At a growing number of businesses, help desks need help themselves. For years, companies needing to resolve IT incidents and problems have relied on traditional help desk systems. Among the most popular of these has been HP's Service Desk offering, part of that company's venerable OpenView IT management portfolio. However, in recent months HP Service Desk users have been plagued by uncertainty concerning the future of the offering.
This is a significant challenge, in large part because those businesses are increasingly dependent upon their IT-enabled business applications, information and infrastructures, even as these become more distributed and technologically diverse. At many companies, initiatives such as service-oriented architecture and cloud computing promise to help by consolidating, integrating and reducing overall complexity of enterprise IT and business infrastructures. In the meantime, such initiatives that counteract the inefficiency of the help desk often exacerbate management and support challenges as users and administrators alike adapt to frequently changing resources.
To be sure, many companies are enjoying significant business benefits from their investments in modern, IT-enabled business applications and solutions. However, to make sure no users are left behind by modernization efforts, businesses must provide effective IT support and service management through their help desk.
Meanwhile, HP has announced it is superseding Service Desk, replacing it with an offering known as Service Manager. This latter product is supposedly based on more modern technologies and is more capable and aligned with today's IT management challenges that out performs current help desk software, according to HP. However, users indicate that Service Manager appears poised to be far more costly than Service Desk. In addition, HP requires users of older Service Desk versions to upgrade to the current release to smooth their migrations to Service Manager. And the latest release of Service Desk is less reliable and predictable than its predecessors, those users say.
Many HP Service Desk users are therefore now faced with what seems to be a Hobson's Choice – sticking with an older but more stable version of Service Desk that HP will soon no longer support, or moving to a newer version supported by HP but hobbled by bugs and instability which greatly counteract the productivity of the help desk.
Fortunately, alternatives to the help desk do exist. One such alternative from Service-now.com, offers comprehensive functionality, flexibility and aggressive cost-effectiveness that adapts to users' specific needs and grows with them. And because the Service-now.com solution is built on the Internet and delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS), it eliminates the high implementation and management costs and complexities associated with traditional client / server software like HP Service Manager and BMC Remedy. Service-now.com makes IT service management easy to start, easy to grow, easy to customize and easy to afford. It also helps companies save resources on managing infrastructure and supporting software, and shifts those resources to supporting users and the business, the reasons those companies have IT service management in the first place.