RT has changed the way we do business
written about 6 years ago
When my business partners and I started our small technical consulting company, we did things like most starting technology companies did things: Everything was handled by email. Emails that could be lost. Deleted. Mis-filed. Sometimes it was customer email requesting support, sometimes it was "go ahead and invoice customer A for $x". In cases like these, that directly leads to lost revenue.
So about three-and-a-half years ago, one of my business partners suggested we look in to a ticket system. By the recommendation of a friend who ran RT (version 1) long ago, I looked at RT (3.0.2 at the time; we're currently running 3.6.3).
RT has completely changed the way our company does business: Literally, from start to finish, RT is the focal point of how we do business.
Quote requests from B2B partners we do work for often come in through RT in a quotes queue. If they fail to materialize they are closed, but if they turn in to work they are moved to a projects queue and assigned to an Engineer. When the work is completed, the ticket is resolved and marked "Awaiting Invoice", and our Office Manager is notified that the ticket is ready for invoice.
Additionally, our growing support contract business is handled using RT as well. Customers are given an email address where they can send their concerns along with any relevant data, including screenshots or errors messages. Our entire team is notified immediately by email that a support ticket has been opened, meaning we are able to respond more quickly and meet response SLAs.
RT has two primary interface mechanisms: Email, and web. Some prefer one over the other, and that's what is so great about RT: choice. There's no "One Right Way" to do things. For me, using an email interface to RT is great for sending a quick update to a customer or B2B partners. For me, using the Web interface is great to get organized for the day, put in a quick update, or track the amount of time I've spent on a support issue or project. Because it's so easy to use, there isn't a large learning curve when we bring new employees onboard.
Why has RT been able to do these things for us? For my company, three things come to mind:
* It's free (free software, open source)
* It's very modification-friendly (open source)
* Large community of RT zealots who can provide community-based support
If I had to summarize my favorite thing about RT, it would be this: You tell RT (by configuring it) to work the way you want it to, as opposed to other systems where you must fit your workflow in to it.
As a side note, it's worth noting that Best Practical (the company that "behind" RT) does offer both custom development and support contracts. This could be good for larger businesses who require a company to stand behind any product they deploy internally. For example, a few months ago I needed some custom development done to make my life a little easier. After working out the requirements with BP, I had a custom module written to spec within a week. We still use this module today.
5/5 to RT, only because I can't give it 7/5.
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