In a business enterprise, a help desk is a place that a user of information technology can call to get help with a problem. In many companies, a help desk is simply one person with a phone number and a more or less organized idea of how to handle the problems that come in. In larger companies, a help desk may consist of a group of experts using software to help track the status of problems and other special software to help analyze problems (for example, the status of a company's telecommunications network).
Typically, the term is used for centralized help to users within an enterprise. A related term is call center, a place that customers call to place orders, track shipments, get help with products, and so forth.
The World Wide Web offers the possibility of a new, relatively inexpensive, and effectively standard user interface to help desks (as well as to call centers) and appears to be encouraging more automation in help desk service.
Some common names for a help desk include: Computer Support Center, IT Response Center, Customer Support Center, IT Solutions Center, Resource Center, Information Center, and Technical Support Center.
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- Philip Verghis' Help Desk FAQ is also a comprehensive resource center for anyone setting up a help desk.
- The Help Desk Institute takes a leadership role in setting standards and certifying help desk professionals.