ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is a full-stack IT service management (ITSM) suite that provides the tools you would expect of an IT service desk, such as service requests, problem tracking, change requests, and asset management. However, it goes far beyond the basic capabilities by providing additional functionality, and features, including a knowledge base, configuration management database (CMDB), tracking purchases, contracts, preventive maintenance, reporting capabilities, and many other features.

Along with the features and capabilities already mentioned, ServiceDesk Plus provides various automations and workflows to streamline helpdesk operations, including the following:

  • Best practice ITSM workflows
  • Codeless customizations
  • Available as a complete installation on-premises or in the cloud
  • Email conversion to helpdesk tickets
  • Tracking service level agreements (SLAs) on tickets using ticket criteria
  • Tracking preventive maintenance tasks
  • Provisioning custom change workflows and processes
  • Configuring periodic scanning of asset inventory and performing audits
  • End user communication workflows
  • Automated report generation and distribution

Pink Elephant PinkVERIFY certified

ManageEngine's ServiceDesk Plus software holds the esteemed Pink Elephant's PinkVERIFY certification. What is PinkVERIFY? It is an internationally recognized ITSM assessment service created in 1988 by the IT service management community. It serves two purposes:

  1. To help ITIL and IT service management practitioners identify and purchase software tools that will support their key processes
  2. To provide tool vendors with a way to demonstrate and certify the compatibility of their products with ITIL best practices

It helps establish trust in vendor solutions that meet ITIL v3 processes and ITIL® 4 practices, terminology, functionality, integration, and workflow requirements. ServiceDesk Plus has PinkVerify certifications in four categories: Incident Management, Change Enablement, Problem Management and Service Request Management practices identified as ITIL 4 compatible by Pink Elephant. With ServiceDesk Plus holding this certification, organizations know that ServiceDesk Plus meets the rigid certification standards outlined by PinkVERIFY; the certification speaks to the quality and functionality of the solution.

Deploying ServiceDesk Plus ^

There are a couple of options for getting up and running with ServiceDesk Plus. ManageEngine is making ServiceDesk Plus available in both an on-premises installation and a cloud SaaS version, like many solutions now. The cloud SaaS version is a fully managed deployment. It makes it extremely easy to deploy a working solution quickly, even if your organization is evaluating ServiceDesk Plus.

For the most part, the features, experience, and other functionality are very similar. There may be reasons you would install the on-premises version of the product over the cloud SaaS version, such as less complexity with network asset scanning and better integration with other ManageEngine on-premises products.

To review the basic features of ServiceDesk Plus, I quickly spun up the cloud SaaS version. You will be able to log in after spending only a couple of minutes signing up for the cloud SaaS version.

ServiceDesk Plus interface and features ^

Now that we have examined the installation of ServiceDesk Plus, let's dive into the interface, using the solution and the features of note. First of all, when you log in, the interface defaults to the product's dashboard. The dashboard is an overview of activities, requests, and other aspects of the service desk. It enables seeing a "10,000-foot view" of the environment and what needs attention.

Helpdesk dashboard in ServiceDesk Plus

Helpdesk dashboard in ServiceDesk Plus

One thing that struck me with the interface was the modern look and feel and easy navigation. It is highly intuitive and easy to find various options and configurations.

You will notice the various menu options on the left, including:

  • Activities
  • Requests
  • Problems
  • Changes
  • Projects
  • Releases
  • Solutions
  • Reports
  • More

What does creating a new incident look like?

Creating a new incident in ServiceDesk Plus

Creating a new incident in ServiceDesk Plus

You may wonder what the difference is between an incident and a service request in the interface.

  • Incident requests denote the failure or degradation of an IT service. Examples include "unable to print," "unable to retrieve emails," etc.
  • Service requests are raised by the user for support, delivery, information, advice, or documentation. Examples include installing software in workstations, resetting a lost password, requesting a hardware device, and so on.

Let's take a look at submitting a new change request. By default, you have tons of intuitive and applicable fields that make up the standard change request.

Submitting a new change request

Submitting a new change request

What about managing assets for your corporate inventory? ServiceDesk Plus has a nice asset management module built into the solution for keeping up with all the standard assets found in most corporate environments, with the ability to add custom assets and create and use barcodes for inventory and asset management.

Managing corporate assets using ServiceDesk Plus

Managing corporate assets using ServiceDesk Plus

Below is an example of creating your own barcode using ServiceDesk Plus.

Using ServiceDesk Plus to create and manage barcode labels for inventory

Using ServiceDesk Plus to create and manage barcode labels for inventory

Using ServiceDesk Plus to create and manage barcode labels for inventory

Once problems are resolved, having a catalog of solutions is beneficial and can drastically cut down the time to resolution for each occurrence of a particular issue. ServiceDesk Plus has a built-in module to start building out your own solution database for recurring problems.

Creating a knowledge base with ServiceDesk Plus

Creating a knowledge base with ServiceDesk Plus

A critical part of a robust service desk solution is creating reports based on the information contained in the service desk database. ServiceDesk Plus has a wide range of built-in reports, so you can start creating reports very quickly using the solution.

Predefined reports available with ServiceDesk Plus

Predefined reports available with ServiceDesk Plus

As mentioned earlier, outside of the really great modules included with ServiceDesk Plus are the automation workflows and customizable rules included with the product. The tool is highly configurable and allows organizations to define incident business rules, service request business rules, service level agreements, lifecycles, and many other automation workflows that help define the service desk's overall flow. These automation features enable customizing ServiceDesk Plus to align with your business needs.

Automation configuration inside ServiceDesk Plus

Automation configuration inside ServiceDesk Plus

Pricing and editions ^

The functionality of ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is based on three editions of the product:

  • Standard: Free up to five technicians, $1195 for 10 technicians (annual subscription)
  • Professional: $495 for two technicians and 250 nodes (annual subscription)
  • Enterprise: $1195 for two technicians and 250 nodes (annual subscription)

Wrapping up and impressions ^

The overall impression of ManageEngine's ServiceDesk Plus is very positive. The solution is extremely well thought out and contains the features that most organizations will be looking for out of the box, and many others. The automation workflows are a huge bonus and enable tweaking the solution's workflow to align with specific business processes and SLA needs. Additionally, organizations can choose between on-premises and cloud SaaS deployment, which provides excellent options for those who want to get up and running quickly.

I only scratched the surface with the screenshots and features mentioned in the review of ServiceDesk Plus. This service desk solution is solid and checks all the right boxes for most businesses, including Pink Elephant's PinkVERIFY certification.

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