When it comes to IT service management (ITSM) platforms, the two main contenders that usually come to mind are ServiceNow and BMC Remedy. Not surprisingly, these two vendors collectively own 50% of the ITSM market, according to Gartner's latest numbers. Let's find out how they compare in helping operations support and deliver enterprise IT services.
ITSM frameworks like ITIL and COBIT are commonly used by enterprises to more effectively manage and optimize IT processes for meeting business objectives. BMC Remedy and ServiceNow have modeled their platforms closely in line with these ITSM frameworks, but differ significantly in terms of architecture and management capabilities. For example, ServiceNow is a born-in-the-cloud SaaS and platform offering, while BMC Remedy is primarily an on-premise solution—though a cloud-hosted, subscription-based version of the platform called Remedy OnDemand is also available.
ServiceNow is a first-mover when it comes to bridging ITSM with cloud computing—its SaaS/PaaS-based help desk/ticketing and IT operations management platform gained an early foothold by winning over early enterprise cloud adopters, with many professionals refering to it as the "Salesforce.com of IT."
The ServiceNow UI. Source: servicenow.com.
This platform approach is manifest in today's ServiceNow offering, which includes applications for HR, legal, and other parts of the business—on top of IT service management. The solution readily integrates with existing systems to provide a single view of all systems in your IT service delivery ecosystem.
Software giant BMC acquired Remedy Corp. and its proprietary application server Action Request System (ARS) in 2002. ARS now serves as the integral workflow automation platform that BMC's ITSM components (incident management, change management, service request management, and more) run on top of. The suite is available as both an on-premise solution and cloud-based SaaS offering
The BMC Remedy interface. Source: bmc.com.
Popular BMC applications built on top of Remedy ARS include Atrium CMDB, BMC Service Request Management, BMC Remedy Help Desk, BMC Remedy Service Desk, BMC Remedy Asset Configuration Management, and more.
Side-by-Side Scoring: ServiceNow vs. BMC Remedy
1. Capability Set
Both platforms are powerful, comprehensive offerings that take different approaches to helping firms manage and optimize IT services. ServiceNow was designed with integrations as a focal point—that being the case, the offering aims to be a single pane of glass for other solutions in the operator's toolset. In contrast, the BMC Remedy suite is a comprehensive but monolithic assemblage of solutions that come at a price.
2. Ease of Use
BMC Remedy's visual interface was recently revamped for a simpler, more contemporary look/feel, while ServiceNow's web front-end has remained intuitive and highly usable. Features such as a kanban‑like task board for working with ServiceNow applications make it familiar to DevOps practitioners and operators.
3. Community Support
ServiceNow users have various community support resources at their disposal, including the vendor's own community portal and product wiki. BMC also maintains a community website that supports all of its products, including BMC Remedy.
4. Release Rate
ServiceNow's full release history and notes are available on its support wiki—the platform is on its Helsinki release, the name for its latest software version. The platform has seen regular monthly updates over the years. The Remedy solution came to BMC through a 2002 acquisition and has also been updated regularly since. The platform is currently on version 9.5; a full release history is available on the website.
5. Pricing and Support
BMC Remedy is an expensive solution to acquire, deploy and maintain, especially when other components of the ITSM suite are purchased. This makes the platform a solution primarily aimed at enterprises. ServiceNow begins at $10,200 per year for its Express version—not exactly a drop in the bucket, but certainly within reach of more budget-conscious IT departments. In terms of support, ServiceNow features 24/7/365 phone support for customers (within the US) while BMC provides phone support to customers during normal business hours.
6. API and Extensibility
ServiceNow offers an extensive, well-documented REST API for interacting with its platform's service instances. Similarly, BMC Remedy provides a REST API for connecting with its BMC Remedy's Action Request System, which itself serves as an integration point for ServiceNow.
7. 3rd Party Integrations
BMC Remedy doesn't list out 3rd-party integrations on its website—despite this, a myriad of vendors from VMware to Cisco have nonetheless developed integrations with popular ITSM platform. ServiceNow's integrations—both included and custom-built—are abundantly available on its website.
8. Companies that Use It
Both vendors' solutions are in use by the world's largest enterprises. Some of BMC Remedy's customers include Brookfield, HealthSouth Corporation, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Mercator, SAP, and Stanford University. ServiceNow is used by AstraZeneca, Envision Healthcare, Equinix, GE Capita, MetroPCS, National Cancer Institute, Standard Life, Swiss Re, Vitamix, and University of San Francisco, among others.
9. Learning Curve
ServiceNow's power comes at the price of complexity, though it manages to do a competent job of streamlining the platform's data glut; similarly, BMC Remedy also presents users with a steep learning curve. ITSM assumes command of advanced IT concepts—suffice to say, neither of these offerings are targeted at novice users.
ServiceNow's CSTAR Score of 558 quantifies the various flaws in its website perimeter security: lack of sitewide SSL, DMARC, and HTTP strict transport security. However, BMC Remedy's 452 CSTAR score reflects a more dire resilience posture—lack of sitewide SSL, HTTP strict transport security/DMARC, and DNSSEC make it vulnerable to exploitation.
Scoreboard and Summary
|Ease of Use|
|Pricing and Support|
|API and Extensibility|
|3rd Party Integrations|
|Companies that Use It|
|Total||4.2 out of 5||3.7 out of 5|
Both ITSM platforms are battle-tested, widely used solutions for managing enterprise IT services. That said, ServiceNow is the more future-proof of the two, giving organizations more value by dovetailing into the tools they already have. BMC Remedy remains a monolithic solution under its redesigned interface, while ServiceNow—as a built-in-the-cloud platform designed for integrations—excels in this capacity. Similarly, UpGuard's enterprise resilience platform integrates with the tools you're already using, providing the crucial validation that all IT assets in your environment are configured optimally and free from vulnerabilities.
Concerned about data breaches?
Monitoring tools have come a long way since the early days of Big Brother. Today's solutions have evolved into powerful software troubleshooting and performance analytics platforms capable of deconstructing and analyzing the entire application stack—infrastructure up—for bugs and issues.
As perimeter-based cyber protection falls to the wayside, a new breed of continuous security solutions are emerging that combine traditional endpoint protection with newer technologies like security information and event management (SIEM) and crowdsourced threat intelligence.