BMC Helix vs. SolarWinds

Brenda Gratas February 9, 2023
- 16 min read

Are you torn between BMC Helix vs. SolarWinds as you seek the right IT Service Management (ITSM) platform for your organization? With the abundance of ITSM options available, finding the perfect fit that aligns seamlessly with your unique requirements can be a challenging endeavor.

In this blog post, we’ll embark on an in-depth comparison between BMC Helix and SolarWinds, two prominent players in the realm of ITSM. We’ll closely examine their key features, strengths, weaknesses, and user feedback to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.

However, if neither BMC Helix nor SolarWinds fully satisfies your specific needs, fear not. We have an alternative solution that could be the ideal match for your organization — InvGate Service Desk. Meticulously designed to streamline service delivery and empower organizations, InvGate Service Desk offers a robust service desk software solution that may be the perfect fit for you.

Join us on this journey of ITSM tools comparison, and let's uncover 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 It has also been manifested that the UI can be outdated and too complex, the licensing costs can be unpredictable, and there can be challenges with reports and dashboards.

  • SolarWinds provides comprehensive ITSM features, a user-friendly interface and offers customization plus efficiency gains. However, users face challenges with initial setup, integrations, workflow complexity, and reporting.

  • 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.
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Most looked-at features by buyers

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

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

  1. Ticket Management system - Buyers greatly emphasize a comprehensive Ticket Management system within the help desk software. This feature enables efficient tracking, assignment, and resolution of customer inquiries and support requests.

  2. 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.

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

  4. Informative reporting - Buyers seek help desk software with powerful reporting tools like dashboards and reports. These features provide valuable insights into IT operations and performance, facilitating informed decision-making and continuous service improvement.

  5. Seamless integration capabilities - The ability to integrate with other systems and applications is a critical requirement for buyers. They seek smooth data flow and automated processes, valuing the capability to integrate with existing tools and platforms for improved efficiency and a unified user experience. Native integrations with ITAM tools is also a must for effective operations.

  6. Scalability and personalization - Organizations with evolving needs prioritize solutions that can adapt to their growth and allow customization. Buyers look for the ability to create custom fields, workflows, and extensions/plugins to cater to their specific business requirements.

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

  8. User experience and interface - Ease of use and interface design 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. Cost and support: Buyers consider the solution's cost-effectiveness, including licensing models, subscription plans, and additional costs for features or users. Reliable customer support, comprehensive documentation, and accessible training resources also influence decision-making.

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

  11. Self-service portal and knowledge base - Including 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.

  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?

Example of BMC Helix's interface.

BMC Helix ITSM is a Service Management platform created by BMC Software to assist organizations in overcoming challenges related to managing their IT services. This platform provides various features and capabilities to simplify IT processes and improve user experiences.

BMC Software is a multinational IT company headquartered in Houston, Texas, founded in 1976. The company specializes in delivering software solutions and services for IT operations management. Their product lineup includes IT Service Management, IT Asset Management, IT Operations Management (ITOM), and DevOps solutions. By offering these products, BMC helps organizations automate processes, manage assets, and enhance overall IT performance.

What users like from BMC Helix

Users have expressed positive feedback about BMC Helix, as indicated by Gartner reviews. Let's explore the advantages in more detail.

  • Stable and reliable cloud hosting - BMC Helix provides a stable and reliable cloud hosting environment, ensuring consistent performance and uptime for users.
  • Customer-focused and user-friendly interface - BMC 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 platform's continuous evolution, which has introduced new features and improved integration with third-party vendors. It also allows customization to suit specific company needs, resulting in a clean and tailored user experience.
  • Responsive support - Users find the SAAS group to be responsive and helpful, providing timely support. The customer success team actively ensures successful implementation and usage of the tool.

What users don’t like from BMC Helix

While BMC Helix has its strengths, it has also faced criticism from customers, as reported by reputable sources like Gartner. Let's examine some of the concerns that have been raised.

  • Outdated UI and mid-tier user experience - Users consider the interface outdated and not user-friendly. Additionally, the mid-tier user experience is reported to be unsatisfactory, impacting usability and efficiency.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unpredictable licensing costs - Users mention that licensing costs can be unpredictable and inflexible, causing difficulties in budgeting and resource allocation.
  • Limitations and missing features - Users mention limitations and missing features, particularly regarding customization in SmartIT and certain capabilities in newer versions of BMC Helix.
  • 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.
  • Complexity and training requirements - While customization is appreciated, some users find the tool to be complex and require extensive training. This complexity can hinder adoption and efficiency for certain users.
  • 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.

What’s BMC Helix’s argument over SolarWinds?

While both BMC Helix and SolarWinds Service Desk have their strengths and weaknesses, BMC Helix presents several key arguments that differentiate it from SolarWinds. Let's delve into BMC Helix's advantages over SolarWinds Service Desk based on the user feedback and concerns identified.

  1. Stable and reliable cloud hosting - BMC Helix receives praise for providing a stable and reliable cloud hosting environment, ensuring consistent performance and uptime. This reliability gives users confidence in the platform's availability and performance, contributing to a seamless IT service experience.

  2. Customer-focused and user-friendly interface - BMC Helix's commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in its user-friendly interface, prioritizing ease of use and navigation. The modern and intuitive Digital Workplace portal enhances user experience, making it accessible for both technical and non-technical users.

  3. Enhanced features and customization - Users appreciate BMC Helix's continuous evolution, introducing new features and improved integration with third-party vendors. The platform's customization options allow organizations to tailor it to their specific needs, resulting in a clean and tailored user experience.

  4. Responsive support - BMC Helix's SAAS group is commended for its responsiveness and helpfulness, providing timely support to address users' needs. The customer success team actively ensures successful implementation and usage of the tool, contributing to a positive user experience.

What is SolarWinds?

Example of Solarwind's interface.

SolarWinds Corporation is a software company that specializes in managing IT systems. Their main product is SolarWinds Service Desk, a cloud-based platform for IT Service Management. This platform offers a range of features designed to simplify IT operations and boost efficiency. These features encompass automation capabilities, self-service functionality, tools for IT Asset Management, and integrations with other systems. The platform is structured into modules dedicated to handling incidents, problems, releases, and changes, and it also incorporates a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). The software also provides personalized reports to obtain valuable insights regarding operations.

What users like from SolarWinds

Customers have highlighted several positive aspects of SolarWinds Service Desk in Gartner reviews. Let's explore some of the benefits that customers and experts have emphasized.

  • User-friendly interface and experience - Users consistently praise the user-friendly interface and ease of navigation. This makes the platform accessible and user-friendly for individuals with varying technical backgrounds.
  • Customization and integration options - Users value the customization options provided by the platform, allowing them to tailor it to their specific needs. The integration capabilities with other tools and services are also highly praised.
  • Comprehensive ITSM features - Users appreciate the wide range of features available on the platform, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Asset Management, and a service catalog. The platform's comprehensive nature is highly regarded.
  • Efficiency and productivity improvements - Users report significant improvements in efficiency and productivity by streamlining IT operations and providing effective incident resolution processes.
  • Effective ITAM - Users highly appreciate the Asset Management capabilities of the software. The platform enables efficient tracking of hardware, software, licenses, and contracts, resulting in effective IT Asset Management practices.

What users don’t like from SolarWinds

While SolarWinds Service Desk has numerous strengths and positive attributes, customers have expressed specific concerns and criticisms about the platform. Let's explore some of the issues highlighted in analyses from reputable sources like Gartner.

  • Challenges in initial setup and implementation - Some users mention that the initial setup and implementation process of SolarWinds Service Desk can be time-consuming, particularly when importing existing inventory.
  • Localization and language support - Some users suggest that SolarWinds Service Desk could improve support for multiple languages and enhance localization features to cater to a more diverse user base.
  • Integration with third-party apps - Users feel that there is room for improvement in terms of supporting seamless integrations with third-party applications within SolarWinds Service Desk.
  • Limited customization options - Users mention that the available customization options in the platform are limited and could benefit from expansion.
  • Complex workflow - Some users find the workflow within the software to be complex or cumbersome, indicating a need for simplified processes.
  • Limitations in reporting functionality - Users desire improved reporting capabilities and more comprehensive analytics within the software.
  • A desire for additional features - Users express a desire for additional features to be added to the tool, including a calendar booking system, webhooks for integration purposes, and enhanced functionality on the mobile app.
  • Limitations in search functionality - Users note limitations in the search functionality of the tool, suggesting the need for enhancements in this area.

What’s SolarWinds’ argument over BMC Helix?

While BMC Helix has its strengths, SolarWinds Service Desk presents compelling arguments that differentiate it from BMC Helix. Based on user feedback and identified concerns, let's explore SolarWinds' advantages over BMC Helix.

  1. User-friendly interface and experience - SolarWinds Service Desk consistently receives praise for its user-friendly interface and ease of navigation. The platform's intuitive design makes it accessible and user-friendly for individuals with varying technical backgrounds, promoting quick adoption and minimizing the need for extensive training.

  2. Customization and integration options - Users value SolarWinds' customization options, allowing them to tailor the platform to their needs. The ability to integrate with other tools and services is highly praised, providing a seamless and unified experience across various systems.

  3. Comprehensive ITSM features - SolarWinds Service Desk offers a wide range of features, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Asset Management, and a service catalog. Users appreciate the platform's comprehensive nature, enabling them to handle various ITSM processes within a single solution.

  4. Efficiency and productivity improvements - Users report significant improvements in efficiency and productivity by streamlining IT operations and providing effective incident resolution processes. SolarWinds Service Desk's automation capabilities increase efficiency, reducing manual efforts and enabling IT teams to focus on more strategic tasks.

  5. Effective IT Asset Management: Users highly value SolarWinds' Asset Management capabilities, allowing them to track hardware, software, licenses, and contracts effectively. This facilitates efficient IT Asset Management practices, optimizing resource utilization and ensuring compliance.

Considering InvGate Service Desk as an ITSM solution alternative



While BMC Helix and SolarWinds are well-known competitors in the ITSM industry, it is crucial to consider alternative solutions that closely align with your organization's specific needs. In this regard, InvGate Service Desk stands out as a compelling option that warrants careful consideration. 

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

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.

Robust Ticketing and Incident Management

Example of a Ticket Management view on InvGate Service Desk.

InvGate Service Desk offers powerful features for efficient tracking, collaboration, and resolution of tickets. With automated ticket routing, customizable workflows, and SLA Management, IT teams can effectively handle and prioritize incidents.

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 its powerful ITSM capabilities quickly.

Customization and flexibility

InvGate Service Desk provides 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 comparing BMC Helix vs. SolarWinds as ITSM solutions, it is crucial to consider alternative options that closely align with your organization's specific needs. InvGate Service Desk emerges as a strong contender, offering streamlined functionalities and robust features to optimize your IT services and facilitate digital transformation.

To truly understand the transformative potential of InvGate Service Desk, explore our live demo. Unlock the full potential of your IT Service Management and set your organization on the path to success!

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