You probably won't want to replace all your call center PCs with iPads, and doing "real" support work likely requires a full keyboard. But we're betting at least a few of your customer support staff have to either take work home with them or monitor issues outside of the office. Accessing the customer service help desk from the road probably isn't a good justification for buying an iPad, unless you have a lot of reps in the field using help desk software. But help desk access is a good use for iPads that your company or your employees already won.

The help desk for the iPad market seems to be just getting started. Here's a look at what's available so far.

OTRS

OTRS released an iPad version of its open source ticket tracking system last year. It lets support agents check tickets that are assigned to them, respond to tickets by e-mail and close tickets.

Satisfaction Remote (A GetSatisfaction Client)

Satisfaction Remote is a third party client for GetSatisfaction, a popular customer support and feedback software-as-a-service. It's designed for end-users, not support reps. But the ability to comment on existing threads may be useful for some employees. At the very least, they will be able to check for new posts.

Satisfaction Remote also has code available for embedding GetSatisfaction into iOS apps so that your customers can access your support portal from within your mobile app.

SmarterTrack

SmarterTrack is a help desk application from SmarterTools. The beta version of SmarterTrack 7.X adds a mobile and tablet optimized version of the site for both customers and agents.

SupportDesk (A Kayako Client)

SupportDesk is a third party client for Kayako. The big issue is that it doesn't support Kayako v4, the latest version release in November of last year. But for those that still run the previous version, this app could be handy for tracking service tickets from the road.

UserVoice

The iPad optimized version of the idea management and help desk application UserVoice should be released sometime next week, according to UserVoice CEO Richard White. Update:White says the company ended up pushing new the version this afternoon.

UserVoice gave me a preview of iPad optimized version to prove that it's not vaporware. White says the admin interface was always designed with the iPad in mind, so the new version just offers some additional tweaks to make it even more usable from a tablet. Our coverage of the UserVoice help desk is here.

Like Satisfaction Remote, UserVoice offers an SDK that developers can use to insert UserVoice directly into an iOS application.

Zendesk

Zendesk released its iPad app in February. Zendesk for the iPad gives agents the ability to manage their entire ticket workflow from the iPad by editing tickets, assigning them to different agents and tagging entries.