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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:29 pm   

Help Organize My Company...?
 
Hey all, it's not exactly a zApp question (by that I mean not related to zApp at all, though perhaps eMobius one day...)

My company is the most disorganized company you could possibly have and we've just acquired another 6 staff from a merger which really is going to force us to do something about it.

Our problems range from lack of project management, to bugs that get forgotten, to meetings that are never on time, and no central knowledge portal or help desk.

So I'm tasked with the problem of getting some kinda infrastructure in there and I'm wondering what your companies all use to get around these sorts of problems.

I've tried introducing Mantis to use for bug tracking and limited project tracking, but it's been met with fierce resistance and you can't really do project tracking very well, especially when billing by the hour etc.

I've tried introducing Maximizer but only two people use it when the whole company really needs to be on it... and it doesn't seem to be that good for managing the support and services department.

We tried briefly Microsoft Project Server (since we have a MSDN subscription) but it wasn't really suitable either.

At least I've managed to force all the developers onto CVS so we have a centralized store of our source code...

=====================

Ideally, I would like software that:

* Stores word/excel/powerpoint documents (with versioning ala CVS) on the server, along with phone and email correspondence in the 'customer database' immediately accessable to everyone in the company.

* Integrates a web-based bug/support ticketing system so we can give the customer a login and password and they can report problems, request support, and where necessary download patches.

* Tracks the software development progress, showing what's outstanding at a glance.

* Calculates billable time.

Any ideas of what to look at/use? I've been thinking of writing something in-house but it would take too much time.
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bortaS
Magician


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 320
Location: Springville, UT

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:26 am   
 
Rainchild,

It is going to be bit difficult without knowing what your OS and other infrastructure biases, ahem, requirements you have. So I'm just going to list all the stuff I have in my browser bookmarks.

Document Management:

eDock Secure Server
http://www.software602.com/products/edock/

DotNetNuke with Document Exchange 3 Professional Custom Module
http://www.dotnetnuke.com
http://www.snowcovered.com/snowcovered2/Default.aspx?tabid=166&CatalogItemID=1435&r=6d39809fb6 (product link)
http://bring2mind.dnsalias.net/Products/DocumentExchange/Version3ProDemo/tabid/104/Default.aspx (product demo)

Document managers that have version controls are extremely expensive, so I didn't list any of those here.

Web-based bug/support ticketing system:

Axosoft
http://www.axosoft.com/

BugTracker.NET
http://sourceforge.net/projects/btnet/

FlySpray
http://flyspray.rocks.cc/

Mantis
http://www.mantisbt.org/

BugZilla
http://www.bugzilla.org/

Project Management:

TargetProcess
http://www.targetprocess.com/

Trac
http://www.edgewall.com/trac/

BaseCamp
http://www.basecamphq.com/

dotProject
http://www.dotproject.net/

Easy Project .NET
http://www.easyprojects.net/

Gemini
http://www.countersoft.com/

JIRA
http://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/

Billable Time Trackers:

ToDoList
http://www.codeproject.com/tools/ToDoList2.asp

Most project management software also has billable tracking modules.

CRM:

This one is wide open, and I don't know your exact requirements...

SugarCRM
http://www.sugarcrm.com

It seems that Subversion integrates with a lot more things than CVS. Just a thought.

Hope this helps!
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bortaS
~~ Crusty Klingon Programmer ~~
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:42 am   
 
Thanks bortaS... Gemini is looking pretty good, I think I'll install and play with that tomorrow.

My platform bias is our server is Windows 2003 and desktops Windows XP. I prefer apache as the web server and microsoft sql server as the database server, but if I have to install IIS or mysql I'm not going to be too disappointed.

Seems a pity that document managers with version control are expensive... surely someone could have built one into CVS/Subversion? In theory I would expect the document management to be built into the CRM, I think that Maximizer does store documents in its database, but I could be wrong. SugarCRM looks semi-promising, but the commercial version is a bit expensive. I might install the open source version and see if it's any use.
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bortaS
Magician


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 320
Location: Springville, UT

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:23 pm   
 
I just started a job with a new company, and they use Gemini here. One of the guys built a billing program that integrates with Gemini. It looks like the program hooks directly into the database Gemini is using.

As for the documents, do you need to keep a history of revisions, or just a central repository? If it is just a central repository, then the DNN Portal combo solution is very good for that sort of thing. Plus DNN has a bunch of both free and commercial modules. The Document Exchange module has a lot of functionality and document access can be moderated by creating user roles inside DNN. I use the lite version at couple of my sites. http://www.wheelmud.net and http://www.wheelmud-mono.net

I've used Maximizer and it does have a central repository. The document management is not too shabby.
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~~ Crusty Klingon Programmer ~~
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