Product Reviews

Help for the Help Desk: BridgeTrak

Keep track of support requests with one of these packages.


I remember sitting around a conference table with a handful of developers and support technicians talking about features we could add to our internal help desk application. We had been using an application originally developed with Microsoft Access 95 for that many years with little or no updating. It had served its purpose well, but as our customer base grew, our little internal application began to expose its deficiencies. When I started to use BridgeTrak by Kemma Software, two things happened. The first was that I was a little disappointed in the interface because it was reminiscent of an old Access-style application. Certainly that is nothing wrong with that, and for may people this is ideal. For me, however, I was hoping to see a cleaner and more expansive UI with some Web functionality. The second thing that happened was that I quickly forgot the initial hesitation I had with the UI because I discovered that BridgeTrak was replete with time-saving and documenting features for the support or help desk environment, many of which I had been requesting for our own application for years.

One detail that struck me immediately was BridgeTrak's ability to maintain an accurate accumulation of time associated with an incident. Even though the technician is ultimately responsible for pushing the "Start" button to begin the time count, a log of each action or interaction is recorded on the Actions tab. For instance, a line showing that a call was entered into the system at 3:00 p.m. and assigned to someone at 3:05 p.m. Because there is a start and stop button for both the "call time" as well as the "work time," the accumulated time for each is easily derived. This is ideal for customers with special billing requirements. BridgeTrak gathers other useful information, such as links to pertinent files and attachments, it even has a tab that captures specific information about the version and build number of the product for which the issue is reported. I could make immediate use of this feature for beta test customers. One feature I found in no other product, but that could potentially save an engineer lots of time on rote data entry, is the use of issue templates. These can be created with specific priorities, customer IDs or support types so that all an engineer has to do is enter in the specifics of the case and start the timer.

BridgeTrak
Kemma's BridgeTrak packs an overwhelming amount of information into multiple screens. (Click image to view larger version.)

BridgeTrak does offer a Web interface and support for larger databases such as Oracle and SQL Server. If the Web interface has as much attention to detail as the Access version, I'd highly recommend it-it's obvious that with the version of BridgeTrak I reviewed that the developers worked closely with a help desk to build this application.

About the Author

Rodney Landrum is an MCSE working as a data analyst and systems engineer for a software development company in Pensacola, Florida.  He has a new book from Apress entitled ProSQL Server Reporting Services.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, May 23, 2011 Zach NY

This software is actually pretty good

Tue, Mar 11, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

good to know:-)

Thu, Nov 9, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

This is helpful

Thu, Aug 18, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

bridgeTrack is a good product. The installation is a bit more complex. we have tried to integrate the product with some third party addons such as a1on1 and Akeni Enterprise im and live help software.

Thu, Aug 18, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

good product and it integrates well with other third party products such as Akeni Help Desk assistant for enterprise im. I agree that the AD integration can be improved

Mon, Aug 1, 2005 SOMEONE MN

IS ANY ONE ELSE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH2003 SERVER AND KEMMA? WITH HAVING IIS 6 AND HAVING TO RUN IT IN IIS 5.0 MODE

Mon, May 23, 2005 Dan Norristown, PA

Keep in mind that the AD Integration piece is suspect at best and customization is like trying to turn a pit bull into a debutante, but like some of the other reviews state, for a group on a budget this is an OK solution

Tue, May 18, 2004 Whitey Cleveland

great functionality for the price. I would highly recommend the product especially combined with Kemma's new asset tracking piece--CI Discovery.

www.kemma.com

Wed, Feb 25, 2004 cheryl derry northern ireland

its brill and I got an A because of the help its given me

Sun, Aug 31, 2003 steve new zealand

I agree with Rodney.
Functionality and value for money are great.
There is more function than our organisation will use for now.
We were looking for tools to assist a small IT group with tracking 1. standard SDLC, 2. Helpdesk 3. General IT issues (such as data migrations and desktop rollouts).
Having looked at tools for Software development, bug tracking, project management, and Helpdesk, we found Bridgetrak can do all we need and a bit more.
The UI is a little clunky, as is MS-Access which it could be derived from.
The Web version is not as customisable as the Windows version - hopefully Kemma is working on that.
And customisation is only in some views - the look and feel is a little constricted.
Aside from those aspects, this product is worth a close look for small to med organisations and budgets.
This review is fine.

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

good

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