At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft Teams had around 32 million daily active users. But by 2021, that number had jumped to 145 million. The pandemic, it seems, elevated Microsoft Teams to businesses around the world. Its adoption is still going strong.
But at that time, an abrupt shift to Microsoft Teams as a communications vehicle introduced a challenge for IT service desks: because it is easy to connect with others using Teams, it became another channel where requests would appear. And if Teams wasn’t connected to an existing ticketing system, it was one more channel for analysts to manage.
The good news is that there is now a service desk solution built in Microsoft Teams called Tikit that creates a conversational ticketing experience for end users using chat and email, helps analysts manage tickets collaboratively in Teams and expands on functionality prevalent in many email ticketing systems.
What Is an Email Ticketing System?
Most businesses need some sort of IT service desk or ticketing structure. Email ticketing systems give analysts a centralized email channel inbox to queue tickets, ability to assign them among the team and collaborate directly in the ticket using private comments and tagging. This way the service desk team can reduce miscommunication and resolve tickets more effectively.
Microsoft Teams ticketing solutions, specifically Tikit, add efficiency to the ticket lifecycle well beyond email ticketing. For example:
- Tickets can be created from email and Teams chats.
- Analysts automatically have triage functionality via Teams channels, but they can route tickets more directly to customized support groups.
- The use of Adaptive Cards is used in custom forms and templates. They help analysts collect consistent information from all channels and enable them to gather more information during the initial request. So if an end user asks for a new laptop, they will automatically be asked to select laptop model a, b or c.
What to Look for in a Ticketing System
How can you choose the right solution? Here are a few factors to consider as you shop around.
Ease of Installation
IT support is time-sensitive, and the last thing you want are delays due to a lengthy installation process.
Look for a ticketing solution that can be installed and configured quickly and simply. An example would be an application that uses an existing authentication structure. If you’re already using Microsoft 365, for example, why not look for a ticketing solution that can draw on your existing setup?
Tikit is one system that uniquely does this. Tikit works seamlessly with your existing Microsoft investment, so users logged in to M365 have access to complementary applications. When in Microsoft Teams, for example, analysts can see Email, Tasks by Planner and Calendar in one view, along with tickets.
Minimum training is generally required since the software was built in Teams and capitalizes on its intuitive interface.
Although many email ticketing systems reduce repetition, Tikit uses Adaptive Cards to standardize how information is shared and collected. They also provide a more cohesive end user experience.
But Tikit also uses automation to simplify analysts’ workload and create more touch points with end users. It executes, however, in character with Microsoft Teams. So, when a user submits a request using email or a Microsoft Teams chat, an AI-powered virtual agent (Tikit Virtual Agent) assesses the request, uses natural language processing to identify a relevant knowledge base (KB) resource and serves it to the end user. End users can often apply KB instructions to resolve simple issues, without involving the analyst.
The process gives end users a conversational, Teams experience (in a platform they are already engaged in), while offering analysts a breather and the opportunity to dig into complex issues.
Many systems use AI in different ways. You should look for a system that helps you streamline redundant and/or manual processes. We recommend systems that can fully automate the ticket lifecycle.
It makes sense to look for a ticketing solution that complements IT products you already own. Not only will you get more value from your M365 investment, it’s easier for analysts and employees to use the applications—even if they are using them in a different context.
Tikit provides a native Teams experience. It feels like you are working in Microsoft Teams because you are! You also have access to other Microsoft applications like Power BI and Intune via Azure AD.
Most people work on multiple devices—laptop (desktop) and mobile are popular combinations. But a ticketing system that gives you more flexibility is extremely valuable for a hybrid workforce. So, while cloud-based software helps employees connect to company documents and co-workers wherever they are working, the ability to work tickets in Teams app, web UI and mobile app delivers even more flexibility. You’ll find this functionality in Tikit.
Email ticketing systems, by contrast, are more limiting.
Why Consider Tikit’s Microsoft Teams Ticketing Approach?
If Microsoft 365 is a key business application, Tikit will work with you. It’s a responsive, adaptable solution designed for companies of all sizes and IT teams of all skill levels.
End user employees can ask for help and receive answers with minimal disruption to their work pace. If Tikit Virtual Agent strikes out in providing the right resource or answer, a ticket is created, and the request is escalated.
Analysts experience relief from repetitive requests and an inefficient structure for ticket management. Tikit automates processes and enables ticket creation from primary communication channels: email and Teams.
It’s easy to install, easy to understand and easy to use. All in all, it’s preferable to email ticketing systems. See Tikit in action today, and take the first step toward a smoother, more efficient IT support experience.