How to keep Pace with the Digital Transformation – Interview Part 2

Interview about Digital Transformation - 2

In the first half of this two-part interview, FNT Software’s CTO Horst Haag and CMO Eric Brabänder discussed the implications, challenges, and adjustments that enterprise organizations across all industries will have to address in order to keep pace with digital transformation.  Today, they explore these changes in-depth and highlight the innovative solutions FNT Software offers to help enterprises and service providers keep pace with IT change.

How does FNT Software help clients face the challenges of digital transformation?

Eric Brabänder:

FNT software has created a standard software package called FNT ServicePlanet, which perfectly implements the tried-and-true bE_Method from bluEDGE. It also enables infrastructure providers to define, manage, and monitor all their business services and service assets over the entire lifecycle as part of a methodologically consistent service architecture.

Horst Haag:

To put that more simply, imagine the following example: an automobile manufacturer always plans to produce its vehicles, including all configuration variants, before it builds the assembly line and starts making cars. Using that same principle, FNT ServicePlanet offers a planning methodology for IT services in which a service “parts list” is used as an information source for populating service catalogs and for automated deployment of services via corresponding workflows. Before the first service is provided to a customer, its structure and composition are defined by the product and portfolio management team. All information related to products, services, and customers is held centrally in FNT ServicePlanet.

What value does FNT Software’s product portfolio offer? What makes FNT Software different from its competitors?

Eric Brabänder:

Our clear unique selling position is the way we tailor our software solutions to the challenges of ICT providers in the areas of IT, telecommunications, and data centers.

Through our core products, FNT Command and FNT ServicePlanet, we can create end-to-end solutions for efficient management and deployment of IT and telecommunications services.

FNT Command enables our clients to plan, control, and document their own physical infrastructure. You can document all key assets in large-scale IT and telco infrastructures in full. You can also change-manage from hardware, such as servers, racks, switches, and cabling, to logical networks and virtualized applications. This explains why IT departments of major corporations, such as VW, BMW, Deutsche Bank, and Finanzinformatik, as well as IT service providers, colocation and MTDC providers and hosting providers use our solutions.

With FNT ServicePlanet, we’ve added a software-based methodology that enables these organizations to structure all their IT and telecommunications services and make them available to users in a more efficient and effective way – regardless of whether they use their own infrastructure or outsourced cloud solutions.

In the process, we’ve resolved a major problem facing the IT and telecommunications industry that arises in conjunction with digitization: managing hybrid infrastructures in a targeted and efficient way.

Horst Haag and Eric Brabänder during the interview.
Horst Haag and Eric Brabänder during the interview.

What is FNT Software’s vision and the resulting product strategy?

Horst Haag:

Our vision is to be the driving engine of the ICT Factory, which is necessary to industrialize the ICT service delivery chain. With our software solutions, we produce a centralized data model that provides transparency over all assets that an ICT service provider needs to manage.

Only when all relevant data available in a central database, ICT providers will be able to standardize and automate their service delivery.

Beside our two core products, FNT Command and FNT ServicePlanet, we enhanced our product portfolio with all relevant capabilities that an ICT provider needs to establish an agile and value-driven service delivery for IT, data center, and telecommunication services.

We additionally provide an open connectivity layer (FNT Business Gateways) to access all the relevant data within our central database. We based on a service-oriented architecture. Meanwhile, we provide more than 3,500 operations for external access, and the number increases every month. We also feature standardized interfaces to customer systems, such as VMWare VCenter or MS SCCM and many others. With FNT StagingArea, FNT provides a central ETL tool for exchanging, comparing, and importing large volumes of heterogeneously structured data into FNT Command and FNT ServicePlanet using a common and integrated data model; making it easy to connect interfaces through FNT StagingArea and integrate systems into existing landscapes.

Early this year we released FNT Monitoring to provide new functionality for monitoring and controlling infrastructure components in data centers. Everything from the building and facility infrastructure to equipment can be monitored in real-time. Additionally, the new product adds important usage scenarios and significantly expands the range of capabilities, which were previously offered through integrations with third-party applications.

In June we released our new FNT ProcessEngine – a highly flexible workflow engine that allows complete control of IT infrastructure processes using integrated workflows. The workflow software helps  automate and fully integrate all FNT and non-FNT products based on the open service-based FNT Business Gateway Architecture. FNT ProcessEngine supports use cases, such as the automated delivery of virtualized servers, managed service delivery, management of software installation requests, automated maintenance and inventory management, integrated order workflows and telecommunication service provisioning. With its process modelling and data mapping capabilities along with the integrated graphical form editor, the BPM engine has all standard capabilities that allow infrastructure managers to create, deploy and monitor flexible and agile workflows that integrate FNT and non-FNT products.

You can see that our roadmap and all planned releases are consequently following our vision to be the engine of the ICT Factory and our strategy to provide software and methods for the digital transformation of the ICT value chain.

Let’s turn briefly to your target markets: Who are FNT Software’s products aimed at, and who stands to benefit most from working with you?

Eric Brabänder:

Basically, any organization, company, or admin team that is required to manage hybrid infrastructures and deliver IT or telecommunications services to end users in the most automated, standardized, and cost-efficient way possible. Typically, these clients include enterprise IT, large data center or colocation providers, managed service providers, telecommunications providers, and cable network operators as well as public authorities and organizations. Our client portfolio includes numerous major corporations.

More than half of all DAX30 companies use FNT software solutions – as do major public authorities, such as Germany’s Federal Employment Agency (BA) with more than 95,000 employees.

Finally, let’s look to the future: What is your company’s strategy with regard to digitization? And what can clients look forward to in the future?

Horst Haag:

FNT is focusing heavily on international growth. We’ve been particularly active this year in North America, the UK, and the Middle East. We’re aiming to grow our market share and continue expanding. We’ve already made some excellent progress during this fiscal year – acquiring major regional clients, such as Etisalat, Saudi Telecom, CoreSite, and DigitalRealty/Telx.

We also feature a comprehensive software platform that enables integration of service planning, variant management, automated deployment, and infrastructure management, as described earlier. This is particularly relevant for enterprises, managed service providers, colo providers, and cloud providers.

This is the second half of a two-part series focusing on digital transformation and its impact on information technology. The first part discusses the implications, challenges, and adjustments that enterprise organizations across all industries will have to address in order to keep pace with digital transformation.  

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