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TOPdesk Review 44 of 97
Review: "TOPdesk - A potentially great product currently burdened by a handful of shortcomings"
https://www.trustradius.com/it-service-management-itsmTOPdeskUnspecified8208101
Bob Gruett profile photo
Updated April 19, 2018

Review: "TOPdesk - A potentially great product currently burdened by a handful of shortcomings"

Score 6 out of 101
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Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with TOPdesk

Pre-sales support was decent, but the onboarding was not so helpful. This was due mainly to the fact that it was delivered in the form of a series of information-heavy tutorials that were too overwhelming too early on. I also found the online documentation somewhat lacking, as it was often written for a different version of TOPdesk than the one I was using.

The support site is pretty good, and makes it very easy to report and get updates on problems (they utilize their own engine to drive the site). The one drawback I ran into was tickets being closed with the assumption that the recommended resolution was one I was familiar with, requiring no in-depth explanations or background info. This meant re-opening many tickets in order to get clarification on an answer, or to ask a follow-up question.
When fully implemented, TOPdesk will be used across my whole organization. It will be primarily used to manage ticketing (help desk, maintenance, etc...), as well as to provide a nice front-end for the user community.

We also hope to implement the project management and change control modules in the near future.
At the moment, no users use TOPdesk, as we are still in the deployment phase.
  • Provides a very nice front-end interface for the end-user community.
  • Provides a thorough web-based interface for the operators (back-end technicians).
  • Provides a great deal of flexibility concerning the organization of operators into groups, as well as delegating very granular control over what they can/cannot do in the operators interface.
  • The inventory system - while boasting some cool features such as historical modifications to a system - suffers from one core issue: It is very easy to introduce duplicate records into the system and lose connections between PCs and other objects (licenses, users, support tickets) due to TOPdesk's use of the host name as the primary key in their database.
  • The AD import system is not properly fleshed out, and requires extensive modifications by TOPdesk before it will work. For instance, it won't pull in any addressing information for any of your users by default. It will also pull in blank entries if an account lives in the OU structure you're scanning and that account has a manager whose account lives outside the OU structure in question. Likewise, similar blank entries can be created if an Exchange contact is set as the manager of a user account within your OU.
  • The knowledgebase is decent, but it lacks [A] any real formatting (no numbered or bulleted lists, making procedures difficult to write) and [B] granular control over who can do what (if you give someone in HR the ability to write/edit knowledgebase articles, they also have access to all the IT knowledgebase articles). I believe TOPdesk will be improving this approach in the future, but nothing yet.
  • The trigger/action system (handles all email notifications) is very difficult to set up. It's a powerful system in that you can compose highly customized emails, but without any sort of basic guide or templates it's a very steep learning curve to get working. In my own system I have nearly 40 triggers and nearly 70 actions just to handle who should get what, and it took months to set up - a core reason it took so long to roll out the product. These triggers are not well documented either, so many of them require trial and error to the nth degree.
  • Some aspects of the system are inherently broken. For instance, you can create a trigger to trip whenever someone posts a comment to a ticket, then have an action set up to email all the linked users of a ticket. But if there aren't any linked users then the operator gets a post-comment prompt asking who they want to send the email to, instead of the system being smart enough to know that it shouldn't try sending the email at all.
  • Linked users have no visibility into someone else's ticket. This is odd, because TOPdesk has enabled this feature for [A] users of the same location (where it isn't always applicable) and/or [B] users of the same department (where again, it isn't always applicable). What TOPdesk should do is give *ANY* linked user the ability to see another user's ticket via the self-service portal, but they haven't done this. The result would be a linked user getting an email notification for a ticket which they don't have visibility on, resulting on additional emails back and forth looking for information.
  • On a related note, the two existing visibility options listed above (location-based and department-based) can introduce security holes. Consider a handful of users at a single location or within a single department, then consider that two or three of them are basic users, then there is an assistant manager, and finally there is a manager above everyone. You can easily give the manager visibility of all of his/her subordinates' tickets, but if in order to give the assistant manager visibility over his/her subordinates, you must also give him/her visibility to the manager's tickets.
  • The mobile operators site restricts ticket visibility to only [A] an operator's own tickets and [B] unassigned tickets within that operator's group. So if you have a 10-person support team with a single manager, then as soon as the manager assigns at ticket to one of his/her techs, the manager loses visibility of the ticket. This is especially problematic if you have a manager working in the field on a mobile device 100% of the time (as I do). The only way for the manager to see all tickets is to simply not assign them to anyone, a pretty dumb approach to a problem introduced as part of a poor design choice.
  • As a general rule, TOPdesk has introduced many great ideas, but they are often burdened by the singular approach the TOPdesk designers have taken. As stated above, yes, you have an inventory, but it's borderline unusable because of their choice of primary keys. Or yes, you can link multiple users to a single ticket, but they can't actually SEE the ticket. Or an operator can use the mobile website, but they can't SEE tickets assigned to other members of their team within the mobile website. Things like that. And the most frustrating element is that when you bring these points up their response is almost always 'Why is that a problem?', or 'Why would you want to do it that way?', or something similar which avoids confronting the design issue head on in favor of putting the onus on the customer to justify why something should work the way it works in countless other help desk applications.
  • Don't get me wrong - TOPdesk is a very decent product and has the potential to be GREAT - but after 8 months of prepping before we turned it on, it didn't surprise me in the least that so many individuals (operators) in our organization reported problems and frustrations with it.
  • UPDATE: Since my first review we have upgraded TOPdesk to the latest version and found several previous problems have been fixed (so they no longer appear in this review). One such example was documents attached to KB articles, which show up out of alphabetical order (still a problem), but which previously were not returned during searches. They now are, making the misordering of the files not much of a problem any longer.
  • The point is that TOPdesk is always improving their products, and this gives me great hope going forward that our satisfaction with it will only grow.
  • Very negative in terms of the amount of time spent just getting the product ready for implementation. As stated earlier, the prep to get the system ready took about 8 months, and now that we're live we're still fixing AD import issues and not using the inventory system due to its poor implementation.
  • Can't speak to any positive ROI yet because we're not live, though I expect that the knowledgebase will be of some help.
Absolutely great if you want to provide a nice interface to your end-user community. Also, pretty good ticket management. Decent (not great) form designer.

Horrible if you want to use inventory, write elaborate knowledgebase procedures, or set up any sort of intelligent email notification system without spending years of your life getting things set up. Very poor documentation (getting SSL set up was a chore, installing the product was not easy, etc...).

TOPdesk Feature Ratings

Organize and prioritize service tickets
7
Expert directory
Not Rated
Service restoration
Not Rated
Self-service tools
Not Rated
Subscription-based notifications
Not Rated
ITSM collaboration and documentation
Not Rated
ITSM reports and dashboards
Not Rated
Configuration mangement
Not Rated
Asset management dashboard
1
Policy and contract enforcement
Not Rated
Change requests repository
Not Rated
Change calendar
Not Rated
Service-level management
Not Rated