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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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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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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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Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Development Manager at a non-profit with 1,001-5,000 employees

The ability to support custom devices. We have a lot of users who use Slack, which is another tool for communication. xMatters currently does not support Slack as a communication method. It can't send events to Slack and respond to them.

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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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CM
IT Production Assurance Manager at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees

Some features that have been around a while could be refined or updated, in the same way other features of the product have been updated.

Beyond the typical grouping, xMatters has what is referred to as dynamic teams.  Dynamic teams are criteria for setting up and targeting a group of people that meet specific criteria. The good thing about this setup is that you do not have to specifically target a person, or add them to the team. If they meet the criteria that has been configured for that dynamic team, the user will automatically be added to that team, and receive the notification.

The bad thing about this setup is that you cannot alter those criteria through the typical xMatters import/export process. The attributes that create the criteria for dynamic teams can only be altered via the Web UI.  So, if you want to create a new dynamic team in a mature xMatters environment (one that is already populated with hundreds of users), and you want to add, say, 100 users to that dynamic team, you have to do it manually.

In contrast, if you want to alter a custom field, you can do so via import/export. But you can't have an unlimited number of custom fields, so in a large environment with a lot of teams, team provisioning becomes more difficult.

If custom attributes could be exposed to the import/export process, provisioning of these dynamic teams would be much easier.

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Learn what your peers think about xMatters IT Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
563,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.