Service Desk Processes and SupportDesk

July 23, 2013


Service desk processes can be proficiently managed with SupportDesk. Enable unique workflows, terminologies, call logging forms and reports for each process.

SupportDesk lets you manage multiple service desk processes within your SupportDesk system, with the ability to create unique dictionaries and workflows for each process. SupportDesk is shipped with standard process settings that have been configured around ITIL best practice standards. However, these can be fully customised to suit the specific needs of your organisation.

Our customers use SupportDesk for the management of many different processes from Release Management to Operations Management to Event Management, but highlighted below are some features of the most commonly implemented processes that SupportDesk can help you to support:

Incident Management

Most service desks, and in particular those used for IT Service Management, will have some sort of Incident Management workflow in place for the comprehensive processing of issues and faults. With personal profiles and unique access privileges for service desk agents, engineers and supervisors, SupportDesk’s Incident Management functionality allows for the speedy resolution of Incidents, whether these are logged via phone, email or directly by end users through SupportDesk’s self-service portal.

When Agents are initially logging Incidents, multiple tier categorisations allow the appropriate Type, Sub-Type and if necessary a third ‘super-Type to be assigned to the record for an accurate classification of what the Incident involves. An Impact and Urgency matrix, in which the selection of these fields will automatically generate a Priority, is also a means of quickly classifying the Incident in terms of how quickly the issue needs to be resolved. This can work in conjunction with your Service Level Agreements and automatically populate Response, Warning and Action dates upon Priority selection.

The Status field then allows agents to progress Incidents through a pre-defined workflow, and Incidents can be routed to the appropriate Assignee. Automatic emails and notifications alert new Assignees, Managers, Customers and other required parties of logged Incidents, with the ability to send notifications at pre-determined lifecycle milestones. Once the record is entered into the Incident work queue, SupportDesk’s multiple tier breach system ensures that Service Level Agreements are adhered to with automatic escalation and notification upon approaching deadlines. Sub-tasks and notes on Incident records (and available in all process types) allow for full audit trails and diagnostic activities to be recorded, and SupportDesk’s QuickReport Designer enables all areas of the process to be reported against and monitored.

Problem Management

SupportDesk’s Problem Management configuration allows for the complete progression of Problems from Unknown to Known Error, with record linking functionality enabling related Incidents and Changes to be linked to Problems. En-masse closure of linked records is also possible so that once the underlying Problem has been resolved, a solution can then be copied across to related records.

Problem records also have customisable categorisation fields in order to specify Problem Types, with Status and Priority fields to define progress, and Impact and Urgency to denote how much of an effect the Problem is having on the business.

With Subject, Solution and Workaround fields on Problem records, it is possible to enter detailed descriptions of the Problem itself and the diagnostic steps that have been taken to resolve the issue. SupportDesk also has a KnowledgeBase facility, in which Known Errors and Workarounds can be stored, and if appropriate, copied across directly from the Problem record.

Change Management

The ability to cast votes against Changes is an important aspect of the Change Management process, and with SupportDesk’s automated Change Authorisation functionality, requests for votes can be sent to the required parties based upon category selection. The voter is prompted to enter a yes or no vote for the Change, and the outcome of votes automatically progresses the Change onto the next stage (whether this be an implementation stage, or Change closure upon the receipt of a No vote etc.).

Type selections mean that the Change can be categorised, and reporting capabilities allow for the success or failure of Changes to be tracked: i.e. the number of Incidents and Problems raised dues to an initial Change.

Other process records such as Incidents and Problems can also be linked to Change Records, with the ability to create new Change Requests directly from Incidents and Problems. These are automatically entered into the Change work queue upon creation.

Request Fulfilment

It is possible to either manage your Request Fulfilment process separately, or it is also common practice to combine Requests with Incident Management. If doing the latter, the Super-Type field can be used to initially categorise the record as either an Incident or Request, and this selection can determine the workflow and procedures that need to be followed. Alternatively, a separate folder can be used, which may be preferable if your Incident and Request processes are very different.

SupportDesk’s QuickCall facility, although available against all record types, is a particularly useful feature of the Request Fulfilment process. Users can build their own bank of QuickCall templates, in which all required data can be prepopulated, so that minimal information actually needs to be entered each time. This can be a great time saving device, for instance, if there are frequent password reset requests, or requests for new starters etc. In these instances, all stages of setting up a new starter or resetting a password can be entered into the QuickCall template, so that the agent need not type out instructions for each newly logged record. There is also the ability to automatically raise Activities as sub-tasks within QuickCall templates, which can provide a chronological, step-by-step set of tasks to perform to fulfil the request.

Designed Around You

So, this overview of commonly implemented processes within SupportDesk has been to highlight the useful features specific to each management area. However, setup possibilities are by no means restricted to these core processes or settings.

SupportDesk implementations include comprehensive planning sessions with HotH consultants, in which your requirements are discussed in detail and your processes fully mapped out. This allows House-on-the-Hill to work with you to realise the system that is best for your needs: for instance, whether you will work best with a solution that is out-of-the-box, or with one that is configured from scratch.

If you would like to find out more about SupportDesk, or arrange a demonstration, please get in touch and speak to a HotH consultant today.

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