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Q: Helpdesk software ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Helpdesk software
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: ithead-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 20 Jan 2005 07:22 PST
Expires: 19 Feb 2005 07:22 PST
Question ID: 460391
We provide IT support to a user base of approx. 800 PC's and Laptops
spread across 10 sites. 20 IT staff are spread across three of these
sites. We use Lotus Notes for eMail (V5) and Windows NT on the
servers, but plan to move to W22K and AD in next 6 months.

We currently log calls through an in-house Notes database but are
finding this is poor in terms of reporting and does not have a
knowledge base aspect to the system.

We are looking for a strong but simple to use Helpdesk package which
will also support an IT Asset database.

Key criteria for the new system include :

- simple to use
- can operate in a distributed environment (to support local call
logging in each site) but can consolidate reporting across the
- strong and flexible reporting including reporting of IT Metrics / call analysis
- ability to hold IT Asset (PC, Laptop, printers etc.) info. and match
against user calls
- ability to allow users to view call progress to call completion

The minimum information for a logged calls should include :

- user name
- date/time logged
- user phone extension/phone no.
- call number
- call priority (1,2,3 etc.)
- call major category 
- call minor category
- call taken by (IT person)
- call assigned to (IT person)
- call description
- completion required date (for add/moves/changes)
- expected completion date (based on defineed SLA parameters for call category)
- key to view IT assets held by user (PC, printer etc.)
- key to add actions taken to progress/complete call
- key to close call
- ideally some workflow ability to (notify user of call progress,
completion, clarification request etc.)
- knowledge base facility to allow smart search through previous calls
for match against current call
- strong and flexible reporting to provide measure of IT effectiveness
in addition to general reporting to aid in internal progression of
calls. Reports should include ability to report on calls taken,
answered, time taken to answer against SLA, trend analysis of calls by
category, call analysis by IT person, call analysis by user etc.

A widely used standard package is required (i.e. not a Notes add-on
development) ideally with support in Ireland or UK. A comparison of a
number of products in a table format would help with selection.

Thanks and Regards,

Pat Rowan
Subject: Re: Helpdesk software
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 20 Jan 2005 16:35 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello -

Thank you for your question.  If you need any additional
clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you.

I spoke with four companies in the CRM/Helpdesk arena to confirm their
product offering will meet your needs as outlined.   A table comparing
certain aspects of the first three firms and others' offerings can be
found at Technology Evaluation Center's website:  TEC is a full-featured, free service which
allows you to enter in specific criteria for your needs and see
various applications that match them.

You'll want to reference Google Answers when calling.

(1) Surado CRM by Surado Solutions	
    Surado Solutions, Inc.
    2060 Chicago Ave.  Suite C5
    Riverside, CA 92507, USA

	   1-800-4SURADOx618 (Steve)
    About $1000 per concurrent user.
    Support contract is about 18% per year.

(2) Enterprise CRM or Enterprise eCRM by Maximizer Enterprise
    1090 West Pender Street-10th Floor
    Vancouver, BC, Canada  V6E 2N7
    604-639-3639 (Christy)

    About $489 for CRM or $699 CRM per workstation
    20% maintenance on the license fees per year

(3) CustomerFirst by RTI Software
    1001 Warrenville Road, Suite 104 Lisle, IL 60532-1397
    630.235.0042 (Kathy) 

    About $1899 per user
    20% per year for maintenance

    (no local support in Ireland; however, 
     long distance support to US available)

Both of the following companies are considered by Surado to be
competition; I spoke directly to the first and confirmed their product
offering's ability to handle your needs:

(4) Magic Service Desk by Remedy
    713-918-2767 (Contact: Ahmad)
    1030 West Maude Avenue
    Sunnyvale, CA 94085-2810 
    Software is browser-based.

    About $3700 per computer (unlimited users).

(5) Heat CRM
    6701 Koll Center Parkway
    Suite 250
    Pleasanton, CA 94566

Select Additional Possibilities
   iRenaissance by Ross Systems
   Clientele CRM by Epicor

Google Search Strategy
   crm software comparisons

Request for Answer Clarification by ithead-ga on 21 Jan 2005 09:30 PST
Thanks for you answer. A few comments/queries on your answer :
- are these packages more geared towards CRM rather than an IT
Helpdesk/Support desk ?
- do any of the packages provide or integrate with IT Asset systems
(e.g. PC details/spec., Printer details/spec. etc.
- do any of the packages integrate with Lotus Notes for workflow (i.e.
feedback to user on call progress)


Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 21 Jan 2005 11:48 PST
Hello -

1) Good question.  CRM is a very broad term.  The companies I've
listed essentially call helpdesk functionality "internal CRM" (which
can be customer OR contact relationship management).

2) Yes, all of them.

3) I've confirmed that Surado and RTI do.  Maximizer will be calling
me back.  In the midst of your upgrade, have you considered switching
to Outlook as your email solution?   That seems to be the #1 product
supported by all of the companies, and will most likely integrate much
more seemlessly with most products.

I'm going to recommend talking to Gerry at a company called Third Sky.
 Third Sky is a "help desk creation" consultancy and customization
firm that can advise you in product selection, implentation, and
customization.  They would love to set up a conference call with you
to discuss your options.

Third Sky

781-341-2082 x Gerry

Take a close look at the Heat product, a market leader by Front Range
mentioned by two representatives at Surado.  It has significant
customization capability.  Price: $2000 per concurrent user.

Let me know if you have any more questions before rating this answer.

Thank you,


Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 22 Jan 2005 19:16 PST
typo correction: implentation -> implementation
ithead-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Helpdesk software
From: steve792-ga on 10 Mar 2005 14:48 PST
I've used a browser based helpdesk system called Sostenuto by Sunrise
Software. IT is extremely flexible, ITSM compliant and can integrate
with many 3rd party CRM solutions.
Subject: Re: Helpdesk software
From: dejavu1-ga on 30 Mar 2005 06:31 PST
Nearly any of the following apps will accomplish what you want -

and many are far less expensive.

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