Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Service Level Management

This feature allows you to define service targets for your SWSD. By establishing service level agreements (SLAs), you can monitor, alert and report on missed SLA targets.

Creating a New SLA

To create a new SLA click the icon and define your new SLA rule. Let’s take a look at the different elements involved in SLA creation:

Take a moment and review the image below, the description of each field is located below the image.

Name - Create a name indicative of the service level you want your internal service providers to adhere to. Ensure the names are easy to differentiate from other SLA’s, to help with reporting.

Define Target - Define the operations that you expect your service agent users to take within an allotted period of time. The targets include:

  • Not assigned

  • Not commented

  • Not resolved

  • No actions taken

  • No state change 

In addition to choosing a target, you can select the SLA to follow your organization’s business hours by selecting the checkbox.
You can also elect to suspend the SLA timer during certain states of inactivity. For example, perhaps if an incident is in the state ‘Awaiting Customer Input’ you don’t want the SLA to breach.

Define Scope - This allows you to define whether the SLA applies to All, Incidents Only or Service Requests Only. You can also define category, subcategory etc. when defining the SLA.

Create an SLA rule once and define category and subcategory via the use of a multi-picklist. This allows you to apply the same rule to multiple category/subcategory combinations.

Set Action - The action allows you to define the priority, assignee and more. In this section you can send a notification prior to an SLA breach. Notice the dropdown menu. In addition to sending a notification to a specific user, you can select to include a notification to the assignee's manager and the manager's manager as well.

Calculating SLAs

We have taken several measures to ensure SLA hours are best calculated to meet your company goals. For example:

  • The SLA work day is measured by average business hours.
    • If 3 days a week, you provide support 8 hours a day and 2 days a week you provide support 6 hours a day, the SLA measured by business hours is equal to 7.2 hours per day to meet SLA guidelines.
  • If you have set multiple breach times, the counter will reflect the nearest relevant breach (up to 3 breaches).
  • It is important to note that updated and/or newly created incidents will not be updated with the new SLA's defined. As you define additional SLA's they will only be relevant for incidents created post SLA defnitiion.

Set Timer Indication Threshold

You can now select 2 alert triggers to warn you prior to potential upcoming breaches in pre-defined SLA’s.

The first indicator will provide the Initial Pre-Breach Indication.  Select from the dropdown menu whether you would like the first warning minutes, hours or days prior to the breach.  The Final Pre-Breach Indication offers the same selection, minutes, hours or days prior to breach. 

The Indicator Time Threshold ensures you plenty of opportunity to address the incident prior to an SLA breach.

The pre-breach display reflects the actual business time till breach based on site or account.

It is important to take into account factors that can influence the report outcomes.

For example:

Case 1:Sites with different business hours:

Incident A, within site 'a' has regular business hours Mon-Fri 8:00-17:00.

Incident B, within site 'b' has SLA without business hours or work with business hours with all-day marked for all days.

In case both breach at about 1 day, Incident A will show 9h, Incident B will show 24h.

Very small change in breach time can cause sort to be: B (24h), A (9h).

The sort is still accurate, however important to take this detail into account.

Case 2: Incidents with different timezones:

Incident A, with site in a USA timezone. Breach is reflected in the beginning on the next work day.

Incident B, without site selected , will use the default account timezone: Jerusalem. Breach in 3 hours.

We are in Israel 9 am.

The sort will be: B, A (since B will breach sooner).

The display will be out-of-order: B (3h), A (0m)

Sort is accurate, important to understand the above cases to determine how to best proceed in resolving incidents to avoid SLA breaches.

Define Scope
After you’ve determined the target, you can make your SLA rules more granular by refining specific filters. This helps you offer varying service levels as it pertains to different internal service providers, priorities and more. These filters can be scoped for the following:

  • Incident / Service Request

  • Category

  • Priority

  • Site

  • Department

  • Requester

Set Action
You’ve almost created your SLA! This final step helps you define automatic actions to be taken, should the target be breached. You can define one or multiple actions to take place. These actions can include:

  • Change priority

  • Re-assign incident

  • Send notification to

  • Add Tags

Navigate to the All Open Incidents index page (image below), this is fully customizable to meet your needs.  By default, the screen will appear as follows:

Notice the Next Breach and SLA Breaches columns, now look at the timers.  They are color coded for your convenience. 

  • Green Timer reflects - incidents that are prior to the pre-breach indicators for SLA breaches

  • Orange Timer reflects - incidents that are past the initial pre-breach indicator nonetheless have not reached the final pre-breach indicator. 

  • Red Timer reflects - Incidents that risk breaching pre-determined SLA’s

To better understand how this will benefit your organization, review the following scenario.

You can set different thresholds based on the importance of the specific SLA.  For example:
Let’s assume you have two similar Not Resolved SLA,

  1. One for VIP Users

  2. The 2nd for the General Public

In both cases, the SLA will be breached after 3 days, however in the VIP case, you have included the additional trigger to escalate to the IT manager.  Therefore, in the VIP SLA, you can set an initial threshold indicator to signal at 2 days prior to breach and the final threshold indicator to 1 day, whereas in regards to the SLA for the General Public can be set with an initial indicator threshold of 1 day and the final indicator threshold at 5 hours prior to breach. 

The goal is to build the SLA pre-breach indicators to best benefit your teams.  By setting the thresholds as described above, the indicators keep your teams better informed prior to any breach of SLA’s, and provide ample time to perform the necessary actions to resolve any issues and prevent the breach.  Via the Incident Index page, agents can sort their queues based upon which tickets are going to breach next, helping prioritize the tickets and reduce breached incidents, ensuring your VIP cases receive your services within the agreed upon timeframes.

All SLAs Index Page

Once you have created the SLA's for your organization, you can view them all in the All SLAs Index page.

Just as in your all your SWSD Index pages you can customize your view via:

The down arrow to filter via:

  • Enabled
  • Disabled
  • Logged in in last 30 days and more

The reflects your ability to view your options. Options include:

  • Edit
  • Share your view with others
  • Save Changes and more

Lastly, when you select Edit View, a column will appear in the left pane of your screen where you can:

  • Filter via specific attributes such as Active Account, Department etc.
  • Select the columns for your index page and the order in which you would like them columns to appear.
  • Or sort via Name, Email, Role etc.