Supremely useful AND it's free? Yes, please!
June 16, 2014
Supremely useful AND it's free? Yes, please!
Score 10 out of 10
- Help Desk
Overall Satisfaction with Spiceworks
Spiceworks is currently used by the IT department to track help desk tickets and manage PC/server/printer inventory. Users submit trouble tickets via email which generates a ticket within Spiceworks and notifies all IT staff. This process helps prioritize IT tasks based on existing issues and IT staff availability, track trending issues, as well as improve user satisfaction. The scanning/inventory function allows IT staff to view information about a user's PC (software installed, serial number, IP address, etc.) without being physically present. The built-in remote control (RDP) feature is especially helpful.
- The inventory scanning feature has been extremely useful. Because our PC naming convention is based on the serial number, figuring out who a particular PC belongs to can be a challenge. However, the inventory within Spiceworks automatically detects the PC and documents a ton of useful information - serial number, PC name, last logged in user, software installed, hardware configuration and IP address.
- The help desk function is our most frequently used area of Spiceworks. Users can simply send a message to a specific email address and Spiceworks automatically generates a ticket. Each IT staff member is notified and based on who is available or has particular expertise in the user's issue, they can assign the ticket to themselves or admins can assign the ticket to a particular technician. Each ticket includes areas to track time spent on the issue, purchases made (including item, vendor, price), make notes that are visible only by IT staff for documentation purposes, and respond directly to the user. Ticket information is searchable which is especially helpful when researching a problem that has come up in the past.
- We don't use the reporting feature very frequently, but when we do we are always pleased. The canned reports cover a lot of common needs, but if you need a custom report, it is easy to create your own from scratch.
- The help desk does not allow you to add time spent to tickets after they've been closed. The Spiceworks app does, however.
- The Tickets Anywhere hashtag (#) commands either work very slowly or only sometimes.
- The inventory view will randomly switch between icon and browse views instead of keeping the last setting.
- By implementing the direct ticket submission via email, we have seen a significant increase in user compliance with the help desk process. Instead of users emailing or calling an IT tech directly (who may or may not be in the office or know how to solve their problem), the ticket system streamlines the support process and significant reduces the amount of time it takes to address a user's issue. It also helps reduce the potential of an issue getting lost or forgotten about.
- Utilization of the information stored in the inventory area, we can save a lot of time by not having to visit the user's computer personally or ask the user directly about software installed, amount of RAM, model of PC, etc.
With each upgrade of Spiceworks, I enjoy working with it that much more. As I continue to browse and/or participate in the Spiceworks community forums, I learn that much more about how to approach difficult or tricky problems and to do a better job for my users in general. I look forward to using the program for a long time.
Spiceworks can be used by the smallest of offices to large enterprise environments. While very large networks may need some additional features, Spiceworks easily covers all the necessities and helps keep everything managed and organized. All that is necessary to deploy is a no-frills computer connected to the network - doesn't even need to be a server. This could easily run in the background on a standard machine. Occasionally there are issues with blocked ports that prevent the automatic scan feature, but this is easily remedied through Group Policy or a local install of a small fix-it application. The Spiceworks community forum is a priceless resource of information both specific to Spiceworks as well as general IT questions and concerns. Any issues you may have with installation or use of Spiceworks can probably be resolved by searching through the forum or posting a new thread. The Spiceworks users around the globe are always very willing to help out a fellow Spicehead in need!