We caught up with David McKinney, Head of Automation Services at our partner firm Lida Solutions, to find out more about what they have to offer in the IT Service Management field.
At Alemba, we work with a valued network of partners to deliver services such as the procurement, administration and implementation of the Alemba Service Manager ITSM suite.
Hi, David. Tell us a bit more about Lida Solutions and what you offer.
Lida Solutions have been an Alemba partner since 2014. We’re based in Australia but we have clients throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We even have a consultant living in France at the moment– in today’s connected world, we can work with anyone anywhere. Our growing team of Alemba Service Manager experts all have great knowledge and skills and our senior consultants have been working with the product for more than 15 years. Our clients come from all sorts of industries –all levels of government, from local through to federal, big banks, mining companies, utilities – the list goes on.
When we started out many years ago, most of our time was spent building out new IT Service Management implementations for our clients, but over time we’ve found ourselves also doing a lot of work with other areas of the business like HR, Finance and Facilities, helping them mature in the way they offer services to their own customers. A few years ago we saw an opportunity to step into the automation and integration space, which we think is a huge untapped area of opportunity for the Alemba Service Manager user base.
How can you help Alemba Service Manager users?
We have considerable expertise in Alemba Service Manager so can offer all the services you’d expect – upgrades, building out screens and workflows, implementing a full Service Catalogue, hooking in the CMDB to external data sources and so on. We can also remotely administer your Alemba Service Manager system– we find many clients don’t have a dedicated Alemba Service Manager administrator and so struggle to build up the expertise to administer Alemba Service Manager well, so it makes sense to outsource that to people who work with Alemba Service Manager every day and are on top of the best approaches and latest developments.
I think our major point of differentiation though is the great value we can offer in the automation and integration space, which I find is something that a lot of Alemba Service Managers users haven’t really explored much. As an example, one thing our clients often ask us to do is to automate the process of onboarding a new starter – we can create their account in Active Directory, set up their mailbox and Office access and have their phone number up and running within an hour of a manager submitting a request in the Alemba Service Manager portal, with no need for an analyst to get involved at all. No more anxious managers hassling the Service Desk at 9am on a Monday after they forgot to tell anyone their new employee was starting that day!
That’s just one example of many. We’ve also built integrations into Azure DevOps, SAP, Jira and Adobe licensing, to name a few. We’ve built automations to create new servers in Azure and to provision Citrix virtual desktops and applications. Once you start down the automation path there’s a lot you can do, and I think we’re uniquely placed to help Alemba Service Manager customers benefit.
What is your favourite Alemba Service Manager feature?
I’ve always thought the workflow engine was ahead of its time and it’s still better than most of what is out there in other products. But right now I’m loving webhooks. We’ve invested heavily in Azure automation and webhooks allow us to do so many things with Alemba Service Manager that we’d never even thought of before.
Connecting with external systems is easy with the Alemba ITSM Connector and all of the Azure connectors for other systems and tools. So you can do things like save a new password in Secret Server, securely share a document in Alemba Service Manager with a third party via Dropbox, post messages from a workflow in a Slack channel during a Change, or sync an updated Person record across to your CRM. The possibilities are endless. Webhooks are really easy to set up and use and I can see them taking Alemba Service Manager to the next level over the next couple of years.
How can readers get in touch to work with you?
The easiest way to get in touch with us is via our website at www.lida.com.au. You can see all our services in more detail there, and subscribe to our blog to get some ideas about things you can do with Alemba Service Manager.
You can also contact us via email at [email protected]. Feel free to reach out just to find out what we can offer – no obligations of course!
Lida usually work under fixed price engagements but sometimes time & materials makes more sense – when the scope isn’t quite locked down or when there are lots of little things that need to be done. As a special offer for new customers, we’re offering 15% off our standard T&M rates if you mention this article when you contact us.