At Orion, we’ve been working for several months to revamp our Service Operations framework into an agile model that adapts well to the constantly changing needs of our business and our clients. We’ve found the guidelines set forth in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to be very helpful in filling our own business needs and helping us to develop this agile Service Delivery method. We’ve taken a “bottom up” approach to overhaul, and thus have started by addressing the core functions of our Service Desk.
The first item we undertook was Incident Management. Taking strong direction from ITIL best practices, we are striving to increase the value we add to our clients’ environments through standardized Incident entry, classification, and routing, monitoring and reporting in real time of Service Level Agreement (SLA) metrics and ticket aging, as well as a unified set of procedures for working tickets through their lifecycle.
One of the key factors in our success with Incident Management has been the implementation of a Dispatch role on the Service Desk. This is a dedicated resource to handle incoming tickets and ensure they are properly classified, prioritized, and routed. Here’s a rough look at his processes:
The Dispatcher also serves as the first line of defense to escalate and Significant Incidents that may require immediate and coordinated effort to remediation outage or severe degradation of service (I’ll go into more detail about what constitutes a Significant Incident in a later blog post).
In addition to Dispatch, we have also implemented a dedicated Call Center team to handle incoming phone calls. This team has been very effective in quickly assisting customers with simple needs and requests, as well as assisting dispatch with accurately and efficiently routing Incidents that require escalation.
Meeting SLAs is a must for any managed services provider. At Orion, we aim not to meet SLAs, but to exceed them and provide that extra “white glove” service to our clients. Using triggers guided by ITIL frameworks, we are better able to monitor and report in real time how tickets are aging and when tickets are nearing their SLA targets. This has made a measurable improvement in ticket handling and response.
Defining the Incident Lifecycle was at times challenging, but ultimately we were able to define a concrete process through which every Incident ticket would be worked and completed. This process helped to clarify both proactively and reactively what was happening at any given point in time. We have also established clear, quick, and easy ways to produce a customized Incident Record for customers and internal staff, as well as quick access to Resolution Notes and Knowledge Base Articles related to the Incident.
Ultimately, our objective is to continually improve our service and better service starts with Incident Management. Incident Management is only the beginning of our journey, however. Stay tuned for another blog about how ITIL helped us to get control over Event Management and Significant Incident response!