OTRS Group Releases Business Solution Software for Improved Customer Support

Open Technology Real Services (OTRS) Group, a provider of open-source and cloud-based management solutions, Monday released Business Solution, a software product which aims to improve customer support.

Modeled after the fourth version of the company's open-source ticket system, the software features new cloud offerings and runs on a Facebook-like interface with a live chat option. The updated visual display includes detailed ticket histories and provides access to professional updates and vendor support. Data from the Dynamic Field Database will log outside customer information into the tickets and automatically update them whenever there is a change. Also new is a Ticket Workflow, Time Accounting Quota and Ticket Allocation feature, which can be customized at any time to meet a company's needs.

The features will enable more intimate and "direct customer relations," as the Facebook-inspired design is familiar turf to users who are already accustomed to surfing that site for social purposes, the company said in a statement. "Facebook is the most common social network that is used worldwide," Josephine Guenther, director of global marketing and communications at OTRS, told CRM in an email. "As OTRS is available in thirty-four languages all around the world, we needed...a design that most people in the world have already worked with and feel comfortable with."

The chat feature will help prevent the overburdening of service teams by enabling them to better see written exchanges that are logged into and stored in the system.

The release is OTRS' biggest in five years, according to Guenther.

"The trend we notice is that companies from all industry sectors are looking for a software solution from which all departments can benefit," Guenther wrote. "One reason is to save costs, but another important one is to prepare for the future. Instead of exchanging the software every [five] years, because it cannot keep up with the growth of the company, companies are looking for solutions that grow with them."

"[Business Solution] offers service organizations outstanding features they can add or change according to their requirements and provides them with professional services like regular updates, training courses, and implementation," COO Christopher Kuhn said in the company's statement. "Many of our over 130,000 customers worldwide use OTRS in more than one department and the OTRS Business Solution now makes this even easier."

The offering currently integrates with SugarCRM and Salesforce.com, "but other CRM tools can also be integrated via Web services," according to Guenther.

Among OTRS' customers are Philips, NASA, and IBM. Guenther reported that NASA saw a "six-figure reduction of license costs" after implementing the features.

Though OTRS' customer base is comprised mostly of call centers, the company hopes to "make other companies aware of a software solution they can use in more than one department," Guenther wrote.

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