CA Service Desk Manager Review

The ability to specify event rules and SLAs helps automate manual processes


What is our primary use case?

I help my clients make best use of the tool in their service management environment.

It performs pretty well.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps organizations manage their services in a way that treats them as services, and not as, "Oh, this is what I do," in isolation.

What is most valuable?

Being able to specify event rules and SLAs that can help to automate some of the processes that people are doing manually is valuable.

I could pick a dozen and say, "That's useful, and that's useful, and that's useful." The fact that it aligns very well with ITIL. I think that's probably one of my favorite things about it, because it's following up a general best practice for service management. That's important.

What needs improvement?

I think some of the work they're doing with the xFlow interface and the more collaborative tools. I think that's helping because this new generation of people like the social-media style of collaboration.

I would also like to see a simpler reporting tool. They went from one fairly robust, very complex, reporting tool - it was great - and then they went to another one that was also fairly complex and robust. That's a great tool for people who are report writers, but for the average person who just wants to get a quick little report, it's like handing somebody a chainsaw because they have to break some toothpicks in half.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been there for a long time. It's very stable. No issues whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've seen it scale to very large organizations and do it well. They've made improvements to help with that scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I think they're a great team. I actually did some work for them for a few months, a couple of years back. Knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and very professional.

How was the initial setup?

I've been involved in initial setup many times. It can be complex, depending on the requirements of the customer, primarily, whenever the customer wants to deviate from the out-of-the-box, in a large way; if they want to over-customize because they think it should look that way. It's better to accept the way it looks rather than try to force it, because then when you come around to upgrading later, those customizations may or may not be appropriate.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor the most important criteria would be 

  • stability
  • reputation within the industry in general
  • their following of general best practices, like ITIL.

I would rate it bordering on nine out of 10. It is an older based tool, it's been around for more than 25 years. They've made improvement, but it still carries with it some of its old roots.

Make sure that you are recognizing what your real needs are and not just going go with whatever hype is being presented to you.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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