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EasyVista | April 17, 2024

Microsoft SCCM: What to Replace Your ITSM With

In the realm of enterprise-level IT management, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) formerly known as Systems Management Server (SMS), served as a cornerstone for IT administrators to manage a large number of technology devices efficiently. The two-decade reign of the program has ended. Microsoft made the strategic decision to transition away from SCCM, leaving many who relied on the technology wondering about the rationale behind this move and looking for alternative solutions. This blog post will explore what SCCM was, why it was phased out, and what alternative endpoint management solutions exist for current SCCM customers.  

Understanding The Role of SCCM  

SCCM by Microsoft was a comprehensive systems management solution designed to facilitate the deployment, management, and monitoring of IT infrastructures (software and hardware) in large-scale environments. It provided IT teams with tools for inventory management, software distribution, patch management, operating system deployment, and remote control—to oversee every part of the organization’s IT infrastructure. This centralized approach enabled organizations to streamline their IT operations, ensure compliance, and enhance security across their network. 

However, as technology has evolved, so have the requirements for IT management solutions. Cloud computing, the proliferation of mobile devices, and the increased complexity of IT infrastructures made it challenging for traditional on-premises solutions like SCCM to address organization’s needs adequately. Recognizing the need to adapt to changes in the workplace, Microsoft embarked on a journey to modernize its approach to IT management—leading to phasing out SSCM. Support for Version 2207 (the most recent edition) of Microsoft Configuration Manager (formerly Microsoft SCCM), ended on February 12th, 2024. 

3 Reasons Behind Microsoft's Decision 

The IT landscape has undergone significant transformations with the advent of cloud computing, remote work trends, and the proliferation of diverse endpoint devices. Traditional on-premises solutions like SCCM faced challenges in effectively managing these modern environments, prompting the need for more dynamic and scalable alternatives. Here’s why Microsoft decided to phase out SCCM, and shift its focus towards newer, more agile IT management solutions: 

  1. Cloud-First Strategy: Microsoft has been prioritizing cloud-based services and solutions as part of its broader company strategy—aligning with the push for remote and hybrid work. Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which integrates Intune (a cloud-based mobile device management solution) with Configuration Manager enabled Microsoft to provide a unified endpoint management platform that leverages the scalability, flexibility, and accessibility of the cloud. Cloud-based services and solutions are historically more cost effective and easier to deploy than on-premises solutions. That said, they do pose security risks—most providers are on the “shared responsibility model”— and rely on the internet (if it’s down, cloud-based solutions will experience issues).  

  2. Modern Management: Organizations are looking for simplified, user-centric approaches to IT management. To compete with other IT management providers, Microsoft had to emphasize modern management techniques like co-management and cloud-driven provisioning—shifting away from traditional infrastructure-centric models. This change forced them to think about how to adapt SCCM and, ultimately, they built a better solution to support these changes and retain customers.   

  3. Streamlining Product Portfolio: As part of its ongoing efforts to streamline its product portfolio and improve overall efficiency, Microsoft consolidated its management and security offerings under the Microsoft Endpoint Manager umbrella. This consolidation allowed for better integration and interoperability between different components, simplifying management tasks for IT administrators.


Microsoft SCCM Replacements 

While the retirement of SCCM may have left some IT professionals apprehensive, Microsoft has introduced several replacement options to address the evolving needs of organizations: 

  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager: Microsoft Endpoint Manager (includes Configuration Manager and Intune,) offers a unified platform for managing endpoints across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. 

  • Intune: A cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) solution that caters to the growing demand for managing mobile devices, apps, and data in a centralized manner. Intune allows organizations to enforce security policies, deploy applications, and manage devices across various platforms. 

  • Windows Autopilot: Windows Autopilot simplifies the deployment and provisioning of Windows devices by leveraging cloud-based technologies and modern management techniques. This reduces the overhead associated with traditional imaging and provisioning methods—streamlining device onboarding for both end-users and IT administrators. 

  • Azure Arc: Azure Arc extends Azure management capabilities to hybrid and multi-cloud environments—enabling organizations to manage resources across on-premises, edge, and cloud environments from a centralized Azure portal. 

A Non-Microsoft IT Management Solution Worth Exploring 

Unlike antiquated or overly simplistic service desk solutions, EV Service Manager emerges as a versatile, robust, and user-friendly tool for orchestrating service delivery within your organization. Our Service Manager platform not only accommodates the most intricate requirements, but also introduces a newfound sense of simplicity, agility, and mobility essential for making cloud-based ITSM software both accessible and efficient. It facilitates the creation of intuitive, responsive user experiences tailored to various IT and business roles, offering IT self-service for employees, comprehensive dashboards for management and staff, and versatile apps for all—effortlessly crafted through drag-and-drop functionality featuring pre-designed templates. 

Leveraging the graphical process designer, along with 400 pre-existing wizards, potent business rules, and a task scheduler, our platform transforms intricate processes into seamless, automated actions. Additionally, it enhances IT investments by providing enhanced visibility into financial and service utilization data, encompassing aspects like license compliance, asset depreciation, and budget allocation. Delivered as a SaaS subscription (also available on-premises), our platform adheres to SSAE-18 audited processes, incorporates big data analytics, and operates from global data centers. It ensures security, availability, and performance while offering complete transparency through the MyEasyVista.com portal. 

Microsoft's decision to remove SCCM reflects their commitment to adapting to the needs of modern IT environments. By transitioning towards a cloud-based, user-centric management solution like Microsoft Endpoint Manager or Intune, and phasing out Microsoft SCCM, Microsoft is giving organizations what they need to succeed in the digital age. The retirement of SCCM may require your organization to adjust your IT management strategies, but there are plenty of effective, secure options ready for you to explore on the ITSM market. Book your free call with one of EasyVista’s experts to learn more about how EV Service Manager can start helping your business today. 

SCCM FAQs 

What’s the difference between SCOM and SCCM? 

SCOM is used to monitor the health and performance of a system’s applications and services, while SCCM is used to manage the configurations of devices within the IT infrastructure.  

Who owns SCCM? 

SSCM is owned by Microsoft and is part of their suite of technology products.  

What does Microsoft Configuration Manager integrate with? 

Microsoft Configuration Manager integrates with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Microsoft Azure, DNS, Windows Automated Deployment Kit (Windows ADK), and many more Microsoft technologies and solutions.  

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EasyVista

EasyVista is a global software provider of intelligent solutions for enterprise service management, remote support, and self-healing technologies. Leveraging the power of ITSM, Self-Help, AI, background systems management, and IT process automation, EasyVista makes it easy for companies to embrace a customer-focused, proactive, and predictive approach to their service and support delivery. Today, EasyVista helps over 3,000+ enterprises around the world to accelerate digital transformation, empowering leaders to improve employee productivity, reduce operating costs, and increase employee and customer satisfaction across financial services, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and other industries.