So far, we have been looking at software that integrate multiple modules of your organization. But, organizations are complex creatures. For example, let’s suppose you have outsourced work to a vendor. How will you track their productivity? Similarly, what if you need to track against contracts?
This week we will look at Autotask: a web-based IT Services management software that exemplifies the real power of SaaS. It enables you to function as a virtual organization by integrating multiple modules of your organization. We will look at its features, functionality and see how it can be of use to you.
TASKING WITH AUTOTASK
Autotask does several things at the same time: project management, CRM, time tracking, billing and help desk. The crux of your work is the executive dashboard. Your dashboard display differs based on the security and role-based permission that you have been assigned. However, the dashboard integrates all the functionality available in the software. This includes everything from handling aspects of your CRM to Service desk to your Inventory. Condensing disparate functionalities into a single review will probably take up lots of space and words.
So, I will list some of the things I found interesting in this IT business software. Most of these are listed to service desk automation. I know we have had several conversations relating to Service Desk automation. However, that, according to the company, was the original pain point that led to the solution’s development.
Rest assured, they are always up and ready to offer you a free webinar. So, feel free to head on down to their website for more information.
- The solution offers excellent integration with third-party email parsing software. This means you can share ticket information or even have customer emails converted into tickets. You can also integrate the solution with Outlook. This translates into an Outlook button that will immediately post information (including your calendar tasks as well as emails) to Outlook. In addition, their XML API enables you to integrate tasks and data from Microsoft Project without pain.
- They offer excellent integration with remote monitoring systems. For example, they are linked with Kaseya, another IT Management Services solution. This enables users to link tickets with SLAs and contracts. What this means is that you can see the link between SLAs and tickets immediately when you are creating a ticket for your clients.
- The solution integrates speed codes with tickets. This means you can categorize and include information about tickets. They also have a “Self-Help” button which I think should be of great value to the person creating support tickets. Essentially, this button pre-populates fields in the ticket based on past entries and system information relating to the vendor. They have a subcontractor portal for outsourced work. This means you can track productivity and log hours for outsourced workers using their solution. In addition, the solution has tonnes of options for you to contact and integrate third-party workers, solutions, and data into your system.
- I thought the Dispatcher workshop within the system was pretty cool. It is a color-coded system to track employee productivity and resource utilization. In addition, the Touch and Mobility application makes it possible to access their application on an iPhone. The goal, according to the company is to make the entire system accessible on an iPad as well.
Autotask is a veteran in the SaaS industry. They were founded in 2001 (That makes them one of the oldest companies operating in this space). Since then, they have racked up 38,000+ users in 35 countries.
THE BASICS: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The solution looks pretty good. As I mentioned earlier, they have an executive dashboard that helps you track all tasks related to the system. The strategy is great because it helps you minimize clutter and navigation related to the system. The interface is clean and simple. Similarly, most of their screens employ a two-panel interface which is easy on the eyes and allows you to get to work immediately.
SUPPORT YOUR TASKS
Guides and webinars are passe. Instead, the folks behin Autotask have created an academy. The academy compiles an assortment of material from webinar to user guides to peer forums for exchanging ideas. In case you have doubts, the academy also has faculty (consisting of support and documentation Autotask employees) and a module-based curriculum. They also have a section on ITIL best practices to help you improve your support practices. Autotask has one of the most active peer networks with over 27,000+ active users. They are spread across a wide variety of forums and blogs. In addition, they frequently interact with product development teams and contribute to feature requests. According to the company, over 2,000 feature requests were sourced from client base last year.
Levels of support are staggered based on the plan you have opted for. The idea is an interesting one; though, of course, one wishes that there were introductory videos to learn more about the concept and the system. Currently, you need to register to attend their webinars. It might be an idea to have a free Youtube-linked video that provides information about the system.
IS IT FOR YOU?
Yes, it is if you are involved in IT services in any shape or form! They have great support and, more importantly, have been doing this for ten years ago. That’s saying a lot for a field that’s relatively new. So, you get a level of experience and comfort that is not available to other users.