I'd like to know how you refer to your call center/help desk/support. Our company is re-insourcing our IT help desk in 15 months. Our current engagement is a call center only (very little resolution done). The vision for the future is a global service center with more assistance done by the callers. This would be a multi-site international operation *US, Asia, and UK). The term "help desk" is widely accepted, but around here it's got a bad stigma.

What do you call your help desk? What do you WISH it was called?


jhack's picture

Our company calls it "IT Support"


fchalif's picture
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We call IT Help Desk.
I wish it were called Technical Support and that we had another desk in the Company called Software Support. Users could then better distinguish between both an not bombard IT with issues that are really software related and that can be answered by a Power User.

steven_martin's picture

We have a number of "help desks", IT, Centralized Accounting, Centralized Lending . We are wrapping them up into a internal call center, one spot to call we labelled "service desk".


itilimp's picture
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Currently 'ICT Help Desk' but will be moving to 'Service Desk' in the future.

AManagerTool's picture

I thnk that we call them the help desk and sometimes shared services.

Not to derail the thread or anything but...

We usually don't call the helpdesk.

I work in big pharma and it seems that most scientific lab users develop their own IT support groups that work alongside the desktop IT support groups. These lab support groups usually get labled as shadow IT and get a bad rap by some IT managers. I feel that they are a symptom of bad help desk service and the inability to "manage customer expectations".

There is a great article on this very subject....I know the author. Some of you from the New York Conference may recognize him. Great guy! :wink: He has a real passion for lab (unique environment) computer support. I hear that he went and unified all these "Shadow" IT people into a single organization across a 50,000 person pharma company.


If anyone is interested in this guy, drop me a PM and I'll introduce you. :lol:

agreen's picture

Service Centre

Was overhauled about three years ago at our organisation, expanded from just IT to also deliver 'business support'. A front reception was developed on one of the floors in our head office, hot desks for those from out of town and a friendly open atmonsphere. A really symbolic gesture was the opening of the previously locked door into the IT department on the floor. It is still discussed and one of those things that is now part of the cutlural story.

Now it is the best service centre I have ever had support me in my role. IT problems, business cards, fleet issues, swipe cards, uniforms, mobile phones, and more... Everytime I call the service centre I get a fast response or the call logged, updates via email on progress and resolution in a few days.

Now things are expanding out into events such as weekly updates / webcasts across the state by senior managers. Keeps a diverse and widely spread organisation tapped in to the directions and goals. All supported and delivered by the Service Centre.

The service centre manager has a background in retail customer service, rather than IT and it really, really shows.

In the same vein as "one-kind-thing" I have hand written a thankyou to the Chief Information Officer who instigated all of this. I also peridically call service centre people for no other reason than to thank them for their work. Many comment that it is the only time someone has called them not to complain about or ask for something.


pmoriarty's picture
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We call it the help desk. As my company moves to adding more corporate functions to the process (facilities, hr, legal & finance) we plan to start calling it the service desk, but most people who use it will still refer to it as the help desk (at least that's my bet :) ).

refbruce's picture

We call it "Helpline" or "helpdesk".

The right balance between the informal support network and the formal support network is a hard one to find. I've been in the "research computing" business for about half my career and have seen the pendulum move back and forth between informal internal support, formal internal support, and outsourced support (funny looking pendulum, eh?). But that's a different subject.

MattJBeckwith's picture
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We have an outsourced technical services line that is called "Help Desk" but some people refer to it as WOT (Waste of Time) HelpNot Desk.

I've worked for companies that called it Solution Center and Internal Service. Regardless of the name, the ones that worked well were the ones that had a strong case management system that could track and monitor issues as well as agents that could actually assist callers (as opposed to just dispatching desktop support as our current one does).

TomW's picture
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We divided IT into Software Support, Infrastructure Support (includes phones and printers), and Development. Development is only writing software, the other two are kind of Help Desk.

iann22's picture

Having been a Project Manager for the implementation of IT Support Services I have come across a distinction in naming of helpdesks and the services they provide... (note: this is a UK based reply)...

A Helpdesk is a single point of contact for IT Support and provides a 'log and flog' service i.e. it passes all calls to other support teams and itself provides little to no resolutions.

A Service Desk is again a single point of contact for IT Support but is measured, amongst other things, on the number/percentage of first contact resolutions it provides.

I have also heard most of the other terms used in this thread and what I have noted here isn't written in stone.

Hope this helps.

ctomasi's picture

Thank you everyone for your responses. I know I can always count on the MT forums for answers.

I like the distinction between "help desk" and "service center". The former has a moniker (helpless desk) at our company also. They don't really help so much as dispatch. Based on what iann22 stated, Global Service Center encapsulates our concept pretty well - more resolutions on first call. We're hoping to push more of that to self-service with improved knowledge base to drive fewer calls. Lots of ideas rolling around on this project - very exciting.

Stay tuned - I'm sure I'm going to have plenty of new situations and stories to share with you all.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

It depends on how long they've kept me on hold. :-)

Ours is called 'Service Desk', because that's what it says in the ITIL book. Their main function is to log and close IT support calls. Some procurement is routed through them as well.

Actual resolution of calls is sometimes done by the Service Desk but is mostly handed off to other teams (Desktop, Server, Database, SAP &c).


fchalif's picture
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Do any of you use a software tool to keep track of requests?
Any advice or referrals to great software is much appreciated.

AManagerTool's picture

HP OpenView Service Center

ctomasi's picture

Ticket management software: Currently we have (at least) 3, one of which I wrote and maintained for years. Transferring tickets and communicating is difficult to say the least. One of my primary objectives in the new role is to get a unified tool.

I'll be watching (and contributing) to this thread. I've seen and heard good things about SharePoint. There's a good webpart in their essential tools pack (I believe that's what it's call). I saw a demo at a local company not too long ago and it looked promising.

Oh, and the tentative name for our new help desk is the Global IT Service Center. I can't help but chuckle when I think of the "GITS Center".

rwwh's picture
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jwyckoff's picture

We called is "Support Center". It worked really well for my company -- we staffed it with young and hungry people who really wanted to learn. They quickly got versed in our systems & technologies, and it provided good training ground for the next step into the organization. Though the Support Center is always hiring, it's due to the fact people got promoted out of it.

kklogic's picture

Chuck, is there any danger in calling it what it is - IT Dispatch?

AManagerTool's picture


Kind of...

Most users don't want to be dispatched, handled or some other term that means they will have to make more than one call to solve their problems. They want to be SERVICED...LOL

kklogic's picture

Eh. Good point. I'm an honesty girl. I'd rather know what I'm getting myself into. But, I'm weird :)