ThinkHelpDesk.com is a full-featured, hosted help-desk application designed for ease of use and cost-effectiveness. This online ASP help desk can be used by both the technology and the maintenance departments to track service requests. The service sends an email to the appropriate tech when the client files the request and sends the client emails whenever the tech updates or closes the service ticket.
Pros: The solution is simple to use; it requires little if any training. Messages can be posted to the staff (such as a message about an upcoming server outage). A mass-email wizard allows the admin tech or maintenance staff to send out mass emails about problems or outages. Many useful hard-wire reports are included, such as the ability to print open and closed service tickets. The program also tracks assets if they are entered into the program. Because this is an ASP-type program, it requires no local server space, and backup and program maintenance are performed by ThinkTank HelpDesk. All the data from the help desk can be exported to Excel, so the admin user has an unlimited number of ways to look at the data and graph it if he or she chooses.
Cons: If the district Internet connection is down, users do not have access to the program.
Overall evaluation: The program’s price structure makes it fair to both large and small districts: You are charged by the number of buildings you use it in. Most districts use a help-desk program of some type; some are more expensive than ThinkTank HelpDesk, and not many are less. This simple-to-use help desk flows the way educators think, reducing the need for training and maximizing the effect this program will have on a school’s efficiency.
Retail price: $59 a month for the first location (school in a district) and $7.99 for each additional location (school in a district)
-- Joe Huber