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SCSM is #9 ranked solution in top IT Service Management (ITSM) tools and #11 ranked solution in top Help Desk Software. IT Central Station users give SCSM an average rating of 8 out of 10. SCSM is most commonly compared to ServiceNow:SCSM vs ServiceNow. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 27% of all views.
What is SCSM?
System Center Service Manager is a software product by Microsoft to allow organizations to manage incidents and problems. Microsoft states that the product is compliant with industry best practices such as the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). SCSM has integrated ITIL compliant fulfillment of service requests. Service requests are submitted by the end user in order to obtain information, access to a new application or the most common of all, password reset.

SCSM was previously known as System Center Service Manager.

SCSM Buyer's Guide

Download the SCSM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

SCSM Customers
Fibabanka, UMC Health System
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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SCSM pricing:
  • "The price should be lower."
  • "The price of the solution could be better. My organization has an enterprise annual license with Microsoft which provides us support."

SCSM Reviews

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Khaled Mostafa Gaafar
ITSM & Project Management Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Top 5
Good technical support and integration capabilities but it needs to be easier to create custom reports

Pros and Cons

  • "We've been in contact with Microsoft technical support mainly. After doing the research ourselves and troubleshooting, etc., if we can't find a permanent solution, we contact Microsoft to help us fix the issue. Sometimes the issue never gets fixed even by Microsoft. It can sometimes require us to reinstall the solution. However, these are very rare instances."
  • "One of the disadvantages in this product is that the reporting module is not very easy. It requires SQL development skills, which not all customers or IT professionals have."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily implement the solution to clients.

What is most valuable?

Ticketing systems these days are based on ITIL framework. The solution has incident management, change management, request fulfillment management, release management, problem management, and CMDB also. With integration capabilities with the other system centers like SCCM & SCOM, for example, we are able to build robust CMDB configuration management database.

It has some advantages and some disadvantages like any software, but overall, most customers just prefer the product.

What needs improvement?

One of the disadvantages in this product is that the reporting module is not very easy. It requires SQL development skills, which not all customers or IT professionals have. 

There are very few default reports available and to create a custom report requires some special skills. The solution would benefit from making reporting and creating custom reports much easier and user-friendly.

Microsoft is a technology giant so they have the resources to do improvements or enhance the product, but I don't know if they will invest in it. It depends on their policy or their long-term development plans. Other ITSM solutions, for example, have other resources and they have very strong, and very flexible reporting modules that are easy to use. Microsoft should emulate them and do the same to enhance their product.

The customization in the form is not easy. It requires if we want to customize a form (like a change management or incident form) an installation of some tool called Services Manager Altering Tool. This is difficult. In comparison, in ServiceNow, you can add a custom field, and do some changes right in the form. With Service Manager, yes it is there and we can do it, but it is not easy or straightforward. We require special skills to make it happen. It needs to be easier.

The solution would benefit from offering a web interface and a better Sales Service Portal.

If the solution could add event planning and event management as a feature in the future that would be ideal. Currently, event management is measured within incident management, which is not the best practice according to ITIL when we integrate the SCSM with SCOM. SCOM is a monitoring tool in System Center and when SCOM triggers an alert and creates a ticket in Service Manager, it goes in as an incident ticket. I believe it's supposed to be an event. However, I suppose it could be either an incident or event, depending on the type, severity, or nature of the issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are some issues with the system. For example, sometimes the workflows get stuck. However, overall, it is a stable solution. Any software in the world will have bugs and defects. Still, we cannot say, "No it is unstable." It's stable - just with a few issues. This is typical.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, the good thing in SCSM is that it has a lot of add-ons and third-party tools can be installed on it. There is a wide range of products can be installed, but the problem is while most can be installed, they often cost money in order to install them. We need to either appreciate the license we have or buy the add-on product from the vendor. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been in contact with Microsoft technical support mainly. After doing the research ourselves and troubleshooting, etc., if we can't find a permanent solution, we contact Microsoft to help us fix the issue. Sometimes the issue never gets fixed even by Microsoft. It can sometimes require us to reinstall the solution. However, these are very rare instances. 

Overall, they are very good. We'd rate them eight out of ten.

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

I also work on ServiceNow, Service Manager is nothing comparable to ServiceNow. You cannot really compare it to ServiceNow. The majority of market share is divided between BMC Remedy, ServiceNow, and Avanti Service Manager. Now they are all challenging SCSM and trying to get into the market. Although they are doing a good job, I have experienced using ServiceNow. I do have some knowledge about Avanti Service Manager, however. 

There's a good product that is suitable also for small and medium enterprises which like ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus. I had experienced it more than eight years ago. I had implemented the tool in my environment or in my work back then and it was very good and I loved working with it but I'm not working with it anymore.

Service Manager is not doing very well because, for example, there is no default web application and in order to use Service Manager we have to use the desktop console which is a disadvantage. If we need to have a web console or web application then we need to buy a solution from a third party company. 

Since the other products are already web-based applications, we don't need to buy a third-party solution to have access. It just seems to be the case with Service Manager that there's only the desktop. It is one of the main disadvantages along with the issues surrounding reporting. The reporting is very poor in Service Manager unless you have someone who has good skills and a strong technical background.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not very complex, but it requires some basic knowledge and skills to understand how to install the SQL server. It's not straightforward, either. It's something in the middle. However, it requires some technical know-how. That said, it is easy to learn how to install it. It's not like SCCM for example. System Center Configuration Manager is much more complicated. There are others as well that are not easy to install. This solution is just much simpler to handle in comparison.

In terms of deployment, the basic installation could take one day just to install the servers without any configuration or special customization taken into account. It might take one to two days, or, more likely, one and a half days to install the basic servers and to prepare the infrastructure for the program. 

In order to configure the product and make the customizations based on the customer needs or requirements, it could take as long as three or four months. That's on average. It could also take up to six or eight months for a full deployment, but it depends on the client.

You only need one person to deploy the solution. Any ticketing system, any ITSM tool, doesn't require many human resources in order to complete the project. Products like ServiceNow might require more people. One for implementation, and one for the development, for example. In Service Manager, we might need one more person who has some SQL reporting skills who can help us create a custom report. For a normal installation, however, one consultant is enough.

You also only need one person to maintain it. Sometimes after doing the project, after completing the project via one consultant, we assign another consultant for the maintenance. However, the maintenance itself is quite minimal.

What about the implementation team?

We are consultants and help clients handle the implementation of the product.

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

The solution does charge for add-ons and third party installations most of the time.

What other advice do I have?

I'm an ITSM consultant. I'm an IT project management consultant and I'm working on Microsoft Service Manager and ServiceNow. I specialize in these two products: Microsoft System Center Service Manager SCSM, and ServiceNow ITSM. Our company is a Microsoft System Center Golden Partner.

SCSM is an on-premise deployment. There is no cloud deploying for SCSM.

We typically deal with small to medium-sized businesses. However, the product is suitable for all business sizes, including enterprise-level organizations.

I'd warn users considering implementing the solution that there are some product limitations that they should be aware of.

Giving the solution a rating is difficult as it depends on the customer's requirements and needs. For example, if we gave an F1 race car driver a very good car, but not a car that fits his needs, it's still a good car, it's just not right for the race car driver because it doesn't fulfill his requirements.

From our experience working with the solution, I'd rate it a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SN
Managed Service Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Great integration with progressive movement to the cloud but has limited features

Pros and Cons

  • "Many more features than other comparable products."
  • "They need more integration with open-source products."

What is our primary use case?

We have the product installed on-premise but we are starting to integrate some of the cloud functionality. We are a systems integrator so we deploy the solution for our clients. We're deploying it for some banks that are big companies. We're doing for some small companies that are growing to help them with their growth. It depends on the demand of the customer and whether the customer can pay the license that is attached to it. So if the customer can pay, we go on with the deployment.

What is most valuable?

Microsoft System Center Service Manager is a good product. It seems very easy. It's better than most of the other solutions. But if you look at some of the packaging that goes with other solutions, they have only just a few features. They cannot do what Microsoft can do. But because of their packaging and whatever they do, they seem to cover Microsoft in some areas.

What needs improvement?

For this product, they are supposed to have an integration that will work with other resources in Microsoft Azure and other cloud providers because everything is going towards Azure now. I see how people are moving from on-premise to the cloud. So that's the direction we are looking at. And as an integrator, we're supposed to tell them the importance of it and how they will migrate and move on. We would like the integration process to be more simplified. They would have to allow some open-source that is a good product to speak to them even to lead to the open-source product. If the open-source product wants to talk to Microsoft or Service Manager they should have an API to do it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Microsoft System Center Service Manager for six years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft has been changing, and It's still changing. It's like its working on some future solution in the System Center. Integrating more features in the cloud. So it's starting to provide some of the solutions. Microsoft uses the System Center to manage all the applications in the cloud and people are still afraid that they may drop everything and make everybody go to the cloud.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft System Center Service Manager scales very easily. Compared to other solutions that work similarly, I find that it's very easy to deploy. The customization seems to be easy as well. But if that person did not know the primal asset office and IT solutions it is more difficult.

How are customer service and technical support?

I contacted support when I did the integration in the cloud. That is the first time I contacted support. It seems that the support is at the same level I am. So many times I go to the website of Microsoft to get information. But sometimes the documentation cannot give me exactly what I need. This makes me frustrated because I don't have time to call. They need to improve their support. When you cannot support the company that has your solution people will start to jump to another company that has a similar solution where somebody can support them if they have a problem. Bad support drives away in the business.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very nice. But after 2012 they changed the pattern of the solution because they are integrating it with the cloud. It takes more time to make a change. Because it's as if to say the change occurs every two years. I'm talking about people. People that manage it. I teach them about every two years to do it. When I started with it, I went for training, after the training, it was easy for me. So I cannot say that it's something somebody cannot easily learn from scratch from different services. Because all the material is online even video training is there. It is pretty easy to set up if you have the right training. It took me five days to set up. This included integrating WSCS with ACCM.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The difference between them is the integration. Because Microsoft can do a seamless integration to all the solutions. But when you are dealing with a third party you have to look for a problem, do the customization before you start allowing it to speak to the solution. So that is what is different between them but some of them are okay. Then some of them can be easily integrated some experience for somebody to arrive at a good answer.

What other advice do I have?

Others that need this product that want to implement this product need to know what they need and be knowledgable about it. The problem we're having with the customer is they don't know what they need. After sitting with them we analyze and see what they need. They may not even require a lot of features in that solution which seems to be easy for us but when that customer is knowledgable even if we deploy the whole portions of the solution that person will not be surprised if something is not achieved. So I advise customers to know exactly what they need in each System Center Service Manager. 

I would rate it at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Learn what your peers think about SCSM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,529 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SN
Managed Service Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to learn and use, and integrates well with other Microsoft products

Pros and Cons

  • "SCSM is easy to learn because all of the material, including training videos, can be found online."
  • "Better integration with other services in Azure is needed because everything is moving from on-premises to the cloud, and as an integrator, we have to help our clients with the migration."

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and this is one of the solutions that we provide to our customers.

I have used 2012, 2015, and 2019 versions of this solution and have seen all of the different features. I am quite sure that I can do almost anything that is available in the suite, but I primarily generate customized reports.

What is most valuable?

SCSM is easy to learn because all of the material, including training videos, can be found online. When I went for training on this solution, I found it easy to learn.

SCSM integrates well with other Microsoft solutions.

What needs improvement?

Better integration with other services in Azure is needed because everything is moving from on-premises to the cloud, and as an integrator, we have to help our clients with the migration. I would also like to see integration with open-source solutions allowed. In general, we would like to have the integration process made simpler.

Technical support can be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I am been using Microsoft System Center Service Manager for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With respect to stability, it depends on whether the solution is deployed on-premises or in the cloud. Microsoft is dropping some of the other solutions, like SCOM. This has some people worried that Microsoft will drop all of the on-premises solutions and force them to go to the cloud. This would be a big problem for some people.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling SCSM is very easy. When I looked at different solutions that work similarly, I realized that SCSM is comparably easy to deploy.

Our customers are varied in size and SCSM is suitable for companies of all sizes. We have implemented this solution for banks and big companies, as well as for small and growing companies. We will go on with the deployment if the customer has sufficient demand and they can pay the licensing fees.

How are customer service and technical support?

The first time that I contacted technical support is when I was integrating with InTune, in a cloud-based deployment. I have found that the level of support is the same that I can do for myself, so many times, I visit the site to get information. Because support cannot always give me what I need, I often do not have time to call them. When I search through the site, I get the information I need.

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

The main difference between SCSM and similar solutions is integration. Microsoft can seamlessly integrate with all of the other solutions. There are some products that also integrate well, but it requires somebody with experience to implement it.

How was the initial setup?

For anybody who has the training, this is an easy solution to set up.

When I first deployed this solution, it took me about five days. The reason it took this length of time is that I was integrating with WSUS, and it is a separate server so there are a lot of patches that need to be done.

In other cases, the initial setup is more straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We implement this solution for our clients.

What other advice do I have?

Some customers have integrated this solution with InTune to manage the web part of it.

The initial concept of SCSM was very nice, but after the 2012 version, they have been changing it and integrating it with the cloud. Major changes have been happening about every two years. As a system integrator, we are liaising with them to discuss ideas about what customers want and in what direction they are moving.

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution is to be sure about what it is they need and what problem they are trying to solve. Sometimes when we sit with a customer and analyze what they need, we find that they do not require a lot of the features that are available. However, even when the whole solution is deployed, the customer may be unsatisfied if the intended goal is not achieved. This is why I advise customers to know exactly what it is they would like to do.

System Center Service Manager is a good product, and it is very easy to use. If Microsoft packaged this solution in a better way then people would appreciate it more.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
DH
Configuration Manager, MPE USARUER, G3, MCSD at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Top 5Leaderboard
Provides the reports we need to keep on top of fulfilling service requests

Pros and Cons

  • "The reporting is very good."
  • "The configuration could be easier."

What is our primary use case?

I am using this solution as a customer to do what it was built for: to help us be more efficient in tracking and delivering our services.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature in this solution for me is the reporting.  

What needs improvement?

I have not made up my mind about what really needs to be improved. Overall, I am pleased with it mostly because it supplies the reports I need. As far as other features, it performs what I need it to do.  

Probably the price and configuration could both be a bit improved.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SCSM (System Center Service Manager) for the last three years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any bugs or glitches with the stability of the solution that I have noticed. It is stable.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We currently have 25 users for the product. It is a mixture of engineers and end-users.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We have your own team for maintenance and do not really need to use support.  

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

We previously used SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and SCCPM (Software Configuration, Change, and Process Management).  

We actually still use all of these solutions. We just apply them in different use cases.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty simple. The deployment part did not take long at all.  

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

It is an amazing solution but the pricing could be improved to be a little more competitive.  

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this as a solution to other people considering it. But just as with everything and anything, people need to educate themselves as to the services that the application offers. It has to fit the need to be worth the cost and effort to understand.  
 
On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate System Center Service Manager as an eight. It would not be higher because nothing is perfect and it does have some faults.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Basem Ismail
Associate Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
A stable ticketing system but it is difficult to deploy and the interface needs to be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "The most requested feature from our customers is the helpdesk ticketing system."
  • "The user interface needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

There are several common use cases for SCSM including HR onboarding, helpdesk ticketing, and collecting surveys from customers.

What is most valuable?

The most requested feature from our customers is the helpdesk ticketing system.

What needs improvement?

There is some difficulty when it comes to deploying this solution.

The user interface needs to be improved.

One of our customers has complained to say that the workflow needs to be more customizable.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with SCSM for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am not aware of any issues related to stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our customers have not commented on scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not have contact with Microsoft technical support. Our team handles the technical support for our customers.

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

We also have experience with Ivanti and it is the clear winner if we compare these two. It does not have the same difficulties with deployment and the user interface is better.

How was the initial setup?

This solution has been difficult to deploy in some cases. The length of time required depends on the customer's requirements and needs. If there are a lot of customized workflows then it is going to take longer.

I would say that the average time to deploy is about two weeks.

What other advice do I have?

Some of our customers prefer an on-premises solution but the majority are deployed in a hybrid environment using Azure cloud.

This is a solution that I would recommend for people who need only the basic features and do not require much customization. Otherwise, I would suggest a solution like Ivanti or ManageEngine.

This solution is good for some customers but other solutions are better for different reasons.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
DD
Information Technology Helpdesk Support at a media company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good technical support and works well for incident management, but the ITSM features need improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the reporting of incidents."
  • "We would like to see a web-based interface that works on mobile devices."

What is our primary use case?

I use SCSM for incident management.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the reporting of incidents.

What needs improvement?

The ITSM features have to be improved.

We would like to see a web-based interface that works on mobile devices.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any problems with respect to stability. We haven't experienced any bugs or other issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been in touch with technical support and I think that they are good.

How was the initial setup?

I did not install this software on the server, but my understanding is that it was straightforward. On the Help Desk side, the setup is not complex.

It took us less than one month to deploy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently evaluating other solutions such as ServiceNow and BMC Helix ITSM. Our intention is to replace this solution with a better one.

What other advice do I have?

This is not a product that I recommend. My suggestion for anybody who is looking for this type of solution is to evaluate ServiceNow and BMC Helix ITSM.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
OO
Information System Auditor (IT Audit) at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Responsive technical support, scalable, and stable

What is our primary use case?

I am part of an auditing team in a bank in Nigeria and we use SCSM for service management when it comes to unknown errors and knowledge problems. We use it in our service technology management system because we are ISO 20000 certified. For most of our service technology issues, such as internal customer requests and solving incidences we escalate them to the second level and log them into the necessary departments.

What needs improvement?

I have found SCSM not adequate enough to carry out some functions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SCSM for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is…

What is our primary use case?

I am part of an auditing team in a bank in Nigeria and we use SCSM for service management when it comes to unknown errors and knowledge problems. We use it in our service technology management system because we are ISO 20000 certified. For most of our service technology issues, such as internal customer requests and solving incidences we escalate them to the second level and log them into the necessary departments.

What needs improvement?

I have found SCSM not adequate enough to carry out some functions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SCSM for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support from Microsoft is good and we also have local support on the ground in Nigeria.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Our internal IT department is in charge of implementing and maintenance of this solution.

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

The price of the solution could be better. My organization has an enterprise annual license with Microsoft which provides us support.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others.

I rate SCSM an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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