Marval user conference

Yesterday I attended the Marval user conference in Kettering. The day started well with a collegue, Claire, meeting at my house and I would drive the rest of the way. Up the M1 we drove, confident that we were going in the opposite direction ro everyone else. Then this happened! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-41334775. M1 closed, I noticed the sign ping on just as I went past the last exit before the blockage!

We sat in traffic and moved about 200m. We got to Newport Pagnell services and decided coffee was better than sitting in my car. As we got the till to pay the lady said: “The gate will be open if you want to use it”, What? It turned out the staff gate was open so we were free to escape onto the A roads for a cross country adventure. As a result, we arrived about 1hour 15 late, so not a disaster compared to some who sat in traffic for 5-6 hours.

We arrived just in time to hear from Stuart Beale from Leicestershire county council about the challenge he had to maintain service qulaity but reduce his spend by £50k. It was a very interesitng talk and his focus on quality was an extremely interesting approach. The core of what he achieved was to automate nearly all the contact he had via email to the service desk. A brave move but one that proven results.

Next up was Dr Donz Page ITIL royalty no less,! Don challenged us all to think about how a service management tool can be used in other aspects of the organisation. Some great ideas were floated and everyone came away with a challenge to take back to their organisations. I took away some good ideas, the biggest being that using a service management tool to deal with a contact that requires governance to be applied to it would allow for transparency with the person aswell as a detailed log of the contact.

A nice lunch then it was my turn to speak. I spoke about devops and the challenges this is going to bring to the service desk and the traditional 1st two lines of support

It seemed to be well received with serval people asking questions as well as asking for the slide deck I used.  I was asked a question of “Am I doing devops but don’t realise it”. The answer to that is probably no. Devops has a very specific element that a lot of people overlook., the standard pre-approved change. Basically, it is a change that is done often, can be automated, and has a very low-risk score. THis allows people to speed up deployment but also allows for the controls that change management brings such as stats, governance and risk reduction.

Overall it was a good event with good information from a lesser know vendor. I liked the size of the event, about 70 people as it was easy to speak to a wide range of people. It also wasn’t too intimidating to stand up and speak in front of everyone!

 

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