The SIAM training and certification program from EXIN, BCS and SCOPISM
This article was written by Barclay Rae, CEO of itSMF UK, and originally appeared on the itSMF blog The ITSM View.
As interest in SIAM continues to grow, it was no surprise that a training and certification programme would be developed sooner or later. This has recently happened, and a new programme was launched at ITSM16 by a collaboration between BCS, EXIN, and SCOPISM.
The content and Intellectual Property behind this has been created by bringing together a number (18) of industry experts with experience of SIAM — the output is an initial training and certification module at Foundation Level, with the expectation of a further more in-depth ‘professional‘ level to come, planned for later in 2017.
From the initial announcements and associated media, this looks to be a useful development, particularly since this has been developed based on experienced expert collaboration — this is needed since there has been no structured or agreed ‘standard’ model for SIAM to date.
1 "there has been no structured or agreed ‘standard’ model for SIAM to date"
The programme will launch in the spring of 2017 and will no doubt be of interest to a variety of stakeholders in the IT/ITSM industry. The work is certainly a positive achievement, to have brought together a diverse group of experts and built a working consensus model.
Some concerns were however raised in the ITSM social wires when it was discovered that EXIN had trademarked the SIAM name in January 2016. From discussions with EXIN (see below) it is clear that there is no intention of using the trademark in any restrictive and prohibitive manner. The trademarking was done purely to protect the brand based around the certification programme that has been developed, not to control any other use of the SIAM name.
2 "it is clear that there is no intention of using the trademark in any restrictive and prohibitive manner"
The EXIN/BCS/SCOPISM project welcomes a broad industry adoption of SIAM and SIAM concepts, which are seen to help to drive interest in the training — and to date the approach taken certainly looks positive and exemplary.
We will see how the programme develops and also how the wider industry accepts the use of SIAM and SIAM practices — these are still in their relative infancy and this programme is a useful stake in the ground to establish some common approaches and best practice.
3 In order to find out more about the programme and to understand the approach, I interviewed Suzanne Galletly, Head of Portfolio & Program Management from EXIN.
Suzanne — thanks for talking to us at ITSMF UK on this subject — so, please tell us initially about the new scheme?
It is a global certification scheme specifically related to SIAM, to align with the growing importance of SIAM as a new discipline within IT Service Management.
When will this be available?
The SIAM Foundation level exam will be available at the beginning of March 2017. Organizations can already apply for accreditation as the exam requirements and other materials are already available.
How did this get defined and built?
EXIN and BCS recognized the need for training and certification in this area, based upon market feedback from accredited partners and professionals. At the same time, Scopism had identified the same need and created an Architect team to create a body of knowledge for SIAM. We were all very keen to combine our strengths in partnership, to create one accepted standard in the market as opposed to fragmentation.
What is the value to the industry — practitioners, organisations, MSPs?
For practitioners, it provides them with the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. There are many certified ITSM professionals these days, but few of them have specific skills in the area of service integration.
For organizations it helps to reduce costs but perhaps more importantly, it makes the services better and as such improves customer satisfaction and loyalty. It allows them to present one business-facing IT organization, consisting of integrated services — even if these are provided by a complex network of multiple suppliers behind the scenes.
Why have you trademarked the SIAM brand?
We have trademarked the SIAM brand to protect and to ensure that SIAM can be offered in an open, community-based model.
What does this mean for the wider industry using SIAM concepts and products?
Our focus is on ensuring we can create a standard in the market for training and certification. We will provide a free-of-charge license for any organizations wishing to make use of the trademark, such as training organizations, publishers and trade associations.
To clarify - this is to protect your programme not to restrict use or capitalise on use of the SIAM name?
Actually it is exactly the opposite! We want to protect the brand but not commercially exploit it. By protecting the brand, we want to prevent the very possibility of it being exploited, from a purely commercial perspective that doesn’t benefit the community.
OK, so how do people get involved?
Professionals can become involved in a number of ways — for example contributing to the development of the body of knowledge as part of the Architect team, helping to develop exam questions, auditing SIAM courseware. They should contact EXIN, BCS or Scopism. Training organizations, exam centres and courseware providers can become accredited for the scheme.
What’s next on the road map?
The body of knowledge needs to be extended to support the Professional level and after that the exams will be developed and launched for that level. This is expected later this year. Also we will plan localizations (translations) where there is a market need in a specific region which relies on local language exams. Watch this space!
Suzanne — thanks very much for the clarifications here.