CA Service Desk Manager Review

The workflow engine, knowledge base, SLA calculation and customisation are areas that need to be improved. The out-of-the-box functions and ITIL compatibility are good features.


How has it helped my organization?

Some of workflows became centralised and the complexity of approval cycles decreased via this tool. In general, it has helped us to implement some ITIL practices easily. 

What is most valuable?

  • Logging every action in Service Desk Manager (SDM).
  • Unique ticket number for every case (incident, request, problem, change, etc.) and tracking cases with ticket numbers.
  • Out-of-the-box functions
  • ITIL compatibility

What needs improvement?

  • Reporting side 
  • Workflow engine 
  • Knowledge base 
  • SLA calculation and customisation

The SDM administration and customisation need deep information about architecture and vendor support continuously. Therefore, the quality of support service is very key.

For PAM and BO, it is very hard to create and manage reports, dashboards, or workflows. These topics cause difficulties on application usage for analysts and end users. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some processes stop from time-to-time and require a restart. Also, sometimesexporting lists (incident, request, change, etc.) to Excel does not work and requires a restart.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

Based on what we have gotten from our local technical partner and vendor, I would rate them as a three (from 10). It can be said that the most important thing is selection of your vendor. CA tools can be very useful when you have the right vendors on board, otherwise it becomes a disaster for your organisation.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have been using this product for eight years and nobody remembers the reason for the switch, however we are going to switch this product due to lack of technical support and legacy structure for the version which we were using. 

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex, because components (SDM, BO, and PAM) were on different servers and a lot of configuration was needed during the setup. 

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

The product has several licensing models. In our corporation, we are using a concurrent licensing model and there is no cap for the license due to licensing model being ethical. I think pricing of this model is suitable for growing corporations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not applicable.

What other advice do I have?

Find a local partner, one that has full competence on this product, or take extensive training for your technical crew about the product from global vendor. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of product and evaluate these with your needs. If it needs more customisation, think twice. 

However, there is a huge difference between the reviewed version and the recent version of this product. The newer version is far better than the reviewed version. Do not forget that this review has been given for version 12.9. (This review has been shared while version 14.x has been in market.)

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

The release of CA Service Desk being reviewed in this article is a number of years old. There have been 2 major releases since then and the problem areas mentioned in the article have been addressed. Major new functionality has also been introduced which puts CA Service Desk ahead of it's competition.

21 November 17
Allen HouptVendor

A correction to the last paragraph of the review: the latest version of CA Service Desk Manager is not 14.x; the latest release is 17.0 which has been on the market since April 2017. Release 12.9 was introduced in 2013 and CA announced 12.9 will not be supported after March 31, 2018. I strongly suggests upgrading to 17.0 before considering changing solutions.

21 November 17
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