“In order to extract the maximum value from each platform, the first thing is to be able to define the vision, understand the problems and figure out what are the critical activities”
David has worked in more than 25 countries, helping organizations define their Digital Transformation Strategies and Service Orientation. Pragmatic, experienced and focused on supplying tangible results to the transformation required within the organization. His purpose is to provide Vision, Direction and Experience to our clients to align their digital and business strategies which increase profits while reducing costs and enhancing customer satisfaction. David also manages the transfer of knowledge to offer the best possible business solutions to his clients.
How do companies understand the world of Digital Transformation today?
In the world we live in, companies are beginning to understand that Digital Transformation is something they need to improve their competitiveness, customer satisfaction, productivity, increase their profits, etc. Clients often tell us that it is difficult to understand the transformation of the business in a global sense. They focus on the change of initiatives in which they invest separately but are not able to see a global plan and as a result do not reach the benefits they want to achieve. Therefore, the most important thing is to have a clear vision of what we want. Consultants such as Forrester or Gartner state that 70% of the initiatives fail because they are not framed in a global plan with the objectives they want to obtain.
What does SilverStorm bring to the Digital Transformation?
First of all, companies have to know that there are new structures that allow us to offer an innovative business model. If we apply new technologies without taking into account the status of the existing model, the results will not be as expected or we will incur unnecessary expenses.
In SilverStorm, we provide vision, direction to guide our clients and experience. We have understood this after carrying out more than 200 projects in 30 countries, using disruptive technologies to accomplish Digital Transformation in companies.
What tools does SilverStorm use?
In SilverStorm, we use three different technologies with which we build these disruptive solutions that allow you to transform an organization digitally. One of them is ServiceNow, which brings us the most innovative platform in the world, according to Forbes. This platform transforms the way of working, connecting people, customers and suppliers and automating processes. It is our core, where we turn all our experience to the service of our customers.
With Nexthink, the user's point of view is monitored to understand how to use the technology and thus be able to cross this information with the hard data of each company. The result is a global vision that provides the company with proactive solutions to address problems before they occur.
And finally, Zenoss, who measures IT operations and how they service and support the transformation. Instead of giving us the user's point of view, it offers us what service the computer system provides, how many issues it has had, etc.
What is the strategic value of the ServiceNow platform?
ServiceNow is a unique product with a strategic platform that changes the way many people work. In SilverStorm, we know it well because we have been working with ServiceNowsince 2007. Our clients trust us because they know that we will guide them by transforming their ideas into innovative solutions. We extract more value from the platform with our vision, direction and experience.
SilverStorm has also developed its own digital transformation strategy. What is it?
In order to extract the maximum value from each platform, the first thing is to be able to define the vision, understand the problems and figure out what are the critical activities to address to support that transformation. We have defined that vision as the SilverStorm Digital Transformation Strategy(SSDX), in which we identify the main lines to be covered in any Digital Transformation project.
What are those ‘main lines’?
Vision, Direction and Experience. On the first, the vision, we have defined how the value chain of a digital company should be through SilverStorm Digital Value Chain. In this way, a company aligns the business strategy with their technology.
Once the vision is clear, it is important to define a direction. What is the current status? What are the business objectives? Are they aligned with the IT objectives? In what order to implement the processes, products or standards we need? There are many areas to transform and customers need guidance. We call it Bridge Adoption Model. A methodology where we interview different leaders to understand the maturity of the Digital Transformation and their objectives. With this, we build a bridge to take customers where they want to reach.
Finally, with our experience we have created SilverStorm Digital Service Portfolio. A set of products ready to use with documentation, examples of data already defined, loading templates or training support and whose implementation takes place in a few weeks.
“The client needed to know the real health of his platform and why the performance was being affected”
RAÚL FLORES - Solution ConsultantAccompanying companies in their Digital Transformation with the ability to successfully understand the needs of both the business and its internal and external customers. That is the main challenge that Raúl Flores, Solution Consultant, has with SilverStorm. Always in search of excellence and presenting proposals with added value so that companies are able to develop and improve their IT processes at a level that the companies themselves did not know they could achieve. One of these cases is that of an important oil company that chose SilverStorm to overcome several challenges in the implementation of IT Service Management.
What was the starting situation?
A long ITSM implementation project was being executed and was going to finish late and with various functional problems. First, it had not worked under the good configuration and customize practices marked by our manufacturer ServiceNow. The client needed to know the real health of his platform and why the performance was being affected.
And secondly, the platform's performance was not as expected. Some features were not being used, others were malfunctioning, but above all they were unhappy with the potential obtained from important verticals in ServiceNow such as Discovery and Performance Analytics.
What challenges did this oil company face?
On the one hand, enhancing the use and improving the perception in users of the functionalities of knowledge, collaboration and self-resolution. In addition, maximizing the efficiency in the management of the ITSM platform, taking advantage of the product functionalities avoiding unnecessary developments and following the best practices published by the manufacturer itself. Finally, optimizing and extracting the full potential of functionalities already implemented.
What did they need to overcome those challenges?
The customer had to find a provider with high technical and functional knowledge about all the modules of the ServiceNow platform. Initially, this provider had to be able to analyze their platform status with the goals of proposing improvements both in terms of performance, as well as in the processes already implemented.
They also needed an experienced provider like SilverStorm that could guide them in the next steps to perform the optimization and improve the use of their new platform, taking them to their objective level of initial expectations.
In short, this oil company sought to improve their maintenance, support and current administration service to move to a global service with the same provider that would allow them to reduce costs, optimize equipment and guarantee the needs of its business users.
What did SilverStorm offer as an additional and differential value?
Providing an insight into the health status of the platform, guiding the improvement and use of the functionalities and providing experience for the optimization of the implemented solutions. In addition, we offer a team of consultants specialized in the maintenance, administration and governance of the ServiceNow platform. But the most differentiating thing was that the SilverStorm initiative called Continual Service Improvement Methodology.
And what is that methodology?
It provides additional value with other differential services. For example, Health Check that performs periodic reviews on the health status of the platform, delivering the recommendations and actions that must be carried out to improve performance. Also the Bridge Adoption Model that allows the client to bridge the gap between their current state and their desired state. On the other hand, the Innovation Program collects, analyzes and investigates the strategic needs of the business to align and define new and innovative ways of delivering benefits to the business through technology.
Why did this oil company choose SilverStorm?
In SilverStorm we have a long experience in the market with more than 15 years delivering digital transformation projects and the last twelve have been working in ServiceNow environments. We are Elite Partner and Partner Support Certified of this platform, which highlights us as the only partner in Spain to give official support in Spanish.
We were pioneers in making available to the Spanish market a solution like ServiceNowthat, at that time, was innovative. We have extensive experience with more than 200 projects executed in 30 countries and supported from our Center of Excellence based in Valladolid, where we have more than 70 certified consultants that ensure support, vision, continuous orientation to our clients and experience.
“Nexthink connects the most sentimental part with the IT experience to get a more global approach to the project”
David Hildbrand is the Visionary director at SilverStorm, specializing in Digital Transformation and the new business architecture models which are necessary for their implementation. He has focused his entire career in the service orientation of organizations, covering aspects of processes, products and people. Hildbrand has been involved in Digital Transformation projects in more than 20 countries over the last 15 years.
Why bet on a solution like Nexthink?
Nexthink allows us to understand the other side of your business, that is, how workers are using the technology and services around them. For example, with this monitoring it is known that the end users only report 20% of the incidents. They suffer in silence, since they do not even call the technical service because of lack of confidence and attitude.
How can you give voice to that dreaded silence?
We have decided to focus on the end user, because by combining the IT experience with the user experience we will have great advantages.
What are those added values?
The quality of the service. We will help them before they detect a service that is slow or an application that has errors when opened. Nexthink can monitor and search for other devices that have the same configuration, and thus resolve incidents proactively.
Is there also the possibility of self-healing?
Effectively. Nexthink uses pop-ups that detail the solution, these appears as a recommendation. This way, it shows that i is an important service that understands the daily problems of the workers.
How much time and money do companies save with Nexthink?
The resolution time is the best time saver, because the support process does not even start. It is also essential to reduce costs, since the user resolves their own incidents, even before they occur. The quality level is much higher; the users are aware that we understand them, that there really is support that allows them to work without stops, with the services at full capacity. All these advantages exist today with the implementation of a solution like Nexthink. By connecting this more sentimental part with the process and IT experience, you get a global approach to how we manage IT professionally with a solution made by and for your business.
Are there similar tools right now?
The problema with existing tools is that they are not focused on the employee side, but on IT. We have all implemented solutions for monitoring the network, servers, applications. However, it is always on the side of technology, but not the context of how the users use them.
Why is it necessary to choose a comprehensive approach?
It is not enough to make an inventory. Often we are concerned about support and it is only used once a year. Monitoring tells us what, when and with what performance applications are used. With this data we can improve the Digital Transformation.
How does Nexthink help with the user experience?
The first step is to ensure that the workplaces meet the conditions with which we have configured, while executing dangerous executables and websites. That part is key. Communication is added to it, if the workers understand the danger and the compliance. Through pop-ups and on a recurring basis, we send you information on different issues - a campaign of continuous improvement.
This circumstance allows the improvement of the quality of the service.
Of course. Nexthink also acts on the relationship between the user and IT support. Nexthink changes perspective and focus on how to use services and devices.
Are ServiceNow and Nexthink the perfect duo to continue growing as a company?
There are user cases where we need to monitor what happens from the user perspective. With ServiceNow we can control the project very well within the platform, but we always needed to understand the business optics. That was the only way we could measure, but now thanks to the incorporation of the end user experience, a more complete approach is given.
Are you saying that feelings influence productivity?
If workers are happy and their devices work at the performance they need, productivity is improved. For this reason, we, at SilverStorm, accompany you throughout the Digital Transformation process. We avoid incidents, complaints and optimize the projects we execute. In the end, what all organizations want is to improve the level of cost, resources, deliverable and time, but also the level of quality, satisfaction and productivity. This whole set is what makes ServiceNow and Nexthink combine to solve problems we see every day when we visit customers.
“Digital Transformation do not only focus on technology but also on organizational and cultural changes”
DAVID McCOURT - VP Strategy & AlliancesDavid McCourt joined SilverStorm in 2007 and currently holds the position of VP Strategy & Alliances. David graduated in Mathematics in 1997 and prior to joining SilverStorm he worked as a Principal Consultant in Detica, a London based consultancy firm.
With over 19 years IT consulting experience in more than 20 countries, his primary focus now is on developing and supporting the delivery of the SilverStorm business strategy through the creation of the core components of SilverStorm Digital Transformation StrategyTM. To this end, he heads up 4 different business areas within SilverStorm: Alliances, Products, SilverLabs and Organizational Change. All provides a key part in the delivery of the SilverStorm strategy.
We have all heard a lot about Digital Transformation. Can you give me a brief summary of what it means?
In today’s world, it is essential for organizations to adapt quickly to the constant changes and evolutions in the technology landscape. Those that are unable to leverage the power and efficiencies offered by new digital technologies, more often than not, will be placed at a huge disadvantage over their competitors.
Digital Transformation can basically be described as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how they operate and deliver value to customers. Digital Transformation not only focused on technology but also on organizational and cultural changes.
That seems like a complex process. Roughly how much investment is going on in Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is a huge undertaking. According to Forbes, this year enterprises are expected to invest $1.3 trillion dollars in Digital Transformation initiatives. They also say that approximately 70% of these initiatives will end in failure...
Wow, 70%! That seems like huge waste of time, effort and money. How can we measure Digital Transformation initiatives in order to make timely course corrections and improve its success rate?
It certainly is a waste. Firstly, it is important to understand that Digital Transformation is not a one-off process, it is a journey during which Digital Transformation strategies must evolve and be refined. It is virtually impossible to plan to far in the future, technology is evolving so quickly that plans will more than likely have to change.
One of the ways to ensure that we can efficiently measure the effectiveness is by breaking up the long-term plans into small focused projects with a specific set of measurable objectives and KPIs.
But why are more organizations not doing this? What are the challenges that they are facing?
In many cases the information we need is fragmented across a number of different sources. The problems with this approach are numerous, chief among them that centralized reporting on critical initiatives is impossible. This means course corrections cannot be applied to in-flight work in real time because there is no visibility. The result? The organization’s performance is a lagging indicator instead of an actively managed outcome. The workaround involves a slow and complex process often requiring manual effort leading to a lack of confidence in the information provided.
In addition to that poor definition upfront means that we rarely benchmark our KPIs against desired outcomes making it impossible to determine if they are acceptable or not.
Finally, more often than not, we don’t have a clear distribution strategy (or vehicle for report distribution) which means that we opt to send reports to mass distribution lists. Leading to information overload where important information is lost in the avalanche of other data.
What can be done to overcome these challenges?
Let’s look at each of the challenges in turn. Challenge number one: fragmented data silos, lack of confidence in available information. The obvious solution to this is to have single system of record that acts as an authoritative source of truth for an organization’s work investments, progress and results. Unfortunately, it is not common for organizations to have this type of system, but it is essential to be able to provide a source of timely, accurate and actionable information.
Challenge number two: manual assembly or reliance on IT for creation of reports. This is resolved by using a powerful reporting tool on top of the single system of record. Where users are empowered to create their own reports and dashboards.
Challenge number three: no benchmarking or performance measuring. It is all in the planning. As I mentioned previously Digital Transformation should be broken down into smaller, more achievable initiatives forming a Digital Transformation Roadmap. Each initiative must be defined with clear objectives as well as expected results.
Challenge number four: information overload, late delivery of information to the wrong audience. Information must be delivered to the correct people in real time to the correct. Organizations must invest in technology to allow the creation of real-time role specific dashboards.
But what can SilverStorm offer to help organizations measure the effectiveness of their Digital Transformation?
Here at SilverStorm we have developed a product called ServiceVision™to provide organizations with the visibility they need to measure their journey towards Digital Transformation and more importantly facilitate course corrections in their roadmap.
Can you provide me with a bit more detail regarding this product?
Sure. Our ServiceVision™product has been developed based upon our experience in successful transformation projects over the years and is made up of a combination of consulting services and technology that attempts to address the key challenges faced today.
At a high level, ServiceVision™ includes 3 key parts. First one, a single system of record for work, where Digital Transformation initiatives are defined, controlled and measures. Second, powerful reporting functionality providing focused real-time dashboards. And finally, consulting Services to help define KPIs, Dashboards and Reports.
ServiceVision™ product forms part of SilverStormDigital Service Portfolio™ contained within SilverStorm Digital Transformation Strategy™.
Tell us some more about SilverStorm Digital Transformation Strategy™?
That is probably worthy of an entire interview in itself, but I will try to give you a short overview. Here atSilverStormwe deliver a unique end to end solution allowing the customer to engage with one single point of contact for its entire Digital Transformation program. This solution has been developed to address the same three things that our customers have been asking us to do over and over again: provide us with your Vision, help us with Direction and lend us your Experience
SilverStorm Digital Transformation Strategy™aligns technology with the business through service orientation and manages the key elements of any transformation program: People, Process, Technology and Standards. Our Digital Transformation Strategy leverages best practices, world leading service management technology and many years of experience in successful transformation projects. Organizations that have implemented SilverStorm Digital Transformation Strategy™have experienced increased productivity, reduced costs and increased profit.
SilverStorm Digital Transformation Strategy™ consists of three core components. Firstly, SilverStorm Digital Value Chain™- provides the Vision. Based on the Porters Value Chain model, SilverStorm Digital Value Chain™gives our customers a template for transformation that can be readily adapted to fit their chosen framework. It allows them to align their business strategy with technology which in turn is developed into a series of primary activities known as services, that support the business objectives. As you would expect with any type of value chain, SilverStorm Digital Value Chain™, includes essential support activities such as organizational change management, and continual improvement. Included within SilverStorm Digital Value Chain™is a layer of management information and key performance indicators, available in real-time, that demonstrate where an organization is at any particular stage or time of its transformation journey. Secondly, SilverStorm Bridge Adoption Model™ - provides the Direction. Through a combination of the SilverStorm Digital Value Chain™ and the accelerators developed within SilverStorm Product Portfolio™, SilverStorm Bridge Adoption Model™ details the roadmap for Digital Transformation and permits our customers to transition from an ‘as-is’ state to a ‘to-be’ state, in a controlled and aligned process of adoption. We align the process adoption with the tangible benefits that a customer wishes to obtain, allowing for a constant focus on effort versus benefit.
Finally,SilverStorm Digital Service Portfolio™ - provides the benefit of our Experience. Mapping seamlessly onto SilverStorm Digital Value Chain™,SilverStorm Digital Service Portfolio™ provides a set of accelerator products to cover the entire value chain. Deploying prepackaged solutions at lightspeed provides organizations with a huge competitive advantage.