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Helpdesk Software Suggestions

We primarily have been using Spiceworks for helpdesk for about 10 years.  During that period, we've setup other helpdesk systems for other parts of the org that wanted to use helpdesk for their workflows.

 

Fast forward, and it seems Spiceworks is now retiring their on-premise product.  We looked into their cloud offering, but it doesn't quite handle multiple departments running their own helpdesks, it appears to combine notifications and admins together, and I think that would confuse the people who work on their tickets.

 

Now we also use LanSweeper for scanning to track assets on our network, and it has a helpdesk module that could handle IT workloads, but that won't help us with other departments who also want to use it.

 

Is there another on premise helpdesk software out there that can allow use to use multiple instances of a helpdesk for different departments?  Even willing to consider paid solutions.

"There is probably a special circle of Hell reserved for people who force software into a role it was never designed for."
- Radium_Angel

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I've done a lot of research on help desk software for my (gov't) Agency.

I was able to narrow it down based on the local installs only (no cloud/pay per month) 

 

I'm going to post some info here (under spoiler as it's long) that may or may not be helpful for you

Spoiler

Basic questions that are relevant:

-Ease of customization/modification: Can we change the software to fit our needs in-house, or does it require a support staff?
-Cost of expansion: Is this a “one and done” situation, or can the software be expanded upon in the future, should the need arise?
-Basic installation: Does the client access to HD site through a website, or is it a local install?
-Integration: While not critical to our job, the possibility of integration with our existing platforms would be a bonus.

With those questions in mind, I went in search of Help Desk platforms that could be purchased outright, without a monthly charge (SaaS) which proved to a bit of a challenge as almost every HD platform is just that.

Certain assumptions have been made, namely: 500 users and 20 IT personnel. The HDP I looked at are based on a user/IT Support count, the more of the latter can get very pricy. 

Bossdesk-
General Notes:
A site agent must be installed on the server, which has mandatory integration with Active Directory.
We can customize our own categories. 
Integrates with gmail.

Pros:
Any changes a user makes to the ticket, is updated in real-time on the assigned HD agent’s side.
Multiple Remote Tools (additional cost, of course) can be integrated into Bossdesk.
Tickets can be linked to assets so a detailed report can be generated per asset to view repair trends.
All manner of SLA/Manager-oriented reports can be generated.
A single email from a user can start the HD chain with automatic updates.

Cons:
The colours, the colours. Bossdesk is a riot of colours, sometimes overwhelming.
Needs between 8 to 24 hours of install support.
Very in-depth, which means lots of complexity.
Designed for large-scale organization, Bossdesk is (IMO) overkill for our needs.
Frighteningly expensive, see attached quote.

Solarwinds-

General Notes:

Must have an annual support contract, with the first year included in the cost of HDP.


Pros:
Full customization of reports and tickets.
Costs are straightforward for additional techs.
Website access for users, main software installed on Server with AD integration.
RDP is native at no additional cost.

Cons:
Ala-carte pricing gets expensive, fast.
Presentation lacked punch, seemed rather disinterested in making the sale.


InvGate-

General Notes:

Awkward name, pronounced like it is spelled


Pros:
Much like Solarwinds.
Very clean, straightforward user interface. 
Has a KnowledgeBase built-in which is easily added to.
Inexpensive, at least compared to the others.

Cons:
Annual support contract, but at least it’s optional after the first year.

VIZOR-

General Notes:

Sales team very aggressive. It was off putting.


Pros:
Supports email ticket submissions
A SSO via AD integration
Has asset tracking linked to tickets to identify hardware trends.
Has a KnowledgeBase built in.
User portal is very Gemini-Like.
Report queries are very Kace-Like.
Real-time updating of tickets and user additions.
Very clean interface.
Heavy on the SLA/manager reports.

Cons:
User portal is very Gemini-Like
Pricing is..well, I can’t get a solid answer from them.
Pay to Play. Everything is ala-carte and costs.

Kace-

General Notes:

We already have it.


Pros:
Free, we already have it.
Reports can be customized in-house.
All the advantages of Kace (patch management, asset tracking, etc.)

Cons:
System (the hardware) is aging, and will need to be replaced soon, hopefully with a faster VM.
Not as polished or in-depth as other options.


Spiceworks-

General notes:
Theoretically free. But full extent of software capabilities unknown, as they won’t return my e.mails

Pros:
Free.
Cons:
Paid for by unremoveable ads displayed in the software, a potential security risk.



SharePoint Help Desk-

General Notes:
There is probably a special circle of Hell reserved for people who force software into a role it was never designed for. Won’t return my emails/calls, so capability unknown.

Pros: Free.
Cons: See General Notes. 

FreshDesk-

General Notes:
Won’t return my emails, so capability unknown.


HappyFox-

General Notes: My preferred solution as I was deeply impressed by them years ago, but they are cloud-only (Amazon EWS)

Overall thoughts-

Each of these Help Desk Programs will do more than we could ever ask for, our needs, even if we extend them to DGS, are fairly modest. The level of customization in all these programs are well thought out, and extensive. It will simply fall down to personal preferences, and price.

Personally, I’d choose Kace, I am already familiar with it, we’ve had it for better than five years now and its abilities are well known and documented. Yes, the Help Desk part is probably the least configurable of the programs I looked into, but again, our needs are modest.
On a professional level, I was most impressed with InvGate, in spite of their tongue twister name. The presentation was clean, understated and the program is intuitive.  Pricing falls in the middle of the pack, which makes for an attractive product.
 

 

Let me know if you want further info, I'll see if I can dig up my notes

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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2 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

I've done a lot of research on help desk software for my (gov't) Agency.

I was able to narrow it down based on the local installs only (no cloud/pay per month) 

 

I'm going to post some info here (under spoiler as it's long) that may or may not be helpful for you

  Reveal hidden contents

Basic questions that are relevant:

-Ease of customization/modification: Can we change the software to fit our needs in-house, or does it require a support staff?
-Cost of expansion: Is this a “one and done” situation, or can the software be expanded upon in the future, should the need arise?
-Basic installation: Does the client access to HD site through a website, or is it a local install?
-Integration: While not critical to our job, the possibility of integration with our existing platforms would be a bonus.

With those questions in mind, I went in search of Help Desk platforms that could be purchased outright, without a monthly charge (SaaS) which proved to a bit of a challenge as almost every HD platform is just that.

Certain assumptions have been made, namely: 500 users and 20 IT personnel. The HDP I looked at are based on a user/IT Support count, the more of the latter can get very pricy. 

Bossdesk-
General Notes:
A site agent must be installed on the server, which has mandatory integration with Active Directory.
We can customize our own categories. 
Integrates with gmail.

Pros:
Any changes a user makes to the ticket, is updated in real-time on the assigned HD agent’s side.
Multiple Remote Tools (additional cost, of course) can be integrated into Bossdesk.
Tickets can be linked to assets so a detailed report can be generated per asset to view repair trends.
All manner of SLA/Manager-oriented reports can be generated.
A single email from a user can start the HD chain with automatic updates.

Cons:
The colours, the colours. Bossdesk is a riot of colours, sometimes overwhelming.
Needs between 8 to 24 hours of install support.
Very in-depth, which means lots of complexity.
Designed for large-scale organization, Bossdesk is (IMO) overkill for our needs.
Frighteningly expensive, see attached quote.

Solarwinds-

General Notes:

Must have an annual support contract, with the first year included in the cost of HDP.


Pros:
Full customization of reports and tickets.
Costs are straightforward for additional techs.
Website access for users, main software installed on Server with AD integration.
RDP is native at no additional cost.

Cons:
Ala-carte pricing gets expensive, fast.
Presentation lacked punch, seemed rather disinterested in making the sale.


InvGate-

General Notes:

Awkward name, pronounced like it is spelled


Pros:
Much like Solarwinds.
Very clean, straightforward user interface. 
Has a KnowledgeBase built-in which is easily added to.
Inexpensive, at least compared to the others.

Cons:
Annual support contract, but at least it’s optional after the first year.

VIZOR-

General Notes:

Sales team very aggressive. It was off putting.


Pros:
Supports email ticket submissions
A SSO via AD integration
Has asset tracking linked to tickets to identify hardware trends.
Has a KnowledgeBase built in.
User portal is very Gemini-Like.
Report queries are very Kace-Like.
Real-time updating of tickets and user additions.
Very clean interface.
Heavy on the SLA/manager reports.

Cons:
User portal is very Gemini-Like
Pricing is..well, I can’t get a solid answer from them.
Pay to Play. Everything is ala-carte and costs.

Kace-

General Notes:

We already have it.


Pros:
Free, we already have it.
Reports can be customized in-house.
All the advantages of Kace (patch management, asset tracking, etc.)

Cons:
System (the hardware) is aging, and will need to be replaced soon, hopefully with a faster VM.
Not as polished or in-depth as other options.


Spiceworks-

General notes:
Theoretically free. But full extent of software capabilities unknown, as they won’t return my e.mails

Pros:
Free.
Cons:
Paid for by unremoveable ads displayed in the software, a potential security risk.



SharePoint Help Desk-

General Notes:
There is probably a special circle of Hell reserved for people who force software into a role it was never designed for. Won’t return my emails/calls, so capability unknown.

Pros: Free.
Cons: See General Notes. 

FreshDesk-

General Notes:
Won’t return my emails, so capability unknown.


HappyFox-

General Notes: My preferred solution as I was deeply impressed by them years ago, but they are cloud-only (Amazon EWS)

Overall thoughts-

Each of these Help Desk Programs will do more than we could ever ask for, our needs, even if we extend them to DGS, are fairly modest. The level of customization in all these programs are well thought out, and extensive. It will simply fall down to personal preferences, and price.

Personally, I’d choose Kace, I am already familiar with it, we’ve had it for better than five years now and its abilities are well known and documented. Yes, the Help Desk part is probably the least configurable of the programs I looked into, but again, our needs are modest.
On a professional level, I was most impressed with InvGate, in spite of their tongue twister name. The presentation was clean, understated and the program is intuitive.  Pricing falls in the middle of the pack, which makes for an attractive product.
 

 

Let me know if you want further info, I'll see if I can dig up my notes

Gov't here as well.  Would love to see your notes.

"There is probably a special circle of Hell reserved for people who force software into a role it was never designed for."
- Radium_Angel

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On a side note - this is going into my post signature:

 

Quote

There is probably a special circle of Hell reserved for people who force software into a role it was never designed for.

 

"There is probably a special circle of Hell reserved for people who force software into a role it was never designed for."
- Radium_Angel

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use ServiceNow, it does pretty much everything

Sudo make me a sandwich 

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