Helpdesk Ticket Tracking Software – what are your options?

IT helpdesk ticket tracking software – my library uses it. Right now, we use Track-It by BMC. But it’s clunky, hard to use, and isn’t quite meeting our needs anymore. So it’s time to start exploring our options!

Guess what? There are a TON of options out there. But first, what would we want in an IT helpdesk software package? Here are some features you should think about:

  • incident management – basic “track that IT problem” function
  • Searchable knowledgebase – document the fixes and answers … and create a powerful database of “what to do when”
  • Reporting – for managers like me. You need to keep track of # of tickets, # of closed tickets, # of still-open tickets, who worked on the problem, who had the problem (for potential follow-up with training if needed), etc.
  • Windows software, server-based, or web/cloud based?
  • Other functions that might be useful, depending on your setup, include LDAP/Active Directory integration, asset and contract management, email integration, and scheduling.

These hosted services seem to be all the rage right now, and I have to admit – they look pretty good (at least, compared to what we currently have in place):

I also recently asked for recommendations, and what other organizations are currently using, via Twitter and Facebook. Here’s what some of you mentioned:

So there’s a good list to get you started. Anyone have experience with any of these? Like or dislike them? Sound off in the comments!

pic by michaeljzealot

  • Monica Winker-Bergstrom

    We originally had a database using MS Access that was great because the person who set it up was able to tailor it to our needs. For about 8 years we have been using Alloy Navigator (formerly Asset Navigator) which has been useful because it is also an inventory manager that allows us to audit our hardware and software installs. This lets us know when we needed to buy replacements, install updates and track tickets to a workstation. Enterprise-wide, we are now switching to ServiceNow since several departments are using this and we are consolidating IT operations. ServiceNow does not have the inventory piece (yet) so we will keep the Alloy database as is (no upgrades) until ServiceNow has that feature.

  • Marcella

    We use Redmine and, while I’m not in the IT department and don’t have to respond to helpdesk requests, as somebody who has to make the requests, it’s pretty user-friendly. We also use Redmine for other project tracking needs, which can be clunkier and harder to track.

  • Emily Clasper

    We use PerlDesk, which isn’t the greatest thing in the world, but it gets the job done on the scale we need here. I’d be interested in hearing other ideas, so thanks for posting this.

  • Josh

    We use Request Tracker and I’m happy with it. But recently I had a chance to be on the requestor end of sending in a ticket using zendesk, and I was impressed by the sceencast recording applet, it was so easy to record a video with audio of the problem I was having and attach it to the ticket.

    Request Tracket (RT) is free though, and the version 4 has added quite a few new features like a mobile interface, self service interface…

    I use RT for Library staff to submit tickets, and soon it will also be used for tickets that customers create when they are having overdrive problems.

  • Hardy Pottinger

    I humbly suggest adding Trac to your list (

  • Michael Golden

    My library is part of our IT department. We are using ServiceNow ( We just started using it, but so far it is doing what we need. I wanted it to 1) track the status of patron requests, and 2) to keep stats for us. It seems very flexible on it’s own and with the help of a dedicated IT person, we have a pretty smoothly running tool.

  • Michael Postlethwait

    We use h2desk and love it. We are using the cloud-based option currently as the price to bring it in house wasn’t that enticing so we opted to let them host it.
    It has all the features you are looking for and is easy to use.
    One feature I did not see mentioned was the ability to do email importing, which basically allows you to assign an e-mail account (or several) that generates a ticket automatically. This is also helpful for when the customer receives the ticket information in their inbox and they can simply reply via their email client without having to go into the ticketing software.
    We have been using them for 1 year now and they have released 2 updates already. Their support is fantastic. I send them a ticket and get a reply immediately and they have added some functionality that wasn’t there strictly for us.
    Highly recommend h2desk.

  • Akash

    You ‘ve done a great work by giving us on updated information.There are many options but before using that want to know which is more secure.Can any one please say regarding that.

  • brendan_b

    we use . It’s web hosted and perfect for minimalists who just need a ticket tracking solution that’s efficient and affordable.

  • ryguy2013

    I like . It’s web hosted and perfect for minimalists who just need a ticket tracking solution that’s efficient and affordable.

  • Mark Smith

    Pretty decent post you have mentioned, no matter which industry you are from you do need a help desk software it immensely increases positive user experience as you dont have to track the costumers manually it does for you, task prioritization, reminders, critical task reminders. We basically use zeacom 6.2 call center software its specifically designed for call center solutions and i would definatly prefer it to call center industry since it can work with cisco, microsoft lync, avaya and other technologies so you dont need to upgrade your systems you can view the call center software at they also offers training for their software

  • Max

    We too were using perldesk but then moved to Vision Helpdesk Perldesk is bit outdated with limited functionality.

  • robert clive

    On the basis of my experience I also want to recommend you another good software which I thing You missed in that list that is eAssistance pro Live chat software. I am using this software for my organiation and I feel that is great.

  • Paul Rutledge

    Good stuff Michael. However, I’d like to contest that most of those top solutions are not truly a ‘help desk solution’. I categorize it more as a ‘customer service solution’…ticket management, if you will.

    To be *truly* considered help desk software, it must include asset management in some form. A *help desk* must be able to associate a request for service with a specific piece of hardware or software. “Customer Service” does not… But if they are going to call it “Help Desk” software, it feel it had better fit the needs of a “help desk”, which is an IT service fulfillment center.

    People don’t call the Apple Help Desk when they have problems with their iPhone….they call Apple Customer Service. Apple *employees* call the Apple Help Desk when they have problems with their employer-issued iPhone.

    Examples of true help desk software: Sysaid,, Track-it, Service Desk Plus, Web Help Desk, Parature, Footprints. (like you have in the second list)

    Examples of solutions *pretending* to be help desk software: Zendesk, Freshdesk, Salesforce, Happy Fox, User Voice, etc.

    End of rant. LOL. Hope this helps…someone. 😀

  • iec

    Definitely helped. Looking for stuff that’s as robust as you say because it’s what my boss wants, definitely didn’t understand the difference between the simpler ticketing systems and the more robust help desk systems.

  • Vlad

    We use Jitbit’s ticket system since we needed an “on-premise” version, that we can customize (they offer a source-code license) and we’re on MS servers, so that seemed like the best choice.