A common inquiry I get from clients has some of the following flavors:

  • “We’ve chosen a new ITSM tool and need help moving to it.  Who can help us?”
  • “We want to choose a new ITSM product and an implementation provider at the same time.  How do I know which implementation providers work with a particular ITSM product?”
  • “We don’t have the resources to automate our processes.  Who can help us with that by applying best practices?”
  • “We want to work with someone who has developed industry specific best practices.  Who really delivers that?”
  • “We need to revolutionize the way we are delivering services so we can focus on what really matters to the company.  Is there an implementation service provider who can help get us there from where we are today?”

In the past we were unable to qualify implementation service providers beyond the informal feedback we got from other clients…until now.  I have buddied up with my colleague William Martorelli from the Sourcing and Vendor Management team to create the report “The Forrester Wave™: North American ITSM Implementation Services Providers, Q2 2014.”  In this report, 13 different ITSM implementation service providers are scored on 15 different criteria.

How did I get my list of ITSM implementation service providers?  I started with the ITSM tool vendors and asked them to nominate their ITSM implementation partners and their own services if applicable to get a better understanding of the market landscape.  I gave no qualification on how to generate the list.  One vendor sent the invitation out in their partner newsletter.  Others picked a list of specific vendors based on their own qualifications.  Once I got the full list of vendors I limited the vendors to the wave inclusion criteria which are ones who have 40% of their revenue coming from North American clients, ones who have revenue of at least $8M in ITSM implementation services and ones who are relevant and have Forrester client’s interest.  Because this list of vendors is limited, you can use the criteria included in the report to rate other ITSM implementation service providers you are interested in and compare them against the ones included in the report.

Here are some suggestions for how to pick your next ITSM implementation services provider:

  1. Narrow down the possible implementation service providers with the ITSM tool(s) you are considering or have purchased.    If you are moving from one toolset to another and are concerned by the complexity and/or number of customizations of the current tool, you can narrow the choice even further by picking a vendor that knows both old and new toolsets.
  2. Use resources like “The Forrester Wave™: North American ITSM Implementation Services Providers, Q2 2014” to determine which vendors offers an acceptable level of quality of service.  All Forrester Waves are customizable.  Take advantage of this feature by customizing the report with your own weightings of the given criteria.
  3. Compare the type of project you are trying to accomplish to the skills of the implementation vendor.  Each vendor has a focus.  Some focus on process improvement, some on best practice implementations, some on upgrades and migrations, and some on automation.  Pick a vendor that has the right expertise for your project even if you know that you will be using another vendor for the next project.

Whether you are upgrading or migrating to get to the latest features and functionality, revitalizing your current services through best practices, or revolutionizing the way you deliver business critical services through automation and self-service, may your partnerships with ITSM implementation services providers be successful!