Service management software helps you streamline multiple processes: job and service call management, labor, parts inventory and management, knowledge management, billing, and even marketing. A good program can save your organization a lot of time and money. As long as the software works for you, and not the other way around, you’ll notice a measurable difference in the amount of work you’re getting done.

Eclipse Service Management Software by Tech Solutions, Inc., is a total software solution that comes in several different scalable and customizable packages. You can try Eclipse for 30 days before you buy it, so you can see what Eclipse can do for you before you make a commitment.

A powerful out-of-the-box solution
Eclipse creates what is essentially a multisite Web, wireless, and LAN-based powerhouse of information, all continuously updated and synchronized on the fly to PDAs, desktop stations, and remote Web browsers. The software supports just about any configuration you can imagine, from the single-user Eclipse Lite to Eclipse Professional, a powerful client/server solution that can support up to 100 concurrent users. You can easily upgrade from the Lite edition to Eclipse Professional.

Eclipse is easy to learn. The desktop interface is intuitive, and it’s easy to find answers to your questions via onscreen menus or the 150-page operating manual. You can also access Tech Solutions’ e-mail help, if you’re using Eclipse Lite, or purchase a more robust support package if you’re a Professional version user.

Essentially, you determine how much of your workload you want to give over to Eclipse. The system works on Windows (all versions) and Macintosh (OS 9) computers. Endless customization options mean you’ll always be able to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and even automatically in many cases.

If you can come up with a unique work situation, Eclipse can probably handle it out of the box. Need subcontractor support? It’s there. Want to analyze your clients by business type, money spent, or other criteria? Go right ahead. And while you’re at it, you can view graphs that show you who your most profitable technicians are and who’s goofing off. And the easy-to-use tools make it simple to create custom reports, too.

Eclipse centralizes and simplifies service response and management
So how can you harness Eclipse’s power? Picture this: A client calls with a service request. Your over-the-phone assessment indicates a hardware problem. With a few keystrokes, you can review graphs showing how busy your current techs are, page the appropriate technician in the field, generate a work order and a part order if necessary (Eclipse also tracks part inventory, so you shouldn’t run out of anything, anyway), and even send an e-mail to the client with the service call information. And througha desktop interface, you can handle multiple functions at the same time. Figure A shows an example.

Figure A

The best part is that everything—the problem, who handled it, and how—stays in the system, not just in your tech’s head, so tough problems need be solved only once. Eclipse offers formal knowledge capture and is fully searchable, so you have easy access to answers. For example, when a tech solves a problem, he needs to document what he did. If the problem returns, anyone on the system can find the answer.

In the Professional edition of the software, the optional Internet interface means your technician can log on from the client site immediately after completing the call and update that information right away.

Billing and accounting
Back in the office, the completed job indicates that a bill needs to be generated. You can automate the billing process, too. A full-featured billing system includes support for U.S. sales tax and is compatible with the tax systems of many other countries as well. Eclipse also integrates with many third-party accounting programs, so there’s no need to learn a new tool if you already have one you like.

Sales and customer relations management
You can also use Eclipse as a front counter system. If you deal directly with end users, the point-of-sale receipting function will streamline your sales transactions and provide a smooth, professional interface your customers will appreciate.

Eclipse helps you keep your customers happy with customized, client-accessible e-mail templates that document every step of the customer relations cycle and make your users feel their complaints are heard and responded to promptly.

Data backup and security
Your data, of course, does you no good if it’s locked in a corrupted hard drive—or worse, if it’s in the hands of your competitors. So Eclipse offers redundant backup facilities, disk mirroring options, and transaction-level recovery to keep your data safe from corruption.

As for corrupt competitors, Eclipse can keep your data safe from them, too. If you’re using Eclipse via the Internet, your company hosts your data. Nothing is stored on Tech Solutions’ servers, so you maintain the integrity of your IP and proprietary client information. In addition, Eclipse is its own Web server, and it doesn’t rely on third-party technologies like IIS or Apache.

Try before you buy
Perhaps best of all, you can try Eclipse before you buy it to see for yourself what this powerful service management solution can do for you. You can download a 30-day evaluation copy or watch a video demo of Eclipse to learn more. You can buy it with a license for a single computer for $795.