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CRM - Helpdesk/Ticketing system RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear all,

    Our organization need to apply ticketing system (Help Desk) , we are now studying two none Microsoft ticketing systems products, "BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite" & "ManageEngine Asset Explorer", since our organization have Enterprise agreement with Microsoft, I was wondering could we utilize and use CRM as helpdesk/ticketing system? and will it be better than the other products as performance, functions, licences and cost?

    If you don't know the answer for my last question I hope to get an answer from the people who are utilizing the CRM as Helpdesk/Ticketing system and have background about other Helpdesk/Ticketing system products.

    If the CRM is developed to be Helpdesk/Ticketing system is it going to have these functions?

    Is it suitable for large Enterprise 1000+?

    Will the CRM have these features, contract and compliance, asset management, reporting and service desk?

    Will the CRM have any compliance features such as contract management, and renewal alerts? 

    Will the CRM have any asset features such as asset tagging, automatic asset discovery, budgeting, forecasting and software inventory?

    Will the CRM have any service features such as knowledge base, problem management, self-service web portal and service catalog?

    Will the CRM have any reporting features such as custom report builder and scheduled reports?

    Will the CRM have any support features such as blog, Email, help desk, instructional videos, knowledge base, live chat, phone, podcasts, tips and hints, webinars and white papers?

    sorry for the long questions, but i couldn't find answers through searching the forums and other websites?
    also if there any advice, suggestions and concerns or a successful story for CRM as Helpdesk/Ticketing system i will be so glad if you share it with me...

    Best Regards

    Waleed Sami 

    Thursday, September 10, 2015 8:11 AM

Answers

  • See below

    Is it suitable for large Enterprise 1000+?

    A:  Yes.  The CRM platform is scalable.  Servers can be set up in full server mode or broken out by roles such as web front end and system job type roles such as async service and workflows on the back end.  CRM servers can also be load balanced to handle the additional workload or users.

    Will the CRM have these features, contract and compliance, asset management, reporting and service desk?

    A:  CRM does have a contract feature.  The latest version of CRM also has support for SLA.  You would need to customize CRM and add an asset management entity.  Once that were added, you could create CRM reports for your assets.  CRM has a Cases entity.  Cases are used by the service desk to enter case or incident information on tickets that have been opened.  Cases can be linked to kb articles created within CRM, and also help track time to each case.

    Will the CRM have any compliance features such as contract management, and renewal alerts? 

    A:  Contracts are part of CRM.  But I don't believe they have any renewal alerts built in (it has been a while since I played with contracts).  Contracts can be renewed if necessary.  You could create some custom functionality to provide alerts if necessary. 

    Will the CRM have any asset features such as asset tagging, automatic asset discovery, budgeting, forecasting and software inventory?

    A:  You can create a custom entity for your asset tagging.  There is no automatic asset discovery out of the box.  CRM can use rollup queries to get grand totals of your assets if you enter the value on each record of your assets.  This may help with forecasting.  But you would likely still need to do additional customizations.  Software could be tracked in a similar fashion as the other assets.  These software and asset records could be linked to user records in CRM so that you can quickly see what each user is assigned.

    Will the CRM have any service features such as knowledge base, problem management, self-service web portal and service catalog?

    A:  A Knowledge Tree is part of CRM.  You will need to build out and add kb articles.  Kb's can be created, approved and published for all internal CRM users.  They can be helpful in Case resolution, and can be linked to Cases that are resolved by the article.  There is also a service calendar native to CRM.  When you create resources in CRM such as technical support engineers, equipment that they may need, vehicles for transport, etc, the service calendar can help a user select an appointment time on the service calendar when all the specific resources will be available.  For example, you have 5 engineers but only 2 vehicles that they can use for remote work.  The service calendar will only book off site appointments when there is a vehicle available in this case.

    If the person creating the request is a CRM users, then they can create the Case from within CRM.  If the people creating the Cases were not CRM users and needed some sort of portal, you could create one from scratch or use a third party application such as ADX Studios.  ADX has a bit of a learning curve, but the product can be quickly installed.  If you make changes to a CRM form internally, that change is immediately available to the outside portal users.

    Will the CRM have any reporting features such as custom report builder and scheduled reports?

    A:  CRM has a native report wizard that can be used to create basic reports.  You can run an advanced find, download the xml for the query, and add it to a CRM report you create through the report wizard.  If you need more robust reports with better formatting and all the bells and whistles like gauges and such, then you can use Visual Studio with the SQL Server Developer Tools Business Intelligence add in installed, or download BIDS for free.  You can also use the report builder from within SSRS.  The custom reports can be uploaded into CRM and then run from within CRM.  Reports can be scheduled from within CRM and snapshots created on a schedule.  From within SSRS, these report snapshots can be emailed out to people who may not have access to CRM but need to see the reports regularly.

    Will the CRM have any support features such as blog, Email, help desk, instructional videos, knowledge base, live chat, phone, podcasts, tips and hints, webinars and white papers?

    A:  There is a feature called the Wall.  This can be configured to post updates or changes that happen to certain records within CRM.  CRM users can also "follow" things like Accounts or even other users.  A great feature for a sales person who may need to keep up to date on a lead that may have been added or updated.  In this case, as a new asset is added to your inventory, the wall could let everyone in IT know that it is available.  CRM also has Skype and Lync (or now Skype Business) integration.  The integration lets you see from CRM that a user is online, and the engineer can quickly reach out through the CRM application.  And the Lync/Skype integration takes advantage of chat, voice, video, remote desktop sharing, etc.

    There are Install Docs and white papers on CRM that can be downloaded from Microsoft on the product.  There are several other sources of help on the internet and utube that can be searched.  These forums are also helpful to get specific questions answered.

    You can download a 90 day trial for the On Premise version of CRM.  You can also sign up for a 30 day trial of CRM Online.  There will be some minor differences between the Online and On Premise versions since Online gets the updates and new features faster.


    Jason Peterson

    Thursday, September 10, 2015 11:54 PM
  • CRM has a native sales module.  You would need to build out a product catalog.  But after that, you can provide quotes and invoices on products sold.  There really isn't a good inventory management in the product even though you can enter a quantity when building out the product catalog.  Meaning that as a product is sold, the on hand quantity will not change.  But you may be able to do some custom code to adjust the numbers as items are sold or stock replenished.  You can also have a discount list for the products you choose.

    You would have to customize the vendor management I think.  If you add them as Contacts in CRM, you can track all the emails you send and receive with them.

    Relationship Management is in the name of the product.  So the system is designed to track someone or a company through the whole sales pipeline process from when they are first entered as an opportunity, to being converted to an account, contact or lead, and a product sold to them.

    Client Management is similar to the above.  They can be entered as Accounts, Contacts or Leads into the system.  All activities such as email, phone calls, faxes, etc. are tracked and linked to their record for historical reference.  You can also create custom activities in CRM for SMS that you may text to these Accounts, Contacts or Leads.  But you would need to do some outside integration.  CRM doesn't have the ability to send/receive faxes or SMS as a stand alone product.  But if you have a developer, it is easy to create code to send an email that someone will receive as a SMS for example.  I do this in a console app to send me a text message when the IP address of my server changes since it is dynamic.

    Tasks are also tracked in CRM and related back to parent records such as Accounts, Contacts or Leads for example.  Tasks can also be synced to Outlook when the user has the CRM Add-in installed on their Outlook.  The latest versions of CRM allow a lot more control of syncing of these Tasks or other entities.  Some of which include syncing only in one direction where you may only want users to receive changes to Contacts in CRM but don't want the users to sync back into CRM changes they made on the Contact within their Outlook.  You can also control internal notes on an entity so that something noted internally doesn't accidently go out to that Contact.  Tasks that are completed can be closed from Outlook.  The update will then sync back to CRM on the next synchronization.  15 minutes by default.

    It is a good product that can do a lot of things, and is designed to be broad enough for nearly any business.  In fact, I actually had one customer complain that there were too many things in the product that they didn't need.  In those cases, you can customize the product and hide those extra features from users to prevent confusion.  There will be some limitations of course.  Just like any other product.


    Jason Peterson

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 3:46 PM

All replies

  • See below

    Is it suitable for large Enterprise 1000+?

    A:  Yes.  The CRM platform is scalable.  Servers can be set up in full server mode or broken out by roles such as web front end and system job type roles such as async service and workflows on the back end.  CRM servers can also be load balanced to handle the additional workload or users.

    Will the CRM have these features, contract and compliance, asset management, reporting and service desk?

    A:  CRM does have a contract feature.  The latest version of CRM also has support for SLA.  You would need to customize CRM and add an asset management entity.  Once that were added, you could create CRM reports for your assets.  CRM has a Cases entity.  Cases are used by the service desk to enter case or incident information on tickets that have been opened.  Cases can be linked to kb articles created within CRM, and also help track time to each case.

    Will the CRM have any compliance features such as contract management, and renewal alerts? 

    A:  Contracts are part of CRM.  But I don't believe they have any renewal alerts built in (it has been a while since I played with contracts).  Contracts can be renewed if necessary.  You could create some custom functionality to provide alerts if necessary. 

    Will the CRM have any asset features such as asset tagging, automatic asset discovery, budgeting, forecasting and software inventory?

    A:  You can create a custom entity for your asset tagging.  There is no automatic asset discovery out of the box.  CRM can use rollup queries to get grand totals of your assets if you enter the value on each record of your assets.  This may help with forecasting.  But you would likely still need to do additional customizations.  Software could be tracked in a similar fashion as the other assets.  These software and asset records could be linked to user records in CRM so that you can quickly see what each user is assigned.

    Will the CRM have any service features such as knowledge base, problem management, self-service web portal and service catalog?

    A:  A Knowledge Tree is part of CRM.  You will need to build out and add kb articles.  Kb's can be created, approved and published for all internal CRM users.  They can be helpful in Case resolution, and can be linked to Cases that are resolved by the article.  There is also a service calendar native to CRM.  When you create resources in CRM such as technical support engineers, equipment that they may need, vehicles for transport, etc, the service calendar can help a user select an appointment time on the service calendar when all the specific resources will be available.  For example, you have 5 engineers but only 2 vehicles that they can use for remote work.  The service calendar will only book off site appointments when there is a vehicle available in this case.

    If the person creating the request is a CRM users, then they can create the Case from within CRM.  If the people creating the Cases were not CRM users and needed some sort of portal, you could create one from scratch or use a third party application such as ADX Studios.  ADX has a bit of a learning curve, but the product can be quickly installed.  If you make changes to a CRM form internally, that change is immediately available to the outside portal users.

    Will the CRM have any reporting features such as custom report builder and scheduled reports?

    A:  CRM has a native report wizard that can be used to create basic reports.  You can run an advanced find, download the xml for the query, and add it to a CRM report you create through the report wizard.  If you need more robust reports with better formatting and all the bells and whistles like gauges and such, then you can use Visual Studio with the SQL Server Developer Tools Business Intelligence add in installed, or download BIDS for free.  You can also use the report builder from within SSRS.  The custom reports can be uploaded into CRM and then run from within CRM.  Reports can be scheduled from within CRM and snapshots created on a schedule.  From within SSRS, these report snapshots can be emailed out to people who may not have access to CRM but need to see the reports regularly.

    Will the CRM have any support features such as blog, Email, help desk, instructional videos, knowledge base, live chat, phone, podcasts, tips and hints, webinars and white papers?

    A:  There is a feature called the Wall.  This can be configured to post updates or changes that happen to certain records within CRM.  CRM users can also "follow" things like Accounts or even other users.  A great feature for a sales person who may need to keep up to date on a lead that may have been added or updated.  In this case, as a new asset is added to your inventory, the wall could let everyone in IT know that it is available.  CRM also has Skype and Lync (or now Skype Business) integration.  The integration lets you see from CRM that a user is online, and the engineer can quickly reach out through the CRM application.  And the Lync/Skype integration takes advantage of chat, voice, video, remote desktop sharing, etc.

    There are Install Docs and white papers on CRM that can be downloaded from Microsoft on the product.  There are several other sources of help on the internet and utube that can be searched.  These forums are also helpful to get specific questions answered.

    You can download a 90 day trial for the On Premise version of CRM.  You can also sign up for a 30 day trial of CRM Online.  There will be some minor differences between the Online and On Premise versions since Online gets the updates and new features faster.


    Jason Peterson

    Thursday, September 10, 2015 11:54 PM
  • Dear Jason,

    Thanks for the big help and answering all of my question, the answers expanded my project thoughts towards the CRM, your answers really helped me in finalizing my decision but I was wondering if  these features will be included or not: 

    • Track Purchase Orders.
    • Vendor Management.
    • Relationship Management.
    • Client Management.
    • Task Management.

    Thanks in advance for the answers.

    Best Regards

    Waleed Sami



    Sunday, September 13, 2015 7:17 AM
  • CRM has a native sales module.  You would need to build out a product catalog.  But after that, you can provide quotes and invoices on products sold.  There really isn't a good inventory management in the product even though you can enter a quantity when building out the product catalog.  Meaning that as a product is sold, the on hand quantity will not change.  But you may be able to do some custom code to adjust the numbers as items are sold or stock replenished.  You can also have a discount list for the products you choose.

    You would have to customize the vendor management I think.  If you add them as Contacts in CRM, you can track all the emails you send and receive with them.

    Relationship Management is in the name of the product.  So the system is designed to track someone or a company through the whole sales pipeline process from when they are first entered as an opportunity, to being converted to an account, contact or lead, and a product sold to them.

    Client Management is similar to the above.  They can be entered as Accounts, Contacts or Leads into the system.  All activities such as email, phone calls, faxes, etc. are tracked and linked to their record for historical reference.  You can also create custom activities in CRM for SMS that you may text to these Accounts, Contacts or Leads.  But you would need to do some outside integration.  CRM doesn't have the ability to send/receive faxes or SMS as a stand alone product.  But if you have a developer, it is easy to create code to send an email that someone will receive as a SMS for example.  I do this in a console app to send me a text message when the IP address of my server changes since it is dynamic.

    Tasks are also tracked in CRM and related back to parent records such as Accounts, Contacts or Leads for example.  Tasks can also be synced to Outlook when the user has the CRM Add-in installed on their Outlook.  The latest versions of CRM allow a lot more control of syncing of these Tasks or other entities.  Some of which include syncing only in one direction where you may only want users to receive changes to Contacts in CRM but don't want the users to sync back into CRM changes they made on the Contact within their Outlook.  You can also control internal notes on an entity so that something noted internally doesn't accidently go out to that Contact.  Tasks that are completed can be closed from Outlook.  The update will then sync back to CRM on the next synchronization.  15 minutes by default.

    It is a good product that can do a lot of things, and is designed to be broad enough for nearly any business.  In fact, I actually had one customer complain that there were too many things in the product that they didn't need.  In those cases, you can customize the product and hide those extra features from users to prevent confusion.  There will be some limitations of course.  Just like any other product.


    Jason Peterson

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 3:46 PM
  • Dear Jason,

    I don't know what to say , thanks again, appreciate your assistance and professional response ..

    Best Regards

    Waleed Sami 
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 5:57 AM