Which software for a small technical support team?

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There are several issues that we face:
1) Goldmine seems to provide excellent contact management, but not problem management. I think if we want to record users' technical problems, in a way that we can query them later, we'll have to ensure that we record each problem (in a user's record) in a particular format. It would be better if we could extend and manipulate Goldmine for better problem management, but I don't think this is possible. We don't have the resources to spend more money on a better CRM system.

2) Our users can log into our website and raise technical issues there - this means that our database must be accessible over the internet, so rather than hosting it on a Windows machine in our office, we want to run it on our Unix server, but Goldmine only runs on Windows. Does anyone have suggestions for database software which runs on Unix? We already spent a lot of time developing a MySQL database but it has turned out not to be very well designed and I don't want to waste time and effort going down that road again, so I really want an off the shelf product. Any ideas? Suggestions?

Jess Collins

Replies

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avatar
By admin
18th May 2002 16:52

I know of a software package that may be of more use to you than CRM. The software is called Projeca Suite (www.projeca.com)and one of the situations it can be applied to is issue tracking and problem resolution.

This software allows you to develop custom work flows, assign staff to various steps in the work flow (manually or automatically) and will notify them that they have something to work on. You can also develop work rules that notify a supervisor when a particular step has not been completed within a defined period of time.

It is very powerful, open and flexible.

The internet interface requires MS IIS but the back end database has several options (i.e. Oracle, DB2, MS SQL, etc.) It may not be exactly what you are looking for but I thought I would let you know about it.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
14th May 2002 16:31

having spent the last 5 years working with small and mid sized companies to select Call center, sales force automation and general CRM solutions, I would higly recommend looking at epicor for a true CRM solution that can grow with your organization. It is fully scalable and allows full integration to other systems. You do not run into the proprietary nature of Goldmine.

I would also encourage working with a consulting firm to assist with the selection of whatever you decide to do. If you would like to talk more, contact us through our website www.customeronesolutions.com or send me an email directly [email protected]. best of luck to you.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
14th May 2002 16:32

You should definitely take a look at White Pajama's integrated contact center management solution. We are a hosted solution which integrates telephony (including ACD, IVR, CTI), email, live web-chat, co browsing and form sharing and knowledge-base self service portals for your website. We integrate all of these contact channels into one queuing, routing and tracking system, with one graphical interface for your agents.
By choosing a hosted solution you will eliminate expensive maintenance costs, long deployment schedules and valuable IT staff time, while continuing to have the latest and greatest call center technology throughout the life of your service contract with frequent functionality upgrades throughout the year.

Please give me a call or email to discuss.

Jack Hill
White Pajama
(toll free) 877-725-2621 x.2524
[email protected]

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
08th May 2002 10:30

Take a look at ER Systems helpdesk product. It is suitable for small to medium helpdesks, at an affordable price.

www.er-systems.com

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
01st Mar 2002 09:17

Your issue of putting your database on the Internet.
You do not have to do this.
Place the windows DB (SQL or otherwise) in a DMZ with the SQL access ports set to an obscure number 6045 & 6032.
In front of this place a Linux reverse proxy server with only one port exposed (www.v-one.com but their are many others) therefore you get the security of Unix but the windows CRM functionality you require.
Siebel is an excellent product but will be much too expensive. Pivotal supply a similar solution much cheaper but I fear it may be out of your range, Onyx is to cumbersome to customise but is cheaper again.

If your Goldmine solution is SQL based a simple ASP page would be sufficient to capture both Sales Leads and Support incidents direct from your website (and qualify them).
This combined with their HEAT support product may answer your requirements.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
28th Feb 2002 00:39

Siebel has a MidMarket app. specific to Tech Support: http://www.siebel.com/products/service/web_service/eservice/index.shtm

Or,if you happen to be in the communicatons business, and in the Denver, Co area, you could check out: http://www.siebel.com/about/news_events/reg_news_events.shtm?IDnum=4446.

Or if you are looking for a webinar: http://www.siebel.com/about/news_events/reg_news_events.shtm?IDnum=4571

I hope this helps.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
26th Feb 2002 16:29

FrontRange have a low cost tool which integrates with GoldMine called HEAT Power Desk. This is a product designed specifically for support desks. It may be worth looking at this.
FrontRange also have 2 web products called GoldMine EveryWhere and GoldMine EveryWhere Thin client. I dont know your current system, but GoldMine EveryWhere lets you access the products from most browsers.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
25th Feb 2002 11:19

We use a newish (Q3, 2001) application called Revelation. We're an IT support company and the software is Web-based allowing our technical staff to log details of the customer problems remotely or in house. Calls are logged per customer and the reports let us see exactly how much time we've spent working - whether billable or not. The customer can also log in to the system and request a quote or see exactly what is going on with any problem, and run historical reports. Many of the application fields are customisable and the product can be set up by importing data from an existing database.

Overall, we've found that it's already allowed us to bill on to the client 50% of its cost - and that's in less than 6 months of use...

If you need a brochure, I can send you a PDF file, just let me know. Alternatively, have a look at http://www.yellowfishsoftware.com.

Hope this helps.

Thanks (0)
avatar
21st Feb 2002 17:15

I gave the following information in the summary when posting my query, but it seems to have disappeared.
I work for a small s/w development company, and we're launching our first product in the summer. We will provide technical support to our customers until later in the year, when we'll outsource first level support. We've been evaluating Goldmine but I'm not sure if it suits our purposes.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
18th May 2002 16:52

I know of a software package that may be of more use to you than CRM. The software is called Projeca Suite (www.projeca.com)and one of the situations it can be applied to is issue tracking and problem resolution.

This software allows you to develop custom work flows, assign staff to various steps in the work flow (manually or automatically) and will notify them that they have something to work on. You can also develop work rules that notify a supervisor when a particular step has not been completed within a defined period of time.

It is very powerful, open and flexible.

The internet interface requires MS IIS but the back end database has several options (i.e. Oracle, DB2, MS SQL, etc.) It may not be exactly what you are looking for but I thought I would let you know about it.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
14th May 2002 16:32

You should definitely take a look at White Pajama's integrated contact center management solution. We are a hosted solution which integrates telephony (including ACD, IVR, CTI), email, live web-chat, co browsing and form sharing and knowledge-base self service portals for your website. We integrate all of these contact channels into one queuing, routing and tracking system, with one graphical interface for your agents.
By choosing a hosted solution you will eliminate expensive maintenance costs, long deployment schedules and valuable IT staff time, while continuing to have the latest and greatest call center technology throughout the life of your service contract with frequent functionality upgrades throughout the year.

Please give me a call or email to discuss.

Jack Hill
White Pajama
(toll free) 877-725-2621 x.2524
[email protected]

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
14th May 2002 16:31

having spent the last 5 years working with small and mid sized companies to select Call center, sales force automation and general CRM solutions, I would higly recommend looking at epicor for a true CRM solution that can grow with your organization. It is fully scalable and allows full integration to other systems. You do not run into the proprietary nature of Goldmine.

I would also encourage working with a consulting firm to assist with the selection of whatever you decide to do. If you would like to talk more, contact us through our website www.customeronesolutions.com or send me an email directly [email protected]. best of luck to you.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
08th May 2002 10:30

Take a look at ER Systems helpdesk product. It is suitable for small to medium helpdesks, at an affordable price.

www.er-systems.com

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
28th Feb 2002 00:39

Siebel has a MidMarket app. specific to Tech Support: http://www.siebel.com/products/service/web_service/eservice/index.shtm

Or,if you happen to be in the communicatons business, and in the Denver, Co area, you could check out: http://www.siebel.com/about/news_events/reg_news_events.shtm?IDnum=4446.

Or if you are looking for a webinar: http://www.siebel.com/about/news_events/reg_news_events.shtm?IDnum=4571

I hope this helps.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
01st Mar 2002 09:17

Your issue of putting your database on the Internet.
You do not have to do this.
Place the windows DB (SQL or otherwise) in a DMZ with the SQL access ports set to an obscure number 6045 & 6032.
In front of this place a Linux reverse proxy server with only one port exposed (www.v-one.com but their are many others) therefore you get the security of Unix but the windows CRM functionality you require.
Siebel is an excellent product but will be much too expensive. Pivotal supply a similar solution much cheaper but I fear it may be out of your range, Onyx is to cumbersome to customise but is cheaper again.

If your Goldmine solution is SQL based a simple ASP page would be sufficient to capture both Sales Leads and Support incidents direct from your website (and qualify them).
This combined with their HEAT support product may answer your requirements.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
26th Feb 2002 16:29

FrontRange have a low cost tool which integrates with GoldMine called HEAT Power Desk. This is a product designed specifically for support desks. It may be worth looking at this.
FrontRange also have 2 web products called GoldMine EveryWhere and GoldMine EveryWhere Thin client. I dont know your current system, but GoldMine EveryWhere lets you access the products from most browsers.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
26th Feb 2002 21:03

Visit us at www.bytemasters.com and register to use our new CRM package for free as a beta tester, and see if it fits your organization's needs without any upfront charges or obligation.

Contact Master is built for the small to mid-size business or divisions within large enterprises, and is very easy to use and can easily generate queries as you mentioned.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks (0)
avatar
21st Feb 2002 17:15

I gave the following information in the summary when posting my query, but it seems to have disappeared.
I work for a small s/w development company, and we're launching our first product in the summer. We will provide technical support to our customers until later in the year, when we'll outsource first level support. We've been evaluating Goldmine but I'm not sure if it suits our purposes.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By admin
25th Feb 2002 11:19

We use a newish (Q3, 2001) application called Revelation. We're an IT support company and the software is Web-based allowing our technical staff to log details of the customer problems remotely or in house. Calls are logged per customer and the reports let us see exactly how much time we've spent working - whether billable or not. The customer can also log in to the system and request a quote or see exactly what is going on with any problem, and run historical reports. Many of the application fields are customisable and the product can be set up by importing data from an existing database.

Overall, we've found that it's already allowed us to bill on to the client 50% of its cost - and that's in less than 6 months of use...

If you need a brochure, I can send you a PDF file, just let me know. Alternatively, have a look at http://www.yellowfishsoftware.com.

Hope this helps.

Thanks (0)