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Support Desk Software for ITIL-Based IT Department 80

Posted by Cliff
from the remaining-compliant dept.
Wasteofspace asks: "At my current workplace (local government, 250 user site) we are currently working towards achieving a more structured IT department using guidelines set by ITIL. Currently we are using a very poor call logging system running on a Lotus Domino Server, that has no tracking, incident management, problem management etc, and does not integrate into our current directory services (Novell NDS, soon to be migrating to Microsoft AD). Does anyone have any suggestions on a provider of an ITIL compliant support desk application, that is reasonably easy to use, has integration into an LDAP compliant directory service, and has self service functionality for users?"
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Support Desk Software for ITIL-Based IT Department

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  • (formerly)Peregrine (Score:5, Informative)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @09:58AM (#15765897) Homepage Journal
    HP's Service Center [hp.com]. While I hated using it, that was more the way it was implemented in the enterprise I was in at the time. Built from the ground up for ITIL compliance.
    • Peregrine Service Centre was an appalingly awful product. I would rather saw my own leg off than ever have anything to do with it again.
    • I work at HP in Australia in one of their Data Centres. We run a few large corps networks as well as government departments. The software we use is Clarify and Remedy. Clarify is a web based version of our customer management tool, but I highly recommend Remedy over this. Purely because Remedy runs in an app window so dealing with a number of queues or jobs simultaneously is a lot easier. The reason we use these particular programs over more run-of-the-mill Customer relationship management systems is that
  • My company uses it. It works okay, connects with Exchange for scheduling if you want. You can access it with Windows IE (the thing totally relies on ActiveX) from virtually anywhere to do timesheets, set up work orders, etc. www.connectwise.com
  • Suggestions (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Here are some programs:
    Frontrange HEAT
    Remedy
    Footprints

    • Front Range HEAT is being phased out and they are pushing their new Service Management platform, Front Range ITSM. My company is partnering with them and we had a tech demo of it. Seems pretty nice and flexible. Last week, one of your Remedy Devs went to training on the platform and seemed to be impressed. Find more here [frontrange.com].
  • You could try these people: http://www.richmondsys.co.uk/web/Home.htm [richmondsys.co.uk] Their SupportDesk software is a little clunky at times, but it does work.
  • HPOVSD (Score:4, Informative)

    by themassiah (80330) <scooper@coopster.net> on Sunday July 23, 2006 @10:30AM (#15765983) Homepage Journal
    Suggestion: HP OpenView Service Desk Has great MS ActiveDirectory integration which can be used to pre-populate tickets with user information, email conduits for setting up a "help@domain.tld" style interface and also support self-service webpages. The client is very easy to use. It also supports CI databases, problem tracking, incident tracking, etc.
    • I'm an HP employee, and unfortunately I have to use Service Desk too (albeit a customized version, mangled for years by some team within our organization). If the product had some sense of stability, it might be half-decent. It continually crashes with JVM errors. Also, we often experience issues where the app thinks the ticket you're working on has been updated by some other user, when in fact it was you who modified it. Old versions (Old versions being relative - ours are all based on SD 4.5, however
      • we use SD and works ok for us. Except for the merge instead of reload, so if the popup comes, just hit F5 to reload the ticket.
        Of course if you modified since, that will be lost, so put it into copy/paste.
        This merge problem only happens to me when I create myself a ticket. So, create ticket, save, press F5. Problem solved.
  • Our company is rolling out an Oracle solution soon, but I'm affraid that's all the details we currently have. For the moment we are using Onyx.
  • Our company uses ServiceCenter. It's a UNIX-based app, runs off of Solaris where I work. We have 25000 employees across 3 countries, and multiple support departments (not just IT), and although ServiceCenter has its strengths and weaknesses like most s/w applications, IMHO it does its job like a charm. I keep my eyes on freshmeat.net and I haven't seen anything come out even remotely close.

  • So doing it your way (what you described above) is not going to happen, unless (see further)

    Keep in mind, when you evaluate things like HP openview/SMARTS InCharge/... that
    1) they cost > $50k up front for the software box alone
    2) they require a lot of consultancy to get running (ie they're not going to be operational tomorrow, and it's going to cost you)
    3) you can't save money on them, as that would mean leaving problems lying around unfixed
    4) you become dependent on one partner (as there is a BIG cost a
    • $50k for a good programmer that can build something that large single-handedly?!?!? In what part of the country can you find programmers that good that will work for that cheap? Not only that, the $50k miracle programmer is supposed to walk in off the street, completely analyze the entire operations of the IT dept., architect and build the whole mess and integrate into the existing systems in one year?

      Also, $50k salary != $50k cost. You forgot Social Security, Health Insurance, HR overhead, etc.

      SirWired
      • Has anyone mentioned "Request Tracker"? I have no idea what ITIL encompasses, but I do know that as a ticketing package, it sure beats all those expensive crap out there.
        • ITIL [wikipedia.org] encompasses everything from your help desk to your change management processes. I'm not very familliar with Request Tracker, but it appears to just be a ticketing system. An ITIL-compliant solution like ServiceDesk or Remedy would include methods for tracking customers, problems, change management, etc.
      • But if you find something like SMARTS or Netcool or HP Service Center for $50k that will be equally impressive. Hire the main developer of an opensource ticketing system may be a nice compromise.
  • We use Assyst [axiossystems.com] which is ITIL compliant.
  • Efecte (Score:4, Informative)

    by niekko (780219) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @11:40AM (#15766176)
    Efecte (http://www.efecte.com/en/ [efecte.com]) is another ITIL compliant solution with different products including a help desk management software. I evaluated their asset management software a couple of years ago and found it very robust and professional. At least at that time their prices were very competitive.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @12:02PM (#15766226)
    Make sure that Gartner approves any and everything you do, for maximum tongue-in-ass effectiveness. Rolling out AD to replace NDS, looking for FOO-compliant software, all of these things are great, but will they actually work for you? Or will upper management sit around the boardroom table, masturbating furiously, at how irrationally happy the non-technical audit people are?

    btw, there's a difference between -1, Vulgar, and -1, Troll. But most of you mods won't understand that.
    • So without any disclosure of work environment, staffing situations, company needs, or pretty much anything else you arrive at the conclusion that this has to be motivated by some Gartner-powered dimwit. You some kind of fucking psychic? There could be any number of valid reasons for moving to AD. I know it feels good to talk to someone like they are an idiot, but at least try to establish that as being true first.
  • AdventNet ServiceDesk Plus is (or will be in the next release) compliant, has AD-integration, has a self-service solution, and is quite nice to use (both from the admin side and the user side). Check www.servicedeskplus.com for more information.
  • GWI Software (Score:2, Informative)

    by Barkmullz (594479)
    I work for a local government, about the same size, and we decided on GWI Software's c.Support [gwi.com]. It works very well and is relatively easy to get up an runnig. It meets the requirements you mentioned.
  • by Anonymous MadCoe (613739) <maakiee@NoSpam.yahoo.com> on Sunday July 23, 2006 @12:19PM (#15766271) Homepage
    Infra is prety cool, ets you gong quickly, ITIL verified, etc...

    I like it, should work for an organization like yours.

    http://www.infra.be/ [infra.be]
    http://www.infraenterprise.nl/ [infraenterprise.nl]
    http://www.infra.co.uk/ [infra.co.uk]
    http://www.infra-corp.com/ [infra-corp.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Infra isn't too bad (I've used it before), but does have some shortfalls.

      Firstly; and this is a common sentiment, it depends on the implementation and infrastructure. We had it running over a 2Mb WAN link, and it was unusable at times.

      Second; it needs to work out of the box for you. I've heard it can be quite expensive to get basic changes done.

      Third; it is a Windows-only deal (or at least the version I used is/was). Yes, it has Web Access, but it is an Active-X delivered EXE file. So no Linux access (we go
      • The current version will work without Active-X but not everything will be as flashy as it is on Win.

        What I like about it is that you get a lot of stuff out of the box, and the basic level of customization you don't need too much help with. From tehre it can be more expensive, true, but I find it not more expensive than for other tools.

        Since the OP mentioned a small-medium size organzation (250 users), I think it could be a good fit.
  • My company uses the Avalon Management Suite [avalonbusiness.com]. It's great to use for ticketing, scheduling, inventory, and pretty much everything else we use.

    I'm only now looking into what ITIL is, but I'm pretty sure it supports that. Beyond that, it supports the LDAP requirement, it's easy to use, and it has a client login system. We've been very happy with it.

  • MAX (Score:2, Informative)

    by arandall (154577)
    My firm uses http://www.volchok.com/max/ [volchok.com] for most of its' IT tracking. Very nice, easy to use interface, ADS integration, excellent logging and reporting features. It does lack user self service functionality though.
  • My old company used Marval [marval.co.uk]. Whilst it wasn't the easiest package to configure, it was a lot better than the system we used to use, HEAT.
  • Wrong Question (Score:5, Informative)

    by BigDumbAnimal (532071) on Sunday July 23, 2006 @03:42PM (#15766752)
    From Wiki: [wikipedia.org]
    It is not possible to certify an organization or a management system as "ITIL-compliant,"
    Individuals can be "ITIL" certified, but a software package cannot be ITIL compliant/certified/blessed.

    Also, seeking a help desk package does little to implement ITIL goals as you must manage all aspects of IT Service to gain the benefits of the ITIL method. You can just take one part and hope it gives you all the benefits. You have to have all the major bases covered: (Configuration management, service level management, etc, etc, etc.)

    You might be better off jumping in head first to get all the benefits. At least that is the preaching of the ITIL literature.
    • Soooo true. I work for a configuration management software company. *Shameless plug for Configuresoft*. You would pretty much guess that we help customers with the configuratiom management part of their quest for "ITILification". If someone mentions ITIL in a meeting with a customer, there's a 50-50 chance that we end up trying to convince the customer that we know what ITIL means, since there are various degrees of their own ITIL knowledge. I understand that they are just making sure we are not blowing smo
  • Get one of your Domino developers to build you a real service desk system on top of Domino. Domino can talk to LDAP for authentication / lookups, and already has all email, workflow and security built into the platform.
  • TechExcel HelpDesk (Score:2, Informative)

    by djwavelength (398555) *
    I work for a company (TechExcel) that makes HelpDesk software. We have implemented several ITIL configurations.
    Here's a link - TechExcel HelpDesk [techexcel.com]
  • by jrockway (229604) *
    http://www.bestpractical.com/rt [bestpractical.com]

    Whatever features it's missing, I'm sure they'd be happy to add for you at way less than what the above recommendations cost.
    • Service Desk and RT3 are very comparable. Service Desk does have 'a better front end' - but you can do more with RT3 (and RT3 is cheaper). I can't comment on CA support for Service Desk but I will say that they take a hard line in some areas (eg: We will not do that / fix that or address that) as you would expect from a large company (even if you do have a support contract with them).

      You CAN customise ServiceDesk (as you definitely can with RT3) - but any front end changes you make in the future you will us
    • by eggsome (660932)
      Snipped from a reply to me by BP about a fortnight ago...
      ---------------

      Hi Xxxxx,

      Thanks so much for your kind words about RT. We love to hear when it
      has been useful for folks.

      While we very much want RT to be a tool that helps organizations be
      ITIL compliant, we're not currently planning to go down the road of
      forcing a default RT installation to fully push ITIL processes on end-
      users or of paying Pink Elephant for ITIL certification. We
      currently have the ITIL spec in the files for RT and we are very
      happy to
  • Request Tracker (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fuzzy Bo (582964)
    Where I work (local government, 250 user site, Parramatta, NSW in Australia) we had the same request for an ITIL-compliant helpdesk system. We chose RT because it was a) free b) fit into our system c) we could buy the O'Reilly book and d) there was a support community for it.
  • Give it a try. It's the simplest I've seen. Our guys love it. But most importantly, the company fixes issues almost on the spot, and our annual maintenance is very reasonable. In short, it's one of the easiest bills we pay.
  • Do. Not. Under. Any. Circumstances. Use. Methmethods.
    Actually, that is a misnomer. It implies that you can use webMethods and that you can actually get it to work (without spending excessive amounts of cash getting it functioning - let alone processing a few million transactions).
  • We use cerberus at work. (University) http://www.cerberusweb.com/ [cerberusweb.com] http://www.cerberusweb.com/free_version.php RT is nice too if you got peeps that will work with it to make it work for you.
  • Software used at Queensland University of Technology for this was/is Quantum [support.com.au]. I'm not there anymore but from memory, it does all you ask.
  • i've been looking into the altiris service desk a bit, but haven't had an opportunity to see it in action. anyone out there use it and like it?

    philo

  • There aren't that many well-proven solutions out there that are ITIL-compatible and are used by Local Authorities, but one I'm aware of is Supportworks from Hornbill (http://www.hornbill.com/ [hornbill.com]). They're a British company and have lots of Public Sector customers, so should be suitable. They're also reasonably priced, so I understand, and well-liked by their customers.
  • RTFQ posters... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Smoking (24594)
    So here we go again. People always complain loudly when someone posts a stupid question, but here I see about 95% stupid answers:

    - First: there's no such thing as a ITIL compliant software package. ITIL is not a standard it's a collection of best practices.
    - Second: The FQ (f**cking question) says 250 users and local government. That scream we're broke from the beginning.
    And all I see here are proposal for some crappy $50k packages (Openview, remedy), requiring at least the same in consulting to
    • there's no such thing as a ITIL compliant software package. ITIL is not a standard it's a collection of best practices.

      The burning question -- when I reach some call center in India that cannot resolve my issue in 10 minutes, am I going to be able to tell that they subscribe to the ITIL philosophy? Am I really going to care whether they do, and is the company outsourcing to this call center really going to care about those internal practices either?

  • I use Footprints by unipress now and pretty well hate that. I've used remedy in the past plus the ticketing systems built into half a dozen CRM tools and they also were pretty unpleasant for the most part. If you are on domino now and will be there for awhile I'd recommend at least looking at http://www.gwi.com/ [gwi.com] as they have a product that's about as good as possible on Domino. The .Net version is quite a bit better than the Domino version so if you aren't stuck on Domino for this purchase you should def
  • Visit www.clickright.net or www.buchanan.com They have a product called CTS Service Center that was developed using ITIL best practices. It is easy to implement, easy to use, and not expensive.
  • We used shittyworks http://www.shit.com/ [shit.com] It really blew, and if you logged in just right, it could suck an blow at the same time. Come on folks...
  • Check out ITSM [frontrange.com] by Front Range Solutions. It is a scalable modular package. It was built from the ground up to be ITLS compliant. It can be customized to meet your needs however great. There are a number of large enterprises using it, some on a global scale. It has a famous "little brother" called Heat. Last time I checked however, Heat was not ITLS compliant, but nearly so. If you are going to move toward ITLS, then you should alsoget involved with the Help Desk Institue. [thinkhdi.com] The white papers on best
  • I have been using Alloy Software's Asset Navigator. It's a great product, ITIL compliant, AD freindly, scaleable using SQL (I have started with the Access version first) and Web enable option for users to help themselves. Check it out.

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