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Clarity SM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Clarity SM is #10 ranked solution in top IT Service Management (ITSM) tools and #12 ranked solution in top Help Desk Software. IT Central Station users give Clarity SM an average rating of 8 out of 10. Clarity SM is most commonly compared to ServiceNow:Clarity SM vs ServiceNow. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 35% of all views.
What is Clarity SM?

Service desk capabilities, an integral part of the CA Service Management solution, can enable you to deliver efficiencies in IT service management to business consumers, power users and decision makers. Mobility and collaborative self-service capabilities provide a modern user experience for accessing services and performing tasks, which can help drive user adoption, satisfaction and productivity.

Learn More: https://www.ca.com/us/products...

Clarity SM was previously known as CA Service Desk Manager, Clarity Service Management, CA Service Management, Unicenter Service Desk, CA SDM, CA Service Catalog, CA Business Service Insight.

Clarity SM Buyer's Guide

Download the Clarity SM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2021

Clarity SM Customers

Banco G&T Continental City of Perth, FEMSA, Fujitsu, Manpower, Muslim Commercial Bank - MCB, Punjab National Bank, Santa Clara County Social Services, Stefanini

Clarity SM Video

Archived Clarity SM Reviews (more than two years old)

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Marcos L. Domingos
Support Analyst, Lead at Sonda IT
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, good integration with ITIL processes, and good customization

Pros and Cons

  • "XFlow (Temperature) and Service Point together provided an extremely user-friendly and collaborative experience to the point of making it easy for all users of the product, whether end-users or analysts."
  • "Diversifying notification methods with pop-ups or ready-made WhatsApp or Skype integration packages would be welcome."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to improve user experience. With the new xFlow and Service Point features, we are able to bring users even further to our side. This is a huge gain when we look at a heterogeneous environment in terms of culture and variety of systems in operation. Demonstrating ease of use and interaction for end users along the same line of usability for support analysts was a key factor in the success of the deployment.

How has it helped my organization?

Visible integration between ITIL Processes makes service management easier by providing a broad view of the health of the organization's technology infrastructure, cost savings, and future investments.

Another relevant point is the ease of customizations and integrations that are inevitable in midsize and large companies.

What is most valuable?

XFlow (Temperature) and Service Point together provided an extremely user-friendly and collaborative experience to the point of making it easy for all users of the product, whether end-users or analysts.

In these resources, knowledge management gains strength and favors the dynamics of use and service, ensuring agility in operations.

What needs improvement?

The part of notification methods and satisfaction surveys remain almost unchanged. Perhaps greater attention to these two simple and native features could give the set a greater force. It is as if such modules have not evolved with the rest.

Diversifying notification methods with pop-ups or ready-made WhatsApp or Skype integration packages would be welcome.

Making the Satisfaction Survey more interactive would also be interesting.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for twelve years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This has the best possible stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is the best possible.

How are customer service and technical support?

This solution has satisfactory service and support, even after the Broadcom acquisition.

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

We did use another solution previously but there was a need for evolution.

How was the initial setup?

This initial setup of this solution was complex, considering external access for Mobile use.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was performed by the vendor and our internal staff, both with equivalent knowledge and expertise.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is satisfactory.

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

My advice is to try to test the product a lot, including its procedural dependencies.

Advice from some end-users would be very interesting, as it would evaluate the ease of integrations and customizations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options as we were already satisfied with the product and would incur a high cost.

What other advice do I have?

Try to focus on Knowledge Management and CMDB. Use CA Productivity Accelerator to learn and automate CMDB integration as much as possible.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
OM
Assistant Director at Department of Trade and Industry
Real User
Request and Incident Management with helpful reporting

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for request and incident management, as well as configuration.

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, CA Service Desk Manager was used by two divisions within the organization. In the past two years was rolled out to two more divisions.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are reporting, configuration monitoring, and the Request and Incidents workflow.

What needs improvement?

The monitoring tool is in need of improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Five years.

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for request and incident management, as well as configuration.

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, CA Service Desk Manager was used by two divisions within the organization. In the past two years was rolled out to two more divisions.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are reporting, configuration monitoring, and the Request and Incidents workflow.

What needs improvement?

The monitoring tool is in need of improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Clarity SM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
554,529 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Consult298936
Senior Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
They have a lot of features that you can customize to your organization

Pros and Cons

  • "It has all our configurations. All our infrastructure configurations are on a single pane of glass to view, allowing for one single point of information."
  • "It helps when you have an incident or performing a problem change management process."
  • "The interface for the users is a bit old-fashioned and not user-friendly."
  • "We would like the CMDB to be populated automatically. At the moment, everything is manually created."
  • "We would like more information about all the configurations that we have on our infrastructure side."

What is our primary use case?

The main purpose is for service desk use. It is a repository of information.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps when you have an incident or performing a problem change management process. You can view what all the relationships are between the CI that you are changing or using. It helps the engineers to better understand what they are facing.

What is most valuable?

It has all our configurations. All our infrastructure configurations are on a single pane of glass to view, allowing for one single point of information.

What needs improvement?

  • We would like more information about all the configurations that we have on our infrastructure side.
  • The interface for the users is a bit old-fashioned and not user-friendly.
  • We would like the CMDB to be populated automatically. At the moment, everything is manually created.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. I don't have any problems regarding to it. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no issues with the scalability. It is fully supported.

How is customer service and technical support?

All support for CA products is quite good. It is not the best support, but all our problems have been solved.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved. It was already implemented when I joined the company. It was migrated from another company, and I understand the migration process was not difficult nor complex. 

What other advice do I have?

It is quite a good product, and it's stable. They have a lot of features that you can customize to your organization. 

Everything should be automated, because if you are trusting on users to create their information, it will be not the truth on the moment. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

  • Stability of the vendor
  • Support
  • How the vendor is positioned in the market.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FB
Security Architect at Netnix
Reseller
Brings all our cases together in one place; we use them as a knowledge base

Pros and Cons

  • "We can search open and closed cases to find what we have done in other incidents."
  • "Needs custom dashboards, without them it takes too long to view some information (though xFlow is an improvement)."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is managing incidents and requests from customers.

It performs very well.

How has it helped my organization?

For us it's indispensable to have all the cases in one place. It's the main tool for managing cases, day to day.

What is most valuable?

We can search open cases and closed cases to find what we have done in other incidents. We use the cases as a knowledge base to find what we did last time this incident occurred.

Also, prioritization is valuable and managing work queues.

What needs improvement?

Dashboards. Custom dashboards are really important because without that it takes too long to view some information. In the new version, xFlow is better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. The last versions are very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our installation is very small but the customer's experience is good.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is "so-so." Sometimes it takes too long for support people to understand what is happening. They always ask the same things, and start over with installations and with configurations and all that kind of stuff. And then, after all that, they start to ask what is happening. It takes way too long to start solving the problem.

How was the initial setup?

Easy. In the latest versions it is straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

When our company is investing in a new vendor, what is important to us is 

  • support
  • world-class software.

Overall, I would give it an eight out of 10 because it's a good product. I think it can improve some things but it's stable and it's useful.

Install it. I think it is easy to use. It's a good tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778890
Principal Consultant at It Consultants
Consultant
The ability to specify event rules and SLAs helps automate manual processes

Pros and Cons

  • "Being able to specify event rules and SLAs that can help to automate some of the processes that people are doing manually is valuable."
  • "The fact that it aligns very well with ITIL. I think that's probably one of my favorite things about it, because it's following up a general best practice for service management."
  • "I would also like to see a simpler reporting tool. They went from one fairly robust, very complex, reporting tool - it was great - and then they went to another one that was also fairly complex and robust. That's a great tool for people who are report writers, but for the average person who just wants to get a quick little report, it's like handing somebody a chainsaw because they have to break some toothpicks in half."

What is our primary use case?

I help my clients make best use of the tool in their service management environment.

It performs pretty well.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps organizations manage their services in a way that treats them as services, and not as, "Oh, this is what I do," in isolation.

What is most valuable?

Being able to specify event rules and SLAs that can help to automate some of the processes that people are doing manually is valuable.

I could pick a dozen and say, "That's useful, and that's useful, and that's useful." The fact that it aligns very well with ITIL. I think that's probably one of my favorite things about it, because it's following up a general best practice for service management. That's important.

What needs improvement?

I think some of the work they're doing with the xFlow interface and the more collaborative tools. I think that's helping because this new generation of people like the social-media style of collaboration.

I would also like to see a simpler reporting tool. They went from one fairly robust, very complex, reporting tool - it was great - and then they went to another one that was also fairly complex and robust. That's a great tool for people who are report writers, but for the average person who just wants to get a quick little report, it's like handing somebody a chainsaw because they have to break some toothpicks in half.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been there for a long time. It's very stable. No issues whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've seen it scale to very large organizations and do it well. They've made improvements to help with that scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

I think they're a great team. I actually did some work for them for a few months, a couple of years back. Knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and very professional.

How was the initial setup?

I've been involved in initial setup many times. It can be complex, depending on the requirements of the customer, primarily, whenever the customer wants to deviate from the out-of-the-box, in a large way; if they want to over-customize because they think it should look that way. It's better to accept the way it looks rather than try to force it, because then when you come around to upgrading later, those customizations may or may not be appropriate.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor the most important criteria would be 

  • stability
  • reputation within the industry in general
  • their following of general best practices, like ITIL.

I would rate it bordering on nine out of 10. It is an older based tool, it's been around for more than 25 years. They've made improvement, but it still carries with it some of its old roots.

Make sure that you are recognizing what your real needs are and not just going go with whatever hype is being presented to you.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
JV
Regional IT Coordinator at Novus International
Real User
Allows us to handle users personally, gives IT a name and a face in interacting with end-users

Pros and Cons

  • "the ticket system makes sure that everyone gets taken care of, and that makes for a better customer experience. Using the system verifies that no one gets left behind."
  • "It allows IT to handle users on a personal basis. It allows IT to have a name and a face, and we interact with the end-users."
  • "We especially like the look of xFlow. That looks very personal, so they can keep track of how things are going with their ticket, if it has been worked on, what the status of it is. It seems to be a little more user friendly. The user can see more from a distance right away."
  • "The interface is pretty straightforward, but I think for some end-users a little more simplified user interface would help."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for the collection of tickets, to help our end-users, make sure they're taken care of in a timely manner. We Utilize various aspects of it to provide best customer service for them, to get their problems resolved.

How has it helped my organization?

Sending an email, that's the old way of doing things. This system is still relatively new. People still use email, but using the ticket system verifies that no one gets left behind. We're in a world of electronic mail. Some nice people can slip through the cracks. It's kind of how it is. But the ticket system makes sure that everyone gets taken care of, and that makes for a better customer experience. It's something we enjoy and they especially enjoy. We want to make sure that the new IT is not synonymous with, "Eh, don't wanna work with it."

It allows IT to handle users on a personal basis. It allows IT to have a name and a face, and we interact with the end-users, and the ticket system helps us to get them the help they need right away.

What is most valuable?

The ability to keep track. The work is tracked.

Provides ease of customer interaction. Gives the customer a general sense that they're being helped. Email works, telephone calls work too. But having something that's tracked in this way just makes things easier.

It also allows us to assign different areas, maybe it's a multifaceted problem. Whether it's a problem we have to work on, or another part that needs to be worked on with infrastructure; sometimes they're meshed together. This really lets the IT group and our group shine.

What needs improvement?

The interface is pretty straightforward, but I think for some end-users a little more simplified user interface would help, perhaps. It's gotten better though. It's a little more streamlined, which we like. But every little bit helps with the end-user for them to get assistance.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We recently upgraded from the older version, 12.1, we went to 14.1, and it has gotten a lot better.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a lot of assistance from CA support now. We have some consistent support options with them. They get around to us really quickly. That's the great benefit with this new system, we really like it very much.

We use them many times. If there are some internal problems with the system, it's usually on the server base, server side of it. They've been very helpful in helping us get things resolved, especially since we have the newer version that's within the support frame. We were out of support for a few years, but they still helped the best way they could, gave us a few options. But now they've been quite good in helping us out.

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

Our servers were upgraded and over time we were noticing that there might be some issues with it because the older system had a few bugs and it but support options were limited. It was decided that we should get a newer, upgraded system to make sure we had the support from CA. Even though they did help us a lot with our older system, they were limited in what they could do. They still helped out. And the new system, now we create tickets, now things are resolved quite well. So any little issues, whether it is tickets not going to a user's email, things like that, are resolved.

I think we are comfortable with CA. We had heard of other options. My colleagues and I have used other ticketing systems as well before, in previous jobs. CA just seems to work for us overall, so that's why we stuck with it.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the upgrade. We just recently did that this year. I was working the project management aspect of it to make sure it got implemented. I had a lot of help from other departments, so it was a very big team effort to get things done.

It went quite smoothly actually. We understand that now, with 17.1, it's even easier to upgrade, but the process didn't take that long. Considering the fact we'd been out of support on the older version and went to 14.1, it worked out quite well. And this is on a worldwide scale, it's used worldwide at Novus International, everyone uses it.

What other advice do I have?

We especially like the look of xFlow. That looks very personal, so they can keep track of how things are going with their ticket, if it has been worked on, what the status of it is. It seems to be a little more user friendly. The user can see more from a distance right away.

I do recommend CA. Even though it can be complex, there are a lot of aspects to it that are fairly easy. There's a lot of material, CA has a lot of documentation to assist. Personally, I never knew of CA Service Desk at all, or even the name, before I came to this company five years ago. I adopted the system to help with any problems with it. The previous users who utilized and helped set it up, they weren't there anymore. It became my little project. I was able to get assistance from our group and from CA as well, to make it work out well.

So I would recommend it. From a newbie of that system I was able to help out, and CA was able to help out a lot, so it wasn't a huge learning curve.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Kris Dunn
Manager Software Engineer at Appriss
Real User
Enables us to automate many tasks, and is flexible enough to integrate with many products

Pros and Cons

  • "The flexibility and being able to connect to multiple products are valuable. It allows to use it the way we want to use it versus the way it came out of the box."
  • "It has given us the ability to automate a lot of tasks, things we couldn't do before."
  • "Improvements would include simplification in the user interface, being more expandable, better documentation. The user interface is fairly cluttered, and we can update it the way we need to, but it just seems dated."
  • "Although I wasn't involved in the initial setup I have been involved with upgrades. They have been fairly complex. We've had some issues with upgrades where we had to roll back and get some things fixed. Some things that we ended up tracking back to not following directions right, but then other things we've run into issues."

What is our primary use case?

We drive all of our operations for our enterprise solutions through Service Desk Manager. It has performed really well.

How has it helped my organization?

The flexibility and being able to connect to multiple products. It allows to use it the way we want to use it versus the way it came out of the box.

It has given us the ability to automate a lot of tasks, things we couldn't do before.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility. It allows us to do things, expand it, and integrate with our other solutions. Also, it's pretty easy to use.

What needs improvement?

  • Simplification in the user interface
  • Being more expandable
  • Better documentation

The user interface is fairly cluttered, and we can update it the way we need to, but it just seems dated, a lot of the things for the full functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is pretty good. We've made strides in making it more available. Switching to the High Availability model helped with that. We had some "growing" issues, upgrades, and the like.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has been good. We've been able to add new servers when we need to and it's been performing well.

How is customer service and technical support?

We use tech support a lot. We do things in a lot of non-standard ways, and we end up finding a decent amount of bugs or corner-case kind of things.

I'd like to see things move a little bit faster with it. Sometimes we've had tickets open for a long time, but overall they provide a good service.

How was the initial setup?

Although I wasn't involved in the initial setup I have been involved with upgrades. They have been fairly complex. We've had some issues with upgrades where we had to roll back and get some things fixed. Some things that we ended up tracking back to not following directions right, but then other things we've run into issues.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, support is the big one. Also, the capabilities; the fact that it can do what we want it to do. And then expandability, being able to customize it the way we need to.

I think the best advice I'd have is to really use the automation features and expandability to be able to make it do things the way you want it to do them. Simplify the way a user has to interact with things by using a lot of automation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user779061
Application Analyst with 10,001+ employees
Real User
You can save information in the application and get reports with that information

Pros and Cons

  • "The value for the clients is that you can save information in the application and get reports with that information."
  • "More user experience in the look and feel of the application. ​"

How has it helped my organization?

For the analyst, the user experience is better. Also, for the demo, it is a good experience for them, because they want to look at a fancy application and forms, and know that it is to easy to use them and create easy tickets.

What is most valuable?

The value for the clients is that you can save information in the application and get reports with that information.

We are also installing xFlow in our QA environment at the moment.

What needs improvement?

More user experience in the look and feel of the application. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are working on installing in the production environment.

How is customer service and technical support?

In some cases, I receive late information. In general, it is good.

How was the initial setup?

It was not simple or complex to set up. It was medium with CA's support.

What about the implementation team?

Its implementation was a little complex. I needed support with the service department of CA to work together to implement the version of the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In my work, we only use CA products.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this version of the product.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: the customer service and the quality of the product.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user779055
Analytics Agile Methodology Manager with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
When users have a problem, they report using the product and it is very useful for this

Pros and Cons

  • "When users have a problem, they report using Service Desk and it is very useful for this."
  • "All the interactions and orchestrations of every problem, we can analyze what happens in the organization and which kind of incident we have."
  • "Scalability is very good. We have scaled to more users and more functionality."
  • "We need a mobile solution. We are not using any mobile functionality for the product, but we think that this necessary."
  • "The product needs to have a better user experience in the interface and mobile functionality.​"

What is our primary use case?

There are different products for different purpose. The Service Desk is to take account of incidents and minor requests from the different area of the bank. The PPM is to organize projects. I know that the organization is using Spectrum, but it is out of my scope.

The Service Desk has performed very well. I chose it. It was my selection. I managed the implementation of the product. It is a very good product.

How has it helped my organization?

We have a very good relationship with all the users. When users have a problem, they report using Service Desk and it is very useful for this. All the interactions and orchestrations of every problem, we can analyze what happens in the organization and which kind of incident we have. It is a very good tool.

What is most valuable?

It is simple for me. Simple, and it is robust. It works very well.

What needs improvement?

We need a mobile solution. We are not using any mobile functionality for the product, but we think that this necessary. This should be provided in the next release.

The product needs to have a better user experience in the interface and mobile functionality.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have been using it since 2010. We have the usual problems, but no major problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good. We have scaled to more users and more functionality. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support answers your questions and partners with you. They have very good knowledge.

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

We were using Remedy previously. It was such a complex solution. It was very hard to maintain it. That was its main problem.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

CA helped us with the installation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We work with a lot of vendors, but they did not have this product.

What other advice do I have?

Choose this product. I recommend this product for different companies. CA presents a case with our implementation.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We can trust him and that he will work to help us.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user778788
Buisiness Analyst at Novus International
Real User
Gives us a central location to know who is contacting us, what they're contacting us for

Pros and Cons

  • "It gives us one central location to know, not only who is contacting us, but what they're contacting us for, what application they're contacting us for."
  • "Just little technical tweaks here and there. Like more options. For example "Organization." We wanted that to be available inside the change order, as well as the ticket and the request. And that's not available."
  • "We went from 12.1 to 14, so there was a lot involved in it. The issues we had were migration issues, getting our information from one place to the next and making sure everything was as everyone needed."

What is our primary use case?

We use it in our IT department to connect with our customers.

The performance has been excellent.

How has it helped my organization?

By connecting us with our customers.

What is most valuable?

It enables our coordinators to connect to our customers, and our customers are number one.

It adds tons of value. It gives us one central location to know, not only who is contacting us, but what they're contacting us for, what application they're contacting us for.

What needs improvement?

The new chat feature, I love that. They are always one step ahead of what we need. Usually, if I need something, I contact my rep and they tell us you have it.

In general, in terms of improvement, I would say our reps need to be a little more one on one. In the past we've had issues with that. But our current rep we love. 

Maybe training could be better.

Just little technical tweaks here and there. Like more options. For example "Organization." We wanted that to be available inside the change order, as well as the ticket and the request. And that's not available.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's always on and it's always there. We've never had any issues with it being unstable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. We can use it in our company from our IT department to our sales department. It works for everyone.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is fast. Fast, knowledgeable. I like that. I don't have to contact them often, just whenever I have a question.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup but I was involved in the upgrade. The solution was already there. But when I started, I knew that there were new features that we needed, so we upgraded.

We went from 12.1 to 14, so there was a lot involved in it. But from what I hear, the upgrade from 14 to 17 is way easier. So I look forward to that.

The issues we had were migration issues, getting our information from one place to the next and making sure everything was as everyone needed.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criterion when selecting a vendor is communication. I like them to be upfront, honest, and transparent. Transparency means, when I call them they're honest about what they have available and what they can do, and not beating around the bush.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
GG
Senior Consultant
Consultant
You can customize it and make it work to the client's needs

Pros and Cons

  • "Solution is scalable. It does work. We can modify it up better to make it the way we want it to work. We have implemented it for larger and smaller companies."
  • "Ability to write macros, which can in turn trigger some condition or could be conditioned to basically trigger notifications, the workflow desk, or web calls. It is huge benefit to customize it."
  • "You can customize it and make it work to the client's needs."
  • "​Compared to some of the other products, I think we are bit behind​.​"

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is mainly for incident problem requests and change management. The overall experience has been pretty good. It is customizable. You can customize it and make it work to the client's needs. Overall, the experience is pretty good.

How has it helped my organization?

Since we partnered, we go in and implement this kind of solution outside to other clients or other customers. Overall, depending on the customers' needs, the response is mixed. Some people who are process people, they like to adapt the tool, they like to follow it. They are more happy when we show them the power of incident power change request management. 

Some customers, the adaptability of any ideas in tool, is a little bit harder for them. Over the years, or over a period of time, the acceptance of the tool grows. 

The overall experience is pretty good. I love being in the process management area.

What is most valuable?

Ability to write macros, which can in turn trigger some condition or could be conditioned to basically trigger notifications, the workflow desk, or web calls. It is huge benefit to customize it.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the customization being more flexible. What that means that we do not have to go through a complicated process of applying a custom field to a Service Desk Manager application if it would be easier to do through an interface, which would be nicer.

Some of the scripting parts, especially the spell scripts behind the scenes, if that could somehow be incorporated into the tool that would be helpful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are issues. Of course, then there is the CS port and Regal patches. They give us patches and we apply them. 

Overall, the stability is pretty good for the product, but there are gaps that could be fixed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Solution is scalable. It does work. We can modify it up better to make it the way we want it to work. 

We use it for different clients and each client has a different number of analysts and different number of customers. I have seen some large scale implementations where they have over a 1000 people using it even in the country or outside of the country in multiple countries and even within small organizations as well.

We have implemented it for larger and smaller companies.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support consists of very knowledgeable, helpful people. I know several of them personally.

Our issues are P1 or P2. We do not have the smaller scale issues because of our being on the technical side. We can resolve those issues by ourselves, within our team, or within the contacts that we have. In our organization, they can help us resolve some of those issues. Our technical issues are larger scale issues.

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

I am a consultant and we implement products for the tools. I only come into the picture once the product has already been sold. I am not part of that decision-making team.

How was the initial setup?

It is not straightforward, but it is not complex since I have only done it about four or five thousand times. It depends on who is installing it if it would be complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Compared to some of the other products, I think we are bit behind.

What other advice do I have?

I would highly recommend to install CA. Not only the CA Service Desk Manager tool, but the overall value that CA portfolio products can bring. If you can extend, you can get a grasp of management, you can get into IDCM client management, you can get into more automation and process automation.

The more add-on of the features that you can expand into your internal companies capabilities, the better, because CA has so many products.

The products are there that is why we work with CA's product suite. Other than the great knowledge of skill set available at CA that can help us guide through the project, the success is great.

I feel comfortable working with the tool as I have been working with it for years. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user778863
Office Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It improves our service delivery process, we're more efficient, but it needs a facelift

Pros and Cons

  • "It improves our service delivery process. We're more efficient. We're leveraging the ticketing system, which is always more efficient, so we can measure and improve."
  • "The user interface is just boring. I'd like to see a more interactive UI, from the end-user perspective, and from the analyst's perspective. I would like a product that looks like it was developed maybe in 2015, or at least 2012."
  • "We just upgraded about a year and half ago and it was painful. We had the testing of the dev environment, and then testing of the production environment, so it was two weekends out of my life. And stuff broke."

What is our primary use case?

Incident request, problem, and change management.

How has it helped my organization?

It's a solution. It needs a facelift, but it works. It improves our service delivery process. We're more efficient. We're leveraging the ticketing system, which is always more efficient, so we can measure and improve.

What is most valuable?

Extraction, the reporting tool that I tied into it. It's real-time reporting that's easy to use.

What needs improvement?

The user interface is just boring. I'd like to see a more interactive UI, from the end-user perspective, and from the analyst's perspective. I would like a product that looks like it was developed maybe in 2015, or at least 2012. Right now you see it, it's very flat.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. All I have to do is buy more licenses and I can scale up as big as I want - maybe stand up another server and get a bigger database - but I'm okay.

How was the initial setup?

They already had this stood up when I came to this company. But I own the system now. We just upgraded about a year and half ago and it was painful.

First of all it cost me a think $70,000 to pay my consultant. We had the testing of the dev environment, and then testing of the production environment, so it was two weekends out of my life. And stuff broke. 

What other advice do I have?

For me the most important criteria when selecting a vendor is quality, because if the quality's not there then it's my time; quality of the vendor's service that they provide. If they're going to upgrade, I expect them to do the testing. Cost is a concern, but I'm already paying out the nose.

I heard an industry analyst say this once, and this is very true: No one likes their ticketing system. Everybody wants another one. It's just a difficult space. However, I would look for something that users want to use, and if you can get that amount of self-service tickets to rise, your cost of support goes down. So a good user interface is important.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778941
Ca System Admin at MGM Resorts International
Real User
Easy to use for admins and end-users, with flexibility to give our users what they need

Pros and Cons

  • "It also provides the front end for the employees too. It's pretty basic, but it gives them the means to reach out to IT so they don't have to pick up the phones."
  • "There is a lot of flexibility in the system. There has not yet been a case where we've had people come to us and say, "Hey, can you guys do this?" and we can't. Some of it is obviously a little bit more complicated at times, but the flexibility in the system provides a lot."
  • "Our users access it via the web. We have external and internal sources, and we're now introducing the mobile app portion so our computer engineers can respond to tickets remotely."
  • "The use, from administrative stance, is pretty simple; and even from an analyst and employee's stances. It's an easy to use system, as far as ticketing systems go, because some of them can be really inundating and complex."
  • "Right now, you have to create the Scoreboards individually for roles or users. If they could separate that functionality, and create the scoreboards separately, and then just link scoreboards to roles and users - that way you could reuse the same ones - that would be a huge benefit. I know, because they're a nightmare to manage at times."

What is our primary use case?

Right now we have our IT analysts, about 500 users, that use Service Desk Manager primarily. They put in tickets, requests, incidents, and then track changes. Those are our use cases for it right now.

How has it helped my organization?

It's a great ticketing, tracking system. 

It also provides the front end for the employees too. It's pretty basic, but it gives them the means to reach out to IT so they don't have to pick up the phones. That's one of the big benefits.

Also, the flexibility in the tickets that are created, and what we can change and modify, is a big benefit.

What is most valuable?

There is a lot of flexibility in the system. There has not yet been a case where we've had people come to us and say, "Hey, can you guys do this?" and we can't. Some of it is obviously a little bit more complicated at times, but the flexibility in the system provides a lot.

Giving our end users what they need to perform their jobs better is highly valuable.

What needs improvement?

One thing that I'd like to see is with the Scoreboard usage. Right now, you have to create the Scoreboards individually for roles or users. If they could separate that functionality, and create the scoreboards separately, and then just link scoreboards to roles and users - that way you could reuse the same ones - that would be a huge benefit. I know, because they're a nightmare to manage at times.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, the stability is pretty good. I think we step on our own toes when it comes to stability, more than the stability of the system itself. If you configure it to the specs, it seems to be working perfectly fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good. We've introduced new environments, new remote offices, into it and are able to incorporate them with pretty small impact.

How are customer service and technical support?

I like the technical support. I've had pretty good instances with it, and feedback. They're really quick, typically. Even when I have really problematic issues, not just Service Desk related, they stick with me so it works out well.

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

We were a CA house, and then we outsourced to a company that brought Remedy in for the ticketing system. When we got rid of them, we needed to bring our own ticketing system back, and we brought CA back, we brought Service Desk back. We could have gone elsewhere, but we chose to bring it back into the environment.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the upgrade, the most recent upgrade that we did, not the initial setup. MGM Resorts has been on it for a while, but I did do the upgrade.

I was pretty new to it, and we've done patch upgrades since then. There are a lot of steps in it. But what I'm seeing here, at the CA World conference, is that they have new utilities that make it more seamless. I'll be interested to see when we go to '17 what that does for it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't. Because we had been a CA Service Desk house before, we brought it back in.

What other advice do I have?

Our users access it via the web. We have external and internal sources, and we're now introducing the mobile app portion so our computer engineers can respond to tickets remotely.

We're not currently using xFlow. I'm trying to push my boss to use it because I think there are benefits of having everything right there in your face. Service Desk right now, you have to really get into the tickets in order to get to some of the stuff that xFlow has puts right there.

Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor is seeing their desire and interest in making sure they understand what we need, and then making sure that they can do that. If they can't do that, see what improvements they can make to give us at least steps forward towards something that we may need.

I would highly recommend Service Desk Manager. The use, from an administrative stance, is pretty simple; and even from an analyst and employee's stances. It's an easy to use system, as far as ticketing systems go, because some of them can be really inundating and complex. Service Desk is pretty straightforward as far as use goes.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778734
Programmer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is easy to tell what needs fixing and the priority of things

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to tell what needs fixing and the priority of things."
  • "The upgrade was pretty complex."

What is our primary use case?

It is mostly used for support. If customers have issues, they log tickets and the issues hopefully get fixed.

It works well for this. We do some things a little strange as you can customize everything, so it has to handle different things, and it also does this well. 

How has it helped my organization?

Probably it streamlines the organization. They have actually had it longer than I have been there. So I am guessing in the past, support tickets were probably handled through email and stuff like that, so I am sure things got missed and lost. Now, it is all there and stuff does not get lost.

It is easy to tell what needs fixing and the priority of things.

What is most valuable?

Probably the support end of it. You can track where the ticket status is all the way from the beginning to the end, and the whole company has access to it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems to be fine. We have had it for a long time.

We had a few issues with the last upgrade. It was actually caused by another system that it talked to, it was not Service Desk's fault.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It works well. We have lots of stores that call in. We have gone from 200 stores to 600 stores and it supports all of it.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not really used technical support, but things get fixed by them on time and I have heard good feedback.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup, but was involved with one upgrade of it. The upgrade was pretty complex. They are really focusing on fixing the complexity of the upgrade, so it looks like it is going to be a lot easier.

What about the implementation team?

We had a consultant helping us a little during the upgrade. 

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

I have no clue on pricing.

What other advice do I have?

Get a demo. Try it out. See how it works.

I have been surprised by how many products CA has. We also use Agile Central, which used to be Rally. We just started to use it in the last year and a half, probably, so we are fairly new.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Bigger companies are usually better, just because there is other help online if you have issues. We have some vendors that we might be one of five customers if something breaks, and there is really no community to help. It always helps to have a good community around the vendor

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user778689
Enterprise Application Administer
Real User
It has helped us to organize a lot of our assets

Pros and Cons

  • "It has helped us to organize a lot of our assets, so we have configuration items to attach to our change management. We can have tickets for change management and set them aside for an approval process."
  • "We would like to see them integrate more of a service catalog, which is more of an Amazon-type fill in your bucket, then sign in, once you decide what you want."
  • "​We would like to see them revamp, or rework, a lot of their configuration management database structures. We hear that is on the horizon."

What is our primary use case?

We use it as our ticketing system, as well as our ability to use CMDB and change management, and for our incident request management.

It has performed very well in these functions. We have been using it for eight years now.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped us to organize a lot of our assets, so we have configuration items to attach to our change management. We can have tickets for change management and set them aside for an approval process. That is something we have never had before, and it is something we have been able to divide up amongst our different campuses for ticketing use. That is something we have not been able to do either.

What is most valuable?

I would say change management and request management, as well as CMDB. 

What needs improvement?

We would like to see them revamp, or rework, a lot of their configuration management database structures. We hear that is on the horizon. We are very excited about that. That is something we use a lot. 

We would like to see them integrate more of a service catalog, which is more of an Amazon-type fill in your bucket, then sign in, once you decide what you want. This is something that we would like to see from the product, as opposed to what we have seen in the past, which is login, then go pick. It would be nice to say, "I like this, I like this." Fill up your cart, then go buy it.

There is room for improvement. I think the product is going in a different direction than what is has before, which I think is good. I like that they are looking at things, and they are opening themselves up to the community and allowing for people to bring enhancements to them and ideas. To be able to share those ideas with their management.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Our initial installation of the application was on a different platform. However, since we moved it to Windows, with a Windows database, things have been very stable as far as it is concerned. 

We were using Linux beforehand, and it just was not stable enough. It had way too many problems, and we found out the customer base for Linux was small, so was the support. Therefore, moving into Windows was the better idea for us. It is much more stable now than it ever has been. We did the move in 2010.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have been able to utilize the system across all our different campuses. We find it to be fairly scalable, as far as bringing it up. We have not done HA yet, or any kind of high availability. That is something we are looking at as a possible future change. Right now, with our user base, we are pretty simple, but we find that it is scalable. It is something we are looking at in the future. Just not right now.

We have three different campuses, serving probably about 700 analysts, 40 different help desks, and about 70,000 possible customers.

How are customer service and technical support?

They are much better than eight years ago.

We have received much better support. People that really know what they are talking about. They are able to help us better than they were in the past. We have had less breakdowns in how long it takes to respond to us. Their response time has been improved over the last five years, or so. The response to us, as far as making enhancements or changes, has been good. We have had good luck with technical support. I have no problems with it at this point.

I think they are doing rather well, as far as their support. Where I work in the university, we have about 50 different applications that we support within our department, with a wide range of varying support structures and support. They are probably one of the top vendors which we work with that do well in response to us and helping us out. 

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

Usually, we look for a new solution because most of the group does not like a product, and they go after a different product. It is not usually something we look at as a corporate standpoint, because we are a state entity. There are always those that can get involved and say, "Hey, we want to make a change." It is not always just us that say, "Hey, let's go and do it." 

Right now, the CA Service Desk Manager is a set standard for the university. All three campuses are using it, but there are some other help desks out there that are smaller help desks. Local help desks that are using other tools. Smaller tools. So, it is not like they have to use it from a corporate standpoint, but it is available to them if they want it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I think we had the Amdocs product, which we had used before. Then, we had what is called Request Tracker, which is an open source tool for consulting. I can't remember some of the other ones. For this one, a lot of it came down to price, and what they could get for us. Then, it came down to the capabilities of making large changes that we could not make. 

At the time, which would of been 2008, it was all web-based. A lot of the stuff that was being brought in was either Microsoft only, or it was client-based technology. This was a web-based technology, so that is kind of why we stuck with it at the time, but things have changed in 10 years. That was the original thought.

What other advice do I have?

Engage with consultants from the vendor at the very beginning. Learn the product, then train yourself to work on it. It is something you can work on yourself with a lot less consultation from the vendor. Also, take small steps before you start beginning with different parts of the tool. Do not try to bite off too much, as a lot of companies will try to do. Start with one, then work your way towards the others. 

We are currently not using xFlow yet, but it is something we are going to take a hard look at as to whether or not it will be useful for us.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: I think a lot of it has to do with where their niche is in the market. 

A lot of the decisions that are made are based upon bringing everybody in to have some sort of a RFP process, where they sit down, and do some sort of bidding. It is usually a bidding war, because were a state entity. I would like to say that we could pick a product based upon whether they are the best, but it doesn't always work that way.

I would personally like to see it where a product is more flexible. A product has the ability to make changes in the different environments, especially from a support standpoint. When you would go and look at different ways that help desks, or support, is structured across corporations, or across higher educations, in this case. There could be a lot of segmentation going on in lots of different places. It is nice if you are able to flexibly change the product to bring it to different customers, so you can support their needs. Flexibility is an important key for different vendors, but for us, it is nice. 

We would also like to see them challenge themselves and not stick with the norms of specific platforms, such as Microsoft or Mac, even though typically businesses will only code to a specific platform like Windows. It is nice to see others do things where it works with different browsers, or it works with different platforms. That helps us out, because in our world it does not work all homogenized with a single platform. It is lots of different platforms.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user778644
IT Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Efficient problem/change management, but we don't have the required internal support for it

Pros and Cons

  • "It has allowed us to be more efficient in our problem and change management processes and procedures."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's our primary ITSM tool for managing problem chains and incident management.

    I think it's performed okay. I've been with PenFed for a couple of years. I think one of the drawbacks is that we have adequate support within PenFed.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has allowed us to be more efficient in our problem and change management processes and procedures.

    What is most valuable?

    I think the incident chain and Problem Management modules are key to IT being able to effect change within the organization, and manage that change effectively through ticketing systems and approvals, etc.

    What needs improvement?

    I took a breakout session on CA Service Desk here at the CA World conference. We're at version 12.9 and they're on 14 and getting ready to go to 17, so just looking at some of the features that I saw in the breakout session on 14, I would like to see us get to that version so that we can exploit a lot of the functionality that's available with 14.1.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I think it's a pretty stable platform. I think we don't necessarily exploit a lot of the features and functionality within the product because we don't really have a good support network with the company.

    For example, right now we're not at the current release. We're back-leveled as far as the releases go. Our internal support doesn't know the product as well as they possibly should or could.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I think the solution is scalable. We just have not leveraged the scalability aspects of it, or the latest versioning of it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've used it. Again, our team doesn't really know the product that well so they use technical support when they runs into issues. CA's technical support, is pretty good. Our company reaches out to them frequently because there are things we don't know, so we rely on them. They've bailed us out a few times.

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

    I wasn't there when they made that decision. When I got there they had already implemented it, but I think they didn't have a real viable ITSM tool for effecting problem change and incident management, so they needed a tool to do that.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I think we're probably looking to move to another solution.

    The company has invested in ServiceNow for the facilities side of the business, so they're already using that on to manage facilities, ticketing and the like. And ServiceNow is probably the leader in the industry when it come to this ITSM tool.

    What other advice do I have?

    Personally, my most important criteria when selecting a vendor are

    • stability
    • reliability
    • scalability
    • good technical support.

    I give it a six out of 10 overall, and that's because I haven't really seen us be able to exploit a lot of the functionality that exists within the tool, because of limited resources internally to support it.

    Stay current with versioning and make sure that you're exploiting all of the functionality that exists within the tool so that you're getting the most out of the tool for the money that you're paying for it. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user779031
    Senior Knowledge Manager at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Vendor
    We centralized our knowledge from various sources into one source of truth that is continually updated

    Pros and Cons

    • "We have decreased training and talk time, and all those good stats, just by reusing information, not reinventing it, every time we get a call."
    • "We centralized our knowledge from various sources into one source of truth that is continually updated."
    • "It has a good GUI interface."
    • "The integration between the ticketing and knowledge is huge, because that is a best practice. The knowledge is great. It is simple but efficient, and it works.​"
    • "They really want user names in the document owner and subject expert fields, and that is just not practical."
    • "On permissions, there are options to do groups and options to do roles. What is practical, you have to pick one or the other, for both read and write permissions."

    What is our primary use case?

    Knowledge management. Most of the idle functionality, incident, change requests, and knowledge.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We centralized our knowledge from various sources into one source of truth that is continually updated. We have processes built around that. We have a lifecycle around the documents. We have good reporting, so we can show an ROI by tickets of time waited with people searching knowledge themselves. We have decreased training and talk time, and all those good stats, just by reusing information, not reinventing it, every time we get a call.

    What is most valuable?

    The knowledge.

    What needs improvement?

    There are a few things which bug me about it. For recent searches, if you are an analyst, if I click on it, it will pull up everything that I have looked at for the last ten years. Works great on the end user, they see their last five searches, or their last five documents, that they have looked at, but it does not work on the analyst side.

    There are a lot of messages that just are not necessary. For example, every time you go to view mode in a document, even if you have not updated it, it is like, "You have to save this." Why? You just keep clicking things.

    Something I have been asking for, probably for 20 years, we have a workaround for it, but they really want user names in the document owner and subject expert fields, and that is just not practical. I put group names in, and I have to do like three extra steps, because it does not recognize the user, and eventually it will save it. I have talked to people about that, years ago, and they were just like "No, it should be a user", and it should not. The people change. The groups are more consistent and will not change. So, I would like to be able to set that up.

    On permissions, there are options to do groups and options to do roles. What is practical, you have to pick one or the other, for both read and write permissions. So, what would be more practical is to allow groups for write permissions, because there is probably only one group that should have write access, but then allow roles for the read access. E.g., all analysts can see this, but you have to be in this one group to edit the document and make any updates.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good. However, there will be slow times. The analysts experience that more than I do. They have a lot of windows open and stuff. The knowledge does not do it too much. They experience it more with tickets.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is pretty good. I have used it. Our company is like 10,000 employees. My previous company was approximately 100,000 employees, and it worked fine for both.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have not used it in a long time.

    How was the initial setup?

    My part of the initial setup was pretty straightforward: setting up workflows, categories, and all that. It has a good GUI interface, even the admin functions have a good GUI interface. You do not have to be incredibly technical to use it.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is very comprehensive. You can use it for the whole idle range of processes, including idle. It integrates pretty well with your contacts and the tickets. The integration between the ticketing and knowledge is huge, because that is a best practice. The knowledge is great. It is simple but efficient, and it works.

    We are on an older version. I did look at the newer version in the self-training. The old version looks older, and the new one looks a little newer. It is more integrated. It sounds more mobile. So, it sounds like they have made a lot of the improvements that we do not have in our version. Import and export of documents by like category, for example, which I would love.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user778743
    IT Support Tech at Value Drug
    Vendor
    We are benefiting by being able to put time to what our technicians are doing. However, I am not able to see tickets on a bigger scale.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We are benefiting by being able to put time to what our technicians are doing."
    • "I am not able to see tickets on a bigger scale. I can't see the overall bigger picture."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it as a help desk ticket. Anytime users have a problem, they can go in, put the ticket in, and we are able to track what the technicians do.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Its benefits. Going back to the ticketing part, we are benefiting by being able to put time to what our technicians are doing. Without the ticket there, without them having something that says, "Hey, I worked for this user to do this." We do not have anyway of tracking without the software of how much time they are spending on different things that they are working on.

    What is most valuable?

    The ticketing aspect. Knowing that there is a ticket there. Something that we can justify what our users have done for our end users.

    What needs improvement?

    I come from a ticket background. I have been with this company for about a year, but I have been in the ticketing system with my previous company for the last six. The big thing, or the problem, that I have is not being able to see tickets on a bigger scale. I can see the request, or if it is the way they categorize them, but I can't see the overall bigger picture. 

    Let us say, for example, I have a technician that is out for a week, and I want to go into all of his open tickets regardless whether it is a request incident or a change order. I can't do that very easily. I have to go through and look at the request. I have go through and look at the instance. I have to go through and look at change orders individually. Instead of being able to say okay what is on this technician's docket across the board. I have no way of doing that.

    We are still working towards integration with the hardware as well, where I have seen others products more tightly integrated with hardware. For example, with Quest KACE (formerly Dell), the hardware is right there. I can easily add hardware for a user to a ticket. I know you can do that in this, but it is not as easy.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability seems stable and robust enough. There are parts inside, which I could see being done differently.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is good. As far as it goes, we are not that big of a company, but it seems to do well for us in this area.

    What other advice do I have?

    Not being part of the process when we choose this product, because I have only been with the company for a year. In any kind of software like this, if you can take it for a test drive, because we did change software at my old job, that is a real good key or determining factor as to whether or not you like the software. Take the software for a test drive in your work environment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user779181
    Manager Network Operations Center
    Vendor
    Keeps all our changes in one place, management can see how they cross pollinate with CMDB

    Pros and Cons

    • "The view it provides into who's doing the work."
    • "If I had to choose, it would be more around the user interface than the mobile experience."

    What is our primary use case?

    Change management. We use it to control changes throughout the company. Developers submit change orders and it flows through to QA, and then on to our production deploy. We use CMDB to be sure we understand the impact to changes. So, the focus is for auditing and reducing changes that break things. That's how we use it.

    It's performed well. It's a reliable product. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    It keeps all of our changes in one spot, so it's easy for management to see any given changes that are happening, and how they cross pollinate with CMDB.

    What is most valuable?

    • The auditing
    • The view it provides into who's doing the work
    • How long it's taking to do the work, where the black holes are in terms of the work

    What needs improvement?

    I've heard about the xFlow. I'm looking for the improved user interface. A lot of people complain about the amount of time it takes to do things in Service Desk. It's a very old product, 20 years, so there is a lot of legacy there, hard to shift. 

    We would love to be able to do more on our mobile app for our technicians that wander the floors. We don't use the mobile app because its very difficult to use. I understand there are upgrades in the works there. 

    If I had to choose, it would be more around the user interface than the mobile experience.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is good. We've had a couple of outages but it's not a chronic problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    In terms of scalability, I don't know if you can get integration. There have been complaints about integration with other tools. A lot of people wish that Service Desk had more of a REST API interface instead of SOAP. Some of our networking guys - we're trying to drive automation - and the enterprise, would like to see an easier way to interface with Service Desk.

    What other advice do I have?

    When selecting a vendor, what's important to me is

    • a company that's financially stable
    • I like leaders in their industry; I think CA is one of those
    • a company that is agile and responsive to our needs.

    I give it a seven out of 10, only. The three that I'm not giving it is just because it is such a legacy product.

    I would tell colleagues to evaluate everything. One of the reasons we are going to be reluctant to remove from Service Desk is because it is so entrenched, it would be such a big deal. However, if I had a clean slate, I would advise someone to evaluate all the competitors. Service Desk is not perceived as one of the better products in this space. It serves us well but I would tell them to evaluate ServiceNow and some of the other products.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user778683
    Systems Analyst
    Vendor
    Technical support is very helpful and willing to go above and beyond

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case for the product is the help desk, and it has performed okay. It is working as it is designed.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is a one stop shop. With the service catalog integrated with IT panel to the Service Desk. It is very nice to be able to use, because the workflow is all-in-one for the same product. 

    What is most valuable?

    As far as the integration with using all the CA products, all the components integrate well together and are very easy to use. 

    Previously, we did not have a help desk at all. So, it has made a difference.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice to be able to just click the executable and have it do the upgrade with minimal configuration, post installs, etc.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Once it is installed, it is pretty stable. With the way we have it setup, we use virtualization and we are probably running 99% uptime. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable and very flexible. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The support is great. That was one of the big features of using CA: the technical support. They are very helpful and willing to go above and beyond.

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

    We did not have a previous solution. We did not have a help desk at all.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the initial setup. The setup was complex. Out-of-the-box was definitely a difficult configuration because a lot of manual configuration needs to be done. It is due to the flexibility of the product. 

    I am also having issues with the complexity of the upgrades. In regards to configuration to the new version, when you are not completely out-of-the-box, like an SSL configuration, it cause us issues with the upgrade. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at ManageEngine, Semantic, and a couple other companies.

    We chose CA because of flexibility, working with them and another company, and the support. Support was a big thing about choosing CA.

    What other advice do I have?

    It has been very functional for what we will be using it for.

    You want to keep in mind what your end goal is; what you want to accomplish would probably be the biggest thing.

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: In this case, it was the support that made the big decision on who we went with. We also considered cost, ease of use, and flexibility.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user778992
    Service Architect at SANDVIK IT Global Shared Services
    Vendor
    The connections between incidents, changes, and problems give us visibility and control

    Pros and Cons

    • "Right now, we are starting to be dependent on the CMDB a lot."
    • "We talk a lot about the idea that Service Desk Manager should be more "service" oriented, not just ticket oriented."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use the tool for many processes. Incident problem, change, config, and knowledge. So it's very important for us, and it's used very much and it will increase in importance for us. There are 47,000 employees at Sandvik who do need these systems for IT processes.

    It's operated in one company, a supporting IT company. It's in one place and the whole global organization at Sandvik is using this for IT incident problems. It's a central solution for Sandvik.

    What is most valuable?

    Right now, we are starting to be dependent on the CMDB a lot. It's increasingly important but, of course, as with many other customers, it's the ticket system that actually helps us a lot. For incidents, of course, that's the biggest use right now.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We get control, and the incidents are actually connected to changes and problems. So we do have a good picture and control.

    What needs improvement?

    We talk a lot about the idea that Service Desk Manager should be more "service" oriented, not just ticket oriented. Right now, it's just tickets, tickets, tickets. It could be related to a CMDB topic, but it's the service perspective. We talk a lot about that with CA. That's the main improvement that we need to have in place. There are improvements ongoing in that direction, I should say.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is very good right now. We had some problems, issues, absolutely. The issues were regarding the application that is connected with the servers. It's a lot of configuration, there are a lot of challenges in that. We have virtual servers over there and we have the application on them, so it's been challenging. But right now we have succeeded.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is quite good I think. Right now we are quite satisfied with the solution.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We are using CA AMS in Prague, they help us with the operational side. They let us focus on the improvements, the future. We can actually relax, we don't need to take care of all the incidents regarding the tools. So we are relieved a bit regarding the operational side.

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

    We had our homegrown solution in Lotus Notes, but we knew that we should grow a lot, be more of a global IT. So we needed one central system that was more generic. What we used before was just a database, very, very simple.

    We also picked Service Desk Manager because we saw there could be possibilities to add other products once again.

    How was the initial setup?

    We installed it in 2001. I was a bit to the side, but yes, I was a bit involved. And we implemented it, perhaps, not in an optimal way. We tried to change it so it suited us. That was, perhaps, a mistake. But we have changed it continuously as well.

    What other advice do I have?

    In terms of the important criteria when researching products and vendors, I don't know really, because I haven't been involved with that many new products. 

    We know that if we want to have another system, it's an advantage to have another module from CA, so that we are increasing the product family from CA. Perhaps this has been an approach. It costs too much if we try to connect to others. But I haven't involved in the other investments in the system, actually.

    I give it a six out of 10, but that depends; it is our fault because we are, perhaps, not using the tool as we should. It's not just CA's fault. But it's a six.

    As we have other solutions from CA, I would recommend this for others, absolutely, because if you are using this in the right way you have big possibilities.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user779205
    Software Manager
    Vendor
    It has made us a lot more organized, and a lot more aware of what needs to happen

    Pros and Cons

    • "The database and the power that is driven behind the database."
    • "The UI needs to be upgraded."

    What is our primary use case?

    • We have our AT side, which we use for our service desk. 
    • We use it for our software development lifecycle. 
    • We use it for our CIS Admin change, so any kind of changes that are happening. 
    • We also have a CRM system that was built a hundred years ago. 
    • It is used to manage our resorts, and our resort operations, and then also our call centers.

    What is most valuable?

    The database. The front-end is a little dated. They are working on it, but it is a little dated. So, the database and the power that is driven behind the database.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has made us a lot more organized, and a lot more aware of what needs to happen. Just now, some of our teams are really adopting the managed change, such as using the product instead of emails back and forth. 

    What needs improvement?

    The UI needs to be upgraded.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is pretty stable. I have had a few problems with stability, but I do not think it is actually the fault of the product as much as it was the vendor that installed it for us.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I can do whatever I want on it. I have it customized.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is sketchy at best. I have an open ticket right now that has been open for a few weeks. They are a challenge to work with. It took three weeks to get it escalated up to where it probably needed to be in the first place. I do not call support unless something is really broken and I don't know how to fix it.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the upgrades. From the old database to the new database, I did that upgrade, and actually a fresh install, which was very straightforward. That was version 11 though. The newer versions have become a little bit more complicated to do a fresh install on, rather than doing an upgrade. They are a little bit easier to upgrade versus doing a fresh install.

    What about the implementation team?

    A vendor team.

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

    Give it a shot, but go through a partner.

    What other advice do I have?

    It does what it is supposed to do. I can make it do more than it is supposed to do. I can customize it as I want. Most of the time the customizations will upgrade, but if they do not, I can reach out to people and find a different solution. 

    Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Whether or not they are going to help me.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user778839
    Systems Enginee
    Vendor
    Helps reduce downtime and mean time to repair but API needs a lot of work

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's fairly easy to use, from a UI standpoint."
    • "I would like to see the API cleaned up."

    What is our primary use case?

    I function inside of CMDB, Chain Configuration Management Data Base. I use it to work with our change management process, or configuration management process. To reduce down time, mean time to repair, audit functionality. Pretty much everything within CMDB, which is a subset of Service Desk.

    What is most valuable?

    It's a part of of a tool that other people use, and the big part of the problem with CMDB is getting a high rate of adoption. CMDB is not something that people see as a necessity, especially technical people. They don't want to deal with auditing, they don't want to deal with a lot of that stuff. So the fact that it's something they're already familiar with is a big deal. For a lot of companies, it's not built into their service desk, to my understanding. So that's a good thing about it. 

    It's fairly easy to use, from a UI standpoint. Those are the main things that I would say are good about it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It helps us have a clearer understanding of our environment, that's the big part of it that I use. As far as the ticketing part of that, it integrates within our email. If you're an end user, just a person, you don't need to go the website at all, you can do almost everything through email, so that is nice. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see the API cleaned up. Right now, because of the way CA works, they combine a lot of applications. That's just the nature of it, they can't fix that probably. But the API is a mess, it's hard to navigate, hard to figure out. The documentation is okay, but from a back-end standpoint it's kind of difficult to work.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    At our company, I think it's pretty stable. We have a good set of people working on it. I don't typically have any problems, with the front-facing part of it. There are not any really issues of stability from what I can see.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I would say we're a small to middle-sized company, and we haven't had any issues with anything like that. I wouldn't say it's a problem for us at all.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They've been good. My biggest problems have been working through the API for Service Desk, it's kind of a mess, that would be a nice way to put it.

    They've been able to help me to get through, to where I need to go. Without that it's difficult, to say the least.

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

    My company has been using CA for a long time.

    What other advice do I have?

    I've been a part of PoCs at our company. When looking to invest in a vendor, the criteria include

    • cost -  obviously a big concern
    • functionality - if it's going to work within the tools that we have now. 

    We're really big into automation, so integrating with other tools that we have is important. And CA - since we use so many of their products, between the mainframe, Service Desk - we really do use quite a bit of what they have. So they have a leg up as far as that goes.

    I've worked with quite a few different products, from ServiceNow to Remedy, a lot of ticketing systems and the like. This is my first CMDB, as my main function. I would rate Service Desk lower than some of those other ones that I've used, because it seems like it's a little bit behind with innovative type of stuff. I like the UI, it's good. I would say, stand-alone, if I wasn't comparing it to anything else, it really does do what I need it to do, so I would give it a seven or an eight out of 10. Comparing it to other things, it would be about a six, because I think other software is better.

    In terms of advice to a colleague looking at similar solutions, it would really depend on what they need. If they were looking for CMDB functionality, I think it really does do a good job of that. I think if you have other CA products, it does a good job of integrating with a lot of that. But I would encourage them to look at other products as well. I don't think it's an "industry leader." I think it's right up there with other tools, but depending on what you're doing and your environment, I think it's on-par with everything else.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user778506
    Assistant Programmer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Presents our information the way we need to use it but needs better role definition

    What is our primary use case?

    Working problem tickets and change orders.

    What is most valuable?

    It has a lot of information, the way we have it set up, that you can use. We can attach documents and do screen prints.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Keeps track of any issues that we're having, as well as any changes that take place. 

    What needs improvement?

    As an end user I don't probably use it the way that other people would use it, but maybe automatic opening of tickets for other products would be helpful.

    I think that we would like to see tickets opened and closed automatically. We would also like to see different functions for employees versus administrators versus managers; people being able to lock down certain features once they are there. That could be available now and we just don't have it turned on.

    I have a feeling that the newer release has a lot of things in there that are useful for us, I've just haven't seen it because we don't have the newest release in.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable. We're running an old version of it, it's a few years old.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I don't know because it's the same as when I started using it a few years ago.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've used technical support, but not for this product, only for the products that I support. But, in general, my experience with technical support from CA has been good. There have been no surprises in my recent interactions with CA, they've been good.

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

    No, we had an earlier release of Service Desk Manager. 

    What other advice do I have?

    When selecting a vendor our most important criteria are support, stability, and availability of the product in the future.

    Just make sure it has all the features that you're looking for in your particular environment. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Vice President of Infrastructure Management at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The workflow engine, knowledge base, SLA calculation and customisation are areas that need to be improved. The out-of-the-box functions and ITIL compatibility are good features.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Logging every action in Service Desk Manager (SDM)."
    • "The SDM administration and customisation needS deep information about architecture and vendor support continuously."

    How has it helped my organization?

    Some of workflows became centralised and the complexity of approval cycles decreased via this tool. In general, it has helped us to implement some ITIL practices easily. 

    What is most valuable?

    • Logging every action in Service Desk Manager (SDM).
    • Unique ticket number for every case (incident, request, problem, change, etc.) and tracking cases with ticket numbers.
    • Out-of-the-box functions
    • ITIL compatibility

    What needs improvement?

    • Reporting side 
    • Workflow engine 
    • Knowledge base 
    • SLA calculation and customisation

    The SDM administration and customisation need deep information about architecture and vendor support continuously. Therefore, the quality of support service is very key.

    For PAM and BO, it is very hard to create and manage reports, dashboards, or workflows. These topics cause difficulties on application usage for analysts and end users. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Some processes stop from time-to-time and require a restart. Also, sometimesexporting lists (incident, request, change, etc.) to Excel does not work and requires a restart.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Based on what we have gotten from our local technical partner and vendor, I would rate them as a three (from 10). It can be said that the most important thing is selection of your vendor. CA tools can be very useful when you have the right vendors on board, otherwise it becomes a disaster for your organisation.

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

    We have been using this product for eight years and nobody remembers the reason for the switch, however we are going to switch this product due to lack of technical support and legacy structure for the version which we were using. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was complex, because components (SDM, BO, and PAM) were on different servers and a lot of configuration was needed during the setup. 

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

    The product has several licensing models. In our corporation, we are using a concurrent licensing model and there is no cap for the license due to licensing model being ethical. I think pricing of this model is suitable for growing corporations.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Not applicable.

    What other advice do I have?

    Find a local partner, one that has full competence on this product, or take extensive training for your technical crew about the product from global vendor. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of product and evaluate these with your needs. If it needs more customisation, think twice. 

    However, there is a huge difference between the reviewed version and the recent version of this product. The newer version is far better than the reviewed version. Do not forget that this review has been given for version 12.9. (This review has been shared while version 14.x has been in market.)

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Pre-Sales/System Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    MSP
    Top 10
    It's adaptable; you can codify and change almost everything. The tool is regularly updated.

    What is most valuable?

    The most important part is the user experience. CA Service Desk Manager provides a great and helpful experience. It's a tool with constant updates and always thinking about and looking out for the user.

    It's a powerful tool that is able to do everything. Anything you need, CA SDM can help.

    CA Technologies have been improving the customer experience when we're talking about UI, probally it's comming soon a great UI about usability.

    It's comming with v17 a great functionality about upgrade - it's easier than ever.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I've been implementing the solution for more than a decade, in different companies of different sizes and in different industries. It's adaptability is incredible; you can codify and change almost everything. Therefore, the solution is working for our needs.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution could include in your own license other products to help your own customers embrace more disciplines to their needs.

    With a small licensing of these products, it's possible to present all the power of the power of suite.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for more than a decade.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Usually everything's OK.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have never encountered any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I encountered a scalability issue with an older version. Nowadays, it is better.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is really good.

    Technical Support:

    CA Support is improving its work. The support workers have a lot of experience, and they think fast to solve our problems.

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

    I previously used other solutions, but they were not as powerful. I'm working as a single MSP and work with different solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's as easy as a Windows install. You can check on CA Communities.

    What about the implementation team?

    Using CA Service Desk, the companies grow up.

    What was our ROI?

    I do not know. I never can compare these numbers.

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

    No comment. Ask me privately.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I can help you to check and evaluate options; compare the solutions. Therefore, the first step is: Compare the same thing with the same thing, apples to apples, but I cannot tell you which is the better choice of fruit.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Based on certain ticket attributes, the heat of tickets is calculated and the list is sorted so analysts are always working on the highest-priority tickets.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The new xFlow interface that was introduced for Level 1 analysts really helps the them to achieve the best and fastest result for their users/customers."
    • "The methodology introduced for Level 1 analysts needs to be taken to Change Management Process. It would be useful to be able to look in Change Management and see the current status of the process."

    What is most valuable?

    The new xFlow interface that was introduced for Level 1 analysts really helps the them to achieve the best and fastest result for their users/customers.

    First, based on certain ticket attributes, the heat of tickets is calculated and the list is sorted so the analyst can always continue to work on the ticket with the highest priority.

    Then, ticket data is analyzed by the system to give analysts hints on experts or similar tickets/solutions.

    Last but not least, the research tool is great to search the internet for solutions and get information back to the ticket.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The intelligence introduced into the product keeps getting better the longer you use it. Unified Self Service gives our end users an interface that attracts people and which they want to use, as it looks great and the offerings we provide makes their work life easier.

    What needs improvement?

    The methodology introduced for Level 1 analysts needs to be taken to Change Management Process. It would be useful to be able to look in Change Management and see the current status of the process. For example, it could show that this change has five steps and the analyst is performing step three. Also, end users would benefit from this step view.

    Change Management is the most complex ITIL Process. Here a clear guidance for the person in action or all actors are important. Currently, there is room for improvement.The change process has a variable amount of steps to complete, depending on several attributes. If you look into a change, you should directly see that you are on step three out of seven, so you have a clear idea of how many steps have to be completed and how many are already completed. It gives you a good understanding of where you are in the process.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using the solution now for eight years. It has given us a huge benefit in our daily work.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any problems with stability. We run the system for multiple customers and as a SaaS offering with very good stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution scales very well. A greatly improved version was introduced 3 years ago and since then, we have not had any issues with scalability or stability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    the SLAs provided are real life proven, we faced some priority 1 issues and got quick solutions and it works throughout their support centers.

    Technical Support:

    We have experienced very good technical support. When you prepare for a go-live, you can engage with a dedicated technical support engineer in advance to get priority support in case issues occur during, or shortly after, an upgrade.

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

    We used in-house solutions and it did not give us the coverage over all the ITIL processes to provide professional service/support.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setup and integration went smooth. After installation, we were able to import ITIL content to get started modifying the processes to our needs.

    What about the implementation team?

    we did a in house implementation only for difficult integrations/customizations we involved the vendor. They have professionals that know the software very well.

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

    Pricing is simple, as it’s per concurrent analysts.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked into other vendors too, such as Cherwell. But this is already 7 years ago. Since then, we observe the market and review our decision every two years to make sure that our decision is still right.

    What other advice do I have?

    It provides great possibilities. To get the most value out of the solution, make sure to get your people in service management and administrators trained.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user579465
    Data Administrator at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    MSP
    This product has many adjustment possibilities for different clients.

    Pros and Cons

    • "This product has so many adjustment possibilities for many different clients."
    • "One area that this product can improve is in the mobile user aspect."

    What is most valuable?

    This product has so many adjustment possibilities for many different clients.

    One of the features of this product is to elevate the customer experience. Due to the constantly increasing needs of the customers experience, we always have to make changes in the way we are working to provide satisfaction to our clients. Thus, this application has many thousands of ways to do that.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • We certainly increased the quality of our work.
    • The system is more robust. We can elaborate on a better and complex service. At one time, we had a lot of processes.

    • The application has the possibility to integrate with other systems. This, in turn, transformed the information to be more solid.

    • Due to the integration with Business Intelligence (BI), we had possibilities to create reports. In these reports, we can see, in-depth, about where and when exactly we need to modify our processes. Therefore, there was a decrease in the count of open and duplicate tickets.

    What needs improvement?

    One area that this product can improve is in the mobile user aspect. We need to get more solutions to our client's mobile, so they will have the same mobile experience that they have on their computer.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for about five years. I started to use this system as a customer and after a short time, i.e., within a three month period, I specialized in it. Now I am working as an administrator.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I didn't particularly have any issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    None of my clients have reported any scalability issues. I didn't find any such issues either.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is the best support that I've seen. They are very fast and provide security, in terms of responding to my tickets. Even if they don't know the answer immediately, I don't need to wait so long to receive their response back. They are always positive.

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

    I have used a different solution before, but it wasn’t what my clients really needed. The other systems don't have a variety of services that CA SDM has included under only one system. If CA SDM doesn't have a particular feature, then CA has facility integration with its other systems.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward, once you have almost all the things planned.

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

    It is a bit expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. It is worth it!

    What other advice do I have?

    Plan every step you need for implementation. Always look forward to every step that your client would need in order to get there.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have a big strategic partner relationship with CA.
    ITCS user
    Software Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    We use it for incident, knowledge, and configuration management. The reporting ability of the tool needs to improve drastically.

    What is most valuable?

    We use it for incident, problem, release, change, knowledge, and configuration management.

    How has it helped my organization?

    With its scalability and ability to connect with various systems, we have been able to exchange data with several systems automatically.

    What needs improvement?

    The UI is old school with a lot of windows opening and slowing down the process of ticket creation by the end users. The reporting ability of the tool needs to improve drastically. Currently, the solution is provided with Business Objects (BO) and is too slow to use for every day reporting.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for 18 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Once in a while, the processes crash and we are yet to find a root cause for it. The product is very sensitive to small network outages (even for 1-2 seconds).

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is provided, but it is often too slow. Hence, it requires us to implement a workaround, since the fix has a long way to travel. It often depends on the person who picks up the issue on the other end.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is tricky. There are a lot of things to keep in mind, especially when everything is moving to the cloud or is virtual. Scalability becomes a challenge if we use the wrong resources.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There is always a challenge with the cloud solutions, such as ServiceNow. But the level of customization that we can do with the tool is normally not possible with the other tools in the market. The UI should be more intuitive.

    What other advice do I have?

    The needs an improvement with its UI which looks old school. The product also is quite complex to implement. However the framework it uses is quite scalable and the product can be customized a lot.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Lead ,Managed Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    The remote connection feature has a chat functionality. The knowledge base acts as a self-service support tool.

    What is most valuable?

    • The remote connection part (Support Automation): CA Service Desk has a Support Automation feature which primarily does remote connection. This is an important customer support tool used in connecting to a user’s/customer’s device or machine to help them resolve whatever problems they have. The remote connection also has a chat functionality that you can also use.
    • Robust knowledge search via its knowledge base: For knowledge search, CA Service Desk has a robust knowledge base tool where documentation, articles and notes around known incidents and problems are documented for users/administrators or analysts to use. They basically act as a self-service tool where users can go to, search for documents and resolve problems themselves instead of having to always call the IT people. This way the IT people have time to do other productive tasks.
    • The simplicity of the tool

    How has it helped my organization?

    All business processes have been built around the service. SLAs are measured promptly and tickets are owned/resolved faster, thereby improving user/customer satisfaction.

    What needs improvement?

    The Reporting part (Reports Tab) needs to be more robust and made less complex. CA Service Desk makes use of a BusinessObjects XI tool for reports, which is owned by SAP. This is actually a third-party tool and a bit complex in terms of reliability on the network, mostly. If these reports were in-built, without having to integrate or connect to any third-party tool, then this would be better.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the product for seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I encountered stability issues in rare cases but stability was good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I have not encountered any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Good

    Technical Support:

    Support from CA Technical Support has been brilliant, as far as your SLA is renewed promptly.

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

    It was the same CA solution. The customer started with CA Service Desk 11.2 and they have upgraded to 12.6, 12.9 and 14.1.

    What about the implementation team?

    I am part of a team that does pre-sales, support, deployments/implementations of CA solutions.

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

    Pricing and licensing is usually a problem. CA solutions are very expensive; hence, only big organizations can afford them.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The customer looked at ManageEngine, HPE Service Manager and others.

    What other advice do I have?

    CA Service Desk is built around the ITIL methodology and would help to improve all organizational processes starting from incidents/problems/request, knowledge management, CMDB, etc.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My firm, Signal Alliance, is a certified CA gold partner
    Marcos L. Domingos
    Support Analyst, Lead at Sonda IT
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    The integration of remote access to tickets and the ease of customizations helps analysts and administrators to always provide the best service according to the needs of the business.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Modules of integrated ITIL managers."
    • "They need to improve the High Availability, and the native integration between CA Service Desk Manager, CA Process Automation, CA Service Catalog and CA Unified Self-Service."

    What is most valuable?

    1. Ease of customization

    2. Modules of integrated ITIL managers

    3. Integrated remote access to tickets

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product update process has been improved, and I like that they have included advanced high availability. Also, the process of adding new customers using multi-tenant is relatively simple.

    What needs improvement?

    They need to improve the High Availability, and the native integration between CA Service Desk Manager, CA Process Automation, CA Service Catalog and CA Unified Self-Service.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using it for nine years, and currently have two customers with older versions of SDM. The products have been installed on site without multi-tenant.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    The implementation of solutions using secure protocol is always complicated. It is not simple to set up, as it requires changes to specific files. It could be simpler.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    High. Collaborates with gains in maturity.

    Technical Support:

    It's excellent. All there agents are willing to help, even involving other teams in more complex cases.

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

    No.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's simple, as we used the manufacturer's documentation (Green Book).

    What about the implementation team?

    My advice is to define the scope of use and only then plan how best architecture. The secure protocol issues, high availability, and the use or not of a homologation environment generate operating and financial costs.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI was satisfactory, but I would advise you to review the scope, as several solutions for simple things can have a high cost, for example, why use CA Infrastructure Management (Spectrum, eHealth, NetQoS) when Nagios could serve your customer demands well.

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

    Plan a Homologation Environment and possible uses for other areas of the organization other than IT. These points are extremely important and can impact the management and maintenance of the product.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also evaluated ServiceNow to reduce infrastructure costs, but some CA Service Desk Manager features do not exist in ServiceNow, even though it is a more expensive solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice is to get to know the product very well in relation to ITIL processes. A lot of customization only exists because we do not know the product at that level. The manufacturer's documentation "Content Pack for ITIL" is required reading even if the company is not a service provider.

    I am enthusiastic about ITSM solutions. In addition to CA products, I know of LANDesk Service Desk, OTRS, Octopus, Zendesk, Microsoft System Center Service Manager, Axios Assyst and BMC Remedy. All of these solutions are excellent and have lots of documentation with the best implementation practices, both the system and the ITIL processes. I always recommend studying these documents before any customization.


    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Marcos L. Domingos
    Support Analyst, Lead at Sonda IT
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Integrates easily with CA Service Desk Manager.

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of integration with CA Service Desk Manager Account setup

    How has it helped my organization?

    New usage approach for end users

    What needs improvement?

    Access to services

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Low customer maturity in ITIL processes

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: Customer service is excellent. Technical Support: Technical support is excellent.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of integration with CA Service Desk Manager Account setup

    How has it helped my organization?

    New usage approach for end users

    What needs improvement?

    Access to services

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Low customer maturity in ITIL processes

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is excellent.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is excellent.

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

    We did not previously use a different solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was complex, but normal. We use test and homologation environments.

    What about the implementation team?

    A provider team implemented it, the CA Technologies team itself. They were expert in the subject.

    What was our ROI?

    The best ROI possible

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

    Make the investment; return guaranteed.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before choosing this product, we did not evaluate other options.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make an extra investment in communication. Inform end users clearly and objectively of changes in how to request services. Demonstrate the benefits of the solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Marcos L. Domingos
    Support Analyst, Lead at Sonda IT
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Brings collaboration and support, facilitating the work of analysts

    What is most valuable?

    It brings a maturity of collaboration and support, facilitating the work of analysts, and benefits end users in service.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It provided greater agility in service and a more agile management vision.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like to see improvements mainly without the Service Desk. This was where we saw the greatest gain in unpaid performance and collaboration.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for ten years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There were no issues with deployment, because the wizard of this version has been greatly improved.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, there were no identified stability problems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    So far, there were no identified scalability problems.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is excellent, because it leaves a reality of collaboration more evident.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is excellent, because it provides and demonstrates collaboration, which speeds up the service.

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

    We did not use a different solution previously. We just upgraded.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was direct and easy with the settings that occurred in the wizard. We used to make it version 14.1.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implement the solution with the support of the manufacturer. They had a maximum skill level.

    What was our ROI?

    As a financial institution, we cannot provide such information.

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

    ROI is closely linked to its current maturity. Aim to know exactly where you are, where you are going, and map the necessary actions and adjustments before deployment.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate other solutions. We were already satisfied with the benefits of the previous version of this product.

    What other advice do I have?

    The training of analysts and a campaign to demonstrate end user benefits and functionality is very important.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user677709
    Sr. Director, IT Service Management at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Quick capture of ticket info lends itself to resolution and/or assignment to other groups.

    What is most valuable?

    The following modules are the most valuable:

    • Incident
    • Request
    • Knowledge
    • Change Order

    How has it helped my organization?

    Quick capture of ticket info lends itself to easy resolution and/or assignment to other groups.

    What needs improvement?

    Reporting and integration to SCCM need improvement.

    Service Desk Manager doesn’t integrate to SCCM out of the box. If you’re looking to use SCCM as your source of truth for servers or desktops and to populate a federated CMDB (using Service Desk manager), you’re looking at building a connector manually or buying another tool to do that. In our organization, we’re customizing code to do this in batch mode. Not ideal, but what we have to do. CA had recommended integrating with other tools of theirs that we have but the technology teams are centralized on SCCM. So that’s that one.

    Reporting, we’ve had to buy Ivanti Xtraction to do all our dashboard and reporting. Boxi reports really fall short and we don’t use any reports out of the box. Be that as it may, we’re heavily metrics focused, so we’ve had to take that on separately to work with outside tools. Not ideal, but reality.


    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for thirteen years.

    Service Desk Manager doesn’t integrate to SCCM out of the box. If you’re looking to use SCCM as your source of truth for servers or desktops and to populate a federated CMDB (using Service Desk manager), you’re looking at building a connector manually or buying another tool to do that. In our organization, we’re customizing code to do this in batch mode. Not ideal, but what we have to do. CA had recommended integrating with other tools of theirs that we have but the technology teams are centralized on SCCM. So that’s that one.

    Reporting, we’ve had to buy Ivanti Xtraction to do all our dashboard and reporting. Boxi reports really fall short and we don’t use any reports out of the box. Be that as it may, we’re heavily metrics focused, so we’ve had to take that on separately to work with outside tools. Not ideal, but reality.


    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not had scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is moderate.

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

    Remedy was the previous solution at my current organization. It was not easy to support or migrate to new versions and was cost prohibitive.

    How was the initial setup?

    Minimal training is required to get everyone up to speed and using the system.

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

    Negotiate with the vendor.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated ServiceNow. It costs a fortune and required too much management.

    What other advice do I have?

    Develop a process first, then apply the tool and minimize customizations.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user558537
    Head IT Operations at ICBC Argentina
    Vendor
    The most valuable feature is interconnectivity with other CA products.

    What is most valuable?

    From our perspective, and taking into account that we have a lot of CA products for IT service delivery, the most valuable feature is interconnectivity with other products such as CA Clarity, CA IT Asset Manager, CA Spectrum, CA UIM, CA APM, etc.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • All incidents, requirements, changes and problems are documented in one database.
    • It is easy to follow, control and generate reports.
    • There is a synergy with other products for incident management, monitoring (infrastructure and applications), asset inventory, etc.

    What needs improvement?

    Taking into account the new version 17.0 that CA Technologies has released, issues in terms of the flexibility, ease-of-use, service catalogue improvements, etc. were resolved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used CA Service Desk Manager for three and a half years. Previously, we used the IBM Tivoli Service Desk suite for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No major issues that affect the stability were faced. In the beginning, the issues used to be in the first stages.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We had no scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The support provided is very good to excellent.

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

    We were using the IBM Tivoli Service Desk suite solution for many years.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was of the intermediate level in complexity, but there is no need to worry about that.

    We experienced no major delays in terms of the migration, configuration and setup tasks.

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

    Taking into account of the strong relation that we have with CA Technologies, and so many others products that we have implemented, price was not an issue.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at IBM and BMC solutions.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is important to have all the procedures well-documented, have a sponsor for this project and have good relations with CA and a partner. They will help you to define and implement this solution.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user660669
    Analyst at a tech services company
    Consultant
    Provides out-of-the-box integration with other CA Service Management modules and aligns with ITIL processes.

    What is most valuable?

    SDM provides out-of-the-box integration with other CA Service Management modules. For example, it integrated with CA CMDB, CA Business Intelligence (for reporting and dashboard), CA Service Catalog and CA Unified Self Service.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • We are better able to manage and keep track of SLAs with end users.
    • Analysts work more efficiently based on the ticket priority.
    • We can better manage IT assets and contract license through CMDB.
    • Reporting and dashboard: it is easy to produce a report with drag and drop functions.

    What needs improvement?

    Customization and configuration of CA Unified Self-Service needs improvement. CA needs to provide similar tools like Web Screen Painter (a customization tool for Service Desk) for CA Unified Self Service.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this for 10 years; since CA Service Desk r11.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had stability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give technical support an 8.

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

    We didn’t have anything before this.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is straightforward.

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

    They offer a concurrent analyst license that covers all the CA Service Desk modules: Incident, Request, Change, Service Level Management, CMDB, and Reporting.

    There is NO license for the end user. In my opinion, it is a good licensing structure because some of other service desk products in the market sell separate licenses for each module.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did’t look at alternatives.

    What other advice do I have?

    • The product aligns to the ITIL process.
    • All modules are integrated: Incident, Request, Problem, Change Order, and CMDB.
    • The Service Catalog makes it easy for the end user to log a ticket.
    • It is role based: easily manage the analyst based on their role; e.g., level 1 analyst, level 2 analyst.
    • Unified administrator task.
    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user660654
    Development Manager at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Vendor
    With major incident tracking, we are able to differentiate between a normal and a major incident.

    What is most valuable?

    We use everything in service desk and each one of them are adding benefit to the company and users. We really benefit from all of the features but if I have to single some features out, it will be:

    Major incident tracking: We are able to differentiate between a normal and a major incident and do comprehensive reporting on this to key stakeholders.

    SLA management: Each category has it’s own unique SLA linked and this gives us the ability to manage the expectations of end users more effectively.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Provides quicker resolution of all tickets with SLA management; reporting is quick and easy; tickets can be tracked and escalations can be handled by the correct teams.

    What needs improvement?

    The old employee interface available in CA had certain features and functions that were not brought over to Unified Self Service. One of the features that we use extensively in our environment is the properties or also known as additional information. This gives us the ability to ask the end user certain questions upfront to assist the back office teams to resolve the ticket faster and more effectively.

    We had to do some in-house development to get this functionality working and I am glad to say that we have successfully been able to get this implemented. USS is a huge improvement in terms of the look and feel from an end user point of view but letting out a key functionality like the properties resulted in a longer implementation period.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using CA Service Desk since about 2006 when it was still called CA Unicentre.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    When we were still on an Oracle database, we had some stability issues but we have been running on SQL without any major stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not had scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Support is a problem area for us. They take too long to respond to tickets logged.

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

    We didn't have anything before this.

    How was the initial setup?

    I can’t comment on the initial setup.

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

    We don’t have any issues with regards to the licensing module or pricing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I can’t comment.

    What other advice do I have?

    Ensure you do an out-of-the-box implementation. We have learned from upgrades that customizations cause a lot of issues during upgrades.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user660051
    Sr Application Analyst at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Change Management, Incident Management, and CMDB are the most valuable features.

    What is most valuable?

    Change Management, Incident Management, and CMDB are the most valuable features.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Automated our manual business processes

    What needs improvement?

    IT PAM Workflow could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for 10 years. We use CA Service Desk 12.9 and IT PAM 4.3.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were some stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support was fair.

    How was the initial setup?

    I am not interested in sharing this information.

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

    Pricing is good…

    What is most valuable?

    Change Management, Incident Management, and CMDB are the most valuable features.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Automated our manual business processes

    What needs improvement?

    IT PAM Workflow could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for 10 years. We use CA Service Desk 12.9 and IT PAM 4.3.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were some stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support was fair.

    How was the initial setup?

    I am not interested in sharing this information.

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

    Pricing is good compared to other similar applications.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user657792
    Global Manager, CA Solutions at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    The change module provides controls, visualization, and auditability. The suite has grown too large.

    What is most valuable?

    The core SDM component (the ticketing system) is the most valuable to me. It is reliable and covers the basic ITSM process stack very well (I,R,P,C). I am an IT consultant specializing in ITSM tools. The CA system has proven to be reliable and trustworthy. It can be scaled to meet the ITSM needs of the largest global enterprises. The change module is particularly robust. It provides controls, visualization, and auditability.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The system becomes a centralized place for ITSM data and process automation for the enterprise. For example, a monitoring system generates an alert on a production server (the SDM system will integrate with any monitoring tool on the planet). The alert can generate a ticket in SDM. The server is listed as a CI in SDM, so the resolvers know where the trouble is. The Change Impact Analyzer will highlight how that server interacts with and impacts other systems in the environment) so you can see if this will cause a downstream problem. The Asset Portfolio Manager component of the system will have the purchase, warranty and service agreements for that specific server. The knowledge base can have articles describing how to deal with that particular alert, or possible specific steps that should be taken on the system in question. If this has happened often with this server lately, a problem ticket can be opened. The incidents related to that CI can be attached to the problem record, so the problem manager can get a full view of what has been going on, etc. And on down the merry ITIL path.

    I’ve implemented, configured and managed this system for hundreds of clients. I trust it. CA is not perfect, but this system is one of their most reliable products.

    What needs improvement?

    The suite has grown too large, and has been pulled together from a series of acquisitions. For example, the Service Catalog, the process automation engine (IT PAM), and the Asset Portfolio Manager are all separate systems attached through integration. The good news is CA does not charge a la carte, so you get all of this stuff included in the concurrent user license. The bad news is this can be a delicate web of integration, which can be finicky.

    The CA Service Management Suite is comprised of several components. All of them were acquired individually by CA over the past 20 years and integrated into the original system. The core of the suite is CA Service Desk Manager (“SDM”), which is a ticketing system that is excellent and scalable for Request Management, Incident Management, Change Management and Problem Management. This is the bread-and-butter of the CA Service Management suite. It is heavily used around the world and very reliable. A+ ☺

    CA typically does a great job of incorporating acquisitions into their existing products over time. For example, the Knowledge base and CMDB used to be separate products, connected to the core Service Desk through an integration. However, today they have been fully incorporated into core SDM. Logging into SDM, you would never know that the KB and CMDB were once completely separate products. This adds KB and CMDB to the list of excellent, scalable and reliable functions of the CA Service Management Suite. A+ ☺

    However, the industry is driving us all rapidly forward.

    The Service Catalog, IT Process Automation Manager, Unified Self Service, Xflow and CA Business Intelligence are all separate applications connected to SDM via integration. Even though you are purchasing this as one suite under a per-concurrent user model, it is actually a bunch of applications integrated together. C-.

    This adds complexity to the system and creates an urban sprawl of servers. This sprawl, in turn, creates challenges with patching, upgrades and daily operations. You’ve got to be smart about virtualizing it, SSO, etc. C-.

    Consequently, my point is that CA has room for improvement here.

    I hope this helps. I am a big fan of CA Service Management and highly recommend it. However, like the rest of us in life, we all have room to improve.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using CA Service Management for 20 years (since 1997).

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability issues are a function of changes in the CA system. If you heavily modify it, and do not pay close attention to the internal integration between components (SDM, SC, APM, IT PAM), there can be issues. The system also prefers some head room on resources. So you need to give it more HDD, CPU and memory than your IT team will think is necessary (not a horrible amount, but this is not something you can run successfully with the minimum resource requirement).

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not had scalability issues. This system is capable of scaling to the largest enterprises. Conversely, it is overkill for small companies.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Support is good. The CA support team could be larger, but overall the support is responsive and effective.

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

    I have consulted with many systems (Remedy, HEAT, Service Center, Tivoli, ServiceNow, Assyst, etc.). Each has their strengths and weaknesses.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup can be complex, especially if you want to track and notify on a variety of granular controls. The system is cool, in that it can do this stuff. However, the vendor oversells how easy it is and the training from CA is terrible.

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

    Licensing from CA is straightforward. The system is licensed by concurrent user. The rule of thumb for named users to concurrent users is 3/1. When you buy this system new, the licensing is amazingly simple. No add-ons. Just one license and you get everything. The challenge with CA licensing occurs over the long term. CA routinely changes the suite components every 5 years (or so), forcing existing customers to pay a license upgrade fee for access to the new components.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have consulted with many systems (Remedy, HEAT, Service Center, Tivoli, ServiceNow, Assyst, etc.). Each has their strengths and weaknesses.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are going to DIY this implementation, I recommend thorough planning with your IT team. Be sure you have the right engineers, and that they have at least attended the CA SM Admin course (4- or 5-day class). I mentioned earlier that CA training is not the best; however, this course is a necessity if you are going to self-implement. This is not a weekend project. Take it seriously; plan 8-2 weeks for yourself from the moment you build the VMs to the go-live date.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an MSP that runs CA Service Management internally for our own IT needs as well as for our customers.
    it_user653550
    Senior Computer Specialist at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Extensibility of the interface allows for schema changes. The individual user should have the ability to determine what notification types they want to subscribe to and how they want to be notified.

    What is most valuable?

    • Functions related to the ITIL process sets for change management
    • Request fulfillment
    • Incident management
    • Knowledge management database

    These elements are the most valuable to the organization because they are the areas that have at least rudimentary corresponding business processes and accountable business owners.

    The features that are most valuable to me as an SDM administrator are:

    • Extensibility of the interface to allow for schema changes
    • Form-level modifications to support the aforementioned business processes

    How has it helped my organization?

    Utilization of change management features allowed us to effectively implement both group- and department-level change advisory boards and coordinate the interaction between the disparate management levels.

    What needs improvement?

    All areas of every product have room for improvement.

    That being said, this product would benefit by allowing individual users more customization, notably around notifications.

    On a per-user basis, the individual user should have the ability to determine what notification types they want to subscribe to and how they want to be notified.

    On an individual basis, users should be able to modify their interface to change things like the attributes returned from search results or have the ability to show/hide fields on ticket creation screens to support their own or a team’s workflow.

    It would be handy to have an option in the interface to disable large chunks of functionality. For example, we do not utilize the application for problem management.

    If there were an option to yank Problems out of menus, screens, this would expedite deployments and limit the need for the creation and maintenance of custom test scripts.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    The organization has been utilizing this product line for around 17 years. I’ve been using this product line for 15 years. This specific version of SDM has been in use in our environment for a year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We periodically run into issues with the stability of the application. It rarely necessitates any action on our part.

    We opted to deploy on Microsoft Windows and SQL, and occasionally run into issues based on those decisions. I am not sure if they can be attributed to the application, however.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There have not been any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    There are basically two buckets: those that are really competent and those that are lacking.

    In my experience, 75% fall into the really competent category, which is much higher than other companies I’ve worked with.

    CA, given its size, surprisingly does not have 24/7 US-based technical support. As all of our deployments naturally occur outside of regular US business hours, this means that whenever I’m really having an issue, I’m invariably working with someone in India, France, or elsewhere.

    I would like to reiterate that these people are usually very proficient in what they do, but because of language barriers, things do not usually go as smooth as I would prefer.

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

    Our organization has utilized CA ticketing solutions AHD, USD, SDM, and Service Desk since I’ve been here.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation was GUI-based, and was pretty standard and straightforward.

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

    I had no input nor purview into pricing or licensing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The solution was already selected.

    What other advice do I have?

    Ensure that your organization has robust business processes in place for the feature sets that you would like to implement. Organizations that expect the tool to define the business process can expect a very difficult deployment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Lucas Mesquita
    Information Technology Analyst at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Ticket management and the knowledge base are the most valuable features of this solution.

    What is most valuable?

    Ticket management and the knowledge base are the most valuable features of this solution.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our managers are able to properly monitor their team activities with CA Service Desk. With knowledge base, the end users are able to fix simple issues.

    What needs improvement?

    It could improve in maintainability and customization of features with a better and simpler GUI.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for a year and a half.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no scalability issues.

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

    We were using an intranet website, initially. It was very rudimentary and we couldn’t customize it without relying on outsourcing. We switched over to CA Service Desk Manager.

    What other advice do I have?

    Do not over-customize it, given the fact that it could directly impact the tool's stability and data reliability.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user657765
    Sr. Team Lead, Perioperative Services at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Advanced Availability architecture is the key feature.

    What is most valuable?

    Advanced Availability architecture is hands down the key feature. We can make sweeping changes, to the application or database, with a minimal impact on our user base. Most of the time, the users see no downtime at all.

    How has it helped my organization?

    CA SDM has organized the work for our internal groups to run the IT infrastructure in our company. When you add the workflow engine to the mix, the productivity and process adherence both get greatly enhanced.

    What needs improvement?

    There are some functions I have seen from its competitors that I would want CA SDM to have. I also find some of the items to be tedious from an admin point of view.

    The pdm_publish process, that adds tables and columns to the database, is an unforgiving key stroke of errors.

    A “publish” can run to completion, but if a mistake was made, then the system will stay down, until you figure out what mistake was made and correct it.

    I would like to see the process just throw away the mistake and continue cleanly. After which time, it could post a report upon completion that you have to redo the offensive work.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Personally, I have been using this product for eight years. However, the company has been using it for about 12 years. We started out with version 11.2.

    Currently, we are using version 12.9 and we will be moving to version 14.1, very shortly.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The system is very stable, but there are some instances where instability has been seen. It typically comes from the external influences or from one, turn-off network interruption, causing us to re-establish a database connection.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no scalability issues, thus far. We have 28,000 users in the user database within the system, and it seems to chug along fine.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The initial support was wonderful. Over the past three years, I have seen some degradation in the support, both in terms of the response time as well as the resolution time.

    CA has been advised of this issue and they have met with us on this subject. So, they have acknowledged the problem and are trying to make adjustments in order to accommodate it.

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

    This is the first tool of its type that is being used in the way that we are using it.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward, but there are many steps involved. I don’t fault the vendor for this. There are many aspects that require attention as the system is very customizable.

    What other advice do I have?

    Take the implementation class that CA offers. It is key to have certain aspects figured out ahead of time, as they will impact the system heavily, as time goes on.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user654489
    Director of Applications and Business Intelligence at a government with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Provides management of service calls and work assignments. The UI needs to be intuitive and efficient.

    What is most valuable?

    Provides effective management of service calls and work assignments. It includes good APIs to extend functionality.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In addition to IT, we also use this product on our business side to manage lobby flow for clients and workflow for our client service staff. The product has allowed us to efficiently manage workflow, measure performance, and analyze customer service measures.

    What needs improvement?

    The UI is old and passé. It needs to be intuitive, efficient, and allow users to tailor it to their way of working.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used CA Service Desk for fifteen years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The product does scale effectively up to a point. Beyond that, it gets a little complicated to extend it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would give technical support a rating of 6/10.

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

    We used Remedy and switched to CA Service Desk for cost and ease of implementation.

    How was the initial setup?

    The basic setup is easy and straightforward. The product is tailored around ITIL. Business processes need to account for that in order to make the most use of the product.

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

    We think CA pricing is straightforward. They do have a tendency to re-bundle (and sometime rebrand) products and you have to be on top of that. If you build a relationship, working through these things is much easier.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    This was an easy choice fifteen years ago.

    What other advice do I have?

    Look into the SaaS offering from CA and compare. While CA Service Desk has rich functionality and is stable, its skin is old and cumbersome.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user653574
    Specialist
    Vendor
    The flexible envelope provides many ways to customize it.

    What is most valuable?

    The flexible envelope provides an infinite number of ways to customize it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I can easily say that SDM is the core of our organization. We have integrated a lot of related systems, implemented contract management logic, and some HR functions, such as vacation planning routines.

    What needs improvement?

    Rebuilding the visual interface in the same style using modern web technologies can extend the usability of the system for up to 10 years.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I’ve personally used CA Service Desk since 2013.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did have some stability issues, but with some fine-tuning, supported by CA support and the CA community, we resolved them.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We did have some scalability issues, but with fine-tuning, supported by CA support and the CA community, we resolved them.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Our current version is not within the scope of technical support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was performed by our integrator.

    What other advice do I have?

    The system covers all of our enterprise needs. However, in order to adapt it to your business needs, you will need to have an experienced staff. Familiarize it with your enterprise and with Service Desk's undocumented methods and routines, such as SPEL, WAND, and overall daemon logic.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user653556
    IT Operations and Services at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    You can make your own tables and add fields.

    What is most valuable?

    Customizability. You can easily make your own tables and add fields. Each customer is different and over time, things change. This product is flexible.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is scalable and we are a big organization.

    What needs improvement?

    The upgrading process needs to be improved. They need more testing with more customers before the release. We are dealing with a lot of defects that should have been caught before the product was released.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for 17 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not had any scalability issues.

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

    We didn’t have a previous solution.

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

    This product is worth the cost.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I didn’t evaluate any other products. I worked for CA at the time when I first started using this product.

    What other advice do I have?

    This product is ready to go as is. It can be customized, but you need a dedicated administrator to manage customizations.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user497190
    Student at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Consultant
    The Reporting and Dashboards components allow you to measure customer contracts.

    What is most valuable?

    Multitenancy does not require a standalone implementation per customer. Reporting and Dashboards are components which allow you to measure customer contracts.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We can use the same installation for several and independent customers (multi-tenancy). ITIL processes.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more flexibility on KPI and SLA definition.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used the product for 6+ years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I would give technical support a score of 6/10. …

    What is most valuable?

    • Multitenancy does not require a standalone implementation per customer.
    • Reporting and Dashboards are components which allow you to measure customer contracts.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • We can use the same installation for several and independent customers (multi-tenancy).
    • ITIL processes.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more flexibility on KPI and SLA definition.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used the product for 6+ years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I would give technical support a score of 6/10.

    How was the initial setup?

    The high availability setup is more complex, but nothing special.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated ServiceNow.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a stable and good product, with several integrations and an interesting API.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    it_user588606
    Sr. System Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    The request, change, and asset management features are valuable to us.

    What is most valuable?

    • Incidents
    • Request management
    • Change management
    • Asset management

    These are the core processes for organization, as we are more focused on them.

    How has it helped my organization?

    When we started, we did not have a proper service catalog or services, and there were many complaints from end users regarding our services.

    CA Service Desk Manager has helped us publish our service and provide better service to our users. That’s why our satisfaction rate has increased over the years.

    What needs improvement?

    Mobility is one area: There should be improvements in terms of implementations and content.

    Also, they have launched Xinterface, which is very good, but it is restricted to only to incidents and requests. It should be used for changes, as well.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using CA Service Desk Manager for eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any issues related to stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not had any issues related to scalability.

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

    Pricing and licensing are affordable compared to other IT system management tools.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated BMC and HPE.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure that you have your processes ready so that the implementation will be easier.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    Ahmed Issawi
    System Architect ITSM application at Michigan State University
    Video Review
    Real User
    Certain parts of it are expandable and customizable. The UI looks dated.

    What is most valuable?

    Some of the features that we really like about the solution is that certain parts of it are pretty expandable and customizable. The support that we get from CA has been pretty good. We haven't had major issues with them, and they're really responsive as well.

    The tool itself is an enterprise tool. It fits our needs and we can actually expand it out to the further campus, instead of just having one area of focus or one group using it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Honestly, we started off just using one part of the solution, just using request management, and then gradually, as they've improved the application, we've actually started to use it more and more. Now, we use it for our change management, our problem management. We started to use the mobile application and the unified self-service. We've started to expand as CA has focused more on their ITSM tool.

    This solution has helped align our overall IT and organization strategy because it got rid of shadow systems. Before, because we're the central IT department, every area kind of had their own shadow system or some way of doing change management, or some way of doing request management, or incident management. Basically, we kind of unified all our processes to bring down the cost. Everybody's on the same page. Everybody knows what's going on. Our outages have dropped. Our communication between areas has increased. It's been a huge benefit for us.

    What needs improvement?

    Honestly, I would like to see them really change the UI for the user experience for the Service Management piece, or the Service Desk Manager piece, to match the unified self-service, so it looks more modern and more sleek.

    It'd be nice if they actually improved the mobile scalability, so if somebody goes to that Service Desk Manager tool, it actually will go right to a mobile website instead of an old PDA-style website. Those are some of the bigger issues that we've been getting. The UI just looks really dated.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    System architecture-wise, we changed our solution where, before, they had one type of server setup, which really had some stability issues, but we moved to their new advanced server setup and, so far, so good. We had really good luck with it. We've had some hiccups here and there, but nothing too major.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    With the new architecture that we have, scalability is a lot easier. The system's more adaptable now. We could drop in more servers if we need to, pretty easily.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've used their technical support quite a bit. Their technical support is good, depending on the tech that you get. There're some techs that, as soon as I see the tickets assigned to them, I'm kind of like, "I don't really want to deal with this person," but there's a bunch of them that are fantastic. They'll call you; they'll follow up with you.

    I remember one time I was working with one of them, and we had upgraded and just installed a patch, and he walked us through the whole process. Their techs that are fantastic are fantastic, but they also have, you know, just like any organization I guess.

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

    When we first started, we really didn't have a solution. It was kind of easy just to say, "Hey!" We put out an RFP. We had about 15 vendors, and CA was obviously one of the larger ones. We had them come in and give us a demo, and they gave us more bang for the buck. We've been working with them ever since. As I’ve mentioned, with the upgrades, we've had hiccups, but they've been really easy going about sending technical assets if we needed technical assets.

    The one thing I like about CA is, they're willing to work with you. Their service is huge. I really don't want to have somebody that's a stickler; that's going to be like, "Oh, well, this is what you got; this is all we can help you with." CA will sometimes, depending again on that technician, they'll go over and beyond, and help you out. Their sales folks are really good. We haven't had any problems with them. We reach out to them if we want a ticket escalated; they'll escalate it for us. They're pretty consistent on their communication with us, so it's really good.

    How was the initial setup?

    We've been using the tool, the CA tool, for about almost 10 years now. When we initially set it up, it was pretty straightforward because we came from nothing. We didn't really have a service management tool.

    We’ve had some hiccups with the upgrades themselves. There were some growing pains. I know they're trying to do a unified installer, and they're trying to make things easier, but they're still not there.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We had one vendor – this is a long time ago – called iET and it made it to the final round. Their issue was, they didn't support Firefox; all they supported was Internet Explorer. They kept on telling us, "Oh, it's on our roadmap, it's on our roadmap." We waited. We delayed for six months until their "roadmap" was supposed to come out. They never did Firefox, so it was pointless; why are we going to only use Internet Explorer?

    We had Remedy. BMC Remedy was one of them. They were a little pricey. One of the departments that joined with us had a bad experience with them.

    FrontRange was also evaluated. FrontRange was pretty small at that time. They weren't really this big player as they are right now.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go in with an open mind. CA sometimes has a negative connotation just because it's a big company. Go in with an open mind and work with the sales person. Get one of their technical assets onboard so he can take a look and see what the system can do, because there's a lot more that it can do than what they actually try to sell you. Just go in with an open mind.

    If I would have rated it a year or two ago, I would have rated it lower, because I felt like CA just totally gave up on ITSM service management portion. They kind of said, "Oh, well. You know, it's out there and that's it." Honestly, for the last year, they've been really doing a good job. I think they've become more agile. They've been doing a really good job of keeping things up to date, getting the customers more involved. They have a new customer form, where they allow you to vote on features and such.
    They still have a way to go for them to catch up to other companies that are out there for their service management tools but I think they're in the right direction.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user572859
    Sr. Software Developer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Real User
    Integrates change management, incident management, problem management, and CMDB.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the ability to integrate many processes – like change management, incident management, problem management, CMDB, all of them – in the same tool.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The benefits that we are seeing from the service management is since you can integrate the products, you can make correlations of which changes cause incidents, or which configuration updates have changes or have many incidents over a certain period, and from that, gather more data to work with it.

    What needs improvement?

    From the implementation side, it's a tool that you can customize a lot. This customization sometimes, on upgrades and so on, it gives you a really hard time, so I would suggest trying to build a solution that you can operate with the customizations that the product allows you to do.

    I would like to see a new UI, and stuff that will keep customizations going on so you don't have to do all of the reworking all over again to keep up with the next product version.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability just depends. In small shops, it's very stable, but once you go into big shops, such as banking infrastructure, that have many policies, sometimes there are some challenges there.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It gives the opportunity for growth. If you have more services and more users, you just keep growing and scaling the hardware and the software, and you still get the same response.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup just depends whether you have training or not. Usually, you just need the first training. After that, you can just follow up with the guidelines that CA has given to you and you can pretty much go through them.

    What other advice do I have?

    The most important criteria when selecting a vendor like CA is just the recognition; the support provided for it. I want to have support from a company and CA just delivers that.

    My rating is basically based mostly on the integration; to try out a new solution, and we chose service management; the process integration. How many solutions can give you that process integration together in just one tool? Most of the tools are just for tickets, incidents, or problems, but they don't give you the whole package together.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    ITCS user
    Senior System Engineer at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    The SLA escalation feature is accurate and helps manage the services delivered.

    What is most valuable?

    • SLA escalations: The SLA escalation feature is accurate and helps the service management team to manage the services delivered, as well as to monitor the performance of the analysts working on the tickets.
    • Multitenancy: This feature allowed multiple logically separated entities to work on the same ticketing system. There was complete data isolation.
    • Ease of editing code: The code behind the UI and the functionality is quite easy to edit and does not require much learning time.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Multitenancy has helped to use a single solution for multiple departments. This way, there was a single ticketing system for many departments, which saved a lot of cost and helped the departments with organizing their requests.

    What needs improvement?

    There are later versions available that we are not using yet. Many desired improvements have already been included in those versions.

    Nonetheless, here are a couple of ways they could improve the product:
    - Better reporting: Data specifying which ticket spent how much time in which status should be easily available/stored somewhere.
    - Readily available plugins: Plugins should be made available for integration with third-party tools that are commonly used (e.g., Nagios). Such integration needs to be developed externally. This improvement can make the tool really popular.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    I have not encountered any deployment, stability or scalability issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues with stability. This depends on the level of customization done.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is 8/10.

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

    I did not previously use a different solution. We have been using this product from the beginning. It was chosen because of the features available at the given cost.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    One-time setup was done by a vendor team and later, other implementations were done in-house. The documentation is sufficient to help with the implementation and scalability should be kept in mind when implementing.

    What other advice do I have?

    For organizations that are beyond the startup phase but are still not very huge, this is the ticketing system to choose.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user577890
    Project Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It is secure, scalable and there are customization possibilities. They need to get rid of Flash.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features of this product are security, scalability and the possibilities for customization.

    We can’t compete with the price against small local vendors. Demanding customers are our market.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have mainly made money by selling our consultant services around it.

    What needs improvement?

    Some the features that can be improved are:

    • Usability: xFlow is a great step forward, but further steps are needed. Public bids in Finland often require HTML5 UI. xFlow fulfills that requirement.
    • Public bids in Finland often do not permit browser plugins: Java or Adobe Flash Player. In such cases, we just have to offer other solutions since Visualizer requires Flash. Thus, there is a need to get rid of Flash.
    • Internalization: Check out language plugin in ServiceNow. CA is quite far behind in this area.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution since the year 2009.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Some bugs have been found during the years, but they have been resolved.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I have not encountered any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It’s okay. We have had issues while getting fixes for a few older releases.

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

    We had tried a local competing solution in the years 2014-2015. Their UI is much more suitable for sales presentations. However, they have too many issues with stability and their technical support is at a very poor level.

    How was the initial setup?

    ITSM deployment projects are always quite difficult.

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

    CA is competitive, i.e., if there are a lot of end users compared to number of analysts. However, that is not always the case.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We considered both global and local vendors.

    What other advice do I have?

    A customer comment after our sales presentation (CA Service Desk Manager + CA Control Minder): "We have finally found a vendor who is serious about security."

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners.
    it_user581052
    Technology Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    The most valuable features are the service catalog and process automation.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the service catalog and process automation; in deployment, the ICT automation and self-service.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Self-consumption of services by end-users Standardization Automation with increased effectiveness

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see integration between the service management products and consolidated application of patches.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I encountered issues with scalability. The solution is 32-bit.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I…

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the service catalog and process automation; in deployment, the ICT automation and self-service.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Self-consumption of services by end-users
    • Standardization
    • Automation with increased effectiveness

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see integration between the service management products and consolidated application of patches.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I encountered issues with scalability. The solution is 32-bit.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I would give technical support a rating of 9 out of 10.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial installation was simple. The initial configuration and integration between products was complex.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure you have a strong official CA support presence.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user585885
    Director de Servicios at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Automatic functions allow us to implement business rules by configuring the tool, without code.

    What is most valuable?

    With CA SDM, my entire service management business is ITIL aligned with better productivity across all IT processes. From incident management to release management, CA SDM empowers and energizes ABS and their clients.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are ITIL compliant and we have a lot of experience implementing IT services. We offer these facilities to our clients and customers. SDM has many automatic functions that allow us to offer value when implementing business rules in a short time and without code, just by configuring the tool.

    What needs improvement?

    We are an enterprise that sells IT services and all our areas involved in IT processes use the tool.

    I think each tool suffers difficulties when a customer has requirements completely outside the standard, which is very common.

    Technical support is good, once scaled to a second level. But usually, there are difficulties in the first approach.

    CA develops and acquires enough tools and adds them to its solutions, but does not necessarily fully integrate them before releasing them. That also makes initial implementation difficult.

    And finally, CA currently has problems delivering the tool in the cloud. CA tried to insert a new tool in the cloud but failed. Today, only MSPs can deliver the service, but not CA directly.


    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using CA Service Desk Manager for 12 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In 12 years, we had only a pair of important isolated stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not really had any scalability issues. Rather, the companies are the ones that often do not have clear information about when they have to make the jump to a next level.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have a lot of experience and do not have much need of manufacturer support. But, like most large companies, it is an area of opportunity.

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

    We looked at open-source solutions and other branches like IBM or Remedy. SDM, at the time, offered critical differentiators that made us change and stay until now.

    How was the initial setup?

    SDM comes preloaded and preconfigured. We have started a service desk in a week, but without a doubt, the difficulty comes from the customer environment; the volume, the processes to be assembled, their level of maturity, etc.

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

    It is not the most expensive nor the cheapest solution. It depends on the negotiation with CA, but in general I think it is a fair price.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated BMC Remedy and ServiceNow.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend evaluating the tool with companies that have already implemented it. It is very important that you can find references that can be consulted.

    You want to know about their time of experience in the market, whether they are certification tested with the manufacturer with an expert level, and are a reliable business partner for implementation.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user578808
    Applications Analyst at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We are able to gather information either directly from the product interface or from data extraction.

    What is most valuable?

    The completeness of information on each ticket is one of the most valuable feature of this solution. We are able to gather information either directly from the product interface or from data extraction. Any reports that our analyst users request are available in some fashion.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is often the center point of reference on discussions of either outages in other applications or planned modifications in hardware or software.

    What needs improvement?

    There is nothing major in this product that needs improvement; maybe more documentation is needed for database relationships.

    Although, the documentation in the Administration references, is very detailed and complete with respect to the internal/external table names, field definitions and relationships, it is difficult to determine database table inter-relationships, without examining and tracing paths. A person needs to start with a major table, and follow each reference field to the next table.

    It would be beneficial, if there were diagrams with basic table interconnections within the major areas, such as Contacts, tables relating to Change Orders and the same for Incidents/Problems. This way, it would be much easier for the support specialists, who are just learning the system, to know where to find ancillary information related to the main tables.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for five years; probably even longer on the previous version, before my time.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have hardly ever encountered any stability issues. There are very few instances of unplanned outages – at the most 1-2 per year.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not had the need for scaling it. This product was configured in a way that we could use it for many years.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    CA technical support is outstanding. They are very responsive and always have an answer.

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

    Previously, we used an older version of the CA product that was no longer officially supported.

    How was the initial setup?

    Since we were not upgrading but installing a new instance, the setup was very complex. We had to define all the configuration items and establish user update routines specific to our installation. However, there were CA support individuals on-site who were very instrumental in a successful installation.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Personally, we did not evaluate any other solutions. We were upgrading an existing product.

    What other advice do I have?

    You need to plan ahead and talk with the CA installation support in order to define as many of the user areas as possible, prior to beginning the setup. This can help you have an easier method in setting up areas such as ticket categories and workflow steps. Otherwise, there could be a delay in installation while these are defined.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user579465
    Data Administrator at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    MSP
    Owing to the integration with BI, we can create reports to modify our processes.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the features of this product is to elevate the customer experience. Due to the constant needs of the experienced customers, we always have to make changes with the way we are working so as to achieve satisfaction for our clients; this application has many ways to do that.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have certainly increased our quality level.

    First of all, the system is more robust. In this way, we can elaborate on more complex services. At one time, we had a lot of processes.

    Secondly, the application has the possibility to integrate with other systems and transforms more solid information.

    Lastly, owing to the integration with BI, we now have various possibilities to create reports in which we can see where and when we need to modify our processes. Therefore, there was a decrease in the number of open and duplicate tickets.

    What needs improvement?

    One area of this product that needs improvement is the user mobile experience. We need to get more solutions on the mobile devices of our clients so that they have the same mobile experience as they have on the computer.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for about four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Particularly, I didn't have any issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    None of my clients have reported any scalability issues, neither have I experienced any issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    CA technical support is one of the best that I've seen.

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

    I have used a different solution before but it wasn’t what my clients really needed; thus I moved over to this product.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward, i.e., once you have almost everything planned, it is quite straightforward.

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

    It is a bit expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. The product is worth it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We had evaluated and looked at the second product in the market.

    What other advice do I have?

    Plan every step that you need to implement and always look ahead to what your client would need in order to get there.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user578793
    Software Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    The process automation component cuts down on the workload of teams, and organizational and clerical work.

    What is most valuable?

    The process automation component is incredibly valuable. It cuts down on the workload of teams, organizational and clerical work, and allows employees to be more efficient.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see not having such strict compatibility requirements when working with other applications. This is just limited to certain parts of the application, though, such as email and how it interacts with certain servers.

    This solution doesn’t always work in the real world with company and security requirements.

    To clarify further, there are some parts of the application that have some inflexible settings, i.e., for the Maileater feature, you can only specify certain ports, encryptions and 1 certificate. This doesn’t always play nice with the email servers. For example, what happens if the settings that CA SDM send, are not the recommended settings that the email server is expecting? Maileater is the biggest issue we’ve had recently, and I’d provide another example, if I could. It is an issue to keep Java up to the latest security level, as it makes working with CA SDM also a little slow, but that seems to be a universal issue with many applications.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    The company has had the product for a while. I have only been using it for a year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    They have two setup options. I can only comment about the advanced availability setting, which is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There have been no issues with scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The support staff is amazing and if they weren’t, I would have given this solution a lower rating.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was only involved in performing a reinstall on our development environment. The setup was easy. The documentation could have been better for a couple steps, but support was able to help.

    What other advice do I have?

    The product works very well when using all the recommended apps with it. I suggest using the recommended or preferred hardware and OS for the product so your life will be a lot easier.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user558528
    Senior Application Support Engineer at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    When you want to find other tickets that relate to the incident you're working on, the search usability is valuable.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the usability of the search when you want to find other tickets that relate to the incident you're working on.

    We have all of our different ticket types in one area. There are incidents, requests, and change requests all tied into one application, so you don't need to go to different tools. It makes it easier to find all the data in one spot.

    What needs improvement?

    I don't know. There's really nothing that I can think of. Everything always can be improved.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's really stable. We haven't had much downtime, so it's been a very solid product.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't used technical support personally. My boss uses CA technical support. He handles all the issues.

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

    Our old solution was not meeting our needs. It was very hard to use. It was causing a lot of people issues, so we needed to find something new.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn’t involved in the initial setup, but I heard that it was pretty straightforward. They didn't really have very many issues. The CA people were able to help out with any problems we had.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I don’t think we looked at other vendors before choosing CA.

    What other advice do I have?

    Have resources available and people who are dedicated to the product.

    When we select a vendor, we look for a company that's a leader in their industry, or somebody who has the backing to support the product that they sell.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user558594
    Systems Administrator at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    We integrated all our processes into one and allowed us to retire custom-built solutions.

    What is most valuable?

    It allows us to integrate all our processes into one. It allowed us to retire several disjointed custom-built solutions. It helps us to fulfill requests and change orders.

    What needs improvement?

    Our key requests are being implemented in the next release. There is a knowledge management portion. It is very cumbersome to create a knowledge management document. That’s one area that could be improved.

    The Knowledge Management module in Service Desk Manager is cumbersome and hard to use. It’s not so bad for browsing and viewing knowledge documents, but to create content is extremely time consuming.

    The main problem we have is, you can’t simply paste screenshots into the knowledge editor, they first have to be uploaded and then, attached to the document. We would love to have the ability to copy/paste screenshots into the knowledge editor, similar to how you can add images to an email.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The only time we ever have stability problems is when our environment is not stable, so it's a perfectly stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    They typically get back to you quickly regarding the less complicated requests. For more complicated ones, they obviously take longer; but they're always excellent.

    How was the initial setup?

    I only got involved a few months after it was implemented.

    What other advice do I have?

    Try not to bite off more than you can chew. Try not to piecemeal.

    We emphasize a partnership with the vendor and their ability to understand our business. The more they understand about our business and our goals, the better aligned we are. It is not always just about the technology or whatever the functionality is.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user558381
    IT Executive - Application Development at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We have integrated it fully from servicing the customer to he network configuration. We want more visibility into how the network layers are linked.

    What is most valuable?

    We have integrated Service Desk Manager fully from servicing the customer, right down to the network configuration. It's fully integrated. That provides many customer benefits, and enhances our customer experience as well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Service Desk Manager keeps our customers updated regularly regarding any network outage and aware when we will respond to his request and when it will be repaired. Our customers receive better service and we also have a better experience serving them. The CA tool is actually helping us and we can see drastic improvement from it.

    What needs improvement?

    The view we now have of our customer base, and how they link to the network is more of a bottom-up approach. I would like to see it from a top-down approach. We want more visibility into how the network layers are linked. That's the next stage that we are working toward.

    I also want to see how we can bring DevOps automation and lifecycle development into the equation, and evaluate how that helps us to mature much faster.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have been at this more than a year. It's quite performance stable. We're doing more enhancements to our setup. The initial implementation covered 70% of our network. So now, at full capacity, we're adding additional features and have implemented more enhancements. There is deeper integration with our business systems and operating systems that give a fully integrated view regarding how CA Service Desk fits into the bigger service offering.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Currently, we are busy migrating customers to use to Service Desk. We are going to scale up to about 4 to 5 million subscribers. This will allow us to further extend our look at network integration as well. It's going to extend far.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've got onsite technical support from CA. My impression is that they have improved drastically since we started.

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

    We had a request to scan the market. CA was the best product at that time. They needed to make sure that our service catalog was communicated regularly within our business, so that everybody is briefed on what is new and how CA has evolved.

    We needed a product that would integrate with our architecture. This is important, because we were looking for a specific piece, and it fit the puzzle nicely. There were certain features we were also looking for; a set of business requirements that we had to fulfill. That was basically our criteria.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the initial setup. The first one was quite complex because we had to integrate into legacy systems. We had to integrate into new solutions with other suppliers and integrate into the integration bus, so it was quite complex.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There were other suppliers that we also looked at and compared. We looked at the Asian companies.

    What other advice do I have?

    What helped us is that at the beginning is that we had a lot of offshore support. The best is to get CA onshore support. Then they understand the culture of the company. It's not only from a documentation point-of-view. They understand how to interact with different people. I recommend this even if you are based abroad. A local presence for us meant a lot.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user467817
    Sr. Service Desk Analyst - NSD Incident Management at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It serves as a cross-reference for other tracking tools we use in our daily work. It’s always bothered me how you need two steps to close a ticket.

    Valuable Features

    Creating tickets is a frequent part of our job. The scoreboard allows me to check for high-priority tickets, check status of tickets I created and search for tickets with keyword searches among other plusses.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We lean on it quite a bit in creating incidences, tracking them historically and following up open tickets created by a number of sources. It also serves as a cross-reference for other tracking tools we use in our daily work.

    Room for Improvement

    It’s always bothered me how you need two steps to close a ticket (solution then update status) to do essentially one task. I’d love to see that merged into one easy step. I also have issues with Configuration Items but I think that it's our issue, not a CA issue.

    Use of Solution

    I started using this program when I was hired in August, 2013 and there was a major upgrade roughly a year ago. I can’t quote version numbers to you, however.

    Stability Issues

    We have major problems keeping SDM up and running with issues popping up once or twice a week affecting service. I do not know if it is the software, the server or the lack of a backup to fail over service to. I would think more resources should be devoted to it.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    We always contact our technicians first and they contact CA if necessary. Often, the issue is resolved with a 20-minute reboot of the server. From my end user prospective, I’d say 7/10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Incident Manager at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Users can now log calls themselves, instead of needing Service Desk administrators to do it. It should offer automated email logging.

    What is most valuable?

    Incident Management module: Tracking events or incidents is one of the most challenging work phenomena in the workplace. Convincing your clients to report issues is another different isolated task that, when done right, tremendously improves TAT.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The IT team becomes more effective and efficient because there is workload sharing. Where a Service Desk administrator would have had to log a call, Users can now do it themselves to get a service.

    What needs improvement?

    Automated email logging: The tradition in the workplace for communication will always be email. If emails can be used to automatically trigger calls, that is the best thing that can ever happen in the incident management or service desk process. This would save a lot of time, plainly speaking.

    There should be a way for emails sent to a particular address to trigger an alert to create an incident or request, similar to SIEM automation mechanisms. If this is already available, my apologies, but I currently don’t have it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for over three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is quite stable and highly scalable. No issues yet.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is 7/10.

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

    I’ve used SCSM (System Center Service Manager), quite a good product from Microsoft. The difference is in scalability; there was a need to use a web application compared to an in-house product solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn’t directly involved in the initial setup of the product.

    What about the implementation team?

    Solution was implemented through a vendor. It is a good product to implement; quite feasible.

    What was our ROI?

    It really has a good cost-benefit analysis for any business with a large employee base.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a good solution for service desks.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user508716
    IT Service Management Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    You can fit ITIL incident management into the Incident Management module. Ticket event and notification creation/management is cumbersome.

    What is most valuable?

    Incident management

    How has it helped my organization?

    Adoption of ITIL incident management for business process re-engineering was very easy to fit into the CA Service Desk Manager Incident Management module. It allowed IT operation support to easily identify, track and monitor incidents with data in 45 days that was analyzed. Within the first calendar year of deploy, the incident manager was able to strategically set and meet the field support goal of responding and resolving 25% of incidents remotely.

    What needs improvement?

    Ticket event and notification creation/management is cumbersome and has not improved over the many versions I've worked with. Workflow design and management requires knowledgeable administrators with programming experience.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for 9+ years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have encountered stability issues, although the tool is relatively stable in smaller to mid-sized environments and has gotten better with newer versions. Complex client environments can severely impact stability. When there are network hiccups, the system does not recover easily without manual interaction.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The tool can be load balanced and clustered, which makes it very scalable. The architecture can be designed to segment the Service Desk support team and the regular users. This is helpful as the Service Desk can continue to work efficiently when other users are experiencing performance degradation.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Vendor support meets customer SLAs. First-level technical support is very good at escalating as appropriate.

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

    I have used many different solutions. My role is a consultant that helps design and enhance service management solutions. The customers mainly switch as they adopt the ITIL framework and move away from non-ITIL products that cannot be (easily) modified/adapted to fit the new IT operations strategic model.

    How was the initial setup?

    Installation is straight forward for conventional configuration following CA-recommended specifications. Advanced Availability configuration is more complex and requires good planning.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    As a technical consultant, I'm usually brought in after tool selection is decided on.

    What other advice do I have?

    The tool supports several of the ITIL processes. Plan the implementation such that when other functions/processes (inter-related as well as non-interrelated such as ITAM, CMDB) are to be brought online, the initial implementation solution does not need to be re-engineered.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user488811
    Senior Consultant at a tech company with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Important features are Incident/Request/Problem/Change Management, CMDB, and Business Intelligence.

    Valuable Features

    Incident/Request/Problem/Change Management, CMDB, and Business Intelligence.

    Room for Improvement

    From the user’s perspective: One of the most criticised aspects by the clients is the web interface, which is not too user friendly and hasn’t been changed in the last years. CA is trying now to promote an additional new interface which is more user friendly, but in this new interface, they removed some key functionalities. So, it brings value on the design, but with the price of losing some features.

    Use of Solution

    I’ve been using it for the last eight years.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    They usually have three levels of support: 1st, 2nd and 3rd, which are the developers. The 1st level of support is not always too experienced, but you can get real help from the 2nd and 3rd level.

    Implementation Team

    I am part of a reseller team. The initial deployment of the application with the default configuration is not very useful for the client. The post-installation and configuration of the solution requires more advanced knowledge of the tool, as it allows a high level of customisation through scripting. If you have an experienced implementation team, you can get very good results and value from the solution.

    Other Advice

    For the first step, before deciding on a product, first make a detailed analysis of your internal processes and establish a list of key functionalities and requirements.

    Present your requirements to the reseller/vendor and get details about how they can be implemented in the solution. A big advantage of this solution is that with a proper definition of the processes, almost anything can be configured & scripted.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a reseller & implementer for the vendor.
    it_user481026
    CTO at a tech company with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Robust, highly configurable, scalable and extendable.

    What is most valuable?

    Non-Functional

    1. Highly configurable, scalable and extendable
    2. Customizable with almost Hot Deploy except for business logic
    3. Quick and has awesome architecture
    4. It's robust

    Functional

    1. Fully fledged Support on Request, Incident, Problem and Change on various scales along with CA PAM and CA SC as well as supporting the classic workflow. It supports Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and Single Sign-On through Active Directory and other supported LDAP systems
    2. Effective SOA layer supporting both SOAP and REST
    3. Good SLA management along with Response measurement. It supports boht a single SLA or multiple SLAs
    4. Strong logging mechanism with configurable event, activity notification, email eater. The email eater allows for ticket creation and updates via email without having to log into the application. Also, the Normal survey, and for change management, Risk Survey.
    5. From 12.5 onward, it comes with a combined CMDB and visualizer along with Remote Support for taking remote control of end users while working on a ticket.

    How has it helped my organization?

    1. Bundled CA EEM (LDAP Application from CA) has improved, and it supports multiple AD integrations in v12.51.x
    2. Up to v12.7, the load balancing feature (Primary and Secondary Server Configuration) was crude and script based, and from v12.9 onward, it is UI based. Apart this, from v12.9 onward CA SDM supports advanced availability which assures fail over along with load balancing
    3. Internally lots of schema structures have changed to help improving our performance
    4. Knowledge Management becomes smarter and from 12.9 onward it becomes federated Search enabled to capture from heterogeneous sources, Like Google, SharePoint etc.
    5. Support community is strong and end users and customers can ask for feature enhancements through the Community after getting it verified by the product engineering team
    6. v12.5 onward, Incident, Problem and Request Management can be extensible or customized with CA ITPAM. Initially it used to have CA Workflow which is replaced by CA ITPAM i.e. much stable, robust and high performance process automation engine.
    7. v14.1 onward, CA Service Desk Manager gets packaged with CA Service Catalog, EEM, ITPAM, Open Space – a common portal to raise and track ticket for end user (but accessibility is controlled through licenses)
    8. Integration documentation has been improved a lot with code snippets and examples since v12.5
    9. Role Based Access Control allows user to login to the system with permissions based on their role. Single login and Multi-tenancy, hosting multiple sub-business units in a single instance were introduced in v12.1.

    What needs improvement?

    1. Release Management is not supported out of the box
    2. SLO Management
    3. Cloud, SSL Configuration, Remote Support and Chatting
    4. Support for different mailing protocol other than SMTP, POP3/IMAP such as for MS Office 360 exchange
    5. Conditional Survey so it doesn’t send a survey on the closing of a Parent Ticket but of the children

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for eight years and have over 20,000 hours of project exposure on it directly and indirectly.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    When we upgraded from 11.2 to 12.0, we faced an issue but later found out that it happened due to information discrepancies caused by ineffective data maintenance of CA SDM by our customer.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have never faced an issue in a supported environment using the out of the box features. If we encounter an issue, we follow the log by increasing Log levels or contact CA Support help resolve it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It can handle request of around 5000 concurrent end users in an optimum environment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    2008-2011 – 3.5/5

    2011-2014 – 3/5

    2014-Present – 4/5

    They have a very fast turnaround time, strong community, and helpful support team.

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

    We have never worked with another product.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. One can dump all databases and applications with one primary server into a single box with a minimum 8 GB RAM for applications and 8 GB RAM for databases in a vanilla setup. This allows you to have CA CMDB, Support Automation (Remote Connect to the end user by an analyst) along with a ticketing system and Knowledge Management.

    A vanilla setup involve the following three steps, and the times given are adjustable +/-15 minutes -

    1. Database setup (10 minutes)
    2. Software installation (45 minutes)
    3. Configuration (five minutes)

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have never worked with another product.

    What other advice do I have?

    Understand Requirements and ITSM Processes for the required organization and identify the process stakeholders. Then, schedule a phased deployment, e.g. Asset and Configuration Management first, then Request, Incident, and Problem Management, then finally Change Management. You should consider solution architecting and conduct Training for the end user.


    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We were a direct partner of CA Services, India, and we directly provide services to end customers.
    it_user489930
    Senior Consultant at a tech company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    CA is seen as an experienced, reliable partner. The product suffers from poor design decisions and implementation in some areas.

    What is most valuable?

    The important part for me is not related to any of the features the product offers as such as it doesn't offer anything some other product wouldn't offer. What I find comforting is that CA has been around for decades and therefore it is seen as a reliable partner, so companies buy their software even when there would be possibly better alternatives available. If I'd have to name one feature that makes it a viable option for some, I'd say it is the on-site installation instead of having your possibly sensitive data in the cloud.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I've worked as an employee and as an independent consultant for a number clients so I can't really speak to how this product has improved my organization. Usually, the organizations that decided to buy CA's service management solution had a very poor incident/request/change management system and process implemented, and this is what they got the product for. For some customers, it was way overkill when they would've been better off with some other commercial or open source solution. For some customers, it was scalable and robust enough to take the load the customer's use required.

    What needs improvement?

    The product has traditionally lacked the tools to support data migration from development to QA and then to production. CA has made a tool for this on the latest release but I haven't laid my hands on it yet. Also, data manipulation outside the UI - the parts that aren't modifiable through the UI by default and where the effort to enable it would be disproportional to the gained benefit - really lacks support from CA. They do ship tools that can achieve this but they're clunky, counterintuitive and prone to errors. Additionally, they bypass all the checks the system has in place for ensuring data integrity. Therefore, no, I'm not a big fan of those, and I've written my own tools to handle the data manipulation in a way that all the checks are made. Luckily, CA provides a couple of APIs for this. Also, the UI is a bit outdated and, while CA is working on bringing it to this century, they're still far away from it. The good part is it's pretty much just good old HTML and JavaScript, with just a hint of syntactic sugar from CA and you're golden.

    The product has potential and if your business is flexible enough so that you can adjust the way of working to what the product offers out of the box, then it might be a good solution. However, I'm cutting down the score because of bad design decisions and outright bad implementation on some specific areas. Also, customizing the product to your needs beyond the basic UI changes means you'll have to hire either CA's professional services or an external consultant. Luckily, that's what pays my salary, so I'm not complaining too loudly. CA does offer training for this but they don't tell you the juicy bits. You'll have to reverse engineer and hack your way around to get to them.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've worked with the product since 2008.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Deployment is more or less point-and-click.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is usually ok, but sometimes you encounter issues that are sporadic and you have no way of reproducing those. Therefore, in the end, you just learn to live with them and find either a workaround or a quick-and-dirty fix that will hide the issue until it resurfaces. Since version r12.7, there has been fault tolerancy and high availability features built into the product, but it could've been done better. Officially the load balancer only supports F5 load balancers. However, with the price tag they have, I don't see too many medium or even large organizations going with that. They cook up their own solution, trading off some of the capabilities that make the system fault tolerant or HA in the first place.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is fine and their customer service manager actually follows through if you give them not-so-positive feedback on the case review you get after every case is closed.

    Technical Support:

    Tech support is very courteous and it has some of the sharpest minds I've seen in CS that just enjoy the first line support and they really know the product inside out. Then there's a bunch of adequately competent people who can get you past the first line and you'll get your case handled even when it takes a bit more explaining.

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

    Apart from the user perspective, I have no experience in the design and implementation of alternative products beyond the basic installation.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty much next-next-next-next-ok, if you just need to get it running to play with it. After you start thinking about security or fault tolerance and scalability, it becomes more complex. However, just to evaluate it a blunt tool from the shed will be enough to ram it in and get it running.

    What about the implementation team?

    This is not relevant, as I'm working as an independent consultant doing the implementations. But if you want my advice, for the design, try to get someone who knows the product but is not in CA's pocket already. That way, you'll get honest opinions and options given to you. For the implementation, it doesn't matter, as long as the designer is supporting the implementation phase, has some stake in it and is technically able to do it in case the implementation team lacks the skills.

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

    I'll say this: This is not cheap. However, with the rather hefty price tag, you do get the support from CA and for the alternative commercial products designed for same scale use, the price is still competitive.

    What other advice do I have?

    Contact CA and get a 30-day trial license. You'll get to see the product and play around it. It will not be enough to implement any custom features you want apart from the very basic ones, but at least you can get a feel of it. Additionally, you could hire a consultant to evaluate the suitability for your business, assuming you have the service management processes mapped out already. If you have no established processes and you can implement whatever process the tool can support, then you're good to go and it's only a matter of comparing the prices.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user500109
    IT Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The Visualizer automatically affects the map based on relationships. Personal Response is helpful in following a standard format across teams.

    Valuable Features:

    • The TWA option for CA CMDB along with the simulation of CI and relationship data in GRLoader.
    • The MDR button on the CI page, which directly takes you to the integrated MDR Source.
    • The Visualizer, which automatically affects the map based on relationships.
    • Personal Response, which is helpful in following a standard format across teams.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    We implemented this for a customer. The major improvement in functions is their ability to track, report incidents, problem, changes and configuration management.

    There is no documentation available from CA for SPEL code; I hope they make this available, so that we can customize it more 

    CA Service Desk Manager used a SPEL code to perform different action in the tool. To create a new action or condition generally know as macros (type: action macro, condition macro etc) knowledge of SPEL code and how to use it important. Unfortunately CA does not share any document around it hence we as administrators cannot customize it much like we can in servicenow, remedy etc. So if they can make it available, we could tune or optimize CA SDM as per specific requirements and it will help the tool to sink in the organization implemented. 

    The process of adding new columns in the DB and publishing it from the front end is a lengthy activity. I hope they make adding columns and tables in DB easier. 

    Creating a new custom column in servicenow is a child's game as you can do everything from the UI. No service restarrt, code execution etc needed. However, in CA SDM the process of adding a new column is a little lengthy with service restart and few steps needed, hence this is where they can improve upon.

    Room for Improvement:

    • There is no documentation available from CA for SPEL code; I hope they make this available, so that we can customize it more.
    • The process of adding new columns in the DB and publishing it from the front end is a lengthy activity. I hope they make adding columns and tables in DB easier.

    Other Advice:

    It pretty much does the work it’s intended to.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user467319
    Technical Team Manager at a engineering company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We have had no issues scaling it globally throughout our company.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The tool itself is valuable as a result of all its features combined. Therefore, I have found that there is no feature more valuable than another."
    • "Ease of support and upgrades need much improvement."

    What is most valuable?

    The tool itself is valuable as a result of all its features combined. Therefore, I have found that there is no feature more valuable than another.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The scalability of a product this size has provided us with the most improvement. Being able to use one product globally throughout our company to capture and report on all IT work being done has provided the most benefit.

    What needs improvement?

    Ease of support and upgrades need much improvement. We don't have a dedicated team to support this system, and we still need to rely to much on services to perform upgrades and major patches due to the complexity of the system. Also, their mobile application does not allow us to configure it the same way as the system is configured, so we cannot use it at all.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using it for four and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We had many issues, especially in the first release we implemented (12.5). In later releases, the overall system stability has improved greatly, but there have been other stability issues with specific parts of the system functionality. They do seem to provide test patches that help with stability of those areas, but with each new release there are new specific functionality stability issues that need to be addressed.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have had no issues scaling it globally throughout our company.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Support is great. The engineers should probably work a little closer with the support and services teams on new releases to better understand the overall issues. They need to understand the issues that older versions had to ensure they they willnot re-occur in the new release, as well to ensure that any new functionality does not create similar issues that will need to be addressed. I think that too many 'test' patches are provided specifically to one customer that aren't carried over to the new release which causes that customer to have to address that issue again with support in the new release, and again receive another 'test' patch. Introducing more configuration options for these would give customers the flexibility that is needed for these areas.

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

    We also looked at BMC Remedy and GWI.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's complex. Customers aren't really able to implement this system themselves, unless they are going to use everything out-of-the-box.

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

    I don't see anyone other than large companies being able to afford this system.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We previously used a system that wasn't scalable to use globally, which is why we switched.

    What other advice do I have?

    Most vendors will tell you that you don't need a full time dedicated person or team to support and administer their system, but you really do, especially if you are going to utilize everything it has to offer. This person should understand the code, since some supported changes are made at the form level by changing or adding to the code.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user375492
    Founder | Business Operations Performance Analyst at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    The most valuable features for us are the ability to calculate service levels for different time periods as well as the ability to store and archive contracts.

    Valuable Features

    The most valuable features for us was the ability to calculate service levels for different time periods as well as the ability to store and archive contracts. BSI has templates for calculating key services levels as well as the capability to allowing coding for more complicated, unique measurements. Data for key metrics in individual contracts can be used to creat

    Improvements to My Organization

    It's given us the ability to allow for automation of service-level reporting.

    Room for Improvement

    It needs better report-generation features and allow for different types of data.

    Use of Solution

    I've used it for six years.

    Deployment Issues

    There have been no issues with deployment.

    Stability Issues

    There have been no issues with the stability.

    Scalability Issues

    There have been no issues with the scalability.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Technical support is excellent. I give them a 9/10.

    Initial Setup

    The initial setup was straightforward and was done by a third-party installer. I'd recommend using the three-tier solution rather than the two-tier solution for installation.

    Implementation Team

    The implementation was done with a combination of in-house and vendor reams. Be sure that your hardware and storage capabilities are adequate prior to doing so.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Licensing costs can be high as they're based on the number of service-level metrics rather than by user. For a large number of users, try to get the enterprise license rather than individual licenses for each metric.

    Other Advice

    Plan what information is needed for reporting before entering contracts and metrics for calculation. Have a visual basic developer on your team to script business logics used for metric calculations.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Lead Operations Analyst at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Vendor
    Several of the benefits that we've seen have been the ease of use, the implementation of it, and the actual transition from our existing solution.

    Valuable Features

    I handle primarily the back end of the tool. A lot of the benefits that we've seen have been the ease of use, the implementation of it, the actual transition because we had an existing product prior too and we're moving from our vendor product to ITSM. At the time, we were very concerned about how long it was going to take us to actually do the upgrade and it actually turned out to be not a long and arduous process as we thought it was going to be.

    Improvements to My Organization

    The biggest things that we've noticed has been the actual performance of the tool. In Maximo we had a lag and again, it's more or less because it was a shared tool were as we have a dedicated tool now. When we went to the tool that we're now using, SDM, we noticed that the performance was so much more increased than it was in the past. People were noticing pages would maybe take like 10 seconds to come up. It was almost instantaneous as soon as they'd click submit. That's the biggest hurdle that we had to overcome was just to demonstrate how much more of an increase time to resolve an issue we can give our customers

    Room for Improvement

    Room for improvement I would say from a back end perspective, I would say they need to streamline a lot of the code that they're using. I think it's very bloated, I think it has a lot of extra things that it doesn't really need. Things like for example, USS and Liferay. I mean, it's a great implementation and I think it can be used together if it was done appropriately but we haven't really seen much of a benefit in the way the tool works for our needs. For other companies I'm sure they've managed to implement the two and find a way to work with it but we've haven't had that kind of luck. I would say in those terms of getting a lot of the stuff in the backend, from my perspective, is to take a lot of the stuff out, look what they actually need, streamline the product, and then push it out forward.

    Stability Issues

    We've had a few outages and a few bugs we've discovered. We've identified them and we've brought it up to CA's attention. They actually were very quick to get us a resolution towards that. We did have to work with our sales team to make sure we did have the right individuals in place but once we did that, we reached out, we did get a fast resolution.

    Scalability Issues

    The scalability of the solution has been very good. We think that it could definitely grow with our organization, it's just a matter of dedicating the resources needed to actually get that accomplished. When we first started developing the tool and putting it out there, we didn't actually scale it appropriately where we needed to. For companies looking forward, the biggest hurdle I think they need to do is actually look at how much they plan to use of the tool initially and also gauge in the future how much they think they're going to grow and not over estimate or at the same time, underestimate the usage of it.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    There was a couple actual legitimate issues that we had. We started of with 14-1 and we were one of the first customers to implement that so there was definitely going to be some growing pains and some things the we discovered. Once we brought it up to CA's attention, we've had like a mixed bag at first and I think that's probably because the tool was so new and there was not many people on the service side that were really, really intimately familiar with it as they were with the past tools. We were constantly getting the, "Hey, we know version 12-7 or 12 whatever. I think it should still work like that in this new version." Once we started getting into it and it matured a little bit over a couple of months the support got a lot better.

    Initial Setup

    When we first did our development and implementation we didn't scale appropriately so we were not dedicating enough resources to the tool. All those bugs and issues we've been discovering initially were partly self-inflicted wounds that we had to overcome. Once we then worked with CA and said, "Well, it's not really so much of a bug or a problem, it's because you only got one core dedicated to this and you can't do much with just one core." Once we started getting our ducks in a row and start saying, "Well, how much do we really want to dedicate to the tool and how much do we want to see ourselves in the future." Once we started getting those aligned into our business needs things started to work a lot better.

    Other Advice

    Rating: I would definitely say it's an eight. I'm not going to be super positive and super negative but it's an 8/10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user373104
    Director of Technical Operation Services at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Consultant
    Provides us with a framework to be able to deliver reporting and metrics.

    What is most valuable?

    When we selected it, it gave us a framework, a structure in the space of idle, which is real important to our company because understanding how we deliver service in the areas of incident management, request management, and change management in our company are very important. The reason that they're important is because it drives our SLAs for our customers. Service Desk gave us a structure that we sorely needed to be able to deliver reporting and metrics and make sure that we're staying on time and what we promised to our customers.

    How has it helped my organization?

    CA Service Desk benefits come in the fact that it gives you some aspects of automation, which is really key to our operation. We're not a typical help desk like most companies are that use Service Desk, we're a service center. While it is only used internally by our users, it touches our customers. Therefore, it's really important that we had a tool that was going to allow us to do things in a precise manner and do it in a way that gave it the structure and the automation - keeping people on track. Instead of training everybody on thousands of business processes, it's really important that our users be able to walk in, sit down, and know what to do because the tool is driving them to do their job. Versus, the user driving themselves.

    What needs improvement?

    One of the biggest things we're talking with CA about is the integration between CA and PAM. PAM is a powerful tool, in fact, CA PAM is the single most important employee in our company because it basically orchestrates well over two hundred thousand operations in a month's time and it has an extremely low failure rate. One of the issues that exists, and I don't know you can really call it an issue, but it's not there yet, it needs to be tighter integration between PAM and Service Desk and they understand that, because the PAM engine for driving business automation and workflows is so critical to our business and keeping us on schedule and doing things.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Very good. Our platform is a Windows based platform. We started off initially on a Linux based platform, but we found that it was best to migrate ourselves over to a Windows based platform. Ever since we have done that our availability, our failover, it's impeccable. It has been running at an average of 99.95 consistently now for the better part of the year.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The tool allows us to adapt to many processes across our company. We have a lot of silos because of our business units. Therefore, the practices or the processes that we use to support our customers or the products differ, they're not all the same. It's very difficult when you have that many type of products to support, to make the business process for one product be the same for another. Fundamentally they might seem like they're the same, but they have all their very distinct differences. Escalation points and so on and so forth and Service Desk has allowed us to do that.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent. I have a wonderful relationship with my account management team. We've had issues just like any other technology company. Nothing unusual, but I can tell you that the people that support me are there every second, every minute that we need them and they make sure that we're doing the things necessary to either get a problem resolved, or if we're doing some type of upgrade to our software, that type of thing, they will go trough every step of the way from a QA, to a dev environment, to our production environment, to make sure we're successful.

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

    First we adopted Idle in our company. The Idle framework. We needed a tool and we chose another company, It was FrontRange. The problem with FrontRange was it didn't have enough structure to it. When you're a young company implementing Idle, and you don't have the right structure in your tracking system, you can go off in fifty million directions and we did. We recognize that, we were having problems reporting. We were having problems telling ourselves how we were doing in delivering our service.

    The tool had flexibility, but it gave far too much flexibility for what we needed, so we started to look again. Then, we met with CA, we talked to them about Service Desk and we started to understand what the structure was that CA Service Desk was going to bring to us. Yet give us the flexibility that we need, which is important, but it's not too flexible, it kept you sort of boxed in, and that's not a bad thing when you're doing adopting Idle. Therefore, when we measured CA Service Desk versus the other companies that we looking at and what we already had, we found that it was going to be the best solution.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Actually, no there weren't any other options. When we went through the list, when we were doing all of our due diligence, we measured five other companies against CA and then against what we had with FrontRange and we made the decision that it wasn't even worth the effort of really sitting down and talking negotiations with the other companies.

    I give it a 10/10. It's because of the impact that it's had on our business. It now tells us how we should do our work. It now tells us how we can staff. It tells us how we're doing, and it's reliable. That in itself, that's the reason why. If you're truly an adopter of Idle, the reason I would tell you to choose Service Desk is because of the structure that it comes with, and the out of box features that it gives you. Which makes the job easy for implementing Service Desk, because we migrated from FrontRange over to Service Desk.

    What other advice do I have?

    We looked for, obviously, how does it work within the Idle framework. What kind of information do you get from it? How easy is it to report against? Metrics are key to any IT business. What about the automations, what kind of automations does it have already built in and what automations can you build in. When we were looking at the different companies that were out there, we looked for the company that was going to best meet all those criteria. Price, the cost of it, was important, but it was not the key decision.

    We had a very flexible FrontRange system that had lots of data, but we were able to easily migrate all that data into Service Desk and into it's structured environment, which to me was huge. It made the job very, very easy. If you're going to look at a tool and you're going to make a decision, don't make it based upon cost. Make it based upon it's ability to deliver what you need to understanding your business and the service delivery industry.



    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user373311
    CA Administrator at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Vendor
    The integration with our monitoring products and other solutions is key for us.

    What is most valuable?

    I would say the integration to our monitoring products and to other products that we use, that's really key for us. Ease of use, it’s very easy to train. We don't have any issues with people getting in or having access problems. That's been the greatest part - it's easy to administer. Our stability has been really great. We are currently in the process of upgrading to a newer version. We have not run into any issues. We've had a great work with CA.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see probably not so many individual modules where it kind of wraps it all together. I would like to see like asset management be part of Service Desk so that I don't have to keep buying more modules, I can have everything in one.

    Integration is probably one of the biggest for us. We want it to be able to integrate with everything we use so we don't have to rip and replace everything.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I would say it’s pretty good. Like I said all the integration and stuff like that really gives us the ability to scale it to whatever we need. The CA technical support has been amazing. We have had really good luck with every issue that we run into, has been resolved within probably three days. Communication has been amazing. It’s definitely top notch.

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

    We were on a very old version of Remedy, lots of issues. Moving to CA was a pretty easy choice, cost and everything came into play. CA was definitely the right choice for us.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    It’s the integration between all the different tools we currently use. Really ServiceNow was the only other. There was a lot of things that CA could do over ServiceNow that we liked. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would probably rate it a nine and mainly just because the fact that I would like to see more modules included in service desk. Again I keep going back to integration.

    Really look at everything you use and how you can integrate those together, really evaluating that and how easy it is because everybody will tell you they can integrate and for the right amount of money, everybody can. You really want the ease of integration. We were already using Spectrum. It was an easy option there because of the fact the integration was so easy. The integration with X matters that we were already using made sense. It’s very simple and easy to do those integrations compared to having to build new APIs and stuff in order to have those integration.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user373302
    IT Operations Lead Analyst at Belk
    Video Review
    Vendor
    The end-user experience is most important to us because we have both IT and non-IT users submitting requests.

    Valuable Features

    Most of all is the end-user experience. In your company you have IT experienced people and non-IT experienced end-users. They need the ability to reach out, report an issue, or request something that they need to do their job. They need the ability to get that done quickly, utilize different technology other than calling a help desk, and get it done quickly, and get the metrics behind the scenes that we can report on what's going on in the environment.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Service management includes incident problem change and request. From an end-user perspective, it's more around the incident and request area where an end-user can request a service such as needing hardware, software, or accessories that they need to do their job. From an incident perspective, they might need to report an issue, if something's broken and they need it fixed, that could be with something on their workstation, and that could also include something with an application that they use to get their job done. They need the ability to report those issues and get them resolved quickly.

    Stability Issues

    We did have some outages in the beginning when we were deploying the tools into our environment. A lot of it was due to perhaps not having the right hardware that was required, or the memory. You need to get the specific requirements involved to run a good solution. I think it can absolutely grow with our company. We need to look into broadening the services that we have in place today, just keep advancing and improving on those services, adding additional services to the users to make their experience good.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    We've had some really good experiences with technical support, and we've had some not so great experiences with technical support, but our direct contact team at CA has been very, very helpful in getting us to the right people that can help resolve our problems quickly.

    Other Advice

    We have a lot of end-user feedback that can contribute to improvements with the tools. The way that it's designed, we have a lot of recommendations based on end-user experience that can really contribute to improving the tool for an end-user experience. The tools are very IT focused, and we just need to incorporate more of the end-user experience when designing the tool. That input could be very valuable to CA.

    I don't think anything is a 10/10, I would give it an 8/10. Best practices would be absolutely involving all of your processes before implementing the tool. You have to design the tool around your processes, and then from an end-user experience you want to make sure that you have viable how-to documents that you can distribute to those customers' end-users on how to use the tools, training, if you're able to provide training to those folks, communication about what's coming, and make sure that they know how to use the tool and be successful using the tool.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user373089
    Chief Customer Officer at a government with 501-1,000 employees
    Video Review
    Vendor
    The most valuable features that we're finding right now are the customer service portal and the ability to have a one stop shop experience.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features that we're finding right now are the customer service portal and the ability to have a one stop shop experience, and that's what we're using the tool for. Been a lot of upgrades in the last year or so that have let us be much more customer friendly and create a portal that's easier for our citizens and state employees to use.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The benefits are if you go back a year, we'd have 20,000 tickets a month and we were to having to track each ticket individually and using the new integrated portal, we're able to combine those into workflows, and actually track a user's experience from the start to the finish. We were finding that we had to try to look for individual tickets and maybe people were closing tickets when they finish their part, but it didn't give us the whole picture. We've really been able to get out the metrics of a full service experience. That's been our prime focus over the last year.

    I like to call what we are establishing is our operating model. I call it our ecosystem and so we really worked with the CA architects to design what that should look like, how it would integrate with other existing software and tools. We built a picture so everyone can understand this is what we're building, just like a real architect plan would be, and it let us have a road map for a few years and go to our state and get money to actually implement something.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I think the stability of the solution is pretty good. We've not had any major issues. I think that it's been stable and consistent and pretty quick response times.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability I think has done a reasonable job for us. We're at the beginning of setting up, we've about 15 workflows and we want to get to 30 or 40. It's not been that challenging for us to make that happen. What we've learned is that the tool can do what we want but you have to make the business process changes and to establish the workflows. Get in the process to finding people to work in the new way has been the real challenge.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We do have access the architecture team specifically and do need to talk to the technical support staff. They've been able to help us through anything that we have challenges with from little problems to bigger issues. What we've really seen is the architect help at the beginning has really helped make our solutions better even before we implement them.

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

    I think that we did use some other vendors to help us implement some of the solution, and some of those groups were not as strong as we might have wanted, but I think everything from CA's perspective has been pretty strong. The one element that we've wanted to see improved and we've really worked with them on is the user interface is what I like to call a little conky and so we are consistently working with them and the product marketing people to make it better.

    Mostly it was a financial forecast, looking at how much it was costing us to do that. Also we're working in Colorado to setup our own cloud serves and maybe that we offer to the counties and to other state or other cities inside Colorado. It was just time to put that into our data center and a little bit more in our control, but really it was a cost scenario where it saved us money to convert those licences and better idea for 2 or 3 years and then we can look at where we could be in the future. Maybe the cloud providers were not as advanced we might have wanted at the time.

    How was the initial setup?

    I think we were a year, year and a half into our big implementation of that whole ecosystem. I think initially we probably had some bumps and it was a little bit slow based on we were in the cloud, and migrated back into our data center so that we could see growth and speed and improvements there.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We really looked for the capabilities of integrating with other systems. There were a lot of interfaces already defined, easy ways to leverage, we had VMware, internal setting infrastructure team already, time keeping systems. We probably had 2 or 3 of their products already, so it was easier to add the others rather than completely change it all together, even though we're completely open to the future looking at what is possible. Right now it makes sense for us to work within the existing suite. In the state government funding models, we have to plan 18 months in advance. You're never really current if that makes sense, so we look for mature tools rather than bleeding end solutions, because we can't take the risk.

    I think we were certainly looking at ServiceNow as a possibility, and they would be a good provider and can meet a lot of our potential solutions. We couldn't replace things that we already had with CA, so it was an easier transition to use what we had.

    What other advice do I have?

    I think it's a 7 or 8/10 given that it certainly does what we needed to do, but I don't know if it's anything spectacular. It seems like it integrates things rather than really operates in more new and modern ways that I think the current population wants. Maybe that's a perfect fit for the state employees or a mixture of that, but I think that we would want to see continual improvement and really think differently in a way that mobility needs to operate.

    I think I would really look at the business process first and then what are you willing to do and what are you willing to change. There are a lot of solutions that are possible. I think the CA suite really does work well, but you have to work at it. You have to be willing to bend to any solution's workflows, and so I think you just have to look for the one that's the best fit for your willingness to change.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    it_user618126
    Engineer Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    The Service Catalog integration for service delivery is a feature that we find useful.

    Valuable Features

    The Service Catalog integration for service delivery is a feature that we find very useful and we're getting great benefit from it.

    Improvements to My Organization

    User satisfaction has improved dramatically for our customers. It's really improved a lot since bringing in Service Desk. This has, therefore, improved things internally for us.

    Room for Improvement

    We would like to have a unified self-service tool for all the tools that Service Desk Manager integrates with. This would really improve the product.

    Deployment Issues

    We've had no issues with deployment whatsoever.

    Stability Issues

    It’s very strong with stability, no doubt. Because of its stability, we are able to improve our user experience -- and that’s invaluable.

    Scalability Issues

    It's scaled just fine for us.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    The technical support at CA is good at times, but it works very slowly. They are also at times not responsive, which is not good.

    Initial Setup

    Set up was very, very easy, and we were happy with this. There was no problem at all on this front.

    Other Advice

    Make the most of the documentation, this is essential and would be my only advice for this product.

    First, make user experience your focus. Second, get Service Configuration for this.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user355596
    Applications Analyst at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's been helpful for us when we've had to make a lot of bulk changes, bulk uploads, and import/exports of data. But when we want to customize something, we can't do it easily and it's not intuitive.

    Valuable Features

    The most valuable features for me are the scalability of it, its ability to bring in everyone at one time, and all the data-related functionalities. It works with products that were not easy to pull in, whether it be the CIs or contact data. So that's really been helpful when we've had to make a lot of bulk changes, bulk uploads, and import/exports of data.

    Room for Improvement

    Customizing it is very, very difficult to do. Although I know we're supposed to stay away from the code, we've got a lot of things internally where we can't revamp the processes and we'd rather use the tool than have to create customized things. But when we want to customize something, we can't do it easily and it's not very intuitive.

    I'd also like to see a Quick Request function.

    Deployment Issues

    It deploys just fine.

    Stability Issues

    It's got a lot of weird, inconsistent behavior.

    Scalability Issues

    It's scaled to our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I've used technical support quite often. To rate it, I have to break it down. As far as responsiveness goes, 7/10. Overall knowledgeability of the product, there have been some cases where it's taken three or four weeks for us to get a test fix out. There is no internal support with extraction there; so that one is none. I've had maybe our cases with extraction, and technical support has always had to play the middleman, and then wait until another person is available for assistance. So overall knowledgeability has some work to be done.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user355599
    Director of IS Portfolio Management at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's provided us many, if not all, of the tools that we're looking to use and implement in our system. We can't, however, simultaneously perform Quick Incident and Quick Request.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Before Service Desk, we were kind of flying a bit blind internally. With it, we're still in the honeymoon phase, but it's provided us many, if not all, of the tools that we're looking to use and implement in our system. And the online community has been excellent as well.

    What needs improvement?

    I'd like to see a Quick Request function. I think the reporting has been a little bit lacking as there are some basic dashboards, metrics and reports that we'd like to see that we've struggled to get out of their out-of-the-box system. So I'd say the reporting hasn't been quite as robust as we'd like it to be.

    I think many of the good features are outweighed by some of the services and support issues we've had, and so again, we're still in the honeymoon phase, and we've got some struggles that we're trying to resolve. I think we're probably going through some growing pains.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We went live in August, but our implementation lasted longer than the norm, so we had probably almost a two-year implementation.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's had a lot of weird behavior. It's been stable, but almost a little schizophrenic. A perfect example: We have a solution center that our level-1 analysts are primarily using. If there is a Quick Incident, they perform a Quick Request, but not together, and not consistently one or the other. We've brought this up with CA, saying, "We really need both, because these are people that are putting in 50 and 60 tickets a day, and the steps that they need to go through outside of Quick Request or Incident just take too long. Our metrics are really tanking because of this." And the response was, "Oh, well, you shouldn't have performed Quick Request." "Okay, well, we did, so now we want both." So we've had that discussion with them in development because we've found this inefficiency in the system.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We're not at that stage yet.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The community groups that we've joined have been excellent. We've gotten a lot of information from those.

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

    We came from HP, and it was well past end-of-life to the point where we were pretty much holding our breath on a daily basis as to whether it would stay up all day or not. So we waited, probably, well past the useful life of the HP system, and that's what prompted us to start looking at not only a service desk solution, but we also wanted a more robust solution.

    The CA suite has a larger availability of th ose modules that we could work together to get the whole package. We are using monitoring a bit, so we use UIM, and we just went live with SDM. And we, of course, use Service Desk. So the expectation is to implement as much of the suite as we possibly can in a step-wise fashion.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was not straightforward. We essentially pulled out a legacy system that worked our team to the hilt as we were bringing in not only a new product, we were also bringing in a new process. We were looking at how we could follow a certain methodology, so it was a double whammy for our staff to develop that, so our implementation took a little longer.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did. We did an analysis that came down to two different vendors, CA and another, and we ended up going with CA for a couple of reasons. We have several people in the organization who had experience with CA. Also, we felt there was less risk because CA was established in the market.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user355584
    Business Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It integrates well with other solutions on the CA platform as they're all designed to work together, though its biggest weakness is the user interface.

    Valuable Features

    The biggest strength of Service Catalog is that it's integrated with other solutions on the CA platform. They're all designed to work together.

    It is, however, pretty generic. It's very similar to other service desk modules I've seen and used in the past such as ServiceNow, Remedy, and others like those.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We're essentially in business services. The role of the business architect that we play is the definition of our services to our customers, the internal capabilities to support those services, the service delivery processes, the design of those processes and automation, the structure of the organization, rules and responsibility, functions, and change management. Service Desk helps us with all of that.

    Room for Improvement

    Its biggest weakness is the user interface.

    Stability Issues

    We don't experience a lot of down time. It's so stable.

    Scalability Issues

    Recently since we've been doing more automation, there are some scalability issues there, just in terms of volume, transactions, and speed. End users have gotten notices that say, "Script running, do you want to continue?"

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    The development and support teams handle that.

    Initial Setup

    I wasn't involved in the implementation.

    Other Advice

    Determine what the impact would have on your organization and how it needs to operate. There's this fundamental change that comes with buying a platform like this. Don't assume that you can just put Service Catalog out there. If you really want to take advantage of the entire suite, there's a significant organizational impact on how you manage, your job descriptions, all of it. It's recognizing what it is up front before you make a purchase.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user354909
    Business Process Management Consultant at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    We've been able to manage the expectations of 180,000 users as if they were just one, although it still requires very technical developers where it shouldn't have to in 2015.

    Valuable Features

    The most valuable feature is its integrated nature. Compared to other service catalog and business process management suites, which are highly flexible, what you give up in those is the integration with other feature-set functionalities, platforms, and modules that would make up the rest of your IT organization. Hands down, the premier feature of the CA platform is the integrated nature of that platform. It's designed to work together.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Try managing the expectations of 180,000 users as if they were just one. That's how much it's improved our functioning.

    Room for Improvement

    I'd like to see CA continue to invest in the initial engagement of my end-users with Service Catalog. I would like to see CA continue to invest in form, design, and functionality.

    From a developer's perspective, the biggest weakness is what you can and cannot do. I'd like to see CA continue to invest in reducing a need for technical staff to engage in process automation, vehicle limitation, and product design. I don't like to see developers in 2015 writing code for things that other companies have already figured out for a while.

    Stability Issues

    Service Catalog and the Business Process Management suite over the last 20 years have gone through unbelievable instability. Over time, you have all these vendors that are consolidating up into the large players. Provision was bought by Metastorm, Metastorm was bought by OpenText, Lombardi was bought by IBM. That's instability. CA needs to invest.

    From our end-users' perspective, it's fairly, very IT. This is obviously coming out of IT's solution. If you're looking comparably and relatively across Service Catalog that runs in the process management space, CA fell behind. They need to invest. They have been and they may need to continue to, so there's huge weaknesses in form functionality. Form design, form functionality. There's huge weaknesses with respect to your general approach to a committed processes to automation. I still require very technical developers where I shouldn't have to in 2015. This is nothing that they haven't heard, and they're already responding. They are investing. They need to. If they're going to play in the States, they're going to need to keep investing.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I don't get involved in that. That would be more the development team and support team.

    Implementation Team

    I wasn't involved in the implementation.

    Other Advice

    Understand what you're buying.

    If you're talking about just implementing Service Catalog and committing service delivery processes and automation, the organization can take the approach and adopt the strategy of, we're going to go and listen to our customers about what services they want and listen to our operations staff about how they want to operate and how they want to speak and how they want to do things. And that's a very highly flexible Business Process and Management suite. This is not that. This is, essentially, an ERP system for IT. There's going to be a certain element where the delivery team is almost informing, I know that's a horrible word, but informing, influencing the conversation of what we are doing to adopt a CA-driven data module. We are going to adopt the way in which CA intends IT to run its IT organizations, and we are going to implement a framework here. That's a very different approach. It needs to be an executive-supported and executive-understood.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user354894
    Director, Development Teams at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    We use it to fulfill requests from customers whether they are incidents or new requests. The reporting is not as agile as we'd like it to be.

    What is most valuable?

    We already have a service catalog in our IT department and one of the problems that we had was that we had several interfaces to users. The user had to know when to go our catalog to ask for something from IT and when they had a problem, they had to go to another interface to report an incident. One of the things that we're trying to do with the service catalog is to have it so people don't need to know in advance if they have a problem if they're asking for something new. Our idea was to remove that decision from the customer so customers can put in whatever they want and we decide if it's an incident or new requests. That's the way we're transforming our catalog to work that way.

    In the background we have Service Desk where we fulfill the requests from customers whether they are incidents or new requests. It's a big transformation and I think that the customers quite like it.

    I don't know if it's uniquely good, if it had to be CA. It's just that since we had some problems with our previous service desk platform because we made a lot of changes to it. It was very difficult to upgrade to the new versions because we had a lot of development put on top. This was one of the things that we did when we adopted Service Desk is that it had to be configurable and it would work out of the box and only with the configuration. We don't want to develop anything on top. That has been very good with the decision that we made because we've been able to upgrade the software versions in one month which is amazing. It's nice that they have a video interface.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Customers don't have to decide where to go to report something and they don't get those answers that we sometimes do, the technical people do. If you report an incident then they decide it's not an incident they'll tell you this isn't an incident so go to the other screen and just put in your request.

    What needs improvement?

    It's technical aspects. In fact, there was some technical issues in the way the product was built that in the long run could get us into trouble. We didn't actually have any problems but the new releases have redesigned the way things are and so I think it's much better now.

    Most of these products are bits and pieces and when you bring them all together you bring them as bits and pieces. If you want something to be robust there are some aspects that you have to redesign some of the parts so that they can glue together.

    Sometimes we would like things to be a bit easier. I think the reporting could be something that would help and I think this happens with most of this sort of product is that you need a lot of reporting on these sort of solutions. It's not as agile as we would like it to be.

    I think reporting is always something that I think we feel that these products are short on. The problem with reporting is that you need to know the data model that's behind it so that you know what objects you need.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We've had no issues with deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's been stable for us. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scaled just fine.

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

    Right now we actually have a contract with them for Service Desk support. They're the ones that are bringing in people to get support to the Service Desk.

    What about the implementation team?

    They are helping us evolve our Service Desk. It's a long-term contract for that, sort of a professional services thing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I was not part of the selection process. I know that HP was one of the vendors. I don't recall if IBM was in there as well. We previously had BMC.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user354888
    Senior Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Whereas other products are very confusing, it's easy to maneuver around in it and it's user friendly. The more customizations you do to it, the less stable it becomes.

    Valuable Features

    Compared to others, I like the ease of Service Desk. It's easy to maneuver around in. It's very user friendly. Things make sense where some other products we looked at, they were very confusing.

    We found that there's plenty of things that this tool does that we frankly aren't utilizing. Other tools looked neat, but when we got to really looking at it we just have it. We're not using it to it's potential to be honest with you. We do have the CMDB, but we're not utilizing a lot of the integrations to the potential like the IT workflow. A lot of the automated processes we're just not using and I'm sitting here looking at this stuff going, "We are barley using this tool."

    We could be doing a better job, but unfortunately out hands are tied because it takes our system administrators time and effort to implement these things for us. Whether we want them or not, it's whether their team has time.

    Room for Improvement

    The thing that gets me is they sell it as a customizable tool, but the more customizations you add to it, the less stable it becomes. So over the last few upgrades, we've tried to come out of box as much as possible, and that has worked for us. Sometimes, people want and want and want and change and change and change and we find you really can live without all those customizations and it works just as well, I mean, works better. We're getting ready to upgrade to 14.1 and we were talking about that. Really, the last few years, we haven't really had to use the word outage very often.

    I've suggested a couple of improvements. It might not mean anything to you specifically, but I have joined one of their communities and suggested that, when it comes to groups, they need to have a separation of groups so that you can have a separate group for work flow tasks in the change side than you do on the other side. The problem is, we have business people and different approvals on the change side that need to approve change orders, but they don't need to be involved on the ticket. But what happens on the incident problem request side, when people are playing hot potato trying to get the ticket out of their queue, they're looking for a group and they're picking it whether it's a my work flow group or not. We've tried to creatively name them so people won't use them, but there needs to be a separation. You ought to be able to select what modules you want that to be available in.

    One other thing I can think of. I've noticed with this latest upgrade they're starting to change their terminology. They're calling incidents issues in the service catalog and I'm really curious to go talk to someone about that. We have what we call an issue module for our business side and that is for our external customers. When we plan to bring about the service catalog, they're going to be really confused when it says open an issue. Why did they do that? Why did they change that terminology and I've heard them use it in here. You know, "When you go to open your issue." I'm like, that's an incident. That's not an issue. That's two different worlds.

    Deployment Issues

    We've had no issues with deployment.

    Stability Issues

    It's reliable.

    Scalability Issues

    It's scalable.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    That would be the tier above me, so I haven't had to deal with them.

    Other Solutions Considered

    ServiceNow we also looked at. I would have been okay either way. In all honesty, it was more of a cloud solution and we wouldn't have needed our system administrators for as much as the upgrade work. That was kind of one of our driving things that did lean us towards that. The other tools were way too expensive compared to what we had. When we did the comparison, again, the new tools looked tiny and new, but we weren't utilizing what we have. We have some of the same features. We just haven't used them.

    Other Advice

    You don't have to go for the newest item out there. There's reliability, stability in maybe some of the older tools as well.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user354834
    Solution Architect with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Problem management and SDF management are great features and really improve our day-to-day functions.

    Valuable Features

    We love the CMDB, it's a very good functionality. The whole ITO process is very well-defined. Problem management and SDF management are great features and really improve our day-to-day functions.

    Room for Improvement

    The software asset management is a feature for which we don't find the correct functionality. It's something we could potentially use, but it needs to be improved.

    Use of Solution

    We've been using it for six years.

    Stability Issues

    We don't have any problems. It's been very stable.

    Scalability Issues

    We are provisioning other clients in the platform, and it's scaled just fine for us.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    We have a lot of experience with this type of software and manage on our own. We haven't needed to use technical support.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Last year, we looked at other solutions on the market and found some that were cheaper than CA. However, we decided to stay with CA because we already have a partnership with them.

    Other Solutions Considered

    Yes, but we decided to stick with CA because of our partnership and knowledge of the product.

    Other Advice

    CA is very good in both the implementation and operation phases. We've been very pleased.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners
    it_user352830
    IT Analyst at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    I can integrate process management, release, and change into our programs. The initial setup and integration was complex.

    Valuable Features:

    For me, the best feature is the powerful tool to integrate all processes for IT to monitor. I can integrate process management, release, and change into our programs.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    It’s in a language that everyone in the business can understand. It uses not only depictions but also symbolic language, as opposed to language that only IT personnel can understand.

    Room for Improvement:

    It has some stability issues, and it can be complex to implement. The last implementation took us about two years to complete.

    Stability Issues:

    The main problem is the one-point failure, where if one part of the application fails, the application as a whole fails. We need a bigger solution for our tree environment with two servers on which we run 15 services and for which we need service management.

    Scalability Issues:

    It's scalable, but we try to control the number of users with licenses, which right now stands at 900.

    Initial Setup:

    The initial setup and integration was very complex. At the moment, we have an upgrade that is going to take eight months.

    Other Solutions Considered:

    I don't know as I wasn't involved in the decision process.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user351345
    MS Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    The self-service capabilities for our customers has quickly improved our organization. It needs financial solutions that we can use for all projects we undertake.

    What is most valuable?

    First and foremost, when we talk with our customers about the CA brand, they immediately feel comfortable. That's an incredibly valuable thing.

    From a technical perspective, we work and integrate with PMO offices, and they've all integrated Service Desk Manager, so it's something that's widely used and known.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We've improved as an organization very quickly because of it, especially when it comes to self-service capabilities for our customers. It's been a fast, easy, and reliable tool to use, so much so that we've even had auditors who credited us with the quality of the implementation.

    What needs improvement?

    We need financial solutions for all projects we undertake, and Service Desk currently doesn't offer this. It would be of great benefit if it did.

    I think that we need financial solutions for all projects, currently we do not have this and it would be of great benefit.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We've had no issues with deploying it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's a very stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scaled just fine.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I am very happy with our partnership with CA. Technical support is very good. Since the very beginning of our relationship with them, they've provided us with great support and information.

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

    We chose CA because we had previously used CA Spectrum.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very easy. We're quite happy about that.

    What other advice do I have?

    It’s very simple, fast, and has great support for the tools.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user348003
    Senior Service Manager at State of Colorado
    Vendor
    If you enter the information correctly, you can get a lot of data out of it, including trending information. The reporting is not the easiest.

    What is most valuable?

    The customer service portal allows customers to put in their ticket themselves, especially on the application side because sometimes you don't interpret it right when you're on the phone. So it's helpful to be able to to provide and collected that information from the user side.

    We do a lot of applications, so we support a lot of applications. When a client or end user calls in, we have to consistently maintain the case number, the information, the client. It's a lot of details on different applications, so to be able to get that into their own terms is a lot easier for as we help troubleshoot the ticket.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product itself gives you a lot. If you use it correctly and enter the information correctly in the fields, you can get a lot of data out of Service Desk, including trending information, to be able to help us troubleshoot what's going on. It also allows us to be able to determine trends in our issues and to manage those trends to train our end users.

    You can always find a pattern with trending data. If you set it up correctly, you're going to find the patterns, and you're going to be able to resolve issues quicker and be able to improve on your services.

    What needs improvement?

    Reporting is not the easiest. We just purchase extraction features, but again, people need training. It wouldn't be so bad if you could get more information when you do a query within Service Desk and to be able to drop that information into an Excel spreadsheet.

    Right now, you're limited to what is exported, and there's only a certain number of fields, but there's additional fields that I'd like. If I could just add those to export real quickly, it would be a lot easier than have to create a report each time.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We're pretty stable because when we came into it, we knew the number of end users we had. We might start growing it by doing more of our customer-based call center and by adding more of a case management system. That would increase it some, but right now, we've been pretty stable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Overall, we get pretty good response back from them. When we have issues, we bring it up with our TAM, Mandy McGee, but we also set up monthly meetings, so if we are having any issues, at least she can go and get the research done and get us a resolution right away. It's gotten a lot better than when we first had it, when you wouldn't get anything back. Now, it's a lot better than it was three years ago.

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

    We had Service Desk, and then we went to the cloud version. We tried to do it as SaaS, but then moved it back in-house. We went to the cloud, but some of the other products we wanted to use from CA aren't hosted in the cloud, so to make it an environment to where it's all in one environment, we brought it back in-house. It was working OK in the cloud.

    How was the initial setup?

    I helped start that project and got it going, but then I moved on to a different job. I was involved in all of it, especially with the pricing and making sure we got enough licenses.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a vendor to help with that, and then our infrastructure team. Some of the notes are not really clear. They did run into a few issues when expanding across servers. There was a few little bumps, but it's no different than any other system.

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

    It's more expensive in the cloud because you had to purchase per user, but by bringing it back in-house, we can have concurrent licenses. We have over 800 analysts in the system, so it gets cheaper pricing.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We had Service Desk. When we consolidated the IT departments from all the agencies into OIT, Office of Information Technology, some of them had Remedy, some of them had Heat, some of them had Excel spreadsheet that they were capturing all the stuff on. Since we already had Service Desk in the cloud, and we already had been trained on it, it was more just, "Go ahead and move to that," instead of really trying to move everybody off onto something else.

    What other advice do I have?

    Just make sure when you are putting the project together, especially on the server side, that you have the right people in the room to ask the right questions because sometimes not required personnel are there. The right people are your server people, specifically, management-level server people.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user347988
    Senior Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We anticipate that it will replace our request management system, which we've got now in Service Desk, with a more cart-type system, though the documentation could improve a bit.

    What is most valuable?

    I've stood it up and I've configured it and got it working.

    What I like about it are the features that allow me to integrate with Service Desk Manager and Process Automation, and to build creative solutions based on the integration with other CA products.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Although we've implemented Catalog, we haven't used it in production yet. We built a prototype and what we want to use it for is to take over our request management system, because right now we do requests in Service Desk. I think Catalog is going to provide us more of a cart-type system.

    Catalog gives us that cart view if you want to submit a request for service. Right now we are using Service Desk, but we would like to put the request management system in Catalog. It gives us a better buy and it gives us a more friendly view of ordering requests.

    What needs improvement?

    I can't think of any areas for improvement with the product itself, though when I stood it up, the documentation was not as straightforward as it could have been. But I figured it out without much issue.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues with deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There's really nothing for me to talk about in terms of stability as it's not yet in production even though I've stood it up and configured it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't tried to scale it yet, but I don't anticipate any issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've never opened an issue with regard to Catalog.

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

    We're using Service Desk as our request management system, but we'll be moving away from it to Catalog.

    How was the initial setup?

    I don't think I needed anybody's help to stand it up. I think the documentation walked me through what I needed to do.

    What about the implementation team?

    I stood it up myself.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user347988
    Senior Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It provides all users with a scoreboard where they can track incidents, requests, or change orders they're responsible for. I'd like enhancements to how it integrates with process automation.

    Valuable Features

    My involvement with Service Desk Manager is on the administration side as I have a partner who does all the form design and that sort of thing. What I get out of it personally is that it can go beyond out-of-the-box.

    In other words, if I need SDM to do something that it doesn't do out-of-the-box, it gives us the tools to expand it, like the events and macros. It empowers me to be a lot more creative in doing things beyond the out-of-the-box scope of SDM.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Right now, we are using it for change management, incident management and service requests. It provides all users with a scoreboard where they can track all the incidents, requests, or change orders that they're responsible for. It provides the user with a tracking of anything they may have submitted.

    With the simple notification when somethings being worked on, your Service Desk allows you to be creative with the notifications. Who gets what, when they get it, and it keeps dialogue open between service provisioner and the service requester.

    There's always behind-the-scenes notification and tracking of what's going on through the Service Desk incident record or through the change record.

    Room for Improvement

    I submitted an enhancement request and I think it actually made it into the product. It was basically enhancements to how it integrates with Process Automation -- if Process Automation is down and Service Desk happened to call Process Automation for external activity type of thing, I want SDM to be more resilient to the interface being down to that component.

    Also, instead of throwing an error to the user, I'd suggest maybe a spinning hourglass or something. A message that says, hold on, we're trying to talk to Process Automation or something along those lines.

    Stability Issues

    It's not in a production environment yet, but were moving in there. The environment where we're currently stood up on in production is version 12. I think it's holding up pretty good. I think that version 12.9 will allow us to build on a a more advanced configuration, which means that it will sustain an outage better than version 12.5 because you have multiple user interface servers stood up. If one goes down, it still provides user interface connectivity.

    I think 12.9 is going to be a lot better in terms of availability, but I think that SDM does a nice job and isn't buggy. Where it does get bogged down, or it does encounter an error, is that lot of times we're unable to track the error through the error log mechanism, and we then have to figure it out for ourselves.

    Scalability Issues

    The scale that we currently use it at is more than sufficient. We have single server with a single database and it holds up very well for over two hundred users. I think it's doing pretty good.

    v12.9 does allow us to be more scalable if we have to build it for a greater audience of users, but we haven't got that far yet.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I've had to call them on occasion because I've had integration problems with Process Automation. I might've had an SSL certificate-type issue. The people whom I've dealt with were very knowledgeable about the product and oftentimes resolution comes with in a day or so that I open up an issue. I can't say that I open an issue up every week. It's probably more like once a month.

    Initial Setup

    I think it's pretty easy. The documentation was good for somebody who has a background on it. I can stand it up with my eyes closed. I don't know if someone coming to it for the first time could look through the documentation and make sense of it, though.

    Other Advice

    Really, really learn the admin functions.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user347964
    Service Desk Team Lead at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's easy to look up tickets, requiring less clicks compared to CSM, but it seems to crash often on our servers and I'm not sure why.

    Valuable Features

    For me, personally, the ease of interface is the most valuable feature. It's easy to look up tickets, requiring less clicks compared to CSM. The functionality is more robust than CSM.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It wasn't really rolled out to the organization, it was more of an IT tool, because we didn't fully utilize the tool, as we expected to do work in a mature state within the organization.

    Room for Improvement

    SDM could be improved. I don't know if it was in the infrastructure where it crashed a lot, or if it was with the tool. I think maybe I got used to it and then it sort of wasn't an issue anymore.

    Deployment Issues

    No issues with deployment.

    Stability Issues

    I noticed more crashing for some strange reason, being that it's on our on servers and we don't know why.

    Scalability Issues

    I think the issue, though, goes back to if you use the full functionality of SDM. So, we were on it for two years and we moved it over to the cloud. There were probably a lot of factors why we couldn't optimize SDM to its potential. It’s more of an organizational type of factor.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I wasn't involved in the SDM portion of support tickets, so I can't say.

    Initial Setup

    I wasn't involved in the setup.

    Other Advice

    Seeing all the demos at CA World, it has a lot of potential, that we, again, did not make use of. So, it's like, oh, it could do that, really? From what I saw with the demos is that there are a lot of functionalities out there. For example, the new 14.1 version seems to scale more with customers. So, if you're looking for more customer-facing input, I would say that it would probably do it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user347820
    System Administrator III at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The ticket incidents and requests management are the most valuable features for us. However, the level of support needs to be improved.

    Valuable Features

    The ticket incidents and requests management are the most valuable features for us. That's really the primary purpose -- tracking our issues and fulfilling our customer requests. Those are the two main pieces that we use.

    It mainly helps to track hardware issues and issues with any of our applications for the whole system. Any of our applications that have a problem get called into our help desk using this tool. It's as good of information as you can get, so as a ticketing system it works pretty well.

    We use the CMDB to manage our configuration items, devices or assets. We use that to keep track of all of our assets. I think that usability is fine and the interface is pretty customizable as well.

    Room for Improvement

    Support. Support is the biggest thing dragging it down, and the fact that it's not all one integrated package. You have to get different pieces and put them together when buying them separately instead of it being just one whole suite.

    But again, the level of support is probably the area that needs the biggest improvement. But as for the product itself, there's nothing else I can think of as it does what we need it to do for the most part.

    Stability Issues

    I think we've had unexpected downtime in the last four years. We have downtimes, but when they schedule it, it's fine. We had just one issue, but since the latest upgrade it's been pretty reliable.

    Scalability Issues

    As far as tickets go, we probably have about 1300 a month, across at least 80,000 assets. We've got about 300 analysts, and for end users somewhere around 14-15,000. They're mostly just sales service. They enter their tickets and that's it. They don't go into the system a whole lot. As far as active users, probably about 300.

    We had problems several years ago, but we upgraded and fixed some architectural parts of the systems.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I would say that's probably the weak point -- support. They take a while to come up with the resolutions. Trying to differentiate between the PPM and service management, but I would say generally we've had tickets that have taken three months to get results. Our issues don't always seem like they should be that complicated, but even on a good turn around, it usually takes at least a week or two. It just seems like it's slow. It's inconsistent; sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not.

    Initial Setup

    No. I was involved in the upgrade, but not before that. It was pretty smooth.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We've looked at quite a few, including ServiceNow and Microsoft Systems Center Service Management. They have a whole suite similar to CA. Citrix as well.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user347817
    Manager IT Service Support at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's helped us integrate parts of our organization with features such as conflict resolution and incident management. However, I'm eager to see the mobile app coming with v14.

    Valuable Features

    • Incident management
    • Problem management
    • Exchange management
    • Conflict resolution management, defining two configurations items across the board

    Improvements to My Organization

    I think maybe the biggest improvement has been in the integration parts of our organization. Though it's an easy solution to use, I find colleagues talking about CMDB parts. Sometimes I feel that maybe there must be a way to improve it where it's kind of simplified in a way where it's more usable. I think sometimes it's too much for someone to use, or someone gets lost, or someone complains about having too many things in there. It's not easy to manage, not user friendly, and maybe not easy to use.

    So, when you get down to it, you have to see the details in the ways in which it's used. Maybe they have to work out the interface in a way that is more usable based on whatever you're trying to see.

    Room for Improvement

    I know that there is a mobile application version coming with version 14, though I haven't seen it yet. Hopefully it's going to really improve the mobility. It's one of the things that I would love to have. It would help those inside be able to change the way that they are doing business. I haven't seen it, but I would love to see it.

    Use of Solution

    We use the ITN model, and we're about to upgrade to version 14.

    Stability Issues

    Perfect. One of the most stable solutions ever.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    No, we have our own developments.

    Initial Setup

    I'm managing the project, but I'm not integrating the technical part of it. I used to work in the front technical team for the center and the old versions, but nowadays I'm just managing the project as manager.

    Implementation Team

    Implementation wasn't complex. You just have to know what you're doing, maybe you have your process set to where you know where things are, if it's clear enough where technically there's no issues. It's just the way that you want to configure it.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    For a service desk, maybe look at other options due to the cost. It will happen someday probably because of the cost. Now ServiceNow is coming along and wiping out everything.

    Perhaps the cloud will bring down the cost. If somebody has an alternative with a cloud-based solution, that would bring down the cost.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user346467
    QA Lead at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Service Catalog is one place where you can do things for the entire organization, although stability has been OK, not great, as it's determined by the servers.

    Valuable Features

    Service Catalog is one place where you can do things for the entire organization. Whenever a new employee joins, you can put in requests. Now, we're using the old version, though it’s not great. We're trying to customize it to our requirements as a healthcare company.

    Improvements to My Organization

    This is first time I’m working on this platform. I use it for Service Desk Catalog and ITSM asset management. I use all functionalities.

    Room for Improvement

    The new version should have an app, as it’s not in this version.

    Stability Issues

    I’d say it's been OK, not great, but it's determined by the servers. There are so many aspects to the program that if the servers go down, we can't use it.

    Scalability Issues

    There are some limitations, but it's used company wide, around 50-60 thousand users. We just need to upgrade because it gets overloaded.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I've not had to use them as we have weekly calls with CA and they provide solutions to any issues or defects.

    Other Advice

    Use the newer version to get the full support.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    It allows us to define not only SLAs, but actions and notifications in time during the ticket processing, although some improvements are needed in the support and security offered for mail servers.

    Valuable Features

    The most valuable feature to me seems to be that the system is fully customizable and the service types with events and macros, that allows you to define not only SLAs, but actions and notifications in time, during the ticket processing. Also, the unified self-service portal with mobile interface, the knowledge base, Web Screen Painter, and the fact that you don’t need to provide any new password when you are changing the role - you just select the role you want to apply and push the button).

    Room for Improvement

    There are some improvement that can be done. First of all, the interface is pretty old (although it looks ok). There some improvements needed in the support and security offered for mail servers. Also, the system should allow to add new action macros at the interface level, and not through workaround, and some more easy way manage the language support (an easier way to generate the translated interfaces, fewer files to be translated). The Web Screen Painter tool can be improved, since this is a very powerful tool.

    Use of Solution

    I’m relatively new to CA Service Desk Manager, having started using it at the beginning of this year.

    Stability Issues

    The product, once you have implemented in the right way is very stable. You can leave it there to do its job, and only perform administration tasks like creating users and changing minor things. You don’t need to restart it or perform other administrative tasks.

    Scalability Issues

    It is a very scalable product and multi-tenancy feature allows you to give secure access in a multi-organizational environment, or provide services with it.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service:

    I had no problems, so 10/10.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is good, and you have also a strong community. You can even consider some advice from the older product, Unicenter, so 9/10.

    Initial Setup

    The initial setup is complex. CA Service Desk Manager has a complex architecture, and depending upon the features you choose to install, you need more than four machines, which is the minimum number recommended by CA. So, it is an effort, and the same for the business rules. A complex model means a bigger implementation effort, process automatization, means some other extra effort too.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Service Desk Manager price is not very high and the benefits are considerable. If you compare with other products, for the same money, you'll get a more flexible system, with a very nice licensing model (it is licensed per analyst that's processing the ticket, not per ticket or per user).

    Other Solutions Considered

    Yes, we have evaluated more products like IBM, Landesk, Microsoft, and Manage Engine.

    Other Advice

    You won’t regret implementing it. If you have a medium or a large amount of ticketing activity, you will see the true benefits this system is giving to your business. But, keep in mind that you will need a dedicated resource to maintain the flows as they are changing in your activity, the policies, and the system itself. This is because when you customize it, and things are changing, you need someone to implement these changes, and since the system is so flexible, also there are a lot of possibilities.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a CA partner.
    it_user322344
    Specialist IT Service Management at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
    Vendor
    We've established a more organized dynamic and can better plan activities. However, CMDB and the UI, especially for extracting reports, could be improved.

    What is most valuable?

    Service Desk Knowledgebase CMDB Change Calendar

    How has it helped my organization?

    It established a more organized dynamic and the ability to better plan activities.

    What needs improvement?

    CMDB and the user interface, especially for extracting reports, could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Almost a year.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes, but we are using an older version that can cause this.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: It's satisfactory. Technical Support: It's satisfactory.

    Which solution did I

    What is most valuable?

    • Service Desk
    • Knowledgebase
    • CMDB
    • Change Calendar

    How has it helped my organization?

    It established a more organized dynamic and the ability to better plan activities.

    What needs improvement?

    CMDB and the user interface, especially for extracting reports, could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Almost a year.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes, but we are using an older version that can cause this.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    It's satisfactory.

    Technical Support:

    It's satisfactory.

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

    Yes, but I was working in another company.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a vendor team who were satisfactory.

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

    It's difficult to control costs, and it's expensive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I wasn’t here in this period, but I know they evaluated BMC and HP.

    What other advice do I have?

    Keep it simple, and try to avoid customisations.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Member of itSMF Portugal Board at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Pros: can integrate and make complex calculation; Cons: UI is not perfect

    Valuable Features:

    Unique tool that can get data from any other tool, correlate, make complex formulas to calculate SLAs/KPIs, calculate penalty/bonus, alerts, dashboards, automatic reporting, unbeatable for SLM.

    Room for Improvement:

    UI is not perfect, but maybe with Jaspersoft.

    Use of Solution:

    6 years

    Valuable Features:

    Unique tool that can get data from any other tool, correlate, make complex formulas to calculate SLAs/KPIs, calculate penalty/bonus, alerts, dashboards, automatic reporting, unbeatable for SLM.

    Room for Improvement:

    UI is not perfect, but maybe with Jaspersoft.

    Use of Solution:

    6 years

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
    ITCS user
    CTO at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    CA's Service Catalog is an outdated product

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to add external databases.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In combination with Automation for Cloud Services, it has increased the ability to dynamically allocate Virtual Machines for test and development.

    What needs improvement?

    Pretty much all of its areas: It has a very outdated UX - circa Windows XP It has a lot of errors in its documentation. It has a lot of undocumented quirks and limitations. It has a lot of bugs. Its UX does not support HTML 5 style controls resulting in the need to build very bizarre workarounds. Its API architecture is not orthogonal.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    6 months

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Yes. As listed above.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes, in using the Service Catalog Editor it would periodically require that IE be restarted because of the memory leaks.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Yes. Because features like Copy Linked Service did not work properly, services replicated at various levels of the hierarchy had to be simply copied, resulting in a maintenance nightmare when scaled to a significant number of services.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: Horrific. Unless an explicit and costly "service issue" was raised through the enterprise support agreement, CA had zero interest in accepting problem reports. And when a request was made for improved or corrected documentation through the Enterprise support agreement, the response was "we do not receive enough such requests so no such support is available, - CA Services will contact you shortly to discuss providing this custom function".. No such followup contact was provided.Technical Support: Horrific. See above.

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

    No prior solution existed. The main reason for the choice of this solution was because Microsoft System Center did not adequately present its support for Linux and thus management perceived there to be no support.

    How was the initial setup?

    Complex. Too many moving parts that are poorly and sometimes incorrectly documented.

    What about the implementation team?

    Multiple vendors

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Yes. Microsoft Systems Center, IBM Tivoli.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user765
    Operations Expert at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Great flexibility for every environment, but minor issues creep up including product stability

    Valuable Features:

    Great flexibility for every environment and many features are available. This product is great for the customer, starting with just Request Management or the full Service Management suite.

    Room for Improvement:

    Minor issues creep up and create huge problems. Product stability is also an issue.

    Valuable Features:

    Great flexibility for every environment and many features are available. This product is great for the customer, starting with just Request Management or the full Service Management suite.

    Room for Improvement:

    Minor issues creep up and create huge problems. Product stability is also an issue.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user657
    Manager of Operations at a outsourcing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Not that good

    Valuable Features:

    One of it's kind. Delivers all flavors of SLM reports

    Room for Improvement:

    Doesn't scale well. No real-time reporting. Need lots of investment to have it integrated and running in your environment.

    Other Advice:

    If you are a small company it might fit your needs, but as soon you step up and need more infrastructure, services, customers and you data volumes grow, you are stuck!

    Valuable Features:

    One of it's kind. Delivers all flavors of SLM reports

    Room for Improvement:

    Doesn't scale well. No real-time reporting. Need lots of investment to have it integrated and running in your environment.

    Other Advice:

    If you are a small company it might fit your needs, but as soon you step up and need more infrastructure, services, customers and you data volumes grow, you are stuck!
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.