Help Desk Premier is service desk software designed for busy helpdesk teams. It’s available in two different models: as a self-install or a cloud service. (The cloud service is new and has not been formerly announced, but details are at the end of the review).
Help Desk Premier is built in ASP with Silverlight for embedded multimedia. Silverlight is a Microsoft product but works elegantly with most platforms: we had no trouble using the Silverlight elements in Chrome on OS X.
The software offers two login options, so we’re looking at the Technician side as it offers more detail than the Requestor login. Note that we’re using the demo login for this first section; some data has been entered by other testers prior to our review.
Usability and tickets
Help Desk Premier opens on a clear and intuitive welcome screen, and unlike some other SaaS products, it doesn’t bombard the user with options right away. That makes it appear quite clean. The icons across the top tie in with the ITIL workflow, giving the Technician easy access to tickets, changes, assets, tools, admin and reports.
You won’t find complex detail on the landing screen: most of the options require a little digging. The interface is clean and uncluttered, and the nice use of icons makes Help Desk Premier easy to navigate. Almost any end user should be able to pick up the workflow with little prior knowledge.
Hovering over an icon in the menu opens a pop-up tab with a selection of shortcuts and links for quick access to recent work. The Tickets pop-up is the example shown above (click the image for a larger version).
The search field in this pop-up screen is a nice touch: it allows any ticket to be opened quickly by typing the reference number in the search field. This field doesn’t appear to accept search words although there’s no error message to indicate this. In the demo, be aware that you need a valid reference number on hand or your search will silently fail.
Once a search has been performed, you can open additional tickets alongside the first one in a tabbed interface by searching again. You can see this in action in our screenshot below. Switching and closing tabs is as easy as clicking between them, making it a handy feature for comparing several tickets side by side or assigning comments or tags to multiple items.
Help Desk Premier incorporates both requests, problems and incidents into the tickets screen using a drop-down Type field as shown in the screenshot. This is an unconventional solution; it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but people who have used a different type of help desk software may need to get used to a new way of working.
Reporting and configuration
Most organisations need to report on their own KPIs. A number of sample reports are already included with Help Desk Premier, but custom reports can be created alongside the pre-set examples. Reports can also be scheduled and the results emailed in various formats if required. All the usual graphing features are also bundled as you’d expect.
Help Desk Premier can also be fine-tuned to cope with different parameters: urgency, opening hours, user permissions, Active Directory integration and more. Everything can be adjusted: here we’re configuring the urgency-priority matrix. The various configuration options are listed on the left hand side of the screen.
A compact service desk solution
Having worked on several service desks, I immediately liked Help Desk Premier. It offers enough functionality for a typical SME help desk without layers of complex admin menus. It’s clear that Help Desk Premier has been designed by people who understand the environment: it has been built for efficiency, and custom fields make the software pretty flexible.
Help Desk Premier is a young application – so young that the cloud aspect is still in trial. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the coming months as the user base develops. There are a few inconsistencies of spelling, and a few design issues which need to be improved. Over time, I would expect to see Help Desk Premier becoming more established and rounded in this regard.
Cloud package details
Help Desk Premier is so new that the cloud pricing hasn’t been formerly announced on the website. The company told me that they are working to a pricing structure of $39 per user per month with a five user minimum subscription. For now, anyone interested in buying it as SaaS will need to request this via email: go to their site for contact information.
Once Help Desk Premier is fully implemented in the cloud, it could easily fill that much-needed ‘middle ground’ position for established service desk teams who want to switch away from desktop call tracking software. There’s lots of room for growth, but the reasonable price tag and well-thought-out interface will ensure it builds a solid reputation.
Category: Initial Reviews
About the AuthorClaire Broadley is a technical author and SEO copywriter. She reviews cloud applications and SaaS products for Rated Cloud.
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