Quick Start Guide
Service Desk makes it easy to tailor all aspects of the account to suit your organizational needs. You can set up your Service Desk account in any order that you'd like, but for a streamlined process we recommend following the steps as laid out below.
Topics in this article:
The account-wide settings are the default settings for an entire Service Desk account, which includes all of the services (and their records) that are on the account. Administrators can manage the account-wide settings for account information, contact details, custom fields, notifications, triggers, labs features and more. Some of these settings (such as custom fields and triggers) can also be overridden on a per-service basis. See Configure Account-Wide Settings for more information.
To modify the account-wide settings, go to Configure > Account-Wide Settings.
A service is any product or project you need to support and manage through incidents, articles, change tracking and release records. Service Desk can track the development of 1 or more services. A service can be many things, such as a physical product, a website application or just a team project. Account administrators can set up and use multiple services to separate things like teams and reports, and they can also give other users and their customers access to 1 or several services. Each service has a collection of settings that can be customized to suit its needs, such as priorities, categories, and triggers.
Service Desk provides a wide range of customizations for each service. Account administrators can configure specific settings for incidents, problems, changes and releases, as well as the people that interact with the account. See Use Services and Service Management for more information about using and configuring services.
In addition, administrators can create as many additional services as needed. For example, it can be a good idea to create separate services for components that have different priorities and SLAs, or an organization might want to create different services for IT and Facilities. See Create, Configure and Manage Services.
The term "people" refers to all individuals who use or are customers of those who use a particular service, including administrators, technicians, customers, groups, companies and employees affiliated with a service. People can be given access to an entire account or just to particular services, which allows account administrators to control which members of the account have access to which service within that account. Then when services are given access to companies, the people affiliated with it are automatically given access to those companies.
Administrators can configure which people have access to which services (see Configure Service Access for more information). The following individuals and groups are considered people:
- Users & Admins – Service Desk offers multiple levels of user roles and permissions. Each of these user roles is given their own credentials (username/password) so that they can log in to the web app. The access level that each user role has when they log in depends on their settings and permissions (i.e., module access and company access). See Manage Users and Admins for more information.
- Customers – A customer is any distinct individual who is listed as a contact on the account (either manually or through self-registration). Typically customers are a client of 1 or more of the account's services, though it is possible to have customers without access to any services. When a customer is granted access to a service, they become available to be added for selection as the customer for all incidents raised on the service. And if they are given portal access, they can log in to the Customer Portal to create and track incidents, search the Knowledge Articles and view messages. Customers can also be assigned to specific companies as employees. See Manage Customers for more information.
- Groups – A group represents a specific group of users and admins (e.g., a contact list). Using groups enables you to assign incidents, problems, changes and releases to multiple people (i.e., a group) rather than just 1 individual, and they can also be used in queries and reports. Members of a group can be from different companies and services, which allows easy communication across your entire account. See Manage Groups for more information.
- Companies – Companies are the sets of users for whom you provide services to (i.e., your clients). Setting up distinct companies for each different organization you support allows you to organize your customers, which is helpful if you have multiple clients or offices. Once a company is created, customers can be added as employees of that company. Companies can be used to represent a wide array of sub-organizations, such as separate corporations that you assist, different departments within an organization or even different locations of the same office.See Manage Companies for more information.
- Employees – Employees are users and admins who are affiliated with a specific company. Employees can be manually added to companies, or Service Desk can automatically sort new customers into the appropriate companies using their email domains. Employees can only be assigned to one company at a time. See Manage Employees for more information.
Each Service Desk account includes a separate Customer Portal, an easy-to-use website that provides your customers with a simple, easy-to-use interface where they can communicate with you and your technicians. Customers can log in to the Customer Portal submit issues or suggestions, browse technician-written knowledge articles and even request live support from technicians on your account (features vary depending on permissions granted by administrators). Administrators can choose which services customers will be able to perform those actions for, and which services they are restricted from. See Use the Customer Portal for more information.
Use the following pages to modify which customers can access the Customer Portal and how they can do so:
- Customer Access – Customer Access settings allow you to manage how your customers can interact with your Service Desk account via the Customer Portal, including self-registration via several different methods and a contact blacklist.See Configure Customer Portal Access Permissions for more information.
- Customer Emails – The customer email settings allow you to customize the customer-bound emails that Service Desk sends on behalf of the account. Settings include modifying the sender and footer, setting up an auto-response and requesting feedback via email. See Configure Customer-Bound Email Settings for more information.
Once the service(s), settings and people on an account are set up, it's time to start using it! Incidents, problems, changes, releases and knowledge articles are known collectively as Service Desk records. To get started, use the following workflow:
- Create incidents to flag issues with your services – An incident is a single event, disturbance or query that affects the quality of a service to a customer. When a customer is affected by an incident which is then resolved, the service for that customer is restored to normal levels. Incidents can be logged by technicians, and administrators can allow customers to submit incidents as well using the Customer Portal. Because incident management focuses on getting the customer back on track as quickly as possible, fixes for incidents are often "band-aid" fixes and do not always allow the underlying root cause to be further explored and resolved. See Use Incidents and Incident Management for more information.
- Create problems to address recurring incidents – A problem is a recurring issue that affects the quality of a service to a customer, such as a technical glitch, something unclear about the user interface or the absence of a feature or certain information repeatedly requested by customers. Problems are typically incidents that continue to arise, sometimes despite a short-term fix. When a customer is affected by an incident which is resolved with a"quick fix" or workaround, the service for that customer will likely be impaired again because the problem is still active and waiting to produce the recurring incident again and again.See Use Problems and Problem Management for more information.
- Create changes to track the fixes for incidents and problems – Changes – short for ITIL's term "Request for Change (RFC)" – refers to any changes being made to the service or any of its components (including configuration items). Change records allow technicians to not only justify why time and money is being spent on the change effort, but also to track and streamline the effort and any other components that might be related. Changes can stem from many sources, such as fixes for incidents or problems, new or improved functionality within the service, additions or modifications to configuration items or updates to the service (e.g., new compliance obligations). Service Desk change forms are designed to enable the following development process: planning, approval, building, and testing. See Use Changes and Change Management for more information.
- Create releases to track the changes (plus the incidents and problems that necessitated them) – Releases are the implementation of incidents and changes into services. When incidents are resolved and changes are completed, they are ready to be deployed to customers. Releases provide a way of tracking when incidents and changes are implemented and who is responsible for aspects of the release process. Service Desk release forms are designed to enable the following development process: planning, approval, testing and deployment. See Use Releases and Release Management for more information.
- Create knowledge articles to explain the changes – Knowledge articles are articles that are written and maintained by Service Desk technicians and are a way of providing your staff and/or customers with a clear and common understanding of your services. They can be internal only or made available to your customers via the Customer Portal, allowing you to keep your staff and customers in the know by sharing insights and experiences of your services. See Use Knowledge Articles and Knowledge Management for more information.
- Create configuration items to map your network and services – Configuration Management allows you create, track and maintain Configuration Items and their relationships within an account. Configuration items can be any individual, location or device connected to your account.By adding enough Configuration Items and their relationships, you can build up an interconnected database of people, machines and locations, which helps you maintain control over them and their affiliated incidents, changes and problems. In ITIL, this is known as a Configuration Management DataBase (CMDB). Service Desk makes collecting and tracking all of this data as easy as possible. See Use Configuration Items & Configuration Management for more information.
- Use reports to view data about your services and their incidents, etc. – Reports provide detailed information about services, users and customers in a highly-customizable format that can be easily shared or exported. This can include things such as the rate of open incidents to resolved incidents, problems created during a certain time period or tracking all activity on the account. Custom reports can be created for any type of record on an account-wide (i.e., global) or per-service basis. Reports can also be exported, emailed and set to run automatically. See About Reports and Queues for more information.