SCCM Review

SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 - Very good product


Valuable Features

The best features that I really appreciated are software and application pushing, Microsoft patching with Wsus integration, O.S. deployment with PXE (with driver installation, latest patches and customization), mobile management with Intune Connector, file inventory on pcs, users statistic usage about applications, hardware and software inventory.

Improvements to My Organization

We had the opportunity to easily manage Microsoft patching deployment with Wsus role installed or maintaining Wsus infrastructure separated from SCCM.

In this latter case we created properly GPO and script to push patch centrally and with appropriate scheduling. At the same time mobile management with MDM ability and encrypting as well, software and application pushing and updating overriding security concerns and O.S. deployment was some of the top features that we really appreciated.
I appreciated Distribution points on the cloud and ability to publish on demandapplications for users groups.

In this case users could choose from software list to automatically install some missing application without asking directly to IT team.

Room for Improvement

I think that some improvements would be appreciated on application package deployment for whom that has not a deep scripting ability like me.

SCCM is an high CPU/memory conuming application and so it would be fine that Microsoft could improve performances.

Use of Solution

I started utilizing SMS 2003 since 9 years ago, since 4 years ago I managed and directed differentsmigration projects and zero installations on corporate companies with CAS, Primary and Secondary Sites.

At the same time I utilized this product during daily operations like reporting, software pushing, Microsoft patching, mobile managemen with satisfaction

Deployment Issues

You should consider that this product is particularly complex and delicate at the same time and so, the most difficult thing, was related to find causes of any installation delay or misconfiguration

Stability Issues

About stability I did not find any particular problem.

When I got some problems on internet is quite easy to find consistent answers.

Scalability Issues

The only thing that I did not appreciated it was the case that, if you do not have CAS, you can install only one primary sites and all other sites could be only secondary sites.

This problem could be solved installing CAS later but about secondary site upgrade I am not aware that they can be automatically updated to primary site without uninstallation and re-installation.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very good and there are a lot of documentation on internet to help you on deployment/usage too.

Previous Solutions

I utilized for a while PDQ, spiceworks and psexec too but they are not caomparable with wide SCCM options/features.

Initial Setup

The first setup was quite complex but primarily due to wide capabilities of the product itself that need time to be customized.

Implementation Team

It was implemented by an in-house team coordinated and managed from me.

ROI

In my opinion SCCM SP1 is great.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Setup and licensing was quite expensive as well at start up stage. When all procedures have been implemented like collections, application and packages, wsus automatically deployment, O.S preparation, mobile management policies, reporting day by day, time to be spent to manage it would be more limited but, considering the importance and quantity of activity done from SCCM it would be normal to have a lot of hours daily spent from a team to utilize this product (obviously it would depends on company too)

Other Solutions Considered

PDQ, Spiceworks, psexec, GPO, scripting…

Other Advice

SCCM is really great but you must consider that you will take a lot of time to manage it entirely.

You should consider that this product would be, in the future, more and more strategic for companies about security concerns, task automation and for your CV too.

I have a lot of guide and screenshot as well:

http://www.alessandromazzanti.com/search/label/SCCM%202012

Here is my blog link:

http://www.alessandromazzanti.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mazzanti

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

I have seen MOM the predisessor of SCOM 2007, now 2012 which was limited in its scope. Capabilities were indeed minimal compared with other enterprise monitoring solutions. In 2007 The tool improved markedly. Now in my view it is the defactor enterprise monitoring tool replacing HP which has decided not to continue down the line with OM for Windows. With HP pushing BSM which many of my former clients have tested and tossed I see SCOM especially in the SCCM framework becoming a huge part of many large companies IT infrastructure.

03 November 15
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