What is SCSM
SCSM is a robust ITSM solution with an integrated platform for automating and adapting ITSM best practices to provide IT as a Service. SCSM was built around Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards and Microsoft Operational Framework (MOF) framework. SCSM contains the primary ITIL components for Incident, Problem, Service Request, Change & Release Management. Most organizations leverage Incident, Service Request and Change Management. As organizations mature their ITIL processes, Problem and Release Management are typically later phases.
SCSM uses a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) which is dynamic. The dynamic approach ensures that the data accuracy and management is performed at the source (Active Directory, MS System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), MS System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), etc.). This approach reduces the risk of data inconsistency within the CMDB.
The dynamic CMDB is achieved with out of the box integration (in SCSM terms “Connectors”) with other systems such as SCCM, SCORCH, Active Directory, Exchange email, etc. to automatically populate the CMDB. Organizations can also integrate their LOB systems with Powershell/API’s and MS Orchestrator to auto-populate the CMDB. Not to mention the CMDB can be manually updated.
SCSM does provide the ability to add or modify fields in the CMDB for those organizations requiring field modifications. Customizing SCSM is done using the Service Manager Authoring Tool which is a free downloadable tool. You don’t need to be a programmer to use the SCSM Authoring Tool but an understanding of SCSM is beneficial. Plenty of information about SCSM field modifications on the internet, if needed.
The workflow and automation capability with SCSM/SCORCH are extremely powerful and a strong competitor with other ITSM/ITAM solutions. Out of the box SCSM provides the ability to create workflows based on your organization processes. Whether simple routing of workitems or processes that extend beyond the IT department. With SCORCH integration and/or Cireson Solutions in the mix you can automate more complete processes freeing up your staff’s time to focus on more important tasks.
Thing to Know
Many companies own SCSM licensing through their Microsoft Licensing Agreements, but not all. Microsoft has lowered the SCSM licensing pricing dramatically making it a cost attractive solution.
On-premise applications and solutions are moving to the cloud, slowly, but none the less moving in that direction. We know Microsoft’s focus is the cloud. Does that mean Microsoft’s on-premise solutions are near end-of-life? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, Microsoft continues to develop and enhance the System Center Suite including SCSM.
Since the release of SCSM 2016, Microsoft released the 1801 & 1807 updates and SCSM 2019 is scheduled for release at the end of February 2019. The complete Microsoft Ignite 2018 session announcing SCSM 2019 can be viewed at What’s New in System Center 2019. To read the session highlights checkout Shaun Ericson’s blog article.
System Center 2019 Service Manager mainstream support is valid until 2024 and extended support until 2029 (more details to come upon release). System Center 2016 Service Manager was released on 10/28/2016, with mainstream support valid till 1/11/2022. Extended support is good until 1/11/2027 (more info at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search/15410). For companies still using SCSM 2010, not that I know of any, Service Manager 2010 is supported under Extended Support until September 2020. What does all this mean? In a nut shell, SCSM will be around and supported for years to come.
If you’re in the market for an ITSM solution that aligns your IT Service Delivery goals to ITIL standards, robust CMDB, process automation and cost effective, Service Manager is a strong contender.