A good ticketing system is the life blood of many help desk departments. They keep individuals organized, customers satisfied, and managers on top of things. I’m not sure a perfect ticketing system exists, so my ears always perk up when I hear new or unfamiliar help desk software recommended. With a recent system that I was checking out recently, I was surprised to see VoIP integration to be the big feature it touted. That blew my mind a bit since there is usually much lower hanging fruit that I wish the software could get right before moving onto advanced features. Even so, I was intrigued and was interested to see if other help desk software might integrate VoIP and how they were utilizing the integration.
VoIP, or Voice-over-IP, has probably become common enough that it doesn’t need explanation. Given its digital nature, VoIP can provide greater functionality, lower costs, and more flexibility with the infrastructure. By adding VoIP communications to your network, you might need to upgrade your network or implement QoS (Quality of Service) to reduce latency for VoIP packets. Another upgrade option could be to go more dedicated with SIP Trunking and many integration systems even require a SIP connection.
Help Desk Software
There are plenty of options when it comes to Help Desk software – Request Tracker, OTRS, Zendesk, Kayako, Helpstar, and the list goes on and on. Finding the right system for your workflow and your information needs is the reason there are so many options. There are plenty of areas to innovate and VoIP integration is just one of them. I was able to find a few companies offering the functionality or being requested to and it was interesting to learn what people are looking for in the product.
SmarterTrack 9.X lists their Helpdesk Software as an Integrated VoIP Help Desk. They detail the functionality and it sounds like a compelling list of features. With an incoming call, a ticket can be initialized and automatically populated with the caller’s name, number, email address, and other attributes.You can attach a call log to a ticket to improve customer satisfaction with faster resolutions. The help desk agent can also click a number to begin a phone call to the client. All of this data being integrated, allows it be easily transferred between agents so nothing is left out and the agents and managers can view reports to better understand the service they are providing.
ShoreTel’s Cloud Communications integrates with popular CRM, ERP, and applicant-tracking software. It offers click-to-dial and caller ID to recognize incoming callers. With an API, it can be integrated with other processes or self-built apps, like a ticket system.
Vector offers VoIP integration with their HelpDesk and Issue Tracker products. It can pull any data stored in the HelpDesk or Issue Tracker and display it to the analyst receiving the call.
Fusion Systems lists their Fusion VoIP support service but don’t go into any details of what functionality is added.
System Center Service Manager 2012 is a platform to adapt your organization to ITIL practices. “It provides built-in processes for incident and problem resolution, change control, and asset lifecycle management.” Along with other System Center packages like Operations Manager, Microsoft’s Lync can be integrated to pull available information about a contact from contacts in Exchange, Active Directory, or initiate a call with unified communications.
HelpMaster had VoIP integration requested way back in 2008. Specifically, initializing tickets with incoming caller details, click-to-call, and integration with Active Directory were requested. From what I can see of their current product offerings, the functionality has not been added to the final product.
When it comes down to it, it seems like the features and benefits of an integrated Help desk and VoIP come down to this list.
- Unified communications – calls, chat, and email all from the same interface extended to a ticketing system.
- Call logs attached to tickets so the original conversation is kept and recorded.
- Click-t0-call makes it easier for an agent to contact a client with the click of a button.
- Auto-populating ticket fields as calls come in to speed up the process and improve accuracy of tickets.
- GeoIP to know where a client is contacting you from.
If you know a help desk software with VoIP integration that I missed or other cool features where ticketing software might benefit, please share in the comments.