This article is part of an ongoing series where I discuss how a particular customer in a specific industry uses OneDesk.
When it comes to tracking work, there are no limits as to what kind of organization would find OneDesk useful. One client came to us looking for a solution to multiple problems: service desk, project management, and asset management. Although OneDesk doesn’t include a native asset management application, our tools are flexible enough to provide a basic asset management system on top of the fully-featured project management and service desk systems. The fact that OneDesk can be tailored to address all of these needs makes it the ideal software for any organization needing to do it all.
Our client was a large church with dozens of staff members. They approached us wanting a system that could help them with project management, service desk requests, and asset management. Right off the bat, we made it clear to our client that OneDesk was not designed to be a robust asset management tool. Our strengths are in project management and service desk ticket systems, but because of how adaptive OneDesk is, we recognized that it is possible to provide some form of asset management. In particular, our client wanted to be able to link assets to tickets, which was a connection that worked well with the setup we had in mind. Our clients’s current solution was based on a series of spreadsheets and lists to map everything out, so it was clear that OneDesk could relieve the burden of management on all three fronts.
For both project management and service desk, OneDesk has applications that handles both types of work. To capture incoming service desk items, OneDesk offers email integration so customers’ requests can be logged automatically through email communications. By setting up automation rules, these requests are redirected into their correct workflow. For project work requiring more long-term planning, OneDesk offers a tasking application that allows our client to break down their projects into individual work items that can be estimated and scheduled. In particular, our client liked the Gantt view of their project tasks in which they can set up connections and dependencies between tasks. For example, if one task needs to complete before a second one can start, this link between them can be setup and maintained in OneDesk, automatically managing the second task’s start date based on the first task. Aside from estimations, OneDesk enables our client to log actual time spent on work items with our built-in timer and timesheet features. These can also be used from the OneDesk mobile app. Apart from the Gantt view of projects, our client is able to set up custom views which serve as dashboards into their project’s status according to multiple dimensions.
Alongside the email integration, our client was pleased to hear that OneDesk provides a customer portal. This gives customers one spot they can log service desk items from and check on the status of previously logged tickets. The customer portal is ideal as it limits customers’ view into the system. One specific case for which our client had some concerns was around how their organization’s Communications team could use OneDesk. In most cases, the Communications team would want to access OneDesk as a customer making requests of our client’s team via the customer support portal, however in all likelihood, there would be times when the Communications team would want to use OneDesk’s project management capabilities. Because our project management software is locked to users, we informed our client that their Communications team should be setup as users, and in turn, they raised concerns about the Communications team not being able to log issues any longer. We assured them that this was not the case; all users can log service desk tickets the same as customers, whether internally, by email or through the portal.
Because our client owns and loans out equipment, asset management was a concern for them. Since OneDesk does not have a fully-featured asset management tool, we cautioned our client about the limitations, but were eager to showcase how OneDesk can be used for asset management to a sufficient extent. By setting up a new application in OneDesk, our client can set its name and begin treating these work items as assets. In OneDesk, our client is able to create a workflow and statuses to capture all of the different states for an asset. With custom fields, every aspect of an asset can be recorded and tracked, from brand to model to location to value, checkout date, etc. The best thing about tracking their assets in OneDesk is that our client can easily track assets against service desk tickets. By setting up these links between assets and tickets, it’s easy to see how many and which tickets are associated with a given asset, and to track down the asset’s last known location.
No matter what kind of organization you are, you need some way to plan your longer term work and track incoming requests. As our client found, OneDesk meet those needs for them and even goes beyond. With OneDesk’s extensive customizability, our software can be adapted to other kinds of tools that are not part of our core offerings, with asset management as one of the more common use cases. This flexibility was key for our client; to be able to do project management, asset management, and service desk all in OneDesk gives them visibility between and across all three.