What Helpdesk Platforms are IT Service Providers Using



  • The discussion in the IT group about ManageEngine's ServiceDesk+ becoming free, both locally installed and hosted, brings up a great topic for the IT Service Providers and MSPs - what helpdesk platforms are you using? And what ones do you think look really interesting?



  • We are currently using MS Dynamics CRM hosted via Office 365 as our helpdesk at NTG. The best parts about it are the solid integration with the rest of Office 365 which we use (and love.) That is a huge factor for us. The email handling of MS CRM is a big deal too. And we love that it is fully hosted so that we do not have to dedicate resources to that.



  • In the past we have tried using both SugarCRM as a ticket system (disaster) and Spiceworks which did okay but was far too limit and a large resource hog so that even in a virtualization environment in an enterprise datacenter the resource utilization left us spending too much and still getting bad performance. It lacked integration with Office 365 or AD so that was not in its favour. Just overall far too limited for our needs, especially as a service provider. So those two got ruled out.



  • We are currently auditioning ServiceDesk+. It definitely looks interesting and with it being completely free and hosted from Zoho ManageEngine themselves it is a real contender. But too early to say.



  • Outside of what I've worked with at NTG, the only helpdesk solutions I've used are a custom design for Staples made by Support.com and later one they built in-house. I've worked on several proprietary systems. Dynamics has nice tracking and good integration with their Outlook add-in but as a helpdesk, eh, it's meh. Looking forward to giving the new one a try.



  • I've used CA Service Desk and it is horrific.



  • Right now i'm using the support tickets in Freshbooks. It's actually pretty good. Clients create tickets, severity lvl, I can then log time, expenses, and create invoices from the trouble ticket. I'm also about to start using the GFI Service Desk which is something they recently released. It integrates flawlessly with GFI Max which i really like, makes my life much easier.



  • @Hubtech said:

    Right now i'm using the support tickets in Freshbooks. It's actually pretty good. Clients create tickets, severity lvl, I can then log time, expenses, and create invoices from the trouble ticket. I'm also about to start using the GFI Service Desk which is something they recently released. It integrates flawlessly with GFI Max which i really like, makes my life much easier.

    I had no idea that Freshbooks had that functionality.



  • Each client of mine usually has a technical POC and a financial POC. financial gets all of the invoices. technical submits all trouble tickets and responds to tech needs. pretty cool stuff. here are some screen shots

    cap1.PNG

    cap2.PNG



  • Looks pretty decent.



  • I have been using ZenDesk, however I am still grandfathered in to the 20/year for 3 agents.

    I am guess NTG needs much more then 3 agents, and the price goes up a lot after you break 3 agents.



  • Yeah. Our scale causes issues.



  • We are using ConnectWise.
    It covers almost all of what we want for CRM and has a robust service desk and ticketing system.
    It has more work flow tools than we realized and are just starting to see the potential for efficiency and management tracking.
    We'll be integrating with our financial system shortly. CW can handle automated invoicing and push the journal entries to the accounting system for receivables tracking and management.



  • used CW at a previous job and hated it as a tech.



  • We are using a combination of Spiceworks for our older clients and Autotask Service Desk for our MSP clients. We are in the process of moving everything under Autotask though as this is our PSA and helps us better maintain client relationships and manage the client's locations and equipment better. It also integrates with our RMM GFI Max and GFI Max Backup.



  • That must be new for Freshbooks. I've used them on a very small scale, but only for invoicing. I it will be interesting to see for helpdesk options.



  • @Dashrender said:

    That must be new for Freshbooks. I've used them on a very small scale, but only for invoicing. I it will be interesting to see for helpdesk options.

    works well for me. For now.



  • I was under the impression that I was the only person that didn't use SpiceWorks anymore. I guess I was wrong



  • @IRJ said:

    I was under the impression that I was the only person that didn't use SpiceWorks anymore. I guess I was wrong

    MSPs have rarely ever used it. It has no accommodations for them. But even for normal shops the abandonment rate seems to be skyrocketing. V7 and later have been very unpopular. And lots of recent security concerns.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @IRJ said:

    I was under the impression that I was the only person that didn't use SpiceWorks anymore. I guess I was wrong

    MSPs have rarely ever used it. It has no accommodations for them. But even for normal shops the abandonment rate seems to be skyrocketing. V7 and later have been very unpopular. And lots of recent security concerns.

    The reason we left was high resource consumption. SolarWinds runs off a Linux Appliance and uses much less resources.



  • Yes. Lacking a Linux edition and a SaaS option definitely hurt them.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @IRJ said:

    I was under the impression that I was the only person that didn't use SpiceWorks anymore. I guess I was wrong

    MSPs have rarely ever used it. It has no accommodations for them. But even for normal shops the abandonment rate seems to be skyrocketing. V7 and later have been very unpopular. And lots of recent security concerns.

    That is IMHO the speed at which the testing process happened. It was released too quickly and without much notice. A lot of the issues that are complained about were discovered during that process. The longer that Purchasing and private KB's get ignored (plus the portability of putting it on a Linux host) will continue to take a toll.



  • That they have no alpha or beta testing phases really shows. They release with no testing. But the bigger issues aren't bugs, they are design decisions that make people unhappy.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    That they have no alpha or beta testing phases really shows. They release with no testing. But the bigger issues aren't bugs, they are design decisions that make people unhappy.

    Agreed. Implementing new features no one asked for or really cares about with maybe an exception of a few and ignoring the requests for fixes by the masses is how they do it and it's hurting them. Even new people who find it and are intrigued are quickly turned off.



  • Currently, in house, we are using Lotus Notes. I'm looking at different options now just for us. Spiceworks is frowned upon due to the ad based version being the only one that any of them have seen. I previously (circa 2003) used BMC Remedy (which he also run in-house for another department's ticketing system) which wasn't great then and now, well, it causes quite a bit of the headaches in this department.



  • Of all of the things about it, why are the ads bad? Plenty of reasons to not use it but that seems an odd one. I mean it's less than professional and definitely makes people feel like they aren't quite at a real company sometimes but it is only visible to IT staff.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Of all of the things about it, why are the ads bad? Plenty of reasons to not use it but that seems an odd one. I mean it's less than professional and definitely makes people feel like they aren't quite at a real company sometimes but it is only visible to IT staff.

    ads is bad scott...didn't ya know? not knocking lotus notes...but moving up the ladder wont be hard for you guys 😉



  • Ha ha. There will ads here eventually. But not SO many 🙂

    The ML difference is that vendors get to join and participate for free. Only ads cost money, not posting and participating.



  • so we can advertise to each other!!?? ya'll should for sure outsource to me scott. i'll do the same 😉



  • @Hubtech said:

    so we can advertise to each other!!?? ya'll should for sure outsource to me scott. i'll do the same 😉

    Imagine the inflation!