IT managers will get another service desk option for their Windows shops this summer when PS'Soft introduces software for Microsoft's server management platform.
PS'Soft's product, Consolidated Service Desk, is a .NET application that will integrate with and complement Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). It won't make the cut for Microsoft's Management Summit 2006 next week in San Diego, but it should be available in June, according to PS'Soft.
PS'Soft, in Burlington, Mass., currently sells a product that extends Microsoft's Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 desktop management software. The company released QP Software Library for SMS at the Management Summit last year. QP Software Library contains a collection of pre-defined software references and organizes inventory data collected by SMS 2003.
This new service desk technology is a standalone system that can layer on top of MOM. The fact that it's written in .NET will give IT managers more flexibility to customize the tool.
It can manage up to 20,000 assets and is priced according to the number of assets. It's targeted at IT shops with 5,000 to 7,000 desktops, according to a PS'Soft sales representative. "It's for someone looking for a ticketing system integrated with asset management," the rep said.
"Microsoft is really making a major play for the enterprise," said Richard Ptak, a principal at Ptak, Noel & Associates, a Nashua, N.H., consulting firm. However, Ptak recognizes that despite Microsoft's emphasis on large-scale customers, the service desk technology would have more market impact with small to medium-sized businesses. There are some well-established companies selling service desk software to enterprises, such as Remedy, which is now part of BMC Software Inc., Peregrine Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp.
"The market for service desk solutions is pretty saturated," Ptak said. "People have selected their products and they are a pain to replace."
Ptak said best practices defined by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the industry standard for IT service management, require a service desk or help desk function. He said that forming a partnership with a third-party vendor to offer service desk technology was a way for Microsoft to make its Systems Center management product suite more complete.