SmarterTrack 8.x BETA Available Now

SmarterTrack 8.x is turning out to be the largest and most important release of SmarterTrack since we originally released SmarterTicket, its precursor, back in 2004. We’ve always been committed to building products that offer enterprise-level features without the enterprise-level cost, and SmarterTrack 8.x is no exception. We took into account the feedback we’ve received from our customers through forum posts, feature requests and even face-to-face discussions and are pleased to announce the next release of our popular helpdesk and customer service software.

Getting started with the BETA

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the BETA, please visit the SmarterTrack 8.x BETA forum, where you’ll see how to:

  • Sign up for the BETA
  • Get a special BETA license key
  • Download the latest BETA release (we update it regularly)
  • Communicate with other BETA testers and the SmarterTools development team
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest release note and BETA news

Sign up for the BETA

Fully integrated softphone

SmarterTrack 8.x will have one of the most integrated SIP-compliant VoIP softphones of any helpdesk on the market and even includes multiple brand support. The softphone is configurable from within SmarterTrack, allowing all settings, profiles and agent information to be pushed to any desktop or laptop an agent logs into. This full-featured softphone includes the ability to transfer calls, automatically create call logs, displays incoming and outgoing communication history for a caller; can record incoming and outgoing calls; offers complete call analytics and allows businesses to keep all customer communications (tickets, live chats and call logs) in one location.

More user information

SmarterTrack 8.x continues to expand the amount of information about each customer by associating all communication within the helpdesk to a user’s email address and phone number. In addition, complete user statistics help you understand the frequency and method in which a customer communicates with your helpdesk. Finally, user comments have been added and can be displayed across tickets, live chats and call logs to help agents better assist customers.

Custom Fields

Easy access to custom fields

Custom fields are an incredibly powerful part of SmarterTrack. Some companies set up their helpdesks to: require users to provide answers to questions prior to starting tickets and live chats and store that information in custom fields; integrate with their existing billing systems and provisioning systems which automatically populate custom fields; allow agents to set custom fields based on information in ticket, live chats and call logs. With SmarterTrack 8.x, custom fields can now be placed in the communication area of tickets, live chats and call logs allowing the most critical of custom fields to be easily viewable and accessible. And as always, all custom fields can be associated to the Event system and can be fully reported on.

Completely revised task system

We’ve dramatically enhanced the tasks system. Tasks can now be assigned statuses like approved, in progress, on hold or completed and you can use the task scheduler to automatically create recurring tasks. Plus, managers can easily view global tasks by status or agent to get a better idea of what’s being worked on and when.

Customize with CSS

Customize your help desk without making changes to configuration files or changing skins! SmarterTrack 8.x allows system administrators to override CSS styles and customize the portal or management interface any way they want. So go ahead, move modules, change fonts or add a splash of color. Heck, redesign the whole portal. With custom CSS, you have the power to make your own design.

Simplify common actions into one click with manual events

Built upon SmarterTrack’s extensive event system, events can now be defined as manual. This means that instead of the system automatically triggering an event, a manual event can be created with specific criteria and actions that can be executed by an agent on a ticket, live chat or call log. Manual events can significantly increase the productivity of agents by eliminating the need to perform common actions individually; instead, multiple actions are performed with a single click. Here’s an example of how you might use this feature: you may want to transfer a ticket to another department, send a canned reply to the customer, adjust the custom fields in preparation to track the ticket, and SMS the agent that will receive the transferred ticket. Instead of an agent having to perform all of these actions separately, manual events can make all this happen with just one click!

Live Chat Agent Avatars

Get personal with avatars

Now you can add a personal touch to your tickets and live chats using agent avatars. Customers feel more at ease when they can see whom they’re dealing with. By using pictures of your agents, or even adding company or agent-specific avatars that are displayed during live chats and in tickets, you can help ensure your customers and end users stay in the right frame of mind throughout the entire support pipeline.

Custom RSS feeds

Feeding frenzy

Have a few RSS feeds you’d like to get in front of your customers? Perhaps you have separate RSS feeds for your blog, company news and social media accounts and want to make them easily accessible from one place? With SmarterTrack 8.x, you can centralize all of your important information in one location. You can even include feeds of your favorite news or industry blogs, further turning your portal into a true communication hub for your end users.

Better knowledge base management

We’ve revamped the knowledge base to make it easier to identify where articles are in the creation process and who is responsible for them. Now you can assign articles to agents, view a list of articles with broken links and quickly moderate customer feedback or ratings. Plus, see the path customers take as they browse your knowledge base: if they viewed another article prior, it’ll be listed as a referrer.

Improved helpdesk security

In an effort to build upon the need to fully separate different brands and departments, as well as to assist with the overall security of your helpdesk, agents now only see and interact with only those items that are assigned to their specific departments. In addition, take the security of your help desk up a notch by enforcing minimum password requirements for employee logins and enabling a setting that protects your system from brute force attacks by temporarily locking a user account if there are too many failed login attempts.

Improved categorization and organization

SmarterTrack 8.x introduces master categories. Configured by the system administrator, master categories are available on time logs and tasks to help managers see where an agent’s time is spent or to organize tasks related to a specific project.

Is that it?

Of course not! SmarterTrack 8.x has more features and improvements. You’ll find them all in the release notes we’ll post in the SmarterTrack 8.x BETA forum, but here are a few more that might be of interest:

  • Ticket responses can now be saved as drafts, so agents can come back and work on them later.
  • System administrators can now exclude response times that elapsed outside of business hours to ensure more accurate reporting.
  • The last agent to sign out of live chats or go AFK can now receive a warning message to lower the odds that your helpdesk goes unmanned.
  • Brand management is much simpler, even for companies with only one brand!
  • We made many more changes to the interface to increase the speed and responsiveness on both desktops and mobile devices. We also made modifications to regain much needed real estate, which is especially noticeable on tablets (like the new iPad) and on Android devices.

19 Responses to SmarterTrack 8.x BETA Available Now

  1. Pingback: Beta words | Letsbuildafutu

  2. fadi hussein says:

    when u r planning to have Active directory integration or LDAP integration?

    Thanks,

    • ST-tdigiacinto says:

      SmarterTrack already supports active directory integration. It’s configured per user on the Options tab of the user settings. See http://help.smartertools.com/SmarterTrack/v7/Topics/Settings/SystemSettings/Organization/AgentsUsers.aspx for more information.

      • NO he means real Active Directory authentication where we dont have to jump through hoops to configure it. I feel I’m very tech savy but even I had the toughest time trying to get it to work.

        Applications like Gemini do it perfectly. Take a look at my forum posts “Cytranic”. In order to get Active directory authentication to work you have to compile sample code, I mean come on.

        http://forums.smartertools.com/showthread.php/28216-Active-Directory-Authentication

      • ST-DCurtis says:

        Our external provider was built to support multiple types of authentication across multiple software platforms. It’s not just a way to connect to Active Directory, so that’s why it’s a bit more complex that the simple integration of something like Gemini. We wanted to make it as flexible as possible as users have many, varied software systems that they want to connect to and authenticate against.

        That being said, using the external provider should be fairly simple for someone with some development experience, but it IS an advanced feature. So, we are looking at a way to better document the sample code that’s linked to from the external providers help page to give a bit of a walk through for people looking to make changes to the project to connect SmarterTrack to AD.

        As an aside, here’s the help documentation for our External Providers: http://help.smartertools.com/SmarterTrack/v7/Topics/Settings/SystemSettings/ExternalProviders.aspx

      • The only thing holding me back from moving my entire helpdesk software over to smartertrack is this feature. If I’m getting PM’s personally asking if I ever got it to work, I think there would be some of a demand.

        I so have some development experience, I forget the limitation I ran into when using that sample code. Something about not syncing over the email address from active directory. Whatever the case is, there is more then a handful of people who need this feature. I have 200_ employees I need to support. If I have to support them on the smarter track software, cause lets face it users are dumb, then that’s a major drawback. If I really wanted to I could hire a developer to program something easy for us to use, but I think that defeats the purpose.

        Otherwise I’m jealous of the new features in 8.x such as the SIP phone. This would benefit us greatly. Hopefully you all get something worked out in the AD Authentication arena, I’m ready to jump on board.

  3. Now we’re talking, these are some nice new features! Would it be possible to integrate the soft phone system with Tropo via SIP? Would like to integrate features like call routing via our internal application and Tropo and have the end leg ring SmarterTrack agent’s soft phones.

    • ST-tdigiacinto says:

      Glad you’re excited about the new features too! In regards to your question, our softphone will work with any SIP server. Because we’re only a client and not the server itself there should be no problems using whichever combination of phone clients you wish. However, our development team recommends using our phone when you need to automatically record calls and call log details in SmarterTrack as the process is much more convenient.

      Keep an eye on the SmarterTrack 8.x BETA forum, as you’ll be able to test the softphone in an upcoming BETA release.

  4. Michael Cummins says:

    Will we be able to group tickets by company?

    • ST-DCurtis says:

      Michael,

      The Enterprise version of SmarterTrack offers multiple brand support. Therefore, you can separate tickets by brand, which is, in essence, separating by company. As an aside, brand support has been around for a few versions.

  5. Jorge E. says:

    what about
    – a documents area in which agents can upload software and its organized by categories, so clients can access a “downloads” public area?
    – management of “ticket packages” in which we can add different types of “tickets purchased” (urgent tickets, phone tickets, etc.) by a specific customer and they get discounted when they use them? (like you guys have at ST) this should be a must!
    – not only have a user per customer, but have a specific customer who can have multiple logins for different users.

    • ST-DCurtis says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. You may want to consider participating in our SmarterTrack 8.x BETA forum topic as well.

  6. The chat feature in Smartermail 9 is Jabber based, so I was wondering if you have a similar plan for Smartertrack

    • ST-DCurtis says:

      It is on the list of things to consider for the next version, but that list grows daily.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  7. Miguel Montejo says:

    I’m testing the ST 7.x and I have some suggestions:

    1.- Allow to customize and add new statuses of a Ticket (or Tasks): For example when you have a suggestion you could close the ticket in two ways “Accepted” or “Rejected” ans so on, and you may need a report to see how many suggestions were accepted.

    2.- Allow to use custom fields in Register Form of a end user; so you can add Phone Number, Company and things that your brand may need.

    3.- In Time Log Categories would be nice to set Cost per hour for that category, so you can calculate the aditional fixed cost.
    You could also add an multiplier, so you can calculate an aditional cost according to the employee cost per hour. (Multiplier = 1.2 so for some employees could earn 12.00 or 24.00 depending on their experience)

    4.- Allow reports to export to PDF

    5.- Create a brand newsletter, so you can send a massive email to all (or some) end users.

    6.- In Knowledge base, allow to add custom fields, because when your company is a software producer you may need to add a field that shows of what version of your software will apply for that article. And some custom things like that.

    7.- In Tasks, also, allow to add custom fields and allow to the employee attach a file so admins can see the result of that task.

    Hope to be clear

    • ST-DCurtis says:

      Miguel,

      Thanks for taking the time to post your suggestions. You may want to look at posting these in our <a href="Thanks for the suggestions. You may want to consider participating in our SmarterTrack 8.x BETA forum topic as well. ” target=”_blank”>SmarterTrack 8.x BETA forum topic as well (if you haven’t already).

  8. Daniel Comp says:

    Customize with CSS?
    “Customize your help desk without making changes to configuration files or changing skins! SmarterTrack 8.x allows system administrators to override CSS styles and customize the portal or management interface any way they want. So go ahead, move modules, change fonts or add a splash of color. Heck, redesign the whole portal. With custom CSS, you have the power to make your own design.”

    Are there ANY possible tips on this. I build in .net and have spent the entire day simply trying to guess how to actually change the portal welcome page colors! (not the inner pages)

    • ST-DCurtis says:

      Daniel,

      As SmarterTrack 8.x is still in BETA, all help documentation and knowledge base articles are still in review. However, rest assured we will have more info on the revised editing capabilities prior to the live release of the product.

      As for changing portal colors, you manage that under System Settings -> Organization -> Brands on the Options tab. This is where you set your default color, add your custom logo, etc. Here is where you’ll manage custom CSS as well as there is currently a separate tab for custom CSS.

      • Daniel Comp says:

        Yes,so where do I post a ‘scotoma’?

        Of coarse I set all that up… and with the logo box, I scanned right past the scheme selection box a dozen times… maybe a little color or bold font?

        So the trick is that as soon as you select ‘other’ you can stuff all the css in. nice

        Suggestion:
        would you ask someone to add a div to the area outside the header and logo so we can make that area another color. Using the * to style that area is pretty funky.

        See: http://support.intelligentnetware.com

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