What exactly is Halp?
You’ve stumbled, sifted, or searched your way through the great wild interwebs to find yourself at our front door. Now that we have your attention, let’s clarify what exactly it is that we do around here.
At its core, Halp is a browser-based application that turns conversational requests that happen in Slack or Microsoft Teams into actionable items that a business can actually track and report on. Halp is its own app, much like Gmail or Salesforce, that can communicate with your chat applications through a simple bot installed on your system.
Businesses are made of people (for the moment, anyway), and people are messy machines that seem to take a bit of pride in their ability to skirt rules, ignore procedures, and turn their mole hill of an issue into quite a mountain of a problem for someone else to fix. We aim to convert this human nature into a more positive experience by eliminating the question “Did you submit a ticket?” from the company vernacular. Much like “Did you get my fax?”, it must be retired for the sake of progress.
Chat applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams have become the new water cooler, conference room, front desk, help desk, and pub next door – all combined into one. There is enormous benefit to this virtual way of communicating in that it flattens our physical world and makes it much easier for a group of hundreds or thousands of people to work together regardless of their physical location. This is obviously beneficial for events like a pandemic, but it has also become absolutely critical for anyone in the workforce that prefers not to commute to and work from an office every day of the week (FYI, that’s nearly everyone now).
With this not-so-new found benefit of a digital office built entirely within a free speaking, channel-building, conversation-based GIF museum, there are clearly going to be some trade-offs. One of those challenges is that, as humans, we tend to see text on a screen as very impersonal. We say and do things we’d not likely do in person, such as interrupting someone else’s work or using stronger language in type than we’d ever say to someone’s face. People can become names in a list, human interactions are just text on your screen. Through a combination of ease of access and impersonalization we’ve become even better at cutting through the rules to find solutions to our problems than we ever were in the real world.
Many of Halp’s customers are already using Slack or Microsoft Teams to support their employees in some way, with a special channel dedicated to IT helpdesk, sales ops, deal desk, finance, HR, legal…etc. These channels are easy for staff to find and ask questions in, not unlike the physical ‘IT room’ that we all used to be able to just pop into if you say…maybe…needed some assistance removing an entire cup of coffee from your laptop keyboard. Some orgs are doing all of this through direct messages to actual people, others have designated channels or groups of people that are dedicated to solving problems. But they all have one thing in common: it’s quite difficult to keep track of individual requests, and things tend to fall through the cracks quite easily.
If you experienced this often enough you’d know that the only response you really have for those people is “please send me an email” or “please submit a ticket through the portal”. This can also work, sometimes, but as we’ve already established - If there’s one thing humans are great at, it’s skirting proper procedures in the interest of their own pursuits.Halp remedies this in two very important ways;
1. We make it easy for you to create a ticket on the fly from a message in Slack or Teams – without the need to awkwardly (or sometimes angrily) ask your colleagues to submit their request to a portal. You just add an emoji and it’s done. Or you can even set Halp to just do this automatically.
2. We don’t force you or your end users to switch context - We create and update the ticket right within Slack or Microsoft Teams. Both parties can reply to and manage this ticket without jumping into another tool.
It’s important to understand that the Halp Bot (which is what you’re installing into your Slack or Microsoft Teams account) is not actually doing the majority of the work in this interaction – it’s essentially acting as a display for a completely separate machine. That machine is the Halp web-based ticketing application. You can find this by going to <yoursubdomain>.halp.com. This is where all of the customization and setup is done. This web application, in turn, can communicate with other tools like Jira, Confluence, Zendesk, and soon-to-be many more. From the Slack or Teams experience, this is all happening seamlessly and most of your end-users won’t even realize there is an entirely separate tool acting as the engine behind this great experience, but it’s important for you to know this as an administrator because you’ll be logging into that application occasionally to change settings, access tickets, get reports, and see a big-picture view of your overall ticketing ecosystem.
Here’s a diagram of how this all fits together, for all you visual learner types:
Some easy FAQ’s that we can get out of the way early:
1. Is Halp free or freemium or will I need to drop some dough on this?Halp is not free. We have a pricing page here: Halp Pricing and Plans | Atlassian
2. Can I setup Halp with just the bot integrated with another tool like Jira without the Halp web app?Sort of. You still need to setup the Halp web app but you’d really only need to access it when you want to make a specific change to Halp settings or setup Halp recipes. Grab some time with a member of our customer team here and we can show you how to make this work for you use case: Halp Demo | Slack & Microsoft Teams ticketing
3. I want to have a great ticketing experience for myself and my end users but I don’t want to change any of the system, process, or behaviors of the people in my organization. How do I do that?You don’t. Halp is a magnificent tool when it comes to adapting to the behavior and processes you already have in place (even some of the ones we don’t recommend🙂) but it’s not a magic pill. It will require some slight adjustments to how you work in your chat tool, how you interact with your colleagues, and how you think about things like channels and DMs. This is also a great reason to chat with someone on our team to see how we can best align Halp with what you’re doing now, as well as align your organization to be most successful with a tool like Halp.