This independent review is part of our ITAM vs. ITSM Integration group test.
To read the summary, strengths and weaknesses, and criteria please visit this page.
|Version reviewed||20150104, released 4th April 2015|
|2014 (The product was formerly known as easyCMDB developed by Tech Inventions Limited which was founded in 2006)|
|Customers||80 (Approximately 40% Americas, 25% Australasia, 25% EMEA, 10% Asia)|
Most ITSM tools were born from a foundation of ticketing and logging incidents. SupaTOOLS, in comparison, was first a CMDB. SupaTOOLS began life as ‘easyCMDB’ in 2006 and has evolved into a well-rounded and competitive ITSM offering.
The founders of SupaTOOLS saw a gap in the market for a robust CMDB solution offering and began developing their CMDB. Whilst SupaTOOLS suite of tools can be used without using the CMDB element, it is clear that CMDB is the foundation and a CMDB ethic of configuration, relationships and connectivity runs throughout the software.
SupaTOOLS is a web-based ITSM solution built around ITIL principles. Customers can choose a Windows or Linux install, with MySQL or SQL Server as a backend repository. Customers can also choose either on premise or SaaS (75% of SupaTOOLS customers install on premise). SupaTOOLS customers can also shift between SaaS on premise as required with many SupaTOOLS customers beginning with a cloud-based setup and shifting to on premise once the installation meets their requirements. Both customers and service management staff can access the SupaTOOLS system via mobile – on iOS and Android.
The SupaTOOLS portfolio consists of four main modules:
- SupaCMDB – for config. and change management
- SupaDESK – As the main service desk including Incident and requests
- SupaRELEASE – A release management offering
- SupaSTOCK – For inventory, warehouse management and stock control
Despite the SupaTOOLS depth of features we found the interface easy to understand and simple to navigate. Core service desk features included in SupaDESK navigation include service catalogue, incident and problem management, known errors, requests, knowledgebase, incident calendar, business services, service level agreements and reporting.
The SupaTOOLS offering is well thought out with great design. Configuration Managers in particular will love it; it is effectively an extensible database that can be configured to suit any individual customer requirements.
Every attribute of every asset, device or service can be clicked, drilled and viewed to a seemingly endless degree. Customers are never short of being able to see interconnectedness or similarities between any elements. In short, everything is linked to everything else. The relationship view is particularly useful when investigating the relationship between assets, previous incidents and changes and we particularly liked the visual management of racks within datacentres.
From a change management perspective SupaTOOLS customers can alter how relaxed they wish to be about changes to the configuration database – from very relaxed to draconian. Settings include:
- Loose – any data changes are allowed
- Audit – Notes must be written justifying each change
- Strict – each change requires a change request
These settings allow customers to increase configuration management discipline and control as their maturity improves or situations require.
SupaTOOLS is built from the ground up as a CMDB for IT departments, but could easily be used to other assets beyond IT. Customization to customer requirements is simple and straightforward and designed to be executed by customers rather than hiring consultants.
Our only criticism of SupaTOOLS is that organizations looking for a comprehensive solution for both IT Service Management and IT Asset Management might find some software license management elements lacking compared to specialist SAM tools, but the depth of visibility and control of datacentre environments will be very useful for Software Asset Managers managing datacentre software publishers.
SupaTOOLS is a refreshing alternative to big ITSM tool frameworks at a competitive price. Built from the ground upwards as a CMDB, it is well-designed and high quality solution for organizations seeking to deliver high-class services and IT management without having to re-mortgage the IT department.
Vendor information – in their own words
SupaTOOLS is a web-based IT Service Management solution based on the ITIL standard. SupaTOOLS comprises 4 main modules that deliver different processes:
- SupaCMDB – Configuration and Change Management
- SupaDESK – Incident, Request and Service Management
- SupaRELEASE – Advanced Release Management
- SupaSTOCK – Inventory Management All of the above modules can be combined into a single database to provide a fully integrated solution. This allows the customer to pick only the functionality they require and gives them the flexibility to add more at a later date.
SupaTOOLS is available as either a Cloud (SaaS) based service or on-premise install. It supports both Windows and Linux platforms running either MySQL or SQL Server back-end.
Most importantly, SupaTOOLS includes an extremely flexible database schema and UI, allowing the customer to tailor the CMDB to record any asset type and brand the UI according to their own requirements.
This can typically be achieved by the customer with minimal additional cost and involvement from the supplier. Our customers use SupaTOOLS can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from providing a fully featured and integrated Service Desk, to an Asset repository with integrated Change Management.
Tools are included to rapidly populate the database from spreadsheet data, which is where many of our customers start from. But equally SupaTOOLS can replace multiple existing disparate systems with a centrally trusted ‘source of truth’ We pride ourselves on being very attentive to our customer needs, and responding quickly to all customer queries. Many of our customer suggestions and wishes get included in future releases so that all can benefit.”
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.
Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).
When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.
Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.