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Patrick Bolger

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Patrick Bolger last won the day on January 18 2018

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About Patrick Bolger

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  • Birthday 06/29/1966

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  1. Love me Tender Although Elvis Presley and Vera Matson were given the credit, the principal writer of “Love me tender” was Ken Darby. At the time, Elvis’ publishing deal demanded that writers concede 50% of the credit for the song if they wanted Presley to record it. When asked why he credited his wife, Vera Matson as the co-writer, Darby responded… “because she didn’t write it either.” This blog was inspired by a post from James Gander on the Back2ITSM Facebook group. James’ original post was making a different point; that vendors sometimes don’t make it easy for people to invite them to bid in a selection process. The post took on a life of its own, with some insightful comments explaining that tender documents are often poorly constructed. My (rather long) comment in response to this post on Back2 ITSM is copied below … Over the last twenty years, I have personally seen hundreds of PQQ’s, RFI’s and RFP’s. On at least a dozen occasions, I’ve seen the same tender document from different organizations, where the name has been changed, but the content is the same. On the one hand, it’s a relief to know that the response won’t be hard work, but on the other, there’s a sense of real disappointment, because vendors want to understand the challenges that organizations are facing and whether our solutions can make a difference. If that information is missing from the tender, vendors must go through the motions and reply to the tender, in the hope that we can tease out the information we need, should we get through to the next phase in the selection process. Responding to tenders is resource-intensive, time-consuming and expensive exercise, so if the tender looks like it’s been written with a specific vendor in mind (which happens frequently), it may make commercial sense to withdraw early. Although few vendors will complain about the quantity of RFP’s they receive, they will justifiably moan about the quality. In my experience, the most common mistake is that most tender documents focus extensively on ITIL® process adoption. They describe the IT infrastructure, the support organization structure, and page after page of process requirements. However, they fail to explain the challenges the IT organization is facing, or the outcomes that are needed to deliver value to their customers. Vendors want to sell you software, but it’s not just about making the sale, because bad business is expensive. If the RFP has not helped the vendor to understand real challenges, they will struggle to deliver, the customer won’t be happy, and the vendors reputation suffers. If the vendor can identify, early on, that they can’t provide a good match for your requirements, they will walk away. A well-crafted tender document allows both parties to recognize this, and part company, before everyone wastes time and money. Occasionally, a tender document sticks out like a sore thumb, because it fully describes the current state of service management within the organization, provides real clarity about the business challenges that need to be addressed, and describes the desired outcomes from implementing a new tool. They reek of a service management team that understands their customers and the improvements that must be made to deliver value to them. These tender documents are as rare, but when you find them, they're a pleasure to respond to. I feel a blog coming on… ITIL® all end in tears Although tools vary in the ways they deliver functionality to support ITIL® I would go as far as to say that modern ITSM tools deliver more ITIL® capabilities that the average IT organization will deploy in a lifetime. Buying for the future is not a sensible justification for specifying the need to support 15 ITIL® processes if your organization is struggling to cope with 5. A tool will not change the culture of your organization, and unless you set realistic expectations about what can be achieved, within a sensible timeframe, you will end up with a tool that is overly-complex, expensive to maintain, and with lots of functionality that never gets used. A tools ability to support ITIL®, or any other framework, provides no guarantee that it will improve service quality or deliver value to customers. In fact, it frequently has the opposite effect. Too much emphasis on IT process adoption draws attention away from the customer experience and the issues that have an impact on the business. This isn’t good for the service management organization, its customers, or for the vendor. Some time ago I wrote a Smart Insight Guide “Essential considerations before selecting your next service desk tool” which delves into this topic in more detail. It has been downloaded more times than any other Smart Guide on our website, so hopefully the message will eventually get through. Sadly though, we still see far too many IT organizations determining their shortlists based on where a vendor dot appears on a Magic Quadrant. Put the effort in up front Regardless of the sources you use to do your research, or which vendors make your shortlist, there is no better way to mitigate risk than by trialling the tool in your environment, with your data and processes. This approach works because the IT organization gets to use the tool - for real - while developing an understanding of what the vendor will be like as a partner. It works for the vendor too, as requirements become crystal clear (in a way that cannot be specified within a tender document) when the tool is being trialled. I could write volumes about the issues with tenders and RFP’s as procurement tools, but the IT Skeptic, Rob England (inspired by the same post on the Back2ITSM Facebook group) has saved me the trouble, by capturing the main issues on his blog. Rob says, “RFPs are easy to mock as a procurement tool. They are an inefficient and ineffective way to buy anything.” As I explained above, well-crafted tenders are a pleasure to respond to, but they’re rare. Crafting such a document takes significant work, but if your procurement rules demand a formal selection process, it’s worth the effort. If you use a tender template created by someone else, you will fail to communicate the challenges you need to solve and will end up choosing a tool based on features. When the new tool is implemented, the initial focus on service improvement will make things better, but only for a short time. Once the tool has bedded in, the focus on improvement usually stops. Mediocrity takes over, the tool gets blamed and the whole cycle is repeated, without any attention paid to the lessons learned from the previous experience. Consider the advice in the Smart Guide, put the effort in up front, and trial the tool. It’s the best way to ensure that you’ll get a tool that’s right for your organization, and a vendor that you’ll be happy with as a partner. If you’d like to share your (good or bad) experiences of tendering processes and tool selection, please use the comments section below.      
  2. Thanks @Darren Rose - Hopefully we can get a few more takers and I will look to get this off the ground.
  3. I was thinking about starting a monthly podcast to discuss Service Management topics. I think it would be great for the Hornbill Community to hear your views on industry news, emerging technologies, new practices and the challenges of Service Management and how they can be addressed. I've participated in a number of podcasts in the past, but they're usually hosted by vendors, industry analysts , or consultants. I think there's a real need to hear from practitioners and get their thoughts about our industry. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the Hornbill Community and we'd all benefit by sharing it. At this stage, I'd like to see whether any of you might be willing to get involved, either as a regular host, or just appearing as a guest. It would probably take no more than 45-60 mins of your time. If there's sufficient interest, I'll start thinking about the logistics of putting this together. If you're up for being a host, or a guest, please let me know, and if there's enough interest I'll put a rough framework together to kick things off.
  4. Sorry to hear about the accident @Josh Bridgens and glad you're OK. It sounds to me like you're doing all the right things by focusing on outcome and the business value of what you are doing. You might be too busy to post for a while, but shout if you need help.
  5. I've spoken to one customer that's up for entering for the SDI awards in 2019, but had no response from others in the Hornbill Community. The submission deadline is Oct 19th, which will be here before we know it. If any of you up for entering, please let me know ASAP, as I'll do much of the legwork to help you with your entry. Whether you win or not, I promise it'll create a buzz and do wonders for the morale of your teams. The awards brochure is here - https://www.servicedeskinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IT-Service-Support-Awards-2019-How-To-Enter-Brochure.pdf and if you have any questions about the process, please send them my way.
  6. @Josh Bridgens I'd suggest you pick just one thing that you can do to "make the life of the IT department easier" and have a crack at that. If you haven't got the time to fit this in alongside your day job, do it at home. Before you start working on that "one thing", I suggest you validate the usefulness of solving that problem with your colleagues/managers. If you can make a significant problem go away, you've created a business case to give you the capacity to take on the next problem, but this time, during working hours. If you can attach a notional cost to the problem, then you can show the ROI too. I'd also suggest that you document the challenge, the cost of not addressing it and the solution you ideally want to deliver. If you need help calculating costs, speak with one of your colleagues in Finance/Accounts and ask them to help. Once you've selected the problem you want to tackle, I'm happy to help you flesh this out and give you some guidance on how you might put a case together to resolve it. I hope that helps.
  7. Spotlight - Toyota Motorsport GmbH Toyota Motorsport GmbH is a unique high-performance testing and development facility located in the centre of Europe; in Cologne, Germany, specialising in high technology. TMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation and offers its services to external clients as well as members of the Toyota family. Toyota Motorsport first implemented Hornbill’s on-premise Supportworks ITSM solution in 2008, and in June 2018, TMG decided to migrate to Hornbill Service Manager. I asked Per Nordqvist to share his thoughts on how things have gone since the migration and this is what he had to say. Can you give me a brief background of who you are and what your role is at Toyota Motorsport GmbH? Which Service Desk tool was in place at TMG before you deployed Hornbill Service Manager? What were the business drivers and reasons for implementing a new solution? What was your first impression of Hornbill Service Manager? What other solutions did you consider/shortlist before choosing Hornbill Service Manager? What was your impression of Hornbill during the selection process? What would you consider your biggest personal success coming out of the project? Since you went live with Hornbill Service Manager, how has it gone? Can you highlight three things that you love about Hornbill?  If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you would change about Hornbill right now? Thanks Per. We’re delighted that the migration went so smoothly and look forward to providing a great service to TMG for many more years.
  8. GOSH – Improving IT to help clinicians provide better care to children Service improvement is important to every organization, but it is critical to Great Ormond Street Hospital IT teams, as they support the fantastic people who look after poorly children. Our last blog post described how the IT teams at Great Ormond Street Hospital are setting up a digital workplace to deliver a better service to clinicians, patients and their families. Although the GOSH IT teams had already implemented their ITSM processes, adopting Hornbill Service Manager meant that they were able take a service-centric approach. Leading with services is more effective, as Greg Fellowes explains, “When you understand your services, it’s so much easier to see how your processes support them.  The whole thing flows and works together, so your ITSM becomes simpler and far more effective.” In this short video, Hayley Gordon describes how Hornbill Service Manager has helped to bring IT teams together, created capacity for more valuable work, revolutionized change management and improved the perception of IT across the Trust. The GOSH IT team has achieved amazing results in such a short time and we’re delighted to have played a small part in supporting such a noble cause. Click here to find out more about Hornbill Service Manager, request a demo, or dive in a have a play.
  9. I just got notice that SDI are opening their award submission for their conference in 2019. We've helped lots of customers submit for these awards and had quite a few winners over the years. People often don't submit because they think "we're not doing anything special." Having submitted and presented on behalf of customers and ourselves, and from sitting on the other side as a judge, I can say that you don't need to be setting the world on fire to enter. Details of the SDI awards can be found here - https://www.servicedeskinstitute.com/events-networking/2018-2/the-it-service-support-awards-2019/ I can think of several customers that would be more than worthy of an award. Whether you win, or not, I guarantee that it will do wonders for the morale and profile of your team within your organisation. If you'd like to consider entering, please let us know. Of course you can do it all yourselves, but I'm sure that we can provide you with some useful guidance and assist you with your entry if you need any help.
  10. @Keith I've worked extensively with these organisations and both have their merits. itSMF have more of a focus on the process side of things, with some great special interest groups covering Service Transition, Service Level Management etc. SDI has more of a people focus and although they cover ITSM process topics, they're more about enabling people and exposing them to broader service management skills. I hope that helps, and if you want to chat about it further, let me know.
  11. Hornbill supports Digital Transformation at Great Ormond Street Hospital Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) is a national centre of excellence in the provision of specialist children's health care, delivering the widest range of specialist care of any children's hospital in the UK. It is the only specialist Biomedical Research Centre for paediatrics, the largest centre in the UK for children with heart or brain problems, and the largest centre in Europe for children with cancer. GOSH receives over 260,000 patient visits and carries out approximately 18,800 operations each year. Many of the children and young people on its’ wards require high dependency care and one-to-one nursing. With around 60 paediatric specialties, the broadest range of any hospital in the UK, GOSH is uniquely enabled to diagnose and pioneer treatments for children with highly complex, rare or multiple conditions. IT pivotal to GOSH digital strategy The hospital is going through an exciting period of transformational change, with a large-scale redevelopment programme bringing world-class facilities to clinicians and patients. With extensive strategic investment in the digital footprint of the Trust, the role of IT is pivotal to the success of the hospital’s digital strategy. When Greg Fellowes applied for the role of IT Service Support Manager at GOSH, the IT Service Desk function was outsourced to a third-party, and Greg was tasked with building the new, in-house Service Desk function from scratch. Greg explains, “It doesn’t matter how good your IT teams are, if your Service Desk isn’t excellent, the reputation of the entire IT organization suffers. During my interview, I learned that I would be implementing a new ITSM tool to ensure that our service delivery was the best it could be. I was excited by the challenge but disappointed to learn that the tool had already been selected. I had used Supportworks in another role, and although it’s a good tool, it’s designed for on-premise deployment, which didn’t align with the hospital’s digital strategy.” Fortunately, by Sept 2016, when Greg started working at GOSH, this was open to debate, so he decided to review the decision to install Supportworks. The business case for Hornbill Service Manager The GOSH ICT team had looked at the latest versions of several ITSM tools, including Sunrise, ServiceNow, Cherwell and IT Custodian, Greg thought that Hornbill Service Manager was the most innovative solution.  However, he needed buy-in from his teams, and especially from his colleague, Hayley Gordon, who would be responsible for configuring the tool. Greg explains, “I encouraged my teams to look at the online videos and demonstrations of Hornbill Service Manager.  After watching the videos, most people were on-board. Hayley was confident that she could configure the tool, and we were both convinced that this was the right product for GOSH. We just had to have it. The business case to our Deputy Director of IT explained that Hornbill Service Manager is delivered as a service, so it’s much easier to deploy, maintain and update. We could have to tool up and running within 30-days, and during the switch-on process, Hornbill would transfer all the knowledge our staff needed to be self-sufficient going forwards. In the end, it was an easy decision. We wanted to be a digital hospital, using the best technology we could get our hands on, and for the Service Desk, that was Hornbill Service Manager.” A service-centric approach makes ITSM simpler and more effective Although switching to Hornbill Service Manager was the right decision, it presented several challenges. GOSH IT teams had defined their requirements based on implementing Supportworks, and the approach was process-centric. Greg explains, “I realized that setting up Hornbill Service Manager would be a real challenge.  The approach is service-centric, so you need a decent understanding of your services. Over the course of my career I’ve been through several new tool implementations, but this approach was very different. With Hornbill’s 30-day switch-on fast approaching, we had to go back to our teams and redefine things from a service perspective. By the time switch-on started those requirements were still coming in. However, it was the right approach, because when you understand your services, it’s so much easier to see how your processes support them.  The whole thing flows and works together, so your ITSM becomes simpler and far more effective.” A fast switch-on Despite the late change of product and incomplete requirements, a fast deployment was planned. The 30-day switch-on started in December 2016 when Hornbill’s Product Specialists worked with Hayley to configure the tool. Hayley explains, “The training and knowledge transfer during switch-on was great, and I took to configuring Hornbill Service Manager immediately. I instantly became comfortable configuring business processes and using progressive capture. That was relatively easy, but it was a much bigger challenge getting information from our teams about how they wanted the software to work for them. Our Service Desk analysts support around 500 clinical applications, and they can’t be masters in all of them. Progressive capture enables us to prompt analysts to ask different questions, depending on the service they’re supporting.  During switch-on, I didn’t have all this information, but I knew that when switch-on was complete, we wouldn’t be stuck with the initial setup, and I could easily change things as requirements came in.” As the service desk function was outsourced, and the contract with the Managed Service Provider (MSP) had come to an end, there was no help available to transfer data, or export tickets.  Greg realised that this presented an opportunity to allow staff to familiarise themselves with the new solution, by getting them to transfer data from the outsourced partner’s ITSM tool. Over a single weekend, 30 members of the GOSH IT team, transferred 800 open tickets from the MSP’s ServiceNow instance into Hornbill Service Manager, ready for go-live on 27th January 2017. Service Improvement is a marathon, not a sprint Although it’s challenging to deploy a tool without complete requirements from each IT team, Greg suggests that it can have its advantages.  “People often think they’re finished once they’ve stood the tool up, but that’s just the start of the journey. Over a year from go-live, we’re still getting requirements in from different teams, and Hayley is kept busy configuring the tool for different groups, so we’re improving how our teams deliver service on a daily basis. We’ve tailored Services, so that each team is presented with only the information they need to progress their requests. They get a clean interface, with the right information, presented to the right teams, so there are fewer reassignments, and they are working more efficiently. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but we’re taking service improvement seriously, and other teams want a piece of the action.” So many departments have asked to use Hornbill Service Manager, that Hayley is swamped with requests.  “Procurement, Electronic Patient Records (EPR) and Information Services teams all want to use the tool, so we’re are adding new things every day at present, as well as making process improvements for the 34 different teams that are using Hornbill Service Manager”, said Hayley.  “I love to be challenged, and every week, I uncover the tiniest things that I can easily deploy to simplify and improve how we deliver service.  When other teams ask- Can we use your system to do this? - it’s great to say, Yes you can! And If I’m ever stuck, I ask the Hornbill Community and Hornbill’s support and development teams, and other customers immediately pitch in to help.” Huge improvements in the first year Prior to January 2017, GOSH had been using their partner’s ServiceNow instance, which Greg describes as a powerful tool, but not user friendly, or easy to work with. The Service Desk was receiving 3,500 – 4,000 emails and around 4,000 phone calls per month. Teams were under-resourced, worked in silos, and were poorly organised. Although Greg admits that there’s still a long way to go, since going live with Hornbill Service Manager over a year ago, there have been huge improvements. According to Greg, Hornbill Service Manager has revolutionised their Change Advisory Board (CAB).  “Previously, around ten IT staff would meet in a stuffy room for 90 minutes every week, discussing planned changes.  Now, we have a virtual CAB, with a board that allows everyone can see the change backlog and the status every change.  People can comment and provide information in the workspaces in Hornbill Service Manager, so 90% of our changes are done before the CAB meeting. Our last CAB meeting was done within 11 minutes flat; so, in total, we’re saving around 80 working days per year, and our change process is more agile.” According to Greg, the biggest benefit is that Hornbill Service Manager has changed the way people work. “People are really taking ownership and our teams are working together closely”, said Greg. “We are better organised. We use Hornbill Document Manager to store our Standard Operating Procedures and system documentation, so we can easily find useful knowledge and information. We’re using review dates and audit trails to ensure that knowledge stays up to date. We have everything in one place, so it’s easier for everyone in IT to do their jobs, and we’re consistently improving.” Supporting the values of Great Ormond Street Hospital GOSH’s values are; to work as one team, and to be Always expert, welcoming and helpful.  Greg explains that these values had been gathering dust within the IT organisation, but now, IT is beginning to shine. “To implement Hornbill Service Manager and set up our services correctly, we had to work together. It was a big challenge at first, but people stepped up, and as it has gathered momentum, a new service-centric culture has emerged. Our teams are now focused on the bigger picture, and our people are serious about service improvement. Hornbill Service Manager has enabled IT to establish a digital workplace. I am now truly confident that we can deliver services to support the hospital’s digital strategy, and improve those services daily, so the hospital can ensure that “The Child is First and Always.”
  12. Hornbill Service Manager improves IT performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum recently to record a short video with Grant Fettis (Change Manager) and Chris Nutt (IT Service Desk Manager) about their experiences of implementing Hornbill Service Manager. It was clearly a smooth experience, as Grant said, “I don’t think I’ve been through a simpler process of changing from one tool to another.” Because the tool is so easy to use, it is now being adopted by other business units within the museum. Progressive Capture has simplified the way that data is collected from customers, so teams can respond faster and process more work. IT management is making extensive use of Dashboards to focus on areas for improvement and to support better decision making. The collaborative features of Hornbill Service Manager have greatly improved the flow of work and communication between teams. The V&A IT teams are reaping the benefits of a native-Cloud solution and Hornbill’s continuous deployment approach, as new features arrive frequently, without any of the pains (backups, tests, broken customizations, etc.) typically associated with software upgrades. I was delighted to hear Grant explain the difference that Hornbill Service Manager has made to his role as Change Manager. Grant uses the Boards feature within Hornbill Service Manager to run their CAB meetings. With full visibility and transparency of the change backlog, activities can be programmed tightly, so change management is more agile, and more work gets done. At the end of the video, Grant says, “I can talk about how much easier it has made my life…it’s significant…I love it.” Thank you, Grant and Chris, it’s fantastic to hear that we’ve been able to make such a difference to how people and teams work together to deliver more value for the V&A museum.
  13. People have a status quo bias, and don't like change. The problem with most efforts to deploy self-service, is that they're driven by IT, with the intention of reducing costs, rather than being driven (with the customer) to improve the service experience. Some of the best deployments I've seen have involved feedback from customers/users from start to finish. They focus on what the customer/user wants to do and see via the portal (FAQ's, Knowledge, videos etc). Customers usually want a simple way to say "Something's broken", or "I need something" and be able to see what's happening with their requests. The experience should be better and quicker than email. However, regardless of how good it is, you'll still need to promote the portal and an easy way to do this is with a soft launch. Get service desk staff to say "Did you know you could have logged this via self-service?" After a while, they can say..."Is there any reason you have not logged this via self-service?" The message will need to be consistently reinforced. At the same time, the "What's in it for me?" messages need to be marketed to users, e.g. Self-Service is open when we're closed, You can access popular FAQ's 24/7, etc. Although I accept that each industry is different, people are generally the same, and will use any channel that's easy to use, and delivers the best experience. Changing their current habits isn't easy, but it's worth it for both the customer and the service desk.
  14. SPOTLIGHT: Northumberland County Council In June 2016, Lee Mcdermott visited the SITS event in London to look at the latest versions of ITSM solutions in the market. After reviewing several ITSM tools, the team at Northumberland County Council selected Hornbill Service Manager, and started their 30-day switch-on in March 2017, with a targeted go-live in mid-April.  I asked Lee to share his experiences on Hornbill Service Manager and their tight window for go-live, and this is what he had to say. Can you give me a brief background of who you are and what your role is at Northumberland County Council? Which Service Desk tool was in place at Northumberland County Council before you deployed  Hornbill Service Manager? What were the business drivers and reasons for implementing a new solution? What was your first impression of Hornbill Service Manager? What other solutions did you consider/shortlist before choosing Hornbill Service Manager?   What was your impression of Hornbill during the selection process? What would you consider your biggest personal success coming out of the project?  Since you went live with Hornbill Service Manager, how has it gone? Can you highlight three things that you love about Hornbill?  If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you would change about Hornbill right now? Is there anything else you would like to mention in relation to Hornbill?  Nine weeks from the start of a trial, to going live in production was a tight deadline, and we worked together to make it happen. It’s great to hear that Lee is already looking at expanding the use of Hornbill Service Manager to deliver more value for Northumberland County Council. It’s also refreshing to hear customers talking about deploying new features immediately, and never again having to worry about being stuck with an old software version. Thanks Lee for sharing your thoughts.
  15. SPOTLIGHT: Great Ormond Street Hospital - IT Services supporting The Child First and Always Last week I visited Greg Fellowes, Service Support Manager, and Hayley Gordon, Senior Service Desk Systems Administrator at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to chat about their progress with Hornbill Service Manager. It was incredibly refreshing to hear them express a deep understanding of the needs of different business units, and the specific requirements of the IT teams that support them.  My next blog will explain how GOSH IT teams’ service-centric approach has delivered vast improvements since the service desk function was taken back in-house, less than a year ago.  For now, I asked Greg to answer a few questions about the part Hornbill Service Manager had to play in this transition, and this is what he told me. Can you give me a brief background of who you are and what your role is at GOSH? Which Service Desk tool was in place at GOSH before you deployed Hornbill Service Manager?  What were the business drivers and reasons for implementing a new solution? What was your first impression of Hornbill Service Manager? What other solutions did you consider/shortlist before choosing Hornbill Service Manager? What was your impression of Hornbill during the selection process? What would you consider your biggest personal success coming out of the project? Since you went live with Hornbill Service Manager, how has it gone? Can you highlight three things that you love about Hornbill?  If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you would change about Hornbill right now? Is there anything else you would like to mention in relation to Hornbill? Thanks Greg for sharing your thoughts. The GOSH IT organization understands its' purpose. Teams focused on delivery and improvement of IT services, so that the hospital can ensure that “The Child is First and Always”. And it’s great to know, that in some small way, we can help support that. Click here, if you’d like to dive in and take a closer look a Hornbill Service Manager
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