4 Things to Consider When Preparing to Engage ITSM Vendors

Purchasing a new IT service desk can be an intimidating process, and it only becomes more complicated when you go to a vendor and are overwhelmed by the many options at your disposal. Going into an IT service management conversation with an understanding of the various features you are looking for and knowledge of how the industry works can position you to develop a better partnership with an ITSM vendor. Four key factors that you should be comfortable with before having these conversations are:

1. User Size
The size of your user group can have a huge influence on the service desk you need. Furthermore, scale doesn't just impact the type of solution you need, but also the specific features of the service desk you eventually purchase. When engaging an ITSM vendor, you need to have a clear understanding of the number of named users that will be accessing the system and the number of concurrent users in your organization. This data is key to continuing any discussion relating to service desk implementation beyond its earliest stages.

2. Licensing Models
Most service management solutions are available in either perpetual or subscription licenses. A perpetual license involves a single large purchase that makes the solution available on an ongoing basis. Support options can vary based on the vendor. Subscriptions involve ongoing payments and are more flexible, but can become more expensive over the duration of the solution deployment.

3. Tools and Features
An ITSM platform can be equipped with a variety of special tools and features ranging from basic incident management to a dedicated CMDB. Having a clear idea of the different features you are looking for will help you focus the conversation you are having with the service vendor and get your project off on the right foot. Furthermore, having a clear understanding of the features you need, the ones you want and the ones you are interested in will make it much easier to target the conversation with the vendor rep toward the types of tool implementations your organization actually needs.

4. Long-Term Costs
Different licensing, upgrade and service model choices will have a significant impact on the long-term costs of your solution. You need to understand what types of operational expenses your organization will be able to handle over time and be ready to apply that knowledge to the different conversations you have when engaging a service provider.

Any IT purchase is complicated, but going into ITSM sales conversations with an idea of what you are looking for can go a long way toward improving your experience.

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