SLM Solutions: A Buyer's Guide

Author: Rick Sturm, Lisa Erickson Harris, David St. Onge, Lisa Erickson-Harris
List Price: $19.95
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ISBN: 097208360X
Publisher: Enterprise Management Associates (29 July, 2002)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 401,090
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
Perfect for businesses comtemplating SLM expenditures
It's interesting how networks, computer systems, and software applications have evolved towards the notion of information services. The industry is looking at information technology in terms of services provided for business operations, and that has caused interest in buying, deploying, and managing services instead of networks and applications.

This book is a buyer's guide into the numerous products that manage services in one way or the other. The first 50 pages are devoted to concepts in service level management, while the remaining 300 or so pages describe some 70 SLM solutions along several dimensions, including product functionality, distinguishing features, data sources, third-party product reliance, support for service-related standards, pricing/packaging, and strengths/weaknesses. I would think that readers would study the first 50 pages carefully and use the product description section as a reference. The 50 page overview is excellent, from both a technical and business point of view.

I almost gave the book four stars because it is inevitable that SLM vendors with change their products, some will go out of business, and new ones will come into play, and thus the book would become obsolete in relative short order. However, the very last page of the book promises a 2nd edition. A book of this sort should probably be updated annually.

Also, I almost gave the book 4 stars because it has no references to other sources. But section 2 refers to several SLM standards bodies and lists URLs, including ITIL, Telemanagement Forum, and IEFT.

There was just one thing about the book that puzzled me: In the table of contents, about a dozen of the 70 companies are in bold, and I couldn't figure out why. However, that problem wasn't worth taking off a star.

In sum, the book is perfect for businesses comtemplating SLM expenditures. I would expect to see it updated from time to time to keep up with the industry.


Rating: 5 out of 5
SLM Solutions: A Buyer's Guide - Review
The analysts at EMA have written a very clear guide to helping IT people prepare for, evaluate and compare, and implement an SLM solution. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is a detailed discussion of the important facets of Service Level Management: what it is, all of the things that it encompasses, how to create and negotiate SLAs (Service Level Agreements), creating RFPs to evaluate SLM offerings, and some of the nitty-gritty around the actual measurements. The second part is a synopsis of the majority of commercial software products available for SLM. Each vendor gets a four or five page write-up that summarizes key features, the pricing model, expected support costs, and a brief EMA summary of the product and company, including strengths and limitations. If you need to implement an SLM solution, don't expect to find all of your questions answered just by looking at the product comparisons. Chapters 3 and 4 provide a wealth of information about how to evaluate solutions based on your specific environment and then how to write the RFP so that you will get the information to meet your specific needs. The one thing that is missing from the Vendor Briefs is any mention of open source software. In some cases, open source solutions my provide a better fit than COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) software products at a somewhat lower price point. Regardless of the direction chosen (commercial or open source), the information in "SLM Solutions: A Buyer's Guide" will provide the reader with important information about the whole SLM process.


Rating: 5 out of 5
SLM Solutions
Great resource for anyone trying to implement SLM. A must have
that lists (what seems like) every vendor's product with an honest
evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each. Every IT professional should have a copy on his/her bookshelf.

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