Turning Request Templates into Standard Service Requests

Request Template

Request templates are prepared for types of requests that are frequently submitted.  They make it easy for requesters to submit such requests.  By linking a request template to a service offering, it becomes possible to define a response and resolution target for a specific type of request.  These targets are then used for requests to which the template was applied and which requester is covered by an SLA that is based on the service offering.  The beauty of this is that different customers can sign up for the same service but can select a different service offering and therefore receive a different level of support for specific types of requests.

In enterprise environments it is common for a service to be offered at only one level.  In such environments there will only be one service offering for each service.  For a managed service provider (MSP), things are typically quite different.  It is common for MSPs to propose a service at two or three standard levels, but a customer may negotiate and end up with a unique service offering.  For example, a customer may have pushed the MSP to complete requests for new email accounts within 4 hours, rather than the 8 hours specified in the MSP’s most expensive standard offering.

4me makes it easy for MSPs to administer such deviations.  A service level manager of the MSP simply duplicates their most similar standard offering, adjusts it as needed for the new customer and uses the new (unpublished) service offering to register the customer’s SLA.

What has not been so easy for MSPs, though, were situations where one of the request templates that is included in the standard service offering needed to be slightly different for a new customer.  For example, the instructions for the specialists might need to include some customer-specific information.  In such cases, the request template that is included in the standard service offering could already easily be duplicated to quickly prepare a new template that is customer-specific.  However, linking that new template to the service offering that was prepared specifically for this customer, was not so easy.  That’s because the new customer-specific template would have the same subject as the template that was duplicated to create it.

When a service level manager would open the customer’s service offering in Edit mode to add the new template to the ‘Standard Service Requests’ section, this person would need to choose between two templates that look exactly the same.

Selecting a request template in service offering

To avoid this issue, service level managers can now establish the link between a service offering and a request template from a request template.  This allows a service level manager to open a customer-specific request template in Edit mode and relate it to the customer-specific service offering.

Selecting a service offering in request template

Giving the service level manager both the Service Level Manager role and the Service Desk Manager role, allows this person to create a new request template and immediately link it to a service offering.  For MSP organizations it is therefore probably best to give their service level managers both roles.