June 08, 2009, 4:42 PM — IT management and help desk software can help maintain the technical side of your business, but costly packages designed for big companies don't scale well to smaller businesses. I've already mentioned the free Spiceworks IT Desktop, but a couple other alternatives might serve your business at no cost.
Illient's SysAid runs on Linux and Windows servers, with its free version supporting up to 100 clients and two administrators. Paid versions are available for bigger organizations or SaaS users, although the free edition has no ads. The free edition even includes phone tech support for six months.
SysAid includes typical help desk features to keep track of issues, generate reports, build a knowledge base archive, and stay in touch with users through email, SMS, and IM. Its internal focus includes knowledge base support to archive old solutions for new users.
Web Help Desk supports more servers because it runs as a Java servlet; it's compatible with various Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. The free software also omits ads and includes typical help desk tools. And a paid version is also available in a SaaS edition.
The Web Help Desk free version includes a few different features versus SysAid, such as LDAP support. However, you're limited to one administrator, while clients are unlimited.
Based in San Francisco, Zack Stern frequently contributes to PC World.