Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flat Toolbar Design

SaveThe icons and buttons of the ITRP toolbar have been redesigned to make them easier to recognize.

Toolbar buttons - left
Toolbar buttons - left
Save toolbar buttonThe Edit button received a special makeover. Now, when you press this button to open a record in Edit mode, the button is updated to show the 'save' symbol.

If you are unsure about the purpose of a button, just hover over it with your mouse cursor and a short explanation will appear.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

More Distinct Record Icons

InboxTo make the record-type icons stand out more clearly in the Inbox console, the small 'form' symbol has been removed. This makes it easier distinguish between the different record types.

Enhanced record icons in Inbox
To ensure that the 'form' symbol was removed consistently throughout the application, the following 6 record icons (or avatars) were affected:

Old and new record icons

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Descriptions for Time Entries

Time allocationSome organizations have internal or external customers that require a description of the time that has been spent for them. In such cases, the administrator can check the new box 'Description required' in the relevant time allocations.

Timesheet in Calendar in view
This ensures that the Description field becomes available when someone is registering time for one of these allocations. The Description field is required to ensure that no one forgets to enter a short description when this needed.

Timesheet in Calendar in view

Monday, June 6, 2016

Add Time Entries for a Whole Week

Time entryThe Time Tracking functionality has been extended with a helpful feature that makes it possible to quickly register your time for a whole week.

Time Spent Today toolbar buttonTo access this new feature, click on the Time Spent Today toolbar button to open your timesheet for the current month. Next, move your mouse cursor toward a weekly total. This causes a blue + icon to appear next to the weekly total.

Timesheet in Calendar in view
Click on this blue + icon to open the 'Add Time Entries for Week' form. By default, the time allocations that you used last week are already selected. More time allocations can be added as needed.

Add Time Entries for Week form
The total time spent is presented just below each weekday. If you had already registered some time for the week, e.g. because you resolved some requests, this time is included in the totals.

When you place the cursor in one of the boxes, the remaining time for that day is automatically filled out. Entering a number automatically overwrites this value. Numbers between 1 and 9 are considered hours, unless they are preceded by the colon ( : ) character. Higher numbers are interpreted as minutes, unless followed by a colon. In most cases, this should avoid the need for typing in colons, which makes registering time a little easier still.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Adjusting Time Entries During Timesheet Reviews

Time entryThe 'Timesheets' section of the Analytics console allows managers and their substitutes to review the timesheets of the people who belong to their organization. A new feature has been added to make it possible to adjust the time entries of a timesheet during its review. A manager or substitute can now simply click on a time entry to open it.

Time entries of timesheet
Once a time entry has been opened, its time spent, date and allocation can be edited. The time entry can also be deleted. If it is already locked, a correction can be created for it.

Time entry in Edit mode
This functionality is available also for administrators. Administrators can review and update the timesheets of people who belong to the organizations that are registered in the account for which they have the Account Administrator or Directory Administrator role.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SMTX Strengthens the ITRP Partner Network

NetherlandsThis week it is our pleasure to announce that SMTX has joined the ITRP Partner Network. SMTX offers a number of advanced service catalog and request fulfillment products for large organizations with service management needs that cannot easily be met by traditional enterprise-class ITSM tools.

SMTX logoNow that ITRP has repeatedly demonstrated that it can meet most of these requirements without customization, SMTX has decided to add ITRP to its solutions portfolio. With ITRP, their customers can benefit from a single corporate self service portal that their employees can use to securely obtain support from IT, HR, Purchasing, Legal, etc. The employees can be served in multiple languages and their requests can trigger complex workflows that allow multiple internal and external support providers to work together seamlessly.

The extensive experience that SMTX's consultants have gained over the years implementing for organizations that demand more from their service management solutions makes them a perfect fit for the ITRP partner community. From its offices in the Netherlands and Belgium, SMTX serves enterprises and government agencies in the Benelux and Germany.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Allow Overtime

Timesheet SettingsThe new Time Tracking functionality allows organizations to specify the number of work hours in a day and in a week. This makes it possible for ITRP to automatically fill out the day's remaining time when someone is registering a new time entry.

Time Spent Today toolbar buttonIt also allows the value in the Time Spent Today button to be presented as a percentage of a normal workday.

Apart from the duration of a workday and workweek, organization can also indicate in their timesheet settings whether their employees are allowed to register more time than there are work hours in a day or week. In the past this could be done by checking the 'Allow overtime' box. From now on, organizations can be more specific, because this checkbox has been replaced by two separate boxes: 'Allow workday overtime' and 'Allow workweek overtime'.

Timesheet Settings - Allocation Time Tracking
This makes it possible for organizations to, for example, limit the time that their employees can register to 8 hours per day, but to still allow these people to add up to 8 hours for a Sunday maintenance window after they already registered 40 hours for Monday through Friday.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Managing 1000s of Relations

PerformanceMany of the organizations that use ITRP have enormous infrastructures to manage. The numbers they deal with on a daily basis can be dazzling. In such environments it is critical that the service management application remains responsive despite the amount of data that is maintained in it.

To make it practical to manage records that may have thousands of relations with other records, a performance enhancement was recently implemented. This enhancement ensures that when such records are opened, only the first few of their relations get downloaded for display in the form.

Service instance with many configuration items
The service instance in the above example is made up of over 2,000 configuration items. After opening this service instance, the user can browse through the related configuration items using the Next (>) button. To quickly jump to a specific CI, its label and/or name can be entered in the search box.

This new feature, which allows users to page through a record's relations, is available in several places within the application (e.g. for the covered people of an SLA and the requests that are linked to a change). To ensure that this features does not become an unnecessary distraction, however, it only shows up when there are many related records.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Correcting Time Entries

Time entryLast month the Time Tracking functionality was delivered. One of the nice features that user could immediately benefit from was the ability to edit their time entries when they accidentally entered an incorrect amount of time in a request, problem or task.

Time Spent Today toolbar buttonTo edit a time entry, a user clicks on the Time Spent Today button, selects the time entry that needs to be edited, adjusts it as needed and saves the update. A user can also delete his/her time entries and create new ones to replace them.

Time entry in Edit mode
The manager of an organization, as well as his/her substitute, can adjust the registered time for all people of their organization. They are able to add, update and delete the time entries for these employees. Administrators can do this for all people of all organizations that are registered in their account. They can do this by clicking on the Time Spent Today button, switching to the 'List' view, and selecting the person for whom the registered time needs to be adjusted.

List view with selected person displayed
As soon as a date has been locked, however, it is no longer possible to make any changes. Even administrators are not able to do this for locked dates. Dates are typically locked just before the invoices are generated or before internal chargebacks are performed.

When it turns out that someone made a mistake and the dates with the incorrect time entries have already been locked, then there is still a way to make the necessary corrections. Let's say for example that last month a specialist worked full time on a project for 3 weeks, but he accidentally used the wrong time allocation to register his time. In such cases, an administrator can look up one of the locked time entries and select the option 'Make Correction'.

Locked time entry
After pressing this option, a special time entry is opened. By default, it is set to the same values as the incorrect time entry, except that the time spent value is negative and the date is set to the current date. It is possible to select a different date as long as it is not locked. The time spent value can also be adjusted. In our example a correction for 3 weeks worth of effort is required for the 'TOP' project.

Time entry correction of -120 hours
By registering this correction, the customer for this project will receive a credit for last month's incorrectly invoiced 120 hours at the end of the current billing cycle. But now one more correction needs to be made. The customer for which the specialist performed the work still needs to be invoiced. To ensure that this gets done, another correction can be opened from one of the incorrect time entries of last month. This time, however, a positive time spent value of 120 hours will need to be entered and the correct time allocation must be selected.

Time entry correction of +120 hours
The corrections are easy to distinguish from the regular time entries because they are presented in red. They are excluded from the calculations that determine the maximum amount of time spent that can be entered.

List of time entries with 2 corrections
Having the Correction feature available provides organizations the flexibility to handle the inevitable time entry mistakes that will be made every now and then.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ITSM University Joins the ITRP Partner Network

United States of AmericaThe service management experts of ITSM University are some the most experienced in the U.S.A. As part of their industry research, they have closely tracked the progress of ITRP for more than 4 years already. A few months ago they decided that the time has come to consider ITRP a field-proven, enterprise-class, ITSM solution.

ITSM University logoThe unique out-of-the-box benefits that ITRP provides to large enterprises (such as secure collaboration with other organizations, tracking of SLAs from external service providers, and the fastest application response times globally) has prompted ITSM University to partner with the ITRP Institute. The goal of our partnership is to deliver ITSM excellence for large organizations here in the United States.

We are proud to welcome ITSM University as an official member of the ITRP Partner Network.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Timesheet Review and Locking

Time EntryLast week the new Time Tracking functionality was announced and the basic features that allow employees to register their time were reviewed. What was not yet explained is how managers and their substitutes can review the time that the employees have spent.

In the Analytics console, the 'Timesheets' section has been added for this purpose. When managers and substitutes access this section, they can review the timesheets of the employees of their organization. They can change the selected month and year to see the timesheets for a different month. If the user is the manager or substitute of more than one organization, then one of these organizations can be selected so that its employee's timesheets can be reviewed.

Time Allocation
The option 'Click the lock to prevent further changes' allows the manager or substitute to lock all timesheets of the selected month for all employees of the organization. Before using this option, however, it is best to review the individual timesheets.

By clicking on a person, this person's timesheet for the selected month is displayed.

Time Allocation
The option 'Click the lock to prevent further changes by this person for this month' can be used to lock the employee's timesheet for the entire month.

Clicking on a specific date makes it possible to review each time entry of the person for that day.

Time Allocation
It is also possible to review a whole week by clicking on the weekly total in the rightmost column of the timesheet. When a whole week is selected, all of the employee's time entries are listed by weekday below the timesheet.

Time Allocation
The option 'Click the lock to prevent further changes by this person for this week' is available to lock the whole week for the selected person. This is useful for managers who review the timesheets on a weekly basis.

Time Allocation
After locking a week or month for a person, or after locking a month for all employees of the organization, it is no longer possible to make any changes for the locked dates. This makes it possible to close out a period before the invoices (or internal chargebacks) are prepared.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Impressions from ITRP Connect 2016

TrustYesterday's ITRP Connect event was simply wonderful. It was great to see so many familiar faces from so many countries.

Presentation Jean-Marie Van Cutsem, Deloitte
Some of the largest ITRP customers and partners shared their experiences. The topics on Time Tracking, HR and the new EU Data Protection Regulation received a lot of interest.

Presentation Klaus Konwalin, techwork
The two breakout sessions were popular with the technical enthusiasts. They provided much inspiration and an opportunity to ask detailed questions.

Presentation Steven Lots, InfraVision
As the day progressed, people who had never met before started telling each other their ITRP journey. They will bring back many ideas that their organizations will benefit from.

Presentation Andreas Lengauer, techwork
The way everyone got involved made this event special. Thank you all for a fabulous day. Your support is what has made ITRP so successful.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Assignment Count

APIThe assignment_count field has been made available in the Requests API. This field keeps track of the number of times a request was assigned to a new team. What makes this field so special is that its value is different depending on the ITRP account from which a request’s data is retrieved.

An example will help to illustrate this. Let's say that a request was submitted by an end user and that it was initially routed to the service desk of account ‘A’. Subsequently, the service desk passed this request on to a support team of account ‘B’. This team reviewed the request and reassigned it to another team of account ‘B’.

Now, when account ‘A’ uses the Requests API to look up the assignment count for the request, the response will be 1. But if account ‘B’ does the same thing, the response will be 2. Accounts ‘A’ and ‘B’ can only see how many times a request was assigned to one of their teams; they cannot see how many times a request was assigned to a team of another account.

There are some interesting things that can be done with the assignment_count field. For example, in case of an internal service desk it is now possible to look up the assignment count for all completed requests which team equals the account’s service desk team. A value of 1 would indicate a first line resolution.

curl -k -u "api-token:x" -H "X-ITRP-Account: weu-it" -X GET "https://api.itrp.com/v1/requests/completed?fields=id,subject&team_id=22&assignment_count=1"

If first line support is outsourced and an end user submits a request, this request gets assigned to the external service desk team. This is a team that belongs to another account. If this service desk team resolves the request, and the account that outsourced its service desk function looks up the assignment count, the value that will be returned is 0. That’s because the request was never assigned to a team of their account.

curl -k -u "api-token:x" -H "X-ITRP-Account: wna-it" -X GET "https://api.itrp.com/v1/requests/completed?fields=id,subject,team&assignment_count=0"

And some organizations may want to look up the assignment count for all of their open requests. An assignment count of 4 or greater might mean that something is going wrong with a request.

curl -k -u "api-token:x" -H "X-ITRP-Account: wdc" -X GET "https://api.itrp.com/v1/requests/open?fields=id,subject,assignment_count&assignment_count=>=4&sort=-assignment_count&per_page=10"

Note that in the above examples, api-token represents your ITRP API token. You can find your API token in the 'Personal Information' section of the Settings console.

Give it a try. You can probably think of some more ways to make use of this new API feature.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Introducing Time Allocations

Time AllocationMany organizations already ask their support specialists to specify how much time they spend working on assignments (i.e. requests, problems and tasks). But some organizations have indicated that they would like to be able to capture the rest of the workday as well. They want to know what else people are spending their time on.

That is why it is now possible to register time allocations in ITRP. Time allocations are essentially categories that employees can select when they register their time.

Time Allocation
Account administrators can register time allocations in the 'Time Allocations' section of the Settings console. When an organization would like its people to be able to select some of these time allocations, the administrator can enable this feature in the Timesheet Settings record to which the organization is linked.

Timesheet Settings
Once the 'Allocation time tracking' option has been enabled for an organization, the manager and his/her substitute are able to relate the time allocations that are relevant for their people to this organization.

Organization
Time Spent Today toolbar buttonAs soon as one or more time allocations have been linked to an organization, the people of this organization are able to register time entries for them. A support specialist can do this in the full UI by clicking on the toolbar button that displays the time that he/she has already spent today.

My Timesheet in ITRP MobileIn ITRP Self Service and ITRP Mobile, users can register time entries by selecting the 'My Timesheet' option.

The user's timesheet pops up when this option is selected. It offers a large 'plus' icon in the upper right corner.

Timesheet
Pressing the 'plus' icon starts the registration of a new time entry. The user is asked to select a time allocation.

Select Time Allocation
If the time allocation requires the user to select a service and/or customer organization, then the user will be prompted for these. The new time entry is then displayed.

Time Entry
The time spent is automatically set to the remaining time for the selected day. If this needs to be adjusted, the user can press the time. A simple interface, which takes into account the organization's timesheet settings, subsequently allows the user to adjust the time spent value as needed.