With the 10 ITIL processes managing the IT Service Delivery, there has to be a physical point of contact with the customers. A place in the organisation, a phone number or e-mail address where customers can lodge their complaints, ask questions and lodge requests for change. This point of contact (or ‘shop-window’) is the Service Desk.

As far as the customer is concerned, the Service Desk IS the IT Service Provider. The Service Desk is a one-stop-shop.


This one-stop-shop concept requires a close interface between the ITIL processes and the function of the service desk.As well as a focal point for reporting incidents and making service requests, the Service Desk has an obligation to keep users informed of service events, actions and opportunities that are likely to impact on the performance of the users, in their day-to-day activities. For example, the Service Desk could act as the focal point for change requests from users, issuing Change Schedules on behalf of Change Management, and keeping users informed of progress on changes. The Change Manager must, therefore, ensure that the Service Desk is kept constantly aware of change activities.


The Service Desk is in the direct firing line of any impact on the SLAs and, as such, needs rapid information flows.


The Service Desk may be given delegation to implement changes to circumvent incidents within its sphere of authority. The scope of such changes must be predefined and the Change Management function must be informed about all such changes. Changes that involve a change of specification of any Configuration Item must not, however, be implemented without prior approval by Change Management.


Every organisation uses tools to support the IT organisations in delivering the services and performing the processes. The type of tool you need, is fully dependent on what you want to get out of it.


For small organisations, the tool can be an Excel Spreadsheet. This can be more than sufficient. For larger organisations, you will probably be looking at other commercial tools.


Try to design your processes before you start looking for a tool. This gives you the opportunity to really do a thorough Functional and technical specification before talking to the vendors.

A lot of research can be done using the Internet. Many (tool) vendors have a list of appropriate tools listed with the specifications.


There are many tools on the market, and they are all slightly different from each other. The following list gives an example of some of the tools that organisations use:


Service Desk Tools / Support Tools

–          Heat

–          Infra

–          Peregrine ServiceCentre

–          CA Advanced Help Desk


System Management tools

–          HP Openview

–          Qualiparc

–          CA Unicentre


When you have decided on a tool, you really need to have a close look at the cost. Most of the expenses are in getting the tool to work for you…


The following are some examples of the implementation cost of any tool:

–          Initial Purchase Price

–          Additional Licenses

–          Maintenance contract

–          Warranty

–          Training of staff in using the tool

–          Implementation expenses (consultancy hours)

–          Fine-tuning the tool to your needs (consultancy and engineering hours)

–          Updating the internal processes to fit the tool (consultancy and internal staff hours)


Here are a few sample pages of all of some of the documents in the Help Desk Toolkit:

GO HERE for extensive content details

Help Desk Audit And Review

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Help Desk Best Practice

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Help desk Design

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Help Desk implementation plan

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Help Desk presentation

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Help Desk Procedure

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Help Desk Service Descriptions

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Help Desk Service Levels

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Help Desk Telephone skills standards

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Problem Management Procedure

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Proactive Stress Management

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Help Desk workflow

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