Sunday, February 2, 2014

Introducing Service Categories

Service CategoryThese days it is not uncommon for an IT department of a large organization to be responsible for the support of more than 40 services. This number has increased gradually over time, primarily because the number of client-server and cloud-based application services has continued to grow.

When an end user starts to submit a request in Self Service, only the services for which this person is covered by an SLA are listed to ensure that the number of options does not become overwhelming. In some organizations, however, some end users are covered for more than 20 services, making the list a bit too long.

To reduce the number of options that end users can choose from when they submit a new request, companies can now group services into categories. The result is that end users will first be asked to select the type of service for which they need support. Once they have made a selection from the short list of categories, they can select a specific service.

List of service categories
Not all services need to belong to a service category, though. If a user is covered for a service that does not belong to a category, then this service will be displayed in the list of categories, so that it can be selected without first having to select a category.

Similarly, when a user is only covered for one of the services in a category, then this service will be displayed in the initial list. This avoids a situation where someone selects a category only to be asked to make a selection from a list that only contains one service.

The Service categories are easy to maintain. Account administrators and service level managers can do this in the Settings console.

Service category in Edit mode
There, the categories can be created and related to services. A description can be provided for each category to help end users select the correct one. Adding an icon can speed up the selection for end users who frequently submit requests.