Clarity SM Review

Good IT lifecycle management and BI functionality


What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the systems that we implement for our clients.

This solution covers most of the IT lifecycle. The emphasis is mainly on incident management, change management, program management, and request fulfillment. We also have the System Management patch for network monitoring. 

What is most valuable?

As of late, I really like the BI functions. 

What needs improvement?

The CA products integrate well together but I would like to see better integration with third-party solutions. An example of this is with AIOps, where I prefer Splunk over CASDM, so I would have like to see it opened up so that the integration is straightforward. We like the customer to be able to choose.

I find that there are many modules that offer similar functionality and I would like to see these consolidated. Perhaps it is because CA was acquired by Broadcom and they are still developing, with the intention to bring everything together but as it is now, the vendor has many products that do the same thing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using CA Service Desk Manager since version 5.5, starting about 15 years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Speaking of stability, there was one version, 12.5, that gave us a lot of pain. However, I think that it was due to our architecture. Out of the box, I think that this is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If properly deployed, I think that the CA Service Desk Manager is scalable. We had our own lessons to learn from the way we did things in the previous versions but with our latest deployment, it has been quite well and scalable.

Two of our enterprise clients have between 900 and 1,000 users.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In my company, we have both CASDM and BMC Helix ITSM, and I have worked with both of them. I find the BMC solution easier to deploy than CASDM. Some of my colleagues regularly support BMC and it seems that their deployment is much quicker.

Our BMC solution is much smaller and it does not cover all of the areas, especially in the systems management space, the AIOps, reporting, and aggregation. BMC does have this functionality but we didn't acquire everything. I expect that eventually, all of our clients will be using CASDM. 

How was the initial setup?

Because there are so many different modules, the initial setup is not that straightforward. There are a lot of things that you need to do to get things to work together, although I'm used to that sort of iterative process. Sometimes, when I look at how other solutions such as BMC are deployed, I find them much easier.

CASDM can take months to deploy, especially if you have data that you've got to take from your previous versions. You may have a lot to do.

What other advice do I have?

We are currently two versions behind but we are in a project to upgrade to the latest version, 17.2. It is appealing to me because I will have access to the AIOps modules. I am also interested in moving to the cloud-based solution because it is easier to deploy. There are better technologies available in the cloud, it is easier to manage, and there is a high availability aspect. I think that it would be much better but we are often restricted by the customer, who cannot always have data on the cloud. For example, two of our customers are state-owned enterprises and their data cannot be on the cloud for any reason.

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to use the cloud-based deployment, rather than host it on-premises.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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