If your company has purchased a package that includes the Service Desk functionality then you will see an ‘Administration’ link to administer it under the menu link for Administration, Service Desk Admin in the navigation links on the left side of the screen.

It may be quickly accessed by pressing the ‘Administration’ Panel on your coversheet after first login and then selecting the ‘Service Desk Admin’ area, again, on the left of the screen.

Administration

Service Desk and Help Desk are two terms often used rather indiscriminately by users. They broadly define the two main scenarios within which the technology is used by companies.

Service Desk

A service desk is typically an internal function to your business where users can raise ‘tickets’ that cause actions to happen.  For example, the completion of an approvals process for an expense claim doesn’t end with the authorisation of the claim by the line manager and its approval, but requires that an instruction is sent to the finance team to actually pay the expense claim.  In this case the Line Manager, or the employee who submitted the claim could open a service desk ticket with finance asking for their claim to be paid as it has now been authorised.  If your business has also purchased eHuman Resources Management then this goes even further; that a service desk could have ‘members’ who are in the finance team; thereby allowing you to create business process workflow in your company that doesn’t target individual users, but targets the departments within which they work.

Help Desk

A help desk works similarly to a service desk, indeed, identically, but typically has the ability to face internally or externally to your business.  You may use a help desk to support your workforce and their I.T. questions, password resets, or requesting upgrades to their PC’s, monitors and so on.  Another help desk could be designed to support traditional customer service and to act as a general ‘front-office’ to your business so that customers can submit requests for assistance with products or services that they have purchased from you.

In either case the underlying functionality is identical; but the target audience and service levels may differ in each case; as well as the means by which users access the various help or service desks your business creates.

The Service Desk Admin area is where all of this setup and configuration occurs.  Access to and from Service Desks is enabled in the permission groups (See Global Settings in Admin).  It is even possible to provide self-service logins to your customers so they can take part directly in the help desk functionality by submitting tickets only by logging in to your business portal!  They can then review all of their own tickets across your organisation in their ‘My World’ view which includes a ‘My Tickets View’.  The same is true of permission group capabilities for Users as well.

In summary, service desks and help desks may be accessed internally to the solution by any logged in user with the necessary permissions.  With those permissions they can review their own tickets and submit new ones.  It is also possible to use a help desk where new tickets are created through an automated process of harvesting trouble tickets in the form of emails from a monitored email inbox.  This mix of capabilities across Users, Self-Service Users and external email inboxes gives your business all the tools it will ever need to support both internal or external support and help desk activities; including customer care, employee support or even simply a place to assign ‘actions’ to groups or departments across your business.

Think beyond the confines of traditional help desk software which is simply a ticketing system.  The technology Trivaeo has created is far more malleable than that simple set of use cases.

Note that the business application suite includes Knowledge Base as a function of its Help Desk technology.  The knowledge base builds automatically if so desired through the activity of your users as they use your help desk to handle tickets or it can be added to in the absence of actual tickets.  There is no administrative area for the Knowledge Base; all interactions occur as a result of tickets themselves or through the main Service Desk Application itself.  You can hide the knowledge base by removing the permissions in your permissions groups too if you want to.

Service Desk Admin – Overview

  • Products/Services
    This links directly to your businesses main Products and Services catalog
Status
  • Status
    This is where you administer the various ‘statuses’ that any help desk or service desk ticket can be in at any time during its life
Help Desks
  • Help Desks
    This is where you create new help desks or edit existing ones
Priorities
  • Priorities
    Define and administer your own set of business priorities including Fix Times and Response Times (Service Levels) and set the default across your business
Categories
  • Categories
    Allows the administration of help desk categories
Request Status Process
  • Request Status Process
    Set’s the status of a ticket at the point that any communication is started on it
Help Desk Channels
  • Channels
    Defines the channels over which your business accepts internal or external help desk tickets
Help Desk Channels
  • Types
    Defines the categories and types of tickets that your business will handle
Series of email events
  • Series of email events

    Define sets of email communication that are triggered to be sent automatically on the opening of a new ticket

email requests
  • Email Requests

    Establish and administer integrations to Email inboxes that are scanned for new help desk tickets

    Products/Services – Detailed Instructions

    The Products/Services is a handy link that takes you straight into your companies products and services catalog.  Accessing it from here is identical to accessing the products and services catalog through main Administration, Global Settings and Products/Services.

    It is placed again in this administration area as a matter of convenience as your help desks often relate directly to the Products or Services that your business prepares or manufactures.

    Products/Services

    Status – Detailed Instructions

    Status is a list (dictionary) that define the status that any help desk ticket can have at any time.  A common error when setting up new help desks is to have failed to have defined relevant ticket statuses that accurately reflect the process your business goes through when dealing with both internal or external requests.

    By default, you need to have at least one Status Name of ‘Open’ or something similar and this ‘Request Status’ must be tied to ‘Start-Up’; the underlying intelligent automation that the solution uses to push tickets through triage to remedy.

    Eventually a ticket will be closed in some fashion, but not necessarily closed and resolved. It could be that a ticket was opened in error; it still needs to be closed but not recorded as a valid ticket.  In this case you may have two ‘closed statuses’;

    1. Closed – Resolved
    2. Closed – Bad Ticket

    For both of these closed options you would set their ‘Request Status’ to Closed.  This removes the ticket from the live help desks of your users and puts them into an archived state; but at least your historical reporting will be accurate.  It won’t help your business much if all your tickets are closed; but you are unable to measure why they were closed.  You want at least to know how many were resolved versus those that were closed as unsolveable!

    So, give some thought to how your business looks after its employees and customers.  When a ticket is OPENED you reasonably expect a member of staff manning that help desk to investigate the issue, then potentially assign the issue and then mark it in progress whilst it is being remedied and when a resolution has been found to change the status again, leading ultimately to the status of the ticket being closed.

    Hints and Tips! – always give your ‘Status Name’ a numbered sequence so that you can order them correctly; perhaps using a numbering scheme that allows you to add new ones in a logical way if your users ask for new ones to be added at a later stage.  Remember, at least ONE status must have the status of Start-Up (to trigger the help desk business process in the solution) and at least ONE status must be of the ‘Request Status’ as Closed.  Without these two then the business process will not run!

    When first enabled, the technology deploys Service Desk from a template that includes a few examples, but please note; these do not necessarily automatically include a Start-up or Closed ‘Request Status’.  You should check the example that gets deployed when you activate Service Desk in any package your company subscribes to and align it to your needs.

    Here is a worked example with explanations;

    example statuses for a company help deskExample Status Names and Request Status setup

    In the picture (above) we have set up a series of Statuses that broadly reflect the typical ‘triage’ that any ticket will go through.  Of course there has to be a starting point; and we have set that to 1.0 Open with a ‘Request Status’ of Start-up.  Again, Start-up is the naming convention of the helpdesk process engine used by the technology in the business applications platforms that monitors and pushes tickets through the system; and measures the service level and so on.

    We have used decimal numbering conventions so that if we want to insert a new status between OPEN and COMMUNICATION STARTED we could do so by giving it the next number in sequence; for example, 1.1 or we could pick 1.5 if we wanted too as well.

    The numbering and naming of the ‘Status Name’ gradually matures unto a point where the ticket can only be closed.  But, we needed multiple options to close a ticket; some valid and others invalid.  You can define as many of these with a ‘Request Status’ of CLOSED as you need but at least one of your ‘Status Name'(s) must be of the request status of ‘Closed’ otherwise the solution will not know when to move a ticket from a live helpdesk to the archive.

    Note that we have included a status option for ‘Transferred’ too.  This is because the person who gets assigned the ticket by a help desk member may refuse to accept it and needs to assign it to someone else for investigation.  Reassigning the ticket makes sense in this case, but the status would drop back to Investigation when the ticket is received by the new assignee and they should reset the status to reflect this.  For the person receiving the reassigned ticket, seeing its status as reassigned helps them too, as they can infer that the ticket has been looked at by someone else and there may be history there worth perusing and understanding.  So, a trouble ticket status can ebb and flow in keeping with its actual status across your users.  Eventually though all tickets get closed and we have created enough Status Names to deal with most eventualities and scope to add more easily if needed.

    Status

    Help Desks – Detailed Instructions

    Help Desks is the main administrative area where you edit existing help desks or create new ones.

    example help desksExample – Help Desks Overview

    When first deployed for your company the technology may use a template to create an example help desk or two.  Use the trash can icon to delete them if necessary or edit them to your taste.

    Once you have created at least one or two help desks you may notice that some have arrows to their left side in the overview and others do not.  Help desks without the arrow indicate that no staff (employees or users) have been assigned to man the help desk!  Clicking on the arrow will expand the help desk to show you its currently assigned staff.

    The template describes how the help desk changes its layout or its behaviour according to different applications available in the business applications suite. Here is a quick overview of the templates and how/when they are typically applied;

    • IT – leverages the Products/Services Catalog in your business so users can note the actual product or service against which they wish to open the ticket
    • Assets – leverages the Asset Management Application so that users can relate the ticket directly to the asset against which they are raising the ticket
    • Simple – does not link the trouble ticket to any product, service, asset or other application across the suite, but is still granular and can be used in a wide range of scenarios
    • Requested Information – this is a specialist template used in business application solutions for IFA’s, (independent financial advisors), financial consultants and wealth advisors.  It basically automates the collection of updated information from your customers by sending them requests to return data back to your business; for example, to send in a spreadsheet of all expenses/costs/sales incurred so that your business can compile a subsequent tax return for them.  In most cases, especially if your package originates on CloudWorksIT then you will not have access to the Wealth Advisor applications.  You can effectively ignore this template.
    • Compliance Matrix – is used by the Contracts Management Application as a process by which Supplier Compliance is conducted.
    • On-Boarding process is a helpdesk template which can be used alongside the series of email events functionality to automatically initiate a series of emails to the party opening the ticket.  For example, a HR manager could initiate a help desk ticket for a brand new employee that triggers a new employees help desk series of email events that sends a staged series of emails to the new employee including useful information, policies, guidance, hints and tips on how to settle into their new job.  These types of tickets are typically opened in a closed (completed) status so that they don’t trigger any form of help desk user intervention but do trigger the series of email events associated with them.  When used carefully you can entirely automate the entire training and documentation process of new employees, new hires, contractors or even customers with this technology!

    In most cases the routine templates you will be using include IT, Simple and Assets (if your company uses the Asset Management application packages).  IT, as it leverages your products and services catalog and Simple when you don’t need to associate a ticket with a product or an asset. Assets is useful if your employees use equipment or assets which require maintenance or other forms of hands-on support to keep them in good working order.  A car, for example, owned by the company is an asset that needs servicing.  An employee that uses this company car may need to submit a help desk ticket asking for the service to be authorised and conducted.

    As an end-user employee of your company they will only ever have direct access to create tickets against help desks setup with the templates from Assets, On-boarding, Simple and IT in nature when attempting to create a new ticket in the Service Desk application proper. So, you can see that some templates are used to drive business processes and others dictate the information available to users when creating new tickets.  Use the descriptions (above) to guide you as you set up your first help desk or two.  You will soon be able to see and test the differences on your own help desks.

    Adding a new help desk

    Before thinking about adding a new help desk you should complete all relevant areas of Service Desk Admin, with a special focus on your ‘Status’ dictionary,, the priorities, categories, types, channels and Request Status Process.  Once you’ve completed all those then you may proceed to set up the help desks themselves.

    Adding a new help desk is a quick task and takes only a minute or two to complete.  You must provide 3 mandatory elements to save a new help desk. These include;

    1. Help Desk Name – What do you want to call this help desk and how should it be seen in available help desks by your users?
    2. Template – which template will be used to set up the fields and drop-down lists available in the help desk forms (or which business processes should the help desk be based on)?
    3. Type of Request – This is free for you to set up and use as you see fit.  You may use wording like ‘Internal’ or ‘External’ so that the type of tickets are more easily understood by users receiving notifications of new tickets and so on

    Members – which users on your solution are ‘manning’ this help desk?  It is typical that only a few members of key staff in each support or departmental area are responsible for its help desk tickets; just as a receptionist is responsible for all visitors to your building.  Select the members from your current pool of users.  Members of a help desk will see tickets from all help desks that they are a member of (if you have set the relevant permissions in their permission group of course; see Administration, Global Settings, Main Settings and Permission Groups and be sure to have added the relevant permissions in General and Service Desk areas for the group that these users are members of).  You can even set their permissions that the members of a help desk can only see the tickets that have been assigned to them versus all possible tickets in any particular help desk.  You could set them up so that they can view all help desk tickets but only edit those that they have been assigned.  You can also remove  the ability of a user to reassign help desk tickets to other users or access the Knowledge Base and more!  Be careful with your permissions!

    Notifications – Members of a help desk always receive notifications on all tickets that they have privileges to see or interact with.  If you want others, who aren’t directly associated with a help desk as a member to be notified when new tickets are raised, then add them by name, or by role or event department.  Departments and Roles are managed in the eHuman Resources application.  If your business applications suite package does not include eHuman Resources then you will be limited to adding named users to the notifications.

    On completion of the initial set up of your new help desk you can press the green OK button to save it.  It becomes immediately available to your users.

    Help Desks

    Priorities- Detailed Instructions

    Priorities act as triggers that set both the importance and the associated service levels of any tickets raised across your help desks.  You may find that on initial deployment of your company instance that some have been set up for you.

    For each priority you add or edit you will need to establish its severity (level), the time to fix according to your business service level strategy and the allowed response time to the opening event of a new ticket.

    You may have as many, or as few as your business needs.  By default most businesses would operate with at least 4 priorities;

    1. Critical
    2. High
    3. Medium
    4. Low

    Obviously, a ticket raised as Critical is going to have a severe or significant impact on your customer/client/user and has the potential to impact your business, brand, goodwill or customer loyalty.  Set up your priorities in accordance with your business objectives and strategy.  At least one of the priorities should be set as the default. Customers tend to ‘increase’ the assigned priority because to them the issue is the most important thing in their Universe.  We do not recommend setting your P1 highest level priority as a default; otherwise all help desk tickets you receive will be measured at the highest service level!  It is possible for your help desk members to change the priority; but it is good practice to do this in conjunction with a discussion with the client so that they agree the change in scope of their ticket or complaint.

    Try and make your priorities readable and undestandable to a layman.  Using ‘vanity’ priorities like the names of animal species may seem fun but won’t help your customers pick the relevant category when submitting a ticket.

    The fix time is the time you allow yourself to fix a reported issue or bring it to a natural resolved status once the ticket has been ‘accepted’ by a member of your staff.  The response time is the time you allow yourself to even begin the process of looking at the tickets waiting in the queue to be dealt with.  Your teams performance against these objectives is monitored on your real-time dashboards as a ‘service level’ (last hour) and the overall ‘service desk quality’ too.

    The response and the fix times are notified to your complainants when they raise trouble tickets to your help desks based on the working days established in your company default calendar! For example, assume your company default calendar has working times configured as 9am to 5pm on Mondays through Fridays with no available working times scheduled on a Saturday or Sunday.  You set your helpdesk so that tickets always arrive with a medium priority.  Let’s further assume that you set a 24 hours response time and a 6 hour time to fix for a ticket with that severity.  A complainant raises a ticket with you at 9pm on a Sunday evening.  They will receive an email auto-response indicating that their ticket will be looked at by 9am on Thursday morning! This is correct! Why? It covers 3 x 8 hour days leading to the time when the service level for a response will be breached. Remember, your default calendar is set to 8 working hours per day, so Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will have to completely elapse before you would be in breach of your response Service Level.  Thinking about this a little more, if you want a single working day to elapse for a medium priority ticket then the response time should be set to 8 hours; not 24!  The time to fix begins at the end of the respnose time.

    Some helpdesk templates across the platform will present a time to fix in email notifications to complainants based on these variables; others do not do so.  If your company works shifts then your calendar should contain the starting time of the morning shift and end when the late shift completes work.  This would give your default calendar a working day, for example, from 8am to 10pm each day; a span of 14 hours.  Set your priorities accordingly!

    Customised Priorities by Company

    This is a frequently asked question.  Yes, it is possible to set up priorities that reflect various available service levels in your business.  If you have VIP clients that will receive a different service level then you may set them up on an individual company basis.

    To do this, please ensure the company is in your CRM system as a company and that you have the ‘is customer’ radio-button selected.  If you want a custom service level for an individual in your CRM system then you can do this too; but you’ll have to add them to their own dummy company in order to do so.  Just use the persons surname with an underscore and a term that makes them easily filterable, for example, Ttidwell_VIP, or Claxton_VIP as their company name and add the ‘individual’ to that ‘holding company’.

    custom service level by company setup
    Ticking the ‘is customer’ option if important alongside the Account Type = Customer

    Again, in recap, if setting up a CRM Company record as a Company that should receive a custom service level on your help desks you need to tick the ‘Is Customer’ radio-check box.  If you want a custom service level for a CRM Contact then you can do this too by adding a dummy CRM company that they can be a member of that you do the same thing with.  This methodology ensures that a trouble ticket raised by any complainant who is recorded in your CRM as being a member of a company will receive the service levels associated with that company.  It is failsafe!

    Once you have added the underlying company then return to the Company List View.

    setting up a company preferences for service level

    Note the pencil icon to edit has a drop-down field next to it?  Click on this dropdown as this will expose the option to edit the Company Preferences.

    edit company preferences

    • Working Calendar – which calendar should be used to determine response time and fix time?  You can use the company default calendar or a customised one.  This is where you can get very clever, by defining a Bronze Calendar, a Silver Calendar and a Gold Calendar each with different working times established in them.  This allows you to easily tier your customer service and its service levels.  Create as many of these calendars as you need to represent your service levels
    • Priorities – you can enable or disable the available service levels so that your own staff cannot downgrade a ticket, for example, to P4 – Low as you have disabled this tier for this type of customer
    • Default – You can set which priority is assigned on the creation of a ticket by a customer by default. Set the level which represents your service level commitment to the client based on time to respond
    • Alerts – if you have persons to be notified when a ticket is opened by any member of the customer company (as per your CRM records) then the people added here will be notified in addition to existing members that man the target help desk itself.  You may add CONTACTS or USERS; so both internal or external entities may be added to the alerts function.  This is useful, for example, if you want to alert the sales team boss of a new ticket from this VIP customer, or indeed, even notifying the target company Supplier Manager that one of their company has just opened up a new ticket

    The ability to customise the priorities and the underlying calendar used to determine the working hours allows your business to setup very customised help desk service levels; indeed; at a company by company level if you want to.  You can do this by having 3 tiers; representing 3 underlying calendars; or you can have a custom calendar and custom priorities (defaults) for any particular company in your CRM.  Either way you have a very flexible and easy to manage help desk solution that satisfies both internal users as well as external customers.

    How to Users and Customers create new requests / service desk tickets?

    Users can be employees as full users in the system with a user login.  They can also be self-service users (externally invited entities like contractors, clients, suppliers or even your customers if you provide them a log in).  Amend these users permissions groups so that they can access the helpdesk to submit new tickets.  User may submit new tickets through the native service desk application with the PLUS BUTTON to add a new ticket; or they can access the list help desk tickets (which they will see as being empty if they aren’t a helpdesk user member!) and then click on the yellow ADD NEW Button. They can also use My World, My Requests and Add a new request and review all their own open/archived tickets.

    Or, you can setup the monitoring of an email inbox which the solution will poll regularly (every 5 minutes or so) for new emails.  Any new emails found in that inbox will be targetted to your chosen help desk, automatically creating a new helpdesk ticket once the Email has been harvested by the platform. (See Email Requests further down this page).

    Priorities

    Categories – Detailed Instructions

    Categories arrange your help desk structure by identifying the nature of the enquiry received by that category in each case.  For example, a general Customer Service help desk may have a range of  typical categories;

    1. Change of Address
    2. Customer Service
    3. General Enquiries
    4. Product Complaint
    5. Returns
    6. Billing
    7. Maintenance

    By defining categories you are better able to indicate to your help desk team what each ticket is about and the nature of the enquiry contained within it.  You can create as many as you need; but don’t make the list too long otherwise your complainants will only ever choose the top option in the list; negating its intrinsic value to you.

    Use the pencil icon to edit existing categories, the trash can to delete them or the yellow Add New button to add new ones.

    Don’t be too specific with the Categories.  You add additional detail with the Service Desk TYPES a little later on.  For example, the Category you call ‘Change of Address’ may actually have 3 underlying types;

    1. Change of Postal Address
    2. Change of Telephone Number
    3. Change of Contact Details

    The mixing of Categories and types allows your help desk to remain easily targetable yet uncluttered with long lists of potential targets for your users to find.  The additional structuring of tickets by Category and Type helps you with your historical reporting and potentially identify areas where your business may improve how it does business.

    Categories

    Request Status Process – Detailed Instructions

    This function allows you to define which of all available ‘Statuses’ is deemed to be the one where the first communication with the complainant will occur.  This is important because until the status of a ticket changes to this state the customer will have no idea that the ticket is actually being looked at or investigated by a help desk member.

    Remember, the time to fix service level is tagged at the beginning of each ticket to the default calendar and has a forecast date/time based on all of the time to respond plus time to fix being added together.  In order for your customers to get a better idea when to expect some form of resolution to their enquiry you should select the status in your help desk setup that will be deemed to be the moment when the 1st communication with the complainant is made.  You will not be able to select step 1 or the final step of a multi-step process.  Why?  Because step 1 always OPENS the ticket (via the Start-up process) and the final step always CLOSES it (via the Closed business process).  The first communication with a complainant happens at some stage between these two points.

    Please pick the point closest to that moment based on how your company deals with its customer or user enquiries typically.  When do you expect your users to be interacting with the complainant on the phone or via email? If you want to add a new step to your process you can edit these and add a new one in the admin area called Status in Service Desk Admin.  Your service level for Time to Fix is triggered by this moment in time when a ticket status changes to the selected entry!

    The business application suite assumes that your time to fix service level can only begin once a ticket has been physically opened by a helpdesk member and that they are doing something with it.  If you feel that your service levels are too wide; then you may give thought to reducing your time to response service level.  Adjust to taste.

    Request Status Process

    Channels – Detailed Instructions

    Channels are where you define the acceptable media or means of communication by which trouble tickets may be opened.  This assists your help desk members in understand how a complaint or ticket was raised; especially in cases where another employee is opening up a ticket on behalf of a complainant.  A good example is a customer phones your front office to make a complaint about a product they just received from you in the post.  The front office worker will open up a new trouble ticket for that customer and on their behalf indicating the channel was ‘By Phone’.

    Add the channels your business typically uses when interacting with the world around it.  Don’t forget forums, online, social media, walk-ins, shop fronts, in person, Email, Fax, SMS…..and so on.  If your business will accept enquiries by this channel type then record it in this dictionary.  The data is used by the complainant or the person submitting on their behalf when raising a new ticket.

    Again, this helps a lot with historical reporting and data accuracy in seeking continuous business improvement.

    Channels

    Types – Detailed Instructions

    Types is a dictionary that adds additional detail to the high level categories across your helpdesk. Referring briefly to the example posted in ‘Categories’ (above) your ‘Change of Address’ Category may contain Types including;

    • Change of Postal Adress
    • Change of Contact Details
    • Change of Telephone Number
    • Change of Name
    • Change of Email address

    When a complainant raises a new help desk or service desk ticket inside the solution they will pick a category and then the dropdown list of associated Types will show.  This provides additional context to the employees manning the help desk in each case.

    New Help Desk tickets raised by polling an Email inbox will target a help desk but will not have a predetermined category or type selected when they are created.  In these cases the help desk member is responsible for setting the relevant category and type when they have read and understood the body of the complaint when accepting the ticket.

    Types

    Series of Email Events – Detailed Instructions

    The Series of Email Events is a powerful function that may assist you in automating some of your help desk or service desk activities.  It automates the delivery of ‘comfort’ or other messages in the form of Emails to the complainant at times set by your configuration of its behaviour.

    You may want a single email to be sent 1 minutes after a ticket has been submitted that acknowledges receipt of the new ticket; with a polite reminder to your complainant what your standard service levels are and then another email an hour later confirming that the ticket is with the team and someone will be responding in due course.  Set up your own ‘comfort messaging’ as determined by each help desk you create.

    In more advanced scenario’s; especially with internal help desks then its even possible to automate an entire business workflow over an extended timeframe; for example, a new employee joins your company;

    1. the HR or Line Manager creates a new help desk ticket into a help desk called ‘New Employee onboarding’ citing the new employee as the user it’s being opened on behalf of
      (Hint, this can even be opened and closed at the same instant so that it goes straight into the archive; but still triggers the series of email events!)
    2. This help desk is configured so that it is based on the series of email events business process
    3. The series of email events is set up and configured so that it sends a general introduction to the company immediately
    4. One hour later it sends another email with details about the key personalities in the company and where to find them and what they do
    5. 4 hours later its sends a copy of the company staffing handbook as a PDF attachment
    6. 1 day later it sends details of how to book your holidays
    7. 1 week later it sends details of how to submit expenses
    8. 90 days later it reminds the employee that the standard probationary period is drawing to a close and to contact HR to validate the next steps

    Use the series of email events to completely automate a series of Emails which is initiated through the simple triggering of a help desk ticket.  Remember, that when you set up a help desk with its underlying template set to use the ‘Series of Email Events’ that the ticket may be opened in a CLOSED state.  It will be immediately archived; but the series of email events will still be triggered.  Your help desk users will not have to interact with the ticket in any form or fashion.

    Adding a new Series of Email Events

    Click the yellow Add New button.  You will be presented with a form asking for a Template Name.  Make it unique, yet easily understandable; especially if you have a lot of email based automation so you can find them again readily when you need to.

    Once you have created the new, but blank template, it is a simple process of adding Events.  The order of events doesn’t matter as each has their own timings;

    • Days – the number of days after the ticket is opened
    • Hours – the number of Hours after the ticket is opened
    • Minutes – the number of Minutes after the ticket is opened
    • Body – describe the contents of each email.  Use the AB field at the end to personalise with field names, for example, {Contact Display Name}
      Add pictures, video’s, tables as necessary.

    You may design each email using the WYSIWYG Editor (What you See is what you Get) or you may use standard HTML.  Hit preview to see the Email in its current form at any time.

    Please note; the timings selected actually break down into epoch seconds; so entering 1 Day is the same as entering 24 Hours or 1,400 minutes.  To send an email 1 hour into the second day you could set the time to 1 Day and 1 Hour, or you could set the hours to 25.  Use whatever sequencing you like, but tend to stick with the some strategy in all Series of Email Events templates to avoid confusing other administrators (or yourself!) at a later time.

    Emails are transmitted by the platform based on their REAL time ordering; not based on the sorting or ordering in the administration area.

    Once a template has been established with at least 1 event in it then any receipt of a new ticket to a help desk that uses the ‘Series of Email Events’ as its underlying business process will trigger the sending of Emails.

    To edit an existing series of email events; click once on the Template Name.  Click the pencil icon to change the template name.  Click on the trash can to delete it.

    To review the contents under each ‘Delay’ click the arrow to the left of each entry as shown in the picture (below);

    example series of email events template
    Example; New employees onboarding series of email events template

    Series of Email Events

    Email Requests – Detailed Instructions

    Receiving and accepting new help desk tickets based on Email submissions is relatively commonplace; but frequently abused.  The prevalence of SPAM and the attaching of viruses and other malicious executables to Email means that your help desk needs to be protected from abuse.

    You can protect yourself from help desk abuse by either requiring your users to submit tickets by logging in as a user or a self-service user and using the Help Desk application suite or via the submission of an email to an email address that is monitored for this purpose.  Typically you will not expose the details of this Email address publically as it will be trawled and used maliciously.

    To further protect your Company from abuse and Email SPAM the Email Requests arriving into the solution MUST have an entry in the CRM platform for the complainant.  In other words; if the email address is not in your CRM platform then the ticket will be refused.  The complainant will be asked kindly by an automated business process to resubmit their ticket using the email address that you hold on file for them.  This is a powerful and useful feature that will also assist your company in light of the new GDPR regulations (General Data Protection Regulations) which come into force in Europe in 2018.  It doesn’t matter if your business is not based in Europe; if you aim to do any form of business into Europe then GDPR will affect your business!

    With all that background set, it is possible to set up an Email inbox that will be checked every 5 minutes by the business applications platform for new Emails that it hasn’t seen before.  It will collect those new emails and import them into the solution.  It will then validate if the sender exists in your CRM solution.  If they do then the ticket will be accepted and created.  The complainant will receive an Email confirmation that their ticket has been accepted.  If there is no matching Email address then the ticket is rejected and an appropriate response in this light is sent to the complainant automatically.

    Set up a new Email inbox to be monitored for Email Requests

    Opening the Email Requests area in Service Desk Admin will open a list overview of all current active/inactive request channels you have created.  By default with a new installation this will be blank.

    To create a new Email Requests solution click on the yellow ADD NEW box to the top right of the screen.

    add a new email request based help desk
    Adding a new Email Request based help desk channel

    • Help Desk – which help desk will tickets submitted via this harvester be attributed to?
    • Channel – which channel will be selected? Email could be the default, but you may have another email address which only accepts forwarded Emails from employees in which case you’d set the channel as Forwarded.  See Channels in Help Desk (earlier in this page for the details)
    • Email – what email address is being monitored? eg support-cw@trivaeo.com
    • Connection – POP3 or IMAP are supported
    • Server – the IP Address or hostname of the POP3/IMAP Email Server that hosts this Email account?
    • Port – See your Email account details for this.  110 is typical for POP3 and 143 for IMAP, Gmail is IMAP on 993 with SSL, Gmail via POP3 is 995 with SSL and so on.  Office365 is Port 993 with SSL for IMAP
    • Require SSL – typically YES, select checked for ON
    • User Name – the Email user name; typically name@domain.tld although some mail hosts allow use of name only
    • Password – the login password for the user named above

    On completion and submission of this form, by clicking the OK button the system will put the new email harvester in a ‘pending’ status.  During the servers next polling sequence it will attempt to log in to that Email inbox and it will send a test email to it and attempt to retrieve it.  If succesful the status of the Email harvesting will change to Active.  Any new emails submitted to that Email inbox from the moment the solution becomes ‘Active’ will be harvested, imported and used to create a new help desk ticket.  The complainant will be the email address of the submitting user, the help desk the assigned help desk used in the form (above) and the service level based on the defaults established for that help desk.  Please note the category and type of request will be blank and should be completed by your downstream help desk users as they open and deal with tickets in the system.

    If for any reason the polling of the target mailbox fails then the account will go into an Inactive status.  Repair the issue that caused the failure in your Email settings and if necessary resend the Test Email by clicking on the dropdown list next to the listed inactive help desk to ‘Send Test Email’.

    The Email address used to accept help desk tickets should be resilient, trusted and hardened to high levels using enterprise grade antivirus and spam gateways (these are offered by default with cloud based services like GSuite, Gmail, Office365 and many others.  You should avoid publishing links to the Email address publically so they can be easily trawled by bots/spiders.  Use Javascript to mask the Email address from bots if necessary.  Do what you reasonably can to prevent SPAM being targetted to the Email inbox.  A good way of doing this is to use a form on your website that subsequently sends an email to the inbox without ever actually publishing details of the Email address itself.