This question is for the professional sys admins and desktop support folks. Sorry developers...you can go talk about bug tracking on Stack Overflow.

What type of features or functionally do you like or would you like to have in your help desk or trouble ticket software?

Some areas might be reporting, integration with hardware/software inventory, Active Directory/LDAP intregration, automatically closing tickets from those certain users.

  • We are STILL searching for any helpdesk product that integrates with eDirectory. Stellar question! – eleven81 Nov 12 '09 at 18:27
  • My whole time working with Netware was like that...But does it integrate with eDirectory??? ;) – Doug Luxem Nov 12 '09 at 18:43

E-mail integration. Without that, there's no way I'm having anything to do with a help desk product. It's important that customers and staff can communicate using e-mail.

  • I agree. It took me years to convince my users to 'email the helpdesk'. I'd want a helpdesk product to build on that. – Aaron Nov 12 '09 at 18:31
  • User A get an email about a ticket because User B did something with it. User A should just hit "reply" with the email client of their choice and the system in question should automatically add the email to the ticket and forward the email back to User B. – Kevin M Nov 12 '09 at 19:10
  • 1
    Precisely. Being able to manipulate the state of the ticket via e-mail (as debbugs does) is an awesome feature, too, but I'd settle for just being able to converse with the customer via e-mail, which few systems are any good at. – womble Nov 12 '09 at 19:48
  • Yea, I think catching the back and forth is key. Most send out updates via email and can pop in new cases. – Doug Luxem Nov 12 '09 at 21:30
  • Office Communicator/IM integration
  • Free/Busy integration ("I'll contact Jane about her problem - oh, no point, I can see she's in a meeting/on a call/on vacation")
  • User self-service portals ("I want to change my cell number in the GAL please!")
  • User how-to portals ("how do I add a printer?" or "how do I set my out of office assistant?")
  • Requests (not problems - in other words "hey I'd like a new laptop etc")
  • Supervisor approvals (for requests "Yes I approve Jane Does new laptop")
  • Knowledge base (for tier 1/2 staff) generated internally and automatically ("If you see Unusual-Problem X, the solution is Crafty-Workaround Y")
  • Some kind of wiki/sharepoint integration
  • •Supervisor approvals - great idea. Great list all around. – Tim Meers Dec 1 '09 at 13:48

Project and Maintenance Task Integration

I would like to see a system that (essentially) that shows all of the work that needs to be done by the support staff. At most small and mid-sized companies there is substantial overlap between the folks doing help desk support, the folks doing projects and the folks doing maintenance work. I would like to be able to manage the tasks for projects and the tasks for regular maintenance along with the tasks for help desk support in a single work management system.

So "Joe Help Desk" looks at a single work-management portal that shows the 8 user-support items, the 2 items for the Windows 7 project, and the 5 things he does every day for the backups. And "Jill Server Admin" looks at the same portal that shows her 12 items for the Windows 7 project, the 4 daily server maintenance tasks, and the 2 user-support items escalated by Joe. "Jeff Manager" looks at the portal and sees his tasks, and can also look to see if the maintenance tasks are being completed regularly and how the projects are moving.

Any recommendations?

  • +1 I'd buy that for a dollar! – Izzy Nov 12 '09 at 20:24
  • Funny you should mention that, because i did something very similar to that as an in house solution for a company about 6 years ago. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Log in to the portal, and you get your job stats. – user23193 Nov 12 '09 at 21:26
  • Interesting...the tough part is that project management can be a whole different beast than trouble ticketing. But that would be useful to have a one-stop view of all on going tasks. – Doug Luxem Nov 12 '09 at 21:32
  • I wouldn't expect full-blown "project management", but the ability to connect tasks to a "project" and put people and dates is sufficient for this purpose. – tomjedrz Nov 12 '09 at 22:28

I'd like something with a built-in translator. You know, the one that turns user talk into something that at least resembles an intelligent description of the problem.

  • I don't see anything that could translate "I got an error message" into telling you WHAT the blimming message was, but +1 anyway! – Maximus Minimus Nov 13 '09 at 0:09
  • ITIL Complaince (at least incident/problem/change management, of course based on a CMDB)
  • SLM module (lots of metrics)
  • Web based self service module (open and track your tickets)
  • Integration API (that allows integration with monitoring tools, email, sms, etc)
  • LDAP integration (active directory or true ldap solutions)
  • Ticket templating
  • Flexible reporting module
  • Knowledge base
  • CallerID integration
  • Chat client
  • Type ahead search

Ability to generate reports based on the history of a ticket

For instance, this is especially handy when you have a call center handling user interaction rather than having the systems staff do it directly. This way when the systems staff solves an issue the ticket can be moved into the queue for the call center to contact the customer and verify the resolution.

Most systems I've seen structure their reporting so that all tickets are only reported to be in their last queue. From the example above that means when reports are run the ticket shows the call center worked the ticket but not the systems staff. If one could report history at least it would show the systems group worked the ticket.

I've also seen some really crappy work arounds for this problem where each time a ticket moves queues the user is required to create a new ticket in that new queue and reference the original. Not only is this error prone because people forget, it becomes a mess when a ticket has to be sent backwards because something wasn't resolved properly

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