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SolarWinds Announces SolarWinds Web Help Desk

Product Manager

At SolarWinds, we believe one of our differentiators vs. other companies out there is the fact we have such a strong user community, and we listen to that community.  With that being said, I am excited to talk about an acquisition we just announced, Web Help Desk.

Personally, I am very excited about this acquisition.  A Help Desk offering has been requested by our customers for a while now and we finally found the right product that represents what we expect in a SolarWinds product.  There are tons of help desks out there that we could have acquired, but what makes me excited about this one is how it started and why it was built in the first place.

For those of you who have been around SolarWinds long enough, you know that we started with Engineer’s Toolset, which was written by our founder when he was a network consultant to help make his own job easier.  He shared it with other engineers where he worked, and they loved it too.  They told him he should sell his tools and SolarWinds was born.

The story with Web Help Desk is very similar.  The founder worked for a K-12 school district and was looking for a IT Help Desk product, but all of the products available were too hard to use, set up or manage, or were way too expensive, or were offered as software-as-a-service, for which he would have to pay recurring annual costs, basically re-buying the product each year, which was a problem for a school with a limited IT budget.  So what did he do?  He decided to build one himself and then decided to start selling it as well, creating Web Help Desk.

Web Help Desk fits perfectly into the SolarWinds family of products.  I highly encourage you to go and check it out.  The two pages I recommend are:

  1. Feature Page - This page walks through all the features that are available in the product.  This is not only a ticketing system, but also has features for IT Asset Management, Knowledge Base, Change Approval/Change Management and much, much more.
  2. Online Demo & Download Page - where you can check out an online demo and if you wish, download a fully-featured 30 day evaluation, which you can get to from here.

Here is a screenshot from the online demo of the dashboard, which is fully customizable.  Tell us what you think, we would love to hear your feedback.

which you can get to from here.


Dashboard.png

7 Comments
MVP
MVP

You tell a good story, sir.

MVP
MVP

Tight integration into the other SolarWinds solutions is something I am looking forward to. (Dont judge me!)

Any plans you can share at this point?

Product Manager
Product Manager

No plans to share at this point, we are working on the roadmap now since the acquisition just happened Wednesday.  We are planning a customer survey to their existing customer base to see what enhancements they would like to see going forward, but SolarWinds integration with other product is on our strategic list.

So let me ask you this.  What does a tighter integration mean to you?  What would you like to see?

Level 7

Hi Brandon, I'm wondering what, say, Orion integration might look like for a Trouble ticketing product like this? Maybe the ability to auto generate tickets based on orion flags?

Product Manager
Product Manager

I have ideas, but same as I asked to Dobbs, what would you like to see?

Level 12

How well does the product align with ITILv3, and does it integrate with Active Directory?

MVP
MVP

I have not had a chance to play with Web Help Desk so far and therefore the points below are focused on the Orion side of the fence.

As SolarWinds partners, here are some quick thoughts on issues we see through our customers:

  1. Alert action GUI to export alert event messages to Web Help Desk in consistent and structured way
    1. Inclusion of defined priority levels
    2. Mapping of Custom Property fields, as these are often used for hierarchical filtering of messages into Help Desk solutions
      1. For example we often configure for our customers the use of variable driven email addresses that are populated from the Custom Property value against each Node.
  2. Two way communication to allow for ID references to be synchronised between the two platforms. This will ensure that Reset actions can auto close issues in Web Help Desk
    1. This will need to include some ruleset creation to ensure that only certain alerts can be auto closed without requiring manual review within Web Help Desk
  3. The ability to have continued information update the ticketing system would be nice, so where utilisation values and performance metrics change, these can be updated into the ticket to allow the support staff to have up to date information as the ticket progresses
  4. Web page integration into Orion web interface showing
    1. Standard dashboard information display; Current Active Tickets, New tickets today, closed today etc.
    2. Node Detail level data to allow the history of tickets to be displayed for that specific node
      1. Filter functionality would be important here
  5. Data enrichment between platforms, such as Inventory data collected by Orion NCM
  6. Synchronisation of Custom Properties, as these structures would often be aligned between an NMS, CMDB and Help Desk solution

Mark

About the Author
I have currently been at SolarWinds for a little over three years and have been in the IT technology field for about 10 years either as an Engineer/IT Admin or working for a software company to help makes those folks lives easier.  I graduated from Texas A&M University with an MIS degree from the Business School and have been in Austin for about 8 years.