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Web Help Desk and OS Support

Level 19

SolarWinds acquired Web Help Desk on Wednesday July 25.  We started selling it on Thursday the 26th.  That meant that we handed a brand new product to our sales team with very little time to train them.  For the short term, we chose to reduce the variety of OS's we support for the 30-day free evaluation period.  We did that to make it easier for the sales engineers to support the new product.  Variety is great, but we thought it more important that we be able to provide downloaders a great experience.  We chose Windows to start with because it was the most popular eval download for Web Help Desk.  We expect that we'll add back OS's to the evaluation as the internal team comes up to speed on the new product.

To be clear, we have not dropped MacOS support for existing customers.  And if an evaluator or new customer wants the Mac version, we immediately provide it for them. We had a couple of Sales reps who were confused and miscommunicated that we had ended support of Mac and Linux. NOT TRUE.  Seriously.  No such decision has been made. 

We are looking at OS and DB support going forward.  If there are some combinations that are really rare, we may discontinue in favor of moving faster on more popular platforms.  We take our relationship with our customers very seriously, so we'll be listening to feedback.  We can't always make everyone happy, but we try our best.  And you'll see that the product management team for Web Help Desk will remain engaged with customers via forums, email, and phone.  We'll also send out surveys from time to time.

We ask only that existing customers don't assume that things will be worse.  So far, we've lowered the price of the Pro edition.  And we're increasing the size of the engineering team.  We plan to deliver more features than ever before without changing the fundamental nature of the product.  It's a great product.  That's why we bought it.  We look forward to working with all of the Web Help Desk customers.

2 Comments
Level 13

Did you compare this product to Sunview Changegear Service Desk?  I'd be interested in understanding the pros and cons.

Level 21

I haven't yet seen the prices on the website like all of the other products, is this something that we should expect to see soon?

About the Author
"I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all..." (Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan). I was accidentally born as a Cajun from a small town in south Louisiana. Really far south. In fact, if you live south of where I grew up, then we are probably blood relatives. That it was an accident is indisputable because I grew up to be a geek reading science fiction and fantasy novels in a place where most people considered those genres only marginally more acceptable than the Communist Manifesto or the Satanic Bible (no offense to communists or Satanists).   I went to college to be an English major and accidentally stumbled across a psychology text among my girlfriend’s books and immediately fell in love with the cognitive psychology chapter. I loved it so much that I stuck with it until I got a Ph.D. from Rice University studying human memory. Note that this is cognitive psychology, not therapy or abnormal psychology. This is not an invitation to tell your non-SolarWinds troubles to me on Thwack.   Although I applied to many, many different universities in the U.S. and Canada, I ended up at LSU in Baton Rouge, which was more of a cosmic joke than an accident given that I’d been trying to escape the state all my life. I taught there as a professor for about 5 years before I realized that I was deeply bored and couldn’t imagine doing the same thing for 30+ years, which is what professors do. I realized that I wanted to get into the tech world because that’s where the other geeks were. Cognitive psychologists are fine folks, but you can’t count on them to take Battlestar Galactica or Buffy the Vampire Slayer seriously or to know an MMORPG from an RTS.   So I left LSU to work as a usability engineer for Compaq, which was possible only through the accident of a former colleague for Rice already working at Compaq. From there, I bopped through a series of jobs in the tech industry (IBM, BMC Software, NetIQ). I ended up at SolarWinds because I took a job at Winternals Software in Austin, only to have it bought by Microsoft a few months later. That our CEO was looking for product managers in Austin at just the moment that Microsoft was eliminating Winternals was just the latest happy accident. And that, my friends, was how I've ended up as the SVP of Product Strategy at SolarWinds. After 7 great years, I've moved on to other pursuits, but participation on thwack was a highlight of my time with SolarWinds.