One of the functions in CRM (customer relationship management) world is helpdesk (or service desk). Being a CRM consultant, I’ve setup and supported many helpdesk/service desk installations. With every installations, I developed a desire to come up with a tool on my own.
I started learning Django with the idea of developing such a tool (matching closely to ITSM).
It is not that there are lack of tools in this domain. There are many. Some are excellent too. However with the growth of ITES industry, I am convinced that such tools are going to be in demand.
The primary reason for me to develop such a tool is to learn the various internals of Django (and web development). Even after developing SOL, I haven’t touched many areas of Django. Developing a full blown application will help me to understand various pieces of Django.
Secondly it will help me to understand the open source movement. I hope to tap the ‘wisdom of the masses’ to design, develop and spread Y-A-T-S-Y. In the process, I am sure to learn about various aspects of software development and functionality of helpdesk.
Most importantly, it will help me to develop a deeper understanding of the functionality of helpdesk. One thing is to setup a helpdesk and manage it according to a defined process in a tool; another is to develop a tool on my own.
So what will Y-A-T-S-Y offer?
- Web-based case/ticket management
- Workflow for case status
- Levels of support agents
- Self-service module for customers
- Group and Agent inboxes (i.e. different buckets)
- Case Assignment (manual/auto assignment)
- Questions & Answers to guide agents to proper resolutions (Diagnostic Scripts)
- SLA management
- Escalation Rules
- Statistical Reports
- Email Notification
- LDAP Authentication
- REST Interface
- Chat facility with agents
Over the years, I’ve learned that a generalized tool can’t meet all the requirements of a specific customer. So I’m not trying to build an one-stop solution for all the needs. However, if you think that there are features without which a helpdesk can’t function, please let me know and I might look into it.
What’s the plan?
In the next 3-4 weeks, I will post design and code snippets. I’m targeting minimum of one post and a max of 2 per week. Since this is not my primary job, there might be delays. But I am planning to cut those delays to as minimum as possible so that I can get going fast. (I’ve other ideas to develop as well :-) )
How can you help?
Its too early for me to ask for help. But as I post the design and then I start to develop, please read and comment to bring out a better product. Following the open source principle, I’ll release often and release early. If you could spare some time, test and pass on the results.
And time to time, say - ‘get going buddy’.