Serena-an old users' new review
September 17, 2015

Serena-an old users' new review

Tina Radcliff | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Serena Business Manager
  • Serena Request Center

Overall Satisfaction with Serena Business Manager

[The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Early Warning’s positions, strategies or opinions.]

Serena Business Manager is used across the entire organization by all of our employees. It addresses our largest business processes such as procurement requests and our service desk functions. There are currently forty-five processes inside of Serena that span across all of our departments and business needs. The processes provide users with standard and consistent methods for requesting various items.

  • One of my favorite capabilities within the Serena user interface is the reporting. Detailed searches into the workflows allow the users to create reports containing any field that is in the workflow. Users here use the reporting during review time to pull metrics on tickets they have worked during the year. From a process perspective, the system provides a specific report with details around how long the items have been in various states. I use this information to measure my process peformance and to identify bottlenecks within the processes themselves. The reports are fairly easy to use but they can also be very complex too. Reports can be set up and shared across groups. Generic reports can also be set up so that query at run time fields can be entered.
  • Developing new processes in Serena Business Manager is relatively easy and does not necessarily need to be done by a developer. Serena has added some key features that reduces the need to add Java scripts. Serena Business Manager is a blank slate and it can be as complex or as simple as you make it. The forms are the same. I have seen some very simple designs and some very complex and beautiful form designs.
  • From a user perspective, it is fairly simple to just pick up and start using. I introduce our new hires to the systems in a thirty minute session. Most users are more confused by which process to use for what than by how to use the system.
  • Serena's documentation for the product is well written but it can be a bit challenging because it is often missing key components, best practices or tips and tricks that you get when you call into their customer support. It is also very frustrating to have their release notes refer back to their knowledge base to have their customers figure out what they fixed in their releases.
  • Serena Business Manager manages their users in an Administrator function. Any changes made in this part of Serena is only logged in the database. It would be nice to have some reporting out of of this system. When you have multiple administrators of a system, it would be a nice feature to have some reporting here rather than having to go into the database.
  • The notification feature within Serena can be a bit challenging and time consuming. You can't copy the notifications so if you want to duplicate a notification you had previously created you have to recreate it again. The notifications have three levels to them and they can be a bit tricky to get them to work just right.
  • We use Serena to standardize our business processes to ensure a more efficient work day experience for our employees. By having the employees use Serena for the processes we can ensure the process is completed the same way every time.
  • By having our key processes in Serena we are able to measure our processes at any time. Some of those key metrics include a 90% reduction in rework and a 47% reduction in overall process time. With the ability to measure processes at any time, we can react to process problems and correct them quickly. Serena Business Manager is flexible enough to allow quick development and rapid promotion when necessary.
  • Serena is very ingrained in our culture and the culture has taken on the "ticket" mentality unfortunately. With everyone trying to measure their work and justify their body counts through ticket counts, having a ticket opened for every act of work has become the standard.
We have been using Serena for eight years and I don't believe I can answer this question since it was so long ago that we made the decision to purchase Serena.
How many users will be using the system?

What part of the organization will own the product?

Serena is a great workflow tool. It can be tailored to fit in any scenario and so I dont believe there is any situation where it would be inappropriate.

Using Serena Business Manager

450 - All members of the organization from the security guard to the CEO. We have twenty five departments and they all use it. Some of our departments have workflows specific to them and we have workflows that are used by the entire organization. Obviously some are used more than others.
4 - There is one person that is the primary support for Serena Business Manager. She currently designs all of the workflows. Gathers all of the workflow requriements and then designs them in the system, trains the users and then does all of the user support. She is a six sigma black belt and is a process person but has some strong technical apptitude. Two of the other support people provide basic level one user support and administrator support. The fourth is a technical role and provides more server/database support when there is an issue.
  • We run our Service Desk (Help Desk) processes through this system. It is the most used on a daily basis. All our IT tickets go through this process. Incidents, server requests, firewall and user support tickets go through this process. However our new employee tickets also go through here in addition to our general IT requests as well as our access requests.
  • Our change control process also runs through this application.
  • We have several Finance processes that are specific to our organization running through here.