Microsoft's Enterprise Management Software
Michael Timms | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 07, 2019

Microsoft's Enterprise Management Software

Score 8 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

My former company used System Center Configuration Manager for software deployment, Imaging, and Microsoft updates. It was used across the entire enterprise, but my department only used it for imaging and application deployment. Before SCCM we were using Landesk, which I preferred greatly. That being said, SCCM does work well, as long as it is configured correctly. I would recommend it, but it would not be my first choice for deployment or imaging software.
  • Imaging from PXE boot, and it can be configured for remote imaging. Any IT department that has ever imaged 100 or more workstations with a CD and external drive knows that this is a strength.
  • Application deployment. Sccm can be configured with a software store where end users can install the software they need.
  • Update deployment, updates can be deployed on a set schedule with SCCM.
  • Imaging. I know that I gave this as a plus, but this is also a drawback too. Images take much longer to deploy via SCCM than they do with FOG or Landesk.
  • The system itself is a huge learning curve and takes a great deal of configuration to make it work correctly.
  • Remote Desktop Tool -- Microsoft already has a remote desktop tool, so why include almost the exact same one in your VERY expensive management suite?
  • Imaging: the time saved in having to boot to a CD and then image off of an external drive is priceless.
  • Application deployment: time saved is almost uncountable.
  • Windows Updates: unnecessary updates can be avoided, saving time and bandwidth.
I am going to speak strictly on imaging here as this is what I have used System Center Configuration Manager for more than anything. I used SCCM at two companies that I worked for before my current company, and compared to the other software imaging suites that I have used, which were Landesk and Ghost, SCCM took much longer to deploy the same sized image. SCCM does work, and if you happen to work at a company that is willing to spend that much to purchase it, then take the time to learn all of the features, and configure it as you need it, but for me, SCCM is not my first choice and I am a lifelong Microsoft fan.
I am giving System Center Configuration Manager a 9 out of 10 on performance because at the end of the day, it does perform well. Images complete in a relatively quick time, software can be deployed rapidly, and updates can be pushed out when needed. Compared to other management suites, SCCM might not have the exact features as the others, but it has a way to do what you need it to do, it just might take some research to find out how.
In a Windows environment, System Center Configuration Manager integrates very well, but I cannot speak to a mixed environment such as those with Macs and Linux desktops. I do know that there is a feature with device management for Android devices, but I am not sure about Apple devices. As with any software, integration depends on who is configuring the software, and their knowledge of the product.
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager would be best suited in a large scale enterprise with multiple locations, and plenty of money to spread around. Also, you need an IT team that knows how to research to set it up and configure it correctly. It works well and you can make it do pretty much what you need it to do IF you are willing to put in the time and research to configure it correctly. If you are a smaller company, with say, one location though, there are much cheaper alternatives that have the same, if not more features.