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Good self-hosted pay-once alternative to AutoTask Pro?

Posted on 2014-10-01
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Last Modified: 2015-10-05
With LogMeIn Central's exorbitant price hike, we settled on ScreenConnect as a self-hosted pay-once solution for remote administering client computers.  (The buy-in price for ScreenConnect is a little steep, but it includes LMI Rescue functionality that wasn't included in Central, so we'll be coming out ahead in less than two years despite buying the $4500 unlimited-session license.)  

AutoTask is even more expensive than LogMeIn--I'd estimate that we're paying around $4K per year for AutoTask Pro with 6 techs.  I'd much prefer to internalize that cost with a self-hosted pay-once solution--we've got plenty of bandwidth and computing power to support doing so.  I figure some of you must use something other than AutoTask, so what have you found works well as an alternative?

We use the following components of AutoTask:
--CRM (client contact info, passwords, etc)
--Ticketing (creating trouble tickets and documenting their solutions)
--Recurring billing (monthly service contracts)
--QuickBooks connectivity (to export tickets and contracts for billing purposes)

Basically, we use the AutoTask Go! functionality--we don't take advantage of any of the Pro features.  The only reason we subscribe to Pro is that Go! only supports up to 3 techs and we grew beyond that point a few years back.  We've got 100+ clients that are being managed by AutoTask.

Thanks!
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Question by:SINC_dmack
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Author Comment

by:SINC_dmack
ID: 40355528
It looks like BlueFolder is out--it's SaaS.  https://www.bluefolder.com/service-management-software/why-hosted-saas.aspx

Shockey Money appears to be an externally-hosted solution as well.  https://www.shockeymonkey.com/qs_service

Then there's RequestTracker.  I'm not sure if it supports QuickBooks connectivity, and it appears to be Linux based (we're a MS/Apple shop).  So it's probably out.  http://bestpractical.com/rt/

Connectwise sounds promising, but after browsing their website for 5 minutes, I haven't able to figure out its business model.  I've contacted their sales department and am waiting to hear back.  http://www.connectwise.com/it-services-large.php

Kayako offers a self-hosted solution but its subscription fee for 10 techs is $3000 per year.  I'd be willing to spend up to double that as a one-time fee, but $3000 annually isn't enough of a savings over AutoTask to justify the significant time and expense of switching software providers.  http://www.kayako.com/pricing/

Kayako's pricing is also strange.  Its hosted solution is $288 per year per tech, which works out to $3456 for 10 techs.  Saving less than 15% for hosting it myself doesn't make much sense.
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Accepted Solution

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Tim Phillips earned 500 total points
ID: 40355662
Try out Commit, it is a buy once software that does ticketing like AutoTask.  

http://www.commitcrm.com/
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Author Comment

by:SINC_dmack
ID: 40355857
Thanks, Tim.  I've reached out to CommitCRM sales to see if their software will meet our needs, and will report back.
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Author Comment

by:SINC_dmack
ID: 40355881
I've also reached out to OTRS.  Not sure if this is self-hosted or what the pricing structure is, so I emailed their sales department. https://www.otrs.com/software/otrsitsm-features/

I found this link posted in another EE article with a comparison of 10 help desk software systems:  http://www.softwareadvice.com/crm/help-desk-comparison/  I'm going to see if any of them might work well for us.
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Author Comment

by:SINC_dmack
ID: 40357917
I got a reply from OTRS--their salesperson indicated that their software does everything we need it to, except for QB integration.  He offered to look into that, but I'd prefer to go with an already-finished software package rather than having anything custom-written for us.  Additionally, OTRS pricing is significantly higher than what we're currently paying AutoTask--the basic package for up to 10 techs is $4995 per year.  (Our AutoTask subscription is $3192 per year, admittedly for just 5 techs.)

I also heard back from CommitCRM--their software does everything including QB connectivity.  It is a self-hosted pay-once solution.  Pricing is reasonable as well--we'd easily come out ahead in less than one year compared to our AutoTask subscription.  http://www.commitcrm.com/estore/commitcrm/  

I'm going to give the CommitCRM trial a try and will reply with my impressions some time next week.
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Expert Comment

by:Howdythere
ID: 40983953
How did you get on with CommitCRM?
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Author Closing Comment

by:SINC_dmack
ID: 41025414
We did do the trial of CommitCRM but we didn't really do much more with it than enter in a few records to test some things out.  I intend to do a more-thorough test before coming to a decision, but our shop has been busy enough that non-essential stuff like switching ticketing providers has gone by the wayside for the time being.  That said, CommitCRM appears to be the best alternative we've come across and, at least in our testing thus far, seems like it will be able to do everything that we need it to do.  Thanks, Tim!
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