Micro Focus Service Manager Review

It's strong, there's no doubt about it. I wouldn't want to go replacing it with any of the other tools.

What is most valuable?

Most of the time it's the value it can provide, as long as you've got it properly mapped out. So the most important factor is being able to gather all the data into one place and then you can distribute that information across to other areas, and they can then benefit from it.

How has it helped my organization?

It's strong, there's no doubt about it. I wouldn't want to go replacing it with any of the other tools. There are enough other companies that have got similar tools. But once you've gone down the road of using the HP software, you would like to make sure you carry it on, even though there are certain things they still need to improve upon.

What needs improvement?

I think one area which is the most painful from my point of view is if you need to integrate a lot of the tools, and being able to make that a lot more seamless.

For instance your workflow could be - that's the name of the server, that's the IP address, go and communicate, sort it out, pass the data in between. Having to sit there and spend sometimes weeks, trying to get them integrated and properly operational is annoying.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution probably since about 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty much stable. I mean, it's been long enough now to the point that there are still issues here and there, but the main product itself is strong enough, and it's decent enough to be able to make use of.

I think the hardest part sometimes is when you try to integrate with a lot of the other HP software tools. That's where the containment, being able to move to the new sort of ITS main model, will most probably help. But the initial thing is if you've got to get these different tools integrated, it can be a bit difficult.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You have to have an idea of what the size of your organization is to begin with. So if you think, "we're only small," and then you actually realize you're discovering an awful lot of continuous integrations, then you may need to expand it.

So in the main, you've got to have a decent understanding about your organization in the first place, then make sure you scale it properly. Then from there on it's pretty scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good. I mean, whenever you've got an issue you can at least always raise an incident and then with that someone's always going to have a look at your support case, get back to you, and then be able to sort of work the problem out.

There are times where you don't always get a fix, and it's mainly because of the version that you're running, so you need to upgrade. Being able to upgrade every five minutes is not something which is an option. So you can get to that point where they say, "we've fixed it - it's in the latest release." Great, what do I do now?

Those challenges are the ones which are sometimes the biggest problem. It's not that you don't know it's not getting fixed, but it doesn't mean the fix will always necessarily come to you to actually be able to use.

How was the initial setup?

Regarding setup, it depends on which tool.

UCMBD has become a lot more easy to set up and put in place. So perhaps for instance in the case of a Chinese Asset Manager, that would still be a little bit complex, trying to get it operational. Especially when you're trying to feed data between UCMBD and the Asset Manager. So it depends on what you're trying to do.

If you then need to connect it and whatever else, then you have to sit there and really work out the actual data models that sit between both and then be able to patch it all through.

So, I think it should try and sort that side of things out and make it a little bit more seamless, so that from a user point of view all I need to do is just this, this, this and this, and then it works. That would be a lot nicer.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are a number of things to consider. One, you want to know that the reliability is. You need to know the software is going to do the job that you want it to do. You need to know that it's going to be fairly easy, painless to set up.

But at the same time, if you have any issues, you've got a good customer focus. That they're interested in making sure that they're going to basically get the best for the customer. So it's not just about - "we've sold you a load of products, so we'll respond to you now."

What other advice do I have?

You need to spend a lot of time getting it developed. Make sure you go over areas brought into it so you can then show the value of what it can do. Once you've then got it, then you can prove to the business that this is how important it is, being able to understand your IT. What makes up your IT. Then of course, if you're trying to pass that information into other areas, like asset management or software license management, it's all feeding from the same place. So you can then at least get something which is meaningful at the end.

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