Expose Knowledge of Providers to Your Customers

KnowledgeImagine a situation where a large enterprise has a shared service center that supports the IT departments that are located in the countries in which the enterprise operates.  The shared service center may, for example, provide the Email service to the local IT departments.  This is a common support structure in which the shared service center registers a separate SLA in 4me for each IT department that it provides the Email service to.  These SLAs may offer 24×7 support to the specialists of the IT departments.

The local IT departments each have their own service desk that provides first line support for the Email service, but they only do this during business hours.  In this setup, the local IT departments each register a separate Email service, service instance, service offering and SLA that defines the coverage for their end users.  In addition, each local IT department specifies in the Email SLA it got from the shared service center that this SLA underpins their local Email service instance.

Email SLA from shared service center with the option Use knowledge from service provider activated

This will all look familiar to larger 4me customers.  What is new, however, is the option ‘Use knowledge from service provider’ in the SLA that the local IT departments got from their shared service center.  When this option is left unchecked, only the specialists of the IT departments can benefit form the knowledge articles that the shared service center made available for the Email service.

But when a service level manager of a local IT department checks this new box, these knowledge articles from the shared service center suddenly become available to the people who are covered by the Email SLA of the IT department.

The ‘Use knowledge from service provider’ option makes it possible for support organizations to selectively expose the knowledge articles of their providers to their customers.  Not having to duplicate these knowledge articles and centralizing the maintenance of the knowledge articles for the Email service within the shared service center can save a lot of time.  And if a local IT department still wants to add some knowledge articles for the Email service, then they can still do this.  For end users this is completely transparent; they will not see the difference between knowledge articles registered by the shared service center and the ones created by their IT department.

This new feature can be used over multiple trust relations between 4me accounts.  Take for example the knowledge articles that the 4me Service Desk team registers.  4me partners can now make these articles available to their customers, which are often the 4me specialists within a shared services organizations of large enterprises.  These 4me specialists, in turn, can make their own 4me knowledge articles, plus the articles from their 4me partner, plus the articles of the 4me Service Desk team, available to the specialists of the IT departments they provide 4me support to.

It is important to note that the only knowledge articles that can be exposed over accounts are the ones that have been validated and in which a knowledge manager from the provider has set the visibility to ‘Covered specialists’ and/or ‘End users’.  When the ‘End users’ visibility option is not selected, the supported end users of the customer’s customers will still not be able to see the knowledge article.