BMC Helix ITSM Review

The main valuable feature is the flexibility of the product -- the ability of being able to make it do almost anything we need it to do to adjust to our business needs and to do it very quickly.

What is most valuable?

The main valuable feature is the flexibility of the product -- the ability of being able to make it do almost anything we need it to do to adjust to our business needs and to do it very quickly. The time to deliver a finish product is fast.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to provide several fairly complex and deeply integrated fully customized applications within the different systems throughout the company in an extremely quick delivery time which is impossible with other products.

What needs improvement?

It has improved the life cycle of the development making it a lot shorter to go from the concept phase (requirements gathering) to the deployment portion.

We also have been able to provide a lot more applications to the businesses within to service them better. Improve their processes by automating a lot of their sticky notes and spreadsheets and other paper trails that they were using prior to the application being created.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been developing on ARS platform since 1998, but on this version since 2013.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Like any product/new versions there are always issues. The main ones are the undocumented features that comes with the customized applications. We are not using the out of the box application (ITSM) therefore we are thinking "out of the box" and BMC did not document all of the changes made in their different upgrades. So each time you upgrade from one version to another, you always run into these issues. You need to always make sure you do thorough testing of all the functionality you have in your different applications especially if you are "outside of the box" type of business.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did and still have stability issues that we are working on. The issues are all linked to the BIRT reporting tool which was the solution recommended at the time by BMC. But we are now totally disconnecting from this tool. We have identify this as being the 100% culprit and are using other methods for doing what is required within our web applications.

But beside the reporting issue no. This is a solid system. We do however have a weekly scheduled reboot of our servers (Windows farm) just to be safe. But that is just because they are Windows :-)

But in all honesty, we need to always keep an eye on the amount of Handles being generated by all the services from the BMC AR System. They do from time to time run out of control and will require you to restart the services. But that is not a regular occurrence.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None. I haven't seen any limitation at all on this product. It is as good as the hardware will allow it to be. you just need to ensure you have the proper hardware/architecture to support what you need.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The Customer service is the same as always. It hasn't changed much. They will always be there to help you find the product to help you grow in your business.

Technical Support:

BMC needs to keep improving their support. It is still far from what it was back in the days of Remedy. It is very sad that you still are asked for you logs when the logs are already been provided and that you are asked the same questions when those are already answered in the tickets. It is as if they are reading from a script like drones. They need to learn to be more proactive and less robots. When the tickets being raised already have all the details of the issues, and all the diagnostics have been done by us please send the details to second level or 3rd if necessary instead of asking us to repeat the steps we already repeated. we don't have time to waste, especially when a server is down. That is why we do not use BMC support at the moment.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have been on BMC AR System platform here since the mid 90s. We keep adding more applications, modifying/updating the old ones.

We have retired some too. It is an easy platform to grow and adapt

How was the initial setup?

I was not at this client site when the implementation was done. But from experience, I would suggest that anyone embarking in this adventure does get at least the basic training

What about the implementation team?

BMC ARS was implemented back in mid 1990's . I was not at this client site when the implementation was done.

What was our ROI?

BMC ARS was implemented back in mid 1990's . I was not at this client site when the implementation was done.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I keep a close eye on license usage and balance them. The cost of license is always an issue in every company and needs to be evaluate every Quarter/Year.

A report is provided with the recommendation to each business units on what needs to be done.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

BMC ARS was implemented back in mid 1990's . I was not at this client site when the implementation was done.

What other advice do I have?

This is based on the older version of the product as we are slowly moving all our thick client apps to the Web. This has been a pain stacking process due to amount of applications we needed to move and to the multiple of "old" code we had to drag along with us. The next move will be the upgrade to version 9 which will be another huge and exciting step. This is an amazing powerful product, but like any product that has so much multi possibilities, it has its "quirkiness" that you need to learn to work with.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

7.6.04 SP5
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Add a Comment
ITCS user

author avatarJeevan Chaukar

Dear Pascale,
Definitely a useful review! We have a major customer on 8.1 SP2 version and we are in process of upgrading to Remedy 9.1 SP4 version. I agree that it can be quite painstaking process to upgrade and one really needs to invest in strong hardware in order to truly utilize BMC Remedy ITSM.

One critical aspect of BMC Remedy projects is the choice of people involved in functional/technical design when performing customizations according to end user requirements.

There are many customers where Business Analysts, Designers and Developers are 3 separate set of people. BA's do the analysis and handover requirements to designers. Designers handover designs to Developers...Developers handover coded functionality to testers and so on....

This concept doesn't work very well with BMC Remedy and it is far better to have relatively senior developers perform the function of BA + Designer + Developer while junior people can simply be developers and are led by these senior developers.

It also automatically means that you can't and shouldn't have over-aggressive release cycle where one design phase gets over and same set of designers immediately move to next release design while current design is being developed by the developers.

The moment you start doing this kind of aggressive release cycle, you are going to sow the seeds for future issues!


author avatarit_user400080 (Sr. BMC Remedy Lead Developer (PM) at a transportation company)
Real User

i agree with you completely. BMC Remedy is a special “beast”. I play the role of BA helping the BA understand how the platform will serve their needs. I design and architect the solutions, write up the technical requirements for the developers, develop the most difficult parts of the design when need be. And if time allows it, it will code too. Training the rest of the team is a big part of Remedy. Experience is what makes you a better developer