Managing multi-supplier environment with the new age SIAM solution

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May 31, 2022

The rapid shifts in technology and increasing consumerization of IT led to the growth of outsourcing of specialized services, resulting in a new management methodology that we today know as SIAM (Service Integration Management). It is essentially the approach used to manage multi-supplier services and it operates through IT departments to oversee/manage several functions. SIAM has been evolving based on the prevalence of the different outsourcing models. Over the past decades, the industry has witnessed the evolution of these outsourcing models and their underpinning SIAM solutions. Turning back the clock, the first model started with a single-sourcing model, supported by helpdesk 2.0 with an ITIL-based ITSM tool, DRYiCE GBP which was developed by HCL. That model worked fine until the adoption of cloud, virtualization, and further diversification of the supplier base that led to multi-sourcing integration. Enterprises started catering to the requirements of SIAM in their ITSM tools and consequently, HCL developed a SIAM-enabled ITIL system in its next version of GBP product and its associated services. It worked well until the customers came forward and addressed concerns related to their suppliers being enforced to change their service management processes.

Over the years SIAM has grown exponentially, becoming an integral part of an organization’s service value chain system. It has become a glue that binds the digital product build and delivers the product as a service to the consumers. However, this current solution has compelled suppliers to follow enterprise-defined SIAM processes killing the flexibility and making the integration process time and effort-intensive. Also, the underlying tooling or platform capabilities created a bottleneck when enterprises wanted to integrate more number of suppliers rapidly. Thereby, prompting an urgent need for an advanced SIAM solution that would offer adequate capabilities from the service integration perspective.

Currently, the industry lacks a true SIAM solution that offers a complete end-to-end SIAM Control and Governance solution to manage multi-supplier integrations. Thus, the industry must have a mechanism to implement advanced and end-to-end SIAM solutions to realize the full potential of SIAM and stay relevant.

New-age challenges in a multi-supplier environment

A study by Gartner has revealed that SIAM providers reported that 22% of their customers are already availing their SIAM services. And according to another report, the global SIAM market is expected to grow at a considerable rate in the next five to six years. Verticals like banking and securities, manufacturing, and natural resources are leveraging it the most, while a huge scope of growth lies in the utilities, government, and education verticals. The bundling of service desks with SIAM services is also becoming a trend.

However, the lack of willingness among the service providers to support the process of integration is a major restraining factor, which hinders the growth of the SIAM market. Therefore, organizations need to navigate through the following challenges to successfully integrate SIAM:

  • Long and complex supplier system integrations

Supplier system integration is an effort and time-intensive process and it can take up to six months to integrate a supplier’s ITSM tool. It requires customizations to be made in the customer and supplier systems. There are various other integration-related challenges including OEM’s reluctance for negotiations and resistance to customization, along with the high cost of customizations that need to be borne by the customer. These hurdles often curb an organization’s ability to scale services up or down according to demand and in turn, result in delayed time to floor.

  • Lack of a single pane of glass across multiple suppliers

The lack of strong governance leads to issues such as reconciliation and work duplication due to non-standardized tools and applications, uneven levels of information sharing across component teams, and poor compliance with rules and regulations.

  • Conflicting SLAs and lack of standardization

Different suppliers have different standards in terms of work processes and the work environment. Each has its own test setup for validation and issues arise when the quality assurance teams change set-ups to meet prescribed standards.

  • Absence of seamless ticket hand-off between suppliers

In many cases, the processes do not offer integration points for various suppliers working on different components of a process. Unless there is a standardized process for execution, different suppliers operate at different process maturity levels, causing integration issues resulting in the risk of unresolved issues at the integration touchpoints.

  • Lack of end-to-end visibility

Teams working in siloes have a limited view or understanding of the overall business goals. Such an environment leads to misaligned business goals.

The need - Advanced SIAM solutions

Today, enterprises need an easy, cloud-based, plug-and-play integration platform that can empower their business with scalability, enhanced security, and a faster way to integrate operations across multiple toolsets ensuring holistic and improved governance. Enterprises need a system that seamlessly integrates suppliers and allows them to run their service management processes independently. Thereby, eliminating the need to change their processes and tools for service integration. The system is also expected to efficiently manage the overall responsiveness of a multi-supplier environment. DRYiCE CONNECT promises to offer exactly this.

Why DRYiCE Connect?

DRYiCE Connect is a cloud-based platform designed to provide a unified ‘platform of engagement’ that effectively orchestrates the cross-supplier Service Integration and Management (SIAM) function. It seamlessly integrates with multiple ITSM platforms in the ecosystem to orchestrate processes between suppliers, provide definitive SLA computation, and provide a ‘single pane of glass’ for key service indicators across all IT service areas and suppliers.

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DRYiCE Connect Advantage

At HCL, we have developed a SIAM layer on top of a GBP platform to offer a SIAM solution to our customers, which fulfils their needs by -

  • Filling the gap with SIAM control framework - The core of DRYiCE Connect is built on the patented SIAM control framework, which provides a robust framework. It consists of proven industry-validated workflows, processes, and policies for hassle-free day-to-day operations and control. The framework provides prescriptive methods for normalizing ITSM processes across the customer and their suppliers. This enables both the enterprise and its suppliers to run their ITSM processes independently without having to worry about their service integration.
  • The Plug and Play advantage – DRYiCE Connect is preloaded with plug and play connectors, providing interoperability with most of the commonly used, industry-standard ITSM tools. The customers can easily and quickly integrate with suppliers, enabling them to choose any of the niche suppliers as per their requirements.
  • Faster time to value with lower TCO - Conventional SIAM integrations require heavy customizations with enterprise customers bearing the brunt of all development costs. DRYiCE CONNECT alternatively provides a low code platform. Moreover, unlike the norm, where OEM upgrades require further customizations, DRYiCE Connect enables enterprise customers to consume upgrades seamlessly.
  • Single source of truth for SLAs, OLAs, and KPIs – With seamless access to reliable and updated data, anytime and from anywhere, SIAM professionals can run operational or service level measurements reliably and generate accurate reports as and when required.

DRYiCE Connect offers multi-fold benefits to enterprises such as reduced management costs and total cost of ownership. It empowers enterprises with end-to-end support collaboration that leads to improved productivity. Besides, it also provides real-time updates driven point-in-time, SLAs, reports, and dashboard, and improves time-to-market with faster supplier integrations.

For more information on DRYiCE Connect click here.

Satya Misra

Satya Misra, Sr. Product Manager - DRYiCE Products

Satya has been working with HCL for over seven years as a Product Manager and is responsible for architecting, designing, and developing the HCL DRYiCE Orchestration Product and Service. Satya leveraged the IT4IT™  Standard extensively in developing HCL's XaaS Service Management product, solutions, and services for HCL and their enterprise customers. He is an ITSM professional with 21+ years of work experience in the IT industry. He has been actively involved in The Open Group IT4IT Forum for more than four years as an elected chair of the IT4IT Forum. He is a published author who is currently leading the development of IT4IT Reference Architecture 3.0, particularly in the R2F Functional Group.