SCCM Overview

SCCM is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Configuration Management tools. It is most often compared to Ansible: SCCM vs Ansible

What is SCCM?
With System Center Configuration Manager, you can manage PCs and servers, keeping software up-to-date, setting configuration and security policies, and monitoring system status while giving your employees access to corporate applications on the devices that they choose.

SCCM is also known as System Center Configuration Manager.

SCCM Buyer's Guide

Download the SCCM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

SCCM Customers
Bank Alfalah Ltd., Wªrth Handelsges.m.b.H, Dimension Data, Japan Business Systems, St. Lucie County Public Schools, MISC Berhad
SCCM Video

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VA
Software Engineer at NathCorp
Real User
a good choice for deployment that performs very well

What is our primary use case?

We use it for deployment purposes, for all managing all the devices and patching. It has performed very well.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a good choice for deployment that performs very well."
  • "The setup was complex and I faced a lot of problems initially because I was new to the solution."

What other advice do I have?

If you need only deployment purposes, and no management capability, then use MDT also. And if you want to deploy many devices and manage those devices, then go for SCCM.
DA
Senior Systems Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It saves a lot of money when you can install things automatically and they are installed the exact same way on every computer

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for deploying software and software updates, such as monthly Microsoft updates. We also deploy images and collect our computers' inventory (in regards to what software is being installed) along with their configuration. I have been using the product for approximately 22 years, when it was still called SMS. My first product version was SMS 1.1.

Pros and Cons

  • "It saves a lot of money when you can install things automatically and they are installed the exact same way on every computer."
  • "Our company would prefer not rebooting computers while people are using them. There seems to be no strategy behind it."
  • "Marketing: Our management doesn't understand that there is a piece of software which helps them automate and manage the entire network, as far as operating systems on computers."

What other advice do I have?

If an organization is more than 95% Windows, then SCCM is the best choice because Microsoft makes the best software to manage their own software.
Learn what your peers think about SCCM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
501,151 professionals have used our research since 2012.
BK
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
There is a faster time to rollout. If we get a new PC, it can be ready for productivity right away.

What is our primary use case?

It's mainly end-point management, right imaging, patching,and third-party application.

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a faster time to rollout. If we get a new PC, it can be ready for productivity right away."
  • "Troubleshooting in general needs improvement. There's just a ton of logs to go through, and so finding the error log that corresponds with that you're doing can sometimes be difficult."

What other advice do I have?

They are very aggressive with the feature steps that they're adding right, so every 6 months they come out with a bunch of new features, so I like that.
RT
Solutions Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Enables us to set up schedules, according to security needs, to automate server and desktop patching

What is our primary use case?

Systems management, inventory, pushing out deployment, and patching. It has multiple purposes.

Pros and Cons

  • "With the SCCM inventory, we found a lot of rogue applications. We were able to identify them, find out who was running them, and either put them on our application list or remove them."
  • "It gives us the ability to set up schedules, according to what our security requirements are, to automate the patching of our servers and desktops."
  • "What's valuable is the basic management of the systems, being able to control who can access the systems."
  • "You can remote control or RDP. That has been the most valuable because we can go into one console and can get to anything we want. Instead of going to all these different consoles, we centralized everything."
  • "There is a reboot issue with the patching. Sometimes, if patching runs into any issue whatsoever, it doesn't reboot but it doesn't tell you it errored out. It just sits there and we don't find out until the next day whether it patched or not. That was a big issue for us. We're working through that. They added some stuff in there now where you can actually tell reboot is pending. But we still need some kind of notification that if something fails or is pending, we know. We shouldn't have to go in and look. They don't have anything for that right now."
  • "Their compliance reporting is not accurate, and they admitted it on the phone when we had a call with them. We were trying to understand why their numbers didn't match on our compliance reports. It is not accurate and you cannot depend on the compliance reports. The numbers just don't match, and we can't figure out why. We called Microsoft and they said, "Yeah, that's a known issue." But there is no word that they're working on it."
  • "There's no way to say, "I want this maintenance window to be on the second Tuesday of the month." It's strict. This window is this and that's it. You can't fluctuate."
  • "As far as load balancing across, they don't have that support yet, so that you can actually build multiple primaries and have it load balance across. They don't have any of that functionality yet. That would be a nice feature, to scale that way."

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework. Understand the basics of it, how it works between services. When you go to install it's going to ask you specific questions, and you might not know what the question is unless you did your homework ahead of time. Microsoft offers architectural sessions. Right before we installed it, we went to Microsoft and they sat down with us and did a session with us to understand how to architect it, how do design it. I would definitely advise doing that. I don't know who they offer it to, but that was very helpful. We met with their architects at Microsoft and they helped us understand…
JS
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
It should be a much more automated solution, although the application deployment can do wonders

What is our primary use case?

* Application deployment * Software metering * Batching

Pros and Cons

  • "With the right administrator, application deployment can do wonders."
  • "The main thing is that SCCM has to become an appliance instead of a server. When I say appliance, it has to come preconfigured so that it is drop-shipped into the enterprise and then you activate the feature sets that you want. It should pull down all the latest binaries. Once that is all there, it should have a discovery tool which goes out and discovers the assets within an enterprise. If the server, workstation, and applications are all coming from the same vendor, why not have the vendor do this work for us and automate it as much as it possibly can?"

What other advice do I have?

There is no advice anybody can give on SCCM. Everybody has to go through their journey. It's like giving birth. There's no advice. It works. But you have to deliver yourself.
Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Automates operating system, application, and update deployments

What is our primary use case?

Primary use case is for Windows Desktop Operating System configuration management, primarily for fully automated operating system deployment. We use it for additional Microsoft operating system and application update delivery and malware reporting for 300 laptops/desktops distributed across eight international locations. We also use it for configuration management and update management for Windows Server operating systems.

Pros and Cons

  • "Automation of operating system, application, and update deployments massively reduces IT operations effort."
  • "It would be of benefit if Configuration Manager could be connected/integrated with multiple Microsoft Intune subscriptions rather than just one (the current limit)."
Head of Department for IT Services at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Streamlines migration of existing desktop computers and user profiles to new machines

What is our primary use case?

Our Windows environment has about 100 servers, Windows 2012/2016, and more than 500 desktop and laptop computers with Windows 7/10. We use SCCM 2012 mainly for installing and deployment of images for new operating systems on end-user computers, for application management, distribution of new applications, software and hardware inventory, remote assistance, application virtualization and, of course, for software updates on servers and workstations.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved distribution and the migration of existing desktop computers and user profiles to new machines.

What is most valuable?

Excellent reports for compliance, status of updates, and software metering.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see some…
IT System Administrator at Frank, Rimerman & Co
Real User
Top 20
Essential in maintaining WSUS updates, and allows our team to reimage a computer within an hour

What is our primary use case?

We use System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to manage workstations and servers in our Windows environment. We are primarily a Windows-only environment, which is what SCCM is designed to manage. It uses WMI underlying technology to ensure that it is compatible with all versions of Windows, from Windows XP to Windows 10. We use it to manage our Windows workstations and Servers. We use SCCM to do many things, like deploy operating systems, deploy applications, configure settings, gather compliance data, enforce software patching and run reports for software installations information. We do… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "Valuable features include configurations enforcement, compliance data gathering, and deployment of a standardized OS."
  • "Built in PowerShell cmdlets would be a nice feature because managing clients remotely can be a pain without knowing the WMI calls to run."

What other advice do I have?

SCCM is a fantastic solution whose use is only limited by your creativity. Since it allows you to use PowerShell or VBScript to configure settings or execute procedures, a technician can make the any system do what they would like, provided they know how to do it programmatically. It can be a bit of a challenge to setup, configure, and maintain, but once you do, it will benefit you greatly. It is a complicated, complex product, so there is a learning curve, but that complexity is intrinsically linked to its ability to be a powerful tool. If setup improperly, SCCM can wipe out entire…
IT Senior System Engineer, Data Integrity and IT Pharma Automation systems migration consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 - Very good product

What other advice do I have?

SCCM is really great but you must consider that you will take a lot of time to manage it entirely. You should consider that this product would be, in the future, more and more strategic for companies about security concerns, task automation and for your CV too. I have a lot of guide and screenshot as well: http://www.alessandromazzanti.com/search/label/SCCM%202012 Here is my blog link: http://www.alessandromazzanti.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/mazzanti
Buyer's Guide
Download our free SCCM Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.