There is no shortage of software positioned as being staples for the everyday business professional. From accounting to procurement to reporting, businesses need a variety of software to keep themselves running. Not only is it difficult sourcing all of the tools needed to cover all aspects of their operations due to the sheer number of options, but it is also difficult getting all of these pieces working together seamlessly. Often, one piece of software will not integrate with another, requiring a custom solution or compromise. For this reason, many software solutions offer full suites of tools that are guaranteed to work together, but alone do not quite meet the needs for all areas. This desire for integration between software is not uncommon, so when a client came to us seeking a solution, we were able to highlight how OneDesk met those requirements.
Our client is an IT firm focused on WiFi services. Interactions with their clients range from one-off transactions selling and installing hardware, to projects for events, to recurring managed services. Although their current project management software meets most of their basic needs, there are still outstanding requirements from various departments that cannot be achieved without a large outlay of money. These requirements are mostly concerned with automations and integrations that would elevate their efficiency and streamline workflows. Part of our client’s work requires using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, and while they don’t expect OneDesk to provide that for them, they recognize that the ability to connect their project management to CRM is not an unreasonable ask.
OneDesk’s project management application is based on a simple concept of hierarchies. Tasks that are logged are assigned to projects, which can be organized into folders, and comprise larger portfolios. The tasks contain all of the information relevant to the associated work, from description to assignee to any conversations about it. This setup keeps task information in an easy-to-access, central location. Beyond the details on tasks themselves, our client can also specify the workflow and statuses that a task goes through as it is planned, executed, tested, and deployed. As the task is being worked on, the status can be updated to reflect the current state. With workflows come one of OneDesk’s stand-out features: workflow automations. To set one up, our client merely needs to define a set of criteria and the ensuing action that should be automatically be taken once that criteria is met. These automations can trigger based on statuses, particular field values, and even on a schedule. It’s easy to see why our client was interested in these automations as they can make work self-managing in some cases.
Integration was top of mind for our client, and was the main stumbling block in terms of previous project management software. Oftentimes, integrating two products requires custom development work that can be costly and time-consuming. Our client, in particular, was looking for integrations with their website for their sales and marketing teams where a form is filled out and then an automatic action is taken to bring that prospect into the sales pipeline. Although there is no easy OneDesk integration to work with their existing form, we do have customizable webforms that our client can surface to customers that turn inputted data into work items in OneDesk. These forms can be tuned to require all of the necessary information that translate into fields on a OneDesk ticket. From there, our client can then create workflow automations to do particular actions when this data comes in. In terms of a full solution across all of their teams, our client acknowledged that OneDesk likely wouldn’t be the only software they use. With that in mind, we highlighted the wide array of Zapier integrations already created to integrate OneDesk with various other software. Even if a solution doesn’t already exist, our client was pleased to learn that through Zapier, it can be simple to set something up.
Though OneDesk’s primary purpose isn’t to be a leading CRM software provider, because our client is concerned with integration of tools across workflows, it’s worth exploring OneDesk’s flexibility and diving into how CRM functionality can be achieved within our existing applications. Because OneDesk is based on a simple, fairly generalized hierarchy for organizing work, this concept lends itself to use beyond project management. Although OneDesk has the concept of customers already, to replicate the CRM experience more fully, our client can set up a new ticket type to represent customers and specify custom fields to capture all of the relevant details. This ticket type would then have its own workflow associated with it which can be customized to represent the different states and statuses of customer relationships. Along with tracking the status of customer relationships, by using tickets to represent customers our client is also able to store customer configurations on these tickets as attachments. Given the services and ongoing support they provide, this was a very valid concern for our client that can be handled very simply. By moving their CRM into OneDesk, our client can track their customers as they would their work. As with any tickets and tasks in OneDesk, our client can also create workflow automations to streamline managing their customer relationships.
Despite there being so many software solutions out there, it sometimes proves difficult or even impossible finding the right tool that does it all. With OneDesk’s flexibility, that becomes less of a problem. OneDesk is a chameleon of a tool; based around a simple organizational hierarchy, OneDesk can be adapted to suit a variety of use cases. Still, there may be instances where OneDesk doesn’t meet every need. For those users, Zapier integrations can be used to get OneDesk interacting flawlessly with other software. This gives users the best of both worlds without having to engineer the solution themselves.