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Trouble ticket systems such as OTRS handle trouble tickets like normal email. The messages are saved in the system. When a customer sends a request, a new ticket is generated by the system which is comparable to a new medical report being created. The response to this new ticket is comparable to a doctor's entry in the medical report. A ticket is closed if an answer is sent back to the customer, or if the ticket is separately closed by the system. If a customer responds again on an already closed ticket, the ticket is reopened with the new information added. Every ticket is stored and archived with complete information. Since tickets are handled like normal emails, attachments and contextual annotations will also be stored with each email. In addition, information on relevant dates, employees involved, working time needed for ticket resolution, etc. are also saved. At any later stage, tickets can be sorted, and it is possible to search through and analyze all information using different filtering mechanisms.
OTRS Help Desk
This chapter describes the features of OTRS Help Desk (OTRS). You will find information about the hardware and software requirements for OTRS. Additionally, in this chapter you will learn how to get commercial support for OTRS, should you require it, and how to contact the community.
OTRS Help Desk (OTRS) is a web application that is installed on a web server and can be used with a web browser.
OTRS is separated into several components. The main component is the OTRS framework which contains all central functions for the application and the ticket system. It is possible to install additional applications such as OTRS::ITSM modules, integrations with Network Monitoring solutions, a knowledge base (FAQ), et cetera.
OTRS has many features. The following list gives an overview of the main features included in the OTRS framework.
User Interface
OTRS comes with separate, modern web interfaces for agents and customers.
It can be used on any modern web browser, including mobile platforms and is retina ready.
The web interface can be customized with own themes and skins.
Powerful and customizable agent dashboard with personal ticket overviews and graphical statistics support.
An extensible reporting engine provides various statistics and report scheduling options.
With the ProcessManagement it is possible to define own ticket-based screens and processes (ticket workflows).
OTRS has a built-in rights management that can be extended with fine-grained access control lists (ACLs).
Support for more than 30 languages and different time zones.
Email Interface
Support for MIME emails with attachments.
Automatic conversion of HTML into plain text messages (increased security for sensitive content and enables faster searching).
Incoming mail can be filtered and pre-processed with complex rules, e.g. for spam messages or Queue distribution.
Support for PGP and S/MIME standards for key/certificate management and email processing.
Automatic responses, configurable for every queue.
Email notifications for agents about new tickets, follow-ups or unlocked tickets.
It is possible to define an own Ticket identifier to recognize follow-ups, e.g. Call#, Ticket# or Request#. There are different ticket number generators (date-based, random etc.) and you can integrate your own as well. Follow-ups can also be recognized by In-Reference-To headers or external ticket numbers.
OTRS uses Tickets to gather all external an internal communication that belongs together. These tickets are organized in Queues.
There are many different ways of looking at the tickets in a system (based on Queues, Status, Escalation etc.) in different level of detail (small/medium/preview).
The Ticket history records all changes to a ticket.
Tickets can be changed in many ways, such as replying, forwarding, bouncing, moving to another Queue, updating attributes (state, priority etc.), locking and accounting working time. It is possible to modify many tickets at once (bulk action).
Pending time and escalation time / SLA management allow time-based scheduling and restrictions on tickets.


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