I am a recent hire as the Technology Coordinator at a church in NC.
We employ maybe 15 people who are in the office frequently (daily) but employ a total of around 40-50 that are involved in day to day activities (preschool, sunday school, etc)
I find myself dealing with all of my tech questions running through the office manager, and I feel there is a more efficient way to do things.
My ultimate question is, does anybody know of any sort of software that could be used as a local ticket system? Users could open one up and I could keep track of all these things easier?
Since I’m a new hire (there’s never been someone in my position) I get many questions all the time.
Reagan, welcome to the community.
A good free option is Spiceworks. (Free IT Help Desk Software: Take control of IT support requests.). We have used it for 7+ years. There are some better ones out there that cost money, but this is a great free option that is definitely better than the current process you described.
I created my own database system for this function using Microsoft Access.
There are lots of great tools out there. It all depends on what features you need and what complexity you want to deal with. I’d start with the free hosted Spiceworks help desk while you figure out if it’ll do the job or not.
We setup an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that feeds our SpiceWorks ticketing system. Users don’t need to use a portal… just send an email! Simple for users.
We set these up for our clients all the time.
Helpscout is a good option. We used Kayako on-premise before as it was free for non-profits but moved over to Helpscout when Kayako stopped supporting on-premise. For non-profits with annual pricing you can get about 32% off the standard monthly plan or 10% off annual plans.
For just one mailbox with one staff but unlimited “customers”, it should be about $7.20/mth.
Before Kayako we used to manage tickets over email but once we reached a certain number of tickets per day we needed a system to help us better manage them and give us better visibility of the issues.
Why we went from free to paid? To future proof the deployment; only a small number of people knew how to maintain the free system and it is safer to outsource the maintenance. There were also maintenance costs involved in self-hosting (like electricity, hardware refresh, air-conditioning etc).
I would recommend a service like EZOfficeInventory (ask for non-profit pricing 10-20% off) to manage IT inventory (check-in check-out etc) and using a QR labeling system for the IT assets (Brother P-Touch PC-printer with EZOfficeInventory). Makes a IT Manager’s life a lot easier. Only the initial asset tagging is painful but after that blissful.
Another idea is to sign up for Office365 (free for non-profits) and use Microsoft Teams to manage tickets but will require all staff to use Office365.
We use Freshdesk. It’s free, has a smartphone app, is lite,you can forward an email address to it to create tickets and also allow web access to your staff thru it. I’ve used Spiceworks in the past as well. Both are free and good solutions. I use Spiceworks now for inventory polling.
Another vote for FreshDesk. It’s great.
We are a multi-site church and since we already had a hosting plan (ftp site) setup with GoDaddy for our podcasts and such we spun up an instance of OS Ticket and it has worked great across all of our campuses. It would also work great internally on a web server and there is no cost which is also a plus! Users can use a portal to input tickets or they can email their tickets to a support help desk email address which automatically creates a ticket.
I’m currently using Jira Service desk, which is super capable and also not terribly expensive for small teams – but my primary suggestion is to start with something super cheap and simple so you can better learn what your needs are.
We have been using spiceworks, and I have to say its a pretty diverse ticketing system for the price, ie free!
Another vote for Spiceworks cloud to start out and definitely setup an email address to automate ticket creation. Just this year moved off Spiceworks local after 4 years to OSTicket due to death by 1000 cuts, but the cloud version shouldn’t have any of those issues. Our move to OSTicket was due to size change (moving from one man helpdesk to 5 helpdesk members) and the ease of management/free hosting with our web host.
We use FreshDesk, free and easy to setup, cloud based. Works great. There is an app and API too. We point our helpdesk email address to it so that people can email tickets in rather than have to login to a portal
We switched over from spiceworks to Comodo One for ticketing and rmm. Loving it thus far.
We started out with Spiceworks (But understand how that model works. It’s free b/c they monetize your data - s/w & h/w warranty renewals, etc.) We outgrew Spiceworks Help Desk within a year and moved to FreshService (which is different than FreshDesk) We use it for AVL and IT Help Desk requests, but will soon move our Communications Department requests there as well.
We use FreshDesk currently (across multiple departments). It works pretty well, but the reporting is underwhelming (like really, really). I’ve though about FreshService. Wondering how others are handling reporting in FreshDesk?
Also, I’m paying for my licenses to FreshDesk, how is everyone getting them for free?
They have a free for non profits deal
They have “discounts” for non-profits - maybe they’ve offered free for certain size organizations before but we’ve always had to pay for licenses
We needed to upgrade to the next level to get better functionality with the product across multiple departments so we opted for their https://freshservice.com product
We use webhelpdesk from Solar Winds. It’s not the prettiest but it’s actually pretty affordable (even though it’s from Solar Winds). $400-500 for non profits for each technician license (one time payment) plus a recurring annual fee of $128 per license. They also have a free version that can be used by one technician. I am not sure if the free version includes asset management, though.