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Has Help Desk software become a commodity?.

Dear Scotty Vanderlip,

Welcome to Internet Software Sciences Newsletter  – January 2016

Has Help Desk Software become a commodity?

Some  of Merian Webster definitions of   “commodity” is

  • a good or service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (as brand name) other than price
  • one that is subject to ready exchange or exploitation within a market

The world of available software applications to solve IT ticket tracking requirements and managing support requests has exploded into an endless number of ticketing systems available today.     With so many options available, many IT decision makers now have changed their view of the help desk software solution as an annual, replaceable commodity.  They are assuming systems are similar enough in features, support and maintenance can replace one vendor’s system with another like they can replace the vendor of the paper they use in their copy machines with another vendor.

Old School vendor relationships
In comparison, companies and organizations previously would build longer term relationships with vendors for products and services for on going support, customizations, to achieve year to year continuity of a stable and efficient mission critical product.  Companies and organizations would develop some personal and beneficial relationships between the client and the vendor that would mutually benefit both parties by providing better support and product direction /development and continued sales for the vendor.

Finding the right model for your help desk software decision process
We have some customers who decided to switch to another vendor product simply because they thought brand “B”  provided something more but have come back to a simplier Web+Center product approach and the old school – personal business relationship you have with a vendor who understands your needs and requirements.  Having a “conversation” with the Help Desk Vendor is an important step to finding a long term solution. The question to ask to yourself when making a IT help desk software decision is do I value a business relationship with this company where “they know me and I know them“?

Many help desk providers today are more a virtual service providers making it difficult to talk to them on a direct, personal conversation level explaining your requirements and issues with the product or service.   Without building those direct, personal (yes .. a name of a person you can associate with that company or product), you might find yourself churning through new help desk systems since the new commodity model does not offer that beneficial business relationships you experienced from vendors you came to know and trust.  Most software products and services companies today are purposefully structured to prevent building personal business relationships.

Research, purchase and migrate wisely

We talk to Web+Center clients who have planned a migration to another help desk ticketing package that they have purchased but migration, acceptance and complexity of a new ticketing system turns into a much longer process than planned.  They often continue to use our product for many months even years beyond their planned switch over date use to migration complexities.  With the new commodity approach to help desk software selection, IT decision makers may not feel it is necessary to allocate the required time and resources to migrate successfully.   When evaluating any mission critical software like help desk, it is valuable to decide if you need to develop that personal business relationship for a product. If so, then make that part of your software selection process.

At Internet Software Sciences we strive to personally connect to each of our clients to better understand their issues and requirements.   That personal connection gives us valuable insight for product development and we better understand the environments that you use the product in daily.