When organizations review their ITSM solution and look to the market for potential replacements, Microsoft System Center Service Manager (SCSM) is usually left off the list. After all, SCSM is not new, and the uninformed may think it isn’t a competitive long-term option. However, Microsoft recently announced a 2022 version and an intention to develop the solution in conjunction with ever-increasing Azure offerings.

When evaluating ITSM products, many customers favor highly marketed SaaS offerings that are cloud-based or have cloud-enabled functionality. They offer some form of streamlining or automation to simplify ticket management, configuration flexibility, communication and/or collaboration, and a way to manage assets and self-service with a more intuitive interface. They tend to leave Microsoft’s solution off the list, believing that it cannot offer these benefits.

But guess what? SCSM can offer all the above (and more), and it is highly likely that your company already owns it! With the licensing and infrastructure already in-house, investment to get bells and whistles mentioned above is minimal.

SCSM is part of many Microsoft Licensing Agreements, so it is worth a look to see if you are already licensed for the product. If not, SCSM is an addition that provides great efficiency, offered at a much lower cost than industry-leading SaaS tools.

What is System Center Service Manager and What Does it Do?

SCSM is a robust and secure IT Service Management solution. It provides IT-as-a-Service, using an integrated platform that automates and adapts ITSM best practices. SCSM was built around Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards and Microsoft Operational Framework (MOF), enabling organizations of all sizes to increase efficiency and end-user satisfaction.

SCSM supports all primary ITIL components for incident, problem, service request, change request, release management and Knowledge Management. The workflow and automation capabilities with SCSM, System Center Orchestrator (SCORCH) and PowerShell are extremely powerful and a strong competitor to other ITSM solutions. Out-of-the-box, SCSM provides the ability to create workflows based on an organization’s processes, whether this is simple routing of work items or processes that extend beyond the IT department.

SCSM is a cost-effective solution for many organizations since they are already paying for product licensing via their Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. Therefore, licensing costs are kept to a minimum and investment can be made in underlying processes, procedures and automation to drive continuous improvement in the customer IT service environment.

The Power of System Center Integration

What many people do not realize is the power of integration between popular System Center tools, including Configuration Manager (SCCM)–now called Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MCEM), System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), and existing Microsoft systems, including Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange and Azure. There is also power in how these tools can work together to provide in-depth knowledge of an environment. Connections between these systems centralize user, device and business system information to a single up-to-date CMDB that is actively updated without the need for complex or intrusive workflow services to sync data.

This level of integration allows for seamless synchronization with an actively updated Asset Management system (for both hardware and software) and business system tracking for change requests to ensure any change to one device does not affect other business critical systems.

Why Don’t More Companies Capitalize on SCSM?

Contrary to the market perception of SCSM, Microsoft has and continues to actively develop around the product. Most recently, Microsoft announced a new SCSM update planned for 2022 and is exploring a shift into the Azure stack of products.

So Why Does SCSM Seem to Lack the Cool Factor Among Other Cloud-based Solutions? Is it Deserved?

Historically, anyone who has completed a small implementation or product trial to review SCSM or SCOM has used the product out-of-the-box, which does not have a modern user interface (UI) used by many other products. From this, negative reviews are derived.

However, Microsoft Partner companies create intuitive and modern web-based UIs that create an easy-to-use, improved experience. The UIs also double as an end user self-service portal that automates common IT support tasks. This way day-to-day tasks, like creating new user accounts, can be streamlined.

When paired with a Microsoft partner solution like this, the SCSM product transforms from a client-based UI to an intuitive and streamlined wed-based solution that can be accessed anywhere, from any device and any user level. With System Center Orchestrator and PowerShell integration, as well as Cireson Partner Solutions in the mix, organizations can automate more complete processes, freeing up staff’s time to focus on more important tasks.

SCSM: It’s Not Just for IT

As SCSM is designed from the group up to be extensible for any organization, many companies are using it in other parts of the business. The HR\payroll department may track customer requests, or facilities teams may track building maintenance tasks, for example. The ability to extend the functionality of a single tool to other parts of the business further adds value for the product beyond the service desk ticketing system’s sole function.

With an extensive API and SDK, SCSM is often integrated with many lines of business applications. Examples include monitoring tools (SCOM Alerts are native), anti-virus tools to raise Incidents, HR systems to create employee Change Requests, code repositories to create Releases and even Accounts Payable to sync Asset costs. SCSM also automates business processes outside of the IT department, making the System Center solution much more beneficial to the entire organization.

Where to Find Out More

How can you find out more about your Microsoft investment, SCSM and explore product options and use applications? Cireson can help you define technology needs and options.