Flexible, Expandable, Full Featured Customer Support Portal
Updated December 18, 2014

Flexible, Expandable, Full Featured Customer Support Portal

Rusty Wilson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Hosted - Currently 13.1

Modules Used

  • All

Overall Satisfaction with Parature

Parature is used primarily by the Customer Support team to support users of our Resource Manager, Analytics, and Impact solutions. It is also used by our sales engineers during evaluations, our professional services group, and engineering team. We leverage the "Download Manager" capability for software entitlement and delivery. In addition we make heavy use of the Knowledge Base module to provide customer self-service.
  • Parature ia an "All-in-One" solution that does most aspects very well. For us the key differentiator was the "Download Module". We provide our software electronically and we were able to use the Parature API to integrate with our entitlement systems to provide software delivery for our customers.
  • The Ticketing Module is top notch and is completely customizable. It has a very powerful workflow system which includes routing rules and time based triggers giving you a lot of flexibility when designing the process.
  • While not a feature of the product, the Customer Support team at Parature is top-notch. I don't need to contact them often, but when I do the replies are swift and detailed.
  • The Forums Module is minimally functional and not well thought out - it seems more like an afterthought to the solution. We do use this module, but as a broadcast-only system for product updates and other alerts. It works well in this limited capacity.
  • If you make heavy use of the Download Module you will find that you cannot "link" files into different folder structure. Our software is delivered in modules, some of which are common across product lines. I have to upload the same file multiple times in order to make it available in the various folder hierarchies.
  • The WYSIWYG editor is a bit cumbersome, and often inserts a lot of extraneous HTML. This is particularly difficult in the KB Module when authoring large documents.
  • There is a character limitation in the Ticket Module that causes the reply (from either the CSR or the customer) to be attached as an HTML document after the limit is reached. The information is not lost or truncated, but is not viewable in the context of the ticketing module - you have to open another browser window.
  • Customer Satisfaction has improved dramatically for several reasons. First, our prior solution was cumbersome and provided a very poor customer experience. It was also difficult to use from the CSR side. The Parature interface is clean and fast for both users and CSRs. In addition to creating a better customer experience, this allows us to process more tickets resulting in higher satisfaction. Overall, satisfaction is up approximately 60% since we deployed Parature and ticket throughput is up approximately 40%.
  • The built in reporting - and optional advanced reporting - are extremely powerful. We do make use of the advanced reporting module, but 80% of the data I use to run my business comes from the built-in reports. The reports are indispensable and I rely on them to make adjustments based on many factors including ticket volume, response and resolution times, performance against SLA, and CSR performance. I've been able to increase team efficiency by about 15% using this information.
  • Because Parature is used by Engineering, Sales, Services and Customer Support, there is a high level of collaboration that takes place resulting in better information sharing across the various organizations within Zenoss.
Before choosing Parature we reviewed many of the currently available solutions before building our short list of Parature, SugarCRM, Zendesk, Salesforce, and NetSuite. In the end, the licensing models for Salesforce and Netsuite eliminated them from consideration. The SugarCRM solution was our current solution, and didn't appear to be a key area of focus for Sugar (though we continue to use SugarCRM for everything except the Ticketing feature). Zendesk lacked the Download Module feature which is a critical element of our deployment.

In the end, it was Parature that addressed all of the needs we identified and did so in a single, hosted solution. It was also one of the least expensive to deploy and maintain.
The single element of Parature I've not seen in any other system of this kind is the Download Module. You can post files in the open, or protect them by any number of entitlement methods. The solution is also appealing to those who don't want to manage the back-end/IT needs as it is a hosted solution and has proven to be very reliable.

Using Parature

We will very likely renew Parature for the fifth consecutive year; however, unlike the prior 4 years, we will review competitors this time and the market has changed and new options are available. Zendesk has come a very long way in the last 4 years and presents a possible alternative. Parature is still the only solution I'm aware of with an easy to use Download Module and this alone may be the deciding factor.

Parature Reliability

They recently had one very extended outage. It was a data center issue - but they were not diversified enough so in the end the system was down for almost 8 hours. There are also periods of time where for no reason the system simply doesn't respond. This small outages are usually short (just a few minutes), and have in fact been occurring less often, so it appears some corrective actions have been taken.