BMC Helix vs. Cherwell Service Management

Brenda Gratas January 18, 2023
- 16 min read

Is your organization faced with the critical decision of choosing between BMC Helix vs. Cherwell Service Management to optimize your IT Service Management (ITSM) operations? Making the right choice can significantly impact your efficiency, service delivery, and overall IT performance. 

With both platforms' unique features and capabilities, conducting a thorough ITSM tools comparison is vital before arriving at the best-suited solution.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key aspects of both BMC Helix and Cherwell Service Management, providing you with valuable insights to aid in your decision-making process. However, the exploration doesn't end there. We’ll also introduce you to an alternative solution that stands out amidst this competitive landscape: InvGate Service Desk.

This innovative platform goes beyond traditional service desk software, emphasizing digital transformation, streamlined functionalities, and an opportunity to elevate your IT operations to new heights.

Table of Contents


  • BMC Helix is highly praised for its cutting-edge features, extensive customization capabilities, exceptional customer support, and dependable cloud hosting. However, a few users have voiced their concerns regarding the outdated interface, unpredictable licensing expenses, and challenges with generating reports and dashboards.
  • Cherwell Service Management shines with its exceptional user interface and extensive customization options. However, some users have voiced their dissatisfaction with the platform's acquisition by Ivanti, as it has presented performance difficulties when customizing the software to meet their unique requirements.
  • InvGate Service Desk stands out among its competitors in the world of ITSM and ESM, offering a powerful ticketing system, user-friendly options, extensive reporting capabilities, and unmatched cost-effectiveness.


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Most looked-at features by buyers

When examining IT Service Management options, potential buyers concentrate on specific features that match their organization's needs. It's crucial to understand these desired functionalities to make well-informed decisions. 

Let's explore the main aspects prospective buyers commonly consider when comparing ITSM tools.

  1. ITIL compliance - Adhering to ITIL best practices is a priority for many organizations. Buyers may prioritize solutions that support ITIL processes, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, and Asset Management.

  2. Efficient IT Asset Management (ITAM) - Users prioritize software that offers robust IT Asset Management capabilities to maintain accurate inventories and optimize resource utilization within their organizations.

  3. Scalability and personalization - Organizations with evolving needs prioritize solutions that can adapt to their growth and allow customization. Buyers seek a solution that enables the creation of custom fields, workflows, and extensions/plugins to cater to their specific business requirements.

  4. Ticket Management system - A comprehensive system for managing tickets within the help desk software is highly valued by buyers. This feature allows for efficient tracking, assignment, and resolution of customer inquiries and support requests.

  5. Customization and adaptability - Buyers appreciate software solutions that offer the flexibility to personalize the platform according to their business needs. This adaptability ensures the software aligns with their unique workflows and processes, resulting in higher user satisfaction and overall effectiveness.

  6. Seamless integration capabilities - The ability to integrate with other systems and applications is a critical requirement for buyers. This ensures smooth data flow and automated processes, adding value by connecting with existing tools (in particular ITAM tools) and platforms to improve efficiency and provide a unified user experience.

  7. Informative reporting - Buyers seek help desk software with powerful reporting tools, such as dashboards and reports, to gain valuable insights into their IT operations and performance. This data-driven approach facilitates informed decision-making and continuous service improvement.

  8. User experience and interface - Ease of use and a well-designed interface are critical factors for buyers. They value a user-friendly platform with an intuitive interface that enhances user adoption and productivity. Mobile accessibility is also important for organizations with remote or mobile workforces.

  9. Support automation and Workflow Management - Buyers actively seek software solutions that offer automation capabilities to streamline routine tasks like ticket routing, approvals, and escalations. These automation features contribute to increased efficiency and productivity.

  10. Cost and support - Buyers consider the cost-effectiveness of the solution, including licensing models, subscription plans, and additional costs for features or users. The availability of reliable customer support, comprehensive documentation, and accessible training resources also influence the decision-making process.

  11. Self-service portal and knowledge base - Buyers highly value a self-service portal that empowers end-users to independently resolve common issues and find relevant information without direct assistance.

  12. Streamlined IT service catalog - Organizations often seek a simplified IT service catalog that provides a centralized platform for users to request specific IT services or resources. This feature simplifies service requests, improves visibility, and aids in effective service delivery management.


What is BMC Helix?


BMC Helix ITSM, developed by BMC Software, is a Service Management platform designed to help organizations overcome challenges in managing their IT services. The platform offers a wide range of features and capabilities aimed at simplifying IT processes and improving user experiences.

BMC Software is an American multinational IT company founded in 1976 and headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company specializes in providing software solutions and services for IT operations management. Their product portfolio includes IT Service Management, IT Asset Management, IT Operations Management (ITOM), and DevOps solutions. Through these products, BMC helps organizations automate processes, manage assets, and optimize IT performance.

What users like from BMC Helix

BMC Helix has garnered positive user feedback, as evidenced by Gartner reviews. Let's now explore these advantages in more detail.

  • Responsive support - Users commend the responsiveness and helpfulness of the SAAS group, which offers timely support when needed. Additionally, the customer success team proactively ensures a successful implementation and usage of the tool, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Enhanced features and customization - Users appreciate the continuous evolution of BMC Helix, which brings about new features and improved integration with third-party vendors. The platform's flexibility allows for customization, enabling it to adapt to specific company requirements and deliver a clean and tailored user experience.
  • Customer-centric and user-friendly interface - The Helix Remedy Platform places great emphasis on customer satisfaction, offering a user-friendly experience. The Digital Workplace portal, with its modern and intuitive interface, stands out as a highlight, making it easy for users to navigate and interact with the platform.
  • Stable and reliable cloud hosting - BMC Helix provides a stable and dependable cloud hosting environment, ensuring consistent performance and uptime for users. This reliability contributes to a smooth and uninterrupted experience when using the platform's services.

What users don’t like from BMC Helix

BMC Helix, despite its strengths, has faced criticism from customers as highlighted by reputable sources like Gartner. Let's explore some of the concerns that have been raised.

  • Support issues and lack of SLAs - Resolving issues can sometimes be a time-consuming process, and dealing with back-end teams can be frustrating. Users have expressed concerns about support policies and the absence of clear Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in the SAAS environment.
  • Integration and cross-platform challenges - Although not specified in detail, users have mentioned experiencing issues with integration and cross-platform functionality. These challenges indicate the need for improvements in this area to ensure a smoother and more seamless experience for users.
  • Limitations and missing features - Users have mentioned limitations and missing features, particularly regarding customization in SmartIT and certain capabilities in newer versions of BMC Helix. These gaps in functionality can hinder users' ability to tailor the platform to their specific needs.
  • Outdated UI and mid-tier user experience - The user interface is considered outdated and not user-friendly. Additionally, the mid-tier user experience has been reported to be unsatisfactory, affecting usability and overall efficiency.
  • Inconsistent experience and poor cross-platform integration - Users have reported encountering inconsistent experiences and a lack of seamless integration across different modules of the platform. This fragmentation in user experience hampers productivity and makes it challenging to work efficiently.
  • Complicated report and dashboard creation - Creating reports and dashboards has been described as a complicated process by users. This complexity can impede effective data analysis and reporting, making it challenging for users to derive meaningful insights from the platform.
  • Unpredictable licensing costs - Users have mentioned that licensing costs can be unpredictable and inflexible, leading to difficulties in budgeting and resource allocation.
  • Complexity and training requirements - While customization is appreciated, some users find the tool to be overly complex and require extensive training. This complexity may hinder adoption and efficiency, particularly for users who are not well-versed in the platform's intricacies.

What’s BMC Helix’s argument over Cherwell Service Management?

BMC Helix presents compelling arguments when compared to Cherwell Service Management. While both platforms have their strengths, BMC Helix aims to differentiate itself based on several key aspects.

  1. Advanced features and customization capabilities - BMC Helix has an extensive array of advanced features and highly customizable options, enabling organizations to tailor the platform according to their specific business needs. Users appreciate the continuous evolution of BMC Helix, with regular updates introducing new functionalities and improved integration with third-party vendors. 

  2. Customer-centric focus and user experience - BMC Helix places a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and user-friendly experiences. The platform's intuitive and modern interface, exemplified by the Digital Workplace portal, facilitates easy navigation and interaction for end-users. Additionally, BMC Helix's proactive customer success team ensures a successful implementation and usage of the tool, contributing to an enhanced overall user experience. 

  3. Stable and reliable cloud hosting - BMC Helix provides a stable and reliable cloud hosting environment, ensuring consistent performance and uptime for users. This level of reliability contributes to a seamless and uninterrupted experience when utilizing BMC Helix's services. 


What is Cherwell Service Management?

Example of Cherwell Service Management's interface.

Cherwell Service Management, developed by Ivanti, is an IT Service Management platform designed to effectively cater to the needs of service departments without the need for coding or scripting. It stands out by providing automated IT service delivery through a comprehensive array of pre-built tools.

Cherwell Service Management has several noteworthy features. Its codeless architecture allows for enhanced business agility, and the drag-and-drop functionality simplifies customization while employing automated workflows to eliminate time-consuming manual processes.

In addition to these features, Cherwell Service Management includes Project Management capabilities. The platform also offers a unique feature called Mergeable Applications ('mApps'), which enables users to share custom applications, extensions, and enhancements without impacting the core system's functionality.

Furthermore, Cherwell Service Management supports multiple languages and provides deployment options as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution or through on-premise deployment. It also integrates seamlessly with Ivanti Neurons, a platform equipped with predictive, self-healing, and autonomous remediation capabilities, enhancing system performance and security.

What users like from Cherwell Service Management

Cherwell has garnered positive customer feedback, as evidenced by reputable sources like Gartner. Here are some of the benefits that have been mentioned.

  • User-friendly interface - The platform provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface, aiming to enhance usability and facilitate efficient interactions with the system.
  • Low-code/No-code approach - Cherwell Service Management's low-code/no-code environment allows users to swiftly set up and implement new features without requiring extensive coding knowledge or expertise.
  • Extensive customization - Users appreciate the wide range of customization options available in the platform, enabling them to tailor different aspects of the system, such as form fields and workflows, to their specific needs.
  • Automation and Workflow Management - The tool excels in automation capabilities, making it easy for users to design and implement complex workflows according to their requirements.
  • API integrations - The platform's support for API integrations enables seamless connectivity with other systems, enhancing its overall functionality.

What users don’t like from Cherwell Service Management

Despite its strengths and positive aspects, Cherwell has received feedback from customers expressing their concerns and dislikes about certain aspects of the platform. Based on analyses from reputable sources like Gartner, here are some of the mentioned dislikes.

  • Sales push towards Ivanti - After Ivanti acquired Cherwell Software, customers voiced dissatisfaction with the aggressive sales approach towards Ivanti Neurons, an alternative platform. The sudden change and shift in focus have not been well-received by Cherwell's existing customer base, leading to dissatisfaction among them.
  • Bugs and issues with upgrades - Users have reported experiencing bugs and challenges during platform upgrades. Some releases have been poorly planned, resulting in problems that require resolution and negatively impacting the user experience.
  • Performance issues - Some users have encountered performance issues, particularly when dealing with large databases or extensive groups of technicians. These issues can affect the system's responsiveness, causing users frustration.
  • Customization challenges - While Cherwell offers extensive customizability, some users have found certain development and customization tasks to be complex and time-consuming, especially when creating new Business Objects and Forms.
  • Outdated user interface - Certain users find the graphical user interface (GUI) of Cherwell to be outdated and less responsive, particularly when comparing the web version to the desktop application. This discrepancy in user interface quality has led to dissatisfaction among some users.
  • Customer support - The level of support provided has faced criticism from some users. Complaints include slow response times and perceived reluctance to acknowledge software behavior as bugs, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction with the support services.

What’s Cherwell Service Management’s argument over BMC Helix?

Cherwell Service Management presents compelling arguments in comparison to BMC Helix. While both platforms offer valuable features, Cherwell Service Management strives to differentiate itself based on several key aspects.

  1. Intuitive low-code/no-code environment - One of Cherwell Service Management's standout features is its low-code/no-code approach, which empowers users to quickly and easily create and implement new features without extensive coding knowledge.

  2. Extensive customization and flexible workflows - Cherwell Service Management is highly regarded for its extensive customization options, allowing organizations to tailor the platform according to their specific needs and processes.

  3. Workflow Management - Cherwell Service Management excels in automation capabilities, enabling users to design and implement complex workflows easily. The platform's emphasis on task automation streamlines processes and reduces manual intervention, leading to increased efficiency and quicker incident resolution. 

  4. User interface and user experience - Cherwell Service Management takes pride in providing a modern, intuitive, and user-friendly interface that enhances usability and fosters efficient interactions with the platform. The visually appealing and responsive interface contributes to a pleasant user experience, making navigation and task execution more intuitive and enjoyable. 


Considering InvGate Service Desk as an ITSM solution alternative

While BMC Helix and Cherwell Service Management are major competitors in the ITSM industry, it's crucial to consider other options that closely match your organization's specific needs. In this regard, InvGate Service Desk emerges as a compelling alternative worth careful consideration.

Let's explore the comprehensive features of InvGate Service Desk that make it an attractive choice for fulfilling your organization's ITSM requirements.

Simplified configuration and setup

InvGate Service Desk offers a user-friendly configuration process using a no-code/low-code approach, allowing both new and experienced users to implement the system without extensive technical expertise. This makes it easy for organizations to leverage its powerful ITSM capabilities quickly.

Cost-effective solution

InvGate Service Desk offers a cost-effective solution without compromising functionality. It provides a comprehensive range of ITSM features at a competitive price point, making it an appealing choice for organizations seeking affordability without sacrificing capabilities. Compared to alternatives like BMC Helix and Cherwell Service Management, InvGate Service Desk strikes a balance between cost and functionality.

Robust Ticketing and Incident Management

InvGate Service Desk stands out with its powerful features for efficient ticket tracking, collaboration, and resolution. The platform offers automated ticket routing, customizable workflows, and SLA Management, enabling IT teams to handle and prioritize incidents effectively.

Example of a Ticket Management view on InvGate Service Desk.

Strong self-service capabilities

InvGate Service Desk provides robust self-service functionalities, including a user-friendly portal, an extensive IT service catalog, and a knowledge base. These features empower end-users to independently resolve common issues, access various IT services, and utilize self-help resources, thereby reducing the workload on IT staff.


Customization and flexibility

With InvGate Service Desk, organizations can choose between on-premise or cloud-based solutions, providing the flexibility to cater to various sectors and industries with specific requirements.

Comprehensive Asset Management

By integrating with InvGate Insight, InvGate Service Desk offers a holistic view of the IT ecosystem, leading to improved service delivery and reduced downtime. InvGate Insight provides features such as IT Asset Discovery, Inventory Management, Software License Management, and maintenance schedules.




ITSM focus with ESM extension

InvGate Service Desk is specifically designed for ITSM but seamlessly extends its capabilities to Enterprise Service Management (ESM). This allows operational departments to enhance their processes and fully embrace digital transformation, facilitating streamlined workflows and comprehensive digital transformation initiatives across all departments.

ITIL best practice compliance

InvGate Service Desk has earned the prestigious PinkVERIFIED Certified certification, demonstrating its commitment to upholding ITSM excellence. Whether organizations are starting their ITIL journey or managing complex operations, InvGate Service Desk offers a user-friendly and feature-rich experience aligned with industry best practices.

Comprehensive reporting and analytics

InvGate Service Desk provides extensive reporting and analytics functionalities, enabling organizations to gain valuable insights into their IT operations and performance. The platform offers ready-to-use reports and customizable dashboards, empowering IT teams to analyze data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions to enhance their services.

InvGate Service Desk's customizable dashboard view.

Exceptional user experience

InvGate Service Desk prioritizes delivering an exceptional user experience through meticulous design and adherence to UI/UX best practices. Its intuitive interface promotes quick adoption and minimizes the need for extensive training, ensuring a user-friendly design that maximizes productivity.

Fast ROI and ongoing innovation

InvGate Service Desk ensures a fast return on investment through efficient implementation processes. Within weeks, organizations can start experiencing the benefits of this robust ITSM solution. Additionally, regular feature updates keep users at the forefront of technology without incurring additional costs.

Next steps

In the ever-evolving landscape of IT Service Management, the choice between BMC Helix vs. Cherwell Service Management involves understanding their distinct strengths and shortcomings. 

However, to ensure a comprehensive evaluation and make the best-informed decision, exploring alternatives beyond these two platforms is highly recommended. One such alternative worth considering is InvGate Service Desk. With a strong focus on delivering an exceptional user experience, robust functionalities, and a customer-centric approach, this software presents a compelling option for organizations striving to optimize their ITSM operations.

Want to discover how InvGate Service Desk can revolutionize your ITSM experience? Explore our live demo for a hands-on experience, and witness firsthand the power and efficiency that InvGate Service Desk brings to the table.

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