What’s the deal with SIAM?
With modern IT being both ubiquitous and massively varied, it’s now very rare for highly effective generalist IT service providers to exist. With the rise of the MSP and their essential presence in the modern business landscape, IT service providers cannot be expected to provide the enormous range of services required by customers using in-house personnel, so the logical route is to outsource provision and expertise in certain disciplines, platforms, and architectures to third-party vendors.
The obvious issue here is that for the outsourcing organisation to provide third-party vendor services effectively, all the various providers must work to the same standards and quality as the outsourcing organisation. This can be difficult to achieve but implementing SIAM can help.
What exactly is SIAM?
SIAM stands for Service Integration and Management and is a system of best practices for coordinating an organisations IT supply chain and managing service vendors more effectively.
Simply put, SIAM is a layer of business management implemented to control any given number of third-party IT service vendors, and its main attraction is creating value for a business, not just being a tool for effective supply chain management.
Unlike a set framework such as ITIL, SIAM is a way to effectively manage and control multi-sourced operations, by compiling and sharing best practices and methods. SIAM is a rapidly evolving service management environment, closely associated with multiple disciplines ranging from its inception in IT service management, to enterprise architecture, and organisational, quality, and risk management.
SIAM Goals and Models
The goal of introducing SIAM should be overcome four central issues that exist within nearly all large service organisations.
- The measuring of services end-to-end
- Aligning organisational scope and specifications across all vendor contracts
- Managing the relationships with, and collaboration between service vendors
- Defining standardisation and modularisation of services
Achievement of the above goals should result in organisations functioning optimally, giving customers an effective single point of contact to obtain vendor services easily, change them fluidly, and to manage service maintenance.
A single method of solving the above issues won’t be suitable for every business, so SIAM utilisation falls under four models, Internal Service Integrator, External Service Integrator, Hybrid Service Integrator, and Lead Supplier Service Integrator.
Internal Service Integrator - The control of the various service vendors remains within your organisation. This can be cost-effective but requires the managing individual or team to be skilled in-service integration, and to have sufficient authority. This obviously has its own associated costs in terms of training, salary, and resources.
External Service Integrator – Makes a specialist, responsible for Outsources the management of all vendor relationships to an independent, specialist service integrator. This may come at a significant cost, but the benefits of retaining a highly experienced team may be worth the investment. There is also minimal start-up time with this option, as the training and expertise already exist externally.
Hybrid Service Integrator - This solution combines both the internal and external service integrator models above. An example setup here would be to have an internal team or individual managing a group of vendors, with an external team managing critical vendor relationships. This model is quite common, and often transitions to the Internal Service Integrator model as team experience is built.
Lead Supplier as Service Integrator - This model assigns a key vendor the responsibility of managing your other vendors. Where sufficient trust exists between organisations and key vendors this model can be highly beneficial.
Using this model various vendor services can be consolidated into smaller numbers of vendor relationships. So, a total of six vendors each servicing infrastructure, could be managed by two key vendors, each covering three subcontracted vendor services, under a single agreement ensuring quality and service standards.
Get In touch for SIAM Training
If you have a growing need to deliver an increasing number of services, or you’re seeing an increase in the complexity of the services your customers need, or perhaps as a service provider you’re experiencing a lack of cooperation and coordination between your third-party vendors (who may not even be aware they provide services to the same client). If this is the case, then it’s worth looking at implementing SIAM in your organisation.
We offer single and multi-seat team training.
Whereas SIAM is not a magic bullet or a cure-all for what ails many providers of multiple services, and may indeed not be suitable for some, it is an effective and rapidly evolving tool for transforming your multi-service offering and has generated a huge number of success stories in the IT services sector and beyond. SIAM is here to stay and will likely form a part of your future business approach, so if you need to talk to someone about getting the right SIAM training for your team, get in touch with one of our training managers today. Email: email@example.com
For more information on our SIAM portfolio click HERE