What Is Enterprise Service Management? 10 Best ESM Software

By Staff Contributor on April 16, 2024

In today’s dynamic business environment, the drive for efficient service delivery and management has given rise to enterprise service management (ESM). In this post, you will read about what ESM is, learn about its advantages and standard functionalities. We’ll also highlight the top 10 enterprise service management software on the market. Which one is the best? Keep reading!

What Is Enterprise Service Management?

ESM is an approach that seeks to improve the delivery of services across an organization. Generally,ESM focuses on improving service delivery and enhancing the end-user experience by integrating various service domains across an organization into a unified framework. Additionally, it facilitates cross-functional collaboration and automates service processes.

Furthermore, Enterprise Service Management provides user-friendly interfaces to create a cohesive and efficient service ecosystem. The scope of ESM extends beyond IT services to include HR, finance, legal, and more, offering a holistic approach to service management. ESM’s evolution has led to the integration of various service domains, making it a comprehensive strategy.

In summary, Enterprise Service Management offers organizations a unified approach to manage and improve services across all departments, ensuring a consistent and efficient experience for both service providers and end users.

The Difference Between ITSM and ESM

In general, it’s crucial to differentiate ESM from ITSM to understand it better. While ITSM primarily focuses on managing IT-related services within the IT department, ESM takes a broader approach by encompassing all service departments across an organization. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences.

1. Scope

ITSM deals solely with managing IT services, whereas ESM extends its reach to encompass all service departments, creating a holistic service framework.

2. Integration

ITSM operates within separate service domains, while ESM integrates these domains into a unified ecosystem. Thus, it fosters communication and collaboration between departments.

3. End-User Experience

While ITSM takes end users into account, its primary focus remains on the technological aspects of service delivery. In contrast, ESM places a stronger emphasis on a user-centric approach, striving to provide a seamless and integrated service experience to all employees, regardless of their department.

4. Automation

ESM often employs automation tools to optimize processes throughout the organization, enhancing efficiency, whereas ITSM may not emphasize automation to the same degree.

Benefits of Enterprise Service Management

ESM offers several benefits, making it a strategic choice for organizations looking to improve service delivery, streamline processes, and enhance the end-user experience. Some key advantages include the following:

    • Enhanced efficiency: ESM automates and streamlines service processes, reducing manual effort and improving efficiency.
    • Improved collaboration: it breaks down silos between service departments, fostering better communication and collaboration.
    • Better end-user experience: ESM focuses on providing a user-friendly experience, with self-service portals and easy-to-use interfaces.
    • Centralized service management: it creates a unified platform for managing services across departments, offering a holistic view of an organization’s service landscape.
    • Cost reduction: By reducing manual processes and improving efficiency, ESM can lead to cost savings.
    • Agility: it enables organizations to adapt quickly to changing service requirements and market conditions.
    • Data-driven decision-making: it provides valuable data and insights for informed decision-making.

Key Features in ESM Systems

ESM systems typically offer a range of features to support their comprehensive approach to service management. Some of those features are listed below:

    • Service catalog: All services offered within the organization are centralized in a single catalog, making it easy for users to request the services they need.
    • Incident management: You can track and resolve incidents efficiently, ensuring service disruptions are minimized.
    • Request management: Request processes for various services are streamlined, enhancing user satisfaction.
    • Change management: ESM solutions implement controlled processes for introducing changes and improvements within the organization.
    • Self-service portals: End users can request services, report incidents, and find information in user-friendly interfaces.
    • Automation: Automated workflows save time and reduce manual effort.
    • Integration: Seamlessly integrate with other systems, such as HR, finance, and project management.
    • Data analytics: Collect, analyze, and leverage data to make informed decisions and optimize service delivery.

10 Best Enterprise Service Management Tools

Now that we’ve explored the essence of ESM, its differences from ITSM, and its numerous benefits and features, let’s discuss the 10 best Enterprise Service Management software solutions.

1. SolarWinds Service Desk (Free Trial)

SolarWinds Service Desk a cloud-based ITSM and ESM solution designed to help organizations efficiently manage and streamline their service-related processes. It’s part of the SolarWinds suite of IT management and monitoring tools.


    • It has a user-friendly interface, making it an excellent choice for organizations focused on improving the end-user experience
    • Service Desk provides automation capabilities, helping organizations streamline their service processes
    • A free 30-day trial version of its ESM software is available, allowing organizations to evaluate its effectiveness before making a commitment

Important Functions

    • Discover, track, and manage IT assets, including hardware, software, and licenses.
    • Simplify change management processes and identify root causes of recurring issues for proactive problem resolution.
    • Access the platform via mobile devices, allowing remote teams to manage requests and stay connected while on the go.
    • Easily integrate with third-party applications and tools to enhance data flow and collaborative processes within the organization.
    • Leverage automation to streamline routine tasks, reduce manual effort, and minimize errors.

2. Manage Engine (Service Desk)

Manage Engine’s Service Desk is a comprehensive ITSM tool designed to enhance the efficiency and productivity of IT teams.


    • It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, ensuring that end users can easily submit requests and track their progress.
    • The tool offers incident and problem management, helping IT teams address issues effectively and reducing downtime.
    • Leverage robust change management capabilities to document and ensure compliance with IT service modifications.
    • A centralized knowledge base empowers end users to resolve common issues independently, thus reducing the workload on IT teams.

Important Functions

    • Manage requests effectively from multiple channels, including email, web forms, and phone calls.
    • Monitor response and resolution times to consistently meet SLAs.
    • Streamline routine tasks and reduce manual effort through automation features.
    • Access and manage requests and incidents while on the move with mobile capabilities.
    • Gain insights into IT service performance and support data-driven decision-making with robust reporting and analytics.
    • Tailor the tool to fit specific organizational needs, from configuring workflows to defining custom fields and forms.
    • Integrate with other tools and applications, facilitating collaboration and data sharing.
    • Ensure the protection of sensitive data and maintain access controls.

3. Atlassian (Jira Service Management)

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management is a comprehensive ESM solution known for its versatility and collaborative features. In addition, it’s designed to streamline service management.


    • It adapts well to the needs of various businesses, from small startups to large enterprises.
    • Its intuitive interface makes it easy for both agents and end users to navigate.
    • Extensive customization options allow organizations to tailor it to their specific requirements.
    • In-depth reporting and analytics help businesses make data-driven decisions.

Important Functions

    • Efficiently manage and resolve incidents to minimize service disruptions.
    • Process and fulfill service requests promptly.
    • Streamline the change management process to reduce risks and disruptions.
    • Identify and address the root causes of recurring issues.
    • Keep track of your IT assets and their life cycles.

4. Freshworks (Freshservice)

Freshworks’ Freshservice is a cloud-based ESM solution known for its simplicity and user-friendly approach. Additionally, it empowers organizations to deliver top-notch IT services efficiently.


    • Freshservice is built with the end user in mind, offering a seamless and intuitive experience.
    • It provides support through various communication channels, enhancing user accessibility.
    • With a quick setup, organizations can start using Freshservice without extensive delays.
    • It’s accessible on mobile devices, ensuring support even when users are on the go.

Important Functions

    • Efficiently resolve service incidents to minimize disruptions.
    • Manage and fulfill service requests with ease.
    • Implement changes while minimizing risks and disruptions.
    • Identify and rectify root causes of recurring issues.
    • Keep track of IT assets to optimize resource allocation.

5. ServiceNow

ServiceNow offers a comprehensive platform for managing enterprise services. It transforms the way organizations manage and deliver their services, covering a wide range of areas, including ITSM, human resources, and customer service.


    • High-level customization allows organizations to tailor the platform to their unique needs.
    • It can efficiently scale to meet the requirements of large enterprises, making it suitable for organizations of varying sizes.
    • It covers various roles such as IT service management, integration with various third-party applications, service delivery, and automating workflows. This ensures you have holistic service management.

Important Functions

    • Streamline incident resolution processes.
    • Implement changes with minimal disruption.
    • Identify and rectify the root causes of issues.
    • Fulfill requests efficiently thanks to a user-friendly service catalog.
    • Create and maintain a knowledge base for self-service.
    • Automate routine tasks and workflows.
    • Monitor and improve service performance.

6. BMC Helix ITSM

BMC Helix ITSM is an ITSM solution known for its depth, versatility, change management, and incident tracking features. It also offers extensive automation tools for service management.


    • It manages IT services through its comprehensive ITSM capabilities.
    • It leverages automation to streamline IT processes and enhance efficiency.
    • AI and machine learning enable predictive analysis and proactive issue resolution.
    • Users gain access to a sophisticated self-service portal for incident resolution and knowledge management.

Important Functions

    • Efficiently resolve incidents and minimize downtime.
    • Identify root causes of issues and prevent their recurrence.
    • Implement changes with minimal disruption.
    • Maintain a comprehensive inventory of IT assets.

7. Ivanti Service Manager

Ivanti Service Manager is a powerful ITSM solution known for its integration features and flexibility.


    • Extensive customization options allow organizations to tailor the platform to their specific needs.
    • It excels in integrating with other systems, facilitating a unified IT ecosystem.
    • An intuitive self-service portal enables end users to address common issues independently.
    • It offers in-depth asset management capabilities for maintaining an accurate inventory.

Important Functions

    • Efficiently handle incidents and minimize disruptions.
    • Implement and oversee changes with precision.
    • Identify and resolve underlying problems.
    • Create, manage, and share knowledge resources.
    • Streamline request handling for various services.

8. Zendesk

Zendesk is an ITSM solution that primarily focuses on customer support. It offers some valuable tools for ESM.


    • Its intuitive and user-friendly interface makes it easy for IT professionals and end users to navigate.
    • It’s highly scalable, making it suitable for both small and large organizations.
    • It’s cloud-based, ensuring easy accessibility and minimal infrastructure requirements.

Important Functions

    • Capture and manage incidents efficiently.
    • Handle service requests effectively.
    • Create and maintain a comprehensive knowledge base for end users and IT staff.
    • Offer self-service options for end users.
    • Utilize a ticketing system to track and manage issues.
    • Automate repetitive tasks and processes.

9. SysAid

SysAid is a comprehensive ITSM platform designed to enhance ESM.


    • SysAid covers a broad spectrum of ITSM functions, including incident management, problem management, change management, and asset management.
    • It offers a high degree of customization, allowing organizations to tailor the platform to their specific requirements.
    • Its user-friendly interface makes it easier for IT professionals to navigate and execute tasks.

Important Functions

    • Efficiently manage and resolve incidents.
    • Address and resolve recurring IT problems.
    • Implement changes to IT infrastructure with minimal disruption.

10. TOPdesk

TOPdesk is a versatile ESM platform with key advantages that enhance IT service operations.


    • It has an intuitive interface that simplifies navigation for IT professionals and end users.
    • It easily scales up to accommodate growing organizations and their evolving IT service needs.
    • It seamlessly integrates with various other tools and software, allowing organizations to streamline their ITSM.

Important Functions

    • Quickly address and resolve incidents to minimize disruptions.
    • Identify root causes and prevent recurring IT issues.


In conclusion, ESM represents a strategic shift from traditional ITSM, transforming how organizations manage and deliver services. It expands the boundaries, unifying diverse service areas under a single, comprehensive framework, and fosters efficiency and user satisfaction.

Among the top ESM tools, without a doubt, SolarWinds Service Desk stands out with its user-friendly interface and robust incident management capabilities. Explore the transformative power of ESM with SolarWinds Service Desk’s free trial, and embrace the future of efficient service management.

This post was written by Bravin Wasike. Bravin holds an undergraduate degree in Software Engineering. He is currently a freelance Machine Learning and DevOps engineer. He is passionate about machine learning and deploying models to production using Docker and Kubernetes. He spends most of his time doing research and learning new skills in order to solve different problems.

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