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Serena Service Manager Research Note

ITSM University Research Note, Serena Service Manager – July 2013

Company Overview:




Computer software, Application lifecycle management, IT management




Doug Troxel


San Mateo, California, U.S.

Key people

Greg Hughes, CEO


US$219 million (2012)[1]





Serena’s strategy is in flux at the moment due to constant executive management churn. Interestingly enough in their marketing you will hear that “Serena was founded by an entrepreneurial visionary”, but they are currently run by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. They have a cash cow business in Software Change Management that they are trying to leverage in order to launch several other successful business units to achieve growth (which has not been phenomenal in the past several years). They feel that they can penetrate IT Service Management, Business Process Management and latch on to the DevOps movement. We agree that they will be a player in DevOps due to their history in the application development space (or Software Change Management). And, It does make sense for them to transition into the IT Service Management market given their success in release/software change management, however, we don’t believe it’s going to be successful on a broad scale due to the presence of ServiceNow (with MUCH more focused marketing and sales expertise), BMC Remedy (still the twice the market share of ServiceNow and growing with an excellent product), Remedyforce (this is actually the fastest growing product in the market right now, but not a fit for most enterprise IT customers unless they have the platform in-house), HP Service Manager (a good fit for customers that have a large investment in HP Hardware and Operations software) and Cherwell (Mid-market superstar with serious ITSM veteran executives). Finally, we are highly skeptical of Serena’s ability to execute in the BPM space. The successful players in that space have the advantage of being newer companies with the latest software architecture available at the time of build (which is also out of scope for this particular document).


ITSMU Research Department

Where Serena is Strong… Release Automation

The majority of Serena’s 200+ million in revenue annually comes from software change management, which has been an excellent market for them traditionally. We believe that they will continue to execute in that market given their niche focus, specialized legacy employees and large customer base.


ITSMU Research department

Anonymous customers

YouTube – ITIL Awareness? In 2013? It’s because Serena customers are in application development, not IT operations and support.

Market Presence:

Many times, limited market presence translates into a very immature implementation community. Limited market presence is not always a disadvantage. In fact, it can be an advantage for newer companies. But, in the case of Serena, it’s a major problem because they don’t have talented non-technical resources with a history of implementing large-scale ITSM projects.

Serena is not in the latest Gartner Quadrant –

Serena is not in the top 5 market share for ITSM – – In fact, we would guess that they don’t have more than 50 customers around the world that use the product for traditional ITSM. Our North American database of 4,000+ large companies shows Serena in precisely 1 company for ITSM use – SunGard – Serena’s YouTube channel, 95% is dedicated to Non-ITSM matters, such as release management & automation. – Example – Fiserv corporate IT uses Remedy enterprise-wide, not Serena.


Functionality Roadblocks for ITSM


Request Management – Static Forms = incredibly long implementation times. From the major ITSM manufacturers only ServiceNow and BMC Remedy and PMG offer Dynamic request forms. There are best of breed solutions that handle this requirement as well, but that is out of the scope of this document.

Serena has a CMDB, but no discovery or application mapping technology. Custom Discovery integrations to CMDB are the single biggest risk of implementation failure for ITSM projects. ITSM University only recommends purchasing a manufacturer-integrated solution. This is patented technology, outside the expertise of even the best field implementation consultants.


Sources: Confidential ex-employee (left in May, 2013)

ITSM University Staff

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