IT Service Management

Service Request & Incident Management

The functionality for handling service requests and incidents in 4me is highly optimized for efficiency. This starts with combining the two separate forms that most traditional service management tools provide for service requests and incidents into a single form. This single form adapts itself to offer the correct fields and options depending on the category of the request. For example, a request for incident resolution requires an impact to be specified, while a request for change or information does not even show the impact field. This approach of offering only the fields that are relevant for the type of request results in a dramatically simplified user experience that speeds up call handling.

Standard Requests

For standard requests that are regularly submitted, the support organization can add fields to ensure that all the information that is needed to complete these requests gets collected upon registration.  The custom fields can be defined in a UI extension that can then be related to the request template that is used for a specific standard request.

The UI extensions are helpful for end users when they submit their requests in 4me Self Service.  They also help service desk analysts make sure that they collect all the necessary information from a user when they register a new request.

The Service Desk console is a unique feature that 4me offers to help even relatively inexperienced service desk analysts deliver a highly professional impression.  As soon as a service desk agent accepts a call from the organization’s CTI (computer telephony integration) desktop client, the Service Desk console opens in a new browser tab with the caller already selected.  A language indicator and the name of the caller provide the agent with the information needed to start the conversation without wasting time on trying to figure out how to spell the name of the caller or finding out which language the caller is most comfortable with.

The caller details, like the job title, organization and site, provide the agent with additional context for the call. When the call is lost, the agent can simply call back by clicking on one of the caller’s telephone numbers. The caller’s previously submitted requests are visible below the caller’s details. This not only avoids duplicate requests from getting registered, but also allows the agent to proactively provide an update on any requests that are still open. Below the open requests, the completed ones are visible along with an indicator that shows whether the caller was satisfied with the support that was provided.

In the bottom-left corner, the broadcasts are visible that would be displayed in 4me Self Service if the caller had gone there to register the new request. These broadcasts are the ones that are relevant for the caller and allow the service desk analyst to provide some helpful information that the caller may not yet be aware of.

On the right side of the screen, the service desk analyst sees the services that the caller is covered for by an active SLA. This avoids a long list of all the supported services, because it limits the list to what could be relevant for this call. If one of the services is currently down, a red dot is displayed next to it to ensure that the agent can inform the caller that they are already aware of this outage. To the right of these services, the caller’s supported configuration items (or assets) are listed.

The agent can start the registration of a new request by selecting either a service or a configuration item. Once a selection has been made, the most popular request templates (or standard requests) and knowledge articles for the selected service or asset are offered to the agent to help speed up the registration of the new request.

The integration with the service configuration & IT asset management practices allows assets to be related to a request.  This, in-turn, makes it possible to report, for example, on incidents by brand, product and product category.  Using the related asset management data, as well as the link that requests have with a service through the integration with 4me’s service level management functionality, makes it possible for support organizations to filter their request reports in meaningful ways.

These service and asset filters, along with other filters like region and site, eliminate the need for agents and specialists to go through a multi-level classification tree when they register or complete a request.  This removes a lot of frustration from the support specialists and further increases the efficiency with which requests are handled.

The integration with service level management also ensures that service desk analysts do not need to negotiate with users about the urgency of their requests.  The service level agreements that are defined in 4me dictate when work needs to have started on a request (this is the response target) and when the request should be completed (this is the resolution target).  Setting these targets in advance for the different services, request categories, impact levels and standard service requests, is another way to increase the efficiency for ITIL’s service request & incident management practice.

Thanks to the tight integration with the other processes that 4me supports, it is possible to pass requests, which require coordination by change management, to a change manager. And if a change manager determines that a project is needed for the implementation of a request, then the request can simply be passed on to portfolio management or project management where the request can be related to a new or existing project.

Service Desk Outsourcing

4me also offers a number of unique capabilities for organizations that provide level-1 support for multiple external customers.  A description of these capabilities is provided in the white paper: