Micro Focus Service Manager Review

Process Designer allows us to make modifications to certain attributes that will be forward compatible with new versions. Authentication needs to natively support multiple AD forests.

Valuable Features

Process Designer allows us to make modifications to certain attributes with the confidence that they will be forward compatible with new versions.

Improvements to My Organization

Improved rigor around Change Management workflows has led to increased operational stability. In turn, this means fewer High Severity Incidents, which is another Key Performance Indicator for us.

Room for Improvement

Authentication needs to natively support multiple AD forests, since this is typically an enterprise tool with global users.

Use of Solution

HP iterations - over 10 years

SM 9.3.3 - since Dec 2014

Deployment Issues

Yes. Upon initial deployment, we did not correctly set up the license containers, which resulted in our floating licenses being active in the system but not available. The issue took some time to identify and fix, resulting in a false start in production.

Stability Issues

Yes. In addition to the fat client used by system administrators and support, we rolled out a web client for the general user base. Load balancers were not delivered in Phase 1 (time/cost constraints), and that caused negative user experiences.

Scalability Issues

Not so far, but our user model to date has been relatively consistent. Growth in recent years has been driven outside of North America, meaning we have substantially more users and traffic, but it is spread over 24 hours.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Our customer-vendor relationship is solid. We get the responses we need to stay productive. From a product perspective, we would like to get more traction of shaping the enhancements in future releases. A large part of that is ensuring we stay current.

Technical Support:

From a professional service perspective, it's excellent. We partner with HP to support the entire application suite. Anything they cannot resolve is escalated to product support.

Previous Solutions

Prior to SM 9.3.3, we had various iterations of SC (most recently 6.2.7) for approximately 10 years. Before that, we had a series of internal processes in place.

Initial Setup

Our approach was to install the entire suite globally at one time. This was aggressive and complex, but in hindsight the right choice. There were a great deal of challenges with user adoption, but delivering everything at once eliminated a lot of potential data issues and future integrations/conversions.

Implementation Team

Implementation was via vendor engagement for the core team, partnering with our dedicated HP support team (we outsourced support in 2011). Their expertise is solid, and, of course, should they run into challenges, they have direct access to HP product at their fingertips.


The true benefit of HP Service Manager is beyond the modules in the basic package. Leveraging Universal Discovery to create a concrete foundation in the uCMDB allows processes to deliver maximum value.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Like anything else, shop around. The beauty of HP's model is the concurrent licensing that they offer. This allows you to build a common foundation for a large audience without feeling every single seat needs to be justified.

Other Solutions Considered

Yes. Starting with industry evaluations such as Gartner, we shortlisted three vendors (HP, BMC & SNOW), who came in with proposals around product, pricing, deployment, etc. HP won out based on a combination of factors.

Other Advice

I think it's fair to say it is a workhorse. It's extremely reliable, relatively cost effective, scalable, and has good existing integration points.

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