This is a competitive review of software vendors who offer proactive problem management capabilities as part of their IT service management (ITSM) tool.
Proactive Problem Management 2014
There seems to be a imbalance within proactive problem management and alerting generally that means that either you aren’t able to pull in enough useful data or you end up with way too much and end up drowning in a sea of notifications.
Best in Class – ALEMBA vFIRE
Alemba vFire seems takes all of this in its stride and gives the ability to set outages and rules to stop alerts being received when they are not required leaving analysts free of the need to wade through the detritus that many other solutions produce. This together with the ability to simulate outages to show what kind of impact to the business could be expected in the event of a outage and the one-click ‘Find Causes’ facility which shows all items and services that could be the cause of a failure provide powerful automation and give control, intelligence and awareness back to the IT organisation.
We believe that vFire has the functionality the vast majority of organisations require to assist in operating an efficient and successful proactive problem management process.
Nexthink V5 is a highly sophisticated analytical solution which operates by monitoring the end-user experience and reporting back on real-time events recording dependencies and relationships without the need to install additional monitoring tools.
Offered as a stand-alone solution with no ticketing functionality, Nexthink state that the solution contains the necessary API and connectors to integrate with ticketing tools to create proactive alerts and track actions taken upon its analytics. We feel the solution proactively delivers timely and relevant real-time information whenever needed. The solution greatly reduces the burden on staff and ensures risk can be quickly and accurately assessed.
We feel that Nexthink is a remarkable analytical tool but would perhaps be overkill for those less mature or organisations looking purely for proactive problem management capabilities.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of problem management whether we are practicing it within our organisation or not. The objective is to minimise both the number and severity of incidents and potential problems to the business by investigating the root cause of issues rather than concentrating on finding the cure.
Problem management is split into two different, but equally important aspects:
- Reactive deals with problem solving after one or more incidents occur
- Proactive involves Identifying and solving problems and known errors before incidents occur
If reactive problem management is concerned with addressing the root cause of incidents, then proactive problem management is the systems and techniques to address these incidents before they occur and cause service disruption, or reduce or eliminate recurring incidents.
This review looked at four ITSM solutions, targeting all market sizes, that assist organisations in taking proactive step towards managing incidents and problems and exploring problems before they result in incidents.
The main topic areas covered by the review included:
- Managing the lifecycle of problems
- Identifying problems
- Assessment and alerting
- Solving problems, root causes and problem solving methodologies
- Known errors / managing work in progress / CSI
- Integrations, monitoring and triggers
For the purposes of this review, vendors were classified based on their primary market focus and product capabilities as follows:
- Enterprise – Either integrated or part of a suite/brand that provides E2E IT Systems & Service Management, for example: Includes Monitoring, Discovery & Service Management capability.
- Specialised – Offers IT Service Management, with integration to third party Systems Management software
|Vendor||Primary user base||Product Characteristics|
|ServiceDesk Plus||Small to medium||Enterprise|
|Freshservice||Freshservice is an uncomplicated and attractive ITIL service desk solution.The simplicity of Freshservice allows customers to provide basic proactive problem management services whilst easily linking to the other areas of the solution.||
|Nexthink||Nexthink V5 is an intelligent and attractive solution.Providing far more than proactive problem management, Nexthink delivers extensive analytics and intelligence capabilities in a user-focused manner||
|ServiceDesk Plus||ServiceDesk Plus is a solution that contains the ability to carry out problem management but is immature with specific regard to proactive problem management.The attraction of ServiceDesk Plus is the ability to open several instances of the solution at the same time ensuring multitasking is possible whilst providing easy linkage between records.||
|vFire||vFire 9.1 is a strong and uncomplicated proactive problem management solution.The solution provides advanced capabilities allowing customers to take advantage of many automated features to make problem management less painful.||
Number of Customers
- Freshservice 1200
- Nexthink 500
- ManageEngine 25,000
- Alemba 350
Please note that for the purposes of this report we are showing paying customers only
||Freshservice provides basic yet capable functionality for use by users with low to medium proactive problem management maturity.If you’re after bells and whistles such as sophisticated visual service mapping then this is probably not the solution for you, however, if you are after a good basic package, with ticketing, that has the proactive problem management essentials then Freshservice is a good option|
||Nexthink provides a comprehensive analytics and intelligence solution which provides far more than Proactive Problem Management capabilities. What’s more it provides them in a user-focused way which is quite different to the majority of other solutions on the market that are all data centre focused.I believe that this solution would create huge value to any organisation looking for real-time end-user analytics.|
||ServiceDesk Plus provides a very basic and mostly manually driven proactive problem management offering. I feel that this solution would be more suitable for those organisations looking for reactive problem management capabilities with the ability to integrate event/alert monitoring. If ManageEngine were to invest in creating more automated features in the proactive problem area, such as auto update from CMDB, the solution would appeal to a much wider and more mature audience.|
||vFire provides very good functionality for users with all levels of proactive problem management maturity.vFire provides more automation than most of the other solutions reviewed and goes the extra mile with regard to fault finding and diagnosis via it’s graphical interface. I believe that this solution would be a good option for most medium to large enterprise organisations.|
Further details for each vendor can be found by using the links below:
Disclaimer, Scope and Limitations
The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate as of the time it was created. Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should therefore use the contents of this review as a general guideline, and not as the ultimate source of truth.
Similarly, this review is not based on rigorous and exhaustive technical study. The ITSM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology.
This is a paid review, that is, the vendors included in this review paid to participate in exchange for all results and analysis being published free of charge, without registration.
For further information, please read the ‘Group Tests’ section, on our Disclosure page.