If you have looked for free helpdesk software that works, you likely found at least a dozen that were open source. If needed it for a web project or for a webshop you most likely trailed open source help desk solution. In many cases, OS help desk software can work on a small scale project. Problem with open source based help desk software is that in most cases lacks either with features or it lacks with usability.
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It can work for a webshop but it has many problems in the corporate environment. I have tested most of the open source solutions and I didn’t find one that would be ready for enterprise use. When I thought that I found one, users were complaining that it was ugly, that it lacks features or that they need several clicks to do a task.
Another problem is the Active Directory Integration. It just isn’t supported by most solutions. That is also a reason that there are many, many, many commercial products. They all try to make a product that has great usability, most features and that is easy on the eyes. Then, there are quasi “Free” solutions. If a company is smart, they provide a free edition of their commercial product. In most cases, Free edition is barely usable and its features are severely limited.
ManageEngine is a company that has one of the best Service Desk software on the market. They have 3 editions:
- Standard – helpdesk module
- Professional = Standard + SW asset, inventory, Purchases, and Contract management
- Enterprise = Professional + Project management and complete ITIL
In the past, they had a free version which was a Standard version but was limited to 5 technicians. If you had more, you had to upgrade to a pay for the plan. In the end, if you had less or 5 technicians you had a great free product. Now ManageEngine announced that Standard version has become FREE. That means that you can have an unlimited number of technicians and all the features that are included in Standard version. The standard version has a great Web-based Help Desk module. Features that are part of Standard edition:
- Help desk module,
- AD Integration,
- Self-service portal,
- Multi-Site support,
- SLA, Reports,
- User survey
- and Scheduler
As you can see, Standard edition is enterprise-ready and when you require additional features you can easily upgrade. You can install ServiceDesk plus on a Windows or Linux based machine. They also provide Free cloud-based Standard edition.
You can read my review of Service Desk plus, look at the product page, or read the announcement.
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