Audit & Compliance
Change Categories and Subcategories
Automatic Round-Robin Ticket Assignment
Redesign Main Menu in Labs
1. Change Categories and Subcategories
Managing your change templates and records has never been easier than with the newly introduced change categories and subcategories. In this release we added a new tab to the Setup>Service Desk>Categories section, where you can update the default list of suggested categories to fit your needs:
Categories can have a parent-child relationship, for example, Computers and Laptops. A child category is a subcategory of its parent category.
By using this new functionality, you will be able to search for change records more easily (without relying on their title), sort your change index and slice reporting information accordingly.
Here are a few examples of the out-of-the-box categories available for the Change module:
2. Automatic Round-Robin Ticket Assignment
Until today, tickets in a queue would usually be assigned to agents manually – either by a manager or by the agents themselves – picking (some might say “cherry-picking”;) tickets from queues. Even for teams with a strong sense of urgency and clear guidelines – this meant that occasionally tickets would get stuck by not being picked at all, and in many cases, delayed – due to the manual work involved.
As part of our ongoing effort to help you optimize ticket-resolution times through leveraging automation of repetitive and manual work – we are glad to introduce the new round-robin automatic ticket assignment.
With this new functionality, you can now go to ServiceDesk>Queues, choose the relevant queues – and switch their round-robin toggle of that queue “On”:
In addition, agents who are listed in a queue with the round-robin option turned on - can now also mark themselves available/unavailable by switching the availability toggle at their profile On/Off:
This functionality scans the list of available agents in a given queue, by the order they appear on that list. It then automatically assigns newly created tickets to available individuals or groups. When several agents in the same queue are available, this makes sure you balance the work across this queue.
To learn more about how this works, visit the relevant section of our technical documentation.
Try this new functionality today to shorten queue times, increase agent productivity, save costs and meet SLAs - while improving the customer service experience.
3. Redesigned Main Menu in Labs
We’re always looking to make improvements to your service desk to help you maximize the efficiency of your IT teams, scale up support and delivery of IT services, and provide engaging service experiences to your employees. As part of these efforts, we are excited to announce a redesign of the SolarWinds Service Desk main menu, which is currently available in Labs!
The redesigned main menu is fixed on the left side of your screen and it has an updated user interface that is consistent with menus across other SolarWinds products. It will replace the existing main menu, which pops up when you hover your mouse above it. You will notice that we have also simplified it to show only top-level menu items. Note that you can still easily access items under the top-level menu by clicking on the icon for a top-level menu item.
We have designed this new layout to make it faster and easier for you to navigate as you no longer need to hover your mouse to view the menu. As a result, you can quickly find what you’re looking for and improve your overall productivity. Moreover, we’ve redesigned the main menu to provide a more consistent user experience, since the new menu has a similar ‘look and feel’ to other products in the SolarWinds portfolio.
To enable this enhancement, turn on the ‘New Application Menu’ Labs capability for all or specific users in your organization.
- Requesting Changes Through the Portal
Sometimes, change requests (especially standard ones), may come from your employees rather than IT agents. Since employees did not have access to the Change Catalog Items via the portal until today - there was no easy way to capture their requests in the relevant Service Desk module. In most cases, you’d end up manually converting service requests that you received from employees via the portal, phone or email - into proper Change records at the Change Management module on the agent side.
Starting today, you can choose to allow your employees to see and request a list of predefined and approved changes via the portal – just like any other service request. This new functionality will help relieve your team from unnecessary repetitive manual work that is prone to error and inconsistency while providing your employees with a faster and seamless service experience.
For more information on setting up change requests from the portal, please refer to the relevant section of our technical documentation.
A seamless employee service experience
Since your employees do not really know much about the difference between Change and Service requests and what this means from an agent’s perspective – they will be shown just ONE list of available services, organized by ONE list of categories.
Once a request is submitted via the portal, the relevant ticket will open on the agent side (either as a service request or a change request) - with the relevant category.
Examples for standard changes that can be shown on the portal:
- Change folder name
- Change account name/ user credentials
- Update domain names/links?
- Contract renewal
- Update distribution lists?
Questions running through your head right now:
1. Can I control which Change Catalog Items are exposed and to which requester?
Yes, please visit the relevant section of our technical documentation for more information.
2. What happens if the Change Catalog Item and the Service Catalog Item have the same category/subcategory name?
On the portal side – visible to the requester, the system will merge the list of services under one category/sub-category (for example “Applications”), but each item will lead to the respective form. On the agent’s side, we have populated the default list of change categories with values that align with ITIL best-practices. You can view/update this list at any time through the Setup>Categories>Change section.
3. What if I don’t want employees seeing certain change plans or fields when requesting change through the portal?
To help you show employees only what they need to see and keep the rest of the form hidden - by default, the entire form and all its system fields will have their portal toggle set as “Off”. You can make the form and relevant fields visible by switching the portal toggle to “On”.
*Note: only approved Change Catalog Items can be shown on the portal.
4. What else is changing from an agent/ requester perspective?
Highlighting Change Catalog Items on the portal is now available via the link beneath the Test Plan field:
Audit and Compliance
- New API calls for Change/Service Requests - Approval & Decline
One of the key audit requirements is to document the names of the people who approved or declined a Change/Service Request. In this release, we added the ability to extract 'past approves' and 'past decliners’ from the API as a mass action for the entire module.
To receive this additional information, create an API request with layout=long for either service requests or change requests generated from a catalog item. The JSON outcome will now include all the past approvers and past decliners. Please refer to the relevant Change and Service Request sections of our API documentation for more information.