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Freshservice (which begins at $29 per consumer monthly, after the Free tier) is the massive brother to Freshdesk. Each are general-purpose helpdesk techniques and Freshservice contains many of the identical helpdesk options as its sibling. Nonetheless, Freshservice is targeted extra towards inside operations, particularly these on the high-end of the midsize enterprise scale and enterprises. As such, the social media ingredient is basically dropped, however you’ll be able to nonetheless see the similarities between the 2. As well as, Freshservice adheres to the Data Know-how Infrastructure Library (ITIL) commonplace and features a full change administration stack in addition to some restricted asset administration options. Whereas all of this combines to convey Freshservice near Vivantio Professional, our service-oriented helpdesk Editors’ Alternative winner, the latter nonetheless maintains a slight lead in course of flexibility and options, though that does come at a worth that is increased than Freshservice.

Getting Began

Getting began is totally free for a vast variety of customers on what Freshworks calls the Sprout plan. To unlock among the extra superior options, there are three extra plans referred to as Blossom, Backyard, and Property. Every of those plans progressively add different options corresponding to time monitoring, customized apps, portal customization, and boards. A free trial is accessible on their web site. Determining which options you are getting is a crucial first step. It’s because Freshdesk could beat Vivantio Professional on worth in its $29-per-user-per-month Blossom plan. However Freshdesk’s high-end $79-per-user-per-month Property plan prices greater than Vivantio Professional’s $60-per-user-per-month plan.

As soon as you’ve got selected what plan to purchase, your subsequent cease is the Freshservice portal (accessed through an internet browser by utilizing an handle created throughout your account setup). The Freshservice consumer interface (UI) is well-designed and damaged into Dashboard, Service Desk, Belongings, Tasks, Experiences, and Admin tabs. Every tab has focused Assist panes on the right-hand facet that designate frequent duties and definitions. It is actually troublesome to get misplaced right here, which is an efficient factor. The Dashboard solely offers a single view, not like Freshdesk, nevertheless it nonetheless exhibits a useful rely of tickets in every of the statuses. There’s additionally a Latest Helpdesk Exercise pane that exhibits the most recent workforce exercise and a To-Do part that can be utilized privately for reminders. The lacking Administrator Snapshot might be simply discovered within the reporting part as Helpdesk At a Look.

Many of the motion will happen below the Service Desk tab which has 5 subsections: Tickets, Issues, Adjustments, Releases, and Options. In Freshdesk, every part lives and dies by tickets. In Freshservice, a ticket is extra like an electronic mail message. That electronic mail message actually is not an issue till an agent says that it’s. A ticket could contain a number of issues that stream into modifications, which might, in flip, be grouped into releases. The outcomes could also be revealed as options, which might optionally grow to be a part of the self-service data base (KB). It’s extremely formalized (and adheres to the principles of ITIL), nevertheless it’s nonetheless an efficient approach of doing assist. However it might not be for everybody, which is undoubtedly why Freshworks invested in constructing Freshdesk.

The Tickets part is acquainted and simple to navigate. Filters are displayed alongside the left-hand facet of the web page and tickets are displayed alongside the right-hand facet. It operates equally to an electronic mail shopper, so this should not require a lot coaching. When a response is required, it is also simply referred to as out in colour coding. Maybe most helpful of all is that the Tickets tab is a shared house, so unassigned tickets are seen as nicely. This encourages the workforce to view open tickets as a gaggle slightly than ready for an project to pop into their inbox. Freshworks has taken this workforce view strategy, which you’ll find in another gamers corresponding to Zendesk Assist, nevertheless it has added one other twist. The corporate has mixed a team-oriented show with gamification. This amounts to a novel, game-centered approach to ticket solving, using points and trophies for the best agents. Combine this with the right combination of competitive employees and Freshservice can add some fun relief to an oftentimes boring job.

Problems are like tickets but indicate that there’s an actual issue to solve. A good example would be a server that is down. Sometimes the answer may be as simple as a reboot. At that point, you could perform the analysis in the provided section and add a solution record. Sometimes, however, that isn’t enough. You might need to add some Random Access Memory (RAM) to the machine or swap a hard drive to fix the problem. Such an upgrade would constitute a change to the IT environment and, in any orderly IT shop, that needs a change record. That change would then need approval from an appropriate member of the organization, would possibly need a purchasing period, and it might even be rolled into a release of several changes if it’s more convenient or safer to do it that way.

As you may have guessed, this process is called change management (or sometimes configuration management) and it simply represents a way for an IT organization to record and understand every change made to a system by its staff. This can be critical when the kind of RAM we used to fix our ailing server above winds up conflicting with the machine’s network card or if the operating system (OS) it is running isn’t properly optimized for them. You need to know exactly what’s in a machine—or any other infrastructure device—on your network if you want to keep complex software and business processes smoothly running. This is where change management comes in. While other management tools can incorporate change management features, your helpdesk system is a good place to have them as many changes happen there, for obvious reasons. If your change management process doesn’t actually live in your helpdesk system, then it’s at least a good idea for the system to have the ability to export change data to wherever your main change management system does reside.

Freshservice - Navigating tickets is familiar and simple

While Freshservice does a good job of reporting back change management data, it doesn’t stop there. Reports offer a deeper and interactive look at helpdesk data. While the graphic-intensive reports are not customizable, each report is filterable and has some drilldown capability. In addition, each report can be exported as a PDF file or emailed. For scheduled reports, you can schedule a ticket dump with custom columns via email. In addition, it’s possible to make that data available through JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to be consumed by other apps, much like Freshdesk and our other Editors’ Choice winner HappyFox.

The Administration tab is nice to look at and has meaningful icons for every operation. Even without formal training (although I think some experience as an agent is necessary), it’s fairly simple to navigate and I was able to find my way around easily enough. That’s in stark contrast to other tools aimed at larger organizations, such as Jira Service Desk, which often have complex UIs that will require training for helpdesk newbies and veterans alike. If you do end up somewhere that you didn’t expect, then the Help section on the right-hand side of the page explains why you might want to go there in the future.

Freshservice - Projects offer a way to be proactive

Key Features

As stated earlier, Freshservice focuses in on the ITIL stack. It does this not just via the change management features I detailed earlier, but also via a bundled asset management module. Several helpdesk competitors, including not just Vivantio Pro but also players such as Agiloft Service Desk, have change management capabilities. Combining asset management with helpdesk offers up some great opportunities. Not only can you track the number of incidents per asset, but you can potentially make determinations about continuing to fix versus replacing an asset. In Freshservice, assets do not need to be manually populated. There’s an automated discovery tool you can download from the Freshservice Admin page. The system acts in a server-agent model, and the discovery agent can be installed on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Apple OS X operating systems (OSes) and refreshes frequently. For other kinds of hardware infrastructure, the company also has an Apple iOS app that lets administrators track physical assets via bar codes.

Another thing that sets Freshservice apart is an understanding of projects. Despite our downed server example earlier, not all change to an IT environment is driven by a problem. Sometimes upgrades just happen, perhaps as part of a new software installation or perhaps as part of scheduled, annual maintenance. Changes that fall into this category can be grouped under a “project” where related tasks and items can be associated, assigned, and executed. Being proactive is part of any good helpdesk implementation, and Freshservice has shown a significant level of forethought by putting it here.

Freshservice - Reports are attractive and informative

Integration and Custom Apps

Freshservice provides plug-ins for many of the major players in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry. Google Calendar, Slack, various pieces of the Salesforce portfolio, and Microsoft Office 365 are just the tip of the iceberg. This is important because, while a helpdesk system can live and operate in a silo, it’s usually a mistake to treat them this way. The interactions that support agents have with customers or employees, and the information collected from those interactions, is gold to many parts of the business. This is especially true in sales, marketing, and even finance. As such, being able to feed data between your helpdesk system and your customer relationship management (CRM) system or your business intelligence (BI) engines is a great use for that data. It’s also a key method for achieving return on investment (ROI) on your helpdesk investment.

In addition, if using Freshworks’ plug-ins doesn’t suit you, then the company has provided Freshservice with a robust REST API. This lets developers write their own integration code if the business needs to extend or integrate Freshservice data and functionality into other third-party apps or even custom apps. Since REST is widely embraced across an ocean of integrated apps, developers should have little trouble with such projects.

Overall, Freshservice is a fine product for internal support, but its close similarity to Freshdesk begs the question of why the two products aren’t combined. For now, however, you must choose between the two use cases. Even so, while it’s still a little behind Vivantio Pro, if you run a managed services shop or need to track tickets inside your own organization, then Freshservice is a solid product for a good price.

Freshservice - The Dashboard is a high-level snapshot of current activity

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