The increasing number of tools and solutions in an organization’s technology stack necessitates using IT service management to optimize such tools and keep them operational. Organizations spent $31.2 billionOpens a new window in 2021 on system and service management software, and the spending will rise 9.7% annually until 2026. If you’re looking for such a solution, here’s a roundup of three robust tools to consider: ZenDesk, Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk, and N-Able.
IT service management (ITSM) took shape a few decades ago in response to the growing need for established processes that enhanced efficiency, introduced accountability, and increased the speed of IT services and deliveries. Over the past decade, the rapid adoption of cloud-based technologies and the deployment of high-performance computing systems, SaaS platforms, and AI and ML technologies have made IT service management a critical factor in ensuring growth and preventing disruptions or outages.
Today, many robust IT service management tools are configured to enable users to manage service catalogs, troubleshoot problems or incidents, configure inventory management, log performance metrics in reports and dashboards, set up knowledge management repositories, manage ticket workflows, and implement processes for change management.
Despite the various benefits that modern IT service management tools offer, organizations must consider the advantages and drawbacks of each solution, the use cases they do or do not support, their pricing models, and feedback from existing users. Other factors to remember are how flexible, and customizable these solutions are to business needs, their user-friendliness, and long-term upgrade costs.
Keeping such factors in mind, we cover in this article three robust ITSM solutions, namely ZenDesk, Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk, and N-Able, and look at their respective feature-sets and capabilities for the benefit of IT buyers and decision-makers.
Zendesk Support Suite
Â This proprietary solution is built around a ticketing system and contains a suite of tools to help organizations enable an omnichannel support system for customers. The Zendesk Support system supports ticket and user management, workflow, and other administrative aspects and handles all tickets and customer interactions. The suite also features a Zendesk Guide that enables organizations to access a help center that hosts knowledge base articles.Â Â
Zendesk Support Suite is available to organizations through five purchase plans: team, growth, professional, enterprise, and enterprise plus. These plans allow customers to choose from a range of additional features to enhance the quality and efficiency of customer support. These features include Zendesk Gather, a community forum where customers can post questions and interact with service providers, Zendesk Chat which enables live chat between organizations and customers at all times, and Zendesk talk, which supports voice telephony and also lets service providers monitor reports, call activity, and status of existing tickets.Â
Additional features also include Zendesk Explore, a tool that offers reporting and analytics to help organizations monitor performance, agent status, and the status of tickets. It also lets you maintain a reporting dashboard for all Support, Chat, Talk, and Guide-related activities and build custom reports and dashboards as well. Another handy add-on feature is Sunshine, a CRM platform that enables users to create custom apps that connect to customer data and extend messaging capabilities through a feature called Sunshine Conversations.
What’s new in 2022?
New Flow Builder features: ZenDesk has added new features to the Flow Builder, enabling users to add conversational bots to their third-party social channels such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram Direct, Twitter DM, and WeChat. This feature went live on May 31, 2022.
New User Interface: ZenDesk is introducing a new mobile user interface in 2022, which will help users navigate between the comments on a ticket, see users’ messages and respond on social channels like WhatsApp and Facebook and Native Messaging channels. The new Agent Experience and Messaging EAP functionality let users leave a public or private reply to tickets, update ticket properties, access customer profiles, and delete tickets.
Improved task management: Supervisors can now view agent availability, workload and online statuses on a single dashboard.
Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk
Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk is a cloud-based ITSM offering that, along with its unique tools and features, is offered for free to organizations of all sizes and in multiple sectors. The cloud-based nature of the service ensures that end-users do not have to invest in additional hardware or maintenance costs.
The Knowledge Base tool in the Cloud Help Desk provides valuable information on service optimizations and change management. It also provides users access to the broader Spiceworks research repository that contains a wealth of industry insights for developers, IT practitioners, and decision-makers. The solution also integrates with the company’s suite of cloud tools, such as device management software and tools for running and optimizing dashboards and vendor contracts. Basically, everything that the IT team needs can be foun in the Knowledge Base. It also integrates well with Zoho’s Remote Support solution and Inventory Online with Intel’s EMA (pronounced â€œEmmaâ€).Â
What’s new in 2022?
Ticket Rewrite: The whole UI on the ticket page is new, and the underlying technology has also been modernized. Previously, tickets that could be viewed by IT admins prevented users from accessing all the information associated with a ticket at the same place. The new UI has improved user experience, and users can enable or disable the split-screen and use the search functionality to navigate across screens easily. Considering that IT departments spend 90% of their time managing tickets, these smaller but important improvements to the ticket screen are useful.
New mobile app: Available since January 2021, the new mobile version of the Cloud Help Desk on Android and iOS helps users raise tickets and view updates on the application itself. Among its top benefits is that it helps technicians action and resolve tickets when working off-site where they may not be carrying their laptops. Considering that IT support staff spend 90% of their time managing tickets, these smaller but important improvements to the ticket screen help reduce the workload.
Push notifications: Released along with the mobile application, the push notifications functionality updates users in real-time about new tickets, changes made to existing tickets, and other ticket-related information.Â
In recent months, the Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk also saw new additions such as the sorting functionality that helps merge tickets and attach files to tickets, canned responses that help optimize the user workflow, Inventory integration with the legacy desktop application, and integration with Zoho Remote Support to let users utilize the remote support functionality from within the help desk application.
Power BI reporting: The Cloud Help Desk also helps users with advanced BI reporting that comes with the following features:
- With advanced reporting, you can add filters, a combination of filters to create any reports.
- These reports can be as simple as getting all open tickets to finding all pending tickets for any specified timeline.
- Our custom Power BI Desktop Data Connector allows you to grab data directly from your Cloud Help Desk account, and refresh that data into your Power BI report template, with one click post initial setup.
In 2022, Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk was rankedOpens a new window as a top performer and an established player in the IT help desk industry by leading business software reviews portal Capterra. The software scored 4.2 out of 5 for customer support, 4.3 for ease of use, and 4.4 overall.
Gartner Digital Markets also mentioned the Cloud Help Desk in three leadership categories: Top Performer in IT Service Software, Top Performer in IT Management Software, and Established Player in IT Asset Management Software.
An improved Knowledge Base and customisable email templates are also fresh additions to the Cloud Help Desk. Learn more about the Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk here.
N-Able Help Desk Manager
N-able’s Help Desk Manager offers web-based ticketing, change management, automatic asset discovery, IT asset management, and a knowledge base, among many features commonly found in most leading IT help desk solutions. The company brands it as a scalable, powerful IT ticketing solution with a web-based interface and an integrated dashboard for performance reporting. Users can track various real-time metrics such as ticket activity, ticket status, and ticket resolution.
Enterprise users can configure the Help Desk Manager to route tickets to a specific help desk technician or workgroup, bill customers for parts and labor costs, and create new tickets from email requests or alert messages from a supported monitoring application.
The stand-out factor about N-able’s Help Desk Manager is system compatibility. Users can run the solution on diverse platforms such as Microsoft Windows Server, Apple OS X, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, CentOS, VMWare vSphere, and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines.
Also Consider: N-able MSP Manager
N-able’s suite of service desk solutions also includes the MSP Manager, which is custom-built to help MSPs conduct efficient and proactive service delivery. The solution is integrated with N-able RMM and N-able N-central, making it a unified solution with all features accessible from a consolidated dashboard.
N-able MSP Manager performs help desk ticketing, billing, and scheduling in a single web interface and lets users manage workflows, assign tickets, and allocate resources. One of its best features is the automated conversion of service desk emails into standardized tickets, which saves time and resources. The solution can also assign tickets to the proper workflow and utilize push notifications to update teams in real-time.
Editor’s Note: Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk is owned by Toolbox’s parent company, Spiceworks Ziff Davis.
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