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Service desk managers continually strive to deliver service to the satisfaction of customers. Yet every organization routinely has at least a few requests not fulfilled within agreed upon SLAs. To be fair to service desk agents, there are a few incidents that are tough to crack. Some issues may not be reproducible, some may occur intermittently, some may be too complex to be resolved by level one agents. Such incidents may require collaboration with other support teams. The transition of business application design and development from IT to the business has further increased support challenges for service desks.


Mature service management organizations follow best practices, some already laid down in ITIL processes, to deal with such tough incidents, through processes such as major incident management, problem  management, change management, and configuration management. Root cause analyses are performed through problem management to minimize impact,  identify known errors, and determine workarounds. Any changes identified through problem management must be planned and executed through change management. Further, changes may also have to align with release management. Even if an organization follows these best practices, the visual depiction of relationships is not easy. Most ITSM applications do not do a good job of facilitating communication of relationships within the system.


Imagine an incident that has been open for too long, to the disappointment of the end-user, who escalates the issue to the service desk manager. Typically, the service desk manager would check with the service desk agent to whom the incident is assigned why the incident is open for so long. The agent would explain that resolution of the incident is being investigated through a problem. Upon further investigation, it would turn out that the problem has identified a change that must be executed before the problem can be closed. All of these complexities can be mind-boggling to comprehend and act on.


This is where SmartView can be of tremendous help. SmartView is a map of relationships of any record with other records. In the context of an incident, SmartView shows the incident, and all of its relationships, such as CIs, assets, problems, changes, and tasks as a map. The right panel refreshes dynamically based on the selected record. Related records can further be expanded to display their relationships. As one clicks on any record, the right panel displays its key attributes.


Back to our tough incident. Equipped with SmartView, our smart service desk manager can open the incident and launch SmartView. It shows them the entire web of relationships of the incident and associated records. They can navigate to any of the records displayed, and view the progress on each. They see that the incident is related to two CMDB records and a problem. Further, the problem is related to a change. Since the change is of type Normal, it will be executed in the next cycle. If the priority of the incident is high enough, they can influence the change owner to expedite execution of the change. SmartView allows them to quickly create actions on the fly, and set urgent actions in motion. If they have edit privilege, they can even edit records right there.


SmartView was made generally available in Remedyforce in the Winter 17 release. Embedded in the new Remedyforce Console, it can be launched from incidents, service requests, problems,  changes, and releases. This allows not just service desk managers, but anyone--change managers, problem managers--who must investigate why certain transactions are not moving ahead. For SmartView to be effective, it is imperative that the service management organization follow the practice of linking records: incidents, services, problems, changes, releases, wherever relevant.


As IT organizations launch new services, their support organizations must adopt best practices to meet customer expectations of speed and quality in delivery of services. SmartView is a new tool in the repertoire of service desks powered by Remedyforce to enable speed and quality.