Awesome Support Inc., a privately held software company located in Chicago, IL, has released yet another add-on (EXTENSION) for their Awesome Support Help Desk and Ticketing WordPress plugin. This time the new add-on is simply named Report Widgets. The full name is actually Awesome Support: Report Widgets but is simply called Report Widgets in every-day parlance.
The new add-on is designed to provide help desk administrators a quick overview of their operations every time they log into their WordPress dashboard.
Key data shown on login include the number of tickets opened and closed every day over the prior 5 days and any tickets older than 5 days. The data is shown broken down by agents and products.
Agents who log in also see a subset of the information as it applies to them.
According to a spokesperson for the company:
There is no Help Desk plugin for WordPress that has deep reporting metrics. This leaves the average WordPress user at a huge disadvantage compared to competitors.
This obviously begged the question – what is the company doing about this? We followed up with them and they responded:
This extension is the first of a series of reporting add-ons that is designed to provide deep analysis for help desks hosted on the WordPress platform. We intend to be the first and maybe only company that offers tools on WordPress that dig deep into a support operation.
We say those are bold words! Or maybe fighting words?
Awesome Support: Report Widgets is the 18th extension now available for the Free Awesome Support help desk WordPress plugin.
The Bold Fremium Business Model
Awesome Support bases its entire company on a Freemium business model. Using this model, the company gives away its core software for free. Available in the WordPress.org repository, any company or individual can download the core product for free – without providing so much as an email address. Even the source-code is given away.
However, while the core software is given away for free, advanced features are created as “extensions” – which require users to pay for them. Users are also required to pay for priority support if they need it. Otherwise, free community technical support is available on WordPress.org forums.
Some examples of add-ons that users might pay for included increased security, advanced ticket routing and additional ease of use features such as Custom Fields or more flexible configuration options such as Gravity Forms.
The free software is feature rich in its own right and is used by many small companies without paying anything at all to Awesome Support.
This business model seems to be the norm in the WordPress world. However, other software communities use similar models including those marketing advanced editions of Linux, Docker and other popular products.
Thousands of Downloads?
WordPress.org is where most users download free versions of WordPress plugins; Awesome Support has had more than 5000 downloads at last count with an average of 50 additional ones every day. However, a lot of the downloads are repeats – with some people kicking the tires, re-downloading or updating to the latest version. We estimate the actual number of users to be around 1200+
Pricing and Additional Information
The extension is available for $39.00 for a single site, $70.00 for up to 5 sites and $128.00 for unlimited sites.
The extension is also available as part of “bundles”. While the site offers 5 bundles, it is only available in four of them. The bundles seem to offer large discounts vs purchasing the individual items.
More information can be found on the Awesome Support Website.