There is no doubt that the SCCM (Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager) is one of the most common system managers.

Now, while the SCCM is an excellent solution, that isn’t to say that its the be-all end-all of configuration managers – Today we’ll be looking at the Best SCCM Alternatives of 2021 and how they compare to SCCM.

As with any other solution, it has its pros and cons, which is why a variety of IT professionals elect to use alternative programs for all their configuration management needs.

In case you want to find a configuration manager better suited for your company, then you’ve come to the right place.

There’s a variety of different managers that are either more versatile, user friendly, or just blatantly cheaper than SCCM.

This article is dedicated to finding all of SCCM Alternatives, along with showing off some of their features and capabilities.

We’ll be looking over a vast variety of factors in order to rank SCCM alternatives from best to worst.

The top spot in this ranking ended up going to SolarWinds® Network Performance Monitor and SolarWinds Patch Manager.

These two tools represent the ideal mix of versatility, user friendliness, as well as technical capability.

List of the Best SCCM Alternatives of 2021:

In case you’re yearning for an alternative to the SCCM config manager, then you’ve come to the right place! The solutions you’ll find below have been thoroughly tested and are warmly recommended.

SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM)

The SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor(NPM) is one of the best SCCM alternatives out there.

It is made to be able to cover all of your needs ranging from network monitoring to testing the latency of your networks.

The NPM is extremely user-friendly, with a cleverly designed UI which won’t require any training or experience for you to get to grips with.

In addition to this, the NPM sports excellent cost-effectiveness and you can install it on virtual as well as physical servers.

It can also be either put on the cloud or in an on-premise installation.

It also supports all of the largest platforms, and if you use the Azure or AWS marketplace, don’t worry because they can deploy it too.

The SolarWinds NPM has been made to be a tool that doesn’t simply compare to the SCCM, but to be a tool that surpasses it.

It has a variety of features that simply aren’t in the SCCM.

These include its ability to scale up to 1,000,000,000 elements per instance, as well as providing 3 different types of monitoring(availability,fault, and performance.)

These features will let you find, troubleshoot, and repair all of your networking problems in the shortest time possible.

NPM will bring to you logical and physical network monitoring bundled up into a single package.

This means you’ll be able to monitor not only the physical components of the network, but also the SDN environment.

Gone are the days of needing special tools to monitor endpoint groups and tenants!

Here’s what you can expect from the SolarWinds NPM:

  • 3 Different kinds of monitoring
  • Scalability up to 1 million elements per instance
  • User-friendly UI
  • Multi-platform Support
  • Analyzing critical paths via hop-by-hop methodology
  • Correlating your data with cross-stack technology
  • All of the topology is entirely customizable
  • The Solarwinds NPM is Decency-aware
  • You won’t get alerts all the time, only when they matter
  • It will automatically discover and map networks
  • The NPM monitors the health of your hardware

The SolarWinds NPM is an excellent SCCM alternative for almost all companies, however, it excels in smaller companies expecting to grow large, as the NPM will easily scale with them.

Furthermore, it’s user-friendly, available on a vast variety of platforms, and even cheaper!

If this interests you, get on their 30-day free trial today!

Download:

SolarWinds Patch Manager

The second product from SolarWinds on this list, the SolarWinds Patch Manager is designed in order to get rid of SCUP. SCUP, or System Center Updates Publisher is a system devised in order to restrict non-Microsoft patching.

This will extend into the functionality of SCCM in order to properly integrate itself with its supported apps such as Java, Adobe Reader, Photoshop, etc. The SolarWinds Patch Manager will let you look at how accessible new patches are, and will help you easily integrate them into your schedule.

This Patch Manager will only give you tested, ready-to-deploy patches.

While the SCCM is able to do standard patch scheduling, there’s nothing to help you ensure the machine you’re patching will be on standby to receive the patch.

On the other hand, the SolarWinds Patch Manager allows you to patch as you see fit, and it helps you fit patching into your business schedule.

These features help it ensure that even if the device you want to patch is currently off, it gets its patch on time.

SCCM has another weakness compared to the SolarWind Patch Manager, and that is its restriction on giving you visibility into SCE environments only by using WSUS natively.

Furthermore, any additional inventory will have to be handled through the specialized Microsoft tool. This Patch manager, on the other hand, foregoes any such annoyances.

It improves upon the SCCM by letting you track both Microsoft and 3rd party apps, as well as a variety of other metrics, such as disk space, or hardware inventory.

This alternative to SCCm allows you to keep close track of all of your updates through an automated list of apps.

There are even user-friendly labels on these describing their importance and source.

Its most important features are:

  • The ability to manage Microsoft WSUS patches
  • The SolarWinds patch manager can be fully integrated with SCCM
  • The patch manager supports 3rd-party patching
  • There’s a variety of prebuilt and pretested packages to help you get started
  • It’ll give you a regular patch compliance report
  • Tracking disk space and hardware inventory
  • Helping you schedule patches even to inactive devices
  • User-friendly dashboard

This excellent SCCM alternative brings a variety of new features in an user-friendly package.

If you’ve grown tired of how limited SCCM is, then start your free 30-day trial today!

Download:

ManageEngine Desktop Central

Coming up next on the list is ManageEngine’s attempt at creating a SCCM alternative.

The ManageEngine Desktop Central manages to give its own spin on the standard SCCM formula.

For example, while the standard SCCM client config process is relatively difficult to complete, the Desktop Central settings are much simpler.

The Desktop Central is all about making things simpler. This doesn’t just go for agent and client configuration, with the tool being built to make even standard updates simpler.

The solution will let you scan your devices, check if they need updates, and update them fairly quickly, with little to no configuration to be done.

Furthermore, this solution is very versatile.

It supports a grand total of over 250 3rd party apps, which will help you patch them up if you need them, in addition to ensuring your network is safe.

Some of the most prominent features of this solution are:

  • The simplicity of the UI
  • How quick it is to set up
  • It makes updating devices much quicker
  • It features support for over 250 3rd party apps
  • It can decline patches you deem unnecessary

Unfortunately, as simple as the user interface is, it cannot be said that it’s very intuitive.

That would be the biggest flaw of the Desktop Central. In its pursuit of simplicity, it made itself so simple it can sometimes be difficult to parse.

However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t an excellent SCCM alternative.

You can snag your own copy here!

Download:

JumpCloud

The final tool on this list is the JumpCloud, which is quite the unique tool. Its creation stems from the fact SCCM can’t handle mixed-platform environments well.

On the other hand, JumpCloud not only does this, but it does it while being cloud-based and available on a vast variety of systems including MacOS, Windows, and of course Linux.

This solution combines system management and user management into a hybrid tool.

This will allow your IT admins to look at user and system activities alike through a single solution.

This is excellent, as it can dramatically improve the efficiency of your workflow.

JumpCloud can be extremely useful when improving your security.

This is because you can combine JumpCloud policies with system commands(which will be different depending on which OS you use.)

JumpCloud has a variety of security-oriented policies, such as the ability to set up a lock timer, or enabling full disk encryption. Using these in tandem can lead to a drastic improvement in your security.

JumpCloud’s utility when used as a user management tool is not to be understated either. Regardless of your OS, it is able to rapidly provision and deprovision user access.

This multitool by itself can allow IT admins to ascertain users are getting to all the data they need, as well as ensuring that those that shouldn’t have their hands on your data never get them there.

Now, JumpCloud doesn’t just rely on its own protocols, instead, it uses protocols like LDAP, REST APIs, RADIUS, and others in order to help you and your IT staff to connect users to their data even remotely.

The most standout features of this SCCM alternative are:

  • Multi-Platform Support
  • It is cloud-based, so you can access it from anywhere
  • System & User management rolled into one
  • It’s quite secure
  • It supports a variety of security protocols

If this limited functionality is what you’re after, then JumpCloud is what you need.

While it doesn’t do everything, it does its job great.

If you’d like to give JumpCloud a shot, then give their free version(up to 10 users) here!

Download:

What Is SCCM?

SCCM refers to a tool devised to help you manage Windows-running devices.

Another way SCCM is often called is ConfigMgr, and it is by far the most used endpoint management system out there today.

It’s important to not understate its utility, it will give you a wide range of options and benefits, each of which is polished to help you manage and distribute your software.

Simply having access to SCCM can help make an IT admin’s day.

It makes the position much more cost efficient, in addition to increasing productivity and workplace happiness.

SCCM is quite a versatile tool, which is why it can be used in order to do quite a few common IT tasks.

With that being said, SCCM will usually be used in order to manage multiple Windows devices at once, as well as provide them all with OS’s, patches, and whatever software you need deployed on them remotely.

With this being said, the reason we use SCCM as a benchmark is because it does have a few areas where it could definitely stand to improve.

For example, it’s only compatible with Windows-running devices. This renders it nigh-useless in a multi-platform network.

Furthermore, the program itself has a steep learning curve.

In case your IT technician isn’t too familiar with SCCM in particular, they’ll need ample time to study the documentation before getting to grips with it.

This makes on-boarding staff much more difficult than it should be, in addition to sometimes adding a delay to IT processes.

SCCM is also quite an expensive tool, especially if you’re a small business.

The final limiting factor of SCCM is that it relies on Active Directory in order to reach its full potential.

What Is The Right SCCM Alternative For You?

Although SCCM is still the most popular system management tool, that doesn’t mean it is the one best suited for your business.

Regardless of if you’re looking for an alternative because you need multi-platform support, superior patching abilities, or just a more user-friendly tool, you’ll find the SCCM alternative that meets your businesses needs here.

If you’re looking for an user-friendly, versatile tool that will scale up with your business, then I suggest taking a look at SolarWinds NPM and SolarWInds Patch Manager.

Otherwise, the other two entries on this list might be right for you!