Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Service catalog introduction

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What is a service catalog?

Similar to any sales catalog that displays all the items offered in a store, your service catalog is a complete, up-to-date list of services performed within your organization. When customers want to request a product and/or service, your service catalog should be their one-stop-shop.

What is a service request?

A service request is any request submitted by an end user to the IT service desk with the goal of initiating a service process. When a service request is received, the agent assigned does not start from zero. The solutions to standard requests are based on predefined workflows that vary in complexity. Whether simple or complex, workflows are standardized with a proven history to deliver services within predefined SLAs.

More information on how a service catalog works and how to create items in your service catalog is available in Service catalog .

Building a service catalog

Individuals with the proper permissions can build the service catalog to meet the specific needs of your organization. Administrators control permissions.

Keep in mind the following objectives:

  • Provide your end-users with a single source of consistent information for communicating available services, including all associated details, interfaces, and dependencies.
  • Ensure that the service catalog is easily accessible to users, but implement permissions to allow only relevant users to access specific templates. Templates, or service requests, are pre-defined, and they provide clarity on what services are offered, how those services are offered, and expected time frames for delivery of the services.
  • Integrate with any application that provides an HTTP access point (with username and password authentication) to automate processes that were previously manual. See more information about Process integrations.
  • Help IT teams benefit by having defined workflows when they provide services--workflows that are based on previous cases and build a consistent collection of information.
Service catalog access: With the goal of always maintaining ease and comfort to your agents and end users, ensure administrators provide the ability to access your service catalog via the platform and end users can initiate a change directly from the service portal.

Benefits of a service catalog

  • Saves valuable time
  • Streamlines workflows
  • Increases control
  • Reduces operational costs
  • Reduces mistakes
  • Simplifies processes for end users
  • Improves customer satisfaction

Prerequisites

Before you begin:

  1. Consider who will use your service catalog:

    • New users, such as:

      • Administrators, who will need detailed guidelines on how to build a service catalog.

      • Users, who will need directions on how to navigate the service catalog to locate the service request relevant to their needs.

    • Seasoned users, who are familiar with the process and want quick and convenient navigation to the specific service they seek.

  2. Consider all service requests (break fix incidents and/or service desk requests) your users may need regularly.

  3. Think outside-the-box and consider any additional requests that may come up due to an unexpected incident or change.
  4. Notice the ability to add images and include as many custom fields to forms as necessary to quickly and accurately obtain the relevant details. This helps in limiting any back-and-forth, time consuming correspondence just to obtain details that could have been required in a predefined template.
  5. Visualize the process from ticket creation to satisfaction survey.

Service catalog index page

As your service catalog expands and additional catalog items are created, you can view the repository on your Service Catalog index page. As with most of your SWSD pages, this page if fully customizable to meet your needs. The default view includes a list of All Items. See List view for more information on filtering, editing, and customizing your view.

After you have customized your view, there are additional options found on the top right of your screen:

  • Search lets you enter key words into the search bar.
  • Add lets you create a new Service Catalog Item. As described above, it is important to include as much detail as possible in the form.
  • Help reveals additional information related to the current index page.

Visibility based on user role

The role a user is assigned in your SWSD influences visibility of tickets. Users set up as:

  • Administrator or Service Agent User can see catalog items in any state.
  • Service Task User or Requester can see only approved catalog items (through their self-service portal).
  • Agent can create a CI and determine its state (for example, Draft, Internal, or Approved).

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