Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Setup step 1: Before you begin

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Before you begin setup of your SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) account, ask yourself: How can the SolarWinds Service Desk improve service management throughout my organization?

These quick facts might help you answer that question:

  • Incident management consolidates, manages, and prioritizes incoming tickets. It also highlights areas that need improvement to run more efficiently.
  • Service catalog standardizes service request and fulfillment processes.
  • Fully integrated IT asset management compiles hardware, software, POs, and other assets.
  • The IT service desk can quickly restore the end user to productivity by:
    • Using problem resolution
    • Providing end-user education
    • Generating workarounds

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

Plan a setup that will meet your organization's needs

Before you begin your setup you should consider your organization.

  • What is the basic setup of the organization?
  • How can you best manage all of your ITAM and ITSM needs to meet organizational goals?
  • Do you need a high level of confidentiality between your departments? For example, is it okay for IT to access HR or Finance data?

Based on the answers to these questions and other organizational factors, you may decide to use a single tenant account for ITSM, or use an ESM (Enterprise Service Management) account that allows you to keep departments separate from one another.

For example, 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 can 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.

Single-tenant (ITSM) customers

Customers can use our single-tenant architecture, which supports only one tenant per instance. In relation to SWSD, your organization would be the single tenant: most often the IT department. They can use ticketing categories and subcategories in addition to special roles and permissions specifically created for each department, but managed by IT.

Enterprise Service Management (ESM) customers

Some organizations choose to use a multi-tenancy setup. They have a single SWSD account, but can set up resources for multiple service providers (sub-tenants), for example, HR, and Facilities. Underlying resources are shared among all the tenants, but each tenant is guaranteed privacy and certain configurational customizations. See Enterprise Service Management (ESM).

Because HR requires a high level of confidentiality, setting HR up as a service provider would prohibit IT staff from accessing any of the HR related service records. Your HR account administrator for the HR service desk account can be a member of the HR team rather than the IT team. This approach can prevent IT from accessing unauthorized data.

Understand the setup process

The Getting Started Guide provides you with the best order for your initial setup of SWSD. It provides documentation on how to configure each setup feature and links to more detailed information about features. It walks you through the process of configuring your foundational building blocks. After initial setup, you can use the Administrator setup guide overview to build out more advanced features and workflows to align your SWSD setup with your organization's needs.

Foundational building blocks

Your foundational building blocks include configuration of some default settings, such as default time zone, default language, setup of your sites and departments, and your service desk's default business hours.

After establishing those settings, you set up your user accounts, groups within your organization, queues for managing the work of the service desk, roles and permissions for your users, and you establish your single sign-on method.

By establishing these building blocks before moving forward you provide assurance that your instance of SWSD is well aligned with your organizational structure.

Structure and workflows

After the foundation of your SWSD account is built, you can add structure and flow. This includes setup of the service desk's email settings, categories for tickets, and custom states. It also includes custom forms, custom fields, domain management, setup of your CMDB, service portal, automations, and integrations. Lastly, it includes asset discovery.

The next step in the setup process

See Setup step 2: Begin initial setup.

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