System Center Service Manager 2010: Why Should We Care?

Service Manager rounds out and integrates Microsoft's System Center Suite

Definitely the longest System Center product in the making, Microsoft announced availability of Service Manager 2010 in April 2010. The product first went into early testing in 2006 with a code name of "Service Desk," with release planned the second half of 2008.  Testing revealed performance and scalability problems and that initial version of the product was ultimately scrapped and totally rewritten.

The current version thus is a "V1" product. Since its release, it has had a service pack, and a "" release is planned as part of the System Center 2012 wave.

Service Manager rounds out System Center's ITIL and MOF-focused architecture by adding centralized incident and problem management capabilities to the product suite. By means of connectors, Service Manager 2010 can import data from Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, and Active directory - enabling its CMDB to become a centralized repository of information.

Pillars of Service Manager 2010 include user-centric support, data center management efficiency, and business alignment. What does this mean?

  • User-centric support: With its self-service portal and integration with Configuration Manager, Service Manager has the ability to improve user productivity (and satisfaction!) while reducing support costs.
  • Data center management efficiency: Service Manager facilitates centralized incident, problem, and change management, helping to restore service quickly and reduce downtime while improving the reliability of IT services running in your data center. The Opalis Integration Server Integration Pack for Service Manager helps you coordinate and use operational data, and automate common business practices (for some examples, see an earlier posting at
  • Business alignment: By optimizing your organization's resources to align with its business goals and requirements, Service Manager works to lower the high costs of compliance, and provides integrated knowledge and reporting.

The next version is expected to build on this by delivering standardized, automated and automated IT as a Service. This includes a new Silverlight-based SharePoint self-service portal, service catalog, service requests, release management, and additional enhancements to IT business intelligence.

Why should you care? Whether or not your organization plans full implementation of the IT operational frameworks such as ITIL and MOF, there are always fundamental issues to address. IT service management requires appropriate process and procedures, this includes incident tracking and resolution, configuration management, and change management - provided by Service Manager 2010. If you have already invested in components of Microsoft's System Center suite, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Service Manager.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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