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Dec 13, 2017
Plumsail HelpDesk vs. HarePoint help desk
Lily Babiy
Lily Babiy
Marketing Specialist

If you found yourself reading this article, probably, you have started your journey of discovery the right ticketing system for a great support. Here we will take a look at two service desks and found out which one is better.

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HarePoint HelpDesk is a ready-made customer support system based on the SharePoint platform and Plumsail HelpDesk is a strong HarePoint helpdesk alternative. Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of these help desks.

Scalability

HarePoint only provides a help desk for on-premises and for a limited number of SharePoint versions, not including SharePoint Online which is gradually becoming a more commonly used version of SharePoint.

Plumsail’s ticketing system is built on top of Office 365 and SharePoint, so in the first place, you get all the power of these solutions. Plumsail HelpDesk has really deep integration into Office 365, that means its great ability to dramatically extend SharePoint Online or On-premises and customize solution according to your requirements. For example, SharePoint Online fully integrated with Flow, Microsoft online workflow service that enables you to work smarter and more efficiently by automating workflows across the most common apps and services. For example, you can send SMS notifications from help desk with Microsoft Flow and Twilio. So, with Plumsail you will get more scalable ticketing system which will get you all perks of using SharePoint Online. And it’s important to notice that Plumsail offers their On-premises users almost the same features as for Online users.

Price

Plumsail pricing offers you simple but flexible options with 3 plans for SharePoint Online — $29 for 5 agents per month, $49 for 10 agents per month and $99 for an unlimited number of agents per month. The unlimited number of help desk instances and all features we have, including SLA, triggers, forms customization, web widget, and many others, are available for every plan. The only limit is the number of agents and comments. SharePoint On-Premises users have to pay $999 for one server with one-year maintenance. We don’t offer a free plan, but you can get a 30-day free trial of all-included-package. And one more thing — all updates are free during maintenance! You don’t need to buy extra hours of support to stay up to date with all features: one click and you have it all.

HarePoint offers their clients two different editions for SharePoint On-Premises — Basic for 1299€ and Standard for 2499€ for one server relatively, the main difference between these editions is the set of included features.

In both solutions for On-premises users, the additional year of maintenance and updates are available only for an extra fee.

Deployment

The main thing about Plumsail help desk that it only takes 15 minutes to be up and running. Just download and run the setup file, specify the URL where a HelpDesk instance will be created, provide credentials, wait until the end of installation and start forwarding support emails to your new help desk. That’s it.

HarePoint offers a more complicated way of deployment — first of all, you need to get in contact with their sales assistant who will give you the download link. Then you will need help from your IT administrator to set the system up or HarePoint offers their specialist assistance who will drive you through the product deployment process and help you to complete the initial product configuration.

Request submission and further work with ticket

The process of submitting requests in both systems looks alike — the end-user can create a request via email or use a special form on a web page. In Plumsail, that special form called the widget. With the widget, you can provide a UI for internal users without giving them access to all tickets.

Support specialists in Plumsail HelpDesk have a separate interface. It looks like a discussion board. This is how ticket form looks:

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And this is how Harepoint ticket form looks:

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All end-users requests are converted into tickets and can be assigned to Agent or to the group. Also, The Agent can create a ticket on behalf of the requester, so, the requester will be able to follow the case which was discussed on the phone or via e-mail. Tickets assigned to the Agent could be found in My tickets view in the top menu. And now, we need to make it clear about how views work in Plumsail and HarePoint.

All tickets are organized into views based on certain criteria. In Plumsail HelpDesk, all views are located on the home page and their pre-defined number limited to eight. As it was said above, the agent always can find his/her tickets on My tickets view, it’s simple and intuitive. If you need more complex views, they could be easily configured manually.

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Also, you can add them as the button to top menu.

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HarePoint offers an enormous number of pre-defined views and it takes some time to figure out where you need to click to find the right one. Despite the fact that someone can find it useful, it may increase the time of solution’s adoption as you will probably need to train your agents how to use all that forms, menus and views.

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Both systems offer their clients quick response templates. In Plumsail, it is called canned responses and it could be inserted in any answer. This feature will shorten response times for frequently repeated or standard requests.

SLA management

With SLA you will be able to measure how you’re providing services and it helps to set certain expectations.

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In both systems, SLA is included in features and allows you to create customized rules for quality control, escalation of incidents or sending notifications concerning any possible violations. But the main difference in the interface of SLA constructor — in Plumsail, we offer our customers user-friendly editor where crazy programming skills are not required. HarePoint uses standarв SharePoint interface with a load of forms and fields, it will take the amount of time to figure out how does it working.

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Reports

Reports are a key to get insights into the effectiveness of your support services or to analyze incoming requests.

In Plumsail solution, you can track tickets by state, customers’ satisfaction, tickets by category, active requesters and tickets by agents. If it’s not enough for your needs, you can use our additional solution Dashboard Designer to customize charts. Also, you can select a reporting period.

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In HarePoint, users have a number of built-in reports — request trends, resolution reports, response time and SLA violations.

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The main difference between reports in Plumsail HelpDesk and HarePoint is the way it is performed. Plumsail’s reports are rich and illustrative dashboards, HarePoint’s reports are informative, but they are regular tables.

Conclusion

Both solutions are fully integrated SharePoint and have quite a similar list of features but only Plumsail HelpDesk is integrated into Office 365 as well.

Of course, I can not be really impartial but if you are looking for a clean and simple interface with great ability for customization,

  • Or you need a quick setup,
  • Or maybe you’d like to get updates for free and on a regular basis,
  • And you don’t want to waste your time on training for your team,
  • And you don’t want to pay a lot of money for the solution itself…

Plumsail HelpDesk will be a perfect match for you.

If you are looking for a ticketing system with a nice tool for task management and you are a tough one, you will find HarePoint useful for you.

Note: The post has been originally published at Medium:
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