Last time, I was talking about the various helpdesk
solutions that we are considering for our company, and I gave you an overview of
our findings on TouchPaper. Today, I'll tell you about the other two. I have
used Hornbill Supportworks in a
previous company; the interface is nice and the process of logging and updating
calls is very intuitive. Asset discovery is not included in the helpdesk
package (it's a separate, plug-in/product), however, manual input of asset data
is allowed. We ran a two-week trial of Supportworks, and I had problems in
getting the shared mailbox function to work with our mail server. Everything
worked with POP3, however IMAP did not. Im sure this could have been resolved
with Hornbill over time; however, we only had a two-week evaluation so we stuck
with the POP3 config and got on with testing.
We were quite happy overall with Supportworks. The only
massive negative was that this system again needs a Windows Server base. Its
quite disappointing that Hornbill dont make this available for a Linux-basesystem, considering that its major components include Apache and MySQL!
is a lesser known helpdesk environment, and none of our team had used this
before. We found it on a Google search! We had our sights on TOPdesk
Enterprise, which is completely platform-independent, the core services being
coded in Java and database options of MSSQL or Oracle. The user interface is completely
Web-based. At first this didnt seem very attractive, because Web-based
interfaces are normally quite cumbersome, slow, and awkward to use (form
submissions, drop-down boxes, and text fields). I must now say that the
interface of TOPdesk was the most intuitive Web interface I have used. Cutting-edge
programming techniques and lateral thinking have clearly been put into actionwith a pleasing result.
The pricing structure of TOPdesk is pretty fair; most of the
systems features are broken down into modules, meaning you only pay for what
you want. One suggestion from their sales rep was that we could purchase the
basic system and then take additional modules later on. This would mean
deployment and costs could be staggered over time. TOPdesk also did not base
their prices on the number of operators and the number of end users; the total number
of users—be they 'end' users or operators—was all that needed to be
considered. LANDesk integration is, of course, available; reporting is also
included and very simple to work with using the report generator. One gripe I
have about TOPdesk is that it requires Internet Explorer; Firefox compatibilityis apparently coming soon.
All things considered, helpdesk systems are much of a
muchness. The features offered are quite similar and there doesnt seem to be
one package which shines forth above all others. Taking this into account, our
decision will probably be based on user interface, system compatibility, and of
course, price. TOPdesk looks to be doing well (seeing as it is the only
platform-independent option so far). Any comments from current TOPdesk users,or do you have any suggestions on other systems, which we should be looking at?