TOPdesk vs. Cherwell Service Management

Brenda Gratas January 26, 2023
- 16 min read

TOPdesk vs. Cherwell Service Management are two prominent contenders in the field of IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions. As businesses increasingly rely on robust ITSM tools to optimize their operations, choosing the right platform becomes paramount for delivering efficient IT services and driving overall success.

In this blog post, we’ll undertake an extensive comparison of TOPdesk and Cherwell Service Management, examining their unique strengths, capabilities, and functionalities. 

While delving into this ITSM tools comparison, a perfect fit may not be limited to just these two options. Therefore, we'll explore an alternative service desk software – InvGate Service Desk. This emerging solution presents a refreshing perspective on ITSM, promising power and efficiency to revolutionize how IT services are managed.


Table of Contents



  • TOPdesk offers a user-friendly ITSM solution with powerful collaboration tools. The platform is continuously improving reporting and setup processes to enhance user satisfaction and efficiency.
  • Cherwell Service Management's interface and customization options are impressive, but the acquisition by Ivanti has received criticism from users facing challenges in achieving optimal performance when customizing the software.
  • InvGate Service Desk excels in ITSM and ESM with its exceptional ticketing system, intuitive options, comprehensive reporting, and unmatched cost-effectiveness.


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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

When potential buyers assess IT Service Management solutions, they concentrate on specific functionalities that align with their organization's needs, making it crucial to understand these desired features to make well-informed decisions. 

Let's explore the primary factors that potential buyers commonly take into account when comparing ITSM tools.

  1. User experience and interface - Buyers value ease of use and a well-designed interface. They prefer a user-friendly platform with an intuitive interface that promotes user adoption and productivity, with mobile accessibility being essential for organizations with remote or mobile workforces.

  2. Pricing and support - Buyers consider the cost-effectiveness of the solution, including licensing models, subscription plans, and additional costs for features or users. The availability of reliable customer support, comprehensive documentation, and accessible training resources also plays a significant role in the decision-making process.

  3. Self-service portal and knowledge base - Buyers highly value a self-service portal empowering end-users to independently resolve common issues and access relevant information without requiring direct assistance.

  4. Optimized IT service catalog - Organizations prioritize streamlined IT service catalogs that provide a centralized platform for users to request specific IT services or resources, simplifying service requests, enhancing visibility, and aiding in effective Service Delivery Management.

  5. Ticket Management solution - Buyers prioritize a comprehensive Ticket Management System within the help desk software, enabling effective tracking, assignment, and resolution of customer inquiries and support requests.

  6. Efficient IT Asset Management - Users value software with robust ITAM capabilities to maintain accurate inventories and optimize resource utilization within their organizations.

  7. Scalability - Organizations with evolving needs seek solutions that can adapt to their growth and accommodate customization. The solution should allow the creation of custom fields, workflows, and extensions/plugins, enabling them to tailor the software to their unique business requirements.

  8. Insightful reporting - Buyers look for help desk software with powerful reporting tools like dashboards and reports, providing valuable insights into their IT operations and performance, facilitating informed decision-making and continuous service improvement.

  9. Customization and flexibility - Buyers seek software solutions offering customization options to align the platform with their business needs. Flexibility ensures the software adapts to their unique workflows and processes, enhancing user satisfaction and overall effectiveness.

  10. Support automation and Workflow Management - Buyers actively seek software solutions with automation capabilities to optimize routine tasks like ticket routing, approvals, and escalations, increasing efficiency and productivity.

  11. Seamless integration capabilities - Integration with other systems and applications is crucial for buyers, ensuring smooth data flow and process automation. The ability to integrate existing tools and platforms is highly valued for improved efficiency and a unified user experience.

  12. ITIL compliance - Adhering to ITIL best practices is a priority for many organizations. Buyers may prioritize solutions that support ITIL processes, such as Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, and Asset Management.


What is TOPdesk?


TOPdesk IT Service Management, developed by the Dutch software company TOPdesk, aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of IT support services. By integrating customer inquiries, IT assets, and workflows into a user-friendly platform, TOPdesk ITSM streamlines the support process for IT agents and ensures a seamless and satisfactory customer experience.

This software enables organizations to efficiently handle a range of IT service tasks, including Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, and Request Management.

What users like from TOPdesk

TOPdesk IT Service Management has garnered positive feedback from customers and earned recognition from reputable sources like Gartner for its numerous benefits. Here is an overview of the highlighted advantages.

  • All-in-one Service Management solution - TOPdesk ITSM is a comprehensive and integrated platform for Service Management, meeting organizations' diverse IT service needs.
  • Powerful and dynamic features - The software has a robust motor and dynamic features, enabling efficient and effective IT Service Management.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface - The software offers an interface designed for effortless navigation and task completion, ensuring IT agents can work efficiently with ease.
  • API capabilities for automation and integration - The platform's API capabilities enable automation and seamless integration with other systems, streamlining ITSM processes.
  • Seamless collaboration capabilities - The software fosters smooth communication and efficient troubleshooting by promoting collaboration among operators and different departments.
  • User-friendly self-service portal - Customers can easily request assistance or report issues through the user-friendly self-service portal.
  • Configuration and customization options - Organizations can tailor TOPdesk ITSM to their specific needs and requirements, thanks to its high level of configuration and customization.
  • Responsive customer support - Prompt and helpful customer support is available, ensuring that any concerns or issues receive quick and efficient resolution.
  • Stability and reliability - The software ensures stability and reliability, guaranteeing uninterrupted delivery of IT services.
  • Comprehensive Asset and Inventory Management - TOPdesk ITSM includes robust ITAM functionality and Inventory Management, providing IT departments with a holistic view of their assets.
  • Information provisioning - Organizations are kept up-to-date with information about new features, ensuring they stay informed about the latest developments.

What users don’t like from TOPdesk

While TOPdesk boasts significant strengths, certain aspects have raised concerns and dislikes among customers, as evidenced by analysis from sources like Gartner. Here are several dislikes that have been reported.

  • Missed features compared to competitors - Users have noticed the absence of certain features or functionalities in TOPdesk, affecting its competitiveness. Implementing these missing features would strengthen the software's offering.
  • Improvement needed in reporting and dashboard options - Users have expressed a desire for improved reporting and dashboard options to gain more valuable insights and data. Enhancing these features would provide users with greater analytical capabilities.
  • Knowledge Management and Change Management systems challenges - Some users have faced difficulties with the Knowledge Management and Change Management Systems, indicating a need for further development to improve their effectiveness.
  • Complexity in setup and configuration - Certain users have encountered complexities in setting up and configuring specific functionalities, resulting in time-consuming and frustrating experiences that would benefit from streamlined processes.
  • Functionality and usability improvements needed - Specific software modules or components require further development to address user feedback and enhance overall functionality and usability.
  • Issues with front-end aesthetics and customization - Some users have encountered challenges with front-end aesthetics and customization options, negatively impacting user experience. Improving these aspects would enhance the visual appeal and user satisfaction.
  • Challenges with creating email triggers - Users have reported difficulties in creating email triggers based on workflows, leading to communication delays. Simplifying this process would improve efficiency.
  • Implementation delays and consulting service issues - Certain users have experienced delays in implementation and encountered issues with consulting services, affecting the software's adoption. Addressing these concerns would enhance the overall implementation experience.
  • Lack of flexibility in personal and group settings - The personal and group settings in the software lack flexibility, limiting user customization options. Greater flexibility in these areas would enhance customization possibilities.
  • Outdated appearance - Users have expressed dissatisfaction with TOPdesk's outdated appearance, suggesting that a more modern look and feel would significantly enhance the user experience.
  • Inconvenient task separation - The separation of tasks across different modules can be inconvenient and confusing for users. Simplifying and streamlining task organization would enhance user experience and productivity.
  • Slow release of updates for Asset Management - The release of updates for Asset Management has been slow, hindering the ability to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Expediting update releases would ensure users can benefit from the most recent enhancements.

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

TOPdesk's argument over Cherwell Service Management revolves around highlighting the strengths of its own IT Service Management platform in comparison to Cherwell. While both platforms have received positive feedback and recognition, TOPdesk aims to emphasize the areas where they excel, offering unique advantages to their customers.

  1. Comprehensive Service Management solution - TOPdesk ITSM positions itself as an all-in-one, comprehensive, and fully integrated platform for Service Management, catering to the diverse IT service needs of organizations. They emphasize that their solution provides a holistic approach to managing IT services efficiently.

  2. Enhanced front-end aesthetics and customization - TOPdesk emphasizes the importance of visual appeal and user satisfaction by offering improved front-end aesthetics and customization options.

  3. Performance and versatile features - The software has a strong and flexible engine, empowering IT Service Management to operate efficiently and effectively.

  4. Effortless collaboration capabilities - The software facilitates seamless communication and streamlined troubleshooting by encouraging collaboration among operators and departments.

  5. Consistent stability and dependability - The software prioritizes stability and reliability, ensuring uninterrupted delivery of IT services with consistent performance.


What is Cherwell Service Management?

Example of Cherwell Service Management's interface.

Cherwell Service Management, developed by Ivanti, is a specialized IT Service Management platform designed to meet the specific needs of service departments without requiring coding or scripting. What distinguishes this platform is its ability to deliver automated IT services using a wide array of pre-built tools.

Additionally, the platform's support for multiple languages caters to diverse user bases, enhancing accessibility and usability. Organizations can choose between a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or on-premise deployment, providing flexibility to suit their preferences.

One of the notable features of Cherwell Service Management is its codeless architecture, which empowers users to create solutions without the need for coding skills. Its user-friendly drag-and-drop functionality also enables easy customization, making it accessible to non-technical users. 

Moreover, Cherwell Service Management seamlessly integrates with Ivanti Neurons, a powerful platform that enhances system performance and security through predictive, self-healing, and autonomous remediation capabilities. 

What users like from Cherwell Service Management

Cherwell Service Management has garnered positive customer feedback and earned recognition for its strengths from reputable sources like Gartner. Let's delve into the advantages that users have highlighted.

  • User-friendly interface - The platform offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, enhancing usability and ensuring efficient interactions with the system.
  • Streamlined development - Cherwell Service Management adopts a low-code/no-code approach, enabling users to swiftly establish and implement new features without the need for extensive coding expertise.
  • Automation and Workflow Management - Users find great value in the platform's automation capabilities, which allow them to automate tasks and design complex workflows tailored to their specific needs.
  • Extensive customization - Users highly appreciate the platform's extensive customization options, allowing them to personalize various aspects, such as form fields and workflows, to suit their specific requirements.
  • Seamless API integrations - The platform facilitates seamless connectivity with other systems through API integrations, thereby expanding its overall functionality and integration possibilities.

What users don’t like from Cherwell Service Management

While Cherwell Service Management possesses notable strengths, there have also been customer concerns and dislikes related to specific aspects of the platform. After a thorough analysis of reliable sources like Gartner, the following areas of dissatisfaction have been identified.

  • Shift towards Ivanti - Some customers express discontent with the sales approach towards Ivanti Neurons following Ivanti's acquisition of Cherwell Software. The sudden shift in focus has not been well-received by Cherwell's existing customer base.
  • Bugs and upgrade concerns - Users have reported running into bugs and challenges during platform upgrades, negatively impacting the user experience and requiring prompt resolution.
  • Performance issues - Certain users have encountered performance problems while working with large databases or extensive groups of technicians, resulting in system responsiveness issues and causing frustration.
  • Customization challenges - Although Cherwell offers extensive customization options, certain users have faced difficulties and time-consuming tasks when developing and customizing particular elements, especially in creating new Business Objects and Forms.
  • Customer support - Some users have criticized the level of customer support provided, citing slow response times and a perceived reluctance to acknowledge software issues as bugs.
  • Outdated user interface - Certain users have voiced their dissatisfaction with the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of Cherwell, considering it outdated and less responsive, particularly when comparing the web version to the desktop application.

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

Cherwell Service Management positions itself as a leading IT Service Management platform, and when comparing itself to TOPdesk, it aims to emphasize its unique strengths and advantages. Here's Cherwell Service Management's argument over TOPdesk.

  1. Comprehensive automation and Workflow Management - Cherwell Service Management highlights that these features enable organizations to design complex workflows tailored to their specific needs, streamlining ITSM processes and improving overall efficiency.

  2. User-friendly low-code/no-code approach - Cherwell Service Management focuses on its low-code/no-code approach, which empowers users to quickly and easily set up and implement new features without extensive coding knowledge.

  3. Extensive customization for tailored solutions - Cherwell Service Management offers a wide range of customization options, allowing organizations to personalize various aspects, including form fields and workflows. 

  4. Seamless API integrations for enhanced functionality - Cherwell Service Management highlights its seamless API integrations, facilitating connectivity with other systems and expanding the platform's overall functionality.


Considering InvGate Service Desk as an ITSM solution alternative

While TOPdesk and Cherwell Service Management are prominent rivals in the ITSM sector, it is vital to explore alternative solutions that closely align with your organization's unique needs. In this regard, InvGate Service Desk stands out as a compelling and worthy option that warrants thoughtful evaluation. 

Let's explore the beneficial attributes of InvGate Service Desk that make it a valuable choice for fulfilling your ITSM requirements.

Designed for ITSM and ESM

InvGate Service Desk is tailor-made for ITSM and effortlessly extends its capabilities to Enterprise Service Management (ESM). It empowers operational departments to enhance their processes and embrace the benefits of digital transformation, streamlining workflows and fostering comprehensive digital initiatives across all departments.

Exceptional user experience

InvGate Service Desk prioritizes delivering an outstanding user experience through meticulous design and adherence to UI/UX best practices. Its intuitive interface facilitates quick adoption and reduces the need for extensive training, ensuring a user-friendly design that maximizes productivity.


Powerful Ticketing and Incident Management

InvGate Service Desk excels in offering robust features for ticketing and incident management. It facilitates efficient tracking, collaboration, and resolution of tickets, empowering IT teams to handle and prioritize incidents effectively. With automated ticket routing, customizable workflows, and SLA Management, incident resolution processes become more efficient.

Example of a Ticket Management view on InvGate Service Desk.

Robust self-service capabilities

InvGate Service Desk offers a user-friendly portal, an extensive IT service catalog, and a knowledge base, empowering end-users to independently resolve common issues, access IT services, and utilize self-help resources. This reduces the burden on IT staff.


Customization and flexibility

InvGate Service Desk offers flexible deployment options, allowing organizations to choose between on-premise or cloud-based solutions. This adaptability ensures the platform can cater to the specific requirements of different sectors and industries.

Simplified configuration and setup

InvGate Service Desk streamlines the configuration and setup process through a no-code/low-code approach, simplifying implementation and enabling users with varying technical expertise to adopt the platform easily. Its straightforward configuration options quickly leverage its robust ITSM capabilities.

ITIL best practice compliance

InvGate Service Desk has earned the prestigious PinkVERIFIED Certified certification,
 demonstrating its commitment to maintaining top-tier IT Service Management (ITSM) standards. Whether organizations are embarking on their ITIL journey or handling complex operations, InvGate Service Desk provides a user-friendly and feature-rich experience aligned with industry best practices.

Comprehensive Asset Management

Integrating InvGate Service Desk with InvGate Insight provides organizations with a comprehensive view of their IT ecosystem, leading to improved service delivery and reduced downtime. InvGate Insight offers IT Asset Discovery, Inventory Management, Software License Management, and maintenance schedules.




Comprehensive reporting and analytics

InvGate Service Desk provides extensive reporting and analytics functionalities, offering valuable insights into IT operations and performance. The platform includes ready-to-use reports and customizable dashboards, empowering IT teams to analyze data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions to enhance their services.

InvGate Service Desk's customizable dashboard view.

Cost-effective solution with fast ROI and ongoing innovation

InvGate Service Desk presents a cost-effective solution without compromising on functionality. It offers a comprehensive range of ITSM features at a competitive price, making it an appealing choice for organizations seeking affordability without sacrificing capabilities. Furthermore, the platform ensures a fast return on investment through efficient implementation processes. Regular feature updates keep users at the forefront of technology without incurring additional costs. In comparison to alternatives like TOPdesk and Cherwell Service Management, InvGate Service Desk strikes a balance between cost and functionality.

Next steps

In the search for the ultimate IT Service Management solution, the comparison between TOPdesk vs. Cherwell Service Management has shed light on their distinct strengths and advantages.

Additionally, the journey to finding the perfect ITSM solution may involve considering other alternatives, such as InvGate Service Desk.

Are you ready to witness the future of ITSM? Explore our live demo and unlock a world of possibilities for your organization's IT Service Management. 

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