How to set up a Service Level Agreement in Helpdesk 6.0

Article:HOWTO25977  |  Created: 2010-04-08  |  Updated: 2011-12-06  |  Article URL
Article Type
How To

Helpdesk 6.0 has minimal out of the box functionality for setting up a Service Level Agreement (SLA). To take full advantage of an SLA, it is recommended to upgrade to ServiceDesk 7.x, which includes full-featured SLA functionality.

SLAs in Helpdesk 6.0 can be set up using a combination of notification policies, notify rules and email templates. This can work in the following ways:

Out of Box SLA Implementation

Helpdesk does have a few minimal features for using an SLA out of the box. These include a few Helpdesk and notification policy tasks.

  • Helpdesk Console > Tasks menu > Make this incident due on Friday.
  • Altiris Console > Tasks > Incident Resolution > Incidents > Helpdesk > Notification Policies.

Notify Rule Implementation

At its simplest, an SLA can be simply a notify rule. When an incident is saved, the notify rule can check date fields, such as when the incident was saved (the last modified date). If this is greater than a set date, for example 5 PM, then the notify rule will fire, sending an alert email to a worker or manager. This can be tied into the created date (created_on) or the due date (due_on). Or, the modified on date can be evaluated to see if it is past certain dates or times. Either method can be done by using the "Modified on" and "Created on" conditions or an "Advanced condition" where HDQUERY or direct SQL can be used. This is not the preferred way to implement an SLA, however (see below).

As notify rules are only evaluated when an incident is created or saved, not on a schedule like notification policies, these cannot be relied upon to work unless action is directly taken by the worker (by saving the incident) and are therefore not the desired way to use an SLA, which should be automated. The next section describes how to use notification policies automate an SLA on a schedule.

SLA Implementation

As a notify rule isn't able to fire on a schedule, notification policies should be used to enable an SLA to work in an automated fashion. This can be done in the following way:

  • A notification policy is set up to monitor SLA time frames of incidents. If an SLA is approaching, reached or exceeded, the notification policy can either directly send out an email to the appropriate worker or manager or trigger a notify rule to do this.
  • A notify rule can then send a custom email template to the worker or manager. This can include how much time the SLA has left or how many hours it is overdue.
  • Additional notification policies, notify rules or email templates can be created as needed based on what the user wants the email alert to display. 
  • For convenience, this article has an attached .zip file with a sample notification policy, notify rule and email template that can be used to create your own. The Readme.txt file describes how to import them. Note: These samples are provided "AS IS" with no guarantee that they will work as you wish them to in your environment. Because of this, Symantec Technical Support is unable to assist you in implementing or troubleshooting these. For assistance in implementing an SLA in your environment or other customizations, please contact Symantec Consulting:

Consulting Services (implementation and customization)


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