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Help Desk Software: Web Based
Competitive pressures and tough economic times often force companies to do more with fewer resources. This critical issue, productivity, spans all industries and resonates with organizations large and small. The drive to survive and remain competitive drives companies to find ways to improve service and support. With the right technology, a Web-based service desk can provide a way to achieve these efficiencies and productivity gains.

Todays corporate Help Desk and support operations have emerged as a primary means with which to achieve significant productivity gains and to improve all aspects of business. The Help Desk serves as a corporate nerve center, thus providing a centralized resolution tool to quickly address inquiries, issues, requests, and problems that come in from employees, customers, and partners. An efficient Help Desk can be a strategic asset that represents tangible value and measurable ROI. More and more companies are realizing how this capability can become a competitive differentiator, especially in todays economic climate, and improve the bottom-line. At the same time, Help Desks can increase customer satisfaction, retention and productivity. However, most Help Desks aren't efficient--they're over-burdened and challenged with ever-dwindling resources and ever-increasing requests for service and support. This can hamper an organizations success, especially if the company manages Help Desk operations using manual, paper-based procedures, static spreadsheets, e-mail stored on a single persons drive and/or automation tools with very limited functionality. Implementing a comprehensive Web-based Help Desk solution can automate internal and external worldwide support operations and empower employees and customers, thereby improving responsiveness, speeding processes and ultimately reducing costs. A high-quality Web-based service desk has a ripple effect on the organization, providing other tangible benefits, such as improved communication and workflow within and across functional departments.

What are the key features of Help Desk software? One of them is a fully Web-based architecture. Many Help Desk solutions on the market are client/server based, or Web-enabled versions of such systems, making it costly to deploy, manage and maintain them. A truly Web-based product is a product that offers advanced features and functionality via an Internet browser empowers customers and employees by giving them control and a range of tools to manage service and support requests. A help desk that is completely Web-based is inherently more flexible and scalable.

Other critical features are out-of-the-box results--the software should be plug-and-play. Another thing to look for is online self-service capabilities, such as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) section. Help Desk software should also support the full integration of e-mail between users and Help Desk workers. Software should also be able to leverage existing investments, have extensive reporting capabilities, and feature the flexibility to support other business areas.

Before making such a purchase, however, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) should be carefully considered. Dos the solution require that the company provide a system administrator or a database administrator? Must the company hire consultants (or utilize their own high-cost IT staff) when customizations are performed? If so, the time and cost of deployment will significantly skew the technology investment, as well as the flexibility to easily make changes and expand the scope of the operation. Clearly web-based software can be a purchase that delivers solid ROI for most companies. Companies need to look carefully and take everything into consideration when comparing these solutions.

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