The process of managing requests on behalf of your clients, users and customers may seem simple on the surface but is inherently one of the most critical functions of any IT support team or Managed Service Provider (MSP).
Being able to formally capture the service requests of clients, manage them in an efficient and effective manner, ensure that they are routed to the correct technical or logistical person, and to be able to report on the level of service to ensure that all agreements are adhered to, is critical.
For many organizations, internal policies and even regulatory compliance can also be important factors.
Service desks (also known as ticketing systems) should also be integrated with the IT monitoring systems, to allow for automated requests for service to be generated when a system alert is identified.
When looking for a ticketing system (either your first system or to replace one that has reached its effective usefulness), here are some simple questions to consider.
1. How many users will the system have, and will you have to pay per user?
2. How many staff to you have delivering service, and will you have to pay for each of them?
3. What level of support an education does the vendor offer, and at what cost?
4. Does the service desk integrate with your remote monitoring and management system (this will significantly reduce the complexity to your staff)
5. Is the system cloud based on do you need to install a local server (cloud based also means you will not have to worry about system maintenance, updates etc)
Prices for service desks can range from hundreds of dollars to free, and often the free systems offer a compelling solution for all sizes of company.
Why free? Because service desks are now a core function of management platforms, and for some vendors they see it as simpler to provide a complete platform where more advanced technology can be purchased rather than changing for every element of the platform.
Welcome to the cloud economy.