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Review: Matrix42 for Integrations

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This independent review is part of our Integrations 2013 Group Test.

Executive Summary

Elevator Pitch Extensively focussed on Workplace management with Service Management wrapped around that capability.
Strengths
  • Focus rooted in workplace management, and have invested heavily in their linkage with Airwatch Mobile Device Management  and then have built their Service Management around that
  • When added to their capabilities to integrate with other ITSM and Asset tools – can position themselves well as an IT services broker – an area that seems to lend itself to smaller operators in the market.
Weaknesses
  • A strong European presence but maybe as a European Technology vendor, they lack that presence to make them more global business partners with some of the larger ITSM vendors that they could partner with to leverage their MDM capabilities.
Primary Market Focus Based on the information provided, Matrix42 solutions are used by a range of customers from Small to Large.

Commercial Summary

Vendor Matrix42
Product Matrix42 Workplace Management
Version reviewed 2013
Date of version release May 2013.
Year founded 1992
Customers At least 600 use the Workplace Management Suite globally
Pricing Structure Cloud Hosted or On PremiseMonthly rental or Perpetual licensesLicensed per Managed Device or Per End User
Competitive Differentiators
  1. Matrix 42 offer integration around the management of physical, virtual and mobile devices
  2. Matrix 42 offer their Service Catalogue and Service Desk free with their management product set
  3. They offer integration out-of-the-box with products that are recognised as commonly in place on customers (e.g. SCCM, Active Directory etc.) and also integrate with a number of integrated Service Management suits (ServiceNow, Remedy, Axios among others)

Independent Review

MATRIX42 LOGOMatrix42 centre everything around Workplace management  – in today’s environments, users connect from multiple places using multiple devices and types of systems – physical, virtual and mobile. Matrix42 have made that their focus, and then built their ITSM capability specifically around that core.

In particular they have realised that it is not worth (re)-inventing the wheel and have integrated heavily with Airwatch, an extensive mobile device management product.

For a while now companies have flirted with the sticky topic of mobile devices and people still seem undecided as to whether to embrace the ever-widening range of devices that make their way into the workspace in people’s pockets and bags, or whether to try and restrict what can and cannot be done.

Their approach has been to integrate their management into their licence management – and they put the decision making process in the hands of the end user for more sophisticated management of their workplace.

Their focus on mobile devices gives them quite a lot of control in that environment – for example being able to see if a device has been compromised but the device can then be used to pull down software, lock devices, remove them if staff have left – with that they are embracing the options that organisations are facing as they work out how to manage mobile estates.

They have a nice and simple wizard interface for their data integration and employ some mapping to their data model to clean the data up and thus set up a Master reference.

They have built their pre-defined models based on their own experience in deployments – they have invested a lot of time in developing the wizards to manipulate the data and it has been worth their while.

Like many smaller vendors in the broader ITSM world, they are now able to position themselves to help channel the flow of information between tools – they have developed connectors to large ITSM tools such as ServiceNow and Remedy to facilitate the flow of information.

Their own Service Management interface is efficient enough to get the job done – a no-frills interface with the workflow and automation functionality you would expect from most ITSM tools these days.

Not quite a niche product but refreshing to see a company focus on what it knows it does well, and then look to extend that capability, and it is an intriguing model to make the management the focus with the service aspect the free add-on.

Integration and specific recognised criteria

Matrix 42 offer a number of integration capabilities, based around their product set:

  • Bulk data import engine for generic data – this is used to import data from a number of different sources for example external databases, Excel CSV files, CSV files and other ODBC sources. The system uses staging for data storage and a set of special mapping rules to provide data quality and performance
  • Connectors to third party systems and web services to provide linkage where other systems exist in an organisation
  • Workflow engine to provide the process integration between the tooling and the organisational teams

Security Controls

Matrix 42 adheres to a number of authentication and authorisation protocols and these can be defined with different levels of control, right down to using different roles. All business logic is executed in context of the specific user. In terms of robustness of security, most systems use Integrated Windows Authentication and Kerberos as well as SSL to guarantee secure communication.

Pre-Deployment Integration

Matrix42 will typically connect to Active Directory to import the User base, Machine details for asset management and will take information to help build the logical structure of an organisation (hierarchy, locations, manager information etc.).

They can also connect to other third party systems and can import information (for example Contracts, Purchase Orders, Cost Centres etc.)

Once the data import is complete the data is cleaned up to produce a “Master Data” set that holds a definitive Organisational Structure, Locations, People, Accounts, Assets and that forms the basis of their management and automation efforts.

Asset and Configuration Information

Matrix42 uses its own Asset and Configuration tool (Physical Workplace Management – previously the Empirum product).

They can also connect to other Asset and Configuration tools with out of the box connectors e.g. for Microsoft SCCM.

They integrate with Airwatch for mobile devices, and also have integration options for VMware and Citrix.

Support Services Integration

  • Remote Control

Matrix 42 have their own integrated remote control tool from their console, but can also allow customers to integrate with their own choice of remote control via a command line, including RealVNC.

Additional Areas of Integration

  • Unattended Remote Support

Because there is the capability to launch sessions from CMDB records, it lends itself to Change Request initiated sessions.

  • Video Recording for Knowledge Base

Some organisations extract the video for fixes, and use those to compile knowledge base articles within the ITSM tool.

Matrix42 Service Management Customers

From the Matrix42 Brochure

  • Comprehensive Workplace Management solution
  • Global provider of secure and interconnected management of every mobile, physical and virtual device
  • Comprehensive self-service and compliance solutions

In Their Own Words:

Integrate or Replace? – Now it’s Your Choice

What makes Matrix42 unique is our vision to be an aggregator of technology that interacts with end users. Our solutions help to achieve a great user experience, whilst the Service Desk & related teams maintain control and reap the benefits of automation. We provide our own best of breed software that interacts with the user’s Workplace, but we also integrate out-of-the-box with products like ServiceNow, Airwatch, Microsoft SCCM and Citrix, as well as providing an integration platform for other vendors.

Our strengths are:

1. Simple: Very simple user interface – requires no end user training. Full control over what the end user can see and request. Fully searchable. Our new graphical Workflow Designer allows easy and flexible customisation of request and delivery processes.

2. Interactive: Users and IT can see exactly where their request is in the system, and issue reminders, WITHOUT calling the Service Desk.

3. Intelligent: Requests can be auto authorised, one step, two step, conditional extra step if procurement required and can be dependent on factors such as requestor, cost center, service owner, items in stock, licenses available.

4. Integrated: Out-of-the-box automation for Software Delivery & Configuration of Physical, Virtual & Mobile Devices as well as Active Directory and 3rd party systems.

5. Holistic: Full Contract Management & automated Licensed Software recognition, enables a complete and automated out-of-the-box solution for Software Request, License Compliance, Procurement and Delivery.

Screenshots

This independent review is part of our Integrations 2013 Group Test.

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