The 16th participant is ITQSM
ITQSM - Information Technology Quality Service Management, is focused on the practical application of specific areas of IT best practice management. A key area of our undertaking is described in ITIL terms as configuration management. At a high level it is the practice of mapping of services to dispersed infrastructure in order to measure end to end cost, availability, risk exposure, service availability and general governance factors. Also on offer is the delivery of IT Training courses covering these management aspects as well a substantial offering of courses dealing with Open Source Software in the enterprise environment.
Started by Brendan Martin, in early 2008, it is the culmination of several years work under the Open Source Banner of www.cmdb.info . CMDB.info hosts several open source VM guests running a variety of asset and configuration management tools as well providing downloads references to VM guests covering other areas of IT management.
Let us explore bit further on different facets of Brendan’s venture ITQSM:
Q.How long it took before it was up and running?
A. Its taken about 3 years to get to this stage, although there was never exactly where things were going to end up. The concept of ITQSM has grown from collective years of experience in the IT Consultancy market and the understanding developed over the past few years with CMDB.info. Mainly servicing government departments in Canberra as well as engagements in the banking, telco and other corporate sectors, the need was recognised to provide both software and services within this market segment without requiring a client to undertake lengthy engagements with the larger global vendors.
Q. What stage of your start-up is, stealth mode, beta mode or fully functional?
A. Would have to rate operations at Stealth Mode at this stage, however we will be actively marketing the offerings as of 1st March 08. ITQSM has partnered with a UK based organisation Square Mile Systems to bring this overall offering to the Asia Pacific market. This strategic partnership draws upon an offering of commercially scalable software, extensive training course material, as well resources with many years experience in delivering consultancy services in this segment.
Q. What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
A. The main objective is to promote practical IT best practice management concepts across various scales of organisations.
Q. What services it provides it for consumer or customers?
A. ITQSM has 3 key areas of service.
Q. What is unique about your venture?
A. ITQSM has identified a large gap in the market in terms of offering organisations the opportunity to target specific problem areas or to train their own staff on how best to approach a range of IT management issues without having to procure software tools. Software for this segment is not unique, however this market is dominated by large global software companies such as HP, BMC, & Altiris. Much of the software in the marketplace provides a proprietary view of an organisation’s IT environment. ITQSM’s software offerings will integrate with many of the leading packages in market.
Q. What market segment verticals you are targeting for?
A. The target market for ITQSM in the commercial software space the Financial Enterprise sector where it is critical that a strong risk management approach is applied to the change and the provision of IT services, but the full range of service suits organisations of all sizes in all market segments who are striving towards maturing their IT management practices. The territory extends to the greater Asia Pacific region.
Q. What type of customers you are targeting?
A. ITQSM is targeting organisations who are striving towards maturing their IT management practices.
Q. What age group of people will be benefited most?
A. ITQSM is targeting a commercial market segment rather a demographic age group.
Q. How many users are using your services?
A. A variety of organsations in Europe and United States are utilising the commercial software offerings and Squaremile Systems UK are very active in providing specialised training for the European market. Currently, ITQSM is yet to commence commercial operations. (expected March 2008).
Q. What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
A. The approach to marketing is to follow the model of Square Mile Systems UK, in so far that we will be hosting a series a seminars in the major cities in the region. Planned to commence 2nd quarter 2008 and will start with Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Invitation will be via our mailing list. Also networking through industry recognised “service management” channels. Marketing for such a focused offering is proving challenging.
Q. How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are their any special mechanisms/tools are in place to monitor the progress?
A. ITQSM does not have anything in place at this stage other than web stats and email forms to register interest from its website.
Q. What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is their any new model, which is being tried?
A. ITQSM will operate under a standard revenue model.
Q. Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
A. Large global software companies such as HP, BMC, & Altiris, who specialize in service desk offerings or network based asset management.
Q. What are the main technologies used behind this start-up?
A. Software utilized in the solutions ranges from a Microsoft operating system and MS SQL server to open source monitoring systems, asset management systems, content management systems, Open DB’s and open source operating systems.
Q. What has been the most easy to use, out of box and helpful technology?
A. Vmware and various Linux LAMP builds (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP, Perl)
Q. Are you using lot of open source tool sets for this?
A. A substantial amount of Open source software is utilized where required or applicable
Q. What is your operating environment (operating system) and what type of database you are using?
A. MS Windows 2003 Server SQL 2005, Ubuntu Server and Mysql
Q. How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up. Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
A. This is a very specialized area of IT management. I get to catch personally about every 6 months with someone whom I regard as working in a similar space. I chat at least weekly in what is a global community of subject matter experts.
Q. How much money is needed upfront to start a venture?
A. ITQSM has grown from a model where no capital input was raised; however the accrued cost of the subject matter expertise and research time devoted over the past few years is substantial to say the least. Financial input is dependant upon many factors. ITQSM is a little too specialized to leverage many of these aspects.
Q. What are the main barriers in general for people start their venture in Australia
A. Some of the primary barriers which will be faced by people wanting to start up a new venture is that there are only limited paths regardless of the offering of the startup. That is, one needs to either provide funding or the expertise themselves long before anyone else is interested in providing operating capital, if at all. Be prepared to work long hard hours for many years. What happens in this area will dictate how much money you will require to get your venture off the ground.
Q. What are your thoughts on the future trends of your service and market segment you are in?
A. Interest in the market segment is definitely growing and that is evident from feedback gained from CMDB.info, and what is happening in the European market. The Asia Pacific market is a gaining momentum in terms of striving for mature service management processes.
Q. Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
A. One piece of advice is to ensure you are following something you believe will truly benefit others, don’t just do it because you think you can make money out of it. There will be times that your resolve will be tested. Don’t be afraid to ditch an idea or an approach.
Thanks Brendan for sharing your thoughts. We look forward to hear from you in future on the progress of ITQSM. All the best for ITQSM and the competition in this carnival.
The 16th participant is ITQSM