CA Service Desk Manager Review

Extensibility of the interface allows for schema changes. The individual user should have the ability to determine what notification types they want to subscribe to and how they want to be notified.


What is most valuable?

  • Functions related to the ITIL process sets for change management
  • Request fulfillment
  • Incident management
  • Knowledge management database

These elements are the most valuable to the organization because they are the areas that have at least rudimentary corresponding business processes and accountable business owners.

The features that are most valuable to me as an SDM administrator are:

  • Extensibility of the interface to allow for schema changes
  • Form-level modifications to support the aforementioned business processes

How has it helped my organization?

Utilization of change management features allowed us to effectively implement both group- and department-level change advisory boards and coordinate the interaction between the disparate management levels.

What needs improvement?

All areas of every product have room for improvement.

That being said, this product would benefit by allowing individual users more customization, notably around notifications.

On a per-user basis, the individual user should have the ability to determine what notification types they want to subscribe to and how they want to be notified.

On an individual basis, users should be able to modify their interface to change things like the attributes returned from search results or have the ability to show/hide fields on ticket creation screens to support their own or a team’s workflow.

It would be handy to have an option in the interface to disable large chunks of functionality. For example, we do not utilize the application for problem management.

If there were an option to yank Problems out of menus, screens, this would expedite deployments and limit the need for the creation and maintenance of custom test scripts.

For how long have I used the solution?

The organization has been utilizing this product line for around 17 years. I’ve been using this product line for 15 years. This specific version of SDM has been in use in our environment for a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We periodically run into issues with the stability of the application. It rarely necessitates any action on our part.

We opted to deploy on Microsoft Windows and SQL, and occasionally run into issues based on those decisions. I am not sure if they can be attributed to the application, however.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have not been any scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

There are basically two buckets: those that are really competent and those that are lacking.

In my experience, 75% fall into the really competent category, which is much higher than other companies I’ve worked with.

CA, given its size, surprisingly does not have 24/7 US-based technical support. As all of our deployments naturally occur outside of regular US business hours, this means that whenever I’m really having an issue, I’m invariably working with someone in India, France, or elsewhere.

I would like to reiterate that these people are usually very proficient in what they do, but because of language barriers, things do not usually go as smooth as I would prefer.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Our organization has utilized CA ticketing solutions AHD, USD, SDM, and Service Desk since I’ve been here.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was GUI-based, and was pretty standard and straightforward.

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

I had no input nor purview into pricing or licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The solution was already selected.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure that your organization has robust business processes in place for the feature sets that you would like to implement. Organizations that expect the tool to define the business process can expect a very difficult deployment.

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