In this article we answer frequently asked questions about what differentiates 4me from other service management solutions.
What is SIAM and why should I care about it?
Most service organizations are using third party services to provide end-to-end services to their customers. It is estimated that the average service organization is using services from at least 12 service providers. Managing such a hybrid setup and measuring the performance of all parties involved is a challenge that almost all organizations are facing. SIAM stands for Service Management And Integration and is a set of practices that help you design and manage end to end services that involve multiple providers.
The majority of all service organizations has SIAM-related challenges, whether they are aware of this or not. Most service management solutions struggle with supporting SIAM-like environments. These tools were designed and developed when organizations delivered and supported all services themselves. Retrofitting SIAM functionality into the traditional tools is very difficult and far from optimal. 4me is a relatively new product and was purposely designed for SIAM. No matter how complex your setup is and how many providers are involved, 4me can support you. Out of the box.
What is multi-tenancy and why is this important?
Multi-tenancy means all customers are working in a single database and all use the same application code. The opposite of multi-tenancy would be single tenancy where each customer has their own database and their own version of the code. Multi-tenancy has several advantages. Let’s look at a few:
- Ease of development and maintenance. All users use the same codebase so new features and bugfixes are immediately available for all customers after a single deployment.
- Easier to support. All customers use the exact same version of the application so documentation and knowledge articles are always applicable to all customers.
- Collaboration. Enabling customers to collaborate and exchange data is possible without the need to build integrations. This means that collaboration is easier, less expensive and more stable and secure.
4me is one of the very few multi-tenant service management solutions.
What is a service-oriented data structure and why is this important?
Most service management solutions are built around the concept of a CMDB (Configuration Management Database). This design is based on the (outdated) assumption that a service organization is mainly managing infrastructure (or other assets). In the era of cloud and a customer-focused thinking, most service organizations adopted a service-oriented mindset. Customers are using your services and infrastructure is a possible building block of a service. Often this infrastructure is provided and maintained by a provider instead of the service organization. You should expect your service management solution to evolve and adopt this new mindset. Simply ‘glueing’ a service table in your CMDB is not sufficient. The CEO of 4me wrote an excellent whitepaper about this topic.
What is a ‘pay as you go’ license model?
Pay as you go means only paying for what you use. Traditional license models require you to purchase licenses based on the maximum amount of users you expect to be active in the application at a certain moment (concurrent licenses) or the number of users that have access to the application (named licenses). This means that the most of the time you are paying more than necessary.
With most license models scaling up is easy, scaling down nearly impossible. With 4me you are only paying for the (monthly) actual use of the application. Upscaling or downscaling is implicit.
4me is releasing new functionality almost every week. How is this possible?
- 4me has a multi-tenant architecture which means that all customers use the same codebase. A single deployment ensures all customers are using the latest version.
- Another reason is highly automated testing. Every new feature is automatically tested for possible negative impact on existing functionality.
- The use of the AWS platform. The 4me infrastructure is completely based on components of the AWS platform. Infrastructure maintenance is minimized so the focus is mainly on developing great new features.
- The strong belief that the impact of small weekly releases is limited compared to major releases a few times a year. It also means that functionality for which a high demand exists can be made available as soon as possible.
4me calls itself the fastest service management solution. How is this achieved?
- Performance was one of the main requirements of the design of 4me. Every new feature is developed with performance in mind.
- 4me is using the Content Delivery Network of Amazon AWS. This ensures that static content of all the 4me screens and forms are delivered from a caching server near you.
- The clean interface of 4me ensures less distraction and eliminates the need to wait for the loading of unnecessary content.