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Newsletter 36: Automatic support group assignment based on category selection; MS Vista Support.

Automatic support group assignment based on a category selection


One overlooked yet useful function of the Web+Center Help Desk is the ability to automatically assign the “initial support group” based on a customer category selection. This provides a simple way to direct “dispatch” support cases to support groups or groups defined for a single technician. Web+Center support cases must always be assigned to a “support group” and then optionally to a specific technician.When a customer creates a new trouble ticket, the default behavior of the Help Desk Software is to assign the “initial group assignment” to the group that is defined as the “Default” group. With this scenario, a “dispatcher” is typically notified by email when the case arrives into the default group queue and then the case is re-assigned to a specific support group by the dispatcher.With larger organizations, you might have separate support groups including Networking, Phones, PC repair, etc and may wish to have support cases directly assigned to those groups based on a category selection performed by the customer.A second configuration option exists for direct group assignment based on categories without having to pass through a dispatcher. To configure your Web+Center Help Desk to use this category selection to define an initial group assignment, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Create a category list or edit the existing Problem Type category that models your support groups and problem types. For example, if your support operations are divided into Networking, PC Repair and Software, create a category called “Problem Type” and define those three sub-categories. To create a new category or edit an existing category, login to the Tech+Center with “configurator level” permissions and click onAdministration.. System Configuration Menu.. Manage Category Lists links. Complete the category editing or creating as needed.

    Figure 1 – Create a new category called Problem Type

    Figure 2 – Add appropriate category lists that model your support groups

  • Step 2: Create all of the required tech support groups and then assign tech support members to each of the groups. To create a tech support group, click on Administration…Create Support Group... To add techs to be members of support groups, click on Add Staff Members to Support GroupsA Techncian can be a member of multiple groups. Be sure to enable their group email notification options by editing their tech staff member configuration forms or by clicking on Show staff members by support groups and then toggle the Group Notifyflag.
  • Step 3: Enable the automatic “Initial Group Assignment” feature of the software by clicking on Administration… System Configuration Menu.. Configure Initial Group Assignments. Then select the top dropdown box for the “Problem Type” category to define the category that will define the group routing options. Secondly, confirm and set the “default group” setting. This automatic group assignment to a “default group” is performed when a customer does not initially set one of the category selections that defines a group assignment. Press the Submit button to continue to the next step.

    Figure 3 – Define the category that will be used for group assignments

  • Step 4: For each category item in “Problem Type”, define a support group that is the best resource to accept the type of problem. What enables this routing process and organizational modeling to work well is that there is no limitation on the number of support groups that can be created or the number of persons that can be put into a group, and technicians can be member of any muliple groups. If desired, one can create a separate support group for each, tech staff member, thus creating almost a direct Tech assignment to a case but using the group assignment rather than a tech assignment to achieve this functionality. Techs can also continuously review group cases in the upper “My Cases” Frame on the screen. Press Submit to complete the assignments.

    Figure 4 – Define a support group for each category item

Conclusions: Web+Center offers a few different Organizational Modeling (OM) configurations designed to effectively model the processes of very small 1-2 person tech organizations while also accommodating very large (20 to 80 techs) organizations. Additional information about the various options to create, and define support groups and routing options, auto-escalation, “super customer” accounts and other features can be found in the Web+Center 6.0 User guide.


New Windows Vista support and documentation

Microsoft’s new operating system VISTA has been released and new Web+Center installation and configuration documentation will be upgraded to support Web+Center installations on Vista and Server 2008 as well as supporting customers on Windows 2000/2003/XP platforms.

Microsoft plans to have Vista replace the current Windows XP editions and many computer vendors including Dell now only offer “backgrade” option to install XP instead of Vista on their machines. Clients running Vista and any browser on that computer should be compatible.

The Vista / Windows Server – 2008 comes with the next version (7.0) of IIS (Internet Information Services) and the interface to configure a website and virtual directories has changed significantly from versions 6.0 or 5.0. Other configuration steps to configure Web+Center on Vista are similar to previous versions.