Freshservice vs. Cherwell Service Management

Brenda Gratas November 24, 2022
- 16 min read

Freshservice vs. Cherwell Service Management: Which IT Service Management (ITSM) solution offers a more comprehensive set of features? Choosing the right ITSM software is crucial for organizations striving to deliver seamless IT services and enhance customer experiences.

Freshservice and Cherwell Service Management are two formidable platforms, each providing distinct features and capabilities tailored to various business requirements. In this article, we'll explore the strengths and weaknesses of Freshservice vs. Cherwell Service Management, helping you make an informed decision for your organization's ITSM needs. 

But if neither of these options aligns precisely with your unique requirements, we have another remarkable service desk software alternative to introduce: InvGate Service Desk. With its compelling features and capabilities, InvGate Service Desk might just be the ideal solution to address your needs. 


Table of contents


  • Freshservice is valued for its ticketing, customer support, knowledge base, automation, and mobile app; but concerns arise regarding stability issues, limited reporting, pricing, customization, integration challenges, and search functionality.
  • Cherwell Service Management's positive aspects include its user-friendly interface, extensive customizability, and Low-Code/No-Code approach. However, users dislike that Ivanti purchased it, and the company is now pushing towards Ivanti Neurons. In addition, they highlight performance issues and customization challenges.
  • InvGate Service Desk, on the other hand, provides streamlined ITSM setup, flexible deployment, robust ticketing and incident management, and self-service capabilities, emphasizing cost-effectiveness and innovation.


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We tried to be as thorough as possible, but if you don't have enough time to read it through and through, here's (another) TL;DR: InvGate Service Desk can do everything we say here, and you can test it right away for free for 30 days.


Most looked-at features by buyers

During the ITSM tool comparison process, buyers typically assess various essential capabilities to determine which solution best suits their requirements and business needs. Here are some factors that buyers may consider.

  1. User experience and interface - Buyers consider the platform's user-friendliness as an intuitive interface that enhances user adoption and productivity. Mobile accessibility is essential for organizations with remote or mobile workforces.

  2. Ticketing and Incident Management - Buyers seek robust ticketing systems within their help desk software to efficiently handle and track customer issues. Key features include ticket creation, assignment, tracking, prioritization, SLA Management, and escalation workflows.

  3. Scalability and customization - Organizations with evolving needs prioritize solutions that can scale and accommodate customization. The ability to create custom fields, workflows, and extensions/plugins is crucial for adapting the solution to unique business requirements.

  4. Pricing and support - Buyers evaluate the solution's cost-effectiveness, including licensing models, subscription plans, and additional costs. The availability of customer support, documentation, and training resources also influences decision-making.

  5. ITIL compliance - Many organizations follow ITIL best practices for IT Service Management. Buyers may look for solutions that support ITIL processes such as Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, and Asset Management.

  6. Self-service and knowledge base - Buyers value self-service capabilities that empower customers or employees to find answers to common issues independently. A comprehensive knowledge base system with easy search functionality, FAQs, and guides enhances self-service options.

  7. IT service catalog - Organizations may require a service catalog that enables users to request specific IT services or resources. This feature streamlines service requests, provides visibility, and improves service delivery management.

  8. Reporting features - Buyers look for reporting and analytics capabilities to gain insights into service performance, team productivity, customer satisfaction, and SLA compliance. Customizable dashboards and pre-built reports are valuable for analysis.

  9. Automation and workflow: Efficient automation and workflow capabilities save time and effort. Buyers consider features like automation rules, SLA-driven workflows, approval processes, and integration with other tools or systems.

  10. Integration and collaboration - Integration with other tools and systems, such as CRM, Project Management, or communication platforms, is vital for streamlined workflows and data consistency. Collaboration features like internal communication, commenting, and mentions enhance team productivity.

What is Freshservice?

Example of Freshservice's interface.

Freshservice is a platform designed to help small to medium-sized businesses and large enterprises effectively handle their IT services. It operates through the cloud and offers a range of features, such as managing IT assets, resolving incidents and service requests, automating workflows, and maintaining a comprehensive knowledge base. 

With its easy-to-use interface and a Gartner rating of 4.5 out of 5, Freshservice is a dependable option for organizations seeking to streamline their IT operations and provide outstanding service to employees. 

The company behind Freshservice, Freshworks, was founded in 2010 and is based in San Mateo, California, USA.

What users like from Freshservice

Freshservice has garnered favorable customer feedback, as validated by respected sources such as Gartner and G2. Here are a few of the highlighted advantages.

  • Ticketing system - Freshservice's ticketing system receives positive reviews for its effectiveness in managing, tracking, and collaborating on tickets. It ensures that customer queries and issues are promptly resolved.

  • User-friendly interface - The platform's interface is praised for being easy to use, allowing users to navigate effortlessly and maximize their productivity.

  • Automation and Workflow Management - Users appreciate Freshservice's automation capabilities, which streamline processes and enhance efficiency through workflows, automated responses, and escalations.

  • Customer support - The tool is commended for its responsive and helpful customer support. Knowledgeable support teams quickly address concerns, providing a satisfactory experience for users.

  • Knowledge base - The knowledge base feature is highly regarded as it empowers customers to find self-help resources, reducing the need for repetitive support requests.

  • Mobile App - Freshservice's mobile app is considered convenient for accessing and managing tickets while on the go. It offers a similar user experience to the web version and enables efficient remote support.

What users don’t like from Freshservice

While Freshservice possesses several strengths and positive qualities, customers have expressed their concerns and dislikes about specific aspects of the platform. After analyzing reputable sources such as Gartner and G2, the following are some of the dislikes that have been raised.

  • Limited customization - Some users feel that Freshservice lacks customization options, particularly in ticketing workflows and interface personalization. They would like more flexibility to tailor the platform to their specific needs.

  • Pricing structure - Certain users have expressed concerns about Freshservice's pricing structure, finding it expensive, especially when additional features or agent licenses are required. They desire more transparent pricing and flexible pricing options.

  • Platform stability - Some users have encountered stability issues, including occasional system glitches, slow performance, and downtime. 

  • Limited reporting and analytics - Several users have mentioned that the platform's reporting capabilities could be improved, as there are limited options available. 

  • Steep learning curve for advanced features - Despite finding the basic features user-friendly, some users have encountered difficulties when navigating and utilizing the advanced ones.

  • Integration challenges - Users have reported difficulties when integrating Freshservice with third-party tools or systems.

  • Search functionality - Some users have experienced difficulties with the search feature, making finding specific information or tickets challenging. 

What’s Freshservice’s argument over Cherwell Service Management?

Freshservice offers several distinctive features and advantages that differentiate it from Cherwell Service Management. Here are some key points that highlight Freshservice's unique attributes.

  1. Intuitive and modern interface - Freshservice prides itself on its modern and user-friendly interface. It provides a clean and intuitive design that allows users to navigate effortlessly and accomplish tasks efficiently. 

  2. Strong focus on ITIL - Freshservice significantly emphasizes ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) best practices. The platform is tailored explicitly for IT Service Management and aligns with ITIL guidelines, ensuring organizations can effectively implement and adhere to industry-standard processes and workflows.

  3. Ease of use and quick adoption - Freshservice is known for its swift onboarding and user adoption. The platform's simplicity and ease of use allow organizations to get up and running quickly, minimizing the learning curve and maximizing productivity.

  4. Robust ticketing system and collaboration - Freshservice's ticketing system receives high praise for its effectiveness in managing, tracking, and collaborating on customer tickets. It facilitates streamlined communication and cooperation among team members, ensuring customer queries and issues are promptly addressed and resolved.

  5. Comprehensive Asset Management - Freshservice offers robust Asset Management capabilities, allowing organizations to track and manage their IT assets efficiently. It provides a centralized repository to monitor hardware and software assets, track their lifecycle, and ensure compliance with licensing and maintenance requirements.

  6. Extensive integration options - Freshservice provides seamless integration with various third-party tools and systems, enabling organizations to connect and automate workflows across their IT ecosystem. This flexibility promotes a cohesive and interconnected IT environment.

What is Cherwell Service Management?

Example of Cherwell Service Management's interface.

Cherwell Service Management by Ivanti is an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform that effectively meets the needs of service departments without requiring coding or scripting. It stands out by offering automated IT service delivery through a comprehensive set of pre-built tools.

Cherwell Service Management has several notable features. It has a codeless architecture, which allows for greater business agility. It also has a drag-and-drop functionality that makes customization easy and utilizes automated workflows to eliminate time-consuming manual processes.

In addition to these features, Cherwell Service Management includes Project Management capabilities. It also has a unique feature called Mergeable Applications ('mApps'), which enables users to share custom applications, extensions, and enhancements without affecting the core system's functionality.

Moreover, Cherwell Service Management supports multiple languages and offers deployment options as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution or through on-premise deployment. It also integrates with Ivanti Neurons, a platform with predictive, self-healing, and autonomous remediation capabilities to enhance system performance and security.

What users like from Cherwell Service Management

Cherwell has received positive customer feedback, as demonstrated by reputable sources like Gartner. Here are some of the mentioned benefits.

  • Low-code/No-code approach - Cherwell Service Management's low-code/no-code environment allows users to quickly set up and implement new features without requiring extensive coding knowledge or expertise.

  • Automation and Workflow Management - The tool excels in automation capabilities, making it easy for users to design and implement complex workflows according to their requirements.

  • User-friendly interface - The platform provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that aims to enhance usability and facilitate efficient interactions with the system.

  • Extensive customization - Users appreciate the wide range of customization options available in the platform, allowing them to tailor different aspects of the system, such as form fields and workflows, to their specific needs.

  • API integrations - The platform's support for API integrations enables seamless connectivity with other systems, enhancing its overall functionality.

What users don’t like from Cherwell Service Management

Despite its strengths and positive aspects, Cherwell has received feedback from customers expressing their concerns and dislikes about certain aspects of the platform. Based on analyses from reputable sources like Gartner, here are some of the mentioned dislikes.

  • Sales push towards Ivanti - After Ivanti acquired Cherwell Software, customers voiced dissatisfaction with the aggressive sales move towards Ivanti Neurons, an alternative platform. The sudden change and shift in focus have not been well-received by Cherwell's existing customer base, leading to dissatisfaction among them.

  • Customization challenges - While Cherwell offers extensive customizability, some users have found certain development and customization tasks complex and time-consuming, especially when creating new Business Objects and Forms.

  • Performance issues - Some users have encountered performance issues, mainly when dealing with large databases or extensive groups of technicians. These issues can affect the system's responsiveness, causing users frustration.

  • Customer support - The level of support provided has faced criticism from some users. Complaints include slow response times and perceived reluctance to acknowledge software behavior as bugs, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction with the support services.

  • Bugs and issues with upgrades - Users have reported experiencing bugs and challenges during platform upgrades. Some releases have been poorly planned, resulting in problems that require resolution and negatively impacting the user experience.

  • Outdated user interface - Certain users find the graphical user interface (GUI) of Cherwell to be obsolete and less responsive, especially when comparing the web version to the desktop application. This discrepancy in user interface quality has led to dissatisfaction among some users.

What’s Cherwell Service Management’s argument over Freshservice?

Cherwell Service Management brings several unique advantages to the table that set it apart from Freshservice. Here are some key points highlighting Cherwell's strengths and arguments in favor of choosing it over Freshservice.

  1. Extensive customization capabilities - Cherwell Service Management excels in providing extensive customization options. Users have the flexibility to tailor various aspects of the platform, such as form fields, workflows, and interfaces, to meet their specific needs. 

  2. Low-code/No-code environment - Cherwell adopts a low-code/no-code approach, enabling users to quickly set up and implement new features and enhancements without requiring extensive coding knowledge or expertise.

  3. Automation and Workflow Management - Cherwell shines in automation capabilities, allowing users to design and implement complex workflows to streamline processes. Automated responses, escalations, and task assignments ensure efficient handling of service requests.

  4. API integrations - Cherwell Service Management provides robust support for API integrations, facilitating seamless connectivity with other systems and tools within the IT ecosystem.

  5. User-friendly interface - Cherwell Service Management prioritizes user-friendliness, providing an intuitive interface. The platform is designed to enhance usability, ensuring users can navigate effortlessly and accomplish tasks efficiently. 

  6. Extensive toolset and mergeable applications - Cherwell Service Management offers a comprehensive toolset with features such as Project Management capabilities and a unique feature called Mergeable Applications (mApps). These mApps allow users to share custom applications, extensions, and enhancements without impacting the core system's functionality.

Considering InvGate Service Desk as an ITSM solution alternative



Considering InvGate Service Desk as an alternative ITSM solution to Freshservice and Cherwell Service Management, several compelling reasons exist to explore the unique benefits of InvGate's products. Here are some key points to consider when evaluating InvGate Service Desk.

1. Powerful Ticketing and Incident Management


With robust Ticketing and Incident Management capabilities, InvGate Service Desk enables efficient tracking, collaboration, and resolution of tickets. Automated routing, customizable workflows, and SLA Management enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Incident Management processes.

2. Intuitive and user-friendly interface


InvGate Service Desk provides a user-friendly and intuitive interface that ensures effortless navigation for IT teams and end-users alike. With its streamlined design and intuitive workflows, the platform delivers a seamless user experience, minimizing the time required for users to become familiar with the system.

3. Comprehensive Asset Management

InvGate Service Desk is a fit-for-purpose Service Desk solution with integrated Asset Management, allowing organizations to track and manage their IT assets throughout their lifecycle effectively. It contains features such as IT Asset Discovery, Inventory Management, Software License Management, and maintenance scheduling. 4. Cost-effective solution

Compared to Freshservice and Cherwell Service Management, InvGate Service Desk offers a cost-effective solution without compromising functionality. It provides a robust set of ITSM features at a competitive price point, making it an attractive option for organizations seeking affordability and functionality.

5. Self-service capabilities


InvGate Service Desk includes robust self-service features like a user-friendly portal, an extensive IT service catalog, and a knowledge base. These empower end-users to find answers, access IT services, and utilize self-help resources, reducing the reliance on IT teams and improving efficiency.

6. AI-powered features

InvGate Service Desk leverages AI-powered capabilities such as Support Assist and AI-Improved Responses. Support Assist automates ticket categorization and routing using machine learning algorithms, improving ticket management efficiency. Response Suggestions assist agents in replying to tickets, saving time, and enhancing customer interactions.



7. Customization and flexibility


InvGate Service Desk provides high customization and flexibility, allowing organizations to tailor the platform to their specific needs and workflows. Administrators can easily configure the system to align with their IT processes, enabling a personalized ITSM experience.

8. Comprehensive reporting and analytics

InvGate Service Desk's customizable dashboard view.

InvGate Service Desk offers comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, providing valuable insights into IT operations and performance. Pre-built reports, dashboards, and the ability to create custom reports empower IT teams to analyze data, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions for service improvement.

Next steps

Choosing the right ITSM solution is a critical decision that can significantly impact your organization's IT service delivery and overall performance. By evaluating your alternatives carefully, you'll be on the right track to implementing a solution that best meets your needs and goals.

Book a meeting with our experts or explore the live demo to see how InvGate Service Desk can improve your business operations.

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