Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Continuing to Grow the Team

WebhooksToday we have the pleasure of announcing the addition of yet another senior team member. Mark van de Griendt has taken the position of VP Business Development within the ITRP Institute. He has a long and successful history working for companies like Sun Microsystems, RES Software, ORSYP and Treasury Intelligence Solutions. Most of his career has been dedicated to accelerating the growth of enterprise software vendors in the northwestern region of Europe.

Mark van de GriendtAt the ITRP Institute, Mark's role is to ensure that he supports large organizations through their evaluation of ITRP as part of their enterprise service management (ESM) tool selection process. He works closely together with Nevlynn Janssen, our VP Marketing, who also recently joined the ITRP Institute.

Mark already made the transition from traditional enterprise software sales a long time ago. He was quick to embrace the new SaaS onboarding model that does not require customers make any long-term commitments. Apart from being a knowledgeable and thoughtful professional, Mark is also known to go the extra mile to help customers prevent unnecessary costs. We are very happy to have him on board.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Open Requests by Organization

NoteAn additional report has been made available in the 'Reports' section of the Analytics console. It is called 'Open Requests by Organization' and shows how many requests still need to be completed for each customer organization.

ITRP report - Open Requests by Organization

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Add Direct Chat Links

ChatThe 'Contact Details' section of the Person form now allows chat links to be added. If your organization is already using Facebook's Workplace, for example, it is possible to use ITRP's import functionality to add a link for each employee to allows others to initiate a direct Work Chat with that person.

Adding a chat link to a person record
Specialists are able to add chat links to their own person record. That allows the them to work together using their preferred chat application.

To make it easy to start a direct chat from ITRP, the chat links are available in a person's preview and in the Service Desk console.

Person record with chat links in the ITRP Service Desk console


Below are some syntax examples of chat links for some popular chat applications:

Work Chat
  • https://widget.facebook.com/chat/t/100015006185249

Slack
  • https://widget.slack.com/messages/@ellen/
  • slack://user?team=T09DSTA1H&id=U2MAF3D6D

Skype
  • skype:ellenbrown?chat
  • skype:live:aef63e62c3935a59?chat

HipChat
  • hipchat://widget.hipchat.com/user/@ellenb



To provide some additional integration flexibility, the Custom Links functionality has been extended with the following parameters:

  • person.chat_workchat
  • person.chat_slack
  • person.chat_skype
  • person.chat_hipchat

This makes it possible to add a custom link to the Actions menu with which a direct chat can be started.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Including Fields in Email Templates

Email Template FieldsMany organizations customize the information they include in the email notifications that ITRP generates on their behalf. For example, an external service provider may include the name of the customer organization in the email notification that is generated when a request is assigned to a team.

Figuring out what data can be included in the Subject or Body of an email notification could be a little cumbersome. In addition, administrators need to add such fields using their exact syntax. This has been made a lot easier.

Adding a field to an email template
Administrators can now simply type two curly brackets {{ in the Subject or Body of an email template. This causes the complete list of available fields for the email template to pop up. Selecting one causes the field to be added to the template in the correct syntax.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Growing for Growth

WebhooksAnother senior member has joined the ITRP Institute. We are proud to announce today that Nevlynn Janssen has joined as VP Marketing. Nevlynn is a seasoned brand builder who has worked for both European and U.S. enterprise software vendors.

Nevlynn JanssenHis objective is to structure the ITRP Institute's sales-driven marketing process. This comes down to making sure that organizations, which would benefit greatly from the ITRP service, are made aware of ITRP's unique capabilities when they are getting ready to embrace enterprise service management (ESM).

In addition to his activities at the ITRP Institute, Nevlynn also acts as a mentor to several startups at Startupbootcamp. His hands-on experience with modern marketing methodologies makes Nevlynn an extraordinary asset as the ITRP Institutes steps up its growth rate.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reports

NoteA new section has become available in the Analytics section. It is simply called 'Reports'. The Reports section is where, over time, more and more reports will be made available. Right now, you will already find a total of 11 reports in this section.

Reports section of the ITRP Analytics console
Select a report and it opens up to the right of the report names. The information that the reports display is based on the most current data.

ITRP report - Open Requests by Service
All of these reports offer drill-down capability. That means that when you click on a data segment (e.g. a bar in a bar chart), the records that make up this segment open in a new browser tab for a more detailed review.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Use Email to Add Notes

EmailWhen you receive an automated email notification from ITRP, for example because a request has been registered for you, you can reply to this email. Your reply then gets added to the request as a new note. You can also send an email to ITRP that is not a reply to an automated notification. As long as the email has the request ID in its subject, ITRP's Mail API ensures that the body of the email gets added as a new note to the request. If the email includes any attachments, they get added to the note as well.

This capability has now been extended beyond requests. So when you send a new email to ITRP, you can include the ID (i.e. the record number) of a problem, release, change, change task, project or project task in the subject of the email. When ITRP's Mail API processes this email, it looks up the record to which the note needs to be added by first going through all requests that the sender is allowed to update and that are either still open or were completed within the past 28 days. If the number in the subject does not match, the Mail API continues by looking through the problems that the sender can update and that were not already solved more than 28 days ago. If there are no matches for problems, it continues with the releases, etc.

When there are multiple numbers in the subject, the Mail API starts with the first number. If it does not find any matches, it continues with the next number in the subject, etc. If no matches are found, the Mail API opens a new request using the information from the email.

The details about the rules that the Mail API follows can be found in the ITRP Developer documentation.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Internal Notes Visible in All Support Domains

NoteMore and more organizations are setting up multiple accounts in ITRP so that all the departments that support the core business (e.g. IT, HR, Purchasing, etc.) can have their own support domain. The specialists in these domains can all work together seamlessly, but until recently their internal notes could be seen only by other specialists within the same support domain.

This has now changed. An example may be best to illustrate how internal notes can be used across support domains.

Adding a field to an email template
Let's assume that an HR specialist forwards a request to IT. An IT specialist subsequently adds some instructions to the request for HR. Because these instructions are not intended for the end user who submitted the request, the IT specialist writes them in an internal note. Even though the IT specialists and HR specialists work in different support domains, the HR specialist is now able to see the internal note. That's because the 2 support domains are linked to the same ITRP directory account.

The HR specialist might also have used the Mentions functionality in an internal note to ask a specific IT specialist for the instructions. That way, there would not even have been a need to forward the request to the IT support domain.

It comes down to this: Any specialist is now able to mention anyone who has the Specialist role of any one of your company's support domains in an internal note. End users are still not able to see the internal notes, which is why they cannot be mentioned in them. The same goes for specialists of external customers and managed service providers that have an ITRP account that has a trust relation with one of your organization's support domain accounts.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Timesheet Summaries for End Users

Time EntryThe Timesheet Summaries feature has been made available to end users. They can access their timesheet summaries from the Calendar view. When they deselect the selected date (by pressing it) the 'Time allocation' summary is displayed for the month.

Timesheet summary in ITRP Mobile
The options 'Service' or 'Customer' can be pressed to switch to a different summary for the month.

On a PC or tablet, the total for a week can be pressed to get a summary for that week only. On a smartphone the weekly totals are not visible, but the mobile interface makes it possible to get a weekly summary by pressing just right of a week.

Mention Any End User

SearchMentions have become extremely popular in ITRP. When you mention someone in a note, this note gets send via email to the person you mentioned.

Until now you have only been able to mention people who already had access to a request, but many users have asked for this limitation to be lifted. That would make it possible for them to involve others (including managers) in the completion of requests whenever their input is needed.

Selecting someone to mention
So we started to work on this idea. Now, any end user of a request's account or its directory account can be mentioned. If this person did not already have access to the request, he or she is instantly authorized to open it and add notes. If the request was submitted by an external customer, however, there is still a limitation that ensures that people from another external customer cannot be mentioned.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Calculate a Calendar Duration

CalendarThis post is intended for developers who build and maintain integrations with ITRP. A new feature has been added to the REST API. This feature makes it easy to calculate a duration.

ITRP Calendar
When you specify a calendar, a start time and an end time, the API will return the number of minutes between these two moments, taking into account only the active hours of the calendar. Better still, any holidays that are related to the calendar are excluded.

The cURL example below shows how to obtain the number of active minutes of calendar 42 for the month of January 2020:

$ curl -u "api-token:x" -X GET https://api.itrp.com/v1/calendars/42/duration?
start=2020-01-01T00:00:00Z&end=2020-02-01T00:00:00Z


Retrieving a duration in calendar minutes allows developers to, for example, automate request updates after 80% of their available resolution time has passed. More detailed information about this new API feature can be found in the ITRP Developer documentation.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Identifying People by Their Initials

PersonYou may have noticed that ITRP now shows the initials of a person when a picture of this person is not yet available. This is a little more informative than ITRP's default person icon, especially when you are reviewing the notes of a request:

ITRP Notes with Initials
The picture or initials are also displayed on the right side of the toolbar. This is where the Sign Out icon used to be. When you click on your picture or initials in the toolbar, you will see the following menu options:

ITRP User ProfileThe 'My Profile' option allows you to update your personal settings, preferences and password (the section for setting a new password is hidden when single sign-on has been activated).

The 'Help & Support' option and the 'Sign Out' option are self-explanatory.

The advantage of moving the 'Sign Out' option to this menu is that people will not accidentally log off from ITRP when they had a long day and missed when trying to click on the 'Time Spent Today' indicator.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Add Items to Your Watchlist

WatchlistLet's say that you just assigned a request to a colleague, but you want to keep track of its progress. This has just become much easier. All you need to do is press the Watchlist button.

Watchlist toggle button
The Watchlist button is available for requests, problems, releases, changes, change tasks, projects and project tasks. After you have added one of these records to your watchlist, you receive an email notification every time someone else adds a note to it. In addition, a small blue dot becomes visible in the toolbar over the new Notifications Center icon.

ITRP Notifications Center
When you click on this Notifications Center icon, you will see all the items on your watchlist. To remove an item from your watchlist, simply select it and click on the Watchlist button again.

If you spend a lot of time in ITRP, you probably do not want to receive your watchlist notifications via email. To switch this off, open your watchlist, click on the 3 small dots in the header of the Watchlist view, and deselect the 'Send Watchlist Emails'.

Send Watchlist Emails option selected

Monday, March 27, 2017

Drill Down through Key Contact Reports

ReportThe reports that can be made available to key contacts of a support organization now offer drill-down capability. For example, when a key contact opens the pie chart that shows the number of open requests by impact level, this person is now able to click on the slice with top-impact requests:

ITRP Mobile report with drill down capability
From the list of requests, the key contact is able to drill down further into the details of each individual request.

This should make the reports in ITRP Mobile considerably more useful. Providing the key contacts of external customers access to these real-time request and SLA reports can be a competitive advantage for managed service providers. For internal support departments, these reports offer a level of transparency that is sure to impress the organization's managers.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Underpinning SLAs in SLA Reports

SLAThe 'Underpinning SLAs' section has been added to the SLA reports that ITRP generates. This new section can be really useful when investigating SLA violations. It shows the service level agreements that are in place to help deliver the service.

If any of the targets of an underpinning SLA have not been met, a red dot is presented in front of it. This makes it possible to see, at a glance, whether the service levels of the enabling services are within target.

ITRP SLA report with underpinning SLAs
To make it possible to digest this information as quickly as possible, the icon of the related service is displayed in front of the name of each SLA.

When you click on one of the underpinning SLAs, its SLA report opens in a separate browser tab. From there, the investigation can proceed by opening the requests that affected this SLA, or by reviewing its underpinning SLAs.

Monday, March 20, 2017

More API Options

APIThis post is for the people who build and maintain integrations with the ITRP service. Several options have been added to the REST API that may be very useful for certain integrations. All of these options use the credentials of the ITRP user to provide data that could be of specific interest to this user.

For example, an option has been added that allows the user to retrieve all organizations for which he/she is either the manager or the substitute manager.

Below you will find the complete list of new options:
  • Requests
List all requests which requested by person or requested for person is the user:
GET /requests/requested_by_or_for_me

List all requests which requested for person belonged to the same organization as the user at the time the request was created:
GET /requests/requests_of_my_organization

List all requests that are assigned to one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /requests/assigned_to_my_team

List all requests that are assigned to the user:
GET /requests/assigned_to_me

List all requests which requested by person is the user and which status is ‘Waiting for Customer’:
GET /requests/waiting_for_me

List all requests that were completed less than 6 months ago and which are linked to a service instance of a service for which the user is the problem manager:
GET /requests/problem_management_review

  • Knowledge Articles
List all knowledge articles that are linked to a service for which the the user is the knowledge manager:
GET /knowledge_articles/managed_by_me

  • Problems
List all problems which manager is the user:
GET /problems/managed_by_me

List all problems that are assigned to one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /problems/assigned_to_my_team

List all problems that are assigned to the user:
GET /problems/assigned_to_me

  • Releases
List all releases which manager is the user:
GET /releases/managed_by_me

  • Changes
List all changes which manager is the user:
GET /changes/managed_by_me

  • Tasks
List all tasks that are part of a change which manager is the user:
GET /tasks/managed_by_me

List all tasks that are assigned to one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /tasks/assigned_to_my_team

List all tasks that are assigned to the user:
GET /tasks/assigned_to_me

List all approval tasks that are assigned to the user and which status in different from ‘Registered’:
GET /tasks/approval_by_me

  • Projects
List all projects which manager is the user:
GET /projects/managed_by_me

  • Project Tasks
List all project tasks which manager is the user:
GET /project_tasks/managed_by_me

List all project tasks that are assigned to the user:
GET /project_tasks/assigned_to_me

List all project tasks that are assigned to the user and which status is ‘Assigned’, ‘Accepted’, ‘In Progress’ or ‘Waiting for…’:
GET /project_tasks/open_to_me

  • Products
List all products which support team is one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /products/supported_by_my_teams

  • Configuration Items
List all configuration items which support team is one of the teams that the user is a member of:
GET /cis/supported_by_my_teams

  • Organizations
List all organizations which manager or substitute is the user:
GET /organizations/managed_by_me

Thursday, March 16, 2017

QR Codes for Knowledge Articles

QR Code for Short URL in ITRPYou were already able to use ITRP to generate short URLs and corresponding QR codes for configuration items and request templates. Now you can do this for knowledge articles as well.

Short URL for ITRP Knowledge Article QR Code
QR Code for ITRP Knowledge ArticleThis allows organizations to stick a QR code sticker on everything that their staff may have questions about. When the QR code is scanned, the instructions of the knowledge article open for the employee in ITRP Mobile.

Active CIs per Product

ProductTwo nice features have been added to the Configuration Management functionality. The first is an additional column in the product views that shows the number of active CIs. The active CIs are the configuration items that have a status that is different from ‘Archived’, ‘To Be Removed’, ‘Lost or Stolen’ or ‘Removed’.

Active configuration items per product
The second feature that was added is the summary in the 'Configuration Items' section of the Product form.

CI summary of a product
Both features are intended to assist configuration managers when they need to know how many CIs of a certain product are supported by the organization, how many more have been ordered, how many have already been removed, etc.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Portfolio Management - Waterline Overview

Waterline OverviewThe Bubble Chart Analysis was recently introduced. Now it's time for another important tool for the Portfolio Management process. It is the Waterline Overview. You can find it in the 'Portfolio Management' section of the Analytics console.

This overview includes all projects which 'Budget Allocated' box is not checked. If a proposed project looks attractive, a portfolio manager can drag it above the waterline. Each time a project gets moved above or below the waterline, the totals that are displayed in the waterline are updated.

This makes it easier for organizations to decide which projects can be funded without exceeding the total capacity (in terms of internal effort), or the total budget, that is available for project implementations.



The ability to filter the Waterline Overview by program can help a program manager avoid a budget overrun for his or her program.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Portfolio Management - Bubble Chart Analysis

Bubble ChartTo help organizations decide which projects to fund, a bubble chart has been made available. It can be found in the new 'Portfolio Management' section of the Analytics console. This bubble chart shows all proposed projects for which a budget has not yet been allocated.

The higher the expected value of a project, the farther it moves to the right. And the higher the anticipated risk, the higher up the project is presented in the bubble chart. The size of a bubble represents its estimated return on investment (ROI).



The color of a bubble represents the program that the project is associated with. Clicking on the name of a program below the chart removes all projects that belong to this program.

Once funding has been approved for a project, it can be excluded from further portfolio analysis. This can be done by clicking on the 'Mark as Budget Allocated' option, or by checking the 'Budget allocated' checkbox that is available in the project's 'Assessment' section.

Budget allocated checkbox in Assessment section of ITRP project

Monday, March 6, 2017

Limit Access of Key Contacts

AccountThe Key Contact role can now be limited to specific support domain accounts. This makes it possible, for example, to give someone the Key Contact role for the Facilities Management and IT domains, but not for HR.

Define key contacts per support domain
The result is then that this person can see all requests from his/her colleagues, with the exception of their HR requests, which could potentially contain privacy-sensitive information.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Project Task Assignment

TeamIn many cases, a project manager will start to plan a new project by adding tasks to it. You can see how easy it is to add tasks to a project in the Project Registration video.

After some tasks have been added to a project, the project manager can switch from the Gantt Chart to the Assignees view. There, a card is presented for each member of the project team.

Project team members in Assignee view
A card is displayed for:
  • the project manager,
  • the assignees of the project's tasks,
  • the owner of the service that is linked to the project,
  • the requester of any requests that are linked to the project,
  • the manager of any problems that are linked to the project, and
  • the manager of any changes that are linked to the project.

If you need to add a person to the project team, you can click on the last card, which says: "Add Person..."



As you can see in the above video, a person can be assigned to a project task simply by dragging his/her card onto the task. To remove a person from a task, click on the little Remove button in front of his/her name.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ITRP in Danish

DanishOrganizations with operations in Denmark are now able to benefit from the premium service management features that ITRP offers without having to waste any time on translations.

When Danish end users and support specialists set their language preference to “Dansk”, their ITRP user interface presents itself in Danish. Switching to “Dansk” also ensures that they receive their automatically generated email notifications in Danish.

Requests header in Korean
We have our partner Syscom to thank for this translation. They will also maintain this translation going forward.