ITIL “talk” but I would say that is more so in the US where ITIL is now beginning to pick up steam.
I posted a comment on his site, but wanted to reiterate here that Microsoft has been actively involved with the ITIL community since 1999, both using the ITIL content and contributing to new and updated documentation, including co-authoring several books. MOF v1 was released in 1999 with the latest v3 version in December 2003. For the past several years then, Microsoft has taken a very large public role to not only promote ITSM with MOF content but also to drive ITIL acceptance in the US, as well as vendor sponsorship on itSMF. That is why I think we garner so much attention in this space.
I do not speak directly for the MOF Product Group at Microsoft, I am just a consultant in the field and a “MOF Practitioner”, but I don’t think we will have an inferiority complex that “we were here first”. ITIL came out in 1989, and was (still is) by far the best generic ITSM framework made. So, when Microsoft realized the need for guidance to customers in the distributed area on service mgmt, and as ITIL is designed as a generic, high level framework to be adopted and adapted, we chose ITIL to base MOF on. I do not believe Microsoft would seek to “own” the ITIL standard and it is not as if this is a product up for sale. On the contrary, we are better served by adapting industry best practice for the distributed environment our customers operate in than to recreate the wheel.
MOF, in and of itself, is not a money maker for Microsoft, and I don’t believe it should be. All of the content is published on our web site for customers to take and implement. We do offer services to help train, assess, and implement MOF, as do many other consulting firms, but the core content is free.
Focusing on service improvement for years now, I am just delighted to see exposure increasing; not only with awareness but in the way that we are embedding support for process definition in our products. The latest versions of products such as Microsoft Operations Manager 2005, Systems Management Server 2003, BizTalk Server 2004 for process flow support especially around zero touch provisioning, etc. are starting to bear fruit in this area. The detailed operations guidance for various solutions we provide to be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/cits/mo/default.mspx is a huge benefit to implement best practices very quickly within an organization.
It was a good post, James, and I like you, look forward to where this is heading.