The ServiceBase is an information system for service management processes. The services are meant to be IT services, servicing or technical support. It concentrates knowledge arising in a company’s service management processes into one source, enabling its sharing and effective usage. The system is developed in accordance with the ITIL process framework and supports, among others, ISO 20000 (BS 15000) standards.
Sample of the ServiceBase application
The operator of the ServiceBase application provides users and/or customers with online support for service functions with all the advantages arising from the application of process management policies in the area of effective IT management.
The ServiceBase is a 100% web-based application that uses the Internet for communication with clients. It provides a possibility of communication via secured protocols.
The information system is fully configurable from a simple helpdesk solution up to a full-value support for Incident management and Problem management processes, includes configuration database services and this all in the framework of defined service register (Service Level Management).
A description of successfully solved problems can be easily exported into the Knowledge base, which is divided into categories by ranges of products and users' access rights.
Sample of the ServiceBase application
Experienced technical support staff as well as common users of technical products without special IT knowledge can be the typical users of this application. The product doesn’t require specific training of users. The information from the system is available both for the support managers and they provide background data for reporting for the company’s management.
The access to individual functions of the ServiceBase depends on the role of an individual user in the system – a user has different access rights than a specialist in the customer support department or a system administrator.
The ServiceBase architecture enables simultaneous support for any products, applications or services while neither the amount of products, internal users, registered external customers, service specialists nor database records are theoretically limited.
The module offers tools for creating hierarchical structure for groups of users even for application roles thus also enabling to describe organizational structures of a company. The application includes predefined set of roles such as:
Furthermore the module enables to define own roles according to requirements of the organization. Users are divided into groups by organizational structure or by affiliation to customers. Access rights can be assigned to groups, users, roles as well as individual records.
A part of the ServiceBase is a set of program tools for administration of supported products and elements. It enables to define relations between individual elements and products, to monitor range of attributes of individual elements. A codebook of supported elements (type library) is also available. Supported IT infrastructure or any support product can be described in detail by means of this module. Own record structure, which can be specific for different elements in the framework of an application, can be created by means of optional fields defined by the system administrator in this module.
The module enables to define structure of internal as well as external services, to define responsible persons and attributes of individual services. Individual services are assigned with infrastructure elements by means of which the service is physically carried out.
The ServiceDesk module is the core of the system. Every request has its data card in the system, where all inputs concerning a particular problem from submitters of the problems as well as from solvers (one or more service specialists) are recorded. This application module serves for communication with user and enables also cooperation of solvers in the service team and delegating problems among solvers teams. The module uses services of configurable notification service.
The Knowledge base is organized as a categorized catalogue of knowledge from various sources, e.g. solved problems form ServiceDesk, information from external sources, documentation.
The module supports self-service mechanism. It enables users to proactively search solution of their own problems before contacting support staff.
This feature of the system gives the administrator a unique tool for entirely detailed administration of access rights up to a level of a single record in the application. This option obviously needn’t be used if the application operator uses predefined actions in the framework of the application and an option to assign the access rights to individual application roles. Furthermore the application includes a set of pre-set rules for data access.
Each record can be attached with any data file, which serves for specification of the issue, e.g. a screenshot, an error message, corrupted data file etc. This feature is common to all application modules.
Selected typical problems and their solutions can be easily transferred into the Knowledge base in the ServiceBase, where they are available for users, customers as well as specialists of the customer support department. The Knowledge base provides tools for creation and administration of knowledge database.
Contents of the Knowledge base are sorted by categories. They may be browsed by an index, as categorized catalogue or by means of fulltext technology, or combine both methods. Apart from the Knowledge base the radius of browsed data can also be appended with problem cards as well as text attachments. The Advanced search function enables to set special parameters that significantly refine the search results thus shortening the time necessary for finding required information.
A person interested can be automatically notified about every change in the development of problem solving via email. For instance an assigner finds out that his/her problem has been successfully recorded, name of a person responsible for solution, possibly a solver’s enquiry for specifying data and finally a solution report. The following notification parameters can be set directly from the application:
User interface of the ServiceBase application is possible to localize. Every user can then choose which of the supported languages will be used for communication with the ServiceBase. Records of the Knowledge base, which ought to be understandable for all clients, have to be translated into the supported languages. To ease adjusting for operators' needs the application offers a tool for comprehensive localization of all used texts such as keys of fields, texts of messages, help etc.
The application is built in three-layer architecture and on JAVA platform. Database Oracle or MS SQL can be used as the database.