After careful investigation we were looking for Ticketing system thou we tested OTRS, Drupal based solutions and at the end we reached Redmine. Redmine out of the box is great but we used also redmineCRM free plugins (will consider buying them soon as needed) and started using it. Redmine is great for the following:
1. Manage several projects with separate teams with precise security - common users can see/do whatever they have to do, but other projects may be fully hidden for them.
2. One person for different projects can have different roles - perfect, as different projects members can contribute with different skills and activities.
3. Very good time and tasks tracking
4. For general support we built structure like a tree - root is client, one sub-project is for general support (like never ending project) and several specific sub-projects - main projects for the client
5. Redmine has builtin email to issue, email update functionality (requires specific configuration)
As we have several projects in different areas - media, web sites, application software, pure IT etc. I wanted to include at least for existing projects some of major past issues most resolved. This was going to create some easy to access knowledge base and to show clients major past activities. One source of those problems was our mailing. We use Outlook. So we started looking for integration with email we hit a solution called Redmine Outlook Add-In - with its free trial we started testing. Some of direct advantages we found:
1. Creation of an issue from email is easy and allows you to properly enter issue or task title and modify description (coming from email body)
2. Automatically attaches email attachments to the issue including the email itself
3. Picking the email date as start date helped me extremely to build the history for current customers, saving lots of searches, clicks and copy/paste
4. Convenient interface at Outlook with specialized buttons for Projects/Issues/Tasks management. Very nice Calendar integration.
Here are highlights from Ahau Software channel in Youtube:
Nice job! from Ahau Software