What We Learned from Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Users

I’ve worked in the systems management arena for some time now.  Working with disgruntled Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) customers for most of my career, we had some assumptions going Customer Serviceinto this research.  Fortunately, the data proved us wrong.  After doing a survey of 150 IT professionals, we found some surprising (or maybe not surprising to you) finds about ConfigMgr.

1)    Configuration Manager customers actually like Configuration Manager.  Weird.  We were under the impression that many people picked SCCM because of politics or it was included in their Enterprise Agreement.  This is not the case.  In Shavlik’s study 72% of SCCM customers chose SCCM because it was the best fit.

2)    SCCM customers would like Configuration Manager to be the central hub of IT activity.  But surprisingly, 27% of SCCM customers currently use add-ins to solve problems not solved by Microsoft.  This means that either they are unaware of some of the gaps or they are solving these problems by using additional tools not integrated in SCCM.

3)    Third-party patch management was reported surprisingly high as a missing feature of SCCM – 38% of respondents selected third-party patching as a high priority. This is a great case for Shavlik Patch for Microsoft System Center an add-in solution that takes care of the third-party patching problem.  Even though Microsoft is the master of OS patching, they fall short on third-party patching and tend to leave these “treadmill”-type activities to the other vendors

Respondents expectations for a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager add-in

Respondents expectations for a Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager add-in

4)    SCCM admins don’t want additional crap in their infrastructure.  Setting up SCCM was difficult enough.  Adding more databases, interfaces, and potentially servers and infrastructure does not constitute an “add-in” product.  Add-ins should use the native functionality of SCCM with either no additional or light additional components that are leverage the existing infrastructure and software.

If you are an SCCM admin or have experience with SCCM in your IT career, please respond to this Blog and tell me what you like/dislike about SCCM.