Have you ordered the ITIL v3 books yet?

I haven't seen any info on the web about the pricing and the different ways to acquire the ITIL v3 documentation and want to share my findings in the subject. Two days have passed since the books became "orderable" and this is what I've found out.

First I must say that all 5 books in the ITIL v3 suite are extensively integrated and therefore I talk about the whole suite in this post. The different processes in version 3 are placed in the different books after careful consideration, I'm sure. At the same time, since Change Management for example is placed in the Service Transition book, but is still very central in the day-to-day operation of a service management team, it is not enough to buy the Service Operation book to get a view of the day-to-day processes of ITSM. For many people this will probably feel like having to buy more than needed. To me it feels like the right way to go. I think we've had a situation with the version 2 library that is unfortunate focusing a bit to much on the Service Delivery (SD) and Service Support (SS) books. Thus creating a view that those are all you need to read in the library. There are also organisations grouping their competences very much after the grouping in the library creating an unnecessary distance between for example Application Management and some of the processes in the SS book (e.g. Change Management). So, back to the v3 suite. Let's start with an overview of the material available.

There are 3 different channels or formats as you all probably know;

- Hard copy (£299+shipping)
- Downloadable PDF (£351.33)
- Online 1-year subscription (£311.38)

The prices are taken from TSO webshop at http://www.best-management-practice.com/

I placed my order today and thought that you could be interested in some findings about the ITIL v3 documentation. One thing that surprised me not being a TSO customer before is the way they are pricing the 1-year online subscription. The price shown above for the subscription gives you access to the suite for 1 year and nothing more. The value of the promised updates with for example complementary guidelines, case studies etc. is really hard to assess today. We cannot even be sure there will be any mayor updates for the next 12 months. Enhanced functionality that will be in the online version:
• an interactive process map with links through to the title(s) you have in your portfolio
• enhanced search results covering the core library

To pay £300 for the hard copy that will be on my desk, in my bag and in my library for years is to me a much better value for money than having online access to the same material for 12 months paying some extra pounds. The information I've been given about the costs of renewals of the subscription makes it even worse. I was told by the TSO customer service that the pricing of renewals of their other online products was about the same as the 1-year subscriptions and that ITIL v3 would probably be priced in the same way. In MHO this means that the material online must be developed considerably and that a lot of material must be added online every year to make this a good deal for a single user.

Having said that I must point out an aspect of the online subscription that makes it a really good deal and that is the multi user version. TSO is offering a concurrent user version of the online subscription. The product is priced individually as it is obvius that an order for 1000 concurrent users is priced differently than an order for 5 concurrent. The same disadvantages that apply to the single user version are still there and the cost of keeping the product is still that of a new product per year.

The concurrent user option offers greatest access to the guidance and is based on the number of users accessing the content at the same time. For example, if your company has 500 employees but only expects 10 to access the guidance simultaneously, a licence for 10 concurrent users would be appropriate. This is the best option for corporate access.

Regards, David :-)


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