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Happyfox help desk review
9:15 pm | September 11, 2019

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Happyfox sounds like something that Bob Ross would accidentally insert into one of his paintings, but it’s a company headquartered in Irvine, California.

Its primary products are all software as a service (SaaS) support platforms, and the most important of these is a help desk solution that offers extensive integrations.

With a strong reputation to uphold, are recent price increases and stronger competition making this Happyfox less appealing?

(Image credit: Happyfox)

HappyFox: Features

Helpdesk solutions are invariably built around a ticketing system, and Happyfox has one of the slickest of these we’ve seen.

It is so elegant that Happyfox could easily be deployed without a training programme in a small business, almost overnight.

Tickets can be manually created, via email, be generated by a customer portal or automatically by social media postings. Whatever the entry channel, the information is handled by an automated process to link it to existing requests or other tickets from the same source.

The system has internal code running designed to avoid two agents trying to resolve the same issue from two tickets and repeating the exercise. That tickets can be merged is a very useful facility.

A smart rule system can automate initial responses and direct the customer to a self-help system while they wait for an agent to be available.

These are just a few of the features of Happyfox that are designed to reduce the agent workload and streamline enquiry responses.

What’s also a strong point of this solution is its multi-lingual nature, as the system supports more than 35 languages inherently. And, the knowledge base can also be created with translated help contents to support more nationalities natively.

One minor complaint we have is that there is no download-and-try option with Happyfox.

To get access to a trial, you must accept a 30-minute demo of the product where the Happyfox representative will discuss your needs.

While the company might have convinced itself that this is a better way to snag potential customers, we’d contest that given even the smallest hoop to jump through most IT managers will head to a competitor with a downloadable trial.

HappyFox: Interface

(Image credit: Happyfox)

HappyFox: Interface

Within the practical constraints applied by web-based applications, Happyfox has a very slick and uniform interface that feels mature.

However, if you don’t like the way it looks or even the fields presented within ticket creation, for example, you can change it all.

This is easily one of the most customisable help desk tools we’ve seen, and the changes that can be made are more than just a re-branding exercise.

Custom fields, categories, statuses, priorities are all available, and many more areas can be tailored to specific business needs.

When the system is first initialised, Happyfox asks some basic questions about the industry the system is going to be deployed and uses general templates to provide the typical needs for those. But once the system is up it can be dramatically altered if those aren’t the preferences that are required.

Our only concern about interface customisation is that an obsessive manager might be tempted to change things all the time because they can. Some control must be exercised over this process, or agents will become confused about what to expect when they come to use the system.

HappyFox: Security

(Image credit: Happyfox)

HappyFox: Security

HappyFox claim to take data privacy very seriously and have even published an extensive whitepaper on their various security practices. 

They uses AWS (Amazon Web Services) for their cloud infrastructure which comes with some obvious security benefits including 24/7 security, biometric access to servers, backup power and fire suppression systems. 

HappyFox claims to 'primarily' use data centers based in the EU and USA. They also assure users that their Security Team undergoes extensive background checks and training.

When creating and maintaining applications, HappyFox use a Secure Software Development Framework which includes checking for common vulnerabilities like XSS (Cross Site Scripting). All applications are stored on Amazon EC2 servers. AWS ensures that no two virtual machines share a common memory space, which would make it easier to intercept private data. 

Data transmission from users to HappyFox via the official App or API occurs via encrypted HTTPS/TLS connection (using at least TLS 1.2 protocol, RSA and 2048 bit keys). Data at rest is protected using 256-Bit AES encryption. Backups are also encrypted in the same way and stored offsite.

From the client side, HappyFox supports logging in via 2FA (two-factor authentication). Managers can also enforce their own password policy e.g. by requiring password to be changed at fixed intervals and setting a minimum password length. They also reassure users that passwords stored in the database are protected using a secure hashing algorithm.

Access to agent login can also be restricted to a specific whitelist of IP addresses e.g. those of your office site. The company are keen to stress though that some security features depend on your pricing plan. 

HappyFox also claims to run regular internal security audits and operates a bug bounty program in partnership with HackerOne to give penetration testers a strong incentive to find flaws in their system they can fix first.  

HappyFox: Plans and pricing

(Image credit: Happyfox)

HappyFox: Plans and pricing

The pricing of service desk software is currently polarizing into cheap products that are looking for high volume customers and those with more expensive solutions which offer tools that can be tweaked to fit more exactly into a business and its processes.

Happyfox sits somewhere in between those two positions, offering both very reasonably priced plans and those which cost a large amount upfront.

For the purposes of this review we're going to follow our traditional pattern for help desk software software by discussing the cost per agent when paying monthly or annually. 

However HappyFox offer a range of pricing options beyond this, including plans which support an unlimited number of agents (we've calculated that your staff would need to number at least 40 or so before you break even on this).

If you're willing to pay upfront there's also a two year savings plan as well as a 3-year contract which is billed annually. 

Whether you find all these pricing options helpful or overwhelming is a matter for your organization but we strongly suggest you check out HappyFox's pricing page after reading this review to see which works best for you. 

The 'Mighty' plan costs $29 per agent per month if paying annually or $39 if paying monthly. It includes most of the features we'd expect to see from a help desk entry level tier including 'omnichannel' ticket creation, SLA Management, your very own knowledge base, SSO (Single Sign On) via Google Workspace, SAML and Azure, SSL Certificate hosting and migration assistance. 

The 'Fantastic' plan costs $49 per agent per month if paying annually or $59 per agent per month if you pay monthly. It includes everything in the 'Mighty' plan along with a multi-brand helpdesk, SLA breach notification, custom ticket queues, optional EU data center and 24/7 e-mail support.

HappyFox claim that their 'Enterprise' plan is their most popular tier. It costs $69 per agent per month if paying annually or $79 per agent if paying monthly. It includes everything in the 'Mighty' and 'Fantastic' plans as well as the aforementioned proactive agent collision (to make sure that no two staff are working on the same issue unknowingly). You also receive 24/7 e-mail and chat support. Enterprise subscribers benefit from task and asset management too.

The highest-priced tier is Enterprise Plus, which costs $89 per agent per month if paying annually or $99 per agent if paying monthly. This may seem a lot but is your only option if you want 24/7 phone support in addition to e-mail and chat.

Other perks include everything in the other three pricing plans as well as agent scripting, a 2TB attachment store, all-time reporting history and a customer success manager. 

Every pricing tier gets almost all the third-party integrations, with only RingCental Phone integration, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Stripe and Send SMS being limited to the 'Fantastic' plan or higher.

Previously Happyfox supported third-party chat, but it decided to remove these those options and make both these functions exclusively in-house. This is done through Happyfox Live Chat whichs costs $29, $49, 149 or $299 per agent per month if paying annually., depending on the tier chosen. Each tier allows an unlimited number of agents but only a certain number of chats per month. This could effectively double the cost of your subscription if you want to offer live chat to customers. 

Unlike other help desk solutions we've reviewed, all plans require a minimum of 5 help desk agents, which may make HappyFox unsuitable for smaller organizations. This said non-profits and educational institutions are eligible for a discount. 

HappyFox support page

(Image credit: HappyFox)

HappyFox: Support

The HappyFox website has extensive 'Resources', which you can access from the main page. 

We were delighted to find a number of free e-book guides on common topics like chatbots and building your own knowledge base. This is supplemented by a number of free webinars on how to use HappyFox products more effectively such as by integrating Microsoft Teams. HappyFox also maintain a blog which contains useful tips on more holistic topics like workflow management. 

The Support Center itself is extremely easy to navigate and the articles are clearly illustrated with step-by-step instructions. New users will be extremely grateful to see the "Getting Started" section, as well as one on configuring your account.

It's just as well that these online resources are so extensive as the level of support you get beyond this depends very much on your pricing plan. Those who subscribe to the lowest 'Mighty' tier will find that they're not entitled to any support from HappyFox themselves whatsoever. 

You'll need to upgrade to at least the 'Fantastic' Plan to receive 24/7 e-mail support. Beyond this you'll need an 'Enterprise' subscription for 24/7 support or to sign up to the most expensive 'Enterprise Plus' plan in order to speak to a human being on the phone.

HappyFox: Final verdict

Even with the additional expenses and a cost per agent that can easily be bettered, Happyfox users are generally very pleased with this solution due to the effectiveness of the ticket handling solution and the solidity of the platform.

We’d put it up there with Vivantio Pro and Freshservice as the best in class, but both those products are overtaking Happyfox in inherent functionality they offer at the lower tier plans. And for the cost-conscious, Zoho is much cheaper.

We've also highlighted the best live chat software.

Freshservice Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more
2:28 am |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

We’ve already reviewed Freshdesk by Freshworks, a web-based ticketing solution that has many satisfied customers.

One complaint about Freshdesk was that it isn’t ITIL compliant, and therefore unsuitable for use as an IT support help desk.

The reason it lacks this functionality has commercial logic. Freshworks has an alternative product with the asset registry and other ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) necessary features, called Freshservice.

Is this product just Freshdesk with a few extras at a higher price?


Just like Freshdesk, Freshservice delivers a ticket-based solution where support requests are then managed by agents.

Where it differs is that Freshdesk includes social ticketing, skills-based ticket assignment and marketing integration, and these aren’t part of Freshservice.

Tickets are generally generated by email, calls or form-based web solutions, and not on Twitter or Facebook.

What they both share is basic reporting, team collaboration tools and a knowledge base, along with templated responses.

But to these core features, Freshservice adds incident management handling, change, problem and release management, asset management, software license management, and contract and project management.

In short, it has all the critical parts needed to handle hardware and software deployments where users might have issues that they need to report and need full-service solutions.

Traditionally these tools can be used as an internal requirement for a big company, or externally for a business supporting software contracts, but Freshservice is probably better suited to the internal support role.

In this context, the agents might be IT staff rather than a helpdesk team, and this tool is designed for them to manage their support requests and track the speed of response to the demands made on the department.

(Image credit: Freshworks)

So what does it lack?

The first feature we noticed that isn’t fully finished is the software register, which is currently in ‘Beta’.

To collect the installation data requires a software agent to be downloaded and installed on each machine that you want to be included. The software is available for Windows PC, Apple Mac and Linux, but it doesn’t yet consider mobile devices in this scheme.

The agent performs the job of collating all the software installed on each computer and storing it in the system database. But it lacks any means to verify if the licenses used are valid or not.

One use of this tool is to confirm how many copies of Office 365 or whatever have been installed, but IT should already have this information by other means.

It should point up if users are installing apps they shouldn’t, although this might throw up a good many false negatives, given how Microsoft tends to install things on Windows 10 machines without asking the user or admins.

What could be more useful is the hardware register, where it keeps a full specification and name of computers that are detected by another software utility. Network hardware is located using a ‘Probe’ tool that scans for devices like routers and printers.

How well this might work in a properly secure network is debatable, because traffic management between sub-nets and other restrictions will probably interfere.

A common complaint with previous versions of Freshservice is that the asset register wasn’t flexible, but those limitations have been addressed.

The default fields can be tweaked as to what information they contain and made mandatory if required. But you can also add custom subsections, and create fields for that new device type or service. But you can’t add fields to the default set, oddly.

There also isn’t any integration to external asset databases that the IT department might have used previously, forcing those that use this system to start from scratch.

Another noticeable weakness is the reporting system. Freshservice has roughly 20 reports, but you can’t customize these in any significant way, sadly.

But the biggest issue we see is that the concept of Freshservice assumes that no existing systems are in use. Because it has no means to connect to another asset register or problem tracker, should a business have a preferred one.

It’s Freshservice, or a separate system, and that’s not a business-friendly option.

(Image credit: Freshworks)


Unsurprisingly, the interface for Freshservice looks practically identical to its sibling Freshdesk.

It uses the popular dashboard model where you can manage tickets created at the point of interaction with the customer. Once created, the tickets are merged into the same system for tracking, escalation and referral, irrespective of their source.

None of this diverges from the template created by Freshdesk, as managing IT support requests isn’t a radically different problem from any other helpdesk solution situation in regards to tickets and tracking to a resolution.

The dashboard keeps agents and their superiors aware of how many outstanding tickets exist, and tracks the relevant metrics of support performance.

And, as before, Freshworks has ‘gamification’, where scoreboards are maintained for a group of agents, and ‘badges’ are awarded to those performing best.

How this might incentivize a workforce will depend on their age and other motivations, but it is available as an option for those that wish to implement it.

Where the Freshworks tools excel is that they are easy to follow and understand, and Freshservice is, therefore, a good choice for those that need to deploy a system rapidly.

Another major bonus of all Freshworks applications is that they’re designed to work in harmony with others from the same stable. Companies that use Freshteam or Freshsales can move seamlessly between them from within the Freshservice interface.

(Image credit: Freshworks)


The security options in Freshservice are the same as those in Freshdesk, unsurprisingly.

By default, all web communications are made via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), and you can implement SSO (Single Sign-On) for agents.

There are switches that you can set to force greater password restrictions than the default, and you can make passwords expire, not be repeated and require mixed and special characters.

We can’t mention passwords without a word of warning about password rule changes. This information that is on the change web page has huge implications;

“Please note that once you enable a password policy for your account (either default or advanced), you will not be able to disable it.”

Therefore, don’t play with the password policy. Because it is a one-way door and once through it, you can’t go back.

Two-factor authentications should be an option, at least for admins, but this isn’t currently a feature. Hopefully, Freshworks will address this soon.

In short, security could be better and isn’t at a level that enterprise customers would easily accept.

(Image credit: Freshworks)

Plans and pricing

If you want to try out Freshservice, there is a free 21-day trial available to download.

The licensing model is very similar to Freshdesk, in that there are paid tiers that offer different levels of functionality, that can be paid for monthly or on yearly contracts.

The Freshservice tiers are Blossom, Garden, Estate and Forest, and they range from $19 per month per agent to $99 if billed yearly.

Also, there is a charge for managed assets on the system, which goes from free for 100 assets, right up to $1,500 per month for unlimited assets. This cost doesn't follow a linear scale, so 1000 assets cost $130, and 5000 assets costs $650.

Let’s be succinct. The customer is being charged here for records on a database that they created numbering at most in the thousands…incredibly.

With the higher base price and extra gouge on assets, Freshservice is about 25% more expensive than Freshdesk.

But you should be aware that you only get the critical asset register in the Garden tier and above, and software license management requires the Estate plan.

All these factors combine to make Freshservice one of the more expensive options, although the cost of the software should be a component in any service contract that it is used to support.

Final verdict

Looking at the features Freshservice adds, there is a noticeable lack of external integrations that enterprise customers will notice are missing.

They expect to pay more but do so expecting the investment to save them money by connecting their mission-critical tools, and this is exactly the area that Freshservice doesn’t address.

That makes it more applicable to small and medium-sized businesses, although the pricing model might scare off the smaller companies.

The biggest competitor in the IT helpdesk sector is HappyFox, and currently, that isn’t a comparison that Freshservice would win.

Overall, while it does add some of the things needed to support and IT helpdesk, in many places, it doesn’t go far enough to be appropriate for larger companies or supporting external IT service contracts.

We've also rated the best live chat software.