BMC Helix vs. ServiceNow

Brenda Gratas March 24, 2023
- 19 min read

Are you grappling with the decision between BMC Helix vs. ServiceNow for your organization's IT Service Management (ITSM) needs? With numerous ITSM options available in the market, selecting the right platform that seamlessly aligns with your unique requirements can be a daunting task.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into an extensive comparison between BMC Helix and ServiceNow, two prominent contenders in the realm of ITSM. We’ll analyze their key features, strengths, weaknesses, and user feedback to help you make an informed decision. However, if neither of these platforms fully meets your specific needs, we have an alternative solution that could be the perfect match for you — InvGate Service Desk. InvGate Service Desk is a robust service desk software meticulously designed to streamline service delivery and empower organizations. 

Let's embark on this journey of ITSM tools comparison and discover the ideal solution that will propel your organization forward!

Table of contents



  • BMC Helix is praised for its enhanced features and customization, responsive support, and stable cloud hosting. It has also been manifested that the UI can be outdated and too complex, the licensing costs can be unpredictable, and there can be challenges with reports and dashboards.

  • Service Now stands out for its continuous product enhancements and integration capabilities. However, users have also pointed out its high licensing costs and potential additional expenses and steep learning curve and complexity for new users.

  • InvGate Service Desk comes in as a strong option, offering a streamlined configuration and setup process using a no-code/low-code approach, exceptional user experience, and a cost-effective solution without compromising functionality.

Want the short version? Pick InvGate Service Desk and start handling tickets in a day

We tried to be as thorough as possible, but if you don't have enough time to read it through and through, here's (another) TL;DR: InvGate Service Desk can do everything we say here, and you can test it right away for free for 30 days.


Most looked-at features by buyers

When evaluating IT Service Management solutions, prospective buyers focus on specific functionalities that align with their organization's requirements. It is crucial to understand these desired features to make well-informed decisions. 

Now, let's explore the primary aspects that potential buyers commonly consider when comparing ITSM tools.

  1. Ticket Management system - A comprehensive Ticket Management system within the help desk software is of great importance to buyers. This feature enables efficient tracking, assignment, and resolution of customer inquiries and support requests.

  2. Seamless integration capabilities - Integrating with other systems and applications is a crucial requirement for buyers, ensuring smooth data flow and automated processes. The ability to integrate with existing tools and platforms (for instance, a native integration with an ITAM tool) is highly valued for improved efficiency and a unified user experience.

  3. Scalability and personalization - Organizations with evolving needs prioritize solutions that can adjust to their growth and allow customization. The solution should enable the creation of custom fields, workflows, and extensions/plugins to cater to the organization's specific business requirements.

  4. Informative reporting - Buyers look for help desk software with powerful reporting tools like dashboards and reports, providing valuable insights into their IT operations and performance. This data-driven approach facilitates informed decision-making and 
    continuous service improvement.

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

  6. User experience and interface - Ease of use and interface design are critical factors that buyers consider. They appreciate 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. Cost and support - Buyers take into account the solution's cost-effectiveness, 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.

  10. Self-service portal and knowledge base - The inclusion of a self-service portal is highly valued as it empowers end-users to independently resolve common issues and find relevant information without requiring direct assistance.

  11. Streamlined IT service catalog - Organizations often require 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.

  12. 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.

What is BMC Helix?


BMC Helix ITSM is a Service Management platform provided by BMC Software. Its purpose is to help organizations overcome the difficulties they encounter when handling their IT services. The platform offers a variety of features and capabilities that aim to simplify IT processes and enhance the experiences of users.

BMC Software, an American multinational IT company, was established in 1976 and is based in Houston, Texas. The company specializes in providing software solutions and services for managing IT operations. Their product portfolio includes IT Service Management, IT Asset Management , IT Operations Management (ITOM), and DevOps solutions. By offering these products, BMC assists organizations in automating processes, managing assets, and enhancing IT performance.

What users like from BMC Helix

Users have expressed positive feedback about BMC Helix, as evident from reviews by Gartner. Now, let's delve into these benefits.

  • Customer-focused and user-friendly interface - The Helix Remedy Platform prioritizes customer satisfaction and offers a user-friendly experience. The Digital Workplace portal stands out with its modern and intuitive interface.
  • Enhanced features and customization - Users appreciate the evolution, which has brought new features and improved integration with third-party vendors. The platform allows customization to adapt to specific company needs, providing a clean and tailored user experience.
  • Stable and reliable cloud hosting - BMC Helix offers a stable and reliable cloud hosting environment, ensuring consistent performance and uptime for users.
  • Responsive support - Users find the SAAS group to be responsive and helpful, providing timely support. The customer success team is proactive in ensuring successful implementation and usage of the tool.

What users don’t like from BMC Helix

While BMC Helix has its strong points, it has also faced criticism from customers, as reported by reputable sources such as Gartner. Now, let's examine some of the concerns that have been raised.

  • Inconsistent experience and poor cross-platform integration - Users report inconsistent experiences and a lack of seamless integration across different modules of the platform. This leads to a fragmented user experience and hampers productivity.
  • Outdated UI and mid-tier user experience - The user interface is considered outdated and not user-friendly. Additionally, the mid-tier user experience is reported to be unsatisfactory, impacting usability and efficiency.
  • Limitations and missing features - Users mention limitations and missing features, particularly regarding customization in SmartIT and certain capabilities in newer versions of BMC Helix.
  • Support issues and lack of SLAs - Resolving issues can sometimes take a long time, and working with back-end teams can be frustrating. Users express concerns about support policies and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in the SAAS environment.
  • Complexity and training requirements - While customization is appreciated, some users find the tool to be complex and require intensive training. This complexity can hinder adoption and efficiency for certain users.
  • Unpredictable licensing costs - Users mention that licensing costs can be unpredictable and inflexible, causing difficulties in budgeting and resource allocation.
  • Complicated report and dashboard creation - Users find the process of creating reports and dashboards to be complicated, which can impede effective data analysis and reporting.
  • Integration and cross-platform challenges - Although not specified in detail, users mention issues with integration and cross-platform functionality, indicating that improvements are needed in this area.

What’s BMC Helix’s argument over ServiceNow?

While both BMC Helix and ServiceNow are significant players in the ITSM industry, BMC Helix brings several compelling arguments to the table when compared to ServiceNow. Let's explore these points of distinction.

  1. Customer-focused experience - BMC Helix stands out with its customer-focused approach and user-friendly interface. The Helix Remedy Platform prioritizes customer satisfaction, offering a modern and intuitive Digital Workplace portal. This emphasis on enhancing user experience can contribute to higher user adoption rates and improved productivity.

  2. Enhanced customization and tailoring - Users appreciate BMC Helix's evolution, which has brought new features and improved integration with third-party vendors. The platform allows for extensive customization, enabling organizations to adapt the solution to their specific business needs. This flexibility provides a clean and tailored user experience, ensuring the platform aligns closely with the organization's workflows and processes.

  3. Stable and reliable cloud hosting - BMC Helix offers a stable and reliable cloud hosting environment. With consistent performance and uptime, users can rely on the platform for seamless operations and uninterrupted service delivery.

  4. Responsive support and proactive customer success - Users have positive experiences with BMC Helix's support teams. The SAAS group is known for being responsive and helpful, providing timely assistance. Additionally, the customer success team takes a proactive approach, ensuring successful implementation and usage of the tool. This level of support can contribute to a smoother user experience and increased customer satisfaction.

  5. Robust IT Asset Management capabilities - BMC Helix offers comprehensive ITAM capabilities, allowing organizations to maintain accurate inventories, optimize resource utilization, and ensure compliance. This feature is highly valued by users who prioritize efficient Asset Management practices.

What is ServiceNow?

Example of ServiceNow's interface.

ServiceNow is a company that specializes in delivering a cloud-based platform designed to streamline IT Service Management and digital workflows for organizations. Their primary objective is to simplify and automate IT operations, improve customer experiences, and drive digital transformation in businesses.

Established in 2004 and headquartered in Santa Clara, California, ServiceNow offers a comprehensive range of cloud-based solutions that can be tailored to meet the unique operational requirements of enterprises. Their solutions span various domains, encompassing IT Service Management, IT Operations Management, IT Business Management, Customer Service Management, Human Resources Service Delivery, Security Operations, and more.

ServiceNow has also forged strategic partnerships with prominent companies like NVIDIA and Juniper Networks, further bolstering their market presence and capabilities.

What users like from ServiceNow

Customers have expressed positive feedback regarding ServiceNow, as documented by reputable sources like Gartner and G2. Here are some of the benefits highlighted.

  • Cloud-based infrastructure - ServiceNow's cloud-based platform allows organizations to scale their operations easily, adapt to changing requirements, and access the platform from any location with an internet connection.
  • Continuous product enhancements - ServiceNow consistently introduces improvements by acquiring new technologies and developing native features. Customers appreciate the company's transparent product roadmap, which provides visibility into upcoming enhancements and features.
  • Expanded usage across multiple domains - ServiceNow's value extends beyond IT Service Management, with customers finding value in utilizing the platform for various other areas such as Human Resources (HR), Customer Engagement Center (CEC), Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), and IT Operations Management (ITOM).
  • Growing user community - ServiceNow has gained significant relevance in the industry and boasts a rapidly expanding community of users. Many customers discover or gain experience with the platform through recommendations from their peers.
  • Native AI capabilities - ServiceNow leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to offer built-in AI capabilities. These include virtual Agent chatbots and predictive intelligence, enhancing the platform's functionality and user experience.
  • Integration capabilities - ServiceNow provides features that facilitate seamless integration with other systems and applications. This capability enables efficient data exchange and workflow automation, enhancing overall operational efficiency for customers.

What users don’t like from ServiceNow

While ServiceNow has numerous strengths, customers have also expressed concerns and dislikes about certain aspects of the platform, as noted by reputable sources like Gartner and G2. Here are some of the dislikes mentioned.

  • High licensing costs and potential additional expenses - ServiceNow's extensive functionality and advanced features come at a price. Licensing fees can be substantial, especially for organizations requiring capabilities beyond ITSM. Additional costs for customizations or specialized modules may contribute to a high overall cost of ownership.
  • Steep learning curve and complexity for new users - Some users find that ServiceNow's platform has a steep learning curve, particularly when utilizing its more advanced features. The system's complexity may require additional training and resources to leverage its capabilities fully.
  • Challenges in customizing workflows and processes - The platform may have limitations in terms of flexibility and customization options, making it challenging for organizations to tailor the system to their specific needs and unique business processes.
  • Renewal leverage concerns - ServiceNow's dominance in the market can impact customers' ability to negotiate contracts and renewals without jeopardizing existing discounts or concessions.
  • Difficulties and delays during implementation - Organizations may encounter issues during platform configuration, data migration, or integration with existing systems, resulting in longer implementation timelines and potential frustrations.
  • Mixed feedback on customer support - Some users have reported concerns about response times and accessibility when seeking support from ServiceNow, indicating inconsistencies in customer support.
  • Limited presence in emerging markets - ServiceNow has a limited presence in certain emerging markets, with fewer local offices and a lack of hosting options in regions like the Middle East. This can restrict accessibility and support for organizations operating in those areas.

What’s ServiceNow’s argument over BMC Helix?

While BMC Helix presents strong arguments, ServiceNow also brings its own compelling advantages when compared to BMC Helix. Let's explore ServiceNow's key arguments over BMC Helix.

  1. Established industry leader - ServiceNow has established itself as a leading player in the ITSM industry. With a solid reputation and widespread adoption, ServiceNow offers a proven and trusted solution for organizations of all sizes. Its extensive market presence and strong user community provide a sense of reliability and industry recognition.

  2. A comprehensive suite of solutions - ServiceNow offers a comprehensive suite of solutions that go beyond ITSM. Organizations can leverage ServiceNow's platform for various domains, such as Human Resources (HR), Customer Engagement Center (CEC), Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), and IT Operations Management (ITOM). This breadth of offerings allows for a unified approach to managing multiple business functions, leading to improved efficiency and collaboration across departments.

  3. Native AI capabilities - ServiceNow excels in leveraging AI and ML to provide native AI capabilities. These include virtual Agent chatbots and predictive intelligence, enhancing the functionality and user experience of the platform. By incorporating AI, ServiceNow helps organizations automate tasks, streamline processes, and provide intelligent insights.

  4. Extensive integration capabilities - ServiceNow is known for its robust integration capabilities, allowing seamless integration with other systems and applications. This feature enables efficient data exchange, workflow automation, and the creation of a unified ecosystem. Organizations can leverage ServiceNow's integration capabilities to streamline processes, improve data accuracy, and enhance operational efficiency.

  5. Continuous product enhancements - ServiceNow consistently introduces improvements to its platform through the acquisition of new technologies and the development of native features. The company's transparent product roadmap provides visibility into upcoming enhancements and features, ensuring that customers stay at the forefront of technology advancements.

  6. Industry-standard ITIL practices - ServiceNow is renowned for its adherence to ITIL best practices. By aligning with these industry standards, ServiceNow enables organizations to implement robust ITSM processes, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, and Asset Management. This alignment with ITIL practices provides a structured framework for effective IT service delivery and governance.

  7. Strong focus on user experience - ServiceNow places a strong emphasis on user experience, offering a user-friendly interface and intuitive design. The platform's interface promotes quick adoption and minimizes the need for extensive training, maximizing user productivity. ServiceNow's commitment to a positive user experience contributes to higher user satisfaction and engagement.

Considering InvGate Service Desk as an ITSM solution alternative



While BMC Helix and ServiceNow are prominent competitors in the ITSM industry, it is essential to explore alternative solutions that closely align with your organization's specific needs. In this context, InvGate Service Desk emerges as a compelling option that warrants careful consideration. 

Now, let's delve into the comprehensive features of InvGate Service Desk that make it a valuable choice for fulfilling your organization's ITSM requirements.

Robust Ticketing and Incident Management

Example of a Ticket Management view on InvGate Service Desk.

InvGate Service Desk excels in providing powerful features for efficient tracking, collaboration, and resolution of tickets. IT teams benefit from automated ticket routing, customizable workflows, and SLA Management, enabling them to handle and prioritize incidents effectively.

Customization and flexibility

InvGate Service Desk offers flexible deployment options, allowing organizations to choose between on-premise or cloud-based solutions. This adaptability ensures that the platform can cater to the specific requirements of different sectors and industries.

Simplified configuration and setup

InvGate Service Desk offers a streamlined configuration and setup process using a no-code/low-code approach. This user-friendly approach allows both new and experienced users to implement the system without extensive technical expertise. The platform provides straightforward configuration options, enabling organizations to leverage their powerful ITSM capabilities quickly.

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, reducing the workload on IT staff.

Comprehensive Asset Management

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

ITSM focus with ESM extension

InvGate Service Desk is purpose-built for ITSM and seamlessly extends its capabilities to Enterprise Service Management (ESM). It enables operational departments to enhance their processes and fully embrace the benefits of digital transformation. With a primary focus on ITSM and strong performance in ESM, InvGate Service Desk facilitates streamlined workflows and comprehensive digital transformation initiatives across all departments.

Comprehensive reporting and analytics

InvGate Service Desk's customizable dashboard view.

InvGate Service Desk provides extensive reporting and analytics functionalities, allowing 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.

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.

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 ServiceNow, InvGate Service Desk strikes a balance between cost and functionality.

ITIL-certified readiness

InvGate Service Desk has obtained the esteemed ITIL4 certification from PINK Elephant, 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.

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

When faced with the decision of selecting an ITSM solution, it is vital to evaluate options like BMC Helix vs. ServiceNow carefully. However, one alternative that stands out is InvGate Service Desk

With its streamlined functionalities and robust features, InvGate Service Desk offers a compelling choice for organizations aiming to optimize their IT services and embrace digital transformation.

To experience the benefits of InvGate Service Desk firsthand, explore our live demo. See how this solution can transform your organization's IT operations and drive efficiency. Make a well-informed decision and choose InvGate Service Desk to unlock the full potential of your IT Service Management.

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