Understand how Team Helpdesk System supports SMS using Skype

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Short Message Service or popularly known by its acronym as SMS is a method by which messages can be sent to a cell phone via another cell phone, a computer connected to the Internet, a regular land line, or a handheld device such as a Blackberry. It is used by billions of people and is the most pervasive use of data on mobile phones. SMS is convenient, available globally and cost effective for a number of reasons. When compared with the cost of airtime for voice calls or wireless web access, SMS is a real bargain and messages are immediately delivered directly to your phone.

Due to the various advantages, it is no wonder that Team Helpdesk supports SMS messaging just as it supports emails! SMS alerts can be automatically dispatched to callers or technicians based on certain help desk events such as when case is resolved or when a case is assigned to a technician. Team Helpdesk System supports sending SMS messages using Skype

Sending SMS via Skype is cheap, convenient, seems relatively reliable too! Every technician needs to have Skype installed with valid credits to send SMS to mobile phones. There is no specific settings that needs to be configured in Skype. The only requirement is that it should be running with valid credits. Skype is seamlessly integrated with Team Helpdesk i.e., the sending of SMS via Skype is done programmatically (through Skype API) which means the technician does not perform any manual steps during the process.  The technicians won’t even notice the Skype is being used during the whole process of SMS messaging. For more on Skype SMS, visit the Skype website at http://www.skype.com/allfeatures/sms/ .

How to get started?

First the helpdesk manager (or technician with administrative rights) enables ‘Allow SMS messaging’ and then select the option ‘Use Skype to send SMS’. Once set, it is done for all technicians.

For the first time, when a technician tries to send an SMS (or call) to a mobile or phone number, Skype would automatically pop up a message asking you if to allow the Outlook Application (Outlook.exe) access to that Skype functionality.

You will have to select the first option ‘Allow this program to use Skype’ and then click OK to continue. This setting is performed only one-time per user; subsequent access happens seamlessly to the technicians, i.e., Skype remembers the selected option and would allow access as long as the user don’t explicitly unset it under Skype > Tools > Advanced > Manage other programs’ access to Skype.

Sending SMS to a caller/technician

When the SMS option is enabled, either using SMS provider or Skype, technicians then can start sending self-composed SMS to caller or other technicians based on the helpdesk requirements.

To send to a caller:

 

To send to other technician:

 

To send to an Outlook contact:

Automating SMS reminders
Apart from email notifications, Team Helpdesk can also send out automatic SMSs based on different helpdesk events such as when a case is created, changed or resolved, or when a technician is assigned to the case, or when the due date has lapsed etc. This whole exercise is transparent to the technicians and needs no manual intervention from the technicians.