Way back in 1968, the Beatles sang, “Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody. Help! You know I need someone. Heeeeellllppppp!”

Well, fast-forward more than half a century, and end users around the world are crooning from the Beatles’ songbook by asking IT pros to “help me get my feet back on the ground” — or actually make that something more like “help me get my mouse back on the screen.”

And that brings us to the results of April’s two-part poll question. In part one, we asked you to tell us what IT helpdesk ticketing solution you use. In part two, we asked you to share what you like and dislike about it.

The Results: PART 1

Here is a list of the helpdesk ticketing solutions that our (brilliant and helpful) community of IT pros are using. These are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Autotask
  • Axosoft
  • BMC Remedy
  • Freshdesk
  • Helpline
  • JIRA
  • KACE Systems Management Appliance K1000
  • OTRS
  • Request Tracker
  • RT4*
  • Salesforce
  • Service Manager
  • ServiceNow
  • Softdesk
  • SolarWinds
  • Spiceworks
  • Topdesk*
  • TrackIT
  • Zendesk

*Indicates that a community member used the solution in the past vs. using it now.

The Results: PART 2

And here are the insights (note that some of the solutions listed above are not discussed below, because there weren’t any pros/cons associated with them):

Autotask

  • Pros: all operations are managed through the platform; extremely powerful and configurable; integrates with pretty much anything you’d need it to
  • Cons: Need to manually import accounting data from products like Sage 50; can be very difficult to navigate because it’s so powerful; a new interface is needed

Freshdesk

  • Pros: “it just works”; offers mobile apps; can connect to MS Teams and other services; features reports that are useful for charging clients for time spent
  • Cons: (none mentioned)

JIRA

  • Pros: extensive, free, and modern
  • Cons: (none mentioned)

KACE Systems Management Appliance K1000

  • Pros: versatile; ticketing feature is one of the better aspects
  • Cons: rigid especially in set-up, which leads to some underused areas; some SMA configurations are not worth the time to set up

OTRS

  • Pros: free; works web-based and integrates well via API into other systems like CMDBs
  • Cons: not as modern and practical as some other solutions such as SolarWinds

Request Tracker

  • Pros: very lightweight and easy to start using at a minimum
  • Cons: (none mentioned)

RT4

  • Pros: amazingly flexible and powerful in its ability to adapt almost any workflow across any number of queues/user classes
  • Cons: a little bare graphically-speaking

SalesForce

  • Pros: problems get logged; issues get resolved quicker by reviewing the knowledge base or earlier tickets
  • Cons: (none mentioned)

Service Manager

  • Pros: Works nicely
  • Cons: (none mentioned)

ServiceNow

  • Pros: modern, REST API, good CMDB
  • Cons: complex

Softdesk

  • Pros: decent lightweight solution that does the job
  • Cons: not specifically made for IT; difficult for users to create tickets; knowledge base is not usable; notifications cannot be linked to communication tools (e.g., Slack)

SolarWinds

  • Pros: connects directly to AD for user authentication; email management of tickets by both staff and techs; admin users have visibility of tickets on campus; hasn't been redesigned in years and has been stable; works well for an MSP
  • Cons: bruised as a company; no updates to support Azure AD; no ability to authenticate against multiple Azure AD tenants; no new features in years; user database sync with AD is superficial and changing domain controllers causes duplicate creation that can take years to discover; mobile ticket management is via web; no app support

Spiceworks

  • Pros: free; relatively easy to use
  • Cons: certain basic features are not included and must be done with plugins

TrackIT

  • Pros: (none mentioned)
  • Cons: inadequate and almost unusable; UI is entirely noncompliant with basic usability standards; ability to merge and promote tickets is non-existent; integration is limited to adding your own command line entry; very difficult to work on tickets with anything other than the client (e.g., email)

ZenDesk

  • Pros: can link JIRA tickets used by developers; can write private notes that customer cannot see in tickets that give additional information to support to do things like provide context; can subscribe to specific comments and get notified if they open a ticket/any tickets are upgraded
  • Cons: cannot be used as a PSA tool

And the Winners Are…

Unlike the Beatles who won four Grammy Awards, there is no “Best Helpdesk Ticketing Solution Award.” The right solution is the one that helps IT pros do their jobs efficiently and effectively — and yes, even enjoyably (what, dealing with end users who don’t think it’s important to plug in their computer isn’t your idea of fun?!).

However, there IS a winner — two, in fact — of a $25 Amazon gift card. Congratulations to Simon David Williams and Tamsen Bohart! Please email me to claim your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the April poll. Please stay tuned for the May poll — it’s coming very soon!