ManageEngine Desktop Central Review

Enables you to do desktop support without interrupting the user


What is our primary use case?

We have been using ManageEngine Desktopcentral UEM edition in our organization for a year now. We have 1,2000 employees on 80 domains in more than 20 countries around Africa and the world. Its always been an issue to effectively manage such a complex environment. We have changed toolsets every 3 years due to shortcomings in the products. Maintaining patching compliance or standardizing security policies are almost impossible without an application to assist. 

Things like enforcing a baseline security compliance become more important every year and now with WFH, the system needs to easily cater for it. To add to the problems of managing a large environment we have to look after mobile devices too. With desktop central, we have been able to maintain patch compliance across our entire estate. Manage software licensing and deployment. Enforce minimum security compliance. Work towards a zero-touch environment with automated deployment and custom scripting. We have used the image capture and deployability to do remote deployment of OS in remote areas where previously we would have to send out a person. 

DesktopCentral allows you to do desktop support without interrupting the user, by using remote event viewer or remote CMD a desktop technician can do troubleshooting without the user knowing. This allows for a more professional and modern way of doing IT support. Integrating into ManageEngine, ServiceDesk Plus has created even further efficiencies by allowing the user to use the agent's self-service portal to request software, create a workflow to have approvals in place, and let desktop central automatically deploy the software once it's approved. 

DesktopCentral also pulls all the CI information from a users machine and keeps a history of things like Software, Hardware, warranty and shipping date. This information gets passed to the ServiceDesk to populate the asset management portion of the desk. Keeping everything “OS Management” in one portal makes life for the engineer easier, the engineer doesn’t need to jump between multiple systems to achieve basic tasks. We also have a vast verity of OSs from windows 7,8,10, Server to CentOS, Ubuntu, and macOS which we are required to manage. DesktopCentral allows for our engineers to offer the same level of support across all platforms, all domains, all networks all the time.

How has it helped my organization?

Basic tasks like setting up USB locks on specific departments can be done in as little as three minutes. We have used DesktopCentral to run scripts that enable BitLocker across certain departments and it passes the encryption key back to the security tab within the DesktopCentral portal, this really saves a lot of time and extra expense on third-party tools. We have also locked down all systems for specific applications like BitTorrent and disabled automatic updates also in under three minutes. Maintaining Patch Compliance too.

What is most valuable?

The ability to run event viewer, task manager, services, command, file browser, certificate all remotely without interrupting users is the most valuable aspect. Software deployment and prohibiting, allowing us to standardize on the software that has been deployed through the environment and then prohibiting illegal software such as torrent applications has been valuable. We have also used the in-depth data gathered from each machine to enhance our Asset management and CMDB and created an array of scheduled reports to keep BU managers unto date on their IT.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more click to complete actions such as - USB lockdown for Mac, the ability to check AV compliance on servers, bit locker controls, printer tracking or print page tracking, self-help for self-healing like "BMC my IT" and more options in the self-service menu other than just software - maybe add integration in ADSelfService at the self-service menu. 

I would also like self enrolment page for agent-based deployment like that for the MDM or modern management options. A physical location for agent-based machines like on modern management.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using ManageEngine for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the year we have run it, its never gone down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It performs well, the report module is the slowest of the system but its acceptable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support team needs work, I have waited months for an answer to some of our requests.

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

Yes, the solution didn't offer enough options for the complexity of our environment.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward - it's all self-explanatory.

What about the implementation team?

In-house using white papers and previous tooling experience.

What was our ROI?

We have been able to reduce the amount of people needed to support the environment because of automation ability.

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

Setup costs are very little, pricing is reasonable and licensing can get complicated but it isn't rocket science.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, Kasaya and SolarWinds.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend trying it for 30 days, you will be surprised.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We also resell the software if our customers request it
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