Review: Cherwell for Knowledge Management

This independent review is part of our 2013 Knowledge Management Group Test. 

Executive Summary – Cherwell

  • Vendor emerging across ITSM market space
  • Knowledge approach seamless with other ITSM areas in product
  • Provides all functionality required for review
  • Good vendor approach
  • knowledge article key element of system
  • Overall looks a good option
Primary Market Focus Based on the information provided, Cherwell actively market to customers of all sizes (Small <100 to Very Large >10,000) They are classified for this review as:Specialised Service Management Suite – Offers IT Service Management, with integration to third party Systems Management software

Commercial Summary

Vendor Cherwell Software
Product Cherwell Service Management
Version reviewed v4.3a
Date of version release January 2013
Year founded 2004
Customers 500+ ITSM customers worldwide.
Pricing Structure Fully inclusive concurrent user usage for both perpetual and SaaS licensing models.
Competitive Differentiators
  • Completely integrated management processes and totally configurable against an organisation’s current and future service request models, without the need to write a single line of code via programming or scripting services.
  • Integrated Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology to empower users to easy develop and deliver integrated business services offerings.
  • Quick, easy, seamless system upgrades and low cost of ownership for ongoing system management overheads.


Independent Review

cherwell-logoThis is an easy to use and multi-capability option for Cherwell users – the knowledge function is shipped with the product and seamlessly integrated with it.

Some nice features around integration of discussion boards and the ability to link articles to services and incidents.

A good option for developing knowledge for Cherwell users or those considering the product overall, with a view to making Knowledge Management work.


  • Vendor emerging as strong contender across ITSM market space
  • Knowledge approach seamless with other ITSM areas in product
  • Provides all functionality required for review
  • Vendor approach aims to drive clients to use and integrate knowledge management with other processes
  • Knowledge article key element of system ‘business object’ – with links to other processes, tracking and clearly defined lifecycle
  • Overall looks a good option – in places a bit complex-looking (user UI is good), but generally will deliver integrated Knowledge Management functions.


  • Meets all the basic functionality required for the review, for creation, approval, maintenance, tracking of Knowledge Articles (KAs)
  • ‘Knowledge is shipped OOTB with the product and is a key element cross ITSM processes
  • Federated search’ engine provides facility to search multiple knowledge sources simultaneously
  • Configuration and set up of system can be done by non-tech users – ‘codeless’ programming
  • User portal interface for self-help looks simple and user-friendly
  • Delivery and access to KAs can be controlled and specified to (field) level security
  • KAs can be associated to services (which in turn can be linked)
  • Approval process can set % approvers required rather than just all approvers
  • Approval steps can be defined at multiple levels
  • ‘One Step’ feature can be used to create set of tasks, updates, escalations, to simplify approval process
  • Can simply combine number of internal and external knowledge sources
  • Able to create relationships between articles and specific incidents
  • Tracking – simple to identify usage and like/dislike of KAs
  • Knowledge ‘Mapping’ – can show relevant knowledge sources in context – e.g. different in Incident vs. Change Management
  • Nice ‘Community Discussion’ board – can see threads of discussion and collaboration related to KA. Can also raise incident or create KA from Discussion area
  • KAs can be raised and applied to any (process) area of the tool


  • Can look overly complex in places
  • Internal (IT User) interface could be clearer and less complex
  • Can’t map approval workflow process
  • Could provide more tangible, focussed information on customer success stories using KM

Cherwell’s Knowledge Management Customers

In Their Own Words:

Positioned on the 2012 Gartner®  Magic Quadrant for ITSSM tools and recognized by Forrester Research as one of the top three enterprise SaaS ITSM tools worldwide, Cherwell Software is one of the fastest growing IT service management software providers. It has corporate headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S.A.; EMEA headquarters in Wootton Bassett, U.K.; and a global network of expert partners. Cherwell Software is passionate about customer care and is dedicated to creating “innovative technology built upon yesterday values.”

Its flagship product is Cherwell Service Management®, a fully-integrated service management software solution for IT and technical support professionals with out-of-the-box PinkVERIFY accredited ITIL processes. Its wizard-driven customisation allows customers to tailor the tool to match their processes without writing any code. Cherwell Service Management offers unmatched flexibility in hosting and concurrent licensing for low total-cost-of-ownership. Please visit for more information about Cherwell Software.


Further Information

Knowledge Management Review Index

This independent review is part of our 2013 Knowledge Management Group Test.

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