App Bolsters Acts Customer Support

By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-10-23

Resource Dynamics Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 provides a good—albeit not tightly integrated—customer support option for companies running Sage Softwares Act Premium for Workgroups 2007.

Tele-Support HelpDesk, which was updated in September, is priced starting at $3,395 for the first five users for the version that runs on Microsofts SQL Server. Additional five-user packs start at $2,195. Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 also supports FrontRange Solutions USAs GoldMine Corporate Edition, and it can run as a stand-alone application.

During tests, eWeek Labs found Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 to be a flexible customer support tool, in addition to providing basic help desk functionality (such as issues and knowledge-base management). The product supports general service desk workflows.

When used in conjunction with Act (as we tested it) or GoldMine, Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 taps the products respective contact databases to share contact information. The Windows-based Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 also can be run independently of these two applications, using its own contact management feature.

Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2s integration with Act extends beyond contact management to include information stored under Acts history tab in contact and company records. Companies can configure custom field mappings between the two applications as well.

We generally found that the integration works well, although it doesnt accommodate some of the Act features that can be germane to managing a relationship, such as scheduling calls with a customer.

As a support application, Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 has some nice workflow and customization capabilities. The product, which presumes that a first-level support person is fielding and prioritizing inquiries, can organize users in departments so that inquiries can be managed on a per-department basis.

Tele-Support HelpDesk 3.2 presents users with a main view that lists the last 10 inquiries and issues that have been opened, started or finished. We were able to configure our own workflow and escalation system using a separate configuration utility. The product also allows companies to publish inquiry status updates to the Web through an additional module.

The product supports contracts internally and includes a billing system for managing time against a contract. Users have the ability to clear time spent on a call, however, for exceptions or scoping projects.

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