CA Cloud Service Management Review

I can do an upgrade that night and the next morning my system will be up. Would like it to be more visually appealing.


What is most valuable?

We like the fact that all the tools interconnect. We can do everything from Service Catalog, such as create change orders, without having to use our ticketing system. It automatically ties it in to it.

For example, for our new-hire process, we have it set up to automatically add our new users to the system. Our people can then go in and we have groups set up that they can say, "Okay, I want this", and it goes and grabs all the services and automatically creates the tickets to create the group. It makes the process a lot easier.

We're real small. We probably only have about 50 people in our IT department now. We used to be a lot bigger. We have about 2,000 employees, so there are 50 of us doing the work of a larger team.

How has it helped my organization?

Using the self-service functionalities we have been able to eliminate a lot of the support phone calls, and actually reduce a lot of our help desk staff. We no longer have to have a 24-hour help desk, because our employees can create the tickets themselves. Then, we get an alert and we don't have to do anything. So we've saved a lot of money doing it that way.

What needs improvement?

There are a few things I would like to see.Service Desk has a quick profile feature, where you can pull up everybody's environment, including all their assets, their ticket history and everything else. When I go in to actually look at their contact, I would like to see that same information, instead of having to go to two different places for it.

I think they could update some of the interface. It doesn't look as pretty as some of the other ones. I would like it to be more visually appealing. And they could make it a little bit easier to do customizations.

Also, I think Service Catalog could be a little more user-friendly to the end user. It's fine for somebody who's more technical, but I think sometimes my end users, who are in the newspaper and they're usually older and have a little more trouble with it. But, they've really done a good job of improving everything lately.

There's always room for improvement. It used to be much harder to get support and the tool didn't tie in as well to their other products. You'd have to jump through so many hoops to get it to work.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is fantastic. I never have any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. Also, they finally added the ability to cluster your services server. So if one goes down, it can automatically fail-over. Which was not possible before; I used to have to do it manually.

And now you can automatically do fail-over between the services. Plus, we can use the Process Automation Management tool for more than just service management. You can create your own virtual servers using PAM.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been fantastic. Honestly, I've had a lot more luck with CA technical support than I've had with the consultants that we've paid lots of money to come out to our sight. They've really improved technical support. They have the CA community now and it's much easier to find things.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were actually using a web-based solution. The impetus to go with CA was because we took our help desk and all of our support back from IBM. We found out we could save more money by keeping it on-site. And we could have better control of our assets, and everything else. So that was part of it. We were using ManageNow or something like that. I've used many other ticketing systems before as well. CA IT Service Desk does the most.

Plus, they have multiple solutions. They don't just have one web-based product. I can actually have my product and customize it the way I want to without going through them.

When choosing a vendor we want good support.

How was the initial setup?

We've been using Cloud Service Management since 2009, so initial setup was much more complex back then.

We've gone through many iterations and we're now on the latest one. It's gotten progressively easier. With previous versions, if I was going to do an upgrade, I was like, "Oh, it's going to crash." I would have to do a system backup, because I knew I was going to have problems. Now, I don't have to worry about it. I know I can do an upgrade that night and the next morning my system will be up.

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

Remedy was really cost crazy. We thought about moving to ServiceNow, but it cost twice as much. The cost of Cloud Service Management isn't outrageous.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Remedy and ServiceNow. There was another one, but it's been so long I can't remember which one.

Aside from the cost reasons for going with CA, the CA sales people were really good. We liked the fact that we could tie in all of our asset systems and we didn't have to get anything additional. Then we got Spectrum and everything to support it as well.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you take the training classes that they offer. When you have somebody come out to your site, make sure you sit with them and learn everything you can, because you're going to need that info later. We've had consultants come out for multiple products, and I always make sure to sit with them and go through everything. And they're also very good about what they do. They give you full documentation, so you can refer back to it after they leave.

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