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Sharepoint for Ticketing System

Posted on 2011-03-18
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello,
    I am running a small IT company that is growing and finds itself needs a ticketing system in order to keep work orders from being forgotten. Right now I am beta testing bluefolder.com. I have also tested zendesk. My question is basically that I also have a small hosted 2010 Sharepoint Site that I am learning Sharepoint on. As I have delved into it a bit, I find that this may be a more integrated solution for a ticketing system, especially as I am looking at MS Dynamics as well for CMS. I wanted some opinions on the following questions
1) Is this even worth considering?
2) Is this something difficult to design, or something I could probably figure out myself?
3) How much would it cost to have somene design it?

Thanks!
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Question by:JesusFreak42
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Expert Comment

by:typerracer
ID: 35167762
As with most decisions, the answer is "It depends"

SharePoint is great for managing lists and, when combined with SharePoint Designer workflow tools, can solve many of the basic problems you need to solve.  If your need is to quickly build a bare bones solution where you are able to track version history, attach files, route status updates as they appear and keep track of who is working on what, a SharePoint solution can be stood up out of the box very quickly through learning on the fly or hiring someone to build it.

If you need a more robust and polished solution that offers true call center management capabilities, then you should be looking at dedicated solutions that are built for the help desk industry.

Without more detail on what you need to track, what your workflows are, etc, it's tough to go much further than that.  However, I can confirm that SharePoint does provide a lot of the essential tools that would enable you to get up and running quickly if you choose to go the custom route.
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Author Comment

by:JesusFreak42
ID: 35167837
We need to track the following
1) Work Orders
   a) Their nature (priority) and department (VOIP, Tech Support, Etc.)
   b) Time Worked
   c) Notes/emails
   d) Technicians
   e) Materials Used (expenses)
   f) Multiple Tasks (if work order is a Project rather than an incident)
   g) Status
2) Customer Files
   a) Netowrk Diagrams, etc.
   b) Contracts
3) Inventories
   a) Software/equipment the customer has and the waranntee/serial numbers of them

Obviously customer contact information

The reason I am even thinking about Sharepoint is not that I am unhappy with bluefolder. I actually like it quite a bit. It more has to do with integration. I would love to be able to pull up a person in ms Dynamics and immediately see their ticket history. Maybe this is not the right way to go about it, but integration is probably the main reason I am considering this.
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typerracer earned 2000 total points
ID: 35168231
You are definitely thinking along the right path.  SP2010 brings some nice corporate data integration features (BCS) to the table across all license versions.  These enable you to reference corporate data from Dynamics and other external systems.

As with anything, the more custom you get, the more things will cost.  General rule of thumb for building well-defined requirements into a SharePoint solution are as follows:

# of forms * (2 days for simple, 4 days for medium, 6 days for complex)
# of lists * 0.5 days
# of workflows * (3 days for simple, 6 days for medium, 9 days for complex)
# of views * 1 day
# of web parts * (1 day for simple, 3 days for medium, 5 days for complex)

This gets you a rough idea of how much effort is required for design, development and delivery.  If requirements are not well known up front, multiply total by 1.5.  If the customer requires training in SharePoint concepts (no one has ever used the product), allow for 25% scope creep.

Typically, SharePoint projects are managed in separate sites from work orders/ticketing in due to the potential complexity that projects can bring to the table.  If you need to track work to be done against a project using tickets, it is possible to build a project management template that allows you to work with tickets related to a particular project while allowing the overall ticketing system to aggregate ticket info across multiple projects.  This adds a bit of complexity to the concept though.

When do you need this by?
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Author Comment

by:JesusFreak42
ID: 35168711
Thanks for all that! This is something that is needed soon, but there is no absolute due date yet. We simply recognize it as something that will be helpful now, but absolutely necessary as our business is growing. To give a rough idea of timeframe, I would say 1 month would be great, 3 months would be the longest wait (seeing as I am leaving for vacation then).
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Author Comment

by:JesusFreak42
ID: 35202710
I just signed up for a demo dynamics site to see how these two work together. Thanks for all your help. Any additional advice would be great.
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