Microsoft SCCM is the ideal tool to manage Windows assets at large
Eduardo Viero | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 23, 2019

Microsoft SCCM is the ideal tool to manage Windows assets at large

Score 9 out of 10
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Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

Currently, we're using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager to manage all our Windows assets, from PCs to laptops. Considering we use it across all organization, and we have a dozen of remote sites, some of them with distribution points, I can safely say that we solve basically 2 big business problem: We can manage all of those assets from a single pane of glass, delivering software with software-central feature, managing and keeping a eye on the status of those updates and also saving bandwidth at the same time, because we can deploy those software and updates from that distribution point, avoiding to have every single PC/laptop to download from the Internet itself.
  • You can run an inventory of your assets, from PCs to laptops, grouping them by location, type, department, all tight to your own Active Directory. That saves a lot of time when you need to report the status of hardware and software. You can even manage alerts to inform you when some hardware change has happened, which could possibly lead to a robbery.
  • You can centralize software distribution, controlling what kind of software is available for your organization, and here's the most important part: you can give end-users the power to install/remove that software by themselves. That way, you can avoid a ticket to your service desk and potentially save money on those tickets too.
  • Also, due to the distributed architecture of the product, you can deploy a component of the system in each remote site you have. Thanks to that, you can avoid using the bandwidth of the remote site, which usually is already limited, to download software/updates to each PC locally. You just need to download once for the distribution point it will deliver locally. You can also avoid the risk of having your local WAN to be contested by some unexpected outdated PC that was just connected to your network.
  • The licenses can be expensive if you are a small organization. Make sure you have a good deal with your Microsoft partner.
  • Deal with collections can be a little hard sometimes. Collections are the say the product classify or organize the groups. As the concept is a little different from what we're used to, like Active Directory Organizational Units or Security Groups, etc., it's best if you spend some time studying this before you deploy the product in your organization, especially if your organization has severy business or business units and remote sites.
  • You don't have as much product specialists as you have for other Microsoft products like MS Exchange, for example. So, make sure you hire a partner that have the skills needed to help you during the deploy of the product. Indeed, it is a complex product and it demands attention to details to avoid frustration in the future. People tend to save money on the implementation phase and that leads to frustration and, in some cases, projects cancellation due to underestimation of the requirements of the product.
  • We can save money and time giving end-users the ability to install/remote only approved software on their own PCs. That avoids expensive tickets on our service desk.
  • We can save bandwidth having those distribution points on remote sites. Depending on the location, if it's far from metropolitan areas, bandwidth is still expensive. So, less bandwidth, less WAN circuit expenses, save money.
  • As a 'not so negative impact', but it's necessary to say that you must manage the system frequently. What I'm trying to say is that you must have someone to be if not dedicated to that, at least, run daily due to dillegence to make sure the system is running Ok. Although you can automate some tasks, it's not an autonomous system. It needs some attention.
I didn't evaluate any other product when we started using SCCM. Because we were under an MS Enterprise agreement, it was easy to decide.
It's a 'heavy' system, which demands a lot of resources form the datacenter perspective. So, make sure you followed the requirements to avoid frustration in the future. From the 'client' perspective, it's fine. I've never had any issue with that.
The only 'integration' it has is with its own Microsoft infrastructure, which is Active Directory, etc. From that purpose, it's really easy to integrate and I didn't experience any trouble doing that. As for other systems, we don't integrate it with any other software or system.
Seems obvious, but if your organization's assets are all based on Microsoft Windows, this is the right product for you. If you have mixed environments, with most of the computers running Linux or Mac, I don't think you'll have the same results. Unfortunately, I can't say much about that, because my experience is only based on a full Windows environment, and honestly, I didn't waste to much time paying attention to other operating systems.