MODULE 1!

Introduction to OTRS Help Desk!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 5!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.1 Why a Help Desk Solution Leads to Higher Efficiency!
Typical pain points…!                   Working with local email inbox(es)! Customers always contacting their preferred service “buddy” instead of a SPOC! Manage huge amounts of requests efficiently! Customer self-service support! Lack in transparency in communication! Limited service resources! Service performance reporting! Integration to existing IT landscape! Field service support! …leading to the following consequences!   Requests get lost or are answered late!   SLA breaches causing penalties!   Limited service resources wasting time for routine tasks instead of focusing on value add services!   Managing service quality and costs is impossible!   Customer dissatisfaction!   Dissatisfied service staff!   Low service quality!   High service costs!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 6!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.1 Why a Help Desk Solution Leads to Higher Efficiency!
Main benefits of OTRS Help Desk for your daily work!                           Transparent and traceable customer communication! No lost service requests! Relief of routine tasks - you focus on value added services and tasks! Increased amount of service requests due to customer self-service capabilities! Cross-process support of an integrated knowledge base! Cross-process integration of a CMDB granting access to affected CIʼs (ITSM only) ! Powerful event-based notification feature assist to avoid SLA breaches! Integration in your current IT landscape and systems used! Transparency on service performance! Increases customer satisfaction! Increased service staff motivation! Increased service quality! At lower service costs!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 7!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is a Ticket?!
A ticket contains all the information that is tied to a specific customer service request or incident, including a customers initial request, internal communication - between your service agents - and external communication, i.e. interactions with the customer and/or third party service providers.! A ticket has attributes like:!                       Ticket number! Creation date! Customer ID! From: / To: / CC: / BCC:! Type! Service and/or SLA assigned! Subject / Text body! State! Owner / Responsible! Priority! Time units…and more! Typical channels to create a new ticket:!   OTRS customer web front-end!   email to support@yourcompany.com which OTRS opens automatically as a new ticket!   phone, i.e. the agent will open a phone ticket to document the call!   fax or SMS! Attachments can be uploaded to a ticket in order to provide the service team or the customer with additional information.! Customer data and Ticket Information are displayed on the right hand bar of a ticket.! The ticket number that will be automatically assigned by OTRS when a ticket is created, is a unique identifier for a specific case that your service organization is working on. ! A common algorithm to create ticket numbers is: Year.Month.Day.SystemID.Checksum, for example 201105161092000044.!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 8!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is an Article?!
New articles within a ticket may result from:!   External inbound and outbound communication of your service organization with the customer and/or third party service providers.!   Internal communication, called notes, from your involved service agents and/or managers.!   Notifications that result from ticket actions that you initiate, e.g. queue moves, assigning / changing an owner and/or a responsible person, priority changes or setting pending reminders.!   Alerts if a monitoring solution is in use to monitor specific components in your IT infrastructure.! The first article of your ticket usually is the initial service request or incident report sent by your customer or documented by one of your service agents.! Unless a service request isnʼt resolved during the first contact, a ticket regularly consists off more than one article.! Articles are listed in the ticket zoom view and are numbered consecutively !
© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com! August 29, 11 | 9!

Depending on the type of an article it has attributes like:!
                  Note type! Creation date! Created by! From: / To: / CC: / BCC:! Inform (involved) Agents! Subject / Text body! Attachment! Pending date! Review required!

  Working time units…and more!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is an Agent?!
A service agent is a member of your service organization which has access to and is working with the OTRS Agent web front-end.! Depending on the usage of OTRS in your specific case that may involve members of:!   Management!   IT service!   Sales representatives!   Product support !   Technical field service!   External service providers, e.g. repair services!   External sales channel partners !   Call Centers!   Project teams!   Software developers!   Facility Managers ….and more!

What is a Customer?!
A customer is entitled to file service requests or incident reports regarding your products and services to your service organization. If granted access by your service organization, the customer has access to the Self Service Portal, i.e. the OTRS customer web front-end.! The ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) separates users that are entitled to make use of your services from customers. In the sense of ITIL a customer is a role that defines requirements for services that the users can request, it communicates and negotiates conditions as well as orders them from a service organization.! In this case we do not use this strict definition but will name each requester a customer. Depending on the concrete usage of OTRS in your specific case that may involve members of:!   Your companyʼs employees requesting services or filing incident reports!   End customers using your services and products!   Partners or third party service providers without direct access to the OTRS agent web front-end!
© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com! August 29, 11 | 10!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is a Queue?!
In general a queue reflects a specific organizational area of responsibility or a specific part of your service process chain. Queues map your service organization and related processes to the OTRS system and help you to route incoming service requests efficiently and in a structured way through your service process.! One queue might be the inbox of your Service Desk or Call Center where all service request or incident reports are initially filed by your customers. Subsequent queues can be hierarchically organized by team structure, region, topic or skills required to resolve a certain category of assigned customers request.! Tickets are created, worked, stored or moved in queues. I.e. each ticket is assigned to a certain queue.! OTRS supports access management for customers, agents, groups and roles to specific queues. Itʼs easy to setup queues that are accessible only for dedicated agents that are assigned to a specific role (e.g. 1st level support agent) being part of a specific group (e.g. 1st level support) which is responsible to work within a specific area of responsibility, i.e. the queue (e.g. 1st level support), based on their skills.!
Figure: Example queue structure!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 11!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is a Role?!
Roles and groups are powerful features to efficiently manage access rights for multiple agents in complex service organizations. Agents are assigned to roles reflecting their access level e.g. role: 1st level support, Service Manager or Change Builder.! A role is then assigned to a minimum of one group that includes the specific rights to access queues, modules or features.!

What is a Group?!
A group contains a couple of specific rights and is assigned to one or more roles, providing these roles with the rights. At the same time a group is assigned to one or more specific queues. Access rights are:!
  Read only access to tickets, entries & queues of this group!   Right to move tickets or entries between queues or areas that belong to this group!   Right to create tickets or entries in the queues or areas of this group!   Right to update the owner of tickets or entries in queues or areas that belong to this group!   Right to change the priority of tickets or entries in queues or areas that belong to this group!   Full read and write access on tickets or entries in the queues or areas that belong to this group!

Using the concept of roles and groups makes it quite easy to assign new employees specific bundles of rights without the need to assign each right individually. Also in case of changes to the rights assigned to a specific group they have to be done only once and all roles assigned to the group including the agents assigned to these roles have access based on the new rights.!
© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com! August 29, 11 | 12!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is an Owner?! What is a Responsible?!
The owner is the agent to whom the ticket is currently A responsible can be assigned to provide a second agent assigned, i.e. the one whoʼs working the ticket.! the same rights to the ticket without being the owner. That may be useful to temporarily get another agent involved for Owners have full access rights to the ticket and are an answer to the customer and withdraw the access later.! therefore able to execute all actions related to the ticket, e.g. answer customers, add notes, move the ticket to Until assigned as a responsible the agent automatically another queue etc. ! getʼs notifications on a tickets status, changes or updates, i.e. the responsible can follow the communication in order The owner will be informed automatically via email in case to take action if necessary.! of new notes. Receiving notifications require the right configuration of your preferences. ! What is a Watch List?! Agents or supervisors may put specific tickets on their individual watch list to follow the ongoing interaction and communication of that ticket.! The ticket watch feature give the watcher automatic access rights to the ticket like assigning a responsible.! Specific groups can be defined and granted the exclusive rights to watch tickets.!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 13!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is a Ticket State?!
OTRS allows you to change a tickets state while processing   Pending auto close (-): Tickets will be automatically set to a service request or incident. Ticket states have an impact a new state ʻclosed unsuccessfullyʼ when the defined on the systems behavior. ! pending time expires. This state does not stop escalation time calculation.! Default states provided by OTRS are:!   Pending auto close (+): Tickets will be automatically set to a new state ʻclosed successfullyʼ when the defined   New: State for tickets that have just been created.! pending time expires. This state does not stop escalation   Open: Default state for tickets that have just been time calculation.! assigned to queues and/or an agent.!   Merged: This state applies for tickets that have been merged with other tickets.!   Pending reminder: OTRS allows to set a pending reminder to a ticket. When the defined pending time   Closed successfully: The final closing state for tickets that have been successfully resolved. Depending on your expires, the ticket owner receives a reminder notification by email. If the ticket is not locked to an agent, the configuration, you may or may not be able to reopen reminder will be sent to all agents that have access to closed tickets.! tickets in this queue in order to guarantee that a ticket is   Closed unsuccessfully: The final closing state for tickets processed according to the agreed SLAs and tasks that have NOT been successfully resolved. Depending scheduled. Reminder tickets will be sent only during on your configuration, you may or may not be able to business hours as defined in the systems working reopen closed tickets.! calendar, but repeatedly every 24 hours until the ticket state is changed by the agent. This state does not stop escalation time calculation.!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 14!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is a locked Ticket?! What is a Priority?!
Locking a ticket indicates that an agent is assigned to the The priority of a ticket indicates the relevance of a specific case in relation to other cases. Priority will affect the sort ticket as owner who is currently working the ticket. ! sequence of tickets in a queue view and will also be shown Your administrator can define an unlock time for a queue. If by different color codes tied to a ticket. ! the agent locks a ticket and does not close it before the Your system may use own priority classifications, the unlock time is reached, the ticket will be automatically default priorities coming with OTRS are:! unlocked and made available for other agents to avoid SLA   1 very low! breaches.!   2 low! If configured this way, OTRS may also reassign a ticket that was already closed to the same agent again when the ticket   3 normal! is reopened. This ensures that a follow up for a ticket is   4 high! processed by the agent that has previously worked on that   5 very high! case.! Priority changes are part of those kind of events that can be configured as trigger for an event based notification.! Priorities neither have an impact on escalations nor is there a relation to SLAs in the standard of OTRS. They simply help to classify and rank a ticket. In such cases that require a specific response time e.g. one of your top managers requested a service, it is recommended to work based on services and assign the management a specific VIP service level to guarantee a quick resolution.!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 15!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What are Escalations?!
Escalations indicate threatening SLA breaches and intend There are three (3) types of escalation time settings:! to warn the agent and/or managers that are responsible for   First Response Time: In order to meet an agreed initial the service quality based on defined thresholds.! response time for service requests or incident reports, the ticket escalates if the defined first response time Escalations can be defined for each queue or based on expired without any documented external Service Level Agreements (SLA) that are assigned to communication.! defined services. The way escalations are defined in your service organization depend on whether you are using   Update Time: During the ongoing interaction with a services to categorize your tickets, i.e. whether you work customer, this escalation time setting leads to an based on a service catalog.! escalation if there is no recorded follow-up by email or the customer portal within the defined period.! Depending on your OTRS configuration, escalations result in an escalation notification to all agents that have selected   Solution Time: If you agreed on a maximum resolution time, a ticket escalates if it isnʻt closed before the defined the queue in their ʻMyQueuesʼ preferences or agents and time frame expired.! service managers that have read-write permissions on that queue.!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 16!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is a Service?!
A service is a bundle of value add benefits that you offer a customer to solve that customers current needs. The service might be the product you sell, might be tied to the products you have sold to a customer or is provided to support other business units of your company to allow them to efficiently meet their goals instead of spending time on what is your core competence. The customer, regardless whether it is an internal or external one might have agreed with your service organization on specific service characteristics like quality, availability and for sure the price.!

What is a Service Level Agreement?!
Service level agreements (SLA) specify the service by defining quality and quantity. ! SLAs can be service-based, i.e. tied to one service for all customer or customer-based, i.e. tied to all services of one customer.! Typical characteristics of a SLA used in OTRS are:!   The service(s) it is assigned to!

  The underlying working time calendar of your team to define service level windows. The calendar specifies In OTRS services are used to classify tickets, i.e. service start and end of your typical service availability per day requests filed by a customer. Depending on a customers as well as vacation! permission to request a specific service, the user or the agent will assign a service from a list of available services   Escalation times, i.e. First Response Time, Update Time, Solution Time! while creating the ticket. ! There is a service level agreement (SLA) tied to each   Minimum time between Incidents, i.e. how much time must pass by between two incidents being reported in service, specifying the quality of a service.! relation to a defective service without the SLA being Services can be organized hierarchically i.e. top level violated.! services might have sub level services representing your As escalation times can be set per queue or by SLAs, the complete service offering. ! escalations defined in a SLA dominate the ones defined per The whole of all services organized in a hierarchical way queue if there is a conflicting situation where both concepts including SLAs and prices is called a service catalog. ! are used.!
© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com! August 29, 11 | 17!

1. Introduction to OTRS Help Desk
 1.2 Terminology!
What is an Underpinning Contract (UC)?!
The Underpinning Contract is a legally binding agreement with an external 3rd party service provider focusing on a share of services that your service organization agreed on with your end customer. The Underpinning Contract fits the structure of the SLA with your end customer.!

What is an Operation Level Agreement (OLA)?!
The Operational Level Agreement is an agreement between internal service delivery units of an IT organization regarding the delivery of shares of the services that sum up to the SLA agreed on with the end customer. OLAʼs do not contain any legally binding elements.!

© OTRS Group – Author: Hauke Böttcher, Director Partner Management – partner@otrs.com!

August 29, 11 | 18!