CA Service Desk Manager Review

It provides all users with a scoreboard where they can track incidents, requests, or change orders they're responsible for. I'd like enhancements to how it integrates with process automation.


Valuable Features

My involvement with Service Desk Manager is on the administration side as I have a partner who does all the form design and that sort of thing. What I get out of it personally is that it can go beyond out-of-the-box.

In other words, if I need SDM to do something that it doesn't do out-of-the-box, it gives us the tools to expand it, like the events and macros. It empowers me to be a lot more creative in doing things beyond the out-of-the-box scope of SDM.

Improvements to My Organization

Right now, we are using it for change management, incident management and service requests. It provides all users with a scoreboard where they can track all the incidents, requests, or change orders that they're responsible for. It provides the user with a tracking of anything they may have submitted.

With the simple notification when somethings being worked on, your Service Desk allows you to be creative with the notifications. Who gets what, when they get it, and it keeps dialogue open between service provisioner and the service requester.

There's always behind-the-scenes notification and tracking of what's going on through the Service Desk incident record or through the change record.

Room for Improvement

I submitted an enhancement request and I think it actually made it into the product. It was basically enhancements to how it integrates with Process Automation -- if Process Automation is down and Service Desk happened to call Process Automation for external activity type of thing, I want SDM to be more resilient to the interface being down to that component.

Also, instead of throwing an error to the user, I'd suggest maybe a spinning hourglass or something. A message that says, hold on, we're trying to talk to Process Automation or something along those lines.

Stability Issues

It's not in a production environment yet, but were moving in there. The environment where we're currently stood up on in production is version 12. I think it's holding up pretty good. I think that version 12.9 will allow us to build on a a more advanced configuration, which means that it will sustain an outage better than version 12.5 because you have multiple user interface servers stood up. If one goes down, it still provides user interface connectivity.

I think 12.9 is going to be a lot better in terms of availability, but I think that SDM does a nice job and isn't buggy. Where it does get bogged down, or it does encounter an error, is that lot of times we're unable to track the error through the error log mechanism, and we then have to figure it out for ourselves.

Scalability Issues

The scale that we currently use it at is more than sufficient. We have single server with a single database and it holds up very well for over two hundred users. I think it's doing pretty good.

v12.9 does allow us to be more scalable if we have to build it for a greater audience of users, but we haven't got that far yet.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I've had to call them on occasion because I've had integration problems with Process Automation. I might've had an SSL certificate-type issue. The people whom I've dealt with were very knowledgeable about the product and oftentimes resolution comes with in a day or so that I open up an issue. I can't say that I open an issue up every week. It's probably more like once a month.

Initial Setup

I think it's pretty easy. The documentation was good for somebody who has a background on it. I can stand it up with my eyes closed. I don't know if someone coming to it for the first time could look through the documentation and make sense of it, though.

Other Advice

Really, really learn the admin functions.

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