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CHIPS Articles: NETCOM Convenes Information Technology Service Management Summit

NETCOM Convenes Information Technology Service Management Summit
By Enrique T. Vasquez, & Contributor Amanda Pearson, NETCOM Command Business Office - December 14, 2020
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. - As the Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) environment within the Network Enterprise Technology Command, (NETCOM), exponentially grows; it is critical in terms of IT service quality that service providers, customers and procurement stake holders synchronously work together to define, procure and sustain the precise network technologies and standards required to operate the Army’s Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN-A).

Thus, this November, the NETCOM Command Business Office CBO, convened a comprehensive ITSM Summit to facilitate the implementation of IT service management in a leading manner. Capitalizing on the uninhibited exchange of dialogue between customers, service providers and stake holders; the conference discussed service level, availability, capacity, financial contingencies and IT service continuity management.

“One of the primary objectives of the summit was to bring together Service providers, Customers and Process/Policy Owners to level-set IT service delivery standards and collectively agree to and prioritize ITSM processes improvement initiatives for DoDIN-A services,” said Dr. Ronald Richards, NETCOM CBO Director.

The three day summit hosted by the NETCOM ITSM Division encompassed over 150 active participants, including the Army G- 6, U.S. Army Cyber Command ARCYBER, NETCOM’s Regional Cyber Centers, RRC’s, Network Enterprise Center (NEC’s), Theater Signal Commands, as well as the major Army Commands (ACOM’s), Army Service Command Components (ASCC’s) Combative Commands (COCOM’s) and Direct Reporting Units (DRU’s) representing the DoDIN-A customers, Service Partners and IT stakeholders within the Army’s Information Technology footprint.

During his opening remarks Richards cited, “the summit brought together the collaborative partnerships of customers, service providers and stakeholders to modernize our ITSM Program and ultimately strengthen the successful delivery of services provided.”

“ITSM provides the foundational processes we need to understand and leverage for the effective and efficient delivery and management of the Army IT Service portfolio,” added Richards.

Ronald Pontius, Deputy to the Commanding General, ARCYBER Command reiterated the focus for the summit; “we must ensure there are more discussions of process, collaboration and transparency about how we can collectively be most effective and efficient in the delivery, sustainment and response, when applying IT Service Management.”

Initially, the summit was conceptualized as a tool to help mitigate ITSM, customer and stakeholder concerns.

“NETCOM’s Theater Signal Commands asked the CBO to facilitate a collaborative forum to share information and discuss various IT service delivery challenges in respective theaters (CONUS, Europe, Pacific and Southwest Asia). The subordinate commands and RCCs felt this could help clarify the IT requirements of their unique customer-base, and address the issues prevalent in each operational theater,” stated Jerry Deaver, NETCOM ITSM Division Requirements Analyst.

“The customer commands also asked CBO to clarify how IT service requests should be submitted, as well as provide updates regarding the enterprise tools and applications currently available to track those service requests, change requests and tickets.”

In addition, the summit not only opened dialogue between NETCOM and its customers but it also allowed the enterprise to show what types of IT support are available.

“Our primary intent with a summit like this is for our customer commands to gain a better understanding of NETCOM’s current IT services delivery model, to better understand service delivery thresholds, and to understand the processes and tools available for requesting and resourcing IT services,” recounted Deaver.

“We also wanted to ensure customer organizations know who they can reach out to in their respective Areas of Responsibility AORs and theaters for IT support.”

The NETCOM ITSM Summit proved to be quite successful according to the ITSM Team.

“Summit briefings provided by service providers, Signal Commands, RCC’s, NETCOM directorates and customer commands were very informative; as each of the briefings provided awareness about existing processes and tools that can be leveraged, as well as the challenges and gaps we currently have delivering IT services,” said Deaver.

NETCOM leadership also echoed Deaver’s summit remarks.

“As a collective group at this summit, we accomplished the three big goals of understanding the current status, improving and building upon existing Army IT partnerships, and expanding our continual service improvement efforts,” related Patrick Dedham, NETCOM Deputy to the Commanding General.

“By improving how we execute ITSM, we are getting better at building DODIN-A service operations Army wide.”

Likewise, the summit created an open exchange of ideas and cross-talk among customers, service providers, stakeholders and the ITSM Team, as evidenced by a post ITSM summit survey conducted by the NETCOM CBO after the event.

“Feedback solicited from the attendees produced information for the ITSM Team to ensure they are providing the very best and informative summit possible. 1/3 of the attendees recommended not to leave out any of the topics for the next summit,” said Deaver.

“They felt they were all important and the ITSM Team put together a well-rounded summit. While 87% of the attendees stated they would participate in the next ITSM Summit with another 12% stating they neither agree nor disagree with that statement,” related Richards.

When asked if the ITSM summits will continue Billy Busse, NETCOM ITSM Division Chief replied, “The results of the ITSM summit are highly valuable for future ITSM implementation and operation; thus, future summits will continue to ensure NETCOM remains focused on adaptation, adjustability, customization, and flexibility as it relates to IT service management.”

The NETCOM ITSM team is now postured to bring unconstrained improvements to the collective ITSM process according to its survey results.

“Among the more than 150 participants, 84% of attendees who responded to the post event survey, most agreed the ITSM Summit achieved the stated objectives and outcomes,” said Deaver.

Closing summit remarks from Busse were encouraging for the establishment of tangible and attainable ITSM solutions; “At end-state we want to continue improving, standardizing and maturing IT Service Management best practices and processes across the enterprise.”

“This will undoubtedly help us better forecast requirements and provision services, help our commanders make better informed resourcing decisions, and ensure we can sustain top-notch IT services for our warfighters based in tactical and strategic locations globally,” Reemphasized Busse.

For more news and information about NETCOM, please visit: https://www.army.mil/netcom

The recent NETCOM ITSM summit held this November occurred through the meticulous planning and coordination efforts of the NETCOM ITSM Division; lead by Division Chief Billy Busse, and IT Specialists, Jerry Deaver, Rob Fisel, Shawna Halstead, and Doug Treftz. The summit encompassed over 150 active participants, including the Army G- 6, U.S. Army Cyber Command ARCYBER, NETCOM’s Regional Cyber Centers, RRC’s, Network Enterprise Center (NEC’s), Theater Signal Commands, as well as the major Army Commands (ACOM’s), Army Service Command Components (ASCC’s) Combative Commands (COCOM’s) and Direct Reporting Units (DRU’s) representing the DoDIN-A customers, Joint Service Partners and IT stakeholders within the Army’s network footprint. (Photo Credit: Graphic by Mia & Henry Vasquez)
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