ServiceDesk Plus 9.three from ManageEngine (which is obtainable in a free model) is among the many most mature of all of the helpdesk merchandise we reviewed on this roundup. That is evident in its breadth of options, its give attention to Data Know-how Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in addition to superior capabilities, together with change administration. On the time we examined ServiceDesk, it was additionally supplied solely in an on-premises deployment mannequin, although the corporate has added a cloud-based possibility since then, however you will must contact ManageEngine for pricing data. The corporate additionally affords a model of ServiceDesk Plus 9.three particularly for managed service suppliers (MSPs) and this, too, has its personal pricing choices.
What retains ServiceDesk Plus 9.three out of the Editors’ Selection winners’ circle is its dated and complicated consumer interface (UI) that is undoubtedly harder to make use of than one thing equivalent to Freshdesk or Editors’ Selection winners HappyFox and the feature-comparable Vivantio Professional.
For testing functions, we caught with ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s free Normal model, which encapsulates its core helpdesk performance. One factor that is obvious is, whereas ServiceDesk Plus 9.three has a clear and trendy UI design, the backend of our examined set up was all about client-server. You possibly can allow a web-based, self-service portal of kinds by combining ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s software programming interface (API) with an internet kind however that outcomes solely in a URL to a knowledge entry kind. Customers who go this route will not see the ServiceDesk Plus 9.three information base (in case you’ve opted to set that up) or different self-service instruments, except they select to additional flesh out the net kind. (Once more, ManageEngine has one other product known as “SupportCenter Plus” that does present buyer help options, together with billing by way of the net however that is not a part of the bundle we examined.)
ServiceDesk Plus 9.three touts multi-site configuration as a function for its helpdesk module, too. This function ends in a number of views of hassle by location, with automated accounting for time zones, personnel, language, and related concerns. The function turns into extra worthwhile as you progress up ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s variations, including location capabilities round asset, identification, and contract administration however, on the helpdesk stage, it is pretty fundamental.
Reporting is one other ServiceDesk Plus 9.three energy. The product comes with 150 canned studies that may cowl most companies’ wants. ServiceDesk Plus 9.three does present the flexibility to construct customized studies for any module however you will be enhancing all the way down to the desk and column stage and utilizing particular instruments equivalent to Question Editor to take action. That is extra complicated than the checkbox customization we noticed in a few of the lighter-weight merchandise on this roundup, equivalent to HappyFox, however then once more, it provides you full customization flexibility which will likely be essential to some. For these searching for simple customized report creation, nevertheless, ServiceDesk Plus 9.three is just not for you.
One factor we might have preferred to have seen within the Normal helpdesk module we reviewed was help for distant desktop sharing. Distant management is obtainable as an out-of-the-box function in each the Skilled and Enterprise editions. ManageEngine added restricted types of that for its iOS app in 2016 however it’s nonetheless not a part of the Normal ServiceDesk Plus 9.three bundle. The flexibility to take over a consumer’s PC to make fixes must be ubiquitous for helpdesk staffers and, whereas there are different third-party methods to allow this functionality, ManageEngine doesn’t present it within the Normal model (nevertheless, they do present it within the higher-priced ServiceDesk Plus 9.three variations). For those who’re utilizing the Normal verison, change administration, asset administration, and undertaking administration are all add-ons requiring extra price or a model improve, too, however these are function classes that make sense to push up the associated fee ladder. In contrast, distant desktop looks like a noticeable hole.
Nonetheless, even with out distant desktop, ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s Normal version will be thought-about a full-featured helpdesk platform and the truth that it is free makes it very engaging certainly. What you will must be careful for are its backend necessities. Consumer-server means you will must handle a server set up and configuration course of in addition to consumer set up for all customers. ManageEngine is a really Microsoft-centric firm so a community based mostly on Home windows Server and Energetic Listing (AD) is the first goal, however the firm additionally helps Linux.
Pricing and Plans
As said earlier, the model we reviewed was ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s Normal version, which is the free version. It features a free trial (as do the Skilled and Enterprise editions) however there may be additionally a free tier that offers a enterprise entry to fundamental helpdesk performance equivalent to incident administration, a information base that may be populated by your group, and each canned and customized studies.
You will must do completely different math to determine whether or not or not it is a good match to your funds. When you transcend the free product, ServiceDesk Plus 9.three will invoice on a base worth adjusted by the variety of IT technicians and brokers accessing the app and the variety of IT property managed utilizing the app. For 100-percent ITIL retailers, the Enterprise tier might be the perfect match, even with its $995 beginning worth.
Interface and Workflow
Sadly, ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s UI is lower than inspiring however it’s simple to make use of. All the software program’s numerous modes are listed throughout the highest of the display, which makes for straightforward navigation. Due to this, customers are unlikely to get misplaced whereas doing their work. All the suite’s main factors of curiosity are simply discovered due to their large and clearly labeled buttons on the high of the display.
Vital for busy helpdesks is a one-button resolution for creating new tickets that persists as customers transfer across the app. This, together with the flexibility to decide on templates proper from that very same button, implies that creating new incidents does not contain digging via menus. As a substitute, brokers can click on one button and begin typing. There’s additionally a Search field proper on the menu bar on the high of the display, which helps you to seek for something from issues to buy orders.
This button additionally makes elevating new tickets a breeze and a keyboard shortcut can also be out there for many who prefer to keep away from utilizing their mouse. As soon as inside a newly created ticket, simply choose the related drop-down choices and full the freeform Description field with details about the problem at hand. These drop-down packing containers are plentiful they usually allow you to add property and the division that’s requesting the brand new ticket.
Not all of that is required knowledge, nevertheless, so those that must shortly get a barebones ticket raised can shortly accomplish that with out filling in all of this data. However remember that the extra knowledge that is added, the higher. Selecting a template at this level will reconfigure nearly every part, mechanically populating fields and even including canned textual content to that freeform discipline we talked about earlier. If there is a ticket sort what you are promoting will likely be recurrently utilizing, then it might be undoubtedly clever to arrange a template.
As soon as inside an current ticket, brokers can add notes, view the ticket’s standing, and naturally resolve the ticket as soon as prepared. ServiceDesk Plus 9.three contains a helpful Activity tab that lets brokers basically add To-Dos to a ticket, which will be helpful in circumstances that warrant multi-step fixes.
When resolving a ticket, brokers can seek for current decision particulars, which may reduce down on typing and is a function we like however have not seen till now. Once more, this is able to be of actual profit in case your helpdesk finds itself repeatedly coping with related requests.
Elevating issues and adjustments is a really related affair to elevating a ticket, and will be carried out both by way of the Fast Actions button on the menu bar or by drilling down into every view after which clicking New Drawback or New Change. We discovered ourselves gravitating in direction of the Fast Actions button.
ITIL and Integrations
On a day-to-day foundation, we preferred the performance of ServiceDesk Plus 9.three’s UI however its general design felt clunky and cluttered in comparison with a few of the clear, web-based designs we noticed in merchandise equivalent to Freshdesk. The truth that including non-obligatory modules with new performance will in all probability muddle that design much more can also be problematic.
One other space of weak point that stunned us was in integrations with third-party apps. Whereas ManageEngine does present some ready-to-download extensibility modules to widespread merchandise, together with Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and Jira Service Desk, it was shocking that the record was so quick (eight different apps in complete). Contemplating that Zoho, ManageEngine’s dad or mum firm, has greater than 35 completely different enterprise apps all by itself, we anticipated a for much longer record of obtainable integrations. We ultimately discovered point out of an open API (so your code-capable IT staffers can construct their very own customized integrations) within the firm’s help documentation.
Total, the important thing differentiators for ServiceDesk Plus 9.three are simple: It is extra mature than many of the different helpdesk choices we reviewed, and it is centered on inner, ITIL-centric IT operations relatively than as a instrument to help prospects exterior the group. Which means, for organizations with massive consumer swimming pools and important IT budgets, ServiceDesk Plus 9.three is unquestionably price a glance. However for small to midsize companies (SMBs) that target supporting bought merchandise, you will must hold procuring or go for one of many different instruments in ManageEngine’s portfolio.