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Do You Hate Your Help Desk Software?

In the past few months, I've had the opportunity to speak with three or four dozen customers and to visit a half-dozen of those at their main locations. In every instance, out of growing curiosity, I asked about their help desk ticket-tracking software.

Now, I know most of us don't like the work that a help desk ticket represents. Too often, they're firefighting exercises, and we all have things we're more passionate about than fixing problems. Besides, nobody likes fixing as much as building, because fixing implies a failure that we usually wish hadn't happened in the first place. But a ticketing system's job is to help coordinate activity and keep balls from being dropped, so on paper such systems have value.

I've yet to run across a single organization that likes their ticketing system.

It seems like it's either (a) badly designed software, (b) badly implemented software, or (c) both. I've run across all the major brands, and I've yet to hear a kind word about any of them. This isn't just folks who dislike tickets per se; most of the IT teams I've spoken with completely understand the value a ticketing system should offer -- they just don't feel they're getting it from their system. Complex software that hasn't been properly deployed has been the most common complaint, which suggests there's really room for a competitor to come in and offer something compelling and useful -- which doesn't seem to have happened, yet.

At the same time, I'm seeing a spike in the number of ticketing systems offered for sale. Some of these are integrated with hybrid monitoring solutions, although I'm not seeing a lot of organizational demand for combo monitoring+help desk software, no matter how much sense such a combo might make in theory. I'm actually a bit surprised that Microsoft hasn't jumped into this space, either through development or (more likely) an acquisition in the System Center family. The integration of ticketing software with System Center Operations Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Orchestrator (in particular) seems like an easy argument to make.

What help desk software is your organization using -- and what do you like or dislike, about it? Would you prefer a help desk system that has tighter integration with your back-end management tools or does your current software handle what you need it to?

Drop your thoughts in a comment, and if you have a moment to answer a short three-question survey about your help desk software. I'll share the results in a future post.

Posted by Don Jones on 12/20/2011 at 1:14 PM

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Reader Comments:

Mon, May 28, 2012 Help Desk Web Based

Web based help desk software, help desk tracking, support tracking software and software for help desk It track, report, and improve on your customer satisfaction.

Wed, Dec 21, 2011

Been running the CA suite of products such as their service desk, sw deployment and asset mgmt. Problem really isn't the sw per se but more how it was implemented in what I consider a care-free haphazard manner w/o any real thought or consideration given to how we actually operate. Also a lack of dedicated people resources, documentation and training have not helped the matter. However now that I have the reigns we did a careful study of what's really needed and so decided to migrate to Microsoft's System Center stack. First up is the deployment of SCCM which is going well so far. The product is amazing but like anything, you really need to take the time to understand all the components, as well as how they interoperate to ensure smooth operation. We've incorporated people from our Helpdesk to assist in its implementation as well as in identifying areas which are perceived as problematic with the current sw. Also created multiple dev envts plus two test envts where we can design/test features one at a time before deploying. Oh and running the dev/test svrs are Hyper-V servers. Next up will be SCOM and SCSM. Being a programmer by nature, I am very pleased to see how all the products interoperate on the backend as well as the programmatic control via things like PowerShell. You know Micrsoft is often given a bad rap, but from my perspective most of it is undeserved and due to a shortage of understanding about how things actually work. Anyhow we're quite pleased with Microsoft's products these days.

Wed, Dec 21, 2011 Anthony

About two years ago we implemented iSupport Software’s Service Desk. No software is perfect but we have been very happy with our decision.

Wed, Dec 21, 2011 Tanner

Actually, we couldn't be happier with our Web Help Desk deployment. It's a bit "Mac" in look :( buuuuut it has configuration to integrate directly with System Center Configuration Manager. BOOM! It pumps in every computer SCCM finds right into Web Help Desk. We looked at other prior but would have had to repurchase another computer discovery system in order to have the data in the help desk. :( We couldn't be happier. Link: http://w DOT

Wed, Dec 21, 2011 Ryan

We are using Spiceworks and it works great. Plus it is free, so we don't have to pay whatever crazy price Microsoft would charge for a piece of software.

Tue, Dec 20, 2011 Dale

Haven't you heard of System Center Service Manager? It's great and is what you describe as Microsoft needing to be in this space.

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