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ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

Providing businesses with great visibility and control over their IT issues

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(Image: © Zoho Corp)

Our Verdict

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus offers great features and an improved UI for businesses with large IT departments.

For

  • Free plan
  • Improved beta UI

Against

  • No monthly pricing for on-premises installation
  • Limited third-party integrations

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is IT helpdesk software that can be delivered from the cloud or installed on-premises. It aims to help IT helpdesks deliver better service so that businesses suffer less downtime.

ServiceDesk Plus is developed by the same company that produces Zoho Desk, which is often included in lists of the best helpdesk software available. And in this ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review, we delve into whether it can provide the same level of service for IT helpdesks as we take a look at its pricing, features, interface, and support.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus pricing is based on the number of technicians and nodes (Image credit: ManageEngine)

Plans and pricing

The pricing for ServiceDesk Plus is quite complicated and is based on the number of administrators or technicians who will be providing support. The end price can be affected by whether you pay monthly or annually (which attracts a 10% discount), whether you want multilingual or English-only language support, and how many add-ons included.

There are three plans: Standard includes the IT help desk, Professional adds asset management, and Enterprise adds that and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

The Standard edition is actually free for up to 10 technicians and 500 nodes (a device like a PC, server, or printer). Prices then range from $1195/year for 10 technicians up to $11995/year for 200 techs/1000 nodes. The Professional edition ranges in price from $495/year for two techs/250 nodes up to $23995/year for 200 techs/1000 nodes. And the Enterprise edition goes from $1195/year for two techs/250 nodes up to $35995/year for 200 techs/3000 nodes.

Add-ons like CMDB, service catalogs, project and change release management, and live chat can also increase the price.

If you plan on using ServiceDesk Plus for multiple teams, you can choose different editions for each team, but only one can access the free version. On-premises pricing is essentially the same as cloud pricing except there is no monthly subscription option.

Features

At the heart of ServiceDesk Plus is the ITIL-ready framework that incorporates management of incidents, problems, changes, assets, and projects. CMDB software for managing a repository of configuration items and service catalogs are also part of the framework.

IT incident management software aims to speed up the resolution of tickets with automations that can create tickets from emails, phone calls, or a web-based self-service portal. Once created, tickets can have custom statuses assigned to them and can be automatically assigned to the correct technician. You can also define response and resolution benchmarks as well as escalation paths.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

The ITIL-ready framework is at the heart of ServiceDesk Plus (Image credit: ManageEngine)

Problem management software aims to eliminate recurring incidents by analyzing problems and the impact they have. This enables helpdesks to proactively identify issues and fix them before they occur, but also to reduce ticket duplication by automatically closing any linked incidents.

Change management software will enable you to build workflows with a drag-and-drop interface that can include approvals and notifications. A built-in change calendar will help you to see potential collisions and improve processes.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

This is the new beta version of the ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus UI (Image credit: ManageEngine)

Interface and in use

When we first logged in to ServiceDesk Plus, we were greeted with a very dated-looking user interface. But there is a button that you can click to switch to a new beta version of the UI. We were originally using Firefox and found that clicking the switch button did nothing, so changed browsers to Chrome. This time, we were able to get the new version of the UI, which is a big improvement on the old one.

All the main sections are easily accessible from menu items in the left column of the page, although transitions between them weren’t as quick as with some web apps we’ve used.

Each page that presents items in list view has a variety of sorting and filtering controls, and you can customize which columns appear and save the configuration as a separate view.

When you’re creating new incidents, there’s a large number of templates to choose from. Or, you can start a new one from scratch. There’s also a handy Quick Actions menu item for creating new content like announcements, purchase orders, or problems,. It also provides instant access to your tasks and reminders.

The settings section of the dashboard provides access to a huge number options that can be configured to suit your business. For instance, for help desk tickets, you can change options for category, status, level, mode, impact, urgency, priority, and more.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

ManageEngine provides a variety of methods for obtaining support (Image credit: ManageEngine)

Support

ManageEngine provides a variety of methods for obtaining support for ServiceDesk Plus, including email, live chat, support ticket submission, and toll-free phone numbers in the US, the UK, and Australia.

A large range of self-help resources is also available, including FAQs, forums, videos, guides, and bug trackers.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus review

ManageEngine maintains its own Security Response Center (Image credit: ManageEngine)

Security

ManageEngine maintains its own Security Response Center which actively monitors various security forums to identify any vulnerabilities reported about its products. Customers and security researchers are encouraged to report any vulnerabilities they find, and once identified, product experts provide fixes as soon as possible.

The competition

Several software companies produce alternative IT helpdesk solutions that are worth considering, among them Freshservice by Freshworks and Solarwinds Service Desk.

Freshservice is another ITIL-ready service desk solution that has a choice of four plans that go from $19/month/agent up to $99/month/agent and come with a 21-day free trial period. While ServiceDesk Plus has a large number of integrations with other ManageEngine and Zoho products, Freshservice has a greater number of integrations with third-party apps like Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, Shopify, and Mailchimp.

Solarwinds Service Desk also offers four different plans that start with the Team plan at $19/month/agent and go up to the Enterprise plan for $89/month/agent (subscriptions are billed annually). All plans are available with a 30-day trial. Again, Solarwinds Service Desk offers more third-party integrations.

Final verdict

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is aimed at large organizations that need ITIL-ready helpdesk software. It offers a very good feature set at reasonable prices, and can even be used for free by businesses with only a few technicians that don’t need asset management and ITIL features.

The current version of the UI is very dated, but the new beta version, which is now available, is a vast improvement, although we found it didn’t work in all the browsers we tried.