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#1 Spiceworks On-Premise Alternative: HelpSpot Self-Hosted

Written by Ian Landsman, published on 04.06.2022

In May 2021, Spiceworks posted an article to its community support forum, informing users that its on-premise software (Legacy Desktop) would no longer be maintained or supported by Spiceworks, unavailable for future download, and eventually EOL (end-of-life) by the company.

In layman’s terms, EOL of software means it will no longer be supported or updated — eventually leading to the product becoming obsolete as other technologies become more advanced. However, Spiceworks’ Legacy Desktop is still functioning and usable, even without updates or support.

This leaves current Spiceworks on-premise users with three options:

  • Continue using Spiceworks without support. This saves you the burden of migrating to new software. However, the EOL software can lead to weakened security, and longer/more costly troubleshooting times for your team when errors occur.
  • Migrate to Spiceworks cloud-based help desk. Spiceworks’ support makes the migration to its Cloud effortless. Unfortunately, Users have been critical of the Cloud’s lack of inventory and limited features, and if you need a self-hosted solution, this option doesn’t work.
  • Find an alternative self-hosted help desk. This is the best option for teams that want the flexibility and control of on-premise software, and there are other great on-premise software options, like our help desk, HelpSpot.

Below, we’ll dive deeper into our self-hosted software and other features that make HelpSpot a superior ticketing management tool. Then, we will compare other popular help desk alternatives for Spiceworks on-premise, based on user reviews.

Want to give HelpSpot’s fully customizable on-premise software a shot, with no risk? To take a tour of our help desk and learn more about our other email management features, start your free 21-day trial.

HelpSpot’s On-Premise Help Desk: Complete Control & Connectability in One Solution

What makes HelpSpot the perfect help desk is that it provides your team with the tools it needs to organize and simplify your ticketing management system on an easy-to-use portal, at a low cost to you. Our software is easy to install, and, more importantly, it puts you in complete control of the storage of your data.

With HelpSpot, users get:

  • On-premise software that allows you to run HelpSpot on private servers to maintain HIPAA or regulatory compliance and keep your data safe.
  • An easy set up and installation process using our easy-to-follow installation instructions (for Windows or Linux)that streamline installation times.
  • Built-in Authentication system & security features to further strengthen portal security.
  • Open-sourced API & Zapier connections to integrate with any application in your tech stack.
  • Multi-brand support to segment your emails by department/branch/brand.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of these features and how they will benefit you.

On-Premise Software that Puts You in Control

HelpSpot’ on-premise solution gives support teams the flexibility and control they need to maintain their most important data.

Our on-premise software lets you:

  • Use your own servers or private cloud.
  • Have full access and control over your database and reporting system
  • Connect to internal systems on- or offline
  • Schedule when updates are applied

HelpSpot also offers Live Lookup that syncs with any CRM or external database (like Oracle) relevant to the support team. A small amount of coding is required, but Live Lookup will give you complete control of your customer data. The data will be displayed in real-time — making the most updated customer information and custom field data instantly available in reports.

Whatsmore, HelpSpot makes our on-premise software setup and installation process simple for users because:

  • We are one of the only help desk brands that fully support our on-premise solution (at no additional cost).
  • HelpSpot is compatible with Windows and Linux and makes installation easy with a download link that guides you through each step of the process. Be sure to visit the server requirements page to ensure you’re ready to download and get started.
  • Our self-hosted help desk is made readily available on your cell phone using the HelpSpot mobile app on both iOs and Android phones.
  • HelpSpot uses open-source API and Zapier connection, making it fully customizable and able to connect to any tool in your tech stack.

Our fully customizable solution is the perfect help desk software for healthcare facilities looking to maintain HIPAA compliance or any other regulated organization because it can be designed to meet any regulatory standard needs.

Reliable Security Features & Permission Groups

Teams using standard shared inbox accounts (like Gmail or Outlook) to handle requests create a significant security hazard because they use a single, shared password — opening the door to hacks and compromised data. So, to keep your data safe, HelpSpot provides each user with a unique login credential.

For added data security, HelpSpot offers built-in authentication. If you don’t want to use our built-in authentication, HelpSpot gives you the option of single sign-on with SAML Authentication. Both systems are actively tested with Office365/Azure and Google Suites.

Note: Single Sign-On means you log in once and use the same login for different solutions. SAML authentication verifies the user’s identity and credentials (with two-factor authentication, password, captcha, etc.) and communicates with the service provider what level of access can be given to the user who has logged in.

And with a small amount of coding, you can further ensure the protection of your data with Black Box Authentication that authenticates against any source.

Teams can create custom permission groups that set restrictions for specific tickets and filter them by department or end-user to better secure data internally.

For example, let’s say you manage the billing department for a healthcare facility and a majority of the requests you receive include patients’ financial data. Using permission groups,

you can set restrictions to allow only billing team members to receive/view tickets that are addressed to the billing department.

Centralized Inbox & Customizable Features to Get You Organized

As we mentioned above, using a standard email inbox is a huge security liability. It also creates disorganization, potentially leading to important tickets slipping through the cracks.

That is why HelpSpot provides support teams with a shared inbox that:

  • Provides each employee with their own dashboard and personalized password; and,
  • Lets you connect all your mailboxes, whether one or one hundred, on one platform — giving you an unprecedented overview of your entire ticketing management system.

For even more organization, our multi-brand support lets you segment all of your connected email inboxes to create dedicated portals for each department in your company.

Each mailbox is fully customizable, so teams can:

  • Align each portal with their specific brand/department.
  • Create custom filters to better sort tickets.
  • Use custom fields to segment and quickly pull important data.
  • Design contact forms so customers can contact you right from your support website.

Also, each team can create their own knowledge base and self-service portal on their portal. (more on these below.)

Let’s consider an IT team that works at a multi-departmental B2C business and receives numerous daily internal and external service requests. Their team can utilize HelpSpot’s multi-brand support to segment customer tickets from internal tickets and then separate internal tickets by the department with custom filters. They can also categorize key metrics and information regarding these requests by resolution speeds, issue, priority, or any other criteria using custom fields.

Read More: Multi-Brand Help Desk: Manage All of Your Brands with HelpSpot

Agents can quickly scan their team’s inbox and assign themselves tickets (or others). Assigned tickets are automatically transferred in the “my queue” of the appropriate agent — letting them quickly view tickets they are working on, or that still need attention.

Tools to Support Team Collaboration & Save You Time

HelpSpot also provides you with a host of collaborative tools to help speed resolution times and facilitate team communication.

Internal notes let agents talk directly within support tickets. Any notes added are automatically stored on that ticket for future reference. So, suppose you decide to transfer an email to an agent in another department that can provide more insight into the request. All you have to do is tag them on the ticket using internal notes, and any notes made on the ticket will be readily available to that agent — saving you time and eliminating the need to communicate on third-party channels like email or Slack.

Avoid duplicate responses with HelpSpot’s collision detection that provides real-time notifications to let you know if someone else is also viewing/responding to the same customer issues, eliminating duplicate responses.

Continue to save time by creating a library of saved email templates. Rather than rewriting the same response to a frequently asked question, teams can quickly respond by instantly pulling a template from your library. Each template can be customized to fit each specific recipient — including branding for customer-facing emails — and HelpSpot’s email templating tool lets agents quickly adjust template design to align with their specific department.

To further alleviate agent workloads and speed ticket response times, you can create a knowledge base of important articles and FAQs for your team to reference. This allows agents to quickly locate solutions to requests without having to reach out to other team members or departments for assistance.

Teams can also create self-service portals for their end-users, which are customer-facing knowledge books filled with relative articles and FAQs — giving customers the power to find solutions on their own. For example, a mortgage company can use a self-service portal to provide FAQs, relative articles, and step-by-step videos for customers applying for a mortgage for the first time.

Automation & Reporting to Improve Customer Support

HelpSpot’s Automation rules and triggers create a fast uniform service for your clients by automatically performing many repetitive tasks that support teams deal with daily — like ticketing assignments and prioritizing escalations.

For example, let’s say you and your team manage multiple client accounts at a B2B SaaS company and handle several requests daily. You can utilize automation rules to send any

tickets from your clients directly to your team. Then, you can set up triggers to detect words like “troubleshooting,” “billing,” or “support,” to automatically route the ticket to the appropriate member of your team and determine escalation.

Not only does HelpSpot provide you with tools that instantly improve your customer support and simplify your email management, but it also gives you tools to monitor and improve your operations and customer experience moving forward — with our built-in reporting and Comparison Matrix tools.

HelpSpot’s built-in reporting provides you with key metrics like ticket speeds, volume reports, speed to first response, and more. And, metrics are delivered in real-time, giving you a constant overview of your operations — so you can easily monitor team workloads and performance and better understand customer needs.

Our real-time metrics track

  • Ticket volumes and trends
  • Request response and resolution speeds
  • Interactions overtime

HelpSpot’s reporting tool is also fully customizable, allowing you to track and segment data in any way you wish.

Suppose your company receives an unusual uptick in support requests each year during the holiday season. With our built-in reporting, not only can you track data in real-time, but HelpSpot lets you isolate the data from these months to track things like recurring customer needs and resolution speeds to help discover pain points or justify expanding staff during these months.

And, HelpSpot understands that analyzing data isn’t part of the job description for many department managers. This is why we provide you with our Comparison Matrix that displays all of your metrics in an easy-to-read layout — making key insights jump off the page.

3 Other On-Premise Help Desk Alternatives for Spiceworks

Outside of HelpSpot, we took the time to study up on three other on-premise help desk alternatives for Spiceworks — Kayako, osTicket and ManageEngine.

1. Kayako 

Kayako

Kayako is a good help desk alternative for Spiceworks because it equips users with many of the same collaborative and automated tools that keep you organized and improve customer support as the Spiceworks’ EOL Legacy Desktop.

With features like multi-channel support — providing live chat and social media integrations — support teams can have a more in-depth view of how their customers interact with their brand.

Unfortunately, Kayako’s self-hosted help desk software is no longer supported by Kayako. After discontinuing self-hosting for some years, Kayako decided to bring its on-premise version back at the end of 2020. So although Kayko’s self-hosted was made available for use again, Kayako announced the software would no longer be updated or supported by the Kayako team. With that, we don’t recommend Kayako unless you have the IT resources to troubleshoot if you experience technical problems.

2. osTicket

osTicket

osTicket’s self-hosted help desk ticketing system offers many of the same features as Kayako and HelpSpot, but users note that its features are not very advanced and often prone to glitches. In addition, osTicket’s interface has been described on reviews as clunky and outdated.

That being said, osTicket is a free help desk option for users that don’t want to budget for a support ticket system. However, osTicket’s free help desk software does not come with updates or assistance with maintenance. This means your internal IT department will be responsible for any troubleshooting of the application, and the osTicket self-hosted software will not evolve in any way.

Note: osTicket’s more advanced, paid packages are cloud-based only.

3. ManageEngine

ManageEngine

ManageEngine, by Zoho, is an IT help desk that offers a self-hosted solution — it’s very customizable, and it has an extensive knowledge base, self-service portal, and robust built-in reporting. It also offers extras for IT users, such as issue tracking, incident management, and an IT asset management system.

However, as an IT service management software (ITSM), ManageEngine is not an ideal on-premise help desk alternative for Spiceworks because its standard package lacks many of the features other support desks like HelpSpot and osTicket offer that organize emails and improve customer relationships.

Users are critical of ManageEngine’s less-intuitive interface and lack of configuration support — which does not come standard with its self-hosted software. Many reviews also criticize ManageEngine’s tiered pricing model, which requires them to pay extra for unnecessary add-ons in order to receive ticketing management features and client support.

Download a Free Demo of HelpSpot’s On-Premise Help Desk

HelpSpot is a great on-premise help desk alternative for Spiceworks because it provides instant assistance to your email management, while giving you the flexibility and control over your most important data.

Teams that use our self-hosted help desk are completely in charge of their data storage, back-ups, and updates. Moreso, we are with you every step of the way, as HelpSpot is one of the only help desks that provides your team with full support — at no additional cost — for your on-premise software.

And, our help desk is affordable because you pay per seat. Unlike other help desks that use tier pricing models, HelpSpot allows you to add agents as you go at a flat rate ($11/agent/month). HelpSpot was created to scale with your business. So your company is big or small, our software has you covered.

Want to see if HelpSpot is the right software for your support team? Give our solution a shot, risk-free, with our free 21-day trial.

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