HelpSpot’s new Free License lets small groups run a cost-effective help desk

Last week, HelpSpot introduced a new Free License offering. I first ran into HelpSpot back in May 2009, when I was in my help desk software investigation phase. Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on their product and constantly re-evaluating it. I never really become a customer per se, but I’ve always liked their product and developed a certain affection for it and what it could be capable of; plus at that time I preferred a hosted help-desk as I did not want to handle server maintenance and what not. While the core product has kept pretty much the same, they’ve been making improvements and additions over the years.

This new license is aimed at small help desk environments that are looking for a self-hosted platform they can keep behind their firewalls and also, that can easily scale in the future. By having it locally hosted, you can ensure data compliance and keep the legal team happy knowing all the data is stored in house and not with a third party. HelpSpot is ideal for both internal and external facing teams; HR can use it to track employee requests and queries or Legal can use it to track abuse reports and other cases. It can also be used by clubs, schools, or any other low-budget environment that would benefit from a centralized, request tracking system.

Version 4.5, which will be out soon, will include a Zapier integration which will let you pipe HelpSpot into a variety of other services such as “Post to Slack when a new request is opened” or “On Category Change In HelpSpot to “Bug” -> Create Github Issue” which would be really useful for development teams. The Zapier integration will unlock a whole new level of things you can trigger your help desk to do, very much like a IFTTT recipe. HelpSpot also includes an API you can plug into and features a Live Lookup feature that you can connect to your CRM or Database and perform automatic lookups of customer information so you can have a holistic view of your customer to assist them better. Their triggers and automations are also pretty powerful and you can create powerful routing rules and escalations to serve all your needs. It really is a very powerful tool with a very robust feature set.

The new HelpSpot Free License will allow small groups to manage requests with ease and have the benefit of being backed by a full-featured, robust app that can scale easily with their needs as they grow that they didn’t have before; and moving to a paid license is as easy as uploading the new license file. I’m really excited for this new license option as it will allow me to use a powerful tool for my small projects without any extra cost, as well as recommending it to small teams & projects that may need a request tracking system. One thing to keep in mind is that the support is community only, but I’ve found it to be pretty responsive and I look forward to seeing where the community grows from here!

You can sign up for a free license and learn more about it here

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