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Outlook Help Desk Software
Simple, efficient and effective help desk solutions can sometimes be found close to home without extensive software additions and confronting substantial integration issues. A Microsoft Outlook based help desk software solution utilizes the power of the Exchange server and supplies a customer support and ticket tracking system. Companies that have been overwhelmed with customer requests and issues may find that an outlook based Outlook solution is ideal for solving their problems. It is designed to be easier to use and lower cost. However, it is often not appropriate for larger volumes of inquiries and help desks that handle significant call volume.

The solution is effective because it interfaces smoothly with the Web and with email. Customers, end users and/or IT staff can all create new tickets using forms that are available in Outlook. In fact, users can submit, and later view, tickets directly in Outlook. Users can log onto the Web and either create or view tickets online. Customers access the system via the Web on the companys support site, and fill out or submit tickets there. Or, customers can send an email to the help test that a script converts to a ticket.

When a ticket is created, it is sent directly to a help desk folder. Help desk personnel then review the emails and assign them for follow-up. Help desk operators can also fill out and assign new tickets directly if they find it expedient to do so.

Technicians receive an email with a link to the ticket and enter a status report as work begins and progresses. The system enables end users to see what is going on with regard to their issue and what is being done to resolve it, without having to contact the help desk. An email informs the end user when the issue has been resolved.

There are , many versions of Outlook based help desk software available on the market. The first is a standard edition, designed for supporting users inside a particular organization. The second is a service provider edition that supports customers, or people outside the organization.

Reports are generated from an included utility called Report Builder, from which tickets can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet or to a text file, depending on the users needs and desires. The tickets can be imported into a data base where a variety of reports can be run and the performance of the help desk can be tracked.

A knowledge base contains easily accessible information on a variety of help desk issues. It is comprised of completed tickets and information from articles entered by help desk personnel. Other functions that are available include list manager, automatic ticket notification, popup user message displayed to users, ticet mode that sets tickets to open in end user mode or help desk mode, ticket numbering that sets up sequential numbering of tickets, the ability to change ticket colors, and an upgrade utility that makes upgrading a simple process.

Outlook help desk is compatible with Outlook 2002 and 2003 versions. User contact information is taken from the Exchange or Active Directory and automatically goes onto the ticket. Time tracking and history log features are available upon which technicians enter their status and information regarding time spent. Update and completion emails are sent to end users from the assigned ticket. Technicians are able to copy tickets to their personal tasks for synching with a handheld device such as a PDA.

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