Part of my role involves looking at new systems that can be put into place to help the rest of the business perform more efficiently. Currently I’m looking at helpdesk software.
We have a large customer that has taken a fully integrated approach to their IT support, telecoms and broadband – ie. they want us to do it all!
IT support is outsourced to a specialist. However, this isn’t something we’ve done before and we need to consider options for giving us a streamlined process for resolving issues.
This is what we need out of helpdesk software:
- Single point of contact for all issues
- IT Support
- Knowledge Base (KB) for the customer in order to ‘shift left‘
- Automatic suggestions for KB articles based on customer ticket keywords (although not essential)
- Knowledge repository for us to know exactly what they’ve got and where
- Integration with our existing billing system
- Email integration
- Team working
There are lots of possibilities for low-cost helpdesk software, and looking into what’s available gives us the following for testing:
osTicket is an Open Source package that prides itself on being as good, if not better than other (even commercial) options.
They have three options available:
- Open Source – this is self hosted and completely free
- Hosted – Paid for per agent, this option would be hosted in the cloud
- Enterprise Appliance – Fully supported and assisted self hosted appliance
Boasting a simple and responsive interface, OpenSupports is also Open Source – another free option if self-hosted.
Helpy has both paid and unpaid options. The unpaid option is downloadable via Github – meaning that contributions back to the project is possible.
Paid options are based on the number of agents and tickets but include more advanced features such as ‘Bot conversations’.
The developers of CDesk say that they designed it for their own needs with the results of ‘Order, effectiveness and profit’. They say that they are continually improving the product based on customers feedback.
CDesk is paid software and is billed per agent.
Zendesk offers ‘The Suite’ as a commercial product. It includes 4 modules as part of the package.
Support is the ticketing system itself.
Guide is a knowledge base and self service based package – it allows users to help themselves.
Chat provides live chat and messaging with customers.
Talk is call center based software.
We would be able to use combinations of modules – each of them with their relevant pricing.