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How to Choose MSP Help Desk Software

The ultimate goal of a managed service provider (MSP) is to successfully manage clients’ IT infrastructure from a remote location (in an ideal world). However, in order to achieve this goal, an MSP must streamline its process of managing requests — and this is where the crucial role of the IT help desk comes in. In this article, we have reviewed the most popular help desk options to help you make the right decision for your organization.

What Is MSP Help Desk Software?

Help desk software automates the process of complaint resolution through the mechanism of ticket management. Selecting the best service desk software for your MSP business and assimilating it with a remote monitoring and management (RMM) system permits the generation of automated requests once a system alert is recognized. MSP service desk software solutions enhance the productivity of the help desk team by saving time, as it eliminates manual effort.

Finding the Best Help Desk Solution – One-on-One Comparison

According to Rico Barth, CEO of c.a.p.e. IT GmbH, when choosing an MSP help desk software you need to ask first what do you need within your IT Service and what kind of hosting do you need, cloud or on-premise. Subsequently what matters is if the MSP service desk software offers customization possibilities and if it integrates business rules/workflows, SLAs, knowledge databases, templates, and predefined functions, web forms, dashboards, and asset management. The more customizable the service desk is, the better adaptation to your company’s needs is given.

Another important factor is if considered software aligns with ITIL best practices.  That is a guarantee, for example, of better communication with end-users, dynamic SLAs, reporting on key performance indicators, and incident flows.

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The software chosen should also have a capability to monitor performance and track user activity — a number of tasks completed, tickets assigned, a number of logins,  average call duration, or average customer satisfaction rating per agent.

Further reading Top Help Desk Metrics for MSPs

To help you choose the most convenient and appropriate service desk option, we have compiled a software comparison table based on the important features, functionalities, and value-added services offered by each platform.

Further reading MSP Software and Hardware Tools

Zendesk Zoho Desk ConnectWise Manage Web Help Desk
Freshdesk
Faveo Helpdesk

KIX

Starting Price

$5.00/month/user

$12.00/month Price is given on request $695.00/one-time/user $19.00/month/user Free

Free

Free Trial

Yes

Yes Free demo Yes Yes No

Yes

Free Version

No Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Yes

Alerts/Escalation

+

+ + + + -

+

Automated Routing

+ + + + + -

+

Customizable Branding

+ + + + + +

+

Document Storage

+ + + + - -

+

Email integration

+ + + + + -

+

Interaction Tracking

+ - + + + -

+

IT Asset Management

+

+ + + + +

+

Knowledge Base Management

+ + + + + +

+

Multi-Channel Communication

+ + - + + -

+

Network Monitoring

+ + + + + -

-

Real-time Chat

+ + + - + -

-

Self-Service Portal

+ + - + + -

+

Service Level Agreement (SLA) Management

-

+ + + + -

+

Ticket/Issue Tracking

+ + + + + +

+

Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Mobile - Android Native
  • Mobile - iOS Native
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Installed - Windows
  • Mobile - Android Native
  • Mobile - iOS Native
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Installed - Windows
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Installed - Windows, Debian, Ubuntu
Training
  • Documentation
  • Webinars
  • Documentation
  • Webinars
  • Live Online
  • Documentation
  • Webinars
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Documentation
  • Documentation
  • Webinars
  • Live Online
  • Documentation
  • Live Online
  • Documentation
Support
  • Online
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Online
  • Business Hours
  • Online
  • Business Hours
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Online
  • Business Hours
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Online
  • 24/7 (Live Rep)
  • Online
  • Business Hours
  • Hotline
  • Forum
  • Business Hours

Now, let’s review some of the best MSP ticketing system options and how they can benefit different types of MSPs.

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Zendesk

As one of the best MSP ticketing systems available on the market, Zendesk is a one-stop solution for effective help desk management that offers seamless integration across a wide array of channels such, as mobile, Facebook, Twitter, email, or a mode of your choice. It’s practical “ticket forms” feature helps agents cater to the unique requests of customers by allowing them to create several support request forms.

This MSP ticketing software also comes with a set of agent productivity tools such as Pathfinder and Collaboration to aid personnel in closing cases faster. At a monthly starting price of $5 per user, the platform offers countless PSA integration opportunities with several project management and collaboration applications. Zendesk is the ideal solution for MSPs that are looking for an easy-to-use and fast system with trusted results.  

Zoho Desk

At a starting price of $12 per month, the focus of this solution is to help agents prioritize tickets to address critical issues immediately and understand a customer’s history to provide the best response possible. Their helpdesk ticketing software puts the spotlight on contextualization, and it provides agents the opportunity to collaborate on tickets. With an overview system that provides a consolidated picture of all needed metrics, it is also the perfect MSP help desk software for those who are seeking to make use of data to identify bottlenecks and improve their services. Zoho Desk’s PSA integration opportunities are endless, with GSuite, Amazon Web Services, and Duocom as just a few of its partners.

Web Help Desk by SolarWinds

Another option on the list is Web Help Desk. "With a one-time cost of $695 per user, Web Help Desk offers point-and-click configuration and accessibility over several mobile platforms. The centralized ticketing system boasts FIPS 140-2 compatibility and security, along with comprehensive management of service requests, incidents, and problems. Web Help Desk can be integrated with SolarWinds’ IT operations management tools and is the perfect platform for customers looking for a simple, customizable MSP service desk software.

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ConnectWise Manage

With calendar functionality, accurate time tracking, personalized viewing options, and remote session connectivity beyond its helpdesk ticketing features, ConnectWise Manage is truly a complete package that integrates all the departmental needs of an MSP into one solution. It has a massive ecosystem, with 160+ solutions to support platform customization.  Pricing information for ConnectWise Manage is furnished upon request.

Freshdesk

Freshdesk has a monthly starting price of $19 per user. With top-notch features such as SLA Management, Team Inbox, and Agent Collision Detection, it is truly a collaborative platform. In addition, this help desk ticketing software is free for the first three agents. Freshdesk customers note great uptime, a convenient UI both for agents and customers, and constant improvements and new features as pluses of this solution.

These five help desk software options are designed by the large wide-known companies leading the market for many years. For you to have more options to choose from, we included two more service desk systems, that are rather new to the market but nice-featured and might align with the objectives of your MSP.

Faveo Helpdesk

Faveo Helpdesk is an open-source ticket-based support system that is designed to meet the needs of startups. Some users consider it a "rising star" in the world of MSP help desk software because of its fast growth. It comes with ticket/issue tracking functionality as well as with several IT asset management features. Faveo Helpdesk is also known for its comprehensive built-in knowledge base. This help desk ticketing software as a standalone product has two free plans with basic tech support ticketing functionality and two paid editions with the starting price of $1000 as a one time fee.

KIX by CapeIT

KIX is a free open-source service desk tool that works both ways on-premises or in a cloud and is usually used for IT service, technical service, maintenance and repair, customer service needs. Its features include incident management, reporting, and workflow management. It also has KIX professional and KIX professional MRO  (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) paid editions with more comprehensive technical service desk features for medium and large service teams.

Check other free and open-source software solutions in the following article:

Further reading Top 7 Free and Open-Source Ticketing Systems for MSPs

Conclusion

The best MSP help desk software for your business is the one that suits your unique needs and requirements. With so many feasible options on the market, you can readily discover a solution that aligns with the objectives of your MSP.

MSP’s Standard Operating Procedures Bundle
  • Adding a new machine to the client’s infrastructure
  • Handling incoming support calls
  • Managing MSP projects
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