BMC Remedyforce Review

A solid, reasonably-priced service management solution for small to mid-sized businesses

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for Remedyforce is for clients who do not have a requirement on the CMDB (Configuration Management Database). When I'm talking about a requirement, I'm talking about things like federation and reconciliation requirements. This gap is one of the reasons I started looking at Remedyforce as a potential solution. 

The second reason for choosing this is when the client size is medium to small — not truly enterprise. Medium-sized companies in my view means that the support staff is around 10 to 30 members. That is just the number of support staff, not end-users. There should also be about 50 to 100 servers.

A third component is when there are no critical integrations — we call them huge integrations. There are two kinds of integration. First, there is very straightforward integration where I need to connect to an active directory and, for example, read the people detail. The second is more complicated integrations. For example, a client might ask to do provisioning on the active directory, or they may want to do updates like bidirectional integration. Remedyforce is not built for this type of thing. The product as of yet was not built to handle complex requirements. When it comes to complex requirements, we have to be honest with the client. It is as if they buy a cheaper car and try to make it into a Ferrari. We have other remedies for this situation, Helix Remedy. It is a Ferrari. Remedyforce is not the Ferrari.

What is most valuable?

There are several excellent features that I find valuable in the product. The self-service portal, knowledge management, and the CMDB from the last version are the best of these. Previously CMDB was the worst feature. Now they improved it significantly and it is one of the best features of the product.

Other modules that older versions of the product had are not really featured but can be useful. For example incident management. I cannot tell you that incident management in Remedyforce is as good a feature as incident management in Micro Focus — which has different incident management capabilities. They are both valuable incident management products depending on needs and expectations.

What needs improvement?

Of course, there are features that can be added, improved and enhanced in any product. I would like to see the CMDB feature include federation in the consideration engine. That would be the number one enhancement I would like. Number two, enhance the change management module by including a calendar. They should also create and include an impact analysis engine. They don't have an impact analysis engine right now.

But if you notice these features like change management are more related to big organizations. BMC wants to keep it this way. BMC has trillions of dollars they could put into research and development to add features. They envision Remedyforce for medium to small companies and it is their market. Our Ferrari product is for large, enterprise organizations. So, if they enhance the change management in Remedyforce, they will be making the products similar to other products. Eventually, the client will wonder why they are offering the same product with more than one name. It would be like basically having the same product but for cheaper pricing. It doesn't make sense.

They want to offer different products and enhance some type of distinguishing advantage of each. They want products to appeal to different market segments because they want to capture all of the marketplaces. It is as simple as this.

For how long have I used the solution?

It has been two years that we are using this product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is really stable. It has an uptime of 99.9%. They also have great customer service policies to cover any stability issue. In case the system goes down for any reason, BMC is willing to cover any lapse in service during the subscription. They will actually cover the exact amount of time for you. After your subscription ends, they will calculate the days and they will refund it directly to you.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable product. Because it is on the cloud, lots of people can connect to it and there is no problem with growing the number of connections. If you want, you can even add a mobile app now. Previously they didn't have a mobile app option.

Remedyforce's scalability has some limitations and because of that, it is not going to fit in most large enterprises. However, very large companies are using the product with success. For example, Carrefour is a very large grocery chain something like Walmart and they are using Remedyforce.

There are reasons to use Remedyforce and it is okay for big clients. One of our big clients is the Al Tayer Group. They are a dealership for expensive luxury cars like Range Rover, Ford, and Ferrari (the real Ferrari). The number of actual users is small, but the amount of business they do is huge.

I have a meeting, a new project coming up with Al Ghurair Group. Retail groups love this product because it is very fast but not expensive. Forpen is another big enterprise and they are using Remedyforce heavily. They are treating it as a large enterprise solution. The product works for them for now because they did many things on top of it to make it work. Really they are paying more than what it deserves to put into it. Sometimes you might own a Toyota Corolla and you keep enhancing it to try to make it work like a Ferrari. Actually you are wasting your time and resources on it because the solution you need already exists. Go buy the other one you want because it is better for you. It may feel harder to switch than it actually is.

Can you scale it? Yes. But doing it may not be a good business decision. There comes a point where there is no point in enhancing the product more. For some of the clients in the UAE, change is hard for them. They think that they already have a solution that they know how to use and they are happy with it. They think it's a headache to change and switch and get used to something else. It is also not always easy to go to procurement to finance a change. You need to justify why you need to change a product and defend the expense.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer and technical support are very good. Their response to issues and the resolutions are the fastest across all of our cloud competitors. They are the leader in customer support being both very fast and on the spot. 

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

I'm the BMC (Baseboard Management Controller) business unit manager in my company. I know every little thing about my competitors and their products in order to have success selling products.

Earlier we were not relying on Remedyforce but BMC recently made a significant investment in Remedyforce. The name is changed and it is called BMC Helix Remedyforce. It is built on the Salesforce Platform, which is a well-established cloud platform. Recently, they decided to provide more features. It has now chatbots. They provide BMC discovery for the cloud as well. These two features were always available in BMC but it was only for Remedy IT service management — the enterprise solution. Now they make them available to be integrated to work with Remedyforce which makes Remedyforce a very strong solution. 

How was the initial setup?

The product is only available in the cloud, so there is no setup. You just place an order and you'll get it tomorrow. Everyone now is moving to the cloud here in UAE. The first data center for Azure is in Abu Dhabi. That is because it is a better means of deployment.

What about the implementation team?

Because there is no installation process, there is no need for a consultant or anybody to help.

The configuration is a little different and it could take some time. You'll have the system up and running but you need to put efforts to configure it. Tasks would include uploading the people details, building service requests, building templates, etcetera. However, almost all of these tasks are very simple and very easy.

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

This product is very inexpensive. It is subscription-based on yearly contracts.

My current company has a deal. I think the subscription per year is 20K dollars. Per year for the client is really nothing compared to other products and solutions. You know that a five years subscription is one hundred thousand dollars for five years using all this functionality.

What other advice do I have?

On the cloud, BMC is a leader. Even now they are introducing AI as part of their platform. Any platform that you have in the cloud with them, you'll have IBM Watson built-in with it. The chatbot used in Remedyforce is AI-based using IBM Watson.

If someone is considering Remedyforce they need to ask the right questions of themselves. Very simple, straightforward questions. How many servers do you have? How many support staff you have? How many custom processes do you have? Or are you a green field where you have not begun to build anything? These things will help to define the correct solution. If this is not fit for you do to the answers you give and the discovery of the product. My recommendation might be to go to Helix Remedy. It depends if that will help you have success with your needs for the solution. Helix Remedy is great for large enterprises. The product has many complex solutions. However, it is also not right for everyone.

Let me tell you about one of our customers, Dubai Financial Markets. The Dubai Financial Market has millions there. The number of support staff is small. You would be surprised. The number of end-users is only 200, the number for the support staff around 30. But in this case, Remedyforce will fail there. They have Helix Remedy because they have very complicated processes. For example, Remedyforce does not have something called the process designer. Helix Remedy has an engine called the process designer to build any kind of custom IP process. It was a small staff, but they needed more advanced solutions.

If you want more help in making decisions you can go to BMC blogs and forums and discover more about products. This can also help you to identify features you may not know exist that would be useful.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I think BMC Remedyforce is an eight. Every software has limitations. If you ask me about Helix Remedy, I will tell you a nine, there's nothing like ten, nothing.

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