SugarCRM Advanced Support Manager Logo

Technology Advisors assembled the Advanced Support Manager bundle to enhance the customer support functionality built into SugarCRM. These enhancements were built based on requests from various customers as well as our own experience using Sugar. The Advanced Support Manager is built on top of existing functionality in Sugar.

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Module Modifications

The Advanced Support Manager enhances functionality for SugarCRM Cases, Contracts, Contacts, & Knowledge Base modules.

  • Channel dropdown field for tracking source of Case
  • Three tier categorization with cascading Category, Type, & Issue dropdowns to replace Sugar’s default Type dropdown field
  • Addition of Initial Contact field to track who initially contacted support
  • Modification of existing Description field to make it required
  • Addition of custom Escalation field
  • Addition of Related KB Articles field
  • Addition of Work Units Expended field

The Contracts module modifications include a one-to-many relationship from Contracts to Cases. This relationship adds a Contracts relate field in Cases, where the user can list the support contract under the Case where work is being completed.

Three custom fields have been added to allow your organization to track hourly Contracts:

  • Work Units Original field: completed by the user when an hourly Contract is created
  • Work Units Expended field: automatically updates to reflect any hours tracked to Cases related to the Contract
  • Work Units Remaining field: subtracted from the Work Units Original value to calculate the Work Units Remaining

The Advanced Support Module includes the addition of one custom field in Contacts. The Authorized Service Contact checkbox allows you to track which contacts are authorized to open Cases and receive updates about Cases. You can use this field in conjunction with the Related Account Contacts dashlet described in section 3.4 to identify the correct Contact(s) from an Account.

The Advanced Support Manager does not include any modifications to the standard Knowledge Base module. You will need to configure the Tags in Knowledge Base to match your values for Case Type, Category, and Issue to enable the automatic searching in the custom Knowledge Base Dashlet.

Custom Case Dashlets

The support bundle enables the use of the custom dashlets described below. These dashlets are only enabled on the Case Detail View. Note that each user will have to add these dashlets to their individual dashboard to use them.

The Time Tracker dashlet allows users to clock in and out of Cases as they work. The user clicks the Clock In/Out button to clock in and out of the Case they are currently viewing. The page refreshes on each Clock In and Clock Out action. Upon Clock Out, a Case Work Logs pull-down drawer is displayed. This prompts the user to enter details about their work.

The Time Tracker dashlet displays data in two tabs. The “Open logs on this case” displays a count of all users currently logged into the case you are viewing. The “My open logs” displays a count of the cases the current user is logged in to. Both display the user’s name and profile Avatar.

SugarCRM Time Tracker Dashlet

The Knowledge Base dashlet helps users search Knowledge Base for existing solutions to the issue they are facing.

The Knowledge Base dashlet automatically searches for articles where the article tags match the Category, Type, and/or Issue values for the Case that is being viewed. Note that the automated searching will only deliver results if your Knowledge Base tags have been set up to match your dropdown lists for Category, Type, and Issue. This configuration is not included in the installation of the Advanced Support Manager.

The Knowledge Base dashlet also includes a search bar. This allows the user to manually search the Knowledge Base. The search bar looks for matching values in the title field of Knowledge Base articles.

Finally, the Knowledge Base dashlet allows users to indicate that a solution has been found from an article. To do so, the user clicks the checkbox for the relevant article(s) and then clicks the Resolve button. The article(s) checked will then be listed (as hyperlinks) in the Related KB Articles field on the Case. Note that this field is read-only and can only be updated through this process.

SugarCRM Knowledge Base Dashlet

The Related Account Contracts dashlet is designed to display information about contracts associated to the Account listed on the Case.

This dashlet displays all Contracts associated with the Account record that is selected in the Account Name field for the Case. The user can select, in the dashlet settings, which information to display about the Contacts. (The available columns are set through code and can only be updated through a code customization.) The user can also drag and drop the columns in a desired order.

SugarCRM Related Account Contracts Dashlet

The Related Account Contacts dashlet is designed to help the user identify the correct customer contact when working on a Case.

This dashlet displays all contacts linked to the Account record that are selected in the Account Name field for the Case. The user can select, in the dashlet settings, which information to display about the Contacts. (The available columns can be set by the administrator using the ListView layout in Studio.) The user can also drag and drop the columns in a desired order.

SugarCRM Related Account Contacts Dashlet

Custom Modules

The Advanced Support Manager features a custom module called Case WorkLogs to manage the data from the Time Tracker dashlet. This allows you to track how much time is being spent against Cases and Contracts.

When a user clocks out of a Case, the system will automatically display the data for the Case WorkLog that is generated. The user must then update the details.

Work Start and Work End are system-generated based on the time the user clocked in and out. However, Work Duration is not automatically calculated, to allow for situations where the user was interrupted during the work; the user must enter the work duration himself. Users should also enter a work description. Work Duration time is entered as whole hours and decimal equivalents of an hour (for example: .25 is fifteen minutes, 1.75 is one hour and forty-five minutes).

The Cases module has a one-to-many relationship with Case WorkLogs, so one case can have multiple related WorkLog entries.The values of the work duration field are totaled for all WorkLogs related to a Case. This total is displayed in the custom Work Units Expended field in the Case. The values for work duration are also passed from the case to a related Contract, if applicable. 

The Advanced Support Manager includes a follow-up survey when a Case is closed and adds the Case Surveys module for tracking corresponding data.

When a Case Status is changed to Closed, an email is sent to all Contacts (including the initial Contact) who are linked to the Case inviting them to take a quick survey about your service. A sample email is depicted in the image. A Case Survey record to collect their data is also created in Sugar and related to the Case.

When the recipient saves his response, the data is pushed back into the Case Survey record in Sugar. Both the rating (converted to a score of one through five) and the comments are available. The status of the Case Survey will indicate that it has been completed. If the recipient has already completed the survey and tries to revisit the survey page, they will see a message indicating that the survey has already been completed.

The Advanced Support Module also adds a custom module called Case Internal Notes. For those whose implementation includes a Customer Support Portal, where customers can access notes entered by the support team, this offers a clear differentiation between notes shared externally and these notes which are intended for internal eyes only.

The Case Internal Notes module contains Name and Description fields. One Case can be related to Many Case Internal Notes. The Case Internal Notes for a module are listed in a subpanel when viewing the Case.

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