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Several years ago I'd argue with ITIL purists that helpdesk versus services desk is two entirely different beasts. I guess this distinction might have more meaning. Many people say that the help desk or service desk aren’t identical, so I’ll explain some similarities between the help desk and the customer service desk. The final decision should be yours to determine what the function of a gateway to your services is—this isn't a bad decision.

Do you want to improve your service desk

We’re in customer support, so we know how important it is to have a great service desk. That’s why we love helping people stay focused on their businesses as they grow by handling all of their IT needs for them.

You won’t have to worry about ever picking up that phone call from your business units that aren't happy with the state of things. Never stress over late requests, missing work orders, and the mess of managing everything yourself. Rest easy knowing Geolance will take care of all your service desk needs for you.

What is a service desk

The service desk is a customer-facing function that provides the interface between IT and the business units. It takes in requirements from them, builds prioritized work schedules on them, and delivers completed work back to business units so they can achieve their goals.

The help desk is a multichannel function—voice calls, email, chat, or social media—that answers all inquiries regarding your applications and infrastructure. The help desk answers questions about problems with hardware and software assets applications while also assisting with use cases of new features being implemented or deployed into production.

What are the common functions of the Service Desk & Help Desk

Both will be collecting requests from the end-users which then need to be passed on to others within IT who can fulfill these requirements.

What are the differences between the Help Desk & Service Desk

First, you have to understand there are many different types of it service desk organizations. Some are structured around incident asset management of problems while others focus on requests for change or enhancement. The help desk is a multichannel function—voice calls, email, chat, or social media—that answers all inquiries regarding your applications and infrastructure. While the service desk deals with customer service and does not resolve day-to-day technical problems for individual users.

Also, the help desk doesn’t always take in requests from people outside an organization —a telephone hotline might only take incoming voice calls within a company whereas phone lines open to external callers might be handled by a third party.

In addition to those differences, the service desk is a customer-facing function that provides the interface between IT and the business units. It takes in requirements from them, builds prioritized work schedules on them, and delivers completed work back to business units so they can achieve their goals. In contrast, as part of a multichannel support team within an organization, help desk technicians provide general support with troubleshooting for employees' local area network (LAN), desktop computer hardware/software issues, and printers. While also providing help with email administration issues such as setting up new accounts or managing access rights for mailboxes etc.

For many years now I have been pondering what would be the most appropriate tool to better manage both Incident Management & Problem Management for the video game company I work for. But now it seems to be clearer (at least in my opinion) which tool would work best for us, even though we are considering multiple options.

What can you do to mitigate risk

You should strive to give your customers what they want—a smooth service delivery with minimum impact on business units.

However, this is easier said than done, especially for organizations that have just started implementing ITIL practices and who don’t have enough resources or expertise available yet.

The most appropriate tool will help you facilitate communication between all relevant teams within an organization by providing a common interface where each team can manage their requests and monitor any open items they might have.

A tool like this will provide your customers with a single point-of-contact where they can submit requests, view current statuses, and track the entire process until it is resolved.

The IT department should also be able to monitor requests on behalf of business units, building prioritized work schedules for each request which allows them to focus first on those that have the highest value for their company or mission. By using a common tool that tracks all open items within an organization, everyone moves closer toward achieving better service delivery.

What are some best practices

Best practice techniques are not limited to just one incident service request management process but are typically applicable throughout all of them. But some specific ideas include:

1) Establishing standardized roles and responsibilities for all areas of IT.

2) Using a common tool that can be accessed from any device to facilitate communication between teams.

3) Building a schedule with standard SLAs around each request so everyone knows what is expected of them.

4) Prioritize tasks based on the value they have for your business units or customers, as this will determine how quickly requests are addressed and closed out.

What if you don’t know where to start

 We understand that organizations might not fully appreciate the benefits of such an approach yet, which is why we offer free consultancy services. This way we can help our current and future clients take advantage of all the possibilities that come with using our tool in a customizable way that suits their requirements.

Why do you need service desk software

As we briefly touched upon in this article, the service desk is the interface between customers and IT. Service desk capabilities are where all requests are collected and tracked until they are resolved, usually by some other team within an organization.

For a typical business unit or customer to submit a request they must know who to contact, which group within your organization does what, and that a request can be submitted. When using a common tool for managing any of your incident management processes you provide employees with a single point of contact for submitting requests—no matter what network, hardware, or software issue it might be.

In addition to being able to track incidents from the moment they are submitted through resolution, you also gain access to tools that can be used for more proactive processes.

For example, Problem Management can be improved by identifying and preventing incidents with similar causes before they happen—something that is only possible by following a common workflow and standard rules. This way you will spend less time and effort trying to fix something that already happened and instead focus on preventing it from happening again for the benefit of your customers.

Why does having a single software tool help

By providing access to different teams with interfaces designed specifically for those teams, with the ability to track open items according to their status as well as their nature (e.g., hardware, software, services), your employees gain the clarity they need about every request currently being handled within an organization – even if there are hundreds or thousands of them at any given time.

Instead of having to go back and forth between different teams, your IT department will have direct access to all requests submitted by your customers so they can prioritize tasks according to their value (e.g., high-value for a business unit and its customers vs. low-value) and record the completion status, while also providing visibility into the entire workflow. The same goes for SLAs: by using a single incident management tool you can build schedules around each request that allows everyone involved in support roles (and not just those who do it full-time) to work together toward achieving better service delivery.

Are there any common traps organizations should avoid 

One of the main pitfalls we see is managing the service desk as an extension of their primary business units or customers. 

This means that every request submitted by a customer will be treated as if it has equal value, which can easily result in backlogs and frustrated employees who are trying to solve problems for their colleagues.  

The solution is having clearly defined rules with regards to what tasks should be prioritized based on context—the nature of the request, its effect on your customers’ day-to-day activities, etc.—which will prevent requests not directly related to business operations from being addressed first. By doing this you are taking into account how long it takes for certain types of problems to escalate, which impacts your entire organization.

Another trap many organizations fall into is creating their incident management process.

This can be caused by an abundance of self-written rules that are specific to each organization, which are then used in place of the best practices shared within the industry—many organizations try to manage these processes without having a single tool for tracking them all. However, creating your process may result in missed SLAs or repeated tasks being completed by different employees who have no idea what happened before they started working on it.

What makes service desk software so versatile

A good service desk solution should allow you to configure its workflow according to your requirements while also providing access to additional functionality when needed through easy-to-integrate add-ons. It should provide you with all the tools you need in a single place without making the user interface complicated to navigate. It should be intuitive and allow your employees to access different features at a moment’s notice.

The best way to ensure success with your service desk tool is by understanding how the ideal solution would look for your company and planning accordingly from day one—don’t simply pick one based on its popularity or which software development team provides better customer support.

What is a help desk

A help desk is a central location within an organization that all of your employees can go to for support.

This includes every employee, including executives and managers, who may need access to IT department services or solutions on occasion.  A help desk is a place where every request, big or small, should be logged to ensure they are dealt with according to their business value.

Service management software helps integrate all customer requests via a single system of record—enabling visibility into requests across departments by integrating workflow directly into existing systems of record (e.g., active directory). By implementing automation rules around workflows and allowing employees to create requests as well as track them via self-service, service management software provides your customers with a simple and efficient way to submit requests without having to wait. This, in turn, reduces the frequency of calls made directly to support or IT departments, allowing them more time to fulfill larger projects for your business.

The service management processes in the software industry are rapidly evolving and there are plenty of options available on the market today, which can make it difficult for organizations looking for software solutions that will work well with their existing infrastructure—whether they’re looking for an open-source or commercial solution. Some companies even rely on home-grown solutions as part of their day-to-day operations as they feel these meet their needs better than commercially available products. However, this can lead to increased costs and security vulnerabilities if the product doesn’t receive regular updates, which often happens with open-source software.

Service desk software provides organizations with a central location where your employees can submit requests to IT experts for resolution. This includes every employee within the organization, including executives and managers who may need access to IT department services or info on occasion.

When implementing a service desk solution, you must understand how your preferred tool works and whether it will integrate well with existing infrastructure; otherwise, you will incur additional costs in terms of both time and money when integrating different platforms. The best way to ensure success is by choosing a solution that meets your requirements while also providing easy integration with other systems via add-ons or APIs (application programming interfaces). Additionally, the user interface should be simple to navigate, so your employees aren’t overwhelmed or require a lot of training to become acclimated with their new workflow.


There are various types of service desks available on the market today, each offering unique functionality to meet specific IT requirements. Some examples include:

A self-service help desk is a tool that allows employees to submit requests for technical support via an online form or by creating a case in an existing knowledge base (an online repository of information created from previously asked questions). This type of service desk can be easily integrated with other tools your business uses daily, like CRM software. We recommend only using this type if you already have good processes in place for logging and resolving cases raised by end-users; otherwise, it may not provide any added value over what’s currently being done—costing you additional time and money when trying to integrate your service desk into your existing infrastructure (i.e., the cost of deploying the tool itself).

These service desks are designed to help companies better manage their internal IT department by streamlining communication between employees and IT experts, allowing them to communicate via ticketing systems instead of playing phone tag or emailing each other with questions. They also have a workflow that’s implemented in the background so IT experts know when they need to follow up on a case or if additional information is required for resolution. Many come with a pre-built directory of users—from executives, managers, and directors down to regular line-of-business employees—so everyone can have access to submitting requests at any time from multiple locations, regardless of whether or not they’re in the office. This type of service desk is a great choice if you want to automate or centralize your internal IT department processes, as it allows employees and managers to submit a ticket directly without much training required—employees can also see their current status at any time.

Another type of service desk is designed for use by both end-users looking for help from IT experts as well as those wanting to provide them with that information. This means that IT teams have access to tools that allow them to exchange information with each other about technical issues related to services, projects, and accounts. In these instances, there are usually two levels of permissions: one level reserved exclusively for the team responsible for the particular account providing access, and another that allows employees to submit service requests. They also usually come with a ticketing system as well as tools like live chat, email, phone support, and more. This type of service desk is the best option for companies looking for a centralized place to manage their services—allowing those responsible for those accounts to understand what’s happening on the back end instead of having them rely on users for information about these instances—and providing an easy way to keep track of requests.

This type of service desk is designed specifically around knowledge-based help desks where employees create self-service articles that can then be viewed by other users. One great benefit of this approach is that it reduces calls into IT or similar departments because employees are getting the information they need to resolve their problems. They’re also not waiting for IT or other teams to answer, helping speed up time to resolution—and even help reduce help desk costs by freeing up staffers to handle more complex issues.

Other types of service desks include those that manage customer interactions, provide chargebacks and entitlement change management across platforms, support incident escalation processes, track user requests/changes/disputes, and process deliverables based on SLAs (service level agreement). Supporting all of these functions with a central platform instead of managing them individually will help improve your customer relationships as well as customer satisfaction—leading directly to increased revenue.

The right service desk must fit into your organization’s existing infrastructure, whether it’s based on your existing network or cloud environment. This includes determining how you want to implement the service desk—in other words, which users will be accessing it and from what devices they’ll be performing the tasks. 

The selection process should also include ensuring that whatever platform you choose has all of the capabilities you need for your business, including features like single sign-on (SSO), integration with Active Directory, self-service portals, mobile access, ticketing systems, reporting tools, workflow automation, updates/patches/maintenance windows, APIs (application programming interfaces), SLAs (service level agreements), security protocols for authentication/authorization/data protection, directory services integration—as well as the ability to manage service desk requests and other IT-related processes.

When it comes to choosing a service desk platform, remember that not all platforms are created equal. While some offer similar options out of the box or can be easily customized to meet your needs, others may require extensive changes before bringing them in line with your company’s goals/processes. Some companies also operate multiple types of business units—for example, where some divisions provide training while another is focused on software creation—and choose a platform that can support both functions from their start instead of having to add on extra functionality later on.

The best service desks will also offer full-service support for issues related to system updates/patches/maintenance windows, access to APIs (application programming interfaces) that can integrate your service desk with your existing network and cloud infrastructure, a roadmap for future development including new features and capabilities, plus additional support related to migration services.

A good service desk also can do more than simply track problems or complaints. It can also offer customer relationship management tools, incident escalation processes, including self-service portals so users can search for answers on their own instead of creating new tickets—as well as ensuring all users have appropriate levels of permissions so they only see the information they’re allowed to view based on their assigned roles.

A bottomless toolbox is not what you want in this situation. You need a service desk that meets your needs in all areas, including self-service functions—and either comes with it pre-configured or offers easy customization to meet specific company goals. You also want a platform that’s compatible with your existing network/cloud environment and has the capability for future development.

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