Customer Support Ticketing

David Hubbard dhubbard at
Wed Mar 19 15:04:33 UTC 2014

Kayako is pretty reasonable with a few caveats.  If you self host it,
which I recommend from a security/supportability/customization
standpoint, then you are also taking the trade off of dealing with
upgrading it yourself, which is not always easy.  Make use of their
LoginShare functionality to offload authentication duties since their
internal method is not particularly secure (unsalted SHA1).  If you let
it parse emails, with large attachments, you'll have to fine tune its
memory allowance and how many emails it retrieves per attempt as well as
how frequently it grabs them; it can use a lot of memory and it's not
the fastest thing, so you don't want to have it happen to frequently
where the prior job may still be running.  The search functionality is
absolutely horrible and has been for at least eight years now; it will
turn up completely irrelevant tickets and rarely turns up the correct
ones.  If what you want to search for is in the ticket body rather than
the private ticket notes, you do at least have the option of entering
raw SQL LIKE arguments, so you can search for something like %parameter%
and let MySQL do the work instead of Kayako, assuming your term is
unique enough to find what you needed.  If you need a better search of
all fields, you'd have to write your own.

I haven't personally used the Solarwinds product, but if it's like their
others, the license fees will be outrageous, either now or they'll get
you later, and their sales staff will bother you incessently with better
and better short term promotions.


-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Burke [mailto:tb at] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:36 AM
To: Paul Stewart
Cc: nanog at
Subject: Re: Customer Support Ticketing

Kayako is the way to go. IIRC they have a trial up on their website, may
be worth checking out.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Stewart" <paul at>
To: nanog at
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:01:11 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

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

**This is not an invitation for sales folks to call on me**



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