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xMatters IT Management Room for Improvement

ES
Senior Manager of Technology Operations at a retailer with 10,001+ employees

The mobile app has come a long way since we brought xMatters on board. Previously, it had lacked some features and functionality. 

Subscriptions are pretty intuitive, allowing qualifiers to say, "If it includes or contains this value, letter, or phrase, then it is helpful." Something that has been a challenge for us is the ability to add the exclude option, as part of one of those qualifiers. For example, if I said that I want to know anytime the incident priority is P1. Therefore, send me an email notification so I can be aware anytime that is the case. That is easy to do. Unfortunately, our networking team creates a P1 every time one of our store's network is down, even though it is on cell backup, which is a secondary circuit. So, the store isn't actually down. It is just that the primary is down. However, by our incident definitions, it is still a P one. This happens more often than not. 

What I would like it to do is tell me anytime there is a P1 incident, except when the ticket is assigned to this team or when this word is in the summary, but there is no exclusion option. I have been complaining about this for a couple years. At one point, we created a ticket for this with the developers to review. I assume that once enough people complain about it, they will bump it up in priority to work on. However, if not enough people think it is an issue, then they prioritize their work and work on other features and functionality. However, this is something that has been challenging for us because we have needed to find ways to work around it or just deal with it. So, I would love to see an exclusion option.

I would like them to extend the level of logging for the timeframe. There are different types of logs. Some are six months and some might be a year. We would like the option to go back so we can run year-over-year reports. I think that would be advantageous because oftentimes it doesn't extend two full years, so I can't do a comparison. Sometimes, it doesn't even extend to a year depending on what it is, so I can't go back. For example, holidays are really big for us now in terms of preparation. So, someone might ask, "Hey, can you tell me what we did last year? How many times was I notified? Do I have to staff up for this?" However, I can't go back that far with some of the data to do that. 

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MB
Infrastructure Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

They recently released an incident module that allows users, or at least teams, to track major incidents and other things, and you can send out communication via that one webpage. You can engage on-call teams and communicate to stakeholders as well, but one thing that is missing there is a group chat. If there is a group chat on the same webpage that all of the support teams could use, it would be a one-stop shop that all of the major incident managers would use as their product to manage a major incident. Without that, at the moment, they are mainly referring to teams and then adding data into xMatters as and when they can.

Some of the workflow development work that we do for the in-house piece can be quite complicated if you don't have experience using the tool. You have to have to go through the documentation, but I suppose that's an expectation. 

When users first log on and they're configuring the rotas, it does take them a bit of time to get their heads around how to configure the shifts. Some of them do need guidance. We have got a support document, and xMatters also has a support page where they can go and read through the details. Our roles and access for each user are locked down, as opposed to just letting them access the xMatters portal because it can add more confusion because the support portal explains that they can do X, Y, and Z. So, we're removing that ability, but once the users get their head around how to configure the rotas, the overall intuitiveness of the UI is pretty good. It is simple and clean, and they don't have to do that many steps. There are probably one or two group supervisors that configure the rotas, and the rest of them log on. We've already pre-populated the contact details from our directory, so usually, they'll just go and add a personal device, if they do want to get called on a personal device, or they want to set up the app, which is pretty easy using the QR codes. The product looks nice and clean. The only thing is that it takes a little bit of work to get your head around the rotas, but once you do, it's pretty darn simple.

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NickYoung - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Enterprise Reporting, Visualization & Analytics at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees

We would like to see a greater variety of integrations with ServiceNow. It works fine as it is, but an enhancement would be the ability to interact with the major incident module in ServiceNow. In ServiceNow, you can create an incident which is priority-1, 2, 3 or 4. The existing xMatters integration allows you to filter on just P1s and P2s, or on all priorities, or on just select ones. The way our major incident process works, when an incident is elevated from a P1 to a major incident, that is an extra flag in ServiceNow. It would be awesome to have xMatters get notification when something goes from a P1 to a major and then have it go through a different workflow, rather than our regular P1. 

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Buyer's Guide
xMatters IT Management
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
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LM
Manager - Situational Awareness Engineering at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees

The logging limits used to be an issue, especially if we were calling Slack. Whenever you query for a Slack channel—and I don't have to do that manually anymore because xMatters does that work for me as part of a workflow step—you get all of the channels, and you can imagine how long that can get.

I've asked for the ability to have tags on groups, and for dynamic lists, meaning the ability to pull data from another location and use it in xMatters dynamically. Right now, for example, if I have a form and want to populate a list, it's a manual process. I have to copy and paste the list items. I would like the ability to have a dynamic list of teams or services. Maybe they could give me the ability to update that via an API call.

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NC
Service Delivery Coordinator at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

The only thing that has caught us out a little bit is that on certain screens, you don't have the same admin options. There should be more consistency with the admin options because not all screens provide you with the same options. As an administrator, it feels like they should always be there. For example, on some screens, there is an Export button that provides fantastic, detail-rich exports, which obviously are very handy because then you can, as an administrator, do your administration, and extract what has been done to share with or prove to others. However, the Export button is not always present, and on the screens where it isn't, you miss it. You're like, "Oh, where's the Export button?", which can be quite problematic. There should be more consistency in the UI in terms of available options for anything that is referenced data or configurable. If you can put it in, there should be a way to run an export function to essentially pull it out. That's the only improvement that I can really think of. There is a little inconsistency, but I believe that has been simply explained to us. xMatters has been developed and redeveloped many times. So, different hands have touched it, and I guess not everyone thinks that an Export button is required, but we've certainly found it to be a very useful function.

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Philip Colmer - PeerSpot reviewer
Director, Information Services at LINARO LTD

As an agent, as someone who is on call, I can mark an absence time and I can optionally put somebody in my place, but once you've done that, you can't edit it. You have to delete it and create a new absence, which is annoying, but it's not a massive issue. It's a minor annoyance. That's probably about the only thing I can come up with because I absolutely love the product. It's met our needs so well.

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AA
Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

In terms of restoration, if you delete something, or you have multiple users that have the ability to delete a group, a user profile, or a workflow, the ability to restore it within the GUI is not available. A button to go back to a good point in time would be really nice. A lot of other tools have a better backup and restoration solution, but xMatters is a little bit short on that. They have a 95% backup restoration solution available, but the other 5% requires manual effort. We would like to be able to just push a button and say, "I want to restore this piece back to this date," but we can't do that with the tool right now.

I use its logs on a regular basis. It seems like it logs everything accurately. To be able to pull the data from the logs via the GUI is a little cumbersome, but it does give you the ability to export into Excel, where I do have the capabilities of doing pivot tables and some advanced searches within Excel. 

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Rohan Samudre - PeerSpot reviewer
Staff Platform System Admin at BMC Software, Inc.

We have integrated two different xMatters instances. When something triggers in xMatters, we get a message in that instance about who responded, the device type, et cetera. But if we try to trigger it to a different instance, we don't get that kind of information. For that scenario we have built a workaround to get the details of the event, and that we have received a response for it. That's one of the major things that could be improved.

Another issue is related to the reporting. We have to know what keyword to search for. When we type something in, we get a few suggestions. If the suggestions are not enough, we need to go back to the specific event message and look at the actual event, and learn what needs to be updated based on that. We get that information from the Properties tab.

Thirdly, we have to create an Excel sheet for onboarding users and then upload it. But if an employee resigns, we don't have any checkpoints to validate whether the user is still active or not. We have to do that manually every week: Check who has left the organization, and do a cross-check on whether that person had any licenses or signed in to xMatters. If so, we have to make that profile inactive for a month and then release the license.

Finally, I get regular updates on the new features that are being released by xMatters. If they could provide a short presentation or video on these new features, and how we can leverage them based on our use case, that would really help.

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Larry Radtke - PeerSpot reviewer
Intermediate Infrastructure Software Administrator at Gordon Food Service

In terms of intuitiveness and flexibility of xMatters when it comes to customizing on-call schedules, rotations, and escalations, for me, as an IT professional, setting it up isn't that big of a deal, but I understand that some people struggle with it because when you get wrapped up into it. You can get lost. It's not super complex, but it's complicated enough to the point where you can say that you should have done it another way. The shift part can be confusing for some people. In that respect, one of the shortcomings my team has found is when we have to add another person, such as a new hire, to xMatters, we can't add them to a group within xMatters without having to put them on a shift. If we put them in a group, they have to be on-call. We can create their account, and then they're just out there in limbo until their team says, "You have to be on this shift." One piece of feedback for xMatters is to figure out how to have manageable groups so that they're contactable from xMatters. They do not necessarily have to be on a shift right from the start or at all for that matter. That would be the number one thing. Our boss says all the time, "Well, you got to create them and add them to the group," but we can't exactly add them to a group because we're not on that team. We don't know if they should be on-call, and if they should, whether the shift they have installed is during the business day, after-hours, or a weekend. Everybody has got their own shift created, and we would not know what shift to put them in. We could start asking that on new user creations, but when we're doing new hires, it's more or less just common practice to create all their accounts. We can't create an X manager's account for a few things. That's not how we have it set up. We could change all of that, but that's where there is a gap. 

One of the shortcomings or room for improvement is that their mobile application seems subpar. They could really revamp it and make it function a lot better. There have been too many times when it timed out, and you don't even get to know it. You could go a month or two months without getting an on-call alert, and then, you get one, but it is never alerted in the application. So, if you don't have your cellphone number set up, you'll never get notified, and then you go back to the app to find out that it has automatically logged you out, and you can't get back in. The mobile applications, for both iOS and Android, should definitely be revamped.

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Ana Cotes - PeerSpot reviewer
Incident and Major Incident Manager at Brinks Incorporated

The integration with Inform with xMatters is too customized. It should be a little bit more friendly.

When you are not using the conference bridge from xMatters and you are using an external one, it is a little bit hard to get the person whom xMatters calls to jump directly to the external bridge. They need to hang up the phone and then get to the email to get the URL so that they can jump on the bridge. There is no direct connection from xMatters to that external bridge, but I understand that part of the business.

On the web version, the on-call schedule is a little bit more technical. When you're creating the on-call schedule, you need someone who actually knows the product to create those. The problem is that we have not been using on-calls. Before xMatters, we used to use Excel Sheets. So, it is very complicated to do an on-call and figure out who's on-call. I know that I'm trying not to override one with the other one. So, I don't know if that can get better, but if they can, I know they will go there. They are the ones who are going to figure it out. They're very good at that.

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John Paul Pammit - PeerSpot reviewer
ITSM Lead at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees

It took me awhile to get used to whatever was available in the interface. The interface from two years ago was a bit more confusing when looking at where you should go. Once I got the hang of it and found where I needed to go, it was easier than I thought. The only limitations have been when I was looking for a specific integration that would allow me to integrate with ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams without going through multiple channels, e.g., just click a button in ServiceNow and the rest will be done. That is the part where I really needed help. However, everything else is easy and straightforward, such as configuring what the alarms would look like and configuring how to send a message without coding.

I haven't had the chance to play around with the new workflows. So, when I attended their roadshows and a couple of meetings about it, I didn't really pick it up that quickly. It sounded a bit more complicated my level of skill, since I am not a developer. Therefore, I still needed to sit down and understand how it works. Right now, we really don't have a business case to use it yet. 

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Rajvir Bhambra - PeerSpot reviewer
Major Incident Support Manager at Telefónica

The user interface could be more intuitive. Once you know what you're doing, you're fine. However, if you don't know where to start then it can be a bit difficult to figure out how to make it work and how it will function together with different tools in the Flow Designer.

When you are not familiar with integrations and you're starting fresh, looking for where to begin, it is a bit daunting and not as clear as it could be.

I would like to see more information available in the reporting, including additional metrics.

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Nicola Ayonoadu - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Service Delivery Manager at Telegraph Media Group

One of the main reasons why we don't use xMatters for monitoring and alerting is that it doesn't use the rota to call the person who's on-call. It doesn't look up the rota to find out who's on-call and then contacts that person directly. I am not sure if this has changed now, but the last time we checked, this functionality wasn't there. This is one of the main improvements. We're happy with the rest of it.

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HF
Principal Program Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

I would like to see some user templates. There are roles like administrator and user, but it would be nice if an administrator could create a user template that restricts what people assigned to that role can do. For example, in a standard user role, each user has a profile where they can update their mobile number or their name. It also allows them to choose whether or not they participate in specific workflows or want to receive phone calls versus SMS messages. We need the option to restrict that. 

When xMatters sends off a workflow, they should receive an email, phone call, and text, but they'll only get the email if they've opted out of the text and phone on their profile. Then we end up waiting on a bridge for someone from that team to join and realize that they haven't received the alert. They just got an email. We're using xMatters as our emergency alert system. If we just wanted to send out an email and wait for people to join, we would use Outlook. Unfortunately, we have no way to prevent people from choosing not to receive that level of notification. We would really like to be able to do that.

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Joseph Yin - PeerSpot reviewer
Business Applications Analyst at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees

I would like some minor UI changes. I believe I filed some enhancement requests with xMatters. For example, in one area, they have some way for you to look at a particular functionality with different sets of reporting UI. However, that same reporting UI is not yet available with some other functionalities. Essentially, in their existing functionality, the xMatters application does an excellent job, but in other functionalities within their UI, they don't have that. On the back-end, they are related. Instead of one click where you can see everything, right now you need to go to different areas to access similar information. It would be nice to have everything in one place. While they have an excellent element A, I am hoping that they could just simply make that feature also available in their element B.

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SK
User with 201-500 employees

Additional built-in integrations with other applications would be an area of improvement.

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Sam M Cohen - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead Consultant, Owner and Founder at a tech consulting company with self employed

The integration with other systems needs to be more flexible.

The interface is a little bit rigid and can be improved. For example, it tends to operate on the attribute of a record. So, if a group has a name, it tends to want the group names as opposed to, for example, the ID of a record. It creates a problem because if you rename the record then you lose all of the connections.

The data validation and verification need to be enhanced so that when data is changed, it reviews it in an automated manner and catches all of the anomalies. Otherwise, all you're doing is shifting the workload from an operational standpoint to an administrative one.

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Nikita Chandapur - PeerSpot reviewer
Software QA Analyst at ViaSat

We cannot go back in time to check out the previous schedules that we had. We can only see them moving forward. I wish we were able to go back and see the previous schedules that we had. That's the biggest thing.

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GL
Senior Systems Analyst at a government with 10,001+ employees

I would like xMatters to provide users with the capability of administering it on their own. I do a lot of hand-holding with them.

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Rohan Samudre - PeerSpot reviewer
Staff Platform System Admin at BMC Software, Inc.

1- Duplicating the Groups

2- Weekly/monthly notifications to the admin on the licenses consumed vs available

3- Bulk update of groups

4- Early product enhancements should be added in the next sprint/release

5- An additional knowledge-sharing program could be helpful and part of the demo workshops (right now, these only provide partial information)

6- Identify real-time issues and have OOTB templates related to use cases

7- BEing able to update the same event, rather than creating a new one which would avoid confusion on multiple events created for the same alert

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Buyer's Guide
xMatters IT Management
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,229 professionals have used our research since 2012.