Merrill Lynch is to adopt software from Managed Objects as a global standard for minimising the business impact of technology change on service delivery.
Merrill Lynch says it will use Managed Objects' Formula package to improve the performance of key services, such as online trading and retail brokerage. Implementation will be overseen by the US private client group which will serve as a 'centre of excellence for business service management' throughout Merrill Lynch. As such, it will be charged with overseeing the implementation of and establishing standards for the use of Formula on a global basis.
Within the US private client division alone, Formula already manages service delivery to over 24,000 employees across the company's 750 US offices. Formula also manages the infrastructure supporting two of the company's customer service and retail Web sites, Merrill Lynch OnLine and Merrill Lynch Direct, which collectively handle one million online users.
According to Jerry Curtis, director of systems management technologies for Merrill Lynch's US private client group, "We have considerable data about what is happening in our infrastructure. Faults, performance, status - you name it, we know about it. With Formula, all that data is translated into information on how these problems impact our business. The result is that we understand IT as it supports the business, rather than as a collection of unrelated resources. That perspective lets us know what to fix first - before our customers are affected."
Systems administrator use the system to see the detailed device or alarm information they need to quickly find and fix problems, while management can view the high-level status of key business services in real time from any browser, says Curtis. These Business Service Views are fueled by data from a variety of Merrill Lynch's existing management tools which are interpreted and presented in both business- and operations-oriented views.
"We were able to plug our management tools into Formula right away," says Curtis. "We didn't have to tailor them to make them work with Formula. That kind of flexibility let us realise tangible value from Formula very quickly. In fact, we were able to create a Business Service View of our Online Trading login service in just 24 hours."