Closing the Loop on Email Request Management
Investing time and effort in the development of your Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is one of the most crucial aspects of setting up LiveTime. It not only provides a logical map of your infrastructure and services, but defines the hierarchy of your service catalog and knowledgebase.
In addition, the CMDB provides key relationships between the underlying Service Level Contracts and Service Teams. Once Technicians have been grouped into logical Teams, escalation layers are created and skill sets assigned to the individuals. LiveTime also provides the ability to define individual work hours so that Technicians are selected when available.
This cascade of rules is important in understanding how requests are assigned and particularly when setting up email based assignment.
Request creation via email occurs when a registered Customer emails the Service Desk. LiveTime parses the contents of the email, as well as any inline graphics and attachments, into a new request. The Customer is subsequently notified of the new request’s number via email.
Managing requests via email is handled by the application sending its initial email with the subject line prefixed by ‘Incident #’ or in the case of Change Management, prefixing the RFC subject line with ‘Change Request #’, followed by a series of numbers that make up the individual request identification number.
Customers simply reply to any email originating from LiveTime to communicate directly with the Technician handling the request. This can also include any attachments or inline graphics, which are automatically parsed out into the request. This closed loop email management means a customer doesnt even need to use LiveTime’s Customer Portal, providing seamless customer service, while still maintaining all compliance and audit trails for your organization. Technicians can also update the request via email when for instance they are on the road or using a mobile device.
The email request creation has also been extended to include Item assignment upon request creation. To utilize this feature, a Customer must prefix the email subject with ‘Item #’ followed by the Item identification number as recorded in the CMDB. As long as the customer has appropriate ownership rights, the request is created against this CI. LiveTime will then assign the most approriate technician based upon skillset, availability and Service Level Contract.
In the case where ‘Item #’ is not included in the email subject line, the system reverts to pre-5.5 logic, which means that if the Customer only has one Item in the CMDB it will assign it to the request, thus also capitalizing on a well-configured system. If the Customer owns multiple Items, then ‘Unknown Item’ is applied until the Technician reviews the request.
Effectively configuring LiveTime at both the CMDB and Team level is one of the cornerstones of efficient and automated request handling. Used in combination with email request management, Technicians and Customers improve overall efficiency and decrease resolution time.