Free Help Desk Software Struggles with Scalability.
Summary: Free help desk software packages are available from a number of companies. Often motivated to offer their solutions for free as a way to entice you to give their services a try or as a way to gather data on large amounts of computer users that then can be sold for a profit.
Free helpdesk packages by companies like Polar Software offer solutions available for free. Their software Free Polar Help Desk 4 is available for free, even for commercial use, for the first seat license. The company stays in business by selling additional licenses to customers. They’re so confident of their free helpdesk that they offer the first $240 license at no-cost, believing that you’ll then purchase additional seats.
Polar free helpdesk software is generous when it comes to that first license. Without even having to register you’ll get free updates, patches and fixes along with customer support. Polar Help Desk also offers an interesting demo you can try from their site – but I could only get it to work in Internet Explorer. (Polar Help Desk Demo)
One of the risks when using free help desk software is certainly the scalability. An IT manager named Brian M. in Nashville had recently come to a company for what he thought was his dream job. The company was well known, he was making a good salary and benefits and he had hit it off with the CIO right away. After relocating his family to Nashville and buying a new home, he was certainly committed to the job. On the first day, he realized what would become his greatest challenge. The company had employed free helpdesk software. The package was skimpy on features, had terrible reporting and required a great deal of work to rewrite its open source code. The free helpdesk software they were using just didn’t fit the company’s needs.
Have you ever had a job where you discovered a real problem on the very first day? Within 2 hours of sitting down at his new desk, the IT manager realized that the free web helpdesk software the company was using was a serious problem. So, he faced a hard decision right off the bat, how to go to his brand-new boss and convince him to purchase new software package. There was an obvious need to replace an ineffective free help desk that his predecessor had oversold as an acceptable solution.
Brian developed a strategy to note every time the free web helpdesk software actually cost the firm money. What looked good on paper wasn’t scalable enough to efficiently meet the company’s needs and Brian saw examples time after time. He developed a spread sheet tracking lost time, frustrated stakeholders and lost revenue.
Free web based help desk software may work for some businesses, but Brian’s company needed something more robust. And by noting the free software’s true cost, he was able to demonstrate why the company needed to make a software upgrade. In the end, the CIO came to the conclusion himself and Brian was assured a spot on the steering committee vetting the next help desk software.
The free help desk software was Brian’s first test and gave him the opportunity to shine in the new role.