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Fujitsu Services, the world’s third largest IT services company, needed a configuration and change management solution to support one of their largest customers, a major UK government department. Fujitsu had a 10-year contract to manage the desktop telecommunications infrastructure for over 20,000 users. The company implemented selected the Serena® Dimensions™ solution at the start of the contract to ensure stability and reliability. Some of the system’s principals and models were applied to existing projects for strong process management, tool, and information integration throughout the program.
Serena Dimensions enabled Fujitsu Services to organize and efficiently manage changes affecting their customer’s infrastructure, software, and document assets. Dimensions provided the ability generate an audit trail and continually track status changes. As a result, Fujitsu gained greater control over the customer environment, reduced the volume of work, and achieved substantial cost and time savings across the board. Dimensions scaled easily, allowing Fujitsu Services to support an increasing number of users while maintaining Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and accommodating client security requirements.
To develop an end-to-end integrated configuration and change management system covering program, project, and operational areas in support of one of Fujitsu’s largest customers.
Dimensions enables Fujitsu to organize and efficiently manage changes affecting their infrastructure, software, and document assets.
Fujitsu Services is the world's third largest IT services company, operating, implementing, managing, and supporting the IT infrastructures behind the Internet society. The company has operations in more than 65 countries across the world.
One of Fujitsu's largest customers is a major UK government department where Fujitsu Services has a 10 year contract to implement and manage the desktop and telecommunications infrastructure for over 20,000 users, both in the UK and overseas. Against this backdrop it has been necessary for Fujitsu Services to develop an end-to-end integrated configuration and change management system covering program, project, and operational areas in support of this contract.
Dimensions was installed in Fujitsu Services at the start of the contract. The company carried forward some of the principles and Dimensions models used on large existing projects, re-using and developing them on this contract to lead to strong process management, tool and information integration across the program as the customers' IT infrastructure developed.
Fujitsu Services' senior management team agreed that strong tool support was required as a backbone of the project. Dimensions was selected to ensure stability and reliability. Dimensions is a Configuration Management (CM) system that enables companies to organize and efficiently manage changes affecting their infrastructure, software and document assets, its primary role within Fujitsu Services.
"We sought a tool that could enable us to have end-to-end configuration and change management throughout the company. At Fujitsu Services we wanted a solution to manage program related elements of change, manage documentation, application packaging and release, server and desktop definition, testing, verification, and release. We wanted an environment that would make tracking and audits of what is produced and delivered onto our clients' IT infrastructure an easy task. There are three officers that focus purely on change management and configuration management, therefore a comprehensive tool with unique abilities was needed to ensure that we provided a strong solution," states Dave Clarke, CM Manager, Fujitsu Services. "Dimensions could allow members both within and outside of the CM team to manage clients' assets and make instant changes in a controlled way."
Working together with Serena's helpdesk, the CM team began the process of integrating Dimensions. The main challenge was to ensure that all formal information (relating to, for example infrastructure elements, software and documentation) is properly managed and is auditable end-to-end. Therefore controlling how the infrastructure is designed, developed, and rolled out to the live estate and used correctly within the required, agreed service levels and in line with the customers security requirements. In particular, desktops and servers were being equipped variously with NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, a process which required continual change management. Due to the nature of the work, this project required solid security applications, which needed to be integrated into the overall management infrastructure.
An additional challenge was to remove the bottleneck caused by only having three employees focused on CM issues. The use of Dimensions allowed the central CM team to educate other members of staff about the benefits of change management and configuration management. This has provided the foundation to get other people around the program to take ownership of their information in terms of inputting and managing it. The CM team has set up a framework of policies and procedures to ensure information is correctly defined, stored and managed. For example, a significant number of staff have become their own document controllers and greatly increased the throughput of work. One of the central objectives was to adapt the traditional change controller role to a company culture of everyone contributing and managing change for the program which they are working on, within the framework set up by the CM team. This means that this task is no longer the sole responsibility of the CM team.
"Of the 550 staff within Fujitsu's project organization, about 250 people currently use Dimensions as their means of controlling and amending data. I have organized one-to-one sessions, workshops and user groups to encourage the use of Dimensions. For example, at our site in Southend, all of the managers now understand how to prevent 'islands of change' developing and how Dimensions is crucial to our strategic approach to manage this. People across all six sites including Slough, Bracknell, Manchester and Southend are now taking CM to be part of their day to day job," states Clarke.
“What is exciting about this use of Serena Dimensions is how the tool has been adopted and integrated into Fujitsu Services’ operations,” notes the Serena account manager. “This is not a company of software developers but of administrators, managers, and consultants. They have been able to understand the essence of configuration management and embrace it at various levels. Change management has become a prime and organized repository.”
The installation of Dimensions into the management infrastructure for the project has been seen as a great success. Many of the key managers within the project have embraced the technology and have encouraged other members of staff to use it as part of their every day tasks. The tool is viewed as a fully featured and comprehensive tool that is scalable across all projects. Currently, there are 130,000 items and 3,000 documents being managed and changed in the lifecycle. Accessibility to documents and information has been greatly increased. Dimensions has proved to be a versatile solution that is used across the board at Fujitsu Services, to the degree that it is considered to be a business critical element of their infrastructure.
There are over 250 users of the software and Clarke and his team are in discussions to upgrade to the latest version of Dimensions. Also, to extend its usage, a migration strategy is currently being developed for the servers, firewalls and networks to enable this to occur.
“The Fujitsu Services CM system currently integrates to a degree with existing systems within the government organization. In the future it is intended to look into the possibility of building on this to enable easy replications, increased exchanges in information, and simplify sharing of information between the organization’s systems and the Fujitsu Services CM system. Dimensions is often used for software development but it is a valuable control system too,” says Clarke.