Vivantio Pro was already at the top of the heap in our rating of help desk programs, and it’s only gotten better. An updated user interface dubbed Flex adds a range of new usability features and customization options. A new Kanban view will appeal to software teams using agile development methods. A calendar ticket view, reading pane view, and admin view support multi-department teams.
With pricing still starting at $48 per user per month when billed annually, Vivantio Pro competes mainly with the likes of Freshservice in the helpdesk space, meaning it’s aimed at larger companies looking to solve internal IT service desk issues. Its mix of advanced features at a competitive price make it a good pick for our Editors’ Choice award along with the more small-business-oriented HappyFox and Freshdesk.
Vivantio Pro is one of only a few services we reviewed that supports the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standard for IT support operations and includes the high-end management and reporting features that 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 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, Vivantio ITSM, that’s aimed at extremely large IT organizations and begins at $72 per user per month. The more licenses an organization purchases, the higher the discount applied to all 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, either edition of Vivantio is an excellent platform that fully deserves our helpdesk Editors’ Choice.
One of several indicators that Vivantio Pro is intended for larger businesses, including those using their helpdesk solution internally rather than only with outside customers, is its Active Directory (AD) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) synchronization. The product also supports Azure Active Directory should your company use that service. By integrating all internal users with Vivantio Pro using AD, large operations can enable a host of additional capabilities—such as remote control, increased security, and enterprise social media communication—both through Vivantio Pro as well as Windows Server and other associated enterprise software.
The rest of the feature list is a who’s who of ITIL methodology. In addition to asset management, Vivantio Pro offers asset audit trails, interactive reports, and a self-service web portal to stop tickets from getting past your teams. The platform 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.
For shops 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 could with a standard implementation.
(For conditional custom forms and fields, however, you’ll have to step up to Vivantio ITSM, which also offers extras such as an unlimited number of configurable ticket types, user-defined service level milestones, business units, surveys, and chat.)
This long list of 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. The fact that Vivantio Pro has surfaced these features in a well-thought-out web user interface while maintaining the option to deploy locally only heightens its appeal.
Interface and Workflow
Vivantio Pro’s Flex UI is considerably fresher and easier on the eyes than its “classic” or previous layout. It looks much more modern and responsive without giving up any of the functionality in the original version. The new interface replaces the buttons along the left side of the page with clickable links for each function. A new global search feature makes it easy to find what you’re looking for in a hurry.
Clicking one of the links refreshes the center pane to show information about the tickets, presented in fairly dense fashion—you can, of course, drill deeper into each ticket, but chances are all you’ll need is a glance. There are search boxes and quick-link buttons everywhere, so it’s a cinch to find and act on just what you need.
Opening new tickets is easy, which is good because ticket creation is a core reason anyone uses a helpdesk app in the first place. The quick-navigation pane on the left also allows for the speedy creation of new tickets thanks to a button dedicated to the job. Clicking that button summons a new ticket ready for data to be added. All the fields you’d 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 businesses that support multiple sites or locales. Required fields are highlighted in color to denote their importance, with red representing fields still needing data and green for fields satisfactorily completed.
Working through a ticket is simple. 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 resolving a ticket in Vivantio Pro closely resembles following the same process using a desktop solution, which is a great thing.
A new Actions button in the Flex UI gives you additional options beyond what was available earlier. You still have an Update Status button, 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, which is likely to benefit your business and customers alike. Choosing to send an email is done by selecting a template for Vivantio Pro to use. Templates can be preconfigured during setup, which I suggest will be time well spent.
As mentioned, reporting is another area in which Vivantio Pro stands out. Not only does the product include a series of canned reports, but it also offers a full-fledged custom report builder. Even better, you’re not relegated to simple CSV or PDF exports of your data—instead, Vivantio Pro has added data visualization capabilities to its reporting engine. This lets customers see their reporting in a variety of charts or exportable dashboards that can show data either on a scheduled basis or in real time.
An Extra Step Getting Started
The only area in which Vivantio Pro falls flat is the company’s communication about its pricing structure. Bottom line: Even with the company’s webpage that cites the baseline $48 per user per month figure, there are enough options that Vivantio still wants you to speak to a sales rep before it gives you a final quote. Compared to straightforward pricing schemes like those of HappyFox, this kind of sales approach is old-fashioned and not really suitable to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, if not enough of a knock to remove this excellent product’s Editors’ Choice.