[Webinar] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
?
Solved

Best free helpdesk/ticket tracking system available?

Posted on 2010-01-02
10
Medium Priority
?
4,457 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
Hi Experts.  I have been back and forth between SpiceWorks and SysAid CSS on which I should use to track the various support requests I get from customers.  I know the question says "best" which is in the eye of the beholder so let me clarify the question some.

Here is what I want to accomplish:
#1:Free software/app that will allow me to enter in customer's info and technical issue, post comments and close ticket
#2:Run report to generate list of contact info for all customers (name, address, email adress, etc)
#3:Custom fields so I can put in how much they paid, method of payment, etc.
#4:Web portal to put on my website for customers to submit own ticket

SpiceWorks does #1 and #4 very well but fails on #2 and #3.  I have been working with their support forum and you have to write a custom SQL report in order to get even the most basic customer info.  

SysAid CSS does #1 and #2 but chokes on #3 and #4 (newest version may resolve this as I left them just as it was coming out).

So I guess I am asking, is there a 3rd option that has the kind of support and following that SW and SysAid CSS have that I should look at?  I hate SW for their crappy custom fields and lack of reports and CSS should allow more fields to be used and an improved website iform.

I appreciate your thoughts.  If you have any concerns regarding helping your competition or conflict of interest, please understand that I am based in KY and am no serious threat if you are in that market.  : )  Thanks in advance Experts.
SysAid CSS
0
Comment
Question by:samiam41
10 Comments
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
MagicFarmer earned 1000 total points
ID: 26165988
I think SysAid is your best free option out there.

This link will give you a really good comparison sheet:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_ticket-tracking_systems.  

I have used Service Desk in the past with great results, but there since it is shareware your will have to pay to unlock all the options:  http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/win/10886537.
0
 
LVL 9

Author Comment

by:samiam41
ID: 26166520
Great work on the comparison sheet!  I found OTRS last night and thought about giving it a shot.  If not, I will go back to SysAid.  Do you know if you can create a ticket in SysAid without providing the "user name/password" info for the user/customer?  That is one of my biggest complaints about SysAid as well.  Thanks.
0
 
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:rdcpro
rdcpro earned 1000 total points
ID: 26167334
Since this is posted under SharePoint, I wonder if you've considered using SharePoint itself for this?  There are a couple of application templates that are fairly good by themselves, and easy to extend/modify.
I assume, since you're looking for free solutions, that your organization is fairly small.  I'm betting these would suffice:
Help Desk:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=CE90D6D7-7B96-47BF-A22F-A7E8C5D40647&displaylang=en
IT Team Workspace (includes help desk, and provides a lot of other functionality):
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3A69CF29-0010-42DE-AEA5-D9AC8D57BFBA&displaylang=en
The rest of the "Fab 40" are listed here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/sharepoint/bb407286.aspx
I think they're worth a look in a smaller organization.
Regards,
Mike Sharp
0
Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:rdcpro
ID: 26167345
By the way, you can deploy SharePoint is an extranet scenario, where your clients would have a login, but not an AD account.  Forms-based authentication is a bit tricky to set up, but once you have it working, it's nice.  I'm using a varient of the CKS:FBA project, on Codeplex.  
Mike
0
 
LVL 9

Author Comment

by:samiam41
ID: 26171697
@rdcpro, great work.  I posted this in the sharepoint category with the hopes that someone would mention a way to make it happen.  I tried Sharepoint 3.0 about a year ago and went through the helpdesk template at that time.  (Trying to think back that far)  I can't remember if I had a problem modifying the template or if Sharepoint wouldn't keep track of the ticket #.  Do you know if Sharepoint will do that (assign numbers to ticket and allow modifying the helpdesk temp?)

Thanks!
0
 
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:rdcpro
rdcpro earned 1000 total points
ID: 26172602
Yes, you can modify the template (it's like any other site in SharePoint).  This one is a "server admin" template, so it requires access to the server filesystem for installation.  You can unpack the template, and create a visual studio solution, if you like.  This would allow you to modify the feature manifests and add other things.  
It assigns ticket numbers based on the ID of the item in the ticket list, if I recall correctly.  What's really nice about it is that you can have a service desk manager role to assign tickets to individuals (if that applies in your case).  There are also dashboard pages for the manager to track things.  You can easily come up with any report on the data you like, since it's just a SharePoint list, and you simply create a view on the list.  You can even export the data to Excel, and analyze it statistically, if you want.  You can put the spreadsheet in a document library, and if you have MOSS, you can use Excel Services to expose the report/analysis directly on a web page in SharePoint.
Also, being a list, you can add custom columns to track the extra data you need.
If you want longer ticket numbers, you can create a calculated column that adds the year.  So you might have a ticket number like:
2010-23
Or any other format.  You just use Excel formulas in the calculated column.
If you want to do some serious customization, you'll probably have to figure out what's going on in the workflows...AFAIK, the source code for the templates isn't available. :(    So you'll need to do some reverse engineering.  But most customization is regular SharePoint stuff.
Try it out!
Regards,
Mike Sharp
0
 
LVL 9

Author Comment

by:samiam41
ID: 26191756
@rdcpro, I am going to split the points on this one as I have WSS running and was able to install the helpdesk temp but am stuck trying to configure the #&*(&@! thing.  I know the issue is on my end with the lack of knowledge needed to modify the template so I will accept the answers and post a new one in the WSS forum.

Thanks to you both for your help!
0
 
LVL 9

Author Closing Comment

by:samiam41
ID: 31672067
I appreciate the responses as it got me out of the frustrated lock I was in.  I am pushing forward with WSS since I have used it before and would love to learn more of it so this is a great chance.  The comparison sheet was PERFECT!!  Exactly what I needed to see.  

Thank you both and I look forward to working with you all in the future.

Regards,
Aaron
0
 
LVL 9

Author Comment

by:samiam41
ID: 26192458
0
 

Expert Comment

by:hbtouchstone
ID: 26202232
You can really get a leg up on the SQL reporting in Spiceworks by checking out their Shared Reports section on their Community (forums). Lots of users and Spiceworks employees alike have created SQL reports, and on occasion you can get their support team to write a SQL report for you (or at least get you started in the right direction).

With access to the Spiceworks database you can browse through the helpdesk related tables and make changes to existing reports to suit your needs. But it sounds like you are wanting to add a few custom fields to keep track of payment and contact info that aren't built-in to Spiceworks. I would be happy to help you with the SQL reporting. What did you have in mind?
http://community.spiceworks.com/reports

All that remains is setting up the custom fields. This can be done pretty quickly in Spiceworks as well, and its pretty straight-forward. The Advanced Options settings screen allows you to create or delete "custom attributes" and you can make them available to the users on the built-in web portal.

Spiceworks' new version added Apache server, so you now have https access to offer users while they access the web portal. Along with the ability to enable AD authentication on the web portal, things are more secure than ever with Spiceworks.
http://community.spiceworks.com/help/Managing_Custom_Attributes#Create
0

Featured Post

Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

In this article, you will read about the trends across the human resources departments for the upcoming year. Some of them include improving employee experience, adopting new technologies, using HR software to its full extent, and integrating artifi…
Learn how ViaSat reduced average response times for IT incidents from 10 minutes to 30 seconds.
With the power of JIRA, there's an unlimited number of ways you can customize it, use it and benefit from it. With that in mind, there's bound to be things that I wasn't able to cover in this course. With this summary we'll look at some places to go…
Introduction to Processes

864 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question