CA Service Desk Manager Review

It allows us to define not only SLAs, but actions and notifications in time during the ticket processing, although some improvements are needed in the support and security offered for mail servers.


Valuable Features

The most valuable feature to me seems to be that the system is fully customizable and the service types with events and macros, that allows you to define not only SLAs, but actions and notifications in time, during the ticket processing. Also, the unified self-service portal with mobile interface, the knowledge base, Web Screen Painter, and the fact that you don’t need to provide any new password when you are changing the role - you just select the role you want to apply and push the button).

Room for Improvement

There are some improvement that can be done. First of all, the interface is pretty old (although it looks ok). There some improvements needed in the support and security offered for mail servers. Also, the system should allow to add new action macros at the interface level, and not through workaround, and some more easy way manage the language support (an easier way to generate the translated interfaces, fewer files to be translated). The Web Screen Painter tool can be improved, since this is a very powerful tool.

Use of Solution

I’m relatively new to CA Service Desk Manager, having started using it at the beginning of this year.

Stability Issues

The product, once you have implemented in the right way is very stable. You can leave it there to do its job, and only perform administration tasks like creating users and changing minor things. You don’t need to restart it or perform other administrative tasks.

Scalability Issues

It is a very scalable product and multi-tenancy feature allows you to give secure access in a multi-organizational environment, or provide services with it.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

I had no problems, so 10/10.

Technical Support:

Technical support is good, and you have also a strong community. You can even consider some advice from the older product, Unicenter, so 9/10.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is complex. CA Service Desk Manager has a complex architecture, and depending upon the features you choose to install, you need more than four machines, which is the minimum number recommended by CA. So, it is an effort, and the same for the business rules. A complex model means a bigger implementation effort, process automatization, means some other extra effort too.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Service Desk Manager price is not very high and the benefits are considerable. If you compare with other products, for the same money, you'll get a more flexible system, with a very nice licensing model (it is licensed per analyst that's processing the ticket, not per ticket or per user).

Other Solutions Considered

Yes, we have evaluated more products like IBM, Landesk, Microsoft, and Manage Engine.

Other Advice

You won’t regret implementing it. If you have a medium or a large amount of ticketing activity, you will see the true benefits this system is giving to your business. But, keep in mind that you will need a dedicated resource to maintain the flows as they are changing in your activity, the policies, and the system itself. This is because when you customize it, and things are changing, you need someone to implement these changes, and since the system is so flexible, also there are a lot of possibilities.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a CA partner.
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