Managed service providers or MSPs remotely manages IT and systems of their customers and end users and bill them under a subscription model. These services are provided under a service level agreement to provide the best service to their customers. These companies also need self service applications, such as a knowledge base to answer the specific questions of their clients. In terms of communication, MSPs rely on sharing information with partners, project managers, customers, and shareholders. However, the challenge lies in streamlining the communication and ensuring a hassle free experience. Project management for MSPs differ greatly from other industries. This is because MSPs rely on their pricing model to stay profitable and therefore controlling costs or budget is absolutely necessary for the success of their projects. This is why it is imperative for MSPs to have a robust system in place that will target multiple functions and simplify their workflow.
OneDesk is a combination of help desk and project management in one application. With OneDesk, you can support your clients, manage projects without the need to purchase, learn, integrate, and switch between multiple applications. OneDesk provides collaboration tools such as live chat, web forms, website portals, enabling all parties to submit and track project requests, issues or tickets. With OneDesk, you can provide automated responses, workflows, SLAs, time tracking, and more which will boost your team’s productivity. You can also use OneDesk’s knowledge base to answer questions and guide your customers to self service articles, which will reduce your ticket load significantly. In this panel, you can create projects and portfolios. These portfolios act as containers for your projects. Portfolios can be titled according to the customer name, client organization, the project type or the departments in your operation managing the assigned projects. Managed tech offers a full range of IT services to meet demands of their customers.
This company receives inquiries on their services, such as hardware, sales and licensing, integrated security system, Office 365 training and more. Each inquiry generates tickets, which are then organizing into portfolios in OneDesk. For example, we created a portfolio called service inquiries. The portfolio contains multiple projects which include service requests for cloud services, hardware sales, and licensing, backup and continuity plan and more. The portfolio consists of multiple projects containing client requests and planned assignments that can be viewed using the tickets and tasks application. Managed service providers need a powerful ticketing system that allows them to capture and track and monitor their support tickets. MSPs rely on tickets to respond to client inquiries, service requests, and more. In OneDesk, you can capture tickets in multiple ways and keep track of these tickets in a single unified view. tickets required immediate attention and can be resolved right away.
The first way is by auto forwarding, your support email to the email found here. OneDesk captures all the details of your client’s email and generates a ticket in OneDesk tickets application. For instance, the subject description attachment of the email will be captured in the ticket, enabling your team members to respond to the request more efficiently. The second way is by receiving a request to the live chat application. OneDesk live chat application is a customer facing application that promotes communication with your clients in real time, the app is configurable in it’s looks, you can customize the chat window with your logo company, color scheme and add a bot avatar. Once the client messages you via live chat, your team members can view this in their messenger application, reply and create the ticket from conversation. In doing so, OneDesk links the ticket and conversation together. enabling your team to view all necessary data from one platform. Additionally, you can also create web forms for clients or service request inquiries. You can classify your web forms based on common questions or services provided by your company. For example, Manage Tech created forms for each of the services they offer. Once the client submits the web form, tickets are created in OneDesk ticket’s application, web forms are highly effective as they capture, all the necessary information from the clients and require them to answer specific questions. You can create multiple web forms in OneDesk. These forms are linked to specific ticket types, organizing and separating one from another. To generate these forms, you need to go to the administration settings in OneDesk and then scroll down to customer apps to select web forms. Choose a ticket type to create the web form and enter all the properties associated with the form.
The default web form includes three basic properties, subject, description and attachments. When the ticket is generated on your dashboard, the subject, description attachments are also captured in the ticket. In OneDesk web forms can be customized by adding custom fields. To create custom fields, you must first require the type of information you want to collect from your clients. You can choose fields based on text, number, date, cost, choice, and then appropriately named the custom field based on your selection. These fields can be set as required to capture important information from your customers. For example, you can create a contact form for clients who may have questions about your backup and continuity plan. They can navigate your customer portal and select the web form titled backup and continuity plan. You can then add the standard or customized fields to capture the appropriate information needed to resolve the ticket.
You can also configure these fields to be required, to ensure all the necessary information is captured. Once your client completes the selected web form, you will generate a ticket in your ticket application in OneDesk. The ticket allows you to see the details that were filled out on the web form. You can then assign this ticket to a specific individual team or department. OneDesk allows you to assign multiple team members and departments to a ticket. However, you can eliminate manually assigning teams through automating the process. Your clients can then communicate with your team members and review their tickets from the portal. The portal allows your clients to check the progress of their tickets and gives your clients a scope to discuss by creating conversations directly from the portal to maintain confidentiality of the information you can require your clients to sign into the portal.
You also can control what your clients can see and provide role based access to handle confidential information. You can enable viewing options for clients to fill their tickets according to ticket request type, the project it belongs to and more. Anytime a client sends you an email request or submits a web form. OneDesk captures client information and creates a record in the customer’s application. Customers application creates an organization name based on the domain name of the client and arranges all clients within that particular organization. You can also manually add your clients and client organizations. You can view more details about your customers and customer organizations by clicking on the drop down list and selecting view more details here, you can update more in depth information about your client and create custom fields to capture additional information. Apart from that, you can create filters to locate your high priority clients, new clients, and more. You may want to reduce the number of tickets you receive from your customers per day.
Customers ask common questions that can be easily answered by having a knowledge base in place. OneDesk knowledge base serves as an information center for your clients and allows them to access articles, videos, training modules you upload. In doing so, you and your team can simply forward the link to the knowledge base article to your client and focus on more productive tasks at hand. Workflow automations are rules that allow you to automate actions in OneDesk. This automation contains three elements, filters, triggers, and actions. The blue tag represents your ticket type and serves as filters. The orange tag represents trigger event. While the green tag represents the actions that OneDesk will take, when this trigger event occurs on this items. Once the rules are set, OneDesk will generate a name of your automation. Otherwise you have the option to rename the automation. OneDesk can automate your workflow and eliminate any manual intervention to route tickets to the appropriate team or project. With OneDesk’s workflow automations, you can route items to teams and projects, auto reply to clients and add custom notifications and much more. To create your automations, you navigate to your administration settings and then click on ticket tab and then scroll down to workflow automations. You can create new workflow automations or edit an existing one. For instance, if a potential client submits a service inquiry about office 365 training adoption, you can route this ticket to the appropriate team or assign team members who are best fit to answer the question.
Another way to increase your efficiency is by using automation to notify your clients about the updates of their requested tickets. This will keep your clients in the loop and eliminate the need to send emails, to inquire about ticket status. The biggest challenge for MSPs is to manage their customer expectations. This is difficult due to the despaired collaboration tools that don’t work well together. OneDesk solve this problem by linking all communication tools together, enabling the team member to view all shared communication from different collaboration tools. If clients want to follow up on their ticket, they can respond via email or create conversations directly from the portal. This message will appear in the messenger and will also be linked to that specific ticket. Your team members can reply to this existing conversation to communicate with the end user or create internal messages for the team members. Internal conversations are hidden from clients as it is displayed as an internal reply. By typing @ username or department name, you can get your message across to expert team members or departments who are best fit to answer your questions.
The messenger application allows your team to carry up to your daily correspondences and reduce a long response time associated with emails. The messenger application is especially effective as it encourages prompt, reply, and eliminates delaying resolutions that are needed for the success of the project. Additionally, clients can also initiate engagement through the live chat application feature in OneDesk. Sometimes sharing an image, PDF instructions or spreadsheets are easier than typing out information and chat. OneDesk’s live chat application allows your clients to send attachments up to 350 megabytes. These attachments are captured in tickets and are made available for your team members to download into their computer directly. Since chat formats are instantaneous in nature, questions or problems can be resolved immediately by your team members. Apart from that, OneDesk’s live chat feature timestamps the conversation, which helps your team check conversation time in case of any dispute.
Project management for MSPs is challenging due to the sheer number and complexity of tasks in this project. The challenge also lies in managing the cost of budget. This is why it’s so important for MSPs to remain in contact with all parties. In OneDesk, you can break down this projects into tasks. Tasks can be defined as work that requires careful planning and execution. You can convert a ticket into a task or simply create new task in the task application, your team members can log your time on tasks in OneDesk and enter percentage complete of the assigned tasks. Work is logged by creating a time sheet or running a task timer. When submitting a time sheet, you will fill out how much work was done, the current status of this item, percentage complete and et cetera. Since time and budget management is essential in planning projects for MSPs, you can utilize OneDesk’s planned scheduled to set the work hours and days and costs associated with each task within the project.
You can also set constraints to make sure your team members start working on the task. According to your specified timeframe. Managed Tech offers backup and risk mitigation services to their customers. The backup and recovery solutions ensure continuity for customer’s business in event of a disaster or disruption. Expert team members in Managed Tech first evaluate the customer’s IT environment to find a suitable backup option, and then create a contingency plan that will safeguard your internal systems, data, email, communication, and more. When creating the contingency plan, team members will identify and prioritize to risks and then create a step by step guide to recover the IT documents. After that, an internal and external conduct list will be created to did remind the responsibilities of each individual. Each of these tasks will require collaboration with customers and may require multiple revisions based on client feedback. OneDesk promotes collaboration with all parties and gives you the tools to communicate via multiple channels.
For instance, your team can easily carry out conversation with the customers and other departments within the organization. In OneDesk, you can carry out conversations from task forms. This enables you to engage with all parties and help you make decisions unilaterally. Apart from carrying out conversations, you can also attach and send important folders to multiple individuals or teams, allowing them to locate the attachment and download them into their computers quickly. You can organize your tasks inside the project structure, or add them to different folders or portfolios within the project. You could create a project template for simple reoccurring projects. Simply clone the project each time you work on similar projects, that way you can have an existing template in place each time you work on these reoccurring projects. Especially useful since you have the option to select the items and properties you wish to copy from the original project to the cloned project. OneDesk has some unique views that help you analyze your task.
With OneDesk views,Team members can visualize ongoing activities regarding all items, which then helps you in prioritizing correctly and in making smarter decisions. You can utilize the status board for you to update the status of your tasks. The status board is based on the Kanban methodology. Kanban helps your team members understand tasks visually through cues such as cards to create representation of their work. Simply put, the Kanban method, allows your teams to see what tasks need to be tackled and provides a clear context of the project development. OneDesk status board is simple view where each task is represented as a card. You can just drag and drop your card from one column to next to update it’s status. You and your team members may also find the dashboard view, useful. The dashboards provide charts and statistics to show you how your projects or tickets are progressing.
You can also use the dashboard to compare how project A is fairing compared to project B. You can find these dashboards in the dashboard view of projects application. A gannt chart also shows you your planning versus your actual work. The blue bar denotes your planning while the green bar represents the actual time locked by your team. Having the blue bar next to the green bar helps you visually compare how well you’ve planned your project hours. The right hand side of the blue bar shows you your start date of the project. While the left hand side of the bar shows you your end date. You can link tasks to create task dependencies, to lead your team members to finish one task before starting the next. You can also restructure the task dependencies by using the drag and drop function. Once the tasks are linked together, OneDesk will calculate the critical path and provide your team with the overall project length.
You can also add date constraints to prevent a task being scheduled at a later date. Additionally, you can also use simpler viewing layouts, such as tree and flat for you to manage your tasks. The tree view, arranges tasks or tickets in hierarchy. The flat view shows the tickets and tasks without the hierarchy structure. On OneDesk, you can create all the views you need to help you manage your tickets and tasks. My views allow you to customize views according to your requirements. To create your personalized views. You need to select a layout, add filters, groups, and columns. For instance, you can create a view to track the time spent by team members on each individual task. With this feature, you can track the productivity of your team members. So your team managers know if tasks need to be reassigned. With OneDesk, it becomes easy to reassign tasks to other team members.
You can use the Kanban style cardboard and customize a view to see each respective team members, tasks, and move certain tasks around to distribute it to a team member who has availability to work on it. Apart from these standard viewing layouts and filtering systems, you can also make use of OneDesk’s powerful reporting capabilities. You can generate reports and tickets, tasks, projects, or portfolios using the existing reporting templates or by creating your own. Reports are either created manually or automatically using OneDesk’s workflow automation system. Supported reporting formats are PDF and CSV formats, and they can be mailed to the designated email address. Timesheet reports are especially useful when working on complex projects. This is because you can get an idea of how project time was utilized towards different task types. And whether spending that time was justified. As a result, you can take the necessary steps to improve your project planning abilities and better manage your project billing hours.
OneDesk allows you to create time sheet reports which are CSV file that can be imported in Microsoft Excel. These reports are data records of time sheet properties presented in a tabular data format, item, name, priority, billing type, requester name or some necessary information that can be shown within the time sheet reports. However other critical information such as the first ditch completed can be displayed for internal reporting. OneDesk time sheet application allows the administrator to delve deeper when creating reports. Therefore time sheet reports could exhibit internal data such as assignee name, appointed team and more. OneDesk allows you to connect with applications that you already use and helps you gain more flexibility and control over your processes. Integration capabilities, make your OneDesk platform more complete and easy to access by your team members. OneDesks integration features such as single sign on is especially useful to allow users to sign in with their existing credentials.
This enables your team members to quickly access the OneDesk platform and eliminate the need to manage multiple usernames and passwords. OneDesk has its own built-in integrations that will allow you to integrate with those applications directly. You can experience several benefits by integrating with other applications. You can capture support tickets, customer feedback, and connect with other applications that will simplify your workflow. Additionally, you can also integrate with 2000+ applications supported by Zapier. You can enable system emails to notify new team members about their user account or password setup. Other than that, you can send invitation emails to invite customers to sign up for your customer portal. You can also set up workflow automations to remind the assignees when their tasks are due and create separate automation to notify the ticket follower for any status change or a message you send. OneDesk has all the capabilities to streamline your workflow.
With OneDesk you can capture, automate, manage, and track your support tickets, allowing you and your team to take the necessary measures to resolve the problem immediately. With OneDesk’s project management features, you can assign work to the appropriate team and track your project’s progress in multiple viewing layouts. Your team members can submit their time sheets for all their work, enable you to better manage your hours. In addition, OneDesk also helps you keep your clients in the loop. Though customer applications such as web forms and customer portals, your clients can contact you with specific requests, eliminating the problems associated with long email threads. Additionally, with OneDesk’s knowledge base, clients can access self-service articles, helping you reduce your ticket load significantly.