Running a successful help desk requires not only skilled technical workers but a good software package to keep them organized. A system of logging and tracking work orders is an absolute must, but additional resources like inventory management, software license tracking, and even maintaining a how-to database are excellent ways to keep your support techs on top of things. BMC's Track-It! offers all this and more.
Installation and Pricing
Track-It! has two main components: A server-based central host running a SQL database, and individual technician clients. First, you need to install it on a server running IIS. This is so that you can make use of the web-based options for users to enter their own work orders. The technician client must be installed on the PC of each licensed technician, and they will have individual logins.
The resources required to run Track-It! mainly depend on the number of users and how many work orders are accumulated. The database size will continually grow as you add new users and work orders, so make sure you have a server with adequate space available. The program itself is not particularly taxing, as in memory it uses about 150 megs on our system, plus the resources used by SQL. It would be ideal to have a dedicated server for it, but in a pinch, you don't have to unless performance degradation becomes an issue.
Pricing for this package depends on what modules you get, how many licensed users there will be, and several other factors so it's difficult to give a general price without considering many options. My office pays several thousand dollars a year in licensing but we also have some upgraded add-ons that drive up that price.
The work order system, called Help Desk, is the real core of Track-It's many offerings, as everything ties back into it. You can create custom category types like Hardware or Software to help organize your work orders, assign technical levels for different tiers of support, and even set up Service Level Agreement conditions.
A requestor's name is the first box to fill out on a work order, and thankfully this software can tie right into Active Directory to maintain a list of all your users. Combine that with the network scanning capability of the inventory system and this means you rarely have to manually key in new users or equipment for work order tracking. A box is provided to write a description of the problem, and technicians can add notes as the work order is being handled.
The system also lets you build custom templates for frequent requests like setting up new users, resetting passwords, installing printers, and so on. This allows technicians to quickly complete work orders without having to manually enter the same information repeatedly. Most help desk managers know that getting the technicians to log everything they do can sometimes be a continually nagging request, so the templates are especially helpful.
When a ticket is ready to be closed, there is a resolution section which lets you detail what was done to fix a problem and any additional resources used. This makes for great reference material later if you have a recurring issue and need to know what another technician did to resolve the matter. Additionally, a Solutions section allows for more detailed notes and makes for a great how-to resource, especially for new technicians.
At any given time, you can also run reports to see how many work orders are open, how many each technician has done, which departments are putting in the most requests, and so on. Track-It! includes dozens of built-in reports, complete with graphs, which are great for showing management what the IT department has been doing.
In addition to the core work order system, Track-It! also offers a detailed purchasing system which lets you maintain lists of vendors, keep up with who ordered what, where software/hardware has been installed, and more. Through customization, you can build up your own specialized database to suit your needs or go with the built-ins to save time.
My employer already has a financial system in place that is used for managing purchases and inventory, so we don't fully use those modules in Track-It! because it would create unnecessary redundancy. We do, however, use the built-in network scanning ability to automatically locate computers and other equipment on the network and place them in inventory. This allows you to associate those items to work orders which makes for better tracking if you want to follow the troubleshooting history of a particular device. It also makes for a handy reference to locate the IP or MAC address of any network-enabled hardware.
I am quite pleased with Track-It! and recommend it for the features and ease of use, plus their customer support is helpful and responds quickly. If you're running a help desk, software such as this is essential to keeping up with work and this package goes above and beyond being a basic work order system.
Author's Note: My office has been running Track-It! for more than a decade. In October 2015, I went to the BMC headquarters in Houston, Texas and took a 3-day class which, after passing an exam, gave me the title of BMC Accredited Administrator for the Track-It! 11.x software. We currently have a license for 11 technicians including desktop support techs, systems analysts, and the IT manager.
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