The power of Microsoft Configuration Manager (SCCM) makes it possible for Administrators to deploy software, protect data, monitor health, and enforce compliance across all devices in an organization. But with great power comes challenges and frustrations for management, maintenance, and delegation. Collaborating with industry leaders and Microsoft MVPs, including Kent Agerlund, Niall Brady, Wally Mead, and Anoop Nair, we compiled some of the top frustrations that SCCM Administrators face on a daily basis.

For instance, according to Kent Agerlund:

“With Configuration Manager managing 170 million devices, there is a wealth of information in the system. However, many organizations can’t correlate data and truly benefit from the wealth of performance, security and compliance information derived from clients.”

How many of these challenges resonate with you?

  1. Frequent Upgrades
    Between SCCM and Windows updates, many organizations struggle with not having enough resources to successfully complete migration projects in a timely fashion.
    Example: Patch Tuesday
    Microsoft introduced a range of issues causing many environments to flood WAN traffic.
    Example: Windows 10
    Organizations find it difficult to keep up with the many new versions of Windows 10. The upgrades have proven to be much more involved than running a ‘typical’ software update or upgrade, and they also involve UX changes that impact each user in the organization.
  2. Lack of Checks & Balances
    When performing a deployment, while a summary of the deployment settings is presented, there is no message before the deployment is created to confirm the action, the software, and the target collection, making it harder to verify accuracy before committing to the deployment.
  3. Data Overload
    There is a wealth of information in Configuration Manager, however many organizations can’t correlate data and truly benefit from the performance, security and compliance information derived from clients.
  4. Inconsistency with Dashboards & Reports
    There often is a difference between what the native SCCM Console shows for report values (such as deployment states) and what is shown in a report for the same deployment, making it difficult to know which is accurate.
  5. Inability to Initiate Client Notification Actions on Individual Clients
    If you go to the Devices node and select a client, you won’t see the Client Notification menu and actions as you do on a Collection. However, if you right-click a Collection, then click Show Members, a new sticky node is created under Devices. From there, you can use the Client Notification actions on individual clients.
  6. SQL-Based Replication Troubleshooting
    SCCM uses Database Replication Service (DRS) to replicate data between sites. The DRS intern uses SQL Server Service Broker (SSB) to replicate data between the sites. DRS troubleshooting is problematic for SCCM Admins as it requires SQL troubleshooting skills, which many Admins struggle with.
  7. Opening Firewall Ports in Global Organizations
    Firewall rules in SCCM 2007 are very straightforward. However, SCCM CB is a bit more confusing and may require additional coordination with security teams.
  8. Reactive vs Proactive Client Health
    In most organizations, SCCM Admins are reactive in fixing issues that arise with clients within SCCM. Having the data to be proactive to ensure clients are working correctly would be extremely beneficial.
  9. Failed Deployments
    When a deployment fails due to client-side issues, it falls back on the SCCM Admin to fix it.
  10. ConfigMgr Environment
    The overall quality of the new ConfigMgr versions are good and upgrades very seldom go wrong. However, many organizations do rely on third-party software vendors to keep their versions up-to-date and that has proven to be a challenge and often delays projects.

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