5 Best IT Help Desk Software & Ticketing Systems [2023]

If you’re a company selling IT products or services, chances are you also cater to your customers’ questions through an externally facing IT help desk.

Using email, telephone, website, or even online chat, these help desks make sure all queries are addressed swiftly and efficiently.

The help desk is a part of the larger service desk universe. It focuses on end-user functionality, delivering incident management to ensure that customer issues are handled promptly.

This article presents the best IT help desk software – the tools that are transforming the way technical support is delivered, one query at a time.

IT help desk software
Table of Contents

1. ServiceDesk Plus

ServiceDesk Plus

With more than twenty years in business, ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is one of the oldest IT help desk software platforms out in the market. Though that does not mean their platform is outdated, as their experience in the market has helped them shape their help desk into something that accommodates all types of business operations no matter how big or how small.

But let’s start at the very beginning. ManageEngine’s ServiceDesk Plus is a service management software that combines IT service management and asset management, as well as CMDB with enterprise service management capabilities

With Service Desk Plus MSP, you can efficiently record, track, manage, and maintain IT services for individual customers or departments by creating separate accounts for each organization, all from a single platform.

ServiceDesk IT help desk dashboard

ServiceDesk lets you maintain contacts, IT services, and tasks separately for each customer’s organization, so there is no need to switch between multiple tabs or scramble around the fine client’s data.

The customizable self-service portal allows you to view tickets and tasks easily. The Scheduler helps to plan tasks on a calendar view and stay on track using timely notifications.

Service Desk Plus offers separate modules for managing requests, accounts, problems, changes, IT assets, purchases, and contracts. But every module is connected to the others, so we don’t have to worry about data silos.

You can manage SLAs, operational hours, and automations for each organization separately using Service Desk Plus.

Every time an SLA is nearing a breach, IT technicians are notified. When a breach does occur, SLA escalations go into effect. These proactive and reactive SLAs help ensure you always provide quality services.

ServiceDesk IT help desk SLA rules

Simple automations allow teams to focus on what really matters, reducing risks and downtime in customers’ IT environments. Business rules help to take control of tasks, spend less time on repetitive tasks, trigger automated notifications, and improve the operational efficiency of the IT service delivery team.

Service Desk Plus MSP can also be integrated with a host of native and third-party applications that allow teams to control and carry out all ITSM processes from one place. By integrating Service Desk Plus MSP with other accounting software such as Zoho Books, you can export data automatically, making invoicing much quicker.

You can also keep tabs on metrics and measure the service desk’s performance with advanced analytics and intelligent reporting capabilities.

With Advanced Reports, you’ll make better business decisions and help reduce the cost of service delivery, increase profitability, and boost overall customer satisfaction.

The platform also offers IT project management software that enables you to create projects, track progress, manage resources, and integrate projects with requests and changes to fine-tune your IT service delivery.

In essence, ServiceDesk Plus is an IT ticketing system trusted by over 100,000 IT service desks globally. It is equipped to track and manage IT tickets effectively, resolve issues promptly, and ensure end-user satisfaction.

Getting started is also easy. Simply download Service Desk Plus MSP and run it on your server. The configuration wizard will take you through the steps to get your application up and running in no time.

It’s also worth mentioning that users found ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus easier to use and set up but administration in both solutions was equally easy and preferred doing business with ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus MSP in general.

2. Atera


Atera is an all-in-one software for managed service providers (MSPs) that combines remote monitoring and management, professional services automation, and remote control & support – all in a single platform.

Atera offers an AI helpdesk solution specifically designed to enable IT departments’ routine tasks. With its intuitive design and user-friendly features, Atera’s platform allows effective communication with end-users through a live chat feature, enabling seamless ticket management.

One of Atera’s standout features is its Intelligent Ticketing and Helpdesk Software. This allows users to streamline and automate their ticketing process with just a few clicks. Basically, tickets are automatically synced between the client customer portal and the Atera user Interface enabling instant communication.

Atera tickets

What’s also great is that emails can be automatically configured to respond to new and closed tickets. Users can also schedule tickets ahead of time, manage technician schedules efficiently, initiate tickets from email or chat, and automatically send customer feedback surveys upon resolution of tickets.

But what really makes Atera stands out from other IT help desk solutions is its AI Ticket Tagging feature. This enables automatic categorization of incoming tickets by specific keywords, directing all requests to the IT professional who can then provide the most efficient and effective support.

Atera ticket automation

Another key offering from Atera is its Automated Reports. These comprehensive reports and analytics enable IT departments to showcase their daily accomplishments effectively. Rather than wasting time on complex report generation, teams can focus on providing proactive support to their users.

Some of the valuable insights from these reports include:

  • User satisfaction metrics
  • Total tickets resolved
  • Average ticket duration
  • And more

Finally, Atera offers a robust knowledge base that allows users to create and maintain a central repository of essential articles, information, tips, and tricks, and all that good stuff. Your team can easily add informational articles tailored to users’ needs, tutorials, video content for onboarding or support, and a repository of documentation.

In conclusion, Atera stands out as a helpdesk solution with its user-centric design, intelligent automation, insightful analytics, and comprehensive knowledge base, providing IT departments with an efficient and effective tool to manage their daily operations.

3. Freshservice


Freshservice is a clever piece of software from the Freshworks family that puts a shiny, new spin on IT help desk tools. This cloud-based tool brings you a fresh way to deal with employee experiences, with its intelligent ticketing system and all-in-one service management.

Though Freshservice promises a ready-to-use, end-to-end, consumer-grade experience that lets employees work from anywhere, anytime, it’s worth remembering that the flexibility it offers may not suit every business model.

But one cool thing about Freshservice is how it brings together all your discovery and monitoring tools under one roof. It’s got some integrations and workflows that pump up your ROI and overall efficiency.

Freshservice measures customer satisfaction with its built-in CSAT function. You can set up reports, tweak workflows, and supercharge your service desk based on what your users think. It also has a unique service catalog that’s just like an easy-to-use shopping cart for managing requests. It helps manage approvals and keeps everyone updated on the status of specific service items.

Freshservice is also an ace at monitoring and alerting. It brings together alerts from different monitoring tools onto a single screen, giving you a real-time health check of your business services.

Freshservice is all about connecting with other business apps with its Orchestration platform, and it doesn’t need any coding. It provides serious efficiency with complete automation. Also, its analytics feature lets you turn raw data into useful insights using simple drag-and-drop widgets. The AI-powered “Ask Freddy” feature is like a mini assistant, helping you quickly access service desk metrics with simple questions.

With Freshservice’s mobile app, you can green-light processes, handle incidents, and change requests on the go. Its built-in barcode scanner is a nifty tool for keeping track of assets.

Finally, the software excels in smart automation, providing the ability to create no-code or low-code workflows that enhance agent productivity. These workflows can be orchestrated using third-party applications for repetitive and complex tasks.

Freshservice IT smart automations

To sum it up, Freshservice is designed to modernize the way you manage employee experiences, sporting features like intelligent ticketing, and a unified service management experience.

But keep in mind that while these features claim to increase efficiency and productivity, leading to happier employees, it’s essential to consider if your team will clearly benefit from these advancements, given the complexity that might come with them.

4. GoTo Resolve


GoTo Resolve is an all-in-one IT support software designed for small and medium-sized businesses to help IT professionals streamline their help desk processes. 

With GoTo Resolve, IT agents and end-users have multiple options to seek and offer help, making it easy for teams to work together. The software offers flexible ticketing that can be customized to suit the needs of your teams.

GoTo Resolve allows you to turn messaging apps such as Microsoft Teams and Slack into help hubs, streamlining the ticketing process. 

You can create, update, and check the status of tickets in one place, making it easy for agents and end-users to work off the same tool. 

Additionally, you have the option to submit tickets via email to a customized inbox and receive notifications on ticket updates.

The software offers an intuitive web-based console experience for agents, providing access to a modern ticket queue, flexible ticket assignment and management, and the ability to message employees and start a remote session from the same platform. 

In short, GoTo Resolve is the next chapter of GoToAssist combining the remote support software customers grew to love with additional IT management functionality customers were requesting. 

If you are looking for the closest parity to GoToAssist – a strong ad-hoc remote support solution, GoTo Resolve’s Basic tier has you covered. It includes the same remote support features as well as RMM and helpdesk. All for the same price as GoToAssist.

5. SolarWinds


SolarWinds Service Desk, previously known as Samanage Service Platform is a comprehensive platform, suitable for medium to enterprise-level companies, combines the functionality of a help desk and IT service management, ensuring your business can respond to service requests swiftly and offering improved support.

At the core of SolarWinds Service Desk is the IT service management software, designed to inject efficiency and visibility into the services your organization requests and delivers.

SolarWinds has fully embraced the power of SaaS multi-tenant platforms. This simply means internal service providers can not only streamline processes but also improve productivity across the board.

One point to note about SolarWinds is its user interface, which promises an unmatched user experience. It enables code-free customization, implying that customers could deploy a robust IT Service Management solution in a few days. But the reality of deployment could vary depending on the complexity of your infrastructure.

SolarWinds also offers a self-service portal for submitting service tickets. This portal allows users to search for solutions using the system’s configurable knowledge base promoting independent problem-solving.

Other than these tools and solutions, Incident Tracking and Asset Management are other great features that this IT Helpdesk Software has to offer.

When comparing SolarWinds Service Desk vs SolarWinds Web Help Desk users found SolarWinds Service Desk easier to use, set up, and do business with SolarWinds Service Desk overall.

IT Help Desk vs Service Desk

The difference between an IT help desk and a service desk is more nuanced than simply stating one provides help while the other provides service. Each plays a unique role within an organization and, though they share similarities, their differences make them distinct entities.

An IT help desk primarily focuses on addressing and rectifying immediate IT issues or incidents. The ultimate goal of a help desk is “first call resolution,” meaning it seeks to resolve problems swiftly, often during the first interaction with the end-user

In contrast, a service desk doesn’t limit itself to just resolving IT issues. Apart from troubleshooting, a service desk also manages service requests, including those for new services, and responds to information inquiries. It is dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of services to ensure they meet users’ needs in a comprehensive manner.

Unlike a help desk, a service desk takes a strategic approach, considering the broader business context to manage the service management process effectively. It serves as a single point of contact between the service provider and users, thus fostering smoother communication and improved user experience.

While a help desk can be either a separate entity or part of a larger service desk operation to improve overall customer service, it primarily plays a tactical role, attending to day-to-day user needs. The service desk, on the other hand, guided by ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) practices, is seen as a key component in managing service operations, offering a broader and enhanced user experience.

In summary, while both a help desk and a service desk play crucial roles in IT support and service management, they each offer different scopes of support. The help desk is primarily concerned with the swift and efficient resolution of IT issues, whereas a service desk offers a more holistic approach to IT service management, handling a variety of user requests and striving to continuously improve the quality and performance of the services offered.

Choosing The Right IT Help Desk Software

In conclusion, choosing the best IT help desk software is a significant decision that can drastically impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization’s IT support operations. The ideal solution should not only be able to swiftly and accurately address the technical issues faced by end-users but also be user-friendly, scalable, and adaptable to the unique needs of your organization.

The market is replete with various help desk software options, each with its own strengths and features, such as automation capabilities, robust ticket management systems, and advanced reporting tools. However, the best software for your organization is the one that seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, offers comprehensive support and features that align with your business processes, and provides value for money.

Moreover, in the increasingly digital landscape, the importance of excellent customer service cannot be overstated. Meaning, your chosen help desk software should enhance the user experience, making it as streamlined and hassle-free as possible.

Remember, the ultimate goal of implementing a help desk software solution is to boost productivity, streamline processes, and ultimately, improve the overall user experience. Hence, it is essential to undertake thorough research, take advantage of trial periods, and consider feedback from other users in similar industries before making your decision.

In the end, the ‘best’ IT help desk software isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition but rather, the one that most effectively meets your specific needs and business goals.

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