As your company aims to grow and sustain an edge in business, a technological solution needs to be integrated to achieve operational efficiency. The dependency on IT solutions by most companies is growing rapidly, and investments in software have become a vital component of the operational budget. However, with so many kinds of help desk and service desk software available now, it is critical that you have a full understanding of the various capabilities on offer in order to select one that is best for your organization.
Web-based or web-enabled?
When selecting a new program or evaluating existing software, it is important to know the web architecture of your system. Generally, systems are described as web-enabled or web-based. These terms are often used interchangeably, even though they are technically very different. You need to understand the various differences before you make the right choice of system that meets your web strategy.
Web-enabled system applications are those written for the client-server or mainframe setting. To be accessed by a web browser, they are rewritten and an additional layer to the current software is added. For the web browser to understand the input and output of the program, the original system is translated to HTML. This added step causes a slowdown in the process, and adds cost and complexity. Those supplied with older versions of software will web-enable applications to maximize the use of internet technology, without rewriting the original program from scratch in order to make it genuinely web-based. Web-enabled applications are not ideal if you want your software to be used in the long term, yet they are cheaper.
Web-based applications are newly designed software programs that greatly benefit, and make use of, internet technology. They are made utilizing Java 2 Enterprise Edition or other standards-based application servers, and do not require software installation. They can easily be accessed by a web browser in the internet, and offer a great deal of flexibility and security. They need less maintenance, and are compatible-ready for future advancements.
Another thing to consider when choosing help desk software is its browser compatibility. Check out if a program supports different browsers, as some only support one or two browsers. Some may involve the use of special plugins, while others need JAVA applet downloads to perform functions like charting and reporting. For maximum efficiency, web-based systems must support any operating system and web browser, and should have no requirements for downloads or plugins to be accessed.
To capitalize on your investment, it is vital that your systems are platform agnostic, and are based on open standards. This simply means that you have to choose a system that provides a wide array of web services, back-end data sources, and ease of migration. You should not use systems that are locked to one database vendor, as the risk of this vendor escalating the licensing costs is higher.
Advancements in technology occur with each new day, so it’s recommended to invest in a system that allows you to keep up with the trends without changing your existing infrastructure. It must be capable of integrating itself with newer systems to ensure you don’t have to reinvest in newer software in the future. Your current authentication environment must also be ready to be integrated with newer solutions, and a good approach to ensure this is to provide client access via Active Directory Databases and LDAP.
Simplified user interaction, in the form of support tickets management, is a must-have for any help desk software, in order for you to maximize efficiency and save time when dealing with any technical issues.
Help desk software is there to make your life easier, and so it needs to be intuitive to use and easy to set up. Features that allow you to configure email and language templates easily can really speed up the way you work, while the ability to assign multiple agents to different departments is also an essential requirement.
An intelligent knowledgebase can allow you to fix many issues for yourself, making such a feature extremely worthy. With such a widget, users can search by keyword, product type, category to find support logs and articles for any issues they are dealing with.
Lastly, consider the total cost of ownership when deciding which software to use. The price of the software may not be the only factor to bear in mind - instead look at the full amount of expense that may be incurred. Some systems may require a part-time administrator to implement it, which could take a full year complete, while some may even need a permanent administrator to maintain and run the system. In addition, some client server systems may require upgrades, which necessitate new client software deployment for every user. Do not overlook these details.