No matter what the problem is, it will often start with a request to a help desk. Having a strong help desk platform could make the difference between a productive workday, and complete chaos.
Whether you’re running an MSP, or just in charge of fixing problems within your company, you’ll want a centralized system to track and organize all of your projects.
Here is the list our list of the best IT Help Desk & Support Software:
- SolarWinds Service Desk (FREE TRIAL) Powerful help desk solutions for MSPs who are looking to grow and leverage automation. Features detailed reporting, ticket routing, and custom workflow rules. Access the 30-day free trial.
- SuperOps PSA (FREE TRIAL) This SaaS package includes a Service Desk module that provides a Help Desk ticketing system and other MSP management software. Get a 21-day free trial.
- SolarWinds Web Help Desk (FREE TRIAL) Utilizes the best in help desk software, with less additional features and add-ons. Access the 14-day free trial.
- NinjaOne (FREE TRIAL) This cloud-based platform provides systems for use by managed service provider technicians when looking after the systems of clients and it includes a ticketing system for user support. Access the 14-day free trial.
- SysAid This service provides a Help Desk system and a higher plan gives you a full ITSM package. Available as a SaaS platform or for download onto Windows Server or Linux.
- ConnectWise Manage Ties directly into ConnectWise Automate to provide automation and inventory management.
- Freshdesk A budget-friendly help desk platform that keeps tracking tickets simple and convenient.
- Kaseya Vortex Built for MSPs, Vortex provides intuitive integration with IT Glue and Live Connect.
The best IT Help Desk & Support Software
SolarWinds Service Desk is a cloud-based service and asset manager that is built around optimizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your help desk support. Service Desk operates in the cloud and is continuously being patched, updated, and improved.
Service Desk supports advanced ticketing features that help you manage ticket flow, and task delegation to keep workloads distributed appropriately. You can set rules that route-specific tickets to certain members or teams based on priority, client, state, or category. The Service Desk platform can receive tickets as emails, calls, or manual entries, and has the ability to integrate with over 200 different applications.
A feature that many technicians love on the incident dashboard is the quick preview function. By simply hovering over the eye-shaped icon on a ticket, you can view and read all of a ticket’s most critical information without opening it. Small quality of life features like this can be found throughout Service Desk and really add to making the workflow process faster, and easier for both the technician and the end-user.
When a new ticket comes in, that ticket is automatically scanned and compared with other resolved tickets to help the response team solve that issue faster. Smart Suggestions is a feature that shows up on each new ticket, and suggests resolutions based on keywords in previous tickets, and scans your knowledge base for related internal articles.
While most help desk software gives you the option to search for solutions, Service Desk takes the initiative and saves you time by bringing those related resolutions to the forefront for you. This also applies to users who are in the process of opening a new ticket.
Smart Suggestion will detect what the issue might be, and then suggest an article that may resolve that problem. Smart Suggestion can also be used to identify larger repeat problems. If Smart Suggestion shows that an issue is recurring, it might be appropriate to escalate that problem or work on a solution to fix the bigger problem at hand.
Every ticket that comes in can be assigned to both a user and a machine, giving you a deep insight into a PC’s work history and helping you discover larger patterns that could point to another underlying problem. Any computer that has an OS can be inventoried into Service Desk; this is done through a small MSI agent. The ability to quickly pull a machine’s past ticket history saves your help desk time and eliminates redundant troubleshooting steps.
SolarWinds’ Service Desk focuses on technician efficiency through automation and ease of use and makes this one of the simplest yet most powerful IT Help Desk solutions on the market. Its features and flexible pricing makes this a smart choice for both smaller help desks, as well as larger international service providers.
You can test out Service Desk in your organization for free, with a 30-day free trial.
SuperOps PSA is a SaaS package that provides professional services automation on a cloud platform that also offers a remote monitoring and management (RMM) system. The PSA system includes a Service Desk module that has a ticketing package built into it. The ticket package is ideal for Help Desk teams operating in-house and particularly for managed service providers (MSPs) because it is delivered together with automated task and team tracking.
The ticketing survice provides a number of channels for users to raise a service request. These are ultimately converted into emails for channeling through the ticketing system. However, they are delivered to the allocated technician in a chat screen. The technician contacts the user by writing a chat message but then the SuperOps system converts that into an email for delivery. Thus, no technician needs to see a user’s actual email address.
The email management functions of the SuperOps PSA system also enable team managers to set up automated responses. Each email provides a timestamp for logs that set up SLA-required solution delivery deadlines.
The routing system of the SuperOps Service Desk module lets a team manager create “runbooks.” These can operate with rules based on the request source or type of problem. The allocation of a ticket can be made to a pool of technicians for the attention of the next available team member or channel through a first line support operative or team.
Help Desks that operate graded support teams can use a facility that lets the technician decide to forward a ticket to the next line for deeper analysis if the problem can’t be resolved through scripted advice. Thus, Help Desk managers can filter out the bulk of routine problems with cheaper, less experienced staff and focus the time of valuable qualified IT experts on solving truly complex technical problems.
It can also be possible for a technician or a team leader to group tickets by theme or suspend a support ticket to generate a Service Desk change request, requiring system redevelopment.
The team leader gets a management console that shows SLA deadlines for each open ticket and offers the option to reallocate a problem in order to get it resolved in time. The route a service request takes can become complicated with many technicians of different pay grades dedicating time to it. The SuperOps system logs all of the time that each technician contributes to a ticket. This automatically generates accurate invoices at the end of the month.
The service also automatically generates a timesheet per technician and provides analytical graphs and tables of technician performance.
The SuperOps system is a cloud platform that offers subscription plans for its PSA and RMM Systems. There is a PSA-only plan and an RMM-only plan as well. There are also two unified plans that offer both modules. You can get a 21-day free trial of both packages.
Web Help Desk by SolarWinds is an on-premise IT support software that manages all the core functions a help desk or network operation center would need to process tickets, automate workflow, and track assets all on one platform.
Web Help Desk shares a number of similarities with Service Desk when it comes to core features like ticket tracking, custom reporting, integrations, and workflow management. You’ll have access to powerful workflow automation that helps delegate requests, set default ticket recipients, and even create rules to separate tickets that may be considered more critical or sensitive in nature.
At the dashboard level, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of how your help desk is performing by displaying the number of current tickets, their alert status, who’s assigned to them, and what their priority levels are. This is great for technical leads or managers who want a quick status report of how the help desk is currently working and what their workload is like at any given moment.
Much of the automation that route tickets are done through request types. An end-user will have the option to select a request type before they submit a ticket. Through workflows, you can create rules that route-specific tickets to certain members of your help desk team. For example, you can create a request type called Human Resources and only route those tickets to level 2 technicians who are allowed to have access to more sensitive information. For managed service providers, you may assign specific technicians to certain clients. This can be accomplished through request types as well.
The service portal is fully configurable, giving you a wide array of options for how you want your users to send in tickets. Add and remove different form selections, and make their selection mandatory to assist your help desk is getting the information they need to complete the ticket. Form fields such as room number, request type, and attachment box, give your techs the necessary information to help, without having to go back and forth to get the necessary details with an end-user.
Web Help Desk has some limitations when comparing it to Service Desk. Help Desk does not currently support integration with Dameware Remote Everywhere or provide vendor and contract management. You also won’t have access to some of the machine learning features such as Smart Suggestion that come with Service Desk.
With that being said, Help Desk is still an incredibly powerful IT help desk software that really caters to medium to large-sized companies who are looking to manage their own help desk solutions in house. You can test out SolarWinds Help Desk for your organization on a 14-day free trial.
NinjaOne is a platform of systems for use by managed service providers (MSP) that is centered on a remote monitoring and management (RMM) package. The RMM concept can be applied to the management of systems but it can also mean the management of systems and users. The NinjaOne package includes user support technology through a ticketing system.
The NinjaOne ticketing system is central to the operations of a Help Desk. It creates channels of communication that enable users to report problems to users and it can also be used by automated monitoring tools to register discovered system errors that need to be fixed.
User input into the ticketing service is provided by a self-service portal that can be branded to show the corporate identity of the MSP or the client. Automated notifications keep the user informed of progress and technicians can use the portal to communicate findings or schedule virtual meetings.
The self-service portal can also be used to deliver a knowledge base, which provides users with troubleshooting guides and possible solutions. A knowledge base can also be set up for use by technicians that provide decision trees and investigation advice to quickly identify and resolve a problem.
The ticketing system can be set up to automatically route and queue tasks for investigation and then reroute them for resolution. This enables the MSP to create specialist teams that will handle tickets according to competence.
Progress on each task is automatically recorded by the ticketing system and completed tasks are recorded together with the time it took to fix the problem, starting at the moment that it was reported. These functions are necessary for billing and for service level agreement (SLA) compliance reporting.
The NinjaOne platform of RMM tools, including the ticketing system can be assessed with a 14-day free trial.
SysAid is a Service Desk package that is written to ITIL standards. The base plan of this service is a Help Desk plan and it includes a self-service portal as an entry point for users.
Buyers of this system have a choice of levels and the higher you go, the more automation you get. All plans include the self-service portal. This includes a knowledge base template. The aim of this front end is to filter out as many Help Desk requests as possible. If users can’t get access from the knowledge base, they have a chat facility to get through to the Help Desk. The Help Desk operative will run through the same knowledge base for answers or you can set up a technician’s guide that includes service scripts and troubleshooting guides.
If the chat operative can’t help, there is an option for that technician to raise a ticket for deeper consideration. The self-service portal also includes a support request form. Tickets are generated by either method and these go through the Help Desk management system.
You can set up the ticketing system to automatically route tickets to technicians. Each tech gets a dashboard that lists allocated tickets and there are facilities to make notes, place tickets on hold, or forward them for deeper investigations.
The management console lists all current tickets and you can place a time limit on all activities. This can be linked automatically to service level agreement expectations. As the clock runs down on each ticket, the manager can decide to manually override the ticket allocation algorithm and move a ticket on, block off a technician temporarily to reduce the load, or place a ticket on hold. It is possible to merge tickets to split an individual ticket into multiple issues.
SysAid is available as a SaaS platform but you can also get the software and run it on Windows Server or Linux. There isn’t a price list for the service but you can access an interactive demo. Another option is to ask for a guided demo, or request a free trial.
ConnectWise Manage is part of ConnectWise’s suite of software designed around serving the technical needs of managed service providers and large enterprise clients. Manage acts as a hub for all incoming helpdesk tickets, time and expense tracking, project management, and sales. Manage aims to be a one-stop solution for MSPs and provides additional integrations such as ConnectWise Automate that extend the usefulness of Manage and its help desk capability.
Help Desk is at the core of Manage where your team can receive incoming tickets from email, phone calls, or through a web service portal. Tickets are broken down into three sections, Discussion, Internal, and Resolution. These tabs are designed to record your client correspondence, internal work time, and the resolution all in one place. This can take some time to get used to and works well for the most part.
Unlike Service Desk, ConnectWise Manage relies on the manual searching of tickets to find solutions. You have the option to search based solely on the content of past ticket resolution tabs, or a broad search that you can narrow down by clients, date, the technician assigned, and primary contact. Manage does have a built-in dispatching feature that allows you to sync and share support calendars across your help desk teams. This helps cut down on the number of different tools your team needs to use and keeps everyone on the same page from one dashboard.
When entering a work time you have the option to make that note ‘internal’ by checking the Internal box. This can be easily missed and lead to some communication issues, or accidentally making internal notes a part of your correspondence, which makes taking the time to learn the product that much more important.
ConnectWise Manage does have a mobile app for both Android and iOS; however, I found it difficult to use and not very helpful at least from a help desk perspective. Replying to a simple ticket involves digging through nested menus, checking the contact address, changing the default one-hour work time assignment, and then finally sending the message.
While you can automate a lot of the ticketing and workflows, it’s a bit less intuitive and more involved than Service Desk. If you have separate teams working on different boards, moving tickets to and from each board can be slow at times. Tickets can get stuck if automation is in place and a ticket was manually changed beforehand.
ConnectWise Manage is available to test through a free trial.
Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support software with a number of intuitive ticketing features that may fit the needs of small budget-conscious help desks. While Freshdesk lacks some MSP focused features such as project coordination and asset management, it makes up for this in its lightweight design and ease of use.
Features like automatic email notifications, event-triggered automation, and intelligent ticket assignment all come plug and play with very little configuration or hassle needed to get implemented. One of Freshdesk’s standout features is called Omniroute.
Omniroute is an intelligence-based system that can assign tickets based on a number of variables such as skill level, availability, and ticket load. Omniroute alone will help boost your help desk’s efficiency and relieve burnt out technicians who were taking on an uneven workload. Small features like prefilled responses and a ‘thank you detector’ help speed up response time, and avoid finished tickets from being reopened.
On the reporting side, Freshdesk has an entire SLA management dashboard that makes viewing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as response time, completed tickets, and unsolved issues simple and easy to navigate. These metrics can be broken down by team, or even all the way to the individual technician level.
Freshdesk is free to use with limited features and starts at $15.00 (£12.07) per agent, per month. Freshdesk offers a 21-day free trial.
Vortex by Kaseya is a help desk and ticketing platform built with MSPs in mind and integrates into other automation and workflow solutions that are available through Kaseya’s platform. Vortex streamlines the ticketing process by optimizing the day to day challenges technicians face. Features like VoIP caller identification allow you to see exactly who in an organization is calling, and create a new ticket with auto-filled information with just one click.
Vortex can utilize platforms such as IT Glue to pull information assets and knowledgebase articles all without leaving the ticket you’re working on. Kaseya Live Connect gives you the power to remote into any of your managed machines once you assign a PC to a specific ticket.
Like most platforms, Vortex leverages automation to make follow up and confirmation a simple and reliable process. This is all wrapped in an easy to navigate user interface with in-depth reporting and SLA management. If you think Vortex might be a good fit for you, you can request a free trial.
Choosing the best IT Help Desk & Support Software
For most medium-sized companies and MSPs we’d suggest SolarWinds Service Desk as the best all-round help desk solution.
For IT departments or startups on a tight budget, it’s tough to beat Freshdesk’s low monthly fee. With that being said, as your technical support needs grow you might find yourself looking to move off of Freshdesk and over to a more holistic solution such as Service Desk or Web Help Desk.
Do you have a ticketing system in your organization? Or just rely on good old fashioned email? Let us know in the comments below.