Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk


Provide your users with a fast, efficient method to engage with IT support. Chat delivers instant access to agents that can offer assistance and resources to ensure smooth workflow productivity.


Benefits of incorporating chat into your service management processes:

  • Improve employee satisfaction by providing a direct communication channel for instant interaction with agents
  • Connecting users to the resources they need in a timely manner
  • Increase agent productivity by providing a chat queue that will allow them to efficiently engage simultaneously with multiple end-users
  • Improve first-touch-resolution and time-to-resolution metrics, which can reduce your cost per ticket

Chat is built into your service desk, with a backend interface for agents and portal access for end-users. This allows for easy implementation, management, and adoption, while you quickly incorporate chat into your service management strategy.

Best Practices:

To determine how to best integrate the chat feature within your workflow processes, review the following questions as they relate to your organization:

  • When does chat help improve ticket management and workflows?
  • What kind of traffic routes to our portal that can be most efficiently addressed via chat interactions?
  • What hours will we provide chat support (Business hours, days of the week, etc.)?
  • Ensure an adequate number of agents to handle the chat queue most effectively?
  • How will SLAs be influenced in respect to response times?

When determining Chat hours of service, it is recommended to review the Incident Trend and Incident Heatmap reports. The trend report reflects the busiest days of the week, while the heatmap focuses on the busiest hours of the day. Analysis of your historical statistics provides details of when the service desk is most utilized, assists in implementing workflow processes and the need to provide agent availability accordingly.

Enabling Chat

From the Setup menu navigate to:

  1. Global Setting
  2. Select Service Desk Settings
  3. Scroll down to Chat
  4. Make sure the toggle pill is set to On

This enables direct communication between requesters and agents via the portal and an inbound chat queue for agents

Roles and Permissions

By setting the permissions and restrictions capabilities, you control who in the service desk can assist in chats and who can request service via chat. This ensures the most relevant agents process the chats, and that applicable employees can access services via chat.

From the Setup menu navigate to:

  1. Account
  2. Roles & Permissions

Use the following guidelines to best meet your organizational needs:

Action Subject Scope Description
Manage Chat

Restrict by:

  • Department
  • Site
  • Create new chats from the portal
  • Read/Accept chats based on scope


(New Chat)

  • Create a new chat from the portal
  • Without this permission, the chat icon will not appear in the portal


(Accept Chat)


Restrict by:

  • Department
  • Site
  • Participate in the chats you have visibility into
  • Communicate with requesters
  • Without this permission, the chat icon will not appear on the platform side

Let's look at some examples below:

  1. A requester that needs to be able to open a chat will have the following permissions:

    Chat - Create

  1. An agent that needs the ability to work and open chats on the portal can have the following permissions:

    • Chat - Create
    • Chat - Update

  1. You can further customize the Chat permissions by including Site specifications. An agent that only needs to accept chats from a specific site(s) can have the following permissions:

    Notice the specifications in the Scope column

  1. An agent that does not respond to chats however needs the ability to open a chat from the portal will have the following permissions:

    Chat - Create

Chat for Requesters and Agents

Chat plays a significant role for Requesters and Agents. Click the title of interest below to learn more:

The icon is available to Administrators only and provides a direct communication channel with the IT agents at SolarWinds.

Chat for Requesters

A requester can initiate a chat conversation from any page of the portal. Look for the chat icon on the bottom right of your screen, click and type your inquiry.

Factors to consider:

  • You must end the current chat session to begin a new one. You may only initiate one chat at a time
  • Chats are answered in the order they are received.You can not select to chat with a specific agent
  • You can convert chats into incidents which will allow the requester continued communication with the agent (even once the chat session has ended)

Chat for Agents

As an agent, you want to always keep an eye on the chat icon in the tool bar . When the icon is blue, this reflects there are tickets in the queue, and the small number, reflects how many chats are assigned to you. As an agent, simply go into the chat button when you see new chats and click the Accept Next button to assign the specific incident to yourself.

You can have multiple chats open at once, allowing you to support several requesters simultaneously. This helps improve agent productivity, nevertheless, it is important not to accept too many chats at once, as this could lead to a suboptimal customer experience.

Indicators in your Chat

  • Three dots appearing one after the other: indicate the requester is typing
  • A number on your chat icon: reflects a reply is waiting in an open chat

Converting a Chat to an Incident

To convert the complete chat conversation into an incident record allows you to keep working towards a solution. This is beneficial when you are unable to resolve an issue during the chat session.

Factors to consider:

  • Each chat provides a button Create Incident
  • The chat conversation will appear in the description text of the Incident created
  • Once an Incident is created, the incident number will appear and a button to link you directly to the new incident
  • For reporting metrics, the incident origin will be designated as Chat
    • This aids in analysis of effectiveness of chat vs. other engagement channels

If you close the chat prior to creating an incident, you will be asked if you would like to create an incident upon closing the chat session

Customizing Chat to Meet your Needs

  • Moving and resizing the chat window: Drag and drop the chat window anywhere inside your browser, and/or resize it, to give you optimal visibility
  • Minimizing the queue and closing: Minimize the queue, which will open a quick action bar. This allows you to navigate among open chats. You can also close the chat at any time, and reopen it using the chat icon