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Clear-cut winner

Winner, but barely.

Doesn’t provide it and it should.

Push Both products have this.

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

SM 2010 requires some pretty beefy
Pre-installation hardware requirements hardware.

Pre-installation requirements (patches, SM 2010 makes this very easy during the
supporting coding language updates, etc.) install process.

Both are pretty straightforward, but if you

don’t have SM 2010 security right, you’re
Security Push
going to fail. Pay attention to the security
Altiris installation requires a service contract
while anyone familiar with Microsoft
Ease of Installation products can handle the SM 2010
Pretty small footprint for Altiris, but keep in
mind that SM 2010 provides a much more
Database requirements robust reporting capability, which requires a
Both systems use a “cludgy” SMTP set up.
Don’t know why Microsoft can’t give us a
setup configuration process similar to
Email setup Push
Outlook? Oh, and why do both require
multiple setups for email in two different
If you have your security right, SM 2010
Web portal (Self service) takes 10-minutes. Altiris requires a lot
more work.
SM 2010 console is a thick client and Altiris
Client Software uses a web client, but the edge goes to SM
2010 for the feature-rich client tool.
Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

Post-Installation Configuration
The Object-oriented approach vs the web
Templates HTML form is so much easier.
The ability to create any Task and have it as
part of the selections OUTSIDE an incident
Changing the Commands is great. SM 2010 can easily create a lot of
tailored functionality.

Website Branding (adding a company logo,

Much easier to update web site branding.
renaming default titles, etc.)
SM 2010 is much more intuitive while Altiris
Creating tasks or workflows. has a very complex process to complete
these items.
Took me less than 30-minutes to connect
Active Directory connections and get a valid import. Still have issues
with Altiris.
Although both are pretty clunky when it
comes to configuring email, Altiris has a nice
Administration – Email testing “test connection” button. This really helps
validating connectivity.
Just a slight edge here, only because it’s
Setting up user accounts less clicks in SM 2010.
Two words, Management Packs. The ability
Ability to tailor the systems and manage the
to create your own and modify outside of
changes. the system is great.
One of my favorite features … “Deleted
Recoverability (DR and BCP) Items.” It’s already saved me in SM 2010.
SCSM 2010 is much easier to setup. Both
Notifications have great notification capabilities.
Website changes via the SM 2010 thick
client application and the ability to manage
software installations via the self-service
Self-service portal
portal is pure genius. Still, Altiris has a
pretty good out-of-the box page too. It’s
just harder to modify.
It’s not straightforward, unless you’ve had
some coding experience, but once you finish
Importing legacy data the initial configuration, SM 2010 does a
great job.
The “on-the-fly” changes are much easier in
List Management SM 2010
They both have very robust notification
Automatic Notification Set up Push abilities. It is easier in SM 2010, but that
really doesn’t push it over the top.
SM 2010 is “AD aware” and you have so
much access to various windows services
(properties, classes, etc.) it’s a coder’s
Routine, repeatable process automation dream. That’s also a minus since you’ll
need a developer to really get into the
intricate process automation. I personally
like having that option, however.

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

Provide ability to automatically route call
tickets and/or work orders to appropriate It’s easier and there’s much more capability.
Support automatic work escalation based
Both products do a great job, but SM 2010
on user-defined rules, time limits,
has so much more capability.
priorities or other criteria.

Support user-defined data elements and And it doesn’t require a visit from a
decision criteria for the automatic creation of consultant/contractor to do this. We can
tasks, call tickets and work orders. handle it all “in-house.”

Support Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) that Sure, but you’ll need a developer’s help.
uses past occurrences stored in a database to
Since we have .NET developers in house,
identify possible solutions for problem this is much easier for us to complete.
Support automatic triggers for equipment Although I haven’t started this yet, I feel
and software component warranty terms and confident I’ll be able to quickly achieve this
conditions. in SM 2010, with additional System Center

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

I’ll complete this at a later date.
Print report of response times from open to
close of ticket.
Provide standard management
reports and graphs to monitor issues,
backlog, and performance statistics. To be evaluated.

Provide a flexible query or reporting tool to

retrieve issues or service requests from the
database with user-defined search criteria.
Provide ability to monitor response times to
assignments by technician, time period and
other attributes selected by user.

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

Provide a knowledge database containing
solutions for software installation and use, Really like how you can instantly associated
hardware issues, printing, networking, KB’s with configuration items.
product maintenance, etc.
Support integration with and use of How cool would it be if either company built
commercially available third-party a community-based WIKI that interfaced
knowledge databases. with each product?

Provide ability to search knowledge database My user-base’s biggest complaint about

by keyword, Boolean string or string of Altiris is the search functionality. We even
characters. built our own to access the database.

Provide ability to integrate and work with

You can add links to help files.
software application help files.
Provide ability for users to search a
"solutions database" for answers to typical
Push Both have this ability.
questions, minor problems, known issues,
Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

Provide ability to track equipment ownership Tighter integration with the base product,
and service history. but it requires a third-party add-on. Altiris
has this as an add-on, too, so both will cost
you extra.

Provide ability to e-mail purchase orders The capability is there, but you’ll have to
directly to vendors. code it. That shouldn’t be too difficult, since
we use Dynamics GP and interfacing with
other MS products is possible.

Provide ability to search purchasing history

by PO number, vendor, amount, purchaser, To be evaluated.
dates, etc.
Provide ability to track RMA's (returned
To be evaluated.
merchandise authorizations) and orders.
Provide ability to create reports and graphs
To be evaluated.
to analyze trends or distribution.

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

Provide ability to remotely audit and
Requires additional software, but it really is
inventory workstation hardware and robust once you do.
software components.
Provide ability to track all software products
See above.
installed on any network workstation.
Automatically retrieve and store workstation
configuration (e.g. CPU, OS version, ROM
See above.
BIOS info, memory info, disk info, printer
info, video info, and all system devices)
Support ability to perform software licensing This should go green with new MP’s coming
audits. out this year.

Provide ability to check workstations for

With add-ons, this is really good.
illegal software.

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

General Functions
Annoyances The dreaded Altiris “double-click” is brutal,
but SM 2010’s lack of email history isn’t
appreciated. Both systems annoy me for
their inability to handle duplicate tickets
created by email chains.

Provide ability to customize tracking fields,

Faster and easier.
screens and toolbars.
Support e-mail notification functionality Altiris handles this much better than SM
from within the help desk software. 2010. While I can add much more
functionality in SM 2010, should I have to?

Provide ability for technicians to remotely I can’t make this green enough. SM 2010
control any workstation within the LAN, has the ability to use RDP right from the
WAN, Intranet, or across the Internet. ticket or console. No more Dameware or

Support online “news” and/or status reports Very nice integration with a self-service
to keep users updated of current issues, portal. Throw in the fact that we can
situations, training, etc. interface this with our SharePoint portal, our
users keep up to speed on all of our work.

Support entry and maintenance of Service Both systems allow me to build SLA support
Level Agreements (SLA). into the process, but SM 2010 is easier and
logically makes sense.

Activity 6.0.6074 SM 2010 Comments
(SP 3)

Technical & Support

Provide access to system maintained data Both do a good job, but we’re more familiar
element definitions within report writer and better suited to do this in SM 2010.
software. That’s not enough to give SM 2010 the edge

Report writer support SQL (Structured

Difficult schema to work with in Altiris.
Query Language).
Provide ability to down load data into
Nice “cut and paste” features and export
popular PC spreadsheet, database and word tools.
processing file formats.
Use RAID, disk mirroring, volume
shadowing and/or other fault tolerant
technology to increase reliability of disk Both are fully capable of doing this.
storage and also minimize data loss due to
hardware failure.
Provide future software releases and updates
to all applications as part of regular software
maintenance fees.