It all started in 1998 when two
seasoned IT service management consultants incorporated Service Management Partners (SMP). They
combined TQM principles with
ITIL® modules to form a
process model for service provider organizations. Each of the modelís processes was documented
in great detail. Thus, the model and the underlying process definitions became the standards
that SMP used to speed up service management implementations for its customers.
These standards were used during SMPís first engagement. The customer liked the processes, but
required numerous changes. After this engagement, SMP reviewed the changes that were made, and
decided to update its standard process definitions with all changes that were likely to benefit
The updated standards were used as a starting point for the next engagement. Again, the customer
wanted to change the processes, but not as much as the first customer. Having completed the
second implementation project, the requested changes were reviewed. A few were found to be
customer-specific, but the rest were incorporated in the standards.
It went on like this, until one evening in 1999 at an airport in Spain. There the idea was
born to convert the standards to the HTML format. This would provide much faster access to the
detailed work instructions than the documents were able to offer.
In March 2001, version 1.0 was made
available on the internet under the name Alignability®. It was
published there for potential customers to review the processes and the approach before they
HP OpenView Service Desk 4.0 was released towards the end of 2001. This was the first service
management product that was capable of supporting the entire
Alignability® Process Model without a huge customization effort.
Version 1.2 of the model was released
in June 2002. This version included several minor adjustments to ensure an optimum fit between
the Alignability® Process Model and HP OpenView Service Desk.
2002 was also the year in which the first partner organizations started to use the
Alignability® Process Model. It helped them guide their customers
through their service management implementation projects. Please refer to the
"Implementation" section for more
information about implementing the Alignability® Process Model.
Version 1.4 was released in February
2003. It was the first release that included a set of configuration files for an IT service
management application. These files contain thousands of system settings that were used to
automatically configure the HP OpenView Service Desk application for the support of the
The Availability and Capacity Management processes were added in
version 2.0 of the model.
This version was launched on June 17, 2003 at the OpenView Forum in Chicago.
May 2004 was the month in which
version 2.1 was released. In that same
month, the Alignability® Process Model became an HP OpenView
Authorized Product. The Alarm Management process was added in this version and the model was
split into two products. These products are now called the "Service Support" module
and the "Service Delivery" module.
The Continuity Management process was added in
version 3.0, which was released in
September 2004. This version was not scheduled for release until late 2004, but the worldwide
concern for terrorist attacks resulted in such strong demand for the Continuity Management
process that its release was brought forward.
Immediately after the release of
version 3.0, the preparations started for the presentation of the model at the annual itSMF
conference in the U.S.A. As part of the preparations, a small survey was conducted among the
They were asked whether they thought their customers would prefer a strict usage of the
ITIL® terminology in the model, or whether they preferred the
version 3.0 Alignability® terminology. The response was unanimously
in favor of the ITIL® terminology. This resulted in the
development of version 3.1. The release
of this version marked the start of a long-term commitment that links the maintenance of the
Alignability® Process Model directly to the evolution of the
ITIL® methodology. This allows customers to invest in standard
ITIL® education for their staff, knowing that the
ITIL® teachings can be put directly into practice with the
Alignability® Process Model.
Version 3.2 was released in February 2005 and
included, along with many minor improvements, a rewrite of the Service Level Management process.
The procedures of the Address Book Management process were added to the Configuration and Service Level
Management processes in version 4.0, which was
released in June 2005. This marked the end of the Address Book Management process. At the same time, the
Release Management process was introduced. This process was added following a very positive experience in
a company that had already implemented the Alignability® Process Model, but
was struggling with a number of change requests which its run and support budget could not, and was not
meant to, cover.
In Germany, Alignability® partner
stared to work on the translation of version 4.0 into German. This localization was completed in December
2005 and was prepared specifically for the German, Swiss and Austrian markets where the demand for mature
service management processes had become as strong as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
While the German Edition of the Alignability® Process Model was being
developed by ncc,
SMP started to work on the settings of HP OpenView Service Desk to add real-time cost tracking capability.
This functionality provides service providers tight control over their IT spending by service. For each
service, it allows service providers to see how much is being spent on different types of activities
(e.g. incident resolution or changes for the improvement of the service), hardware and software license
depreciation, support contracts and ad hoc supplier support. This additional functionality was made
available in January 2006 with the release of
version 4.1 for customers that use HP
OpenView Service Desk 4.5. Shortly after that, SMP released
version 4.2 for customers that already wanted
to start working with HP OpenView Service Desk 5.0.
With the underlying tool capturing the financial input, SMP documented to Financial Management process
and integrated it with the other processes. The addition of the Financial Management process was an
important milestone for the process model. It was the realization of a vision held by SMP's founders
for many years.
With all processes defined and integrated within the model, SMP was able to respond quickly to HP's
plans to merge HP OpenView Service Desk and Peregrine ServiceCenter (which HP had acquired) into a
single product called "Service Manager". This product would be built on ServiceCenter
technology. SMP, together with its partners, launched a project to configure ServiceCenter so that
it would be capable of supporting the Alignability® processes. Because
SMP had already configured HP OpenView Service Desk for the support of the processes, there was a
very detailed example of the functionality that had to be configured in ServiceCenter. The
configuration effort took six month to complete, which was considerably longer than initially
anticipated. The "Alignability® for ServiceCenter" was
released in September 2006, and included the Financial Management process. It was to form the bridge
for both Service Desk and ServiceCenter customers to HP's new Service Manager product.
SMP was acquired by BMC Software, Inc. on April 02, 2007. Before it was acquired, SMP has already
initiated the development of the Alignability® configuration of the
BMC Service Desk Express application suite. This effort resulted on October 09, 2007 in the release
of "BMC Alignability for Service Desk Express". The goal of this product was to make IT
service management affordable to mid-size organizations with mature process requirements.