It's long been a agreed that Service Manager is the one piece of the System Center suite that remains the most tenuous and most difficult to implement and understand. I've talked about this before, but Service Manager was actually born out of a humble customer request. The only thing that customers really wanted (way back when) was a simple HelpDesk product they could tie easily into Configuration Manager (at the time it was called System Manager Server or SMS). After many years, and a couple rewrites, Service Manager was born. But, what finally came from those simple, early requests was a huge, convoluted framework. Service Manager is still the weak link in the System Center suite and probably the one piece that is poorly implemented and poorly accepted among System Center customers. Service Manager requires a lot of customization and a lot of additional know-how that many companies don't have right now, nor have the time to obtain.
Now, add to all that, the fact that Service Manager has seen very little support from Microsoft in the way of updates, and you have a potent concoction for rumor. So, it's no great stretch of the imagination that Microsoft's customers and partners have been whispering among themselves, wondering if Service Manager might actually be a dead product.
Apparently, those whispers have finally reached the ears of Microsoft on Mt. Olympus because Christian Booth took to the Service Manager Engineering blog on Tuesday to attempt to allay customer and partner fears. Christian talks to the rumors and publicly states the direction Microsoft is taking with Service Manager.
In a nutshell, here's some key components of what Christian said:
- Microsoft is still intent on Service Manager investments.
- To Microsoft, Service Manager is still a core component of the System Center suite.
- Starting with Update Rollup 2, Service Manager will now fall in line with the other System Center products and quarterly updates will be made available.
That Microsoft had to take to a blog to communicate this indicates a larger problem that seems to have gotten out of hand and not handled quickly enough.
Read Christian's full blog post here: System Center: Service Manager – A phoenix in its own right