Cool Feature – Attach Documents

At Freeside, we use Freeside… of course.  There are a number of cool features that we use, and I thought that I would share some of them.  If you’re not using them try them out, and if you’re running an older version, it may be time to upgrade.  As a disclaimer, some of them may only be available in the cvs version, but they will be in the next release.  So without further adieu…

Attach Documents.

For WISP billing and VoIP billing, it can be handy to have the design docs when you’re installing or troubleshooting a customer.  If you are billing for a service as we do, it can be handy to have specifications available.  Freeside has a couple of ways to help with document management so that all of the appropriate people can get the doc that they need, when they need it.

First, you can attach documents to tickets. It’s great for things like specifications and documents associated with that ticket.  Tickets are linked to the customer, so you can look at the ticket to get the information, and that’s really cool.  It’s like having a folder of everything that is need for that ticket, and you can pass it around and add to it.  The only bummer is that when the ticket is resolved, it no longer shows up in the list.  You have to click on resolved tickets and then select the correct ticket, which can be difficult if the customer has a lot of tickets.  Which brings me to part two…

You can attach documents directly to the customer.  I attach the executed contracts to the customer record so that I don’t have to dig for it.  Then when I go to the customer, all of the documents are there.  You can also store network diagrams, schematics,  scope of work documents, escalation directories, proposals, or pretty much any other file that would persist longer than a ticket.  It’s awesome.

I am careful to manage scope.  If it is project or issue related, it lives in a ticket.  If it relates to the ongoing support and operation of a customer, it is attached to the customer.  Like most things, sloppy scope management creates a huge list of global documents that clutter up the customer and make it difficult to quickly find the document that you are looking for.

For example, a ticket may be for building a custom CDR import.  The ticket would have the scope of work, the contract, a couple of proposals as part of the sales process, the CDR specification,  and other documents related to the project.  The contract has the larger scope, so it would make sense to upload it to the customer, while the other documents persist in the ticket.

Being able to easily attach documents makes things go much smoother for us, and I hope that it will be useful to you too.

If you have a favorite feature, feel free to send a note to sales and who knows, it may become one of my favorite features too.