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The “Arrival” of the next gen of service desk automation tools

ScottKnox Respected Contributor.
Respected Contributor.
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Greetings everyone. Welcome to the first of a multi-part blog on the key considerations you need to keep in mind while planning the future of your Service Manager solution.  If you remember from my previous blogs, I like to keep things interesting by linking Service Manager to a recent movie.

Let’s start with two key questions that are somewhat related: 

  • First, what is the future of your service management solution? Are you concerned about the reaction of your team, your management, and your users?
  • Second, what movie, based on a short story by Ted Chiang, involves linguistics and the future?

I encourage you to keep reading if these topics are interesting to you.


smoky aliens.jpgImage courtesy of 21 laps entertainmentQuestion: Have you ever wanted to tell someone something helpful and were concerned about their reaction.  Then when you told them, it worked out just fine? We at Micro Focus have been thinking about that in context of next steps for our Service Manager customers. More importantly, we know that many of you face this situation in context of where to take your SM solution next.  Click here to link with others in the SM community to see what others think, insights on how they are thinking about or handling the migration, etc.   

As your advocates on the Service Manager team we are very concerned about your success with SM. We know that you have staked your career on our product and we take that responsibility very seriously.  With this in mind, I will jump right in and say that for some of you the future of Service Manager is to adopt Service Management Automation “X” (SMAX) because of the significant advantages available in the new solution. There, I said it out loud. It was hard but I got it out. I feel better now.

arrival amy jeremy.jpgImage courtesy of 21 laps entertainment

But the more we talk with you about Service Manager and SMAX, the more we realize that you are open and in most cases enthusiastic about the options that SMAX delivers. It seems clear that you are starting to realize the strategic direction and advantages of this next generation solution. With that in mind, I will tell you why we think you shouldn’t worry and some key advantages of SMAX. (btw… worry was also a big theme in the movie.)

First and foremost, please understand that the future of Service Manager can certainly be Service Manager. If Service Manager fits you best, great. We will continue to deliver SM extensions, offer defect corrections, and enhancements as long as our customers need them.  In fact, I can say categorically that the newly released Service Manager 9.60 has committed support until Feb 2022, and extended support to 2024.  If you look closely, you will see that we have supported all SM versions for at least the minimum of 4 years of committed support and 2 years of extended support and often longer. 

Why then would I say that the future of Service Manager might be to move to SMAX?  Easy, since its “Arrival”, SMAX and its predecessor Service Anywhere have been built from the ground up to deliver strategic value and modernization which are desired by SM customers like you.

Some of the strategic improvements that SM customers can realize on the SMAX platform include:

  1. A truly relational data model that eases system administration and substantively improves reporting and administration
  2. Unified IT4IT aligned applications with a single user experience across Service & Asset management, Project and Portfolio Management, and DevOps to dramatically improve cross-domain use cases 
  3. Codeless Configuration built from the ground up to allow seamless upgrades, reduced TCO, and accelerated feature adoption
  4. Modern technologies, baked-in machine learning , and new UI/UE that improve the user experience for agents, administrators, and casual/business users
  5. A new unified service portal powered by the new User Experience leveraging big data to accelerate end user success and reduce impact on the service desk
  6. Flexible deployment options leveraging Containers and web delivery/elastic compute that can provide a better and cheaper alternative to SaaS 


 arrival title page.jpgJumping back again, Have you figured out the movie yet? Since I just gave you its name, it is Arrival, the 2016 film about alien first encounters.  This is a very interesting film in which Amy Adams is a skilled linguist armed with a very special gift. Hopefully you found the movie analogy interesting. And since a vision of the future plays a prominent role, this resonated with me as a product manager focused on your future success.  If you want to know more you can find the synopsis with spoilers here


So now that we have the background set, what should you consider for the future of your Service Manager solution? 

  1. If you love SM and want to stay on it:
    1. STAY as long as you need to
    2. Upgrade to the newest version to realize value and improve customer satisfaction
    3. Look to adopt Smart Analytics as quickly as possible to realize a low cost/high value solution leveraging industry leading AI technology
    4. Look to leverage the new SMA Unified Service Portal (SMASP) to realize improved end user experience and avoid the potential disruption of flash end of life. Oh, and one very important topic we will follow up on in a future blog, the new XSP portal is able to support users on both SM and SMAX back end systems as part of our comprehensive bridge strategy. 
    5. Utilize automation everywhere to reduce TCO and Improve ROI knowing that the automation tooling you use can seamlessly transition from SM to SMAX
  2. On the other hand, if you are open to the next generation of Service Management solution then:
    1. Join the SMAX community here:
    2. Get a demo Service Management Automation X
    3. Consider how the new features and workflows can alleviate the stresses of a highly customized solution
    4. Evaluate the value of a containerized solution and elastic cloud compute
    5. Analyze whether the cost of a SaaS solution is a requisite strategy
    6. Find out what a studio is in the SMA-x context

I hope you can see why we have been a little careful about delivering a message that your future of Service Manager can include a movement to SMAX and why we think now is the time to evolve to the new system if you are ready.  Hopefully when you review the capabilities and features of the new solution, the speed with which you are able to extend it, and the world class user experience you will realize why this can be such exciting news and a great offering for your business!  

Finally, closing the loop on this blog, I have the pleasure to report that there will be more blogs in the future to help you with your Service Management offerings. There will be blogs for those of you that want to know where SM is headed and blogs for those who want to know how to adopt SMAX. There will also be blogs on the values of moving to SMAX and more. Thinking about all of this and the great things in your future really makes me feel like a Chinese General just walked in and gave me his private cell number.

More fun and movie lore later. 








About the Author
I am Senior Product Manager for Service Management. I have been manning the post for 18 years and working in various technical roles with the product since 1996. I love SM, our ecosystem, and our customers and I am committed to do my best to keep you appraised of what is going on. I will even try to keep you entertained as I do so.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of Micro Focus. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation. Certain versions of content ("Material") accessible here may contain branding from Hewlett-Packard Company (now HP Inc.) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. As of September 1, 2017, the Material is now offered by Micro Focus, a separately owned and operated company. Any reference to the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks is historical in nature, and the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks are the property of their respective owners.