Vivantio Pro

Vivantio Pro begins at $48 per user per month and differs from most of the helpdesk competitors reviewed here by being primarily focused on large businesses and enterprises. It’s one of only a few services we reviewed that supports the ITIL standard for IT support operations and includes the high-end management and reporting features such support requires. It also offers a host of other advanced features, including an integrated knowledge base, role-based security, and IT asset management that’s more than just a bolt-on solution. In fact, Vivantio Pro’s asset management capabilities include features such as a comprehensive and customizable configuration management database (CMDB) and asset discovery capabilities, which means this platform kills two important birds with just one stone. All of that’s combined with flexible integration with other apps your business might be using, such as customer relationship management (CRM) or social media management and analytics tools.

There’s also another version, dubbed Vivantio ITSM, that’s aimed specifically at large, enterprise IT organizations and begins at $72 per user per month. The more licenses an organization purchases, the higher the discount applied to all of the licenses in the order, according to the company. That’s a lot of money but, as long as your organization needs this deep a feature set, Vivantio as a whole is an excellent platform that fully deserves our Editors’ Choice award as one of the best helpdesk software packages we reviewed, along with HappyFox.

The only thing difficult to see when we were testing it was how much it would actually cost. That’s because, at the time of testing, there was no pricing information available on Vivantio’s website at all. This was likely a throwback to the company’s enterprise-oriented roots where sales calls are ubiquitous. However, that might turn off small to midsize business (SMB) owners who would rather just deal with a website than a “hard-sell” sales pitch. It seems as though Vivantio agrees as they have since added the basic pricing quoted earlier on a page easily located from the website’s top nav. However, those are just base prices that we suspect are subject to change during an inevitable conversation with a salesperson anyway.

Another important capability for any helpdesk system is the ability to integrate with other apps in your organization that can make use of its data. For example, when your salespeople make calls using your CRM system, having Vivantio Pro’s data on that customer’s service desk issues can be extremely helpful when framing a pitch. Vivantio has done a good job making important integrations available for popular business apps, and there’s even an open API so your code-capable IT staff can build their own integration modules.

Full-Featured

As we mentioned, Vivantio Pro starts at $48 per user per month when billed annually, though there enough options that Vivantio still wants potential customers to get in touch for a final quote. As stated earlier, there’s also an ITSM edition that’s aimed at enterprise customers and starts at $72 per user per month when billed on an annual basis. Aside from that, Vivantio Pro is a cleanly built and feature-rich helpdesk system. For example, this is one of the few helpdesk solutions we tested that features Active Directory (AD) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) synchronization. That’s one of several indicators that Vivantio Pro is aimed at larger businesses, including those using their helpdesk solution internally rather than only with outside customers. By integrating all internal users with Vivantio Pro using AD, large operations can enable a host of additional capabilities, both through Vivantio Pro as well as Windows, Windows Server, and other associated enterprise software. They can enable capabilities including remote control, increased security, and enterprise social media communication.

The rest of the feature list is a who’s who of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) methodology, which only furthers Vivantio Pro’s orientation as an internal IT tool. Vivantio Pro offers asset management, interactive reports, asset audit trails, and a self-service web portal to stop tickets from getting past your teams. Vivantio Pro supports the creation of a knowledge base for common issues that’s not only searchable but can handle attaching documents (such as step-by-step tutorials) to individual knowledge base records.

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For customers with entrenched business processes or specialized equipment, Vivantio Pro supports both custom help form creation and process automation. By letting IT managers create custom forms and fields in ticket forms, Vivantio Pro lets them better support specialized assets, technologies, and business processes. And with its automation features, you can add different touchpoints back to the user along the resolution path than you would with a standard implementation.

This long list of features and capabilities sets Vivantio Pro apart not just as a helpdesk package but especially as a cloud service. Very few of the packages in this roundup could deliver this kind of feature array without requiring an on-premises software installation. And the fact that Vivantio Pro has surfaced these features in a well-thought-out web user interface (UI) while maintaining the option to deploy locally only heightens its appeal.

Interface and Workflow

Vivantio Pro’s UI is minimalistic, almost to a fault. However, with a panel that runs the entire height of the screen playing host to buttons (which give you access to the different aspects of the software), everything is always within reach. Changes, Incidents, Problems, and Service Requests are the first four options listed.

Clicking one of those buttons refreshes the center pane to show information about the tickets, with the information density reflecting that all of the data you need is available at a glance. You can, of course, drill deeper into each ticket but you won’t need to if all you need is a glance at the current situation. There are search boxes and quick-link buttons everywhere, which means it is a cinch to find just what you need and then act on it.

Vivantio Pro - Problems

Creating new tickets is easy to do, which is good because ticket creation is a core reason anyone uses a helpdesk app in the first place. The pane on the left-hand side, which allows for quick navigation, also allows for the speedy creation of new tickets thanks to a button dedicated to the job. Clicking that button lets you see the main area of the screen refresh, opening a new ticket that’s ready for data to be added. All of the fields we have come to expect are present, with Subject, Description, and Priority fields available for data input.

But Vivantio Pro also allows the input of a customer’s contact details at this point as well. There is even the option to add a location to the ticket, which could benefit some businesses if they support multiple sites or locales. Required fields are highlighted in color to denote their importance, with the color red representing fields that still need data and the color green for fields that have been satisfactorily completed.

Working through a ticket within Vivantio Pro is easy to do. Overlays appear when options are clicked (rather than the entire page reloading or screens disappearing in order to show you a dialog box). Opening, editing, and then resolving a ticket within Vivantio Pro is a process that closely resembles using a desktop solution, which is a great thing.

Vivantio Pro - Dashboard activity

Speaking of closing tickets, that particular task is done by clicking Update Status, which lets incidents be placed On Hold or Resolved. The ticket can then be placed into a state where it is marked as Awaiting a Reply from the customer. Choosing to immediately resolve the ticket offers room for a note to be added, which is a feature I liked. It also offers the ability to email customers about the resolution, an option that is likely to benefit both your business and customers alike. Choosing to send an email is done by selecting a template for Vivantio Pro to use in order to generate it and those templates can be preconfigured during setup. I suggest taking the time to do just that because it will be time well spent.

As mentioned, reporting is another area in which Vivantio Pro stood out. Not only does the product include a series of canned reports but it also offers a full-on report builder with which to generate custom reports. Even better, you’re not relegated to simple CSV or PDF file exports of this data. Instead, Vivantio Pro has added data visualization capabilities to its reporting engine. This lets customers visualize their reporting in a variety of charts or exportable dashboards that can show data either on a scheduled basis or in real time.

Vivantio Pro - Data visualization

Only Its Pricing Falls Flat

The only area in which Vivantio Pro falls flat is the company’s communication about its pricing structure. Bottom line: Even with the new pricing page that contains baseline, per-user-per-month numbers, Vivantio wants you to speak to a sales rep before it communicates any numbers to you. When compared to straightforward pricing schemes like those of Cayzu and our other Editors’ Choice HappyFox, this kind of sales approach is old-fashioned and not really suitable to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. It’s not enough to rob Vivantio Pro of its Editors’ Choice this time around but the company should rethink this strategy.

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