Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Administrator setup guide overview

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Welcome to SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD). It is designed to help your organization implement, manage, and deliver services through efficient processes.

This is accomplished via multiple factors such as:

  • Monitoring current processes
  • Assessing trends
  • Highlighting areas that need improvement

This setup guide introduces you to the features of SWSD and assists you with the product onboarding process.

What is a service desk?

Service desks help IT and other departments in your company improve the quality and speed of service delivery while maximizing employee productivity. SWSD can:

  • Provide centralized locations for service activities and resources
  • Streamline service delivery processes
  • Reduce cost and time spent providing services
  • Ensure employees have easy access to the services they need to do their jobs
  • Track and audit service issues for internal and regulatory compliance

Factors to consider

SWSD and its AI tools can quickly restore end users back to productivity. This can be accomplished via numerous features of your service desk, such as:
  • Providing a user-friendly portal where end users can:
    • Open incidents
    • Open service requests
    • Find knowledge base articles and FAQs
  • Setting up automations to ensure prompt ticket handling
  • Setting up workflow processes to streamline actions
  • Setting up runbooks to establish standard practices for your agents (available with Premier package only)

To maximize efficiency of services, you need to clearly understand the end-user experience so SWSD can meet their needs. This is best accomplished by:

  • Tracking tickets
  • Identifying recurring issues
  • Keeping services up to date with current technologies

SWSD features

SWSD offers these features that help you provide your end users, agents, and service desk managers what they need when they need it.

Comprehensive capabilities include:

Before you begin your initial setup

Review Before you begin for useful information in deciding what your organization's needs are. Taking that first step will help you develop a service desk that best meets the needs of your organization.

Your organization

Ask yourself questions about the basic setup of your organization.

Because HR and Finance require a high level of confidentiality, you would likely want to prohibit IT staff from accessing any service records for HR and Finance. You could create separate service providers, and each service provider can have its own administrators. The service provider administrators would not be a member of your IT team, and such an approach would prevent IT from accessing unauthorized data.

See Enterprise Service Management (ESM) overview.


Who will be using SWSD?

  • End users, who are the customers of the services your service desk provides.
  • Agents/Technicians, who are the individuals that address and resolve incidents, service requests, and change requests.

Service Portal use

An important element of SWSD is the Service Portal.

Before beginning your setup, take a quick look at the Service Portal to gain a deeper understanding of how your users will interact with the platform. You can determine, based on end user and organizational needs, how to best set up areas of SWSD. You may want to:

  • Create multiple service providers to represent the different departments that will manage tickets through SWSD
  • Create specific change request forms
  • Define workflow processes
  • Automate ticket routing
  • Create custom forms
  • Add custom fields
  • Include custom dependencies
  • Allow users, including non-domain users, to create their own account

Customers who use ESM have separate service portals for each of their service providers.


All setup features are available by navigating to Setup from the left navigation pane.

Setup options

Some companies choose to perform minimal setup to get up and running as fast as possible. Others choose to take a more thorough approach and set up SolarWinds Service Desk to gain the most benefit from its features.

  • For those who want to take the minimal approach, see Begin initial setup.

  • For those who want a complete setup, see the Related topics section, which provides links to guidance for a more thorough setup.

Related topics