How to choose the best Service Desk tool?

Dear Wizard

We have decided ITIL is the way to go so we are in the market for a good Service Desk tool. What do you recommend?


Dear Zeus43B

It is so important to choose a good service desk tool. The future of your ITIL effort depends on it.

I've used a lot of the big ones: Netman, Infoman, Support Tracker, LinuxDesk, Mayflower... I don't want to recommend any one tool. It is more important that you look at your own requirements. The essential requirements these days are: What database do you want it to run on? What language is it written in? Can you get the sourcecode? Does it use an object-oriented model? Can you get free support online? Is there an XML interface? Does the HTML validate? Is there a mobile interface?

Make sure you talk to a reference site, at least by phone (they may not be local). This reassures you that the product really works.

Check it supports all types of desktop devices you manage, and check the workforce job management so your engineers can combine multiple jobs when onsite and plan their work day properly.

And check the screens for use of ITIL terminology, obviously. Look for fields like Call, Ticket, Incident and Server.

That's about it really.

Good luck
The ITIL Wizard


Local vs. SaaS

This would be an opportunity for an organization to evaluate a locally managed tool vs. a SaaS model like ServiceNow as well?

What, in your opinion, are the key factors which would make an option more favorable over the other?

Anyone ever heard of 'requirements definition'?

Does ANYONE think of requirements before they leap to a solution? How can you possibly suggest a tool without truly knowing what the requirements are? This smacks so much of what I read on Linkedin every day.... I hope the PriSM credential weeds out this unprofessional streak we have in our industry...

Decide on what you want it to do

Before you go any further, make sure you know what a Service Desk tool should support in the way of service support functionality. Is your service desk focused on break fix (incidents), or does it also include service requests, which in some organizations represents up to 80% of the workload? Do you need it to be sensitive to the customer, automatically prioritize the work based upon what is in a service level agreement. I need to stop here because clearly this is an April Fool joke but in September.... Skep? Mayflower - is that a tool - I thought it was a shipping company. Interesting that no vendors rose to the bait...


My dear chap

of course Mayflower is a product - I remember it fondly from about 1991. Wonderful tool.

I don't see the need to worry too much about SLAs for call tracking, do you?

Good luck
The ITIL Wizard

Quote: "I don't see the need

Quote: "I don't see the need to worry too much about SLAs for call tracking, do you?"

Um, yeah, I do, because those "pesky" auditors insist on using CobiT. Take a read through DS8 and DS10.

Reference customers


1) make sure that the reference customers you are referred to go on a bi-weekly speaking tour espousing the software tool you are evaluating, that way you know you are getting an Expert.

2) Try to see as many Powerpoint slides of the tool in action, so you can be sure you are not missing out on any cool new fully integrated tools the vendor has just purchased.

3) if you see any mention of Service support run a mile, all documentation should mention v3 compliant next to a nice round lifecycle diagram.

4) remember installing ITIL depends on the right software, make sure you get one with a big name on it.

buying the right solution to a problem

I see that you are experienced in the essential technique of buying the right solution to a problem. Vendors have been solving our ITIL challenges with compliant software for years

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