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07 February 2013

Enhanced Outlook HelpDesk Ticket Form

Folder HelpDesk logotypeThe kalmstrom.com application for issue tracking and incident management, Folder HelpDesk for Outlook, will soon come in a new version. One of the enhancements is a nicer ticket form, that fits better into Outlook and gives more room for the ticket body.

Convert e-mails into tickets
Folder HelpDesk takes the incoming e-mails and converts them into tickets that are displayed right inside Outlook. This conversion may be done manually, with a click of a button, or automatically so that all e-mails in a specified folder are converted into tickets. This folder may be the Outlook inbox or any other folder where e-mails are placed with the help of Outlook rules.

Caller details added automatically
When a new ticket is created from an e-mail, Folder HelpDesk adds caller details to the ticket. Maybe all details are not present in the e-mail, but if Folder HelpDesk finds them in Outlook, the application can add the missing details from there. Folder HelpDesk has its own caller list to look up from, and new callers are easily added to that list. You can even set the application to add new callers automatically.
The Folder HelpDesk Ticket Form
Selection of additional data
Ticket ID and the time for creation are filled out automatically, and as creator of the ticket is entered the Outlook login name. Then there are very few fields left to be filled out manually, and only two of them are mandatory: Incident Type and Responsible. As all details are selected, instead of written into the ticket fields, the risk of mistakes is minimized.

Format, attachments and inline images
When an e-mail is converted into a ticket the body of the e-mail will be placed in the ticket body, to the right in the ticket form. The format will be the same as in the e-mail, and embedded images will be shown in the ticket body just like in the e-mail. E-mail attachments are added on top of the body, like in standard Outlook items, and new attachments may be added to the ticket via the Outlook Insert tab.

Answer from within the ticket
Folder HelpDesk can send several kinds of automatic e-mails, for example when tickets are created or closed, but you may also answer the caller directly from within the ticket. In version 13 you can decide if you want to include the attachments or not in these answers to the caller.

E-mail thread
Often several e-mails about the same case are sent back and forth before the case is solved, and it is convenient to have all information in the same ticket. Folder HelpDesk can make this happen in several ways.
The Folder HelpDesk Ticket Work Done
Work done tab
Folder HelpDesk gives a possibility to register work done on the ticket, which is very useful when several people work with the same ticket. Once the text and the minutes worked are entered they cannot be changed. For standard tasks the time worked can be set automatically by the administrator, so that a default value is entered if the responsible person does not give a specific time.

Blank ticket
All issues are not reported by e-mail, or via the web form that is also included in Folder HelpDesk. People may also call or just pop in to tell about an incident. In that case you can create a blank ticket, and if the caller is present in one of the lists I mentioned above you can pick the caller details from there. Tickets may also be created from Outlook tasks and appointments.

I hope that current and new Folder HelpDesk users will be happy with the new ticket form, and with all the new features in version 13. I will soon come back with more information about them.

Update: more about the new Folder HelpDesk ticket form in a later post.

By Peter Kalmström
Marketing and Documentation
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions