Network Management Solutions For Service Desk Software

Monitor the heartbeat of your critical business services.

Many organisations monitor the health of business services using infrastructure management tools. Infrastructure management tools monitor and report on issues with the underlying hardware, software and networks supporting the services required by the business. In addition to management tools, most organisations have implemented service desk software to manage the logging and resolution of issues with the underlying infrastructure. Often the infrastructure management and service desk/technical support groups operate as silo departments. Typically, the systems used by these departments are not tightly coupled because it requires extensive effort and cost to integrate. We believe that it is critical that these groups and systems are fully integrated so that the business benefits from a unified, end-to-end service management approach.

Providing end to end service management means that you need to be in control of all factors that may influence your service. What many organisations tend to overlook are the alerts which are triggered by infrastructure management tools. These alerts can throw your service management planning into chaos.

Defining Infrastructure Alerts
Alerts have a direct impact on your level of service. It is important to measure IT’s performance in addressing these alerts and the impact it has on services provided to the organization. Many types of alerts are entered into Incident Management. Since most organisations do not properly identify alerts, they run the risk of not being able to track which incidents were created from management tools and which incidents were created by IT staff or end users. Recognizing the source of the incident will help organize the services that IT provides and ensure that normal day-to-day work does not suffer.

Following are examples of the types of alerts from most management systems:

1. Alerts that require immediate attention.
2. Wake up alerts
3. Awareness alerts

1. Alerts that require immediate attention
These alerts are the most important to your organization. For example, this could be a message saying that your server has gone down, possibly because a fan is not working (for example). If the server runs your organization’s critical applications, once identified, all appropriate resources must immediately address the issue.

2. Wake up alerts
Messages from your system to warn you that you need to act on something, which is less important but must be done.

3. Awareness alerts
Messages that just inform you how the systems are doing, what the status is, etc…

Typically, these alerts are managed by different priorities and different SLA’s, which will have a different impact on the service of your organization. And managing the service of your organization is something that needs to be supported by your service desk software solution.

Service Desk Software Configuration and Integration with Monitoring Tools

The organization has to ensure that when an alert is generated by the management tool, a ticket is immediately logged in the service desk software solution. The service desk software must be configured so that it is able to recognize the type of messages and automatically assign the ticket to the appropriate group or individual. Service thresholds and service rules can be defined to manage the resolution of the ticket over its life cycle.

Running reports and setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) against the alerts and the time to resolve will help you to improve your service instantly and help you keep control of all aspects that impact your service, using one single front end solution which is already there: Your Service Desk

In order to provide end-to-end service management you have to integrate your service desk software with infrastructure management tools. One popular application is Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). SCOM will be configured to monitor the infrastructure for specific alerts. When a configured alert occurs the ‘event’ is forwarded to a central SCOM server, where a database is held which includes a history of alerts.

The ease of integration with popular software products has often been a moot subject, however this has now been resolved.

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