April 29, 2010, 12:39 PM

Shopzilla gets a better hold on I.T. work with an on-demand management tool

An e-marketplace with millions of products sold by thousands of retailers—and an I.T. staff of about six—Shopzilla has its hands full in managing technology service projects, says Jim Caldwell, director of infrastructure services for Shopzilla. But a new web-based I.T. service management tool from BMC Software Inc. is easing the load, he adds.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

An e-marketplace with millions of products sold by thousands of retailers—and an I.T. staff of about six—Shopzilla has its hands full in managing technology service projects, says Jim Caldwell, director of infrastructure services for Shopzilla. But a new web-based I.T. service management tool from BMC Software Inc. is easing the load, he adds.

“We’re a small I.T. shop, but we have to constantly maintain and upgrade our e-commerce platform and keep it running,” Caldwell says.

BMC launched this week BMC Remedy OnDemand, a software-as-a-service I.T. service management application that enables Caldwell and his staff to better organize work orders coming in from Shopzilla’s various operating departments.

For years, Shopzilla had used an internally developed I.T. service management system, but realized it would be too much trouble to continue scaling it up to meet the online marketplace’s current levels of content and shopping activity, Caldwell says.

When Shopzilla releases software upgrades for new web site functionality, such as how shoppers navigate the comparison shopping site or how merchandising teams present products, it must work with increasingly complicated service-level agreements set in collaboration with internal departments. The online I.T. service management capability supports getting updated service requirements from throughout the company, prioritizing them by overall performance goals, matching them with available I.T. resources, and distributing progress reports.

This not only helps to ensure that no service work gets pushed aside, but it helps the I.T. staff to more quickly address technology issues while also ensuring that the company isn’t at risk of having core operations underperforming. “There are many things we have to deal with in terms of productivity and infrastructure management while conducting day-to-day business, and this helps all things run more smoothly,” Caldwell says.

BMC usually prices its RemedyOnDemand at $149 per individual user per month, a spokesman says.

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