Ticket Management software allows you to log problems, allocate them to engineers and track the progress. Ticket Management tools are essential for the smooth running of all but the smallest networks. Which is the best Ticket Management solution for you?

If a network is small or very simple finding faults is easy, just check things to find that loose connection. As networks become more complex, with interconnections to other sites, different technologies and so on, fault finding requires specialist skills and knowledge.

Network management suites provide the basic information about how the network is performing. A wide range of commercial and open source solutions are available, HP OpenView, Nagios, SNMP management tools, and many more.

When something fails on a complex network a whole series of alerts and alarms will be generated, but what is the cause? Network troubleshooters spend a large amount of their time seeking out the root cause, and much less actually fixing the problem.

Reporting, Tracking and Resolving faults requires a Ticket Management system. Logging fault reports are followed by allocation of the issue to an engineer, followed by progress reports on the resolution of the problem, followed by closing out of the issue. In addition over time a database is built up of past problems and their solutions.

Manual systems can work well on smaller networks, but automatic systems are to be preferred on larger networks. Entering new tickets manually quickly becomes time consuming and tedious. You really dont want your staff spending all their time entering tickets. Remember time spent entering tickets is time that isnt being used to resolve problems. Automatic systems, if combined with the Network management suite, can improve the efficiency of the ticketing process and minimize the time to fix problems.

So, what kind of Ticket Management systems are there? Both open source and commercial products are available. The two products below will serve as an introduction to whats available.

Open Ticket Request System (OTRS)

OTRS is an open source Ticket Request System and email management system released under the terms of the GNU Public license allowing you to manage customer telephone calls and email. Helpdesk and support departments will find it particularly useful, but it will also handle enquiries to sales billing etc. OTRS works on Linux, Solaris, AIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS 10.x, and Windows.

The advantages of open source software are well known. Free or low cost, you can write your own add-ons and change the software to suit your exact requirements. Commercial support is available for OTRS.

E11 Helpdesk

A commercial product offering a complete solution for Trouble Ticketing, IT Helpdesks, Bug Tracking, and Customer Support. Web based interface. Available with and without Source Code.