Our new Help Desk beta is now available.
Yes, available – not planned, expected, or hoped for. We know that some of you have been waiting a very, very long time for this. We’ve promised it many times, started it several times, but so far have failed to deliver. This time, we have something real for you.
If you are half as excited as we are and can’t wait another 3-5 minutes to know all the details, you can scroll down to FAQ section (though, we encourage you to read on).
The possibilities we are planning to provide go way beyond software support. It is already more than just a Help Desk, and future improvements will make the old name too confusing, potentially hiding the possible benefits from you. We decided to use a different name for it: Service Desk, which is a more general term. Don’t worry; if you refer to it as the new Help Desk or Help Desk v.3, we’ll still know what you’re talking about.
Functionality that is ready:
The first thing we had to do is match the functionality of our previous version of Help Desk, so that you don’t have to worry about making a decision on whether you want to sacrifice certain features in order get the newer version. Just like Help Desk, the Service Desk allows you to:
- submit public and private Issues, Ideas or Questions
- search and vote for them
- track the status of requests and related items
- add comments
- upload attachments
These features are foundation that we built off of. Service Desk is still in progress, but we’ve made some nice improvements that we can proudly share with you:
A better UI
The original Help Desk portal was released in 2008. It was a decent software back then, and almost 20% of the company development force was allocated to it (at the time, this was a total of 1 person). Over time, the software began to become outdated. We did a face-lift on the program about a year ago, which helped a little – but in order to move forward, we knew we had to throw everything away and start from scratch.
It might sound basic, but our old Help Desk did not allow you to apply a filter to see requests from a particular project. Now, you can.
As you know, the name of a request does not always give you a clue as to what it is about. Instead of wasting time opening such requests, you can now see part of the description directly on the request’s card. You can even preview images! We hope this will help you to save time while looking for a specific request or trying to get an overview of what’s in the system.
Last official reply
Similar to the previous change, we now also show the last comment submitted by someone in Targetprocess directly on the card. We may improve this further, perhaps by adding the ability to “pin” important replies (such as an official effort estimation for an Idea), but that would depend on your feedback.
Hierarchical Comment Trees
Just like in Targetprocess (well, and many other applications too, to be honest), you can have a structured discussion by replying to a particular comment.
Login as a Targetprocess user
A lot of folks were confused when they tried to access the Help Desk, but their password from Targetprocess did not work. This happened because Targetprocess users and Help Desk requesters were different users, and you needed to sign up outside of Targetprocess to access the Help Desk. Now, you can login to the Service Desk with your Targetprocess email and password. In future, you won’t even have to worry about it, if you’re already logged in to Targetprocess on your computer.
Please note that Targetprocess users and Service Desk users are still separate in the beta release, but we are planning to merge them and transfer all requests to the main Targetprocess user. If that could potentially be a bad thing for you, now is the right time to let us know.
This is a big one. You can significantly increase the number of possible use cases and scenarios with the help of custom fields. However, we know that you might not want to always display all fields, since they may contain sensitive internal information. That is why the fields are white-listed you define which fields should be available for users to fill out, and which fields should remain hidden.
Some minor things
We’ve made several more small improvements to the system. Issues will now be submitted as private entities by default, and the ordering of comments has changed to allow you to place either the oldest or most recent comments at the top.
Certainly, we are not planning to stop with what we already have. Apart from polishing things here and there, we plan to make the software more customizable in order to give it the potential to support even more scenarios and business cases. We will allow you to add your own custom request types, not just Issues, Questions, and Ideas. Each of them can have their own personalized “add-request” form with a separate set of fields and predefined data. After all, a request to your IT department to replace a broken mouse is very different from a high level Marketing Project Request. Combine this new functionality with the flexibility and power of Targetprocess, and you’ll have a solution capable of tackling a dynamic array of challenges. It will also be possible to customize the look and feel of the Service Desk with your own logo and custom theme uploaded.
By the way, we already tried it at the 2016 Gartner PPM & IT Governance Summit in London this June, and it proved to be a valuable addition to our Project Portfolio Management solution when used as an entry point for Project Requests.
Q: Wow, I want to try that out ASAP! How can I get one?
A: You can activate it from General Settings in Targetprocess, right under the old Help Desk configuration. You need administrator permissions to do so.
Important: In this beta the configuration area you see above is a sort of prototype. It works fine for initial setup, but it does not "remember" the settings you entered before. You can still use it to update the mode or list of custom fields, but you would have to enter all the settings from scratch. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take care of that. Don’t worry, this is just a temporary obstacle; we’ll be adding a real Settings page soon.
Q: I have an onsite (on premise) version of Targetprocess. Can I try it out now?
A: Not yet, sorry. We are running it on our hosted environment so that we can monitor and fix issues on the fly. Once we’ve had a chance to make sure everything runs smoothly, we’ll support local installations as well.
Q: Will I have to pay for Service Desk?
A: No, just like the previous version of Help Desk, Service Desk comes free with your Targetprocess account. You do not have to pay for deployment or requesters.
Q: Can I use it without Targetprocess?
A: No, Targetprocess is required for using Service Desk. Besides, we recommend support staff or whoever is processing the requests to work from Targetprocess, not Service Desk All administration, merging, and state-changing is done from Targetprocess. By the way, here is a nice article on how you can use Targetprocess for customer support: https://www.targetprocess.com/guide/helpdesk-portal/how-to-use-targetprocess-for-support/
Q: I have a question, issue or suggestion.
A: That’s great! We would be happy if you shared it with us. You can use the feedback button right in the app, and the message will go directly to our team. You can also go to our own instance of Service Desk at https://helpdesk.targetprocess.com, pick Service Desk Feedback as a product, and submit a ticket. Alternatively, you can always reach our support team via email@example.com.
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