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Help Desk Software

  • 1.  Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-13-2018 08:44

    What help desk software are you using to track trouble tickets, and what features do you find most valuable? When I was in the field we used Spiceworks, which is free, but I am interested to know what tools other schools and districts are using.

    Susan M. Bearden

    Chief Innovation Officer

    Consortium for School Networking

  • 2.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-13-2018 11:02
    Hi Susan -

    At Indian Prairie we currently utilize ServiceNow, but are in the process of migrating to Freshservice for our District. Areas that are important for our department are that it's easy to administer, escalations for SLA's to ensure response and closure, includes service catalogs to "shop" for new services or needs, as well as approval workflows. More obvious areas for us included a robust search feature (since this appears to be the first place we see people going), checking case statuses online, mobile/responsive interface and ADA compliance.

    I would be glad to discuss more with you if you have any other questions or our decision matrix.


    Adam Smeets, CETL
    Chief Technology Officer
    Indian Prairie School District #204 - Aurora, IL

  • 3.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-13-2018 11:45
    Edited by Clark Boatwright 09-13-2018 11:50
    This Summer we migrated to our third Help Desk platform within the last decade - Incident IQ. Previously we were on HEAT (at the beginning of that decade) and then spent many years on Schooldude Incident/IT, which we basically selected at the time because our Maintenance Dept was already using it.

    We decided to leave Schooldude for a number of reasons, but ultimately because they were not keeping the software relevant to our industry. We spent time interviewing and demoing quite a few solutions, namely - SysAid, Freshworks, TipWeb, Agiloft, and GetHelp (new product from Schooldude). Our top criteria were:
    1) Ease of use (for end user, and us) - we want the user not to feel overwhelmed or frustrated submitting a WO, but we also need to gather the information we need to do our job
    2) Modern multi-platform features, such as an app, ability to work via email and have it appended to the WO log, maybe built-in remote desktop support
    3) Ability to setup an automated queue which fit our district (surprising how many products do not have much flexibility here)
    4) Host a robust knowledge base for the end users and IT
    5) Cost - a lot of these products charge annually per IT user, which is great if you have a small staff, but really adds up quickly if you have a multi-tiered support model like us

    The file I have attached was also very useful in assisting our selection of viable products and narrowing our criteria down.

    Clark Boatwright, CETL
    EdTech Support Specialist
    Los Lunas NM

  • 4.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-13-2018 11:50
    Edited by Clark Boatwright 09-13-2018 11:50
      |   view attached
    Sorry, here is the attachment I referenced - my original message did not post, but it did add the doc to library.

    Clark Boatwright, CETL
    EdTech Support Specialist
    Los Lunas NM

  • 5.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 06:46
    SysAid for help desk, maintenance, and event setup requests. Love it.

    Each type of request goes to it's own manager in the respective areas.

    Ryan Bennett Peddie School, CETL
    Director of Technology
    Peddie School
    Hightstown NJ
    (609) 944-7625

  • 6.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 07:45
    Thanks for everyone who participated in this discussion, and to @Clark Boatwright for attaching the vendor landscape analysis document. I hadn't see that before. The right help desk system can really improve workflows and customer support, and there are many options out there.

    Susan Bearden
    Chief Innovation Officer
    Consortium for School Networking

  • 7.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-17-2018 07:15
    JitBit you can do a bunch of automation and you don't have to mess with users as you can authenticate to Google. So users can get in with no hassle. Also it accepts email in support. Can be hosted very reasonably.

  • 8.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 08:54

    We're using SolarWinds Web Help Desk.



    1.       Customizable fields

    2.       It's a standalone module of an integrated server/network monitoring system – this makes reporting to my boss more flexible.

    3.       Regular updates

    4.       We use it as the primary inventory for *anything* tech related  (audio systems, computers, document cameras, projectors...)

    5.       SLAs are customizable to groups and categories

    6.       Workflows are easy to add, but you will have to think/plan before you implement.

    7.       Reporting is easy to configure and can be automated – example:  I get weekly reports on average response time by tech group and by technician, average time to close, number of open tickets by group and technician, SLA reports, and First Call resolutions.  They show up in my email as PDF attachments.

    8.       It integrates with chat systems like "Chime" that allow my end users multiple avenues of support.  (email, call, chat)

    9.       Great after sale training, videos, and BBS style community (THWACK) for self-help, as well as standard call in support options.


    1.       Once you add inventory, it's there forever.  You can mark it disposed, and delete it from active viewing, but it is never removed from the database.  There is no mechanism to remove it from the SQL database, so over time your database will grow.   This includes the "oops I imported the same 6000 machines twice" syndrome.

    2.       If you have a larger number of devices (in my case about 40,000 active) you really ought to have somebody versed in SQL to tweak the server performance.  If I say...pull a full inventory during the day, the system can slow to a crawl and my help desk staff will get very irritated with me.  ;-}


    Dan Sloan, CETL


    Technical Services

    Des Moines Public Schools

    P: 515.242.8251 | F: 515.242.7377 | C: 515.321.4447



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  • 9.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 11:40
    Diddo on the Solarwinds Web Help Desk  Just a suggestion.  From time to time Solarwinds provides discounts for the purchase of Tech licenses and I suggest you utilize this To save costs

    Steve Buettner
    Director of Technology
    Edina Public Schools
    Edina MN
    (952) 848-4800

  • 10.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 08:54
    Edited by Lee Itson 09-14-2018 08:54
    We currently use Spiceworks for both our helpdesk and also for the great IT Pro Community to sometimes ask questions.  Completely free, but ad-supported.  The ads aren't bad.  You can either do it on-prem or they have a cloud solution as well.  I find it quite easy to use and the support from the company is great.  If I was to say one negative, it's their portal for the users doesn't work the best but otherwise I believe it is pretty great especially for the price.

    Lee Itson School District of Random Lake
    District Technology Coordinator
    School District of Random Lake
    Random Lake WI
    (920) 447-3069

  • 11.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 10:19


    We use a product called JitBit HelpDesk software that we host on-premise.  A few items we like about it is that it is very inexpensive, unlimited technicians, easy to use for staff, highlight customizable, simplistic reporting, knowledge base, and features.

    Coby Culbertson
    Director of Technology

    Dubuque Community School District
    2300 Chaney Rd.
    Dubuque, IA 52001
    Twitter: @cobyculbertson
    Phone: (563) 552-3049
    Fax: (563) 552-3026
    HelpDesk: (563) 552-3050


  • 12.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 10:46
    We just moved over to WebHelpDesk from Spiceworks. The ability to correctly route tickets, keep the requester informed with automatic emails when the ticket is updated, set different levels of "urgency".
    It is very flexible on the setup side and we were able to get all our locations/departments setup the way we needed them to be

    We are just getting into the reporting side and are really enjoying all the metrics we can accurately pull now.

    Happy to explain more if you would like

    Alan Cunningham
    Information Security Officer
    Washoe County School District
    Reno NV
    (775) 789-3400

  • 13.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-14-2018 15:08
    We use LanSweeper which was originally built as an inventory system but has a fantastic helpdesk component as well. We previously used Sysaid which did not work well for us at all. I've also used school dude in the past which was an unpleasant experience.

    Kyle Hancock
    Director of Technology
    Hudson School District
    Hudson NH
    (603) 883-7765

  • 14.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-17-2018 07:38
    We use OSTicket, an open source system that we've modified in-house.

    We streamlined it to require only three entry fields (email address with auto-complete, problem type, description) for ease of use, but then we integrated it into our inventory system and Active Directory. This way, with only three fields, we know the person's location, contact information, technology equipment as assigned in inventory and other information likely relevant in solving their issues.

    We've developed a number of reports for it and a real time dashboard indicating ticket levels per school, so we can direct technicians to where trouble spots are.

    We wish there was a little more flexibility in auto-replying to status changes, but otherwise, it's a very flexible system.


    Todd E. Jones
    Chief Technology Officer
    Orange County Schools
    500 Orange High School Road
    Hillsborough, NC   27278

  • 15.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-17-2018 08:10
    We switched to Jitbit and really like it.

    Cheryl Lewis
    Technology Director
    Duxbury Public Schools
    Duxbury MA
    (781) 934-7650 (4440)

  • 16.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 09-18-2018 12:30
    Our school district uses School Dude ( We've used this tool to allow staff a way to contact our Facilities Maintenance and IT departments to request service, to set up preventative maintenance tasks and schedule buildings (we rent our facilities to community groups during weekends and holidays).  This software is competitive in price with other solutions out there, it's a fully hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS) and is robust enough for large and small districts.  School Dude has been in service in our district about 10 years; they may not be a perfect fit for all but they are a good fit for many.


    Jim N. Langston, M.A., CETL
    Director of Information Technology
    Tooele County School District
    92 Lodestone Way Tooele, UT 84074
    Office: 435-833-1900 ext. 1148
    Fax: 435-833-1912

  • 17.  RE: Help Desk Software

    Posted 10-26-2018 09:07

    We have moved to SherpadDesk as our helpdesk ticket system as well as inventory platform and so far it has proven very good to us and our environment. Tied that to RF id tags and our inventory is more efficient. Regards,

    Fernando De Velasco
    Chief Technology Officer
    Prosper ISD
    Prosper TX