Ferrysoft

Introduction

Ferrysoft Help Desk is a web based help desk portal. It is designed for organisations who wish to provide support, via an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system, to their customers. It is also ideal for organisations wanting to provide an in-house help desk service for their own members or employees.

At its core, Ferrysoft Help Desk keeps track of cases; any issue or query needing a resolution from the help desk. Cases can originate from within your own organisation or from external customer organisations. Cases can be entered by the originator via the web based portal or via email sent from the originator. These emails are automatically turned into cases by Ferrysoft Help Desk.

Read on to find out how Ferrysoft Help Desk can be used to manage cases as well as the other features of Ferrysoft Help Desk.

Entering New Cases

New cases can be entered via the New Case web page. All new cases need a 'Title', 'Summary', the name of the person logging the case and the name of the person assigned to resolve the case. There are additional fields such as 'Status', 'Priority' and fields customised according to the local needs of the organisation. Files can also be uploaded to accompany new cases. The New Case web page allows up to three files to be uploaded. Further files can be added to the case if necessary via the Files web page.

New cases can also be entered via email. With this arrangement, Ferrysoft Help Desk monitors a POP3 mailbox and downloads any email sent to that mailbox. Email received in this way is automatically converted to a new case in Ferrysoft Help Desk.

New Case

Monitoring Cases

The home page allows a selection of cases to be monitored. Selection and access to cases is controlled by the role assigned to each user. A user can always select 'Status' (open/closed/deleted) and 'Priority'. Internal Contacts can select cases belonging to others, if their assigned role allows it. Customer Contacts and Supplier Contacts can select cases belonging to others within their own organisation, if their assigned role allows it.

Home

Updating Existing Cases

Updates to cases are recorded via the Existing Case web page. Updates to cases can include status change, priority change, re-assignment to a different contact and the addition of free format text to amplify the original case summary.

Existing Case

Attaching Files to Cases

Multiple files can be attached to a case. Attached files are shown on the Files web page by clicking the Attached Files tab. Further files can be attached by using the Browse and Upload buttons. Files can be downloaded by using the Download link. Files can also be deleted by using the Delete button.

Files Attached

Deleted files are shown on the Files web page by clicking the Deleted Files tab. Files can be undeleted by using the Undelete button. Deleted files remain available for undeleting for 90 days after being deleted. Beyond this time, deleted files are completely purged from the system.

Files Deleted

Event History and Alerts

Updates to cases are recorded in the event history which is visible each time the case is displayed. The event history tracks all changes to 'Status', 'Priority' etc. plus comments entered in the 'New Comment' field at the time of the event. If an update is made to a case an email alert can be sent to the internal, customer and supplier contacts associated with the case. The policy for generating and sending alerts is configurable by an administrator to control which events and which contact types receive alerts.

Existing Case

Reporting on Cases

Reports can be generated for all currently open cases (filtered by customer or supplier) or all cases (filtered by customer or supplier) related to a particular month. This allows summary reports to be generated as of the end of each month; covering a twelve month historical period. Contacts are restricted to reporting only on those cases belonging to themselves or contacts of the same organisation.

Reports

Administration

This option is only available to users who have the Administrator role. It allows the Ferrysoft Help Desk system tables to be maintained including:

  • Announcements table.
  • Discussions table.
  • Email Accounts table (the POP3 and SMTP email interfaces).
  • Internal Contacts (contacts within your own organisation).
  • Knowledge Bases table.
  • Newsletters table and editions within those newsletters and newsletter subscriptions.
  • Organisations (customers, suppliers and your own organisation) table and contacts within those organisations.
  • Priorities table.
  • Registration Key.
  • System Defaults.
  • Subscribers table and newsletter subscriptions.
  • System Labels table.
  • Users table (contacts who are allowed to login to Ferrysoft Help Desk).

Administration

On-line Help

On-line help is available throughout Ferrysoft Help Desk. Each web page of Ferrysoft Help Desk has a corresponding help page describing the use of hyperlinks, buttons and fields on the page.

The screen shot shows the on-line help page for the Ferrysoft Help Desk home page.

Help

Discussion Forum

Discussion Forum is an electronic meeting place where a community of users can get together to discuss a common interest. Discussion Forum is available from any Ferrysoft Help Desk page. It is not necessary to login to Ferrysoft Help Desk to contribute to the discussions. An administrator can setup a series of discussion categories. The screen shot shows three example discussions; 'Company Gossip', 'Global News' and 'Local News'. Participants can post new topics to any discussion. The screen shot shows the recently posted topics in the 'Local News' discussion.

Discussion Forum

Topics include the author's name, web site addresses and whether the author will accept email replies. Replies can be posted to the discussion forum or a private email can be sent via the discussion forum if the recipient accepts email replies. The screen shot shows one topic with a single reply. Both the original poster and the reply author have signed their posts with their personal web address, business web address (web icon) and indicated that they will accept email replies (email icon).

The Delete topic icon and Delete post icons shown in the screen shot are only visible to users who have the Discussion Forum Moderator role.

Show Topic

Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base is an electronic database of knowledge that can be used to contain solutions to common issues. Knowledge Base is available from any Ferrysoft Help Desk page. It is not necessary to login to Ferrysoft Help Desk to access knowledge topics. An administrator can setup a series of knowledge base categories. The screen shot shows three example knowledge bases; 'Development Issues', 'Ferrysoft Help Desk KB' and 'Support Issues'. Participants can access topics in any knowledge base. The screen shot shows the knowledge base topics in the 'Ferrysoft Help Desk KB' knowledge base.

Knowledge Base

Topics include the title and description of the knowledge base topic. The format of the description is up to the knowledge topic author. The screen shot shows one topic with a description composed of sections for Symptoms, Cause and Resolution.

Show Topic

Announcements

Announcements is a feature to display messages to users of Ferrysoft Help Desk on the login page. Announcements can be used to display status information about Ferrysoft Help Desk or other useful information. Each announcement is set up with a Sunrise Date (the first date when it will appear) and a Sunset Date (the last date when it will appear). The screen shot shows an announcement being setup to run throughout July 2010 to announce the availability of the latest version of Ferrysoft Help Desk.

Existing Announcement

The screen shot shows the announcement being displayed on the login page along with another announcement setup on 1 January 2010.

Login

Integration

Ferrysoft Help Desk includes a web services module that allows external applications to integrate with Ferrysoft Help Desk using the web services protocol. As web services use open, XML-based standards and transport protocols, this means that a wide variety of external applications can potentially interact with Ferrysoft Help Desk.

Link to download

If you would like to try Ferrysoft Help Desk for yourself, you can download it from here.