Find the Best ServiceNow Alternatives for Helpdesks and IT Ticketing Solutions

A complete guide to employee help desk and IT ticketing solutions that are strong alternatives to ServiceNow.

If you’re currently searching for your next ticketing and IT operations system, it’s likely that ServiceNow is on your shortlist to consider. ServiceNow is a service management software company offering robust and feature-rich service desk solutions broadly applicable across multiple departments from IT, HR, to CS/field service.

In addition to ServiceNow, what are some of the alternatives that you should be considering?

This guide will walk you through ticketing solutions that help everyone in the company be more productive. No matter if you’re a company of 5 agents or 5000+ employees, this guide will help you quickly get a clear picture of your best ticketing options to meet your needs going forward.

Read on to learn about:

ServiceNow – The Basics

Let’s start out by answering: why do companies choose ServiceNow?

ServiceNow offers service management software under the NOW platform targeting enterprise users across IT, HR, customer and field service. Their product focuses on scaling service and ticketing operations quickly by leveraging AI capabilities to “bridge the gap between traditional IT and modern business needs” through ITSM, business management, asset management, DevOps, and security/compliance.

While offering a robust solution, the feature-laden product may be under-utilized by IT teams for the heavy price tag, with long integration time frames to implement at scale, posing barriers to rapid deployment. A less-than-intuitive UX can also mean a steeper learning curve and longer ramp up time across teams.

Features:

  • ITSM, business management, asset management, DevOps, security & compliance 
  • Identification and triage
  • AI-based categorization, routing, prioritization
  • Integrate “with anything” to import/export data

Pros:

  • Robust IT feature set native to platform 
  • Incumbent enterprise tool 
  • Strong in AI/ML automation
  • Highly customizable 

Cons:

  • Long integration time frames
  • Features sold at a premium may be overkill for IT 
  • Complex UX 
  • High learning curve 

Benefits of ServiceNow

Below are some key features that initially attract many customers to ServiceNow.

Everything you need for Customer Service and IT teams

ServiceNow enables digital workflows to drive business growth, increase resilience, and enhance employee productivity across IT, HR, Customer and Field Service teams. The solution is ITIL-certified and can be further customized for an organization’s needs with automations.

NOW platform with AI

The NOW platform is proclaimed “the intelligent and intuitive platform for work” – powerful workflow engine with native AI – single unified platform for service offering three tracks of “workflows” for IT, Employees (HR), and Customers.

  • IT Workflows: bridge the gap between traditional IT and modern business needs with ITSM, business management, asset management, DevOps, security/compliance.
  • Employee Workflows: boost productivity with employee service delivery with HR service delivery and ITSM.
  • Customer Workflows: drive fierce customer loyalty with connected workflows for CSM, FSM, and ITSM.

Automatically identify & resolve issues

ServiceNow identifies and triages critical issues by proactively identifying similarities across open incidents or cases. Users can categorize, route, and prioritize to reduce manual work and errors with supervised ML using historical data to automatically classify tasks, incidents, and cases at scale.

Natively integrate “with anything”

With ServiceNow, companies can import data from their current software into their ServiceNow applications and export information to their software. Users can easily import/export data and quickly connect to existing systems both on premises and in the cloud to easily create end-to-end digital workflows.

Highly customizable

ServiceNow offers integrations for over 50+ SaaS services like CMDB, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, User Administration, and Single Sign-on solutions.  If the native plug-ins do not solve your needs, your organization can also create custom plug-ins, integrations and apps using a powerful REST API.

ServiceNow Limitations

ServiceNow has a number of limitations that keep it from being the perfect ticketing and operations solution. The feature-laden product poses up-front costs out of reach for many smaller companies – further burdened by configuration complexities and less-than-intuitive UX adding to training burdens. Below are the top 5 biggest drawbacks.

Implementation and integration is costly and time-consuming

ServiceNow requires extensive complex integrations to deploy at scale and making changes is difficult. Teams are often met with costly setbacks, outsized risks, and disappointing adoption rates due to the customization and additional development required. Be ready to invest time to review the internal process in order to best implement at scale. Organizations often bring in third-party consultants due to the complex nature of deployment which adds additional cost and time to adoption.

UX clouded by complexity

The ServiceNow user interface is highly structured and non-initiative. Complex navigation pane, limited search capabilities, and unappealing UI, frustrate users and poses a high learning curve/training burden. Simple tasks like reviewing old tickets to search for a specific incident are difficult. Generally, the UI is very hard to navigate as a basic user, and the limited access for basic users frustates support teams. The interface features of ServiceNow ITSM make it hard for IT support to understand the problem and communicate with users effectively.

Too many features can be overwhelming

Most IT teams will not need the full functionality that ServiceNow offers. The extra features can feel like overkill to IT teams and overwhelming to end users. This can result in IT teams spending more time onboarding and training in order to ensure processes are completed correctly and successfully.

Too expensive for cost-sensitive organizations

ServiceNow has a large price tag, due to its per-agent tiered pricing model and monthly upcharge for asset management features. Although it has a lot of features, the cost may not be worth it if you don’t need to leverage all of the functionality. The cost can also easily rack up as your team grows. For organizations that are cost-sensitive, ServiceNow may not provide the best value.

Aimed at large enterprises

In addition to its price tag and feature list, ServiceNow is also focused on large enterprises (currently 6000+) who are focused on digital transformation. Their unexpected appointment of Bill McDermott as CEO in November 2019, who departed SAP after leading a long period of growth, sets them up with even further credentials in the enterprise IT space. There is a density of options and workflows, with no option for small teams to create a more tailored UI for their targeted needs.

Best Alternatives for ServiceNow

ServiceNow alternatives for the mid-market and enterprise

  1. atSpoke
  2. Zendesk
  3. Jira Service Desk
  4. Freshservice
  5. Spiceworks
  6. BMC – Remedy

ServiceNow alternatives for SMB and Startups

  1. Freshdesk
  2. Zoho Desk
  3. Help Scout
  4. Kayako

ServiceNow add-on products for the mid-market and enterprise:

  1. Aisera
  2. Moveworks

Best ServiceNow Alternatives for Mid-Market and Enterprise Companies

ServiceNow issues experienced by mid-market and enterprise companies: For enterprise and mid-market companies, ServiceNow poses some significant challenges that fall into two main categories:

  1. UX clouded by complexity and limits efficiencies 
  2. Integration is costly and time-consuming

UX clouded by complexity and limits efficiencies

The ServiceNow user interface is highly structured and non-initiative. Users report difficulty finding what they need – requests, incidents, approval for requests. In addition, the lack of customizable views based on user type increases confusion. Complex navigation pane, limited search capabilities, and unappealing UI, frustrate users and poses a high learning curve/training burden. Simple tasks like reviewing old tickets to search for a specific incident are difficult. 

Generally, the UI is very hard to navigate as a basic user, and the limited access for basic users frustates support teams. The interface features of ServiceNow ITSM make it hard for IT support to understand the problem and communicate with users effectively.

Implementation and integration is costly and time-consuming

ServiceNow requires extensive complex integrations to deploy at scale and making changes is difficult. Teams are often met with costly setbacks, outsized risks, and disappointing adoption rates due to the customization and additional development required. Be ready to invest time to review the internal process in order to implement at scale. The mobile app has limited capabilities and doesn’t allow enough customization on how the tickets are viewable on your mobile devices to take action.

Organizations often bring in third-party consultants due to the complex nature of deployment and integration with other systems, which adds additional cost and time to adoption. 

So where should enterprise and mid-market companies turn for a more robust ticketing alternative? Let’s start out by examining atSpoke.

1. atSpoke

atSpoke is a modern workplace operations platform built to ITIL standards that helps businesses scale by giving every employee what they need to be their most productive. The product is purpose built to work with a company’s existing SaaS toolset, allowing IT teams (as well as HR and Operations) to get more done fluidly right where they work and resolve requests faster within one central command center, backed by intuitive ticketing, a dynamic knowledge base, and end-to-end machine learning. 

atSpoke allows for 5x faster ticket resolution and resolves 40% of tickets automatically through AI-driven workflows and conversational interfaces. IT agents are freed up while employees get convenient and immediate self-help in the tools they already use with conversational omnichannel experiences that allow organizations to unlock their workforce’s productivity and move work forward faster.

Why atSpoke Is the better alternative to ServiceNow

atSpoke outpaces other ticketing systems thanks to: 

  • Highly-intuitive UI, along with agent-assist features designed to accelerate agent productivity 
  • Personalized, conversational and accessible ticketing available wherever your employees are 
  • Uniquely-capable AI features with zero out-of-the-box setup and advanced NLU that learns in just two tries
  • More affordable pricing for today’s enterprise (and those aspiring to get there!)

Highly-intuitive UI designed to accelerate agent productivity by reducing clicks and  eliminating manual work. 

It’s never been easier for employees to make requests, and it’s never been easier for agents to move quickly through tickets –– giving everyone more time to focus on the highest value work. Thanks to atSpoke’s intuitive, modern, and connected platform, employees have convenient access to the knowledge and services they need –– when they need it. Agents also have a centralized “command center” that empowers them to resolve tickets faster with context from disparate systems (i.e., user profiles, user responses, and assets), access points to trigger events in integrated tools (i.e., SSO), and automated AI-powered answers. Tickets are also synced in real time across email, chat, and web, reducing the need for context switching. 

How intuitive is the UI? No training is required for support teams in IT or support teams that are less familiar with traditional ticketing processes like HR, Marketing, Sales Ops, Design and Office Management.

Built from the group up to deliver personalized and accessible conversational help where your employees are 𑁋 Slack, Microsoft Teams, email, SMS –– through AI-powered and personalized conversations

Your organization will move faster when you leverage the power of AI in your ticketing system or help desk. With atSpoke, AI provides automated answers in a personalized way and uses AI to complete repetitive and mundane agent tasks. When an employee reaches out with a question, atSpoke uses natural language understanding (NLU) to auto-answer with a response based on that person’s profile for any routine question already addressed in the Knowledge Base. This deflects routine questions via AI to preserve time and resources without sacrificing a relevant, personalized touch. atSpoke then automatically updates Knowledge Base content as questions are answered, applying machine learning to answers for next time. For complex questions that do require human intervention, AI can help escalate, route and tag the best available expert at that moment, further prioritizing the most efficient service and scaling support across the business. 

Robust out-of-the-box capabilities happily adopted by IT and HR, Customer Success, Legal, Finance, and more 

Your organization can get up and running with atSpoke in days, instead of months. The familiar, intuitive and polished interface reduces the need to invest technical resources in complex configurations, removes the need for instructions or training, and eliminates barriers to employee adoption. Without a learning curve, your entire organization will be able to jump in and experience the benefits immediately. Even machine learning requires zero out-of-the-box setup, and it gets smarter with every agent conversation. atSpoke’s Slack integration is seamless and leverages the full extent of the features you’re already used to: forms, buttons, threads, notifications, and actions. The robust capabilities do not need to be unlocked by  IT staff dedicated to configuring the instance; atSpoke is designed for usability and engineered for speed.

Features:

  • Workplace operations platform with AI weaved end-to-end
  • Personalized auto-resolution with AI-driven self-service
  • Automatic triage, routing, tagging and escalation with load balancing 
  • Intuitive, conversational ticketing through advanced workplace request NLU model
  • Integrated Knowledge Base with automatic updates
  • Rich, customizable reporting and analytics 
  • Audit of auto-resolved requests 
  • Central command system to unify disparate systems 
  • Trigger events in other systems 
  • Transfer tickets to another system
  • Control who has access to what information 
  • Powerful API for further extensions 

Pros:

  • Built to ITIL standards
  • Personalized, intuitive service 
  • Modern, user-friendly UI speeds work 
  • No training needed 
  • Out-of-the-box AI/ML/NLU
  • Auto-resolution, issue deflection savings from day 1 
  • Visibility of every workflow
  • Intelligent routing to the right agent
  • Get started in days, not months

Cons:

  • Does not primarily focus as much on external-facing customer service operations
  • Main use cases enable IT and HR teams with tasks such as managing a service desk, streamline ticketing, employee onboarding and knowledge base management
  • Chat-first interface with native usability and functionality focused around in Slack and Microsoft Teams
  • Geared towards IT and HR teams relying on chat as the main interface to manage processes day and streamline workflows 

Customer Review Ratings:

  • G2: 4.5/5 stars
  • Capterra: 4.7/5

Customer Interviews:

More Information: atspoke.com 

2. Zendesk

Zendesk is a customer service/support platform aiming to improve omnichannel customer experience by reducing resolution time of support issues. Primary users are customer service agents, marketing and sales teams as well as IT responsible for fielding numerous requests for support. In addition to the service desk tool, support offerings are divided into three levels: basic Support, Support Suite or Custom-Built. Some of the features available at the higher tiers include tracking and prioritizing requests, knowledge base for “smart” self-service, and live chat/messaging/voice to unify omnichannel operations. The Sales Suite offers the “Sunshine” CRM, analytics and reporting and community forums for external-facing customer operations. Founded in 2007 in Copenhagen, Zendesk has grown into a Silicon Valley success story now publicly-traded and with a customer base of over 150K worldwide.

Features:

  • Seamless omnichannel integration across web, mobile, email, social
  • Ability to set up custom routing workflows for your needs
  • Offers visibility into relevant customer context for agents
  • Access analytics tools to measure and improve customer service (ie. CSAT, NPS)
  • Ability to use 500+ apps in marketplace or build custom seamless integrations

Pros:

  • Omnichannel, customer-centric support
  • Single interface with full context 
  • Start in less than a day 
  • Automated ticketing & self-service
  • Consumer-like UI 
  • Highly customizable

Cons:

  • Lacking asset and change management out-of-the-box 
  • Not built for enterprise IT standards 
  • User-unfriendly experience 
  • Pricing is steep, with hidden costs 
  • Tagging and routing are hard to track
  • Tickets get easily lost 
  • Future direction seems to be CX, not IT 

3. Jira Service Desk

Jira Service Desk is an ITSM help desk ticketing software from Atlassian geared specifically for enterprise IT teams (many of whom already use sister product Jira) and officially ITIL-certified. While highly capable and extremely configurable, the complex UI and manual procedures can be intimidating and frustrating to end users – posing a barrier to usage and high training needs. The cumbersome nature of the tool often requires full-time staff to manage the instance. The ticketing process is still relatively manual, with Atlassian only recently moving to shore up conversational ticketing and AI capabilities through acquisitions. In May 2020, Jira Service Desk acquired the conversational ticketing solution Halp, which allows users to submit requests through Slack. 

Features:

  • Service delivery and collaboration with specific capabilities for ITSM processes of Request, Incident, Change, Problem Management, etc.
  • Request management, knowledge base, automation rules to escalate/assign tasks
  • Integrations with Atlassian products (Jira, Confluence, Opsgenie, Statuspage) to unify teams on a common platform 
  • Customizable to start with ITIL best practice templates out of the box and tailor to through app/integration ecosystem

Pros:

  • Jira is mainstay of agile development teams
  • ITIL-certified
  • Super configurable 

Cons:

  • Overly manual process: overly hands-on way to move projects across workflow stages, 
  • Cumbersome UX: cluttered, messy, non-intuitive UI look and feel intimidates new users and poses barrier to usage – adds burden of training and subject matter expertise to operate; even veteran agents need training to navigate it
  • Lacking 360° Documentation & Visibility: no integrated knowledge base (must be created manually first in Confluence – then linked to Jira Service Desk)
  • Behind in conversational ticketing/Slack: previous Slack app not fully-integrated – just acquired Halp in 2020 to bolter conversational ticketing; 
  • Lacking AI capabilities weaved throughout 
  • Requires dedicated staff to maintain the instance
  • Customization difficult with complex behind the scenes work required

More Information: www.atlassian.com/software/jira/service-desk 

4. Freshservice

Freshservice is a service desk software aimed at enterprise IT departments under the Freshworks portfolio of CRM and customer service products. (See section on sister product Freshdesk aimed at smaller companies and startups below). The product caters specifically to large IT organizations with complex workflows offering a robust feature set across the full scope of ITSM needs. The density of features however can overload the UI, leaving users confused and often causing more work for IT staff to course correct errors as a result. AI functionality (“Freddy”) is for IT staff usage only for reporting use cases vs enabling self-service for users. Automation features (rules-based) have been reported as prone to breaking, with IT staff often required to “teach” it how to do things which can defeat the time-saving benefits.

Features:

  • ITSM & IT project management
  • Incident/SLA/change management
  • Self-service portal, canned responses, auto-suggested articles
  • Knowledge base
  • Asset management 
  • Reporting & advanced analysis 
  • AI software “Freddy” with natural language processing – for reporting 
  • Configurable automation rules (auto-assign tickets, automate approvals)
  • Gamification-based incentives for IT staff 

Pros:

  • Enterprise tool and feature-rich
  • Capable of complex IT workflows
  • Change Management & Asset Management out of of the box

Cons:

  • Confusing UX causes errors and retraining
  • Upcharge for Asset Management (over 100 assets)
  • Automation features prone to breaking and require hands-on staff
  • AI limited to reporting only

More Information: https://freshservice.com/ 

5. Spiceworks Help Desk

While you might know Spiceworks as an IT professional industry association, they also offer free software for the IT helpdesk integrated with sister product Inventory for asset management and monitoring infrastructure in the Connectivity Dashboard. The helpdesk product focuses on ticket and task management with self-service, Active Directory integration, configurable roles and team collaboration options all available free with no admin or ticket number limit. But be warned that “free” means dealing with in-product ads that are invasive to the UX, and more sophisticated enterprise users are cautioned to fully vet that all needs are met with this solution –– because migrating off of Spiceworks later basically requires going back to square one.

Features:

  • Ticketing and task management
  • Self-service
  • AI functionality to analyze ticket patterns and flag potential problems and connect users with a relevant vendor to provide a solution
  • Active Directory integration
  • Integrated with Spiceworks ecosystem (Inventory asset management, IP Scanner tools)
  • Knowledge Base 
  • Configurable rules to auto-assign tickets
  • Multiple roles to limit what IT staff sees
  • Reporting & metrics 
  • Ticket collaboration
  • Multi-site support that roll up to master help desk 
  • Online or self-hosted options
  • No admin or ticket limit 

Pros:

  • Free 
  • Online or self-hosted options

Cons:

  • Clunky user experience
  • Reliability issues reported by users
  • Advertisements in-product detract from UX
  • Difficult to migrate off of without starting from scratch 
  • Can be difficult to integrate with non-Spiceworks tools 

More Information: spiceworks.com 

6. BMC Helix (formerly BMC Remedy)

BMC Helix (formerly BMC Remedy) is an ITSM solution for enterprise companies. Aligned with ITIL best practices out of the box, the product offers service management with AI and machine learning to deliver intuitive, consumer-like experiences across channels through integrated Digital Helix workspace for conversational support across Slack, chat, SMS and Skype. The product focuses on predictive service to create and resolve incidents faster through intelligent, context-aware, and proactive incident matching.They also offer lifecycle management features on the Knowledge Base to keep content fresh. However, redundant and mandatory multi-step fields and “click happy” requirements to file and close tickets are known to frustrate users looking for a faster way to progress through tasks with less friction at each step.

Features:

  • ITSM
  • AI / ML optimization 
  • Omnichannel conversational ticketing – Slackbot, Chatbot, SMS, and Skype
  • Predictive service management – auto-classification, assignment, and routing
  • Change, release, asset, configuration, SLA management
  • Multi-cloud service management 
  • Knowledge Base with lifecycle management 
  • Embedded multi-cloud capabilities to broker incidents, changes, and releases across cloud providers
  • Integrations with Jira / DevOps tools
  • Cognitive email analysis and automated actions 
  • Containerization
  • Out of the box ITIL best practices 
  • Customizable 
  • Reporting and automated insights 

Pros:

  • Aligned with ITIL
  • Omnichannel conversational support with AI 
  • Predictive service

Cons:

  • Clunky UX with redundant status boxes to close a ticket 
  • Excessive mandatory fields / required clicks can slow UX
  • Confusing error messages 
  • Limited search functionality 

More Information: bmc.com/it-solutions/remedy-itsm.html 

ServiceNow Desk Alternatives for SMBs and Startups

Issues that SMB’s and startups experience with ServiceNow:

Small-medium size businesses and startups run up against a different set of challenges with ServiceNow in two key areas: 

  1. Too many features for small organizations
  2. Too expensive for cost-sensitive teams

Too many features for small organizations

Most IT teams will not need the full functionality that ServiceNow offers. The extra features can feel like overkill to IT teams and overwhelming to end users. Rather than cramming in features that go unused, teams should opt for the features they need most to ensure an intuitive and streamlined experience.

Too expensive for cost-sensitive teams

ServiceNow has a large price tag due to its per-agent tiered pricing model and monthly upcharge for asset management features. Small teams will not find the cost worth it if they don’t need to use all of the features that are available. The cost can also easily rack up as your team grows. For organizations that are cost-sensitive, ServiceNow may not provide the best value.

So what solutions are out there for startups? In addition to the above solutions like atSpoke that cater to startups and enterprises alike in feature and pricing, below are four additional options to consider.

7. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a service desk solution under the Freshworks family of products, aimed at smaller companies with external-facing customer service oriented use cases vs. its enterprise IT sister product Freshservice (covered above). Freshdesk is focused on omnichannel, bot-based self-service for customers to streamline and automate repetitive inquiries with unique features like a “thank you detector” to help agents quickly skip past lower-priority inbound emails. However the lack of change, asset, and project management features could be a dealbreaker for certain IT teams.

Features:

  • Track and manage support inquiries from shared inbox
  • Collision detection to balance agent workload
  • Basic SLA management
  • Scenario automation
  • Canned responses
  • Ticket field suggestor 
  • Thank you detector
  • Knowledge Base
  • Self-service portal
  • Linked tickets
  • Parent-child ticketing
  • Omnichannel – web, email, chat, social, phone

Pros:

  • Easy to use interface
  • Small business friendly 
  • Free plan option with limited features 

Cons:

  • Designed for external-facing customer support vs. IT help desk 
  • No change, asset, project management 
  • Reporting lacking flexibility
  • Certain features (team dashboards, chatbot, social signals) only available at highest pricing tiers
  • Lacking ITIL-oriented feature set overall

 

More Information: freshdesk.com 

8. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk offers an IT help desk and service solution catered to small business teams. It offers a relatively thorough IT feature set available at a startup-friendly price point that includes self service, automation, and a “Zia” AI assistant to proactively triage support tickets, analyze customer sentiments, and spot anomalies in ticket traffic, along with VoIP. The system can meet some needs for smaller teams. However the lack of asset, change, and problem management features even in the “enterprise” tier product may rule it out for IT teams intent on building their system around ITIL practices.

Features:

  • Ticket management UI 
  • Self-service 
  • “Zia” AI contextual assistant
  • Sentiment analysis 
  • Automate repetitive activities – assignment, notification, escalations, SLA’s, workflows
  • “Multichannel” support – email, chat, voice 
  • Customized multi-brand help centers within a company 
  • Self-service embeddable plugin 
  • Knowledge Base
  • Integrations with Zoho products – CRM etc
  • Voice over IP (VoIP) 
  • Social media integration
  • Data analysis for managers monitoring customer interactions / SLA’s
  • “Blueprint” workflow feature (ie restrict status changes on tickets based on a path etc)
  • Agent collision avoidance 
  • “Peek view” to overlay ticket details over the ticket list

Pros:

  • Free plan up to 3 agents 
  • AI capabilities with automation 

Cons:

  • Lacking ITIL practices
  • No problem, change and asset management 
  • Gamification limited to community forums
  • Some dashboards lack extensibility 

More Information: zoho.com/desk/ 

9. Help Scout

HelpScout provides support software solutions aimed at startups supporting external customer inquiries. Beyond its lack of alignment to ITIL best practices, you won’t hear them use the term “help desk ticketing system” or even ticketing at all except when forced to draw comparisons to explain what their offering actually is. Help Scout instead deliberately positions themselves as “not ticketing” in favor of viewing all interactions as “conversations” that should be personalized and handled collaboratively. The product centers around shared inboxes to deliver personalized experiences informed by user profiles for context. Automation through if/then logic and collaboration features for IT teams include private notes, saved replies, collision detection and tagging to categorize items for automation and reporting. Overall, for startup IT managers that actually need a ticketing solution at the end of the day, this “non-ticketing” outlook may go against the grain a bit too much to get the job done effectively.

Features:

  • Shared team inbox to manage all chat, email and phone conversations 
  • User profile in sidebar for context 
  • “Beacon” live chat bot 
  • Private notes to @mention colleagues 
  • Saved replies to answer common questions “in only two clicks”
  • Bulk replies
  • Automate action via workflows with if/then logic
  • Collision detection
  • Tagging to categorize conversations for automation and reporting
  • Knowledge Base for self-service
  • CRM integration for user context 
  • Live chat routed to email with agents not available 
  • Reporting 
  • Integrations – Jira, Slack, Salesforce etc
  • Two-factor authentication, SSO, SAML
  • Customizable via developer tools and API
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Integration with CRM and applications (Salesforce, Twilio and Ringcentral)

Pros:

  • Startup-friendly pricing 
  • Easy to use interface 
  • HIPAA compliant – for healthcare-related companies 

Cons:

  • No ticketing numbers 
  • Not aligned to ITIL practices 
  • No asset management 
  • “Not ticketing” mentality goes against the grain of many IT teams
  • Potential issues with integrating with internal tools 

More Information: helpscout.com/ 

10. Kayako

Kayako offers customer service and help desk software aimed at startups. Similar to Help Scout, their concept centers on shared inboxes and conversations vs the IT ticketing paradigm to enable unified customer service. They do embrace the term “ticketing” but emphasize personalization by consolidating all agent-customer conversations across live chat, email and social with context to immediately respond. Like Help Scout and Zendesk, this is another non-ITIL customer service solution retrofit to IT use cases vs designed for them from the ground up. Some IT teams may find this only goes so far to meet their day to day needs.

Features:

  • Shared agent inboxes
  • Multichannel support – live chat, email, facebook and twitter
  • Self-help Knowledge Base
  • Smart search that understands real language
  • Auto-assign conversations to the best agents 
  • Live chat software
  • Canned responses
  • Collaboration tools
  • Tag conversations for faster handling
  • Private notes 
  • Communicate within the interface without switching windows 
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • View customer journeys and actions taken following the call (web page visits etc.) 
  • Analytics and reporting 
  • Customizable 

Pros:

  • Startup-friendly pricing 
  • Cloud and on-premise options 
  • Ecommerce integrations 

Cons:

  • Not aligned to ITIL practices 
  • Organization of help resources
  • Most integrations require third-party connector application

 

More Information: kayako.com/ 

ServiceNow Desk add-on products for the mid-market and enterprise

Because IT traditional ticketing systems lack native AI capabilities and natural language processing, startups like Aisera and Moveworks have created solutions to layer on top of ServiceNow and other ticketing systems to expedite workflows. These tools automate certain repetitive software-based tasks and are purchased in addition to a traditional ticketing system. 

Pros:

  • Adds a layer of natural-language processing to be applied on top of traditional ticketing systems
  • Helps to identify and route requests in plain English 
  • Automatically deduces systems to engage based on business workflows 

Cons: 

  • Resources needed to to implement with other solutions
  • Limited out-of-the-box integrations
  • Increased total cost of ownership 
  • Potential inaccurate workflows as the AI training data in support tickets is sparse

11. Aisera

Aisera is an AI-driven service solution for IT, HR, customer service, sales, facilities, and operations teams. Heavily focused on AI, Aisera labels their offering “AISM” or AI Service Management bringing NLP/NLU and conversational RPA to detect intent and automate support through AI consumer-like experiences that plug directly into existing company systems of record and offer predictive service. However, IT teams may be cautioned by reports that the product feature is still playing catch-up to close the gaps in what is offered out of the box, and customers have publicly stated the need to invest in more than Aisera alone for their ticketing needs.

Features:

  • “AISM” AI-driven service management
  • Advanced AI and conversational RPA
  • NLP and semantic NLU to power self-service
  • Automate multi-step conversations
  • Understand broader intent/sentiment
  • Automate repetitive inquiries/workflows in no-code workflow studio
  • Incident detection, prediction, and probabilistic service maps to predict outages autonomously
  • Integration with AWS, Atlassian, Salesforce, etc

Pros:

  • AI automation and intent-based features
  • Enterprise-level integrations 
  • Predictive service features 

Cons:

  • Limitations in certain out of the box features and configurability 
  • Limitations in casual intent filtering in conversation performance reporting 
  • Restricted roles/features to admin console users
  • Flagship customers publicly investing in other ticketing tools 
  • Auto-answer feature limitations can prompt additional phone call delaying service 
  • Limitations in administrative roles/controls, intent filtering 
  • Potentially disruptive testing and validation schedules customers required to align to 
  • Clunky reporting limitations (collecting raw data for visualization/automation) 

More Information: aisera.com

12. Moveworks

Moveworks offers AI-driven IT service solutions for both startups and large enterprises. Through AI software pre-trained on 75M IT tickets to refine its ML/NLU capabilities, the Moveworks bot aims to completely automate IT service auto-resolving issues without human intervention. Features include understanding conversational requests with no scripting/training required up front, automated routing and predictive service capabilities to proactively contact a user when locked out of an account.  However the standard eight-week deployment timeframe may rule Moveworks out for fast-moving startups that can’t wait this long, in addition to enterprise-grade pricing available only on request. And with certain flagship customers publicly providing testimonials for competitive solutions (such as Aisera), some companies may find that Moveworks does not hold as an end-to-end solution for all IT service needs.

Features:

  • Omnichannel, automated IT service 
  • Automated software/account/group access requests
  • Conversational AI for self-service
  • Pre-trained NLU, proprietary ML-based “collective learning” techniques
  • Semantic search to identify exact paragraph containing answer 
  • Deploy in 8 weeks, provision software in seconds 
  • Proactive event resolver 
  • Integrations with ITSM (ServiceNow, Jira etc), identity/access management, facilities management, Slack, Teams, etc
  • Automatic triage, account access, auto-answer features 
  • Advanced analytics 

Pros:

  • Pre-trained AI capabilities 
  • Predictive service features

Cons:

  • 8-week deployment timeframe
  • Requires integrations for identity/access management
  • May require additional IT service tools 
  • Pricing structures typically geared at enterprise-level budgets (available on request only)

More Information: moveworks.com/ 

Conclusion

And that completes our whirlwind tour! As you can see, while ServiceNow is a well-known and heavily-utilized tool, it isn’t the solution of choice for all IT ticketing and operations teams. Exploring options that leverage deeper best practices specifically designed for IT teams can unlock net new levels of productivity for agents, and all the people they support.

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