Responses to the most asked questions during our 23Q3 Quarterly Customer Product Update webcast
Hello everyone and thank you for your patience as we rallied the team to answer the questions you posed during our 23Q2 quarterly product update for customers. Please be on the lookout for the email invitation to our next one that will be held on December 6th.
We've grouped these questions into a few common categories, listed the questions we received, and our answers to those below. As always, comment on this post if you have any more questions for us on the Product Management team. Contact your SolarWinds representative or let us know if you want to schedule a one-on-one discussion.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
Is the session recorded? Can we get a copy of the slides?
Due to the sensitive nature of what we’re sharing on these quarterly updates, we’re unable to share recordings or slides. However, if there are questions you have from your leadership team or other team members, please reach out to your CSM so we can meet with you or answer any questions.
This post contains forward-looking statements regarding future product plans and development efforts. SolarWinds considers various features and functionality prior to any final generally available release. Information in this presentation regarding future features and functionality is not and should not be interpreted as a commitment from SolarWinds that it will deliver any specific feature or functionality in the future or, if it delivers such feature or functionality, any time frame when that feature or functionality will be delivered. All information is based upon current product interests, and product plans and priorities can change at any time. SolarWinds undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements regarding future product plans and development efforts if product plans or priorities change.
Enterprise Service Management (ESM)
In our previous update we provided a preview of our new ESM capabilities in SolarWinds Service Desk. On September 20th, we announced the release of ESM and we’ve been so excited about the positive response and interest in expanding your Service Desks beyond IT.
- Are we able to forward tickets between Service Desks with ESM? Can service catalogs in one Service Desk create tickets in another Service Desk?
- What plans is ESM available on?
- How do notifications work for each separate Service Desk with ESM?
- Does ESM support SSO?
- How does data privacy work for each Service Desk in ESM? Can IT access all tickets in all Service Desks?
- What types of non-IT teams can we add to each instance?
This recent release of ESM is considered Phase 1. It is focused on the ability to easily create separate Service Desks for each Non-IT team while providing centralized management of those Service Desks. Phase 2 is planned to focus on collaboration between service providers including ticket forwarding, and phase 3 is planned to cover shared services as well as the use of a single, unified portal, for all services offered by the organization.
Upon the creation of a new Service Desk instance for a Non-IT department (such as HR, Finance, Legal, Security, Facilities, etc.) your Service Desk administrator will assign a person to serve as that Service Desk’s primary administrator; usually someone who runs the department where the Service Desk will be used. Each Service Desk’s data is segregated from other instances, requiring explicit permission granted by that first assigned admin of each Service Desk. Meaning, IT Admins of your entire SolarWinds Service Desk instance are not granted automatic access to other Service Desks (for HR, Finance, Legal, Security, etc.) unless explicitly granted by whoever is assigned as an admin of each non-IT Service Desk. This ensures that IT Admins are not able to see sensitive data in other departments unless granted access to it.
Each instance will be able to manage their own objects like notifications, service catalogs, service portal, and knowledge base articles (solutions), based on how that department wants to use them. For notifications specifically, notifications are based on user permissions in those service providers. Users can see their notifications on the notification bell, regardless of which service provider they were triggered from, but only those that they are permitted to see.
ESM is available on our Advanced and Premier plans and does support SSO.
- Will runbooks be available for use with service catalogs?
- What plan includes the new runbooks feature?
Runbooks, available exclusively on our Premier plan, was released earlier this year. We have been thrilled with the responses from customers and excited about the use of runbooks for both helping agents get through repeated tasks efficiently but also for ensuring critical remediations are handled exactly how they need to be every single time. There are currently no plans to allow runbooks to be attached to service catalogs since catalog items include workflows. We are not quite sure how runbooks would be used in conjunction with a service request, but please let us know, we’re always interested in fascinating new ways you’re looking to use the product.
- Can we import assets from CSV or other means if we don’t use the Discovery feature?
We encourage customers to try the Discovery feature for bringing networked assets into SolarWinds Service Desk. However, we do have the ability for you to import assets (computers and Other Assets) via a CSV file, through the API, or by manually entering them, giving you the flexibility to bring in and track assets in whichever manner is best for you.
- Using PowerBI, can we report on assets we track inside of SolarWinds Service Desk?
- Is there a demo video on how the Microsoft Teams and Slack integrations work?
- Can the Teams or Slack integration replace the App?
- Will you allow the MS-Teams integration to work in MS-Teams new dark mode?
- Is “authentication on approval” including SSO or just local user accounts?
We’re always working on improving existing integrations or adding new ones that make sense for the majority of customers. Thank you for continuing to work with us as we expand and improve upon our integrations.
We are working on adding asset data fields to our PowerBI connector, they should be available in an upcoming release. We’re also looking at increasing how often you can pull data from SolarWinds Service Desk into PowerBI. Keep watching this THWACK forum for those releases.
These collaboration tools integrations are not intended to replace the use of the mobile app or main/browser app but offer another way for your end-users to interact with your agents. You can also check out the documentation here for MS Teams and here for Slack. MS Teams dark mode compatibility is on our long-term roadmap. Currently we have higher priority items to introduce new functionality and UX improvements.
Lastly, our authentication on approval feature works for users using SSO and/or local user accounts.
- Are you adding any Project Management capabilities?
- Can you add redaction capabilities for sensitive text?
- Are you adding a Problem Catalog soon?
- Can we get the ability to manage software on computers?
- Any plans to remove limitations on end date values under business hours for customers with international sites?
- I have feedback I’d like to give, where can I do that?
- I’d like to submit a feature request, where can I do that?
- Any updates on custom satisfaction surveys?
Our roadmap is heavily influenced by our customers, so bringing feedback to us as well as requesting new features via Thwack is incredibly valuable. Like many product teams out there, we always wish we could deliver everything faster. It’s an exciting time to be on the Service Desk product team here at SolarWinds because of the continued investments in this product and the increased speed that we are able to introduce enhancements and new features such as Runbooks, the Virtual Agent, Enterprise Service Management, our Australia Datacenter, Linux Discovery, our PowerBI connector, and so many more enhancements released each month.
In rapid response order to the questions above. Adding Project Management capabilities to SolarWinds Service Desk is of high interest for us and you, and is on our mid-term roadmap. For redaction, administrators should be able to edit or delete comments with sensitive data, however we do have plans to allow PII/PHI values to be automatically masked. There are no current plans to introduce a problem catalog, please submit this as a feature request. Endpoint management is something we’re continuing to explore with caution as this overlaps with many of your favorite solutions today, however we do have Patch Management on our roadmap. Removing limitations on end-date values under business hours is something that we want to address on our longer-term roadmap. For custom satisfaction surveys – if the question is related to viewing survey feedback for individual incidents, it is on our mid-term roadmap.
Thank you to everyone who continues to come to our quarterly product updates, ask us these great questions, provide feedback in 1:1 calls with the product teams, participate in our THWACK forums, and submit and vote on feature requests.
- Continue to follow our Newsroom on THWACK for announcements on major enhancements.
- Check out our What We’re Working On page on THWACK to stay updated on our active roadmap items.
- Submit feature requests and upvote your favorite ones on THWACK as well
- Connect with us and other customers on our active THWACK forum for Service Desk.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!