Customer Support Ticketing

Faisal Imtiaz faisal at
Wed Mar 19 14:56:43 UTC 2014

The advice I will share with you is as follows:-

Take your wish list and divide it into  Core Functions (need to have), Functions (want to have) and Functions (nice to have).

Be prepared to compromise, the most troublesome area is going to be the Functions (want to have).. Many of us want to fit new software to existing processes, while forgetting that the existing processes were designed to deal with current systems/limitations. Most of this can be resolved by some other form of external process or procedure change , be it manual or some sort of external reference...

I am not a big fan of software customization, creates challenge with updates & upgrades, ( don't confuse software customization with software integration).

Having said that, for us (we are an entity that is very much similar to what you have described in your email), we have been using Kayako. We found it to be very flexible for handling support tickets, email inquires and also a central repository for Alerts etc.

We are now in the process of implementing a new Customer Billing package, (Freeside), which has RT integration, so we are most likely going to move a few of the mail queues to Freeside/RT, while leaving kayako to handle the other email queues.

My point is, while it is nice to have a 'fully integrated' system, such a system starts to have it's shortcomings from day one... (e.g. if you tie it to your billing system, then what do you do with sales inquires ? you don't want to overload the system with junk.. or even system alert trouble tickets)....

Over the years we have found it more practical to develop some process to tie the info together in billing and ticketing system (we record ticket # in the billing system, as a ref. for related tickets), than try to do some sort of automation / customization.

Of Course your mileage may vary.

Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet & Telecom
7266 SW 48 Street
Miami, FL 33155
Tel: 305 663 5518 x 232

Help-desk: (305)663-5518 Option 2 or Email: Support at 

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Paul Stewart" <paul at>
> To: nanog at
> Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:01:11 AM
> Subject: Customer Support Ticketing
> Hey folks….
> We need a new customer ticketing system and I’m looking for input.  I am
> still working on a scope document on everything we want to do with the new
> system.
> The most common problem I run across is that a system is either built for
> enterprise internal IT helpdesk or it is built like a CRM sales tracking
> system.  We are an ISP among other things and are looking for a powerful and
> yet reasonable cost system to answer email inquiries, allow customers to
> open tickets via portal, mobile support, escalation/SLA support, and several
> other things.  Solarwinds NPM integration would be a huge bonus but not a
> deal breaker.  If anyone has a system that they have integrated with Ivue
> from NISC (our billing platform) I would be really interested in hearing
> more as well.
> So my question is meant high level.  For those folks that are ISP’s
> supporting business customers (including managed customers) along with
> residential eyeball traffic what system(s) do you use and what do you
> like/dislike?
> I’ve looked so far at WHD (Solarwinds product), OTRS, RT, RemedyForce,
> ZenDesk, HappyFox, Kayako and several others.  All of them so far would
> require a fair amount of configuration or modifications based on our still
> developing wish list.  Also worth noting is that we have no full time
> development staff so hoping to find something that has a lot of promise and
> then work with the vendor to evolve it into what we feel we need.
> **This is not an invitation for sales folks to call on me**
> Thanks,
> Paul

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